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Testing motherboard/parts without a case

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December 18, 2009 4:22:10 PM

I have a gigabyte P55 board with core i5, 4GB OCZ DDR3, ASUS ATI 4300 series PCI-E card, and blu-ray drive hooked up to a power supply for testing parts. However, when I temporarily short the power pins to start the motherboard, it comes on (cpu fan kicks on, blu ray drive starts to spin) and turns off immediately and keeps cycling through this until i turn off the power supply. The mother was placed on the anti static bag on a couch. Also, I didn't have a case fan hooked since it was out in the open. Just the CPU fan, monitor, and usb keyboard were attached to the motherboard along with the SATA blu-ray drive with gOS CD inside it. Does it need to be grounded or something? I want to test the components before I rip apart my existing system.
a b V Motherboard
December 18, 2009 4:30:41 PM

I would get it off the couch and place the entire test set up on a table, for starters.

Have you reset the CMOS? Are all the power connectors connected? Did you try only one DIMM? Does the psu meet minimum power requirements?

Disconnect everything so only the essential hardware necessary to boot is installed and connected, i.e.; cpu, 1 DIMM, gpu, and all required power connections. If the system attempts to boot and you can enter the BIOS, the plug the other components in one at a time until it fails to identify the specific component that causes it to fail. If you connect the components in and it does not fail, then you should be all good to go.
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a b V Motherboard
December 18, 2009 4:34:40 PM

Placing the motherboard on the anti-static bag is fine.

Did you install the i5 processor heat sink correctly? Please describe how you installed the heat sink fan (HSF). An improperly installed HSF is one possible cause for the symptoms you describe.

Have you completed the troubleshooting guide listed here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-read-postin...

Please report your findings using this form:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/264823-31-progess-tro...
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December 18, 2009 4:44:14 PM

Regard the i5 stock cpu fan, it locked in snugly and seems pretty tight on the cpu, and it spun when the motherboard kicked on. The motherboard power on lasted only in 1 second intervals, so I doubt cpu temperates are the issue here. My power supply is 500+watt (which I think is plenty sufficient for my parts), with 24-pin ATX, but I did not have the ancillary power (6-pin I think, right next to the cpu) that Gigabyte mentions as being optional. I assume that is for overclocking and SLI/CF rigs.

I have not done an absolute bare bones start up (1 -Dimm, bios reset), but I'll try that today.

How does a couch and table differ? I actually set it on a large chaise, beause that was the most convinient spot for a available power outlet and the length of the DVI cable from the monitor.
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a b V Motherboard
December 18, 2009 4:52:34 PM

vvume said:
My power supply is 500+watt (which I think is plenty sufficient for my parts), with 24-pin ATX, but I did not have the ancillary power (6-pin I think, right next to the cpu) that Gigabyte mentions as being optional. I assume that is for overclocking and SLI/CF rigs.


This sounds really strange. Item 2 on the Shortstuff's checklist is:

"Did you plug in the 4/8-pin CPU power connector, located near the CPU? If the motherboard has 8 pins and your PSU only has 4 pins, you can use the 4-pin connector. The 4-pin connector USUALLY goes on the 4 pins located closest to the CPU. If the motherboard has an 8-pin connector with a cover over 4 pins, you can remove the cover and use an 8-pin plug if your power supply has one. Check your motherboard owners manual for more information about the CPU power connector. This is easily the most common new-builder mistake."
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December 18, 2009 5:06:36 PM

Sounds like this might be the problem. I didn't plug the 4 pin connector, because I didn't have the 8 pin. I'll get back after tonight.

dpaul8 said:
This sounds really strange. Item 2 on the Shortstuff's checklist is:

"Did you plug in the 4/8-pin CPU power connector, located near the CPU? If the motherboard has 8 pins and your PSU only has 4 pins, you can use the 4-pin connector. The 4-pin connector USUALLY goes on the 4 pins located closest to the CPU. If the motherboard has an 8-pin connector with a cover over 4 pins, you can remove the cover and use an 8-pin plug if your power supply has one. Check your motherboard owners manual for more information about the CPU power connector. This is easily the most common new-builder mistake."

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a b V Motherboard
December 18, 2009 6:38:02 PM

vvume said:
How does a couch and table differ? I actually set it on a large chaise, beause that was the most convinient spot for a available power outlet and the length of the DVI cable from the monitor.
Given how sensitive to static discharge the parts are, placing the test set up on a couch may not provide the best or most stable of platforms for your tests...couch/table/wearing wool socks with wet hands...it's your call...but personally, I would put the entire set up on a solid surface and be sure to discharge myself to the psu before any testing...
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a b V Motherboard
December 18, 2009 6:43:36 PM

chunkymonster said:
Given how sensitive to static discharge the parts are, placing the test set up on a couch may not provide the best or most stable of platforms for your tests...couch/table/wearing wool socks with wet hands...it's your call...but personally, I would put the entire set up on a solid surface and be sure to discharge myself to the psu before any testing...


This is excellent advice. One of the leading causes of motherboard and other electronic part failures is getting sapped by static electricity. If you live in a cold weather climate this problem is worse because of the low humidity in the winter months makes it easier to build up static charges.
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a c 156 V Motherboard
December 18, 2009 6:46:32 PM

This is what you are talking about:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/262730-31-breadboardi...

I think that it is a very good idea to test the parts as much as you can before you gp through all the work to install them in a case.

You cvan make sure that the cooler is installed correctly by inspecting the push pins from the bottom of the case.
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December 18, 2009 8:17:20 PM

dpaul8 said:
This is excellent advice. One of the leading causes of motherboard and other electronic part failures is getting sapped by static electricity. If you live in a cold weather climate this problem is worse because of the low humidity in the winter months makes it easier to build up static charges.


It's been so dry in the upper midwest that I'm tempting to do my build in the shower :wahoo: 

Seriously, anti-static wrist band would be a good investment. Just be sure that the chassis (i.e. case) is grounded (usually with PSU plugged in but turned off).
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December 18, 2009 8:26:00 PM

can you tell us what kind of power supply you have? Many 500w PSUs can not efficiently generate the power that they say they can. Also, not plugging in the 4/8 pin ancillary power connector in seems the most likely culprit, as others have said.
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December 25, 2009 1:22:10 AM

It was the 8-pin (dual 12v ATX?) connection that was missing as suspected earlier. When I connected the 4pin one everything worked perfectly without much of a hitch!
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