This is my fourth build and by far the most frustrating. I've tried everything I can to get this working myself, but I've got to ask you guys for help now. My specs are listed below. My computer powers on (fans spin, HDDs spin, etc) but there is no video on the screen. Here's what I've tested:
-Removed all parts except for cpu, 1 stick of ram, and power.
-Tested w/ 2 different motherboards (ASUS P5N-D Motherboard, GIGABYTE X48-DQ6)
-Tested w/ different video cards
-Tested w/ 2 different power supplies
Anyone know what else to do? I've come to the conclusion it's either the RAM or CPU. I don't really want to just buy new parts to test this. If I power the system on with 1 stick of RAM, 2 sticks, or 0 sticks, the computer reacts the exact same way. Powers on, fans spin, no video, no post, no beeps. Anyone have any other suggestions?
FYI: My case had a "SPEAKER" cable from the front panel, that I attached to the motherboard. This should work as the speaker for beeps, correct? Because this is what I've been using to test beeps (which there are none of). Maybe this part isn't right..? HELP!
It's not a bad motherboard, I tested it on two different motherboards. I think it's gotta be the CPU or ram. I have 2 sticks of ram though and none of them work (maybe a compatiblity error on both mobos?)
Breadboard with just motherboard, CPU & HSF, case speaker, and PSU. Make sure you plug the CPU power cable in. Your front panel speaker is the system speaker.
I alway breadboard a new build. It takes only a few minutes, and you know you are putting good parts in the case.
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. If you get silence here, it is obviously not the RAM.
Remember, at this time, you do not have a graphics card installed so the load on your PSU will be reduced.
If no beeps:
Antecs are pretty good PSU's. They are my second favorite. But they do go bad. Running fans and drives and motherbord 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.
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 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. 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.
I don't hear a system beep, but my speaker is hooked up through my case and I'm not sure if it's working right. Anyway, no beeps.
It's not the power supply, PSU works on other computers.
Yes, power is hooked up to video card and motherboard.
My CPU is a Q8400.
So if there are no beeps, and I know it's not the PSU or motherboard... is it safe to say it's the CPU? How can I test for CPU problems? I know it's unlikely but that's really the only thing that makes sense to me at this point.
Oh btw I've worked through everything on that list too. This is my fourth build, and while I'm by no means an expert, I am definitely not an amateur with this either. Never had a problem like this before.
Thank you for your fast reply!
Shouldn't there be beeping if it's a RAM issue?
And I have 3 sata hard drives in the system, none of them make any difference. If I boot with all 3, 2, 1, or 0 of them connected the results are the same. The system isn't even getting through POST so I don't think the HDDs really matter.