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Homebuild won't first boot - PSU Problem?

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August 15, 2010 10:47:35 PM

Hello Tom's Hardware,

I posted a few weeks ago asking for suggestions on a homebuild. After from the input here and from some friends of mine my final build was:

AMD Phenom II X4 CPU
Gigabyte ATI HD 4850 Graphics Card
Gigabyte 870A-UD3 Motherboard
OCZ ModXtreme-Pro 600 Watt PSU

Rosewill WindKnight Case
Samsung 1 TB HDD
Asus DVD Drive
4 GB RAM

Due to a time conflict, I wound up having to do all the wiring and set up myself (instead of having some help). When it came time for the first boot...nothing happened. I checked all connections to the motherboard thinking it might have been my own error. Nothing happened. I unplugged from the power strip and plugged directly into the wall. Nothing. Finally, after looking at an OCZ tech support article, they said to just hook up the PSU to the case fans and see if that even works. Nothing happened.

At this point I'm pretty worried. But thought that perhaps the PSU was dead upon arrival, which happens occasionally. I have a warranty, so I figured it could be returned. Today, I go out and buy a Corsair TX650 PSU. The only reason for the slight increase in voltage was because I couldn't find anything at 600 (I heard it's better not to drop down or go too much higher?) So, thinking ahead, when I got home I plugged in the PSU to see if it would just run on its own, no dice. I tried with just the case fans plugged in...nothing. I thought, "maybe the fans in the case just don't work." In which case, I rewire everything to the motherboard and prepare to do the first boot. And again, to no avail. I could've sworn I saw something flicker, but...

I find it hard to believe that I purchased two dead upon arrival PSUs, so at this point I figure it's something I did. Any input would be appreciated before I head over to GeekSquad or whatever technical service I can find.

I apologize for the post being so long, I wanted to be as detailed as possible. If you'd like, I could post some pictures of the inside of the case and what not. Would just need a moment to take them, hah.

Thank you.
August 15, 2010 11:04:13 PM

yes post some pics
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August 15, 2010 11:11:52 PM

No I haven't! I'm reading through it now. :) 

I'll post some pictures shortly. Perhaps starting completely from scratch will be the best thing.


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August 16, 2010 3:56:51 AM

Sorry for the double post, but here are the pictures of the inside of the case if that helps with any trouble shooting.

I just redid everything from scratch, so I put in the original power supply (OCZ). Unfortunately, again, nothing worked.








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a b ) Power supply
August 16, 2010 9:48:48 AM

start from bare minimum. Just plug in the power to the motherboard with cpu and cpu heatsink/fan installed. no hard drive, vid card or anything. Now short the 2 power switch pins on the main board with a screwdriver to power it on. Does the CPU fan spin? if yes then try adding 1 thing at a time, RAM, Video card etc. If no, then check CPU installation (are any of the pins damaged). You have now at least narrowed it down..
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August 16, 2010 12:16:10 PM

Yes, and only use one stick of RAM when isolating the fault.
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August 17, 2010 5:55:00 AM

Alright guys, thanks for the input.

Upon taking it to a friend, we found out that the problem was not the PSU or any of the components but, that the case is shorting out the motherboard. We breadboxed it and everything lit up and worked. At first when we screwed it back in it worked. I drove home, got ready to first boot and it didn't work (so I breadboxed again). I'm trying to figure out where the short is in the case now.

My question: Is it okay to put cardboard inside my case? I can't exactly install risers because the Wind Knight has these little mounds already and when risers are installed...the motherboard is too high and does not fit with the ISO shield.

Perhaps a moderator could split this topic, since it has been diagnosed as a non-PSU problem.
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a b ) Power supply
August 17, 2010 5:59:13 AM

I'm confused and maybe its just because I just skimmed over the topic. The PSU works right? You can save a lot of time in the future by jumping the PSU with a paperclip and seeing if it works on its own.

Can you power the motherboard with a screwdriver only? See if that works.
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August 17, 2010 6:03:56 AM

Yeah we figured out that PSU works. But we breadboxed it (and did power it with a screw driver), so we've realized this is no longer the problem. :o  I should've done the paperclip trick first, but I'm a nub at this sort of thing and was afraid of screwing something up.

But like I said, what I'm trying to figure now is it okay to put either electrical tape or some sort of cardboard over the mounds in my case so that the motherboard doesn't short out (the new problem).
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August 17, 2010 8:32:30 AM

Double Post:

Just wanted to let you all know that the problem is all fixed and the first boot was successful.

Incidentally, I noticed that when the 4-pin SYS-FAN was connected to the PSU, the motherboard wouldn't start. Not sure why that was, but at the moment everything is running fine!
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a c 139 ) Power supply
August 17, 2010 1:27:28 PM

Glad to hear you got it up and running.

No problem using electrical tape to insulate the motherboard from those bump up motherboard stand off points.

Your motherboard should have a four pin SYS-FAN header down near the case front panel headers.
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!