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Comp. won't post - went through the boot thread - now what?

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January 8, 2010 1:08:58 PM

I just put together my first system ever. Listed below.


AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor Model HDZ720WFGIBOX
GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
SAPPHIRE 100283-2L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16
Rosewill DESTROYER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model GH22NP20
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"

I went through the entire won't boot checklist. 4 times. Here's the story:

I put the system together in the case, plugged it in the for the first time, and turned it on. It booted, and i heard a single short beep, which is supposed to be good. I hadn't plugged in the monitor yet though, so i did this (plugged into video card) and turned on the monitor. It couldn't find a signal. So i plugged it into the integrated graphics, and it still couldn't find a signal. About 10 seconds later the computer turned off on it's own.

I try to turn it back on, the power button does nothing. I unplug it, plug it back in, and it turns on for about half a second. Just long enough to spin the fans.

So i browse some forums, and think it might be too much thermal paste. I remove the HSF (the aftermarket cooler), remove all the thermal paste (I probably did have too much), and apply just a little bit. Half a pea right to the center of the cpu. I screw the HSF back on and lock it into place. I then removed it to see if it was enough paste. It wasn't. Only covered about a third of the cpu. So i dab just a little bit more and decide to spread it around with a pocket knife. That being done, i put the HSF back on. System still only turns for about half a second.

This is when i tried everything on the checklist. 1-21 all checked and double checked.

So i pull the mobo out of the case and put it on a cardboard box. I removed everything except the two power connectors (the 24 and 6 pin connectors) and the cpu and hsf. I plug the power into the wall and short the power pins with a screwdriver to turn it on. Still only a half second boot. No beeps or anything.

So what do i do now? From what i read, it could be the psu, motherboard or cpu. Do i need to rma them all?

Thanks to anyone who reads through all this and helps me out.

More about : comp post boot thread

January 8, 2010 2:19:28 PM

Forgot to add, i don't have another computer to swap parts around to test with. This non-working build is the only parts selection i have.

Do computer repair stores usually let you go in with your build and test parts for you?
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January 8, 2010 3:11:01 PM

I'm not an expert at troubleshooting, but here's what I think might have happened.

First, the PSU could have died sometime after the first boot up. Something could have been faulty, just there wasn't enough load on it until you tried to fire up the video card.

Second, you could have shorted something on the board with the thermal paste. This depends on the type of paste it is. I'm thinking that this is likely because the integrated graphics didn't work.

Third, and this is a possibilty after something else failed, the cardboard box could have created some static that fried it. That's what the anti-static bags are for.

What I would suggest is finding a friend (assuming you have one...) that will let you open up their computer. Switch your PSU for their's. Boot up their computer. If it works, the problem isn't the PSU. If it doesn't, the PSU is bad, but that may not be your only problem.

Put their PSU in your computer. If everything works, you're fine. Run some diagnostics to be sure. If it doesn't work, you've got another problem. Run through the checklist again.

As for stores doing the testing, I doubt it, but it could be possible. If you know someone who works at a local computer supply shop, check there. I don't know if it's be better to try a chain or a locally owned store. Either way, they might charge you for it.

BTW, everytime you remove the HSF, you should apply thermal compound. So even if the CPU was completely covered, you would have had to redo the paste anyway. The CPU isn't going to be fried after just booting up. Pretty much all CPUs will force a shut down if they get too hot, so you should at least fire it up and (assuming it works) run some diagnostics. Then, if it's too hot, you open it up, and redo everything.
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January 8, 2010 3:41:02 PM

I don't think i shorted anything with the paste. It didn't get on the motherboard anywhere, nor on the pins of the cpu. It just oozed out the sides slightly, but didn't touch anything. I removed the extra with a q-tip whetted with alcohol.

The last point is a good one. I didn't know that, but on accident i actually didn't screw that up. The last time i removed the HSF i spread a very thin layer of paste on the cpu to cover it completely. Then i attached the HSF and left it there. I'll keep that mind though. Thanks.

I'll ask around to see if i can play with anyone's computer. I don't know anyone directly, but i know some guys who have computer friends.

Also, if i plug my potentially bad psu into another person's good computer, couldn't that take his with it? I definitely don't want to do that.

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January 8, 2010 3:53:01 PM

Doubtful. Chances are good that's its dead. Parts are designed so that even if something goes wrong, its extremely unlikely for it to take something else with it.
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January 8, 2010 4:18:24 PM

Ok, you would know better than I.

I'm still in search of someone who can let me play with their computer.

If i don't find someone though, will newegg let me RMA the PSU, mobo and cpu all at one time?
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January 8, 2010 4:25:14 PM

No idea. I've had the good fortune of never having to RMA something back to them.
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January 8, 2010 4:25:33 PM

theJ said:
Ok, you would know better than I.

I'm still in search of someone who can let me play with their computer.

If i don't find someone though, will newegg let me RMA the PSU, mobo and cpu all at one time?


i don't see why not, as long as they are still within the allowed timeframe...
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January 8, 2010 4:37:47 PM

I just received those three parts yesterday, so yeah, plenty of time. I just wasn't sure if they'd give me hard time.
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January 8, 2010 4:49:19 PM

theJ said:
I just received those three parts yesterday, so yeah, plenty of time. I just wasn't sure if they'd give me hard time.

i'd be shocked if they give you a hard time. you are in the right to RMA whatever you need to, they shouldn't have anything to say about it...at least from my experience...
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