I'm having problems getting my new build to work. My build is based on Tech Report's Summer 2009 "Econobox" except I use an EarthWatts 430W PSU instead of an EarthWatts 380W.
My problem is that the system doesn't boot. There is no image on the screen and no beep. All the fans go, and I can hear the SATA devices spinning up. It does not even beep if I remove all PCI/PCIe cards and RAM and run on a breadboard as described in the "won't boot" checklist. Naturally in this case I do not expect an image!
I suspect something serious is wrong with either the motherboard, CPU or PSU, or maybe some combination of all three.
There are two things I can think of that might be wrong - other than faulty parts or some installation error like shorting:
1. The PSU has a 4-pin 12V power connector, but the motherboard has an 8-pin (or 2x4-pin) socket. However I think this should be OK because the manual says on page 22 that 4 of the pins are "Only for 2x4 pin 12V". This wording implies to me that there is the possibility of using 1x4-pin connectors. I'm not sure why the manual would include that comment otherwise. Also posts on the net seemed to say that a single 4-pin connection will often be OK if the CPU doesn't draw too much power, and the X2 is rated at 80W. It is not some 120W+ CPU, for example. However the PC does not boot.
2. I wanted to clear the CMOS in case that was the problem. When I tried to do this I discovered that the clear-CMOS jumper was already in place (i.e. it had shipped in place). The installation guide had not warned that it needed to be removed during installation. But in the section on clearing the CMOS the manual advises against turning the computer on with the jumper in place in case it cause damage: "...before turning on your computer, be sure to remove the jumper cap from the jumper. Failure to do so may cause damage to the motherboard." Unfortunately I had already turned the computer on with the jumper in place this because I tested the computer several times before I thought about trying to clear the CMOS and noticed this warning.
What I'd like to find out is whether either of these are likely to be problems or whether I should start thinking about faulty parts or some other installation error. Should this motherboard/CPU combination work with a 4-pin connection? And what is the likelihood that the motherboard has been damaged by having the CMOS jumper in place while powered on?
If the power connector is likely to be the problem then I will order an EarthWatts 500W, which includes an 8-pin EPS 12V connection. I will try out the new PSU with the motherboard. If it still does not work then I will try a replacement motherboard.
If the 4-pin power connection is likely to work, but the CMOS jumper has probably damaged the motherboard then I'll get a replacement motherboard and try again.
If the CMOS jumper damaged the motherboard then ideally I would like it to be replaced at no charge because I feel the installation instructions should have highlighted this clearly as a potential problem. i.e. The fact that the jumper was already in place and needed to be removed before first boot. There is a page that lists installation precautions, and one more bullet point would have saved the board. I read all the upfront warnings carefully, but I did not pre-read the entire 91 page manual and check every jumper! But maybe this is something obvious that I should have known about. Feel free to share your opinion.
My feeling is that the motherboard is probably damaged and I should try to replace that first. But is there something else I should consider doing?
Thanks for all advice. Let me know if there's any more information I can give.
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It sounds like the 4 pin CPU power isn't plugged in correctly.
OK, thanks for your suggestion.
I've pressed the 4-pin plug down firmly, so it should be in making contact. Actually I've put the plug in more than once, so hopefully I got it in properly at least one time.
The shape of the pins and the clip on the side mean the plug can only go in one way, but I've also checked the motherboard manual which seems to match where I've got it. Despite this, I was desperate and tried the other end to see if it would work, but no luck, it wouldn't fit.
The beeps won't come through your external speakers, it will come from the internal speaker on the motherboard.
You may want to reseat your CPU and fan.
FYI, here's your beep codes and meanings:
1 short: System boots successfully
2 short: CMOS setting error
1 long, 1 short: Memory or motherboard error
1 long, 2 short: Monitor or graphics card error
1 long, 3 short: Keyboard error
1 long, 9 short: BIOS ROM error
Continuous long beeps: Graphics card not inserted properly
Continuous short beeps: Power error
I removed the CPU and fan, and put them back in again... 1 short beep then... POST!
Adding the other components back and turning the PC on, I can see the OS install CD starting to boot. I feel very happy.
For the moment I'll leave it at that. I've messed up the thermal compound that came attached to the bottom of the heatsink and (from what I understand) I'll need to order some more and get it applied before I should start to use the PC properly.
Until you get the thermal paste, just keep an eye on your CPU temps. You can download speedfan to monitor it. Be very careful not to apply too much thermal paste when it comes. Apply a tiny amount (about the size of a grain of rice). Too much can get into your CPU socket pins and cause problems.