New Build - No Monitor Signal


I'm at the end of my tether with this after being on's Customer Service Lines several times this morning and not getting any further with it, but just wanted to confirm that I'm not going crazy.

I've recently purchased new PC components as follows to put in my system which has a sufficient working PSU, HDD and Disk Drive:

AMD Radeon 2GB 6950 GPU
MSI 990FXA-GD65 Mobo
1866MHz Corsair Vengeance RAM
Bulldozer FX-4100 3.6GHz CPU

Now the problem is that when all the parts are in I receive no monitor signal whatsoever.

Luckily my flatmate has almost identical parts apart from his Phenom II processor, and I've managed to test my parts individually in his perfectly working system and come down to the fact that it is the processor that is at fault.

Upon turning on the PC with my Bulldozer CPU installed I receive no post beeps and absolutely no monitor signal (bearing in mind my GPU etc. all work fine in other systems).

I've requested an RMA from but had it declined this morning (24 hours after they sent the number and several hours after I posted the part back to them -.- ) on the basis that the problem was that I needed to "flash the motherboard BIOS".

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe there is a way, or at least not a safe one, of flashing a motherboard BIOS without any monitor signal at all?

This question does not take into account my fortunate situation with my flatmate having similar parts as most people wouldn't have access to such things, so with just the parts I have personally, have told me that my processor isn't faulty because I haven't flashed the BIOS, when I can't even reach that stage. Bearing in mind the 990FXA-GD65 MObo doesn't have on-board graphics.

Any help is greatly appreciated, seriously frustrated with this.
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  1. What PSU do you have?

    Does your PSU work in his system?

    Does your motherboard work with the rest of his parts?

    Does his CPU work in your assembled system?
    You will need a working CPU to flash your BIOS.

    Work systematically through our standard checklist and troubleshooting thread:
    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.
  2. Put in your friend's CPU, then flash your bios to the latest version supporting FX processors. Then change the CPU to the bulldozer.

    Or send back the motherboard to get it flashed by the supplier.

    Good luck in your venture.
  3. Yeah I had thought about something like this in retrospect. Aria is now asking for the motherboard to be sent to them as well which I'm not going to do. It should be their responsibility to get the processor back to me after declining my return after they'd cleared me to post it using recorded delivery, so will see where I end up with that.

    Thanks also jsc, that checklist will certainly help. I'm by no means an expert and we all make plenty of mistakes :D
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