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Semi-new Build... no bios, post or even error beeps.

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April 16, 2010 9:02:55 AM

Let me start off by mentioning that I've read through the sticky post twice before posting this, trying to do as much lone troubleshooting as possible. I received the parts at 1pm today, and save for three hours to go visit my niece, I'm still at it at 2am. Ugh.

So I recently bought a new CPU, mobo, RAM and GPU to upgrade my system. I was retaining all of the other parts. The pertinent specs are as follows:

Phenom II X4 955 BE (C3... yipee)
ASRock M3A770DE
MSI Hawk HD 5770
4GB G.Skill Ripjaws (DDR3 1600)

And I'm usuing a Smilodon Raidmax case, which includes a 500W PSU.

I have spent the better part of my day breadboarding next to an open case. First go round, I got everything plugged in, and the power would flicker on every few seconds but not stay on. I realized the 24-pin power cable was loose. Fixed it.

Since then, no matter what I try, the machine starts. Fans kick in, hard drives (when they were connected) started up. But no post beep. No BIOS. No display. Nada.

I've slowly been backtracking since. I've tried a different video card. Nothing. One stick of RAM in each slot (tried with each stick). Nothing. No RAM... not even an error beep.

Tested the speaker, it works in another machine. I quadruple-checked the power cables. Nothing. I even went so far as to dismantle the aftermarket cooler (a Hyper 212 plus that came on every time). No bent pins, no spillage of the thermal paste. Nothing.

I am at my wits end here (to make matters worse, I put my old parts into the roomie's machine and it works perfectly... ugh).

Could the motherboard be dead? I've seen several posts about LEDs coming on on the mobo, but I'm not sure if I have one (or that it's coming on). The CPU has no bent pins, so I would assume it went in fine and is okay. Is the 500W power supply simply not enough, even though the fans came on every time? I am trying to find a multimeter to test it, but since it worked before with my old parts (Athlon II X2 250, HD 4670, ASRock N68-S and 4GB DDR 1066 RAM, for the record), I don't think that'll help me.

I promise, I didn't post here until I'd triple-checked all the foolish mistakes first and done hours of Google-ing on my own. Where do I go from here? :sweat: 
April 16, 2010 9:12:56 AM

I highly doubt its a DOA mobo...
As for the power, though the 500W that comes with the case is not good, but still should be able to run the card if it is not very old...
Maybe just maybe the PSU is not able to handle the power draw from the card...
Check the PC with the HD 4670 as it doesnt require that much power...

So even I have a doubt either the mobo is DOA or the PSU is not able to power the graphics...
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April 16, 2010 9:48:02 AM

Just tried it with the HD 4670... nothing. Fans come on, but no post.

But even without the GPU or RAM in... I don't even get an error beep.
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April 16, 2010 9:52:16 AM

^ Then its most probably the mobo...
And also just to confirm the power is enough for your graphics card, you can try it with the old components with that PSU...
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April 16, 2010 9:55:57 AM

Breadboard - that isolates any kind of case problem that might cause a short.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/262730-31-breadboardi...
Breadboard with just motherboard, CPU & HSF, case speaker, and PSU.

You can turn on the PC by momentarily shorting the two pins that the case power switch goes to.

You should hear a series of long, single beeps indicating memory problems.
Silence indicates a problem with (in most likely order) the PSU, motherboard, or CPU.

And if you know you have a working PSU, that leaves the motherboard or CPU. And because the CPU is seldom DOA, that leaves the motherboard.
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April 16, 2010 9:59:49 AM

I have been bread boarding since sometime around sunset. :p 

Just tried it with the mobo. CPU and HSF set in, PSU plugged in and speaker plugged in. Started it with a screwdriver, and the HSF starts up. But nothing else happens.

I've already checked the CPU once, and know it doesn't have any bent pins or anything.

So I likely have a bad motherboard?
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April 16, 2010 10:05:16 AM

Yup...even I doubt the same...
If you the CPU was a 95W TDP one, then you could have checked with your old mobo, but its not...
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April 16, 2010 10:08:22 AM

Well, back to Newegg for an RMA. Ugh. Another week of sitting and staring at parts.

Though it looks like my 68-S is, in fact, capable of housing my Phenom II X4 (according to their website). So in the morning when I'm not half asleep I'll try that just to be doubly sure it's my mobo.

Thanks for the help. :) 
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April 16, 2010 10:14:28 AM

^ It supports only 95W TDP Phenom II X4s -> 925, 945 and not 955 as it is a 125W TDP CPU...
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April 16, 2010 10:31:16 AM

Well, for record I am posting this with the Phenom X4 on the N68 mobo. That's the last piece. The only thing left is the mobo, which has already had its RMA approved. I'll send it out tomorrow and hope for the best.

Thanks again for the help in the wee hours of the night.

PS - This is my first Newegg RMA. Any idea how long it'll be before I have a new (and hopefully working) motherboard in my hands?
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April 16, 2010 10:38:48 AM

^ Hmm...not bad...AFAIK that mobo officially doesnt support that CPU...
And as for the RMA, maybe a week to 15 days max I guess...
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April 16, 2010 5:57:31 PM

It would still be a good idea to replace that cheap Chokemax PSU; these were also Chokemax: http://www.corsair.com/cinema/movie.aspx?id=622747
Choose one with full range active PFC (no little voltage switch) and 80+ certification. There are many choices out there, but just to keep it simple, for your current rig plus some headroom, I'd get a 430W-500W Antec Earthwatts or 450W Corsair.
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