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Trouble with new install/upgrade

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December 14, 2009 2:12:31 AM

I am hoping to get some assistance with a new system I am building (upgrade actually, but several main components are new).

I am using a new processor, motherboard and RAM. These are: Intel i5-750, Gigabyte GA-P55-UD3R and OCZ platinum PC3-10666 (DDR3) 2 x 2GB.

The video card is what I already had (ATI Radeon x1800xt 512 MB).

Right now, I have only the bare minimum components hooked up and I don't get any video output. Only the above components are installed (CPU, RAM, video card), apart from case fans, case front audio and USB connectors.

There is no question of going into BIOS or anything like that as I get nothing on my screen. I am using my TV as monitor and it is connected to the video card by a DVI-HDMI cable. This is the same setup I was using before (except different mainboard, CPU, memory).

Also I should mention that there are no sounds of any kind coming from the motherboard when I power up. My case doesn't have any front speaker, but I believe the mainboard has some sort of internal speaker. There is no beep when I turn the system on. The CPU fan, case fans and video card fan turn on fine.

Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks.
a c 435 V Motherboard
December 14, 2009 3:24:41 PM

I always do a bare post before mounting the board in the case. Just the cpu/heatsink, one stick of memory, and video, keyboard. No optical or hardrives. Once it posts, go into the bios and set your boot order to cd or dvd first to use a windows boot disk. Then save and exit. Then carefully pick a spot to pick up the board with your cpu and memory still in place and tilt it to install. Of course, be sure the backplate is flush first against the back. If it's crooked, that will cause a problem, and also a loose wire under the board, or unused standoff touching circuitry.
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a c 177 V Motherboard
December 14, 2009 3:57:50 PM

Mind you, there are two ways to do this: you can do it either in or out of the case. The advantages and drawbacks:in the case is easier and faster, but will not find case-related problems, like shorts from extra, mispositioned standoffs, or ground plane problems; out of the case takes longer, and you may run into 'reach' problems - power supply cables and front panel power switch headers may not be long enough; for the power supply, it's usually just a matter of removing four screws to temorarily relocate it; for the power switch, you can just do this (carefully):

You only need to short the pins momentarily - that's all the power switch does...Out of the case also affords you an easy opportunity to 'flip' the board to check your heatsink/fan attachment setup, to be sure all the pins are fully seated, locked, and not cracked... If you do the out of the case, you need to lay the board on a non-conductive surface: the box the MOBO came in is ideal; but - the foam pad it came with, and the bag it was in are not - being 'antistat', they are somewhat conductive, and may induce problems...

Another item worth mention at this point is case speakers: if you haven't got one - get one!
http://www.cwc-group.com/casp.html
A lot of people operate under the misaprehension that the 'diagnostic beeps' should come through the speakers attached to their sound-card/chip - not so! Your three hundred dollar Altec-Lansings won't do you any good here - you have to have a case speaker attached to the front panel header, and, often by this point, it's the only diagnostic info you'll have to go on...

The standard 'strip-down':

Power down at PSU switch
remove everything except
CPU and heatsink/fan (check carefully that the fan retaining pins are fully inserted, completely locked, and not cracked)
one stick of RAM, in slot closest to CPU
video card and monitor connector (if more than one PCIe slot, again, in slot closest to CPU)
all power plugs - 20+4 or 24, 2x2 or 2x4 ATX power, graphics card power
case speaker and power switch connectors
keyboard (don't need a mouse at this point)
place jumper on RST_CMOS pins
remove jumper from RST_CMOS pins
power up at PSU switch
power up by depressing case power switch (or shorting the 'power' pins...)
If you get video, enter BIOS with <DEL> (may need a <TAB> to get to POST screen, if 'splash' screen is enabled)
Select and execute "Load Optimized Defaults" - save and exit, reboot
power down
reinsert other components, one at a time, testing each time after addition...




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December 14, 2009 7:16:10 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. I came across the second reply above earlier while searching through the forums.

Right now, as I have mentioned, I only have cpu/ram/video card installed, along with power switch and led. I have made sure to get rid of everything else, although it is IN the case. That was due to my being lazy and getting bored with all these installs and problems over the years.

I doubt the existence of any shorts though. I was using the same case earlier. There are no wires/screws floating around underneath. I don't remember there being any standoffs that came either with the case or the mobo.

I am suspecting that this is a more common Gigabyte problem, as I found several references to things like this on Gigabyte boards on other forums. There are indications that the board is picky with RAM and maybe PSU related problems. My PSU may not be a very robust piece.

I will give it a try after disassembling everything and taking it out of the case. But does anyone have any idea why fans would spin, LEDs turn on, but no beep emerge? This non-beeping makes me very unhappy. I hate having to return things and wait forever. It was ok back when I was a student, but these days I run out of patience and time very quickly, if you know what I mean.
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a c 177 V Motherboard
December 14, 2009 8:21:35 PM

Patience! Computers seem to exist for exactly two reasons: as a supreme test of human patience, and as explicit proof of Murphy's Law!!! The main reason for the 'out of the case' deal, is the ever-present possibility, when switching, or installing new, motherboards is the presence of an 'extra' standoff... I put my workstation into a pricey CM Cosmos case, which came with what I thought was a great, handy, visual aid - it had a template, with holes in it designated for different sized motherboards: full ATX, server boards, micro-ATX, etc., that was meant to show you where to put your standoffs. Unfortunately, the guide to ATXs put a standoff in a spot where my board had no hole - pretty much guaranteeing a non-working install, and, easily enough, a 'cooked' MOBO! Fortunately, I'm obsessive enough to have checked before committing the board to the case...

GBs are actually very well-made, solid, dependable products; they share some quirks and peculiarities, but, I believe, fewer than most manufacturers, and the thing is - they're mostly known quirks; I've assembled and started up three GB boards in the last six days, for 'buddies of a buddy', got all of them configured with at least two OSs (I always put Ubuntu on my systems as a 'fall-back' position, if nothing else), and set up one of them with 7, Xp, and Ubuntu - had exactly zero problems; flashed two to current BIOS, backed up all the 'raw' first OS installs with GB's XpressRecovery, saved the CMOS parameters to backups; the biggest difficulty I saw was one of them had a loose wire in the case's card reader USB connection, and wouldn't load drivers... GB's tech support is, admittedly, umm, peculiar - but I believe this is mostly due to language problems - I'm working on learning Mandarin, and I am staggered that Chinese can learn to write their names by the time they're thirty-five! I started after becoming fascinated by their calligraphy, and thought to speak directly to tech support - however, I figure in about five years I may be able to ask them "where is the bathroom! :lol:  I speak a little Spanish, French, and Italian, and read Latin (nuns in high school :cry:  ) fairly well - but Chinese seems to be like attempting to learn Klingonese!

No beep is ominous; I can think of one h'ware possibilty other than a 'downed' board - on older hardware, speakers were often two pin headers; modern spaekers are four pin with the active pins separated by two empty positions; other than that (and that's slim - those are really old...), the only conclusion is that it's not POSTing at all, or can't get through even the rudiments of the POST... Usually, a Bad HSF install (either a 'bubble' in the paste, or an unlocked or cracked pin) will allow at least a partial POST, will 'fire up' the video, and will simply reset either during or right after the POST; always the possibility of bad RAM or CPU - either of which would give your symptoms. I'd suggest getting it down to one DIMM, doing a CMOS reset, and trying it that way - no go, try the other DIMM; absent a 'known-working' CPU to swap in, or a spare PSU, duno what else to try...
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February 7, 2010 5:37:26 PM

Finally, after tracking down a case speaker online and getting it shipped to me, I have been able to revisit this. This time I have plucked the whole thing out of the case and am putting it on an insulated surface. I only have the CPU & RAM installed.

I'm getting some sort of POST error code. 1 long beep and what sounds like 3 short beeps. It is the same whether I use a single RAM stick or two. Does anyone know how I can find a list of POST codes for this board? How do I know what sort of BIOS it has on it if I have never been able to get past POST?
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February 7, 2010 9:49:36 PM

Nevermind. They appear to use Award BIOS, and the code seems to mean missing video memory. Which is obvious, as I had not installed the video card. Once I did that, POST beeps continuously with constant medium length beeps endlessly. The code list says this means missing or improperly seated RAM.

Hmm.. So does this mean my RAM is bad (I doubt it) or incompatible? Could it be a PSU problem somehow? I really don't want to buy another pair of RAM sticks without being sure there is something wrong with what I have. Would hate to find out later that the RAM was fine, and it was the mobo that was rotten.
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February 7, 2010 10:32:59 PM

One more thing to mention is that the video card fan turns off after a few seconds sometimes, and other times it just keeps going.
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a c 177 V Motherboard
February 7, 2010 11:12:23 PM

My opinion - the very first thing to do when having grief with i5/i7 setups (especially wierd grief) is a carefully conducted (flashlight & magnifying glass) examination of the socket pins - they are infinitely fragile, and 'setting a CPU' any way except perfectly perpendicular, or absolutely any random contact with them prior to the install, will leave them damaged sufficiently to cause troubles - often, the system will boot, but show inaccessible or 'missing' RAM...
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February 8, 2010 12:46:18 AM

Will try to examine socket pins.
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February 11, 2010 3:08:47 AM

I went over that socket with a 20x loupe, and though it isn't exactly easy on the eyes to inspect those pins, I don't believe I saw anything that looked bent or out of whack. What's the prognosis now? Gotta do something about this.
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