I am helping a friend build a computer, but I'm having problems with the boot up process. I have built several computers successfully, but this one's giving me trouble.
Here's the problem:
When I power it on, everything lights up and works normally. However, nothing shows up on the screen, and the keyboard lights do not come on. At this point, we didn't wait more than 30 seconds, till we shut it off.
We tried the RAM individually, in each socket, as well as the other stuff on the troubleshooting check list.
After about an hour, we decided to take everything apart and do it again. The motherboard seating is in the right place too. I popped out the motherboard battery and put it back in after a minute.
I am running it barebones right now, just the CPU, HSF plugged in, and in the back, just the onboard video and a keyboard.
We were just about to give up when I left it on for about 2-3 minutes and magically the screen lit up and said something about CMOS error, and went into the Loading Operating System Screen. Since there was no HD connected, it gave me a boot error.
I tried again, same 3 minute delay, but this time it skipped the POST completely and went straight to the Loading Operating System screen.
Any ideas what could be the problem with the 3 minute boot up time and POST skipping?
Here are the specs below, but keep in mind, it's just barebones right now. PSU, Mobo, CPU/HSF, VGA and mouse in rear.
By the way, I'm planning to take my computer to his house on Monday, and testing out my identical Power Supply, and also test out his sticks of RAM. What other things would you guys recommend?
Everything purchased brand new delivered today from Newegg.
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX
GIGABYTE GV-R585OC-1GD Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V SLI Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
GIGABYTE GA-880GA-UD3H AM3 AMD 880G SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
NZXT M59 - 001BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M2A1600C9
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler
Hi, it completely skips the BIOS screen now, I wish I could go in there! By the time the monitor lights up, it just says Loading Operating System. I have tried jumping the BIOS reset and also taking out and putting in the battery too =(
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.
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.
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.
This will be a little different if you have integrated graphics.
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 breadboarded the system, and bought a $1 PC speaker. I did exactly what you said, and the PC tones also exactly did what you said. Long tones for missing memory, and a single beep once I stuck in the memory (this mobo has an onboard video). After connecting everything, there was still a single beep, and it went to the loading operating system thing!
However, it still always takes a minute of bootup waiting before the beep.
We were also able to enter the BIOS, by jamming on the DEL key during the 1 minute wait. The CPU temp looks good, RAM looks good, even the hard drive was detected.
I brought my computer to my friend's house (I have an identical power supply), and the 1 minute warmup problem persisted even with my power supply. I also tested my RAM in his system, and problem persisted. I was unable to test the CPU because I have an i5.
A secondary problem has been found, the DVD drive does not work. It seems to have no power, and when I press eject nothing happens. It also doesn't show up in the list of IDE drives in BIOS. I tested it with my other DVD drive also, and it did not work either. Double checked the IDE cable, the power plug too. I'm thinking if the DVD drive is working, I would then SHOULD be able install windows, and just put the computer in sleep mode and just live with the bootup time.
Last thing, when I have the monitor plugged in to the onboard video, it's fine, but when I plug the monitor into the Radeon, no image will show up on screen. There is still a single beep when the video card is inserted, so I think everything's fine in the background, I just can't see it. I have a suspicion that it may not be working because the heatsink's weight causes the video card to lean. So I set in BIOS the Primary to PEG, and propped the card straight with a piece of paper, but still no image.
Argh, more problems =( Sorry for the long post, but I'm completely out of ideas now. Thinking of bringing it to a repair shop, or just RMAing CPU/Motherboard to see if that helps.