BIOS Not Booting?


I've recently moved to Australia from the states. I decided to take the motherboard, the ram, the PCU, the HD, and the GPU with me and pitch the rest. I shipped it to myself and this weekend I tried to put it together again. However, I found that when I fired it up, everything seemed to power up just fine, all the fans went, the heatsink, the GPU... However I didn't get a beep from the BIOS which I found strange. Then when I looked up, I saw that I didn't get any picture from the desktop on my monitor. I held off a little bit to see if I could hear Windows boot up with their chime, but I didn't hear anything. As far as I can tell the power is running just fine, but the BIOS just won't start.

Suggestions? I'm dumbfounded here. I'm not sure why it should stop booting, but still power up all of a sudden. The only thing I changed was the case, PSU, and DVD burner. My only theory is that it sustained damage while I shipped it.

Thanks so much.
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  1. Hello PierreLaporte;

    Run through the forum's "System won't boot" and "no video output" checklist.
    It might have been something forgotten during the re-assembly.
  2. I read through it before posting (in the appropriately named read here first thread).

    Mine's a bit of a strange problem compared to those ones. At least I perceive it to be. My computer turns on, all the hardware powers up, but no BIOS. I pulled out that battery thing for ten minutes and put it back in to see if that would reset it, still nothing.
  3. Does your new case have a speaker hooked up to the motherboard?
  4. Did you test each stick of RAM individually?
  5. ^ Yeah try those things. You could also disconnect all HDD's, CD drives, video card, etc. Run it with just the bare essentials.
  6. Best answer
    Work systematically through our standard checklist and troubleshooting thread (the one WR2 linked to):
    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.
    The following is an expansion of my troubleshooting tips in the breadboarding link in the "Cannot boot" thread.

    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.

    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.

    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.
  7. I have the speaker thing plugged in, no beeps. Breadboarded it, no beeps. Took everything sans the CPU, no beeps.

    I'm going to take my PSU to my friends computer and try to run it in his, if it doesn't work, I'll return it. If not I'll just get a new motherboard and processor (quad-core upgrade, here I come).

    Sounds like all I really can do at this point, eh?
  8. Thats about it. You're down to testing the individual parts in a known good system to track down the fault 1 (or more if you're unlucky).

    Let us know how you make out.
  9. Put it in my friends system and it didn't work. Off to the store to return it. Oh well. Cheaper than a new motherboard and CPU I suppose.

    Thanks for pointing me in the direction of the power supply. I would have for sure just assumed the motherboard.
  10. Best answer selected by PierreLaporte.
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