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A long and grueling voyage into despair

Last response: in Systems
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November 19, 2010 6:14:09 PM

Hey all. Hoping someone on this forum can help sort of the craziness of the past couple of days of trying to put together a running PC. I'll try to make this long story and concise as possible.

My Current PC (The one I'm using now) Has had some power issues, or so I assumed, because it would randomly power off, usually when I was trying to play a video game. I ran temp monitors to make sure it wasn't my gpu or cpu overheating and they came back fine.

So I decided to upgrade.

Here is what I bought:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Basically, an i5 with a new mobo that supports it and some DDR3 memory.

So, deciding to use my old power supply and case, I strip out the mobo etc. and put in the new stuff. It doesn't start. I figure out I had the power switch plugged into the wrong prongs and put it in the right spot. It powers up, and now it's giving me a POST error of power issue. I power it off and try again. This time it only powers for about a second before shutting off.

Stupidly enough, I try again after checking to make sure all of the power plugs are firmly seated. A second of power, then off.

So I go buy a new power supply. I put it in. This time, it won't even turn on at all, and the power supply is new and stronger than my last.

So I return the mobo and the PSU, and drive 2 hours there and back to a Fry's to pick up a new mobo and psu. This time I enlist the help of my friend that works with computers. We put everything in. This time, it works, the LEDs on the mobo are lighting up, all fans are spinning on the GPU CPU and case....

...and it won't post or display anything on the monitor. No Post. No Beeps. No Display. Second mobo, THIRD PSU.

So that's where I am. I have tried swapping out the RAM sticks, trying only 1 stick, 2 sticks, swapped places, swapped plugs, I switched to an old case and back again, made sure the wires weren't short circuiting the mobo... and I'm at a total loss.

:(  :(  :(  :(  :( 

The only thing I haven't returned is the CPU and the ram. One of many questions is, will a bad CPU make it not display anything on the monitor or POST? Will RAM? I was under the impression a mobo should POST as long as it had power.

PS: I dont have a speaker plug in for this mobo and I dont think it has an internal speaker for the POST beeps. I was relying on seeing something on the monitor.
November 19, 2010 6:28:59 PM

Have you tried your GPU in a different PC to make sure it wasn't fried as well?
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2010 7:07:34 PM

Your memory doesn't show up in the QVL for your board for rev. 1 or 2, (this one does F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ), and when you go to G-Skill's website I don't see where they tried that board yet. A lot of people will discount that but I've built many systems and as long as you stick to that list or corsair's memory configurator I have NEVER run into memory compatibility problems. You said you changed the mobo and psu several times so it shouldn't be either of those so that kinda leaves the memory by default, you didn't change out to different memory. I believe that to be your problem. Go to Gigabyte's QVL or Corsairs Configurator for your board.
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November 19, 2010 7:49:23 PM

suteck said:
Your memory doesn't show up in the QVL for your board for rev. 1 or 2, (this one does F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ), and when you go to G-Skill's website I don't see where they tried that board yet. A lot of people will discount that but I've built many systems and as long as you stick to that list or corsair's memory configurator I have NEVER run into memory compatibility problems. You said you changed the mobo and psu several times so it shouldn't be either of those so that kinda leaves the memory by default, you didn't change out to different memory. I believe that to be your problem. Go to Gigabyte's QVL or Corsairs Configurator for your board.


Thanks for your reply. I was thinking that might be the problem too.

So you dont think with the weird initial power issues the CPU could be fried?

Also to Zach who replies above I did swap out the GPU and used it in a different computer and it ran fine with the same monitor.

I'm going to go buy some RAM right now I'll keep y'all posted and I appreciate the input a lot.
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Best solution

a c 122 B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2010 8:04:00 PM

Work through our standard checklist and troubleshooting thread:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-read-postin...
I mean work through, not just read over it. We spent a lot of time on this. It should find most of the problems.

If not, continue.

I have tested the following beeps patterns on Gigabyte, eVGA, and ECS motherboards. Other BIOS' may be different.

Breadboard - that will help isolate any kind of case problem you might have.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/262730-31-breadboardi...

Breadboard with just motherboard, CPU & HSF, case speaker, and PSU. You do have a case speaker installed, right? If not, you really, really need one. If your case or motherboard didn't come with a system speaker, you can buy one here:
http://www.cwc-group.com/casp.html

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.

Motherboard LED's mean very little. When on, all they are telling you is that the computer os plugged into a live power socket and the PSU is switched.

Remember, at this time, you do not have a graphics card installed so the load on your PSU will be reduced.

If no beeps:
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.

You can turn on the PSU by completely disconnecting the PSU and using a paperclip or jumper wire to short the green wire to one of the neighboring black wires.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FWXgQSokF4&feature=yout...

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.
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November 20, 2010 12:24:08 AM

So at JSC's urging I decided it would be best to get a motherboard cmos speaker before I proceeded. I finally hunted one down and plugged it in.

Here's the weird thing. It gives me continuous short beeps, which according to my mobo manual is a "power error."

Keep in mind this is PSU #3. First one was a reliable used one I've been using for three years, the other two were brand new: one 600 watt, this newest one a state-of-the-art 750 watt thermaltake.

so wtf.

The ONLY things I have no swapped out on this rig is the CPU and the RAM. could one of those give a false power error?

Thanks for everyone trying to help me out. :) 
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 20, 2010 1:15:17 AM

Until you get the new ram follow all the steps in the link under my banner for troubleshooting - no post, no video. Make sure the 8 pin power connector(s) is plugged in. If it has a cap on 4 of the pins remove it and plug in the other 4 pin connector Make sure you have a fan connected to the CPU fan plug. Try different plugs around your house in case there's something wrong with the house plug you're using, (sorry, gotta ask and gotta say). The only other thing I can think of at this point is you need to have the f5 Bios installed - I know, it won't post so you can't see em, but you need those for your i5 750 support. Maybe you can check the bios chip and see what's imprinted on it and that will tell you when you Google it.

Quote:
I also wanted to add a suggestion that user jsc often posts. This is a direct quote from him:

"Pull everything except the CPU and HSF. Boot. You should hear a series of long single beeps indicating memory problems. Silence here indicates, in probable order, a bad PSU, motherboard, or CPU - or a bad installation where something is shorting and shutting down the PSU.
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November 20, 2010 3:47:17 AM

Happy update:

I went and found a CMOS speaker to figure out why it wasn't posting. It gave me a power error beep code. After looking that up on the internet and knowing it wasn't my psu, I figured it out. I had my RAM in slot positions 1 and 3, 1 being the closest to my CPU. Apparently on this mobo it needs to start at 2. After swapping to 2 and 4 my "power error" disappeared and I'm happy to report I'm posting this with my updated computer. :) 

Thanks for everyone's help; I don't know if this is a common mistake or not but it didn't mention it in the mobo manual which I read through at least 4 times. Seems like they should mention it in there somewhere.
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November 20, 2010 3:47:31 AM

Best answer selected by piperatthegates9.
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