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New build not posting - how to troubleshoot?

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December 11, 2010 7:10:37 PM

Hi Folks -

This is my fourth Build. All others were (pretty much) trouble free.

This one I have a big problem and I'm not sure how to troubleshoot.

On power up the case/system fans come on, the video card fan comes on (PCIe x16) and it sounds like the DVD and hard drive spin up (both SATA). But the CPU fan comes on for like 1/2 second and then stops; I'm getting no beep of any kind from the MB speaker and no output to the display. So I guess I am not even posting. I have no idea why the CPU fan would come on so briefly and then stop.

I am guessing either the CPU is a DOA or the MB is hosed in some way?

Details (all new, and all from Newegg):
AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Callisto 3.2GHz
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus CPU heatsink/fan
GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 Motherboard
ASUS DRW-24B1ST Black SATA 24X DVD Burner
Mushkin Blackline 4GB DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Memory
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 7200 RPM SATA
LIAN LI Lancool PC-K62 Black ATX Mid Tower Case
HIS Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Video Card

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a c 122 B Homebuilt system
December 11, 2010 11:36:24 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 beep 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.

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 once you are finished.

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.

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...

A way that might be easier is to use the main power plug. Working from the back of the plug where the wires come out, use a bare paperclip to short between the green wire and one of the neighboring black wires. That will do the same thing with an installed PSU. It is also an easy way to bypass a questionable case power switch.

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.
At this point, if the system doesn't work, it's either the video card or an inadequate PSU. Or rarely - the motherboard's PCIe interface.

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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December 19, 2010 3:27:58 AM

Best answer selected by Dark Cow.
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