Just put together my new computer and turned it on but other than fans running, nothing happened. Build is (copied from earlier post discussing what parts to get):
Case:Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case: $54.99
Mobo: ASUS M4A87TD/USB3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 AMD Motherboard: $89.99
CPU:AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition: $165.99 (This is different and an upgrade to my last pick...but only $10 more...so might as well, eh?)
PSU: SeaSonic S12II 520 Bronze 520W; $59.99
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model: $74.99
HDD: OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD3-2VTX90G 3.5" 90GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD): $184.99
Video: Using existing NVidea GeForce 9800 GT card
I plugged the two power connectors to the mobo and wired the hdd and reset and power switches (above case has no pin for speaker to hear system beeps which is odd). Mem sticks are in the blue sockets where manual says to put them. Used small drop of OCD thermal compound and installed heatsink.
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.
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.
You are lucky that your rig didn't POST: you're going to learn a lot of things about your hardware that you would not have otherwise encountered. Think of it as an opportunity to expand your knowledge.
The same thing happened to me when I built my first rig: it was a PITA to fix, but very educational.
You have been well advised by jsc and house70, you will likely get your machine to work by following those instructions.
p.s. maybe a stupid question, but you didn't mention plugging in the PCI-e power connector of the 9800GT: did you remember to do this?
Thank you guys. I was forced to read through the troubleshooting guide on my iPod, lol, but I did find out what my problem was. I also learned quite a bit about building for the next tiime.
I originally used the thermal compound that came with my processor, but had second thoughts about it as it didn't seat right the first time and I smeared the compound a little. I decided to clean off the old stuff and apply some new compound (tiny drop right in the center). The old stuff stuck the heat sink to the processor but good, and I had to use a little pressure to pop it off. Well, when it did pop off, it sucked the processor right out, too. I didn't realize it, but a couple of the pins bent (I am embarrassed to say...I was so careful with it to that point). I'm amazed I was able to mount it a second time, and am even more amazed that it didn't get damaged by all the tries to get it to post!!!
Think I'll always go with replacing the stock compound from now on, so it doesn't glue the processor to the heat sink! I'll probably get something to bread board from now on, too. Nice to know things are good as you go, instead of trying to find out what isn't when your done!