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Lights, fans, beeps, but no display

Last response: in Systems
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November 3, 2010 1:48:46 AM

Hello everyone,

First off, my build's specs:
450W RaidMax PSU
AMD Athlon X2 Dual-Core Processor @ 2.8ghz
2gb Corsair DDR2RAM (1gb x 2)
Nvidia Geforce GT240 GPU
Western Digital 500GB HD
Creative GA-MA785GM-US2H (version 1.0) motherboard

History:
I built this system this past Christmas (Christmas 2009) and have had no issues with it since then, until last night.

What's wrong:
Last night, I physically mounted a new 500GB hard drive in the case, connected the power and SATA cables, plugged the power cable back in, and turned on my PC. Upon turning on, the fans started spinning, the case lights turn on, my HD's spin, but my motherboard's speaker beeped several times and I get no display. The monitor's LED remains orange and says, "no signal."

What I have done to try and fix it:
I tried two different monitors, tried both DVI and VGA cables, and still got no display. I removed the GT240 video card and despite my motherboard having an onboard video chipset, I still got no display. I tried removing each stick of RAM in turn and tried each stick seperately in all 4 RAM slots, and still nothing different. I then disconnected all cables attached to my motherboard, CPU, HD's, and DVD, and physically removed the motherboard from the case, checking to make sure no screws had gotten wedged between the mobo and the case. After doing so, I put the motherboard back into the case, and reattached components one at a time, turning on the PC in between every new component. Throughout, I got the exact same beeps and still got no display. Oh, I have also removed the CMOS battery several times and shorted the CMOS jumper at least twice.

My thoughts:
I literally can't think of anything else to try, short of replacing components. My guess is that adding a second hard drive put too much strain on my PSU and permanently damaged it to the point where it can't properly power my system anymore, even with my graphics card and second hard drive unattached. I don't think it's a graphics card issue because as I said earlier, my mobo has an onboard graphics chipset that I actually used for several months before upgrading to a PCI Express video card (my GT240). Even when I removed the GT240, I got no display.

It could also be the RAM. Is it possible that the RAM got fried somehow, or I damaged them when inserting the new hard drive? I was careful, but is it possible that static electricity damaged my RAM? What are the chances that BOTH sticks would have been damaged?

The other alternative is that I damaged the motherboard when putting in the new hard drive. However, my video card's built in fan still spins and it is powered directly by the PCI Express 2.0 slot. My CPU's fan also spins, and it is powered through a connection to the motherboard.

Another detail I just realized is that when I plug in my PS/2 keyboard, the NUM LOCK LED on the keyboard doesn't light up anymore. It used to always stay lit. In addition, I have a mouse that has an LED that glows when it's plugged into the USB port...it's not lighting up anymore when the PC is on. Does that indicate a PSU problem or a motherboard issue?


I would appreciate any help you can offer on this topic. I would hate to replace several components if I can get away with only purchasing one. Thanks guys!

a b B Homebuilt system
November 3, 2010 2:10:01 AM

Most certainly your graphics card is fine. And so are other components.

Can you count the number of beeps and look at the motherboard manual? I am suspecting the motherboard = what? a creative motherboard? never heard of one!
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November 3, 2010 2:17:00 AM

The speaker emits several long beeps, continuously. The motherboard's manual says that long and continuous beeping means that the graphics card is inserted incorrectly, but as mentioned in my original post, I've removed and reinserted the card several times, and the motherboard has onboard graphics as well, so my thinking is that the video card itself can't be the issue.
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November 4, 2010 12:53:14 AM

Update:

I bought a new PSU today (better quality, higher wattage), put it in, hooked everything up and powered it up...and I got the exact same series of beeps. Nothing whatsoever changed. I guess that means it's a bad motherboard, unless someone else has some suggestions.

Please help if you can!
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November 4, 2010 1:14:48 AM

Did ya try going to the mobo website and maybe get some insight into those beeps? What about trying a different mobo? I'm pretty new to this stuff but it sounds like all the componants want to work but the mobo wont let them.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 4, 2010 4:46:05 PM

I already told you that most of your components should be okay. The power supply failure won't cause a beepbeepebeep, it will cause a much louder sound and smoke :D  just kidding! Nothing like that usually happens.

Instead of bringing a power supply, you should have brought a similar motherboard (I am seriously thinking about the motherboard just because the brand is creative). CPU should be your next suspect.

Also, make sure you disconnect all your hard disks etc. when testing. Yes try a different motherboard OR if you can, just get a CPU motherboard combo from a store (under return warranty) and try it in the system making SURE your power supply is enough! So don't bring home something very current and needs 1000Watts :p 

Testing with a new CPU motherboard combo will 99% work and will narrow your problem down to those two components. And typically CPUs don't just burn until you have been noticing any hangs, reboots before this stopped working completely (heat issue).

Also, make sure your CPU is mounted correctly and the fans are spinning on the heat sink. Do the same for the new combo if you bring home one. Also make SURE all connections are made to the motherboard. Don't forget the ATX and 8 pin connections, don't forget CPU fan connection. I am sure you won't but just thinking loud.

Also - all RAM chips don't go bad at once...it's what they sit on is having issues...the motherboard, logically.

Good luck.
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