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System rebuild problem, help requested

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January 23, 2009 2:28:55 PM

In an effort to extend the life (and build the computer as it should have been if I had everything I was doing), I bought several upgrade parts with the intent of rebuilding my computer.

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Old system: (Includes incremental changes over the past year and half)

Cooler Master Centurion 5 case (with clearview side, mod'ed for 120mm exhaust fan for graphics card area)
Intel e6750 (OC: 2.8 using link/synced)
Intel retail cpu cooler
Evga 680i lt MB
4 x 1 GB Crucial Ballistix DDR2 1066 (running at 700 with 4-4-4-12 timings)
Evga 9800 GT 2 slot graphics card
1 x Asus IDE DVD burner
4 x 320 GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 Sata 2 hard drives (one unpartitioned and unused)
3.5" Floppy
Enermax Liberty 500w PS
Chasis Fan total: 2 x 120mm exhaust, 1 x 80 mm intake (Note: One fan was powered from its own 4 pin molex to 3 pin adapter straight from the PS due to a failed attempt to properly cool the case with an additional 120 mm intake fan....ran out of MB headers. Never changed back.)
All fan headers except the one near the Cpu power management used. (This header doesn't work on the 680i lt series.)
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Win XP Pro 32 bit OS
Acer 22" WS LCD Monitor
Microsoft USB Keyboard & Mouse

<<Confirmed running stable prior to being broken down into pieces.>>
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New purchased/readded parts to replace/supplement certain pieces listed above:

Antec 300 case <replacement for CM Centurion 5>
Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer cpu cooler <replacement for Intel retail>
Lite-on Sata DVD burner <added to system, in addition to the Asus>
XFX 8600 GT XXX <readdition to system as a PhysX card running with the 9800 GT>
Removal of the 3.5" Floppy drive due to lack of external bay in new case
Addition of a PCI slot 4 port USB2.0 card that came packaged with the MB. (However, only 2 ports were connected to the MB since the other available USB header was used for the front panel USB ports.)
Chasis Fan total: 1 x 140 mm exhaust, 2 x 120 mm exhaust, 1 x 120 mm intake
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<<No OS or peripheral changes, but one of the hard drives planned for future install with Win 7 Beta for testing>>
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Deconstruction of the old system consisted of the following completed items: (to eliminate some suggestions)

1. Removal of the Intel thermal pad from the processor with light rubbing alcohol/cotton balls. Dryed immediately after with another cottom ball. Allowed to air drive before reinsertion into MB.
2. Application of pre-packed Tuniq TX-2 thermal grease in "light 4 line" mode since this is a 4 heat pipe core contact cooler.
3. Cpu cooler installed facing "up" instead of "back" to exhaust out the 140mm exhaust fan.
4. Flipping of the NB MB fan from blowing air onto the MB to pulling air through the NB heatsink. (Done due to the cpu cooler now sitting on top of the NB cooling assembly.)
5. This cpu cooler does NOT have a 4 pin connector for use with the typical cpu power header. (It is packaged with its own controller that sits in an available PCI slot.) As a result, the rear chasis fan was powered from the cpu header, and the cpu cooler was powered from one of the other headers.
6. All Sata hard drives were reattached, using the same sata cords, to the same Sata headers that they were previously connected to in the old case.
7. The additional Sata DVD drive was connected to the MB using a previously confirmed functional cord to another previously confirmed functional Sata header.
8. All of the same modular PS cables were used.

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Problems:

Once the computer was reassembled, first plug-in showed that I connected the power and HD LEDs +/- to the wrong headers. (The Evga manual is mis-printed, my wife's XFX version of the board is not mis-printed, but I always forget.) This issue was corrected.

Upon first power on, the following things occurred:

1. All fans confirmed to be functional. (Chasis, cpu, graphics cards, and PS) <Note: This MB does not have a speaker, speaker header, or POST codes.>
2. The IDE Asus drive did not respond. (No power?)
3. The USB keyboard/mouse did not respond. (No power to USB ports?)
4. The monitor never showed a display. (Not even the graphics card initialization or MB Bios.)

Things tried individually or together...as frustration slowly set in: (Note: All problems are still occurring.)

1. Change the IDE data cable connection from the "middle" header to the "end" header on the drive.
2. Movement of the keyboard/mouse to different USB ports, including the MB ones.
3. Monitor moved to other DVI port on the 9800 GT, as well as the 8600 GT's 2 DVI ports.
4. De-powering of the 140 mm exhaust fan and disconnection of the 4 molex power to the "performance video" supplementary power port on the MB. (The 140mm fan has passthrough power, so it was plugged directly into the MB, then the PS lead into it. I confirmed, however, that the MB will feed power "out" of the port instead of taking it "in" if you disconnect the PS lead but leave the fan connected.)
5. Removal of the SLI bridge from the video cards.
6. Removal of the 9800 GT.
7. Removal of all ram.
8. Disconnection of all power except the Cpu 8 pin, MB 24 pin, and PCI-E 6 pin to the 9800 GT (with it in the MB).

By this point (with me being greatly frustrated and having to come to work today), it seems that the MB is simply not booting into the Bios. (Which would explain the lack of power to the USB keyboard/mouse.) However, no power to the IDE drive?...

Anyone have any thoughts on the problem and a solution? I have thought of the following as possible causes (short of reassembly careless mistake or MB failure).

1. MB short with screws that hold it into the the case.

But that is all I can come up with in my "slightly sleep deprived state."

Thank you ahead of time.
January 23, 2009 2:35:48 PM

Sounds like a PSU problem, do you have a spare PSU (wifes one maybe?) to test?
January 23, 2009 2:49:36 PM

Addendum:

Things tried individually or together....

9. Movement of all "modular power cords" in the PS from their original connection points to others in the PS.
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Reply: Merlinbadman

She does have the same model of PSU, and that could be arranged (if time is available during the weekend.) However, the only part of the PSU not "confirmed to be pushing power" with the available information is the CPU 8 pin.

The MB 24 pin is pushing power because, despite the lack of speakers and post codes, the MB LEDs above the ram slots do glow. (1 blue when powered off, 2 blue and 2 red when powered on.)

Further, the MB fan headers supply power to the chasis and cpu fans.
Related resources
January 24, 2009 12:58:55 AM

I can now confirm that it isn't a PS issue, as I:

1. Have completely taken apart the "newly built" computer.
2. Removed the MB from the case, removed the CPU heatsink, cleaned off all thermal grease.
3. Put the MB back into the case with only the processor. (No heatsink)
4. Put the 8600 GT video card into the MB.
5. Connected the CPU power, MB power, and case switch pins.

The computer successfully booted up and began posting. (However, due to not having a heatsink, I quickly shut the computer off.)

Continuing to put the computer together...
January 24, 2009 5:10:32 AM

Problems corrected with this build of the computer.
!