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After installing New Video Card, System won't power on

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January 12, 2011 5:58:39 PM

My system won't show any indications of powering on. I've had this system for just over a year now, and I ordered a new graphics card (MSI GTX 570) which I just attempted to install. After installing it in my primary PCI-E slot (and putting my existing GTX 260 in the secondary slot), connecting the power to both cards I plugged the power supply back in. However, the power button on my computer (and motherboard) were unresponsive. The LEDs in the power supply fan blinked for a little while then, but have since stopped doing so on every attempt past the first couple. Both my graphics cards take 2 six pin connectors, one of my 12V rails (@30amp) had one connector on each graphics card, the 570 has a 30A rail to itself for the other connector, and the 260 shared a 20A rail with 3 Hard Drives and 2 Optical drives (1000W PSU). After this failed to do anything, I put my system back in the configuration I started with (which has worked until today), but the symptoms remain. The Power Light and Reset light on my motherboard blink when the Power Supply is turned on and plugged in, but that's the only indication of power. I can get no video, no fans to turn or anything else to even happen. Any help would be greatly appreciated

Woops, almost forgot system specs

Asus P6X58D Premium
Intel Core I7-920
MSI N570GTX (new)
Gigabyte GTX 260 (old)
6GB OCZ Gold 1600
Rosewill 1000W PSU
2 x 1TB Caviar Black RAID 0
1 x 2TB Hitachi Deskstar
LG Blu Ray Burner
LG DVD Burner


edit: after trying some more stuff, I thought of testing the PSU. I hooked it up only to my HDDs and Optical disk drives (because they're a PITA to unconnect) and Case Fans, and could not get the PSU to make the fans turn. It's been a while since i've done something like this (a year ago, when I made this machine), so I don't remember if anything should happen or not. But if the PSU is dead, how would it blink the power + reset buttons on my mobo?
a b B Homebuilt system
January 12, 2011 6:40:15 PM

PSUs have mutiple output voltages, and are rarely truly 'dead' across the board, as in, won't give any symptom of life whatsoever....; that fact that some lights come on means some power is making it the mb, but, certainly not all......

Your PSU is probably now bad....
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a c 122 B Homebuilt system
January 12, 2011 7:38:45 PM

Put everything back to original configuration and troubleshoot that.

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.

Here is where you would try the new video card.

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 13, 2011 12:32:23 AM

I don't have access to a system speaker today, I'll have to try to see if I can get one from a local store tomorrow, so I haven't been able to go through most of that diagnosis. I did try the paper clip method, and with that the PSU powers up and powers some fans and hard drives. One of my friends will lend me a voltmeter tomorrow so I can ensure the 5V CPU signal is being output.

Is there anything else I can do, or that you can recommend without a system speaker and given my new test data?

Again, the symptoms are just that the motherboard power and reset lights blink and that power button and the case power button do nothing (the power supply will not turn on for either of those power button presses).
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January 13, 2011 3:37:02 AM

Sounds like your PSU blew out--if that is the case, nothing you can do but RMA it.
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January 23, 2011 7:58:01 PM

Best answer selected by scotu.
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January 23, 2011 8:27:41 PM

What worked?
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January 28, 2011 12:22:43 AM

well, technically nothing yet.

The power supply was definitively dead, so I replaced the PSU under warranty, but then the same thing happened after putting in the 570 again. So I RMA'd the graphics card and the PSU, and just got a different PSU (if nothing else, I can at least run it how I used to) and am waiting on the graphics card and PSU getting replaced
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January 28, 2011 2:18:27 AM

Ah, I see, bummer--well, let us know when you do find out!
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!