I decided to switch motherboards (was using a Gigabyte) to a new one due to dead SATA ports. I originally chose to use an ASUS Rampage III formula (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...).
Board arrived, I installed. I got no post (no beep codes). Bummed, I followed the Tom's Hardware instructions for a no post. I switched to some old RAM (timing matched), an 850 W Corsair PSU, and still no post. I removed and reseated my CPU. No post. My case fans would begin to move when I powered on, but my CPU fan wouldn't move (nor would the LED on it light up). Asus had me boot up with no memory, and still no beep code. I removed the board, tried to breadbox, and no post.
I decided then to RMA to the EVGA x58 FTW3 (listed above). As I waited for it to arrive, I reinstalled my old motherboard. I posted on the first try (however, dead SATA ports, so couldn't do anything with it).
The EVGA motherboard arrived. I installed. Boom. No Post. Same issues as above (no post, heatsink fan/led did not light up), and no beep codes (this board has a built in system speaker).
Does this sound like a CPU that I messed up when removing my original motherboard?
Why does the CPU fan not run? This is the first thing that you should investigate before blaming any other component. The fan should run even if nothing else is fitted to the motherboard including processor, memory or graphics card. The fan not running will cause the motherboard not to boot up. Is the fan not working? Or you may have a faulty or underpowered power supply, or you have plugged the fan into the wrong socket. Remember KISS Keep It Simple Stupid; remove everything including processor, memory and case etc apart from the motherboard power supply and fan, does the fan work?
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.
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.