I received a number of components for Christmas as a means to upgrade a mid-range gaming PC - suffice it to say, I've been having some issues with getting the thing to turn on.
The current specs are as follows (i've stripped away as many non-essential components as possible, to limit the possible sources of the issue):
MOTHERBOARD: GA-X58A-UD3R (not sure if it's rev 1.0 or rev 2.0, if anyone has a way to tell that would be great)
RAM: 4GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 1333 (2x2GB) (KHX1333C9D3B1K2/4G)
VIDEO CARD: HD 5770 1GB
PSU: Corsair TX850w (850 watts)
CPU: i7-950 (stock cooler, Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste)
To be more specific about the problem:
While the board is clearly receiving power ("Clear CMOS" button is lit, lights on mobo flash, fans turn momentarily, etc.), and technically receives the signal to turn on when I hit the power button, it is apparently responding tot hat signal abnormally.
When the power button is pressed, two lights on the board light up (one green, one orange, I don't know the technical name for these lights), and the CPU and Case fans will jerk forward briefly. Within milliseconds, the rest o the lights on the board (several near the top right of the RAM, and a couple just below it) will flash red before going dark once more. While the computer remains technically "on" (the orange and green lights remain lit, which I imagine signifies that the PC is on), nothing functions.
I think that it's one of three things (although it could be one of many that I simply haven't accounted for, or for all I know I just connected something wrong): the CPU has somehow been damaged (there are, however, no pins to bend on an i7, so this seems at least a little less likely than some other issues, but hey, God knows), the RAM is damaged or incompatible, or the motherboard itself is somehow shot.
Any ideas? I’m kind of at a loss here. Any and all responses appreciated.
Breadboard with just motherboard, CPU & HSF, case speaker, and PSU.
Make sure you plug the CPU power cable in. The system will not boot without it.
I always breadboard a new build. It takes only a few minutes, and you know you are putting good parts in the case once you are finished.
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. Remember, at this time, you do not have a graphics card installed so the load on your PSU will be reduced.
If no beeps: Running fans and drives and motherboard LED's do not necessarily indicate a good PSU. In the absence of a single short beep, they also do not indicate that the system is booting.
At this point, you can sort of check the PSU. Try to borrow a known good PSU of around 550 - 600 watts. That will power just about any system with a single GPU. If you cannot do that, use a DMM to measure the voltages. Measure between the colored wires and either chassis ground or the black wires. Yellow wires should be 12 volts. Red wires: +5 volts, orange wires: +3.3 volts, blue wire : -12 volts, violet wire: 5 volts always on. Tolerances are +/- 5% except for the -12 volts which is +/- 10%.
The gray wire is really important. It should go from 0 to +5 volts when you turn the PSU on with the case switch. CPU needs this signal to boot.
A way that might be easier is to use the main power plug. Working from the back of the plug where the wires come out, use a bare paperclip to short between the green wire and one of the neighboring black wires. That will do the same thing with an installed PSU. It is also an easy way to bypass a questionable case power switch.
This checks the PSU under no load conditions, so it is not completely reliable. But if it can not pass this, it is dead. Then repeat the checks with the PSU plugged into the computer to put a load on the PSU.
If the system beeps:
If it looks like the PSU is good, install a memory stick. Boot. Beep pattern should change to one long and several short beeps indicating a missing graphics card.
Silence, long single beeps, or series of short beeps indicate a problem with the memory. If you get short beeps verify that the memory is in the appropriate motherboard slots.
Insert the video card and connect any necessary PCIe power connectors. Boot. At this point, the system should POST successfully (a single short beep). Notice that you do not need keyboard, mouse, monitor, or drives to successfully POST. At this point, if the system doesn't work, it's either the video card or an inadequate PSU. Or rarely - the motherboard's PCIe interface.
Now start connecting the rest of the devices starting with the monitor, then keyboard and mouse, then the rest of the devices, testing after each step. It's possible that you can pass the POST with a defective video card. The POST routines can only check the video interface. It cannot check the internal parts of the video card.