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Breadboarding question + no post/vid issues im having

my main question is..
i dont have any wood so can i breadboard with a cardboard box instead? like sit the mobo ontop of the box it came in close to the egde so that the vid card can hang off.. and then sit that box with mobo ontop of it inside of another box.. that way i can put the psu and drives in there too.. so basically a small box with a motherboard ontop of it which is about 4 inches thick inside of a box thats about 1/2 inch thick.. basicly the small box will be like 1 level high and the big box it sits in will be like the ground level containing the psu and optical / hard drives... i do have some anti-static wrap laying around but im interested in cardboard this way my system stays safe because i have a little baby nephew who is pure terror, so if its in a box i can just close up the top and maybe cut some square wholes in it and put some case fans in it until i get some moolah to buy a new namebrand chassis.

i have read the breadboarding thread and i see that the op has used everything from a book to nylon to wood or some anti-static wrap.. i see no mention of cardboard so this is my main question and thats why im asking.. because the breadboarding thread had no mention of cardboard..

my other questions and main reasons i need to breadboard in the first place:

ok here is my situation. super long post. so bear with me. i appologize but im trying to be as detailed as possible. and trying to kill as many birds with one stone as possible..

the past:
i had a system with a core2duo e7200 an ecs 7050vt mobo which is a nforce 610i i chipset i think.. i had 2x 1gb of pqi ddr2 557mhz ram installed a geforce 8800gts 320 mb video card.. and my monitor is a samsung 19 inch 935bw i think.. power supply is athena power 550w psu which is sli ready but doesnt have 2x pci-e power connecters it just had one. i never ran sli anyways. i have 2 sata hd's and 2 ide dvd-rw drives. before i even go on about the 680i lt i just wanna state that i did have probems with my old setup.. but all i had to do was make sure all the wires coming from the psu were tightly plugged into the corresponding components or basicly i had to wiggle wires or just bang on the side of my case twice and it would power up and post etc.. clearly a short circuit was somewhere but i never could determine from where.. i ran my system like that for 2 or 3 years and only really had problems when i moved my case... also.. i couldnt run 2x dvd rw drives if i tried to run 2 the wiggling stuff i did as a remedy wouldnt work. so maybe aside short circuit somewhere / there was possible an overloading issue with the psu since i couldnt run all my components and had to disconnect one dvd-rw drive..

the present:

ok now for the current situation.. i wanted to upgrade a little of the old system.. so i went to frys and grabbed me up a palit geforce gts 1024mb platinum edition video card, and i grabbed 2x 2gb sticks of patriot ddr2 800mhz nvidia sli certified ram sticks and thats pretty much it.. i installed it into my old mobo and had my short problem on first boot.. so i did the wiggle the wires method and got the old system to boot and post. got into windows 7 ultimate 64-bit and did a few driver updates and everything.. since im disabled i had my whole tower laying in the bed with me.. so i shutdown the system and had my bro n law move the tower out of bed with me and sit it on my computer cart, since everything was working and i didnt want to sleep with my pc.. once he did that i havent been able to get the old system up and running since..

if a system goes bad its usually the motherboard first so this prompted me to buy a xfx 680i lt motherboard from geeks.com it was a refurbished part thats costed only around 30 bucks plus my old board didnt support dual channel so i purchased it.. i understand what refurbished is very well.. i dont know if geeks.com inhouse refurbishes boards or sends them off to the manufacturer.. but my guess would be they send them off to xfx for refurbishing...

anyways i got my board the next day and ended up having the no post / video issue.. never got the xfx board to boot once.. cpu fan and all case fans work and spin up. as well as when i plug in my psu and flip the switch from O to I the blue light comes on.. when i hit the power button on the case everything fires up all case fans and cpu fans and i get the blue / green / amber leds on.. but no video ever comes out of the card. since i have 2 cards on hand.. my old 8800 gts and my new gts 450 i tried swapping them out for each other with no luck.. im 100% positive both cards work.. as a note this motherboard has no connecter for a case speaker whatsoever so no beeps for me.. and i havent been able to find out what the blue/green/amber leds mean.. but if i had to guess id say the blue one since it comes on when i flip the psu switch to on means that the board is receiving power.. the amber / green leds could either be cpu / gpu or cpu /ram lights.. no idea.. on that.. i dont think the motherboard is bad though since it is a freshly refurbished part and i doubt geeks.com would sale me a non working product atleast i hope they wouldnt so for now lets say the new board is good.. heck the old board might even still be good..

i have tried installing just one ram stick in the dimm 0 slot.. no luck.. i never tried installing an individual stick in any other slot than dimm 0.. also i even tried 1 stick of my old pqi 1gb ddr2 557 ram.. no luck..tried swapping vid cards tried booting with minimal components cpu/gpu/ram and cpu/gpu/ram/hdd no luck..

ok one important thing id like to note is my dvi cable one of pins well not the pins.. but the flat gold pin in the end of the connecter ended up coming out somehow.. i pushed it back in with a pair of pliers.. but.. id also like to note that if i turn my monitor on while the cable is connected to the video card with the system powered down.. nothing comes on screen.. but if i disconnect the cable from the video card still with system powered down then the monitor immediately lets me know on screen that it isnt receiving no signal.. that gives me the impression that the cable is fine because thats how its supposed to work.. as we speak my mom is headed to staples to buy me a regular vga cable.. to rule out my dvi cable being the issue..


i have no extra cpu to swap my e7200 out for so hopefully it isnt my cpu because ive never overclocked it and its not that old.. ive had it since like 2007 or 2008.. any opinions on if u guys think my cpu might be burned up would be appreciated also..

it could be the power supply though.. but i kind of doubt it because it powers everything up fine.. just not 2x ide drives.. but i think that is just due to me reaching the full load capacity.. in my old setup 2x sata drives and 1x dvd rw ide drive worked fine with my gts 8800 and all my old stuff.but if i added a second optical drive, no go.

i have an extra psu i can use also to rule that out as the problem..

got the vga cable havent tested yet.. waiting to see about this breadboarding stuff.. but im almost 100% its a shorting issue due to the cheap case im using. on some of the motherboard standoffs the screws wont even go fully in.. so in some areas if i pull up on the motherboard it moves and it shouldnt do that.. i was very stupid to run my old system for so long with it shorting and not wanting to boot intermittently.. it never once blue screened on me or crashed or anything like that. booting up and getting no video was just always the issue.. i just hope my cpu didnt get damaged cuz i have no money for a new one atm..

one last last bit i swear.. as far as the 680i lt motherboard goes.. im gonna try my old board first anyways but.. i hear 680i lt has problems with certain series of intel cpu and needs a bios update to work with them properly.. i have an e7200 and althought xfx's website says its compatible.. i have read otherwise.. i only have one cpu so if that was the case im wondering if anyone ever had a xfx 680i lt with e7200 and if they had problems.. also how i would even get a bios update on it. if it might possibly need a bios update to support the processor. so any input on this will be greatly appreciated as well..

sorry for the long post and thanks. and i hope my post is in line with proper posting procedures.. as i have read all the sticky posts.. i just included the extra stuff so that when my breadboard question is answered.. if i have other problems i wont need to post another thread so on and so forth..
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  1. Best answer
    Long post, but from the 1st two paragraphs your PSU is trash. Find a suitable replacement. Any problems you have experienced farther down, could very well be a direct result of the trash PSU.
  2. After reading your post I can positively say your PSU is trash.
  3. Replace with XFX 650W Modular PSU 99.99 ($20 MIR) ie 79.99 total

    or

    OCZ ModXstream 600W Modular PSU 74.99 ($20MIR) ie 54.99 total
  4. thanks for the reply and you were so right. tried my old psu to no avail... but i just got done booting system with the 350 watt power supply i had laying around.. all i had was 2 molex connectors for it so i used those to power my 8800gts via molex -> pci-e adapter then im lucky i had the 4pin connector for the cpu power.. i powered it up with no drives and boomshakalaka post baby.. damn im sad as heck because im broke.. so im gonna return the vga cable i got today luckily i didnt open it ;) and something else i bought from frys.. gonna try to scrape up enough dough to get one atleast from someone on craigslist..

    i appreciate your help man. im disabled and i been goin thru alot of pain these past 3 days trying to figure this junk out.. i inspected my old psu very good and i see some chafing on some of the wires.. u were right when u said it was trash...

    also as a note to the hoard of people having problems with xfx 680i l motherboards check your power supplys. just because the mobo leds light up and your cpu / case fans spin doesnt mean it cant be the psu.. see alot of people rma'ing mobo's and vid cards and overlooking the psu i would have been one of those people if i didnt come here and ask first.

    thank you bro i cant thank you enough. im glad i didnt damage any of my components using that old thing. i gotta say tho that thing was a tank the way it held on like that for 3 years.. my warranty just expired on it this may.

    bless you and good luck on your journey's through life.
    thanks to all the techies on tomshardware and the .com itself.. much love
  5. Best answer selected by cell55.
  6. Well I'm sorry to hear you lack the funds to get a fresh replacement. Lemmie run your system through a PSU calculator and find a lower price PSU that you might be able to afford.

    I threw out 2 good ones at a good price, but I can probably find cheaper.
  7. You need a 430W+ PSU

    Here's a good Antec Basiq 430W PSU for 44.99. Best I could find really.

    If you find something on craigslist, check it against jonnyguru.com if it's on there.
  8. Also welcome to tomshardware!
  9. thanks again

    gonna grab the brand you recommended. but the 500w version instead..

    http://www.frys.com/product/5045145?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG
    im kind of worried about the 12V A though.. my old busted power supply had 28A on the 12V
    and the 500watt antec basiq has 18A and the 430 has 17A

    should i be good? new vid card says i need a minimum of 22A i know that old athena power wasnt really putting out 28A and my old 8800gts needed 26A so i guess i should be fine i hope :)

    LoL i think my hair is turning grey with this system build. and im having like withdrawel symptoms from lack of desktop usage and lack of 3d gaming.. i have a pretty good 17 inch laptop with a 9700gts card but the design of this sucker allows for no type of 3d gaming because toshiba didnt design this gaming laptop with heat in mind.. LoL its the qosmio X305-701

    gonna just return my 2x 4gb of patriot ddr2 800... which should get me about 80 bucks.. then just get the power supply with that.. im back to 2gb of ddr2 533mhz but atleast with the new motherboard i can run dual channel mode now lol!

    one question.. what power supply calculator do you use? was wondering if this 500 will be enough to drive both my vid cards. was just thinking about using the old 8800gts 320mb as a phys-x processor and maybe do some folding@home or something with it

    gonna skip craigslist.. im actually realizing how important this component is.. they had some really good ones for 30-60 bux on craigslist.. even like a 600watt ocz modular one.. but id rather just get from store since if its bad or anything i can just return it or get it rma'd properly.

    kinda wondering if i should just return everything to fry's and get my 315 back.. and save it.. then next month's check just try to go core i5 or i7... its just i really cant survive without a desktop.. i mean if i played farmville on facebook all day then the laptop would be fine.. but since it has known design problems and its out of warranty i needs me a desktop :) im an mmo head.. WOW, EQ2, AION i play it all.. if you are into those kinda games then im sure you can feel my pain LoL

    sorry i get carried away with the typing. im bored out of my mind man. i cant help it..
  10. Ok, theres alot of info there. What is your no kidding budget for your PSU?

    I highly recommend the XFX 650W I linked earlier if you can afford it.

    And yes I understand, I haven't played WoW since June.
  11. well.. i really have no budget so to speak of lol..
    i was returning my 4gb of patriot ram i bought not even a week ago just so i can get a power supply.. since i have old ddr2 533mhz ram that i can use.. although its only 2gb worth atleast i can run dual channel now since my old motherboard didnt support that..

    it said 88.95 on the receipt.. but since its fry's and im returning memory which i used.. they are going to discount it.. no idea on how much but.. i dont think it should be anything over 60 bucks.. so thats how i came to the conclusion on the antec 500w basiq.. it was that or a logisys 550w clear power supply.. i heard those things blow up so i went with a trusted name.. LoL... this is a temporary fix until i get my check next month.. ill get the xfx one for sure then. so then ill have an extra backup power supply if anything ever happens once i buy that one..

    i should be fine on the 18A on the 12V issue.. i read the last post in this thread http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/260511-33-will-antec-basiq-500w-power-single-radeon-4870

    lol i think the gtx 260 needs atleast like 36A on the 12V so if he's running it i should be golden since i only need 22A

    i been reading jonnyguru nice site.. next month im getting the xfx for sure and i think ill throw an extra gts 450 in my system.. im gonna have some money to play with then and i see you have a pretty nice AMD system.. im ready to make the leap from dual core to quad or hexa.. wasnt sure if i should go core i series or get one of those cheap 6 core phenom II's im really leaning toward the amd x6 part.. but thats a whole different subject.

    thanks again and ill let you know in a few hours how the 500watt antec basiq is going for me.. my mom is already on the way to fry's to get it for me.. wish me luck :)
  12. Cool check back and let us know. I'm glad we're making good progress!
  13. well the 500 watt antec basiq is great.. havent been able to game or get into windows yet.. kept blue screening.. the stop errors i got led to something about the sata mode or some rubbish.. but i checked the bios and mines has no ide mode and i didnt see anything referring to ahci or whatever... so im just reinstalling win7 ultimate as we speak.. no freezes or lockups yet.. but im inside of like ms-dos lol so nothing bad can happen here. after fresh install i should be good..

    but the power supply is working good..i opted not to put the 8800 in.. so im just running the gts 450. both my optical drives.. 2 sata hdd's and thats about it.. this power supply has a motherload of connectors and they have a real nice length..

    thanks for recommending the antec basiq line..
  14. Good to hear some progress has been made. Keep us up-to-date on the installation.
  15. everything is running stable and fine with the new power supply..
    time to get my game on.. ;) not having any problems with the 18A on the 12V so im golden..

    the help was very much appreciated.. your a kind soul bro.. rock on..
  16. Thanks for keeping me updated. I'm glad it all worked out for you. If you ever get the finances for a new build, come on back I'd love to help you pick out parts!
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