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Need help putting together a computer

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January 11, 2011 11:14:42 PM

I got all my parts and started to put things together. Unfortunately, things didn't go as smoothly as I would have liked, especially in the beginning.



First, I had trouble with getting the heatsink put on. The trouble was, It took a lot more pressure than I was comfortable giving to get it to snap in. Is this normal?



Second, was the I/O faceplate. It had these little arm things that made it hard to get everything to go through it like it should. So, in the end, I just ended up bending the "arms" out of the way.



Third, I had trouble figuring out where some stuff went. Fortunately, as I put more stuff in, stuff started to make sense and it went smoothly, for the most part.



Fourth is my cable management. It sucks, and I can't figure out how I can get the wires to be any less cluttering.



Fifth is that when I got everything (I thought so anyways) put in and connected correctly, it wouldn't start. The mobo got power, but nothing happened when I hit the power button. No fans started, nothing came up on the screen. Just the LED on the mobo lit up :( 



So, now I'm taking a break for dinner. Can anyone help me out by telling me what I might have done wrong? Could I have damaged something? Did I just plug something in wrong?



There are a couple of things I left unplugged, though. There is an eight prong (4 ontop of 4) thing coming out of my PSU. I have a modular PSU, and this cord is permanently attached.coming from the inside of the PSU, so I assume it is important. Can anyone tell me where that goes? I can get a picture if need be. Also, do I just take one of the SATA cords I got and use that to plug in the dvd drive? Where do I plug it into? One of the SATA ports? All I have left are the 6gb/s cords.

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January 11, 2011 11:47:57 PM

The 8 pin plug is necessary. It provides CPU power to the motherboard. Some motherboards have just a 4 pin socket. That's why many PSU's have a "4+4" pin connector.

You could have damaged something. You could have plugged something in wrong, but that's unlikely. You almost cetainly omitted plugging something in. And you could have received DOA parts.

Build it yourself:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/274745-13-step-step...

Work systematically 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, but they all use a single short beep for a successful POST.

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, long single beeps, or series of short beeps indicate a problem with the memory. If you get short beeps verify that the memory is in the appropriate motherboard slots.

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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January 12, 2011 8:13:45 AM

Ok, after taking apart and putting everything together, it is turning on. But! When I turn it on, all the fans (CPU, PSU, GPU fans) start, unfortunately though, I get no picture on the screen I have it connected to. I'm not sure why. I'll look around (at the links you gave me) and see if I can find out why. If anyone has any ideas on why this may be, please let me know.


Also, as far as I can tell, I get no beeps. I think in the beginning there is a sound that may be a beep. But I'm not 100% sure. I don't know if I'm not hearing any beeps because I'm to stupid to realize that I am hearing beeps, or because the mobo/case has no speaker for the beeps.

Please help, as any help is greatly appreciated.


I almost forgot. The red DMM LED lights up. Is that bad or good? It's the LED located next to the RAM slots.
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January 12, 2011 12:23:49 PM

In order to hear the beeps(if any), you HAVE to have a speaker attached to the header on the motherboard, Any speakers attached to the audio out jacks WILL NOT be used for the beeps only a speaker attached to the "case speaker" pins!
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January 19, 2011 2:42:55 AM

Best answer selected by Apoca.
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