My cousin calls me today explaining the following computer problem: He turns it on, gets a message about the graphics card, then the boot drive, then the system does nothing. Doesn't boot into windows but stays powered on while the screen is black.
I go over, get into BIOS fine, check CPU temperatures, changed a couple of SATA controller settings to AHCPI, reboot. Same thing. I open the case up, turn the power on:
Red CPU LED flashes, then red RAM LED flashes, then CPU, then RAM, then red PCIE LED flashes, then red boot drive LED flashes.
Am I safe to assume that his motherboard is the culprit? It seems very very unlikely that every single component would fail, so it must be the motherboard that's failed, right?
First and foremost, are there any beep codes? He has a mobo speaker installed, right? If not tell him to get one. Very helpful in these situations and they're dirt cheap if they didn't come prepackaged with the board.
I have a similar motherboard (p7p55d deluxe) and encountered a few problems upon building my PC.
First problem was my USB wireless-n adapter. The drivers didn't install correctly, and if it was plugged in my computer would not boot up properly. I had to flash the BIOS to fix that problem, but that's besides the point. In your case, take out any peripheral devices that you may have plugged in and try booting with just the basics (mouse, keyboard, monitor, power).
Is this a new build or something hes had a while? If he's booted into windows before pressing f8 at start up and go to Last Known Good Configuration to undo any harmful changes that were made to his computer before he shut it down last.
Thanks. Yeah, I took everything out except processor and one stick of RAM and now the CPU LED flashes red, then the RAM light goes solid red. CPU LED does not stay on any more, though. I removed the CMOS battery and moved the jumper to the recovery position with no luck. We will be purchasing a speaker for the motherboard tomorrow, though. sigh. Thank you for your reply. I'll update this thread with results. Hopefully we get some useful beep codes.
EDIT: Tested with both sticks of RAM, then even swapped in some OCZ's that I have as spare. Nothing worked. RAM light remains on, no boot.
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.
At this point, you can sort of check the PSU. Try to borrow a known good PSU. 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.
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 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 or long single beeps indicate a problem with the memory.
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.
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.