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Motherboard Power Error

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July 28, 2010 9:25:15 PM

So, Im building a new computer and it wont start up.

CPU: Intel core i7-860
mobo: Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3P rev 1.0
PSU: Thermaltake W0121RU (600W)
memory: Cosair XMS3 2x2GB DDR3

All parts are new.

When I plug in the power supply and turn on the computer the motherboard emits short beeps for 8 seconds then a half second pause (then repeats) which the manual says means that there is a "power error". The CPU and PSU fans also turn on.

The motherboard is sitting on wood outside of the case and the only things attached to the mobo are the power supply (via the 24 pin connector and 8 pin connector), processor and processor fan, and the on button. I have tried three different power supplies and the motherboard makes the same error noise every time. I have also reinstalled the CPU twice. I've never gotten anything to show up on the screen, even with a video card installed. There are six LEDs on the mobo and they all light up every time. The mobo does not have integrated video.

I've tried putting a memory stick in every possible slot and the same thing still happens. I have also reset the CMOS by shorting the reset pins and by removing the battery for 15 minutes. I've also done the 21 point checklist thing.

UPDATE 7-29: I tried a different motherboard by Gigabyte and the same error resulted.
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a c 177 V Motherboard
July 28, 2010 10:24:15 PM

Does the fan spin up at all? How about the PSU fan? I don't happen to know Ω/in for wood, and would supect it varies wildly - probably can't hurt to get it on something 'known non-conductive', like a phone book, a piece of plexi, or formica... I know a board will screw up sitting on the antistat foam, and it's not all that conductive...

Might try this: put in the vidcard (and vidcard power connectors); put one DIMM in the white slot closest to the CPU (making it the second slot from the CPU); hold the power button in for a good ten or twenty seconds, until everything is dead; switch off the PSU (or, if no switch, unplug it); hold the power button in another twenty to thirty seconds (to discharge the on-board capacitors...); now jumper the CLR_CMOS, should just take a second or two; remove jumper and try to power up...

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July 28, 2010 10:42:32 PM

The CPU fan and the PSU fan both spin, the case fans aren't hooked up. Also, wood is non-conductive.

when i do the clear CMOS thing the same beeping happens, But I've placed the mother board on cardboard now.
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a b à CPUs
a c 177 V Motherboard
July 29, 2010 12:01:51 AM

The conductivity of wood varies slightly with applied voltage, and approximately doubles for each 10°C. Conductivity (and its reciprocal, resistivity) varies greatly with moisture content, especially below the fiber saturation point: resistivity can be 10e11 to 10e13Ω/mm in freshly oven-dried wood, down to 1 to 10Ω/mm for wood at fiber saturation. Moisture meters for wood use the relationship between moisture content and resistivity to estimate its moisture content. You will note that transmission systems using wood poles/crossarms employ large seperations, and, nearly always, glass or ceramic insulators... The thing is, I wouldn't worry too much about sticking a ten-megohm resistor at random onto the back of my board; I definitely would not stick a 1K resisor anywhere, and without knowing what wood, finished how, in what condition - my general feeling is against it...

I've got a 'nagging hunch' - I've seen this before - something where another problem caused the BIOS to 'think' it had a power failure, but it wasn't... Gotta think for a bit and see if I get a clue - wouldn't know where to search, nor for what terms, at this point...

As you've tried other PSUs, that can't actually be it - and you're doing the troubleshooting correctly: out of the case, and with very little, just the essentials hooked up... Vague inkling - try something odd for me - hook up a CD/DVD to the thing, see if it 'hits' the CD before or during the BIOS beeps - I'm wondering if it's trying to do a 'recovery' flash, and we're not seeing it... Meanwhile, I'll think harder! [:lectrocrew:7] I know it's 'rattling around' in here, somewhere?!?!
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July 29, 2010 12:45:15 AM

When i turn it on with a DVD drive connected the green light on the drive turns on and it makes some sounds like theres something moving inside. Then it starts beeping again. Would it matter that the drive is up-side down?
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a b à CPUs
a c 177 V Motherboard
July 29, 2010 1:46:09 AM

Nah - upside down, on edge, shouldn't really matter - try throwing in the disk that shipped with the MOBO, and see if it reads the damned thing - might just be a badly corrupted BIOS, with a 'yet-intact' boot-block, trying to reload the BIOS automatically - it's in a special spot on the CD to enable just that...
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July 29, 2010 2:30:11 AM

The DVD drive sounds like its moving at the beginning, then the light on it goes out and the mobo just does the same thing as always.
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a b V Motherboard
July 29, 2010 4:00:01 PM

Hi John,

I recently went thru a series of troubleshooting steps to get my new GA-P55A-UD7 MB to POST.

Has your MB ever POSTed to the Gigabyte logon screen or to the System Setup?

I checked the specs on your MB and the i7-860 should work fine with the F9 BIOS, that came with the MB.

You are right the continual short beeps means a PSU error or failure.

The one thing to check is the 8 pin 12V connector in the upper left corner of your MB. If you are using one of the 4pinX2 connectors, make sure they are both seated in the recepticle completely. You might get that error code if the MB does not sense both connectors in place or the CPU is not getting enough current thru that mandatory 8 pin connector.

The other item to double check is if your main power connector is 20+4, that the 20-24 pin section is firmly seated. It has additional 12, 5, 3.3 v pins and a ground on it.

The last thing to try, if you have an inexpensive low power Graphics Card, try using it so the system is initially using as little PSU power as possible.
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July 29, 2010 4:30:26 PM

the motherboard has never POSTed and nothing has ever come up on the screen.

All the connectors from the power supply to the motherboard are seated firmly

I've tried running with no graphics card at all, and i still get the same beep code.
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a b V Motherboard
July 29, 2010 6:45:01 PM

Hi John,

Couple other things to check on
Take the video card out, disconnect all peripheral hardware except the CPU, 2 sticks of RAM in the white sockets, and turn it on. Listen carefully to the beep codes. Do you hear initially a long beep then 2 short beeps (video card error)?

If not, then possibly the MB is not sending a pwr good signal back to the PSU confirming voltages are stable to start the CPU & RAM

Since you get the continual short beeps, having to do with the power supply, the next thing to do would be to use an inexpensive PSU checker to see if it gives you a power OK signal. They are $10-20. I bought a nice one online or from PC Power and cooling, which you connect to the main power connector. It shorts a connector internally to turn the PSU on, & checks the voltages on a small LCD screen

If the PSU checks out OK, but you still get the PSU error, then contact Gigabyte tech support online, and see if they have any other suggestions, before sending the MB back.
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July 29, 2010 6:59:37 PM

I just tried a different motherboard, and it made the exact same error. Without the video card the same error still results. I have also tried 3 different power supplies so i doubt that its a PSU issue.
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a b V Motherboard
July 29, 2010 7:16:19 PM

Hi John,

Where are you located topographically?

Just for completeness, I want to double check that you have a small speaker attached to the Front I/O header, which is 4 pins wide, using just pins 1 and 4 for the speaker. It is red color coded in the Front I/O header. Most MB's don't have a speaker or buzzer attached anymore so you have to at least temporarily attach your own for troubleshooting.

If you tried a completely different Gigabyte motherboard and get the same multiple short beep codes, then it is not the motherboard. It would be very very rare to get 2 different MB's with the same problem.

Review again for accuracy, you have tried two different Gigabyte MB's and both give continuous short beeps thru an external 1 inch attached testing speaker, not audio speakers. Different PSU on the second MB gives the same beep code?
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July 29, 2010 7:46:19 PM

Im in the USA.

There is a small speaker attached, I had to go pick one up at a computer store.

Everything there is correct, except i only tried one PSU on the second motherboard.
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July 29, 2010 8:03:23 PM

also, do you know what the 6 lights that light up mean, if anything?
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a b V Motherboard
July 29, 2010 9:51:15 PM

Hi John,

Try your second PSU on the second MB, to see if you get any beep codes. That may tell you where the problem is. Also double check the main power connector. For you MB, there should be 24 pins, 12 on each side, not just 20 pins that was the convention 5 years ago. If your PSU has 20+4, make very sure the 4 additional pins are seated or the board won't get the full power it needs.

Yes, the 6 small LEDs are called phase LEDs, and there are 2 green, two yellow, two red. They tell you how much power the board using. When it first boots, and goes thru the POST, System SetUp, Windows loading, all 6 lights will be on. If it doesn't POST, all 6 lights will remain on, and after Windows is loaded, none or 1 will remain on until the CPU and Graphics card requires more current.
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July 30, 2010 3:38:14 AM

It turns out the memory wasn't seated fully... I thought it was, but it wasn't... now i feel like an idiot...
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Best solution

a b V Motherboard
July 30, 2010 1:41:28 PM

Hi John,

Hurrah, that good feeling when you motherboard will POST successfully. It's liket a big weight of uncertainty has been lifted off your shoulders!

Before installing Windows and apps, take time to boot into the System Setup multiple times, and learn what options (parameters) are available, and how the MB acts to the point of accessing the primary HDD. It's valuable information to know.

There is always a lesson learned when you have solved a computer problem that everyone goes thru.

The only unanswered point is why your MB gave you multiple short beeps. RAM problems give a long/short beep code (like morse code "n"). Could that have been the actual sequence?

Glad you are bootable!
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a c 177 V Motherboard
July 30, 2010 2:46:13 PM

I second John_VanKirk's sentiments - every error or mistake is a 'learning opportunity'! Thomas Edison was once being teased by a group of reporters whan, after something like eighty or a hundred experiments, he had failed to make any progress toward developing an electric light. He replied "I'm making great progress - I've now eliminated eighty filament materials that won't work!"

Some months back, a guy here was having memory problems. We did a few diagnostics; diddled here, fiddled there; finally, I suggested that he carefully examine the mounts and heat transfer pad under his northbridge cooler, because to me, his symptoms 'looked like' an overclocked, overvolted, memory controller trying to run too many DIMMs without cooling - and he had neither OC'd or OV'd, and was running only two DIMMs... He didn't have to go far - turned out that when he installed his CPU heatsink, it had kind of 'wedged over' his northbridge sink, pushing it up into its mounting springs enough to lose contact with the bridge itself. He was awed, and thought I was some kind of magician! I told him "no magic invloved - I'm just old [:bilbat:6] , and have made or seen nearly every kind of screw up possible - most of 'em - twice!
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August 5, 2010 11:57:57 PM

Best answer selected by john158.
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