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First Computer Build - No Display on Monitor

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October 19, 2011 3:56:53 AM

I just built my first computer. It contains the following items:
Motherboard: ASRock X58 Extreme
CPU: Intel i7-950 3.06 ghz
Graphics: MSI Twin Frozr III GTX 570
PSU: Hec 750 W Zephyr
HSSD: Momentus XT 500 GB
RAM: G. Skill 2x4GB DDR3 1600

Problem: When I turn on the computer, the monitor that is connected does not display anything (remains in the No Signal position).
The debugging information shown on my motherboard points to
1. Read CMOS 14h to detect video adapter
2. Save all CMOS Data to DRAM

After I read this, I cleared my CMOS using the jumper included. Now where the debugging numbers would normally appear remains blank. Did I just break my motherboard (no more flashing red numbers)? When I press the power button directly on the motherboard, my computer still turns off - does this mean that it still works?

NOTE: My graphics fan, cpu cooler, case fans, and fan controller all turn on, so there definitely isn't a problem with any of those. How can I verify that my CPU is okay?

I subbed in another Graphics card, Nvidia Geforce 8400 GS and the monitor didn't work this time either.

I need someone to help me out here. Spent so much money on these parts, I don't want to ruin it.
October 19, 2011 4:00:24 AM

Have you tried connecting your monitor on the motherboard? not on the graphics card.

If it works then you probably have a faulty graphics card, but if it doesn't then you have a faulty motherboard.
October 19, 2011 4:02:16 AM

My mother board doesn't have integrated graphics. :( 

Please post anything that comes to your mind when reading this thread. All help is appreciated. :) 
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October 19, 2011 4:13:12 AM

Try physically taking out the CMOS battery for about 15 mins. Then reset jumper and put back the battery. I had a similar problem and it worked.
October 19, 2011 4:49:50 AM

I basically did that, and now the debugging information shows up again and displays the same errors having to do with DRAM and CMOS. Anymore takes on this? I want to get this fixed ASAP. If not, I'd like to figure out what the problem is before my return-period is over.
a c 122 B Homebuilt system
a c 156 V Motherboard
October 19, 2011 5:04:28 AM

Part of my standard troubleshooting reply:

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 no luck, 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.
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 (standby power supply): 5 volts always on. The green wire should also have 5 volts on it. It should go to 0 volts when you press the case power button, then back to 5 volts when you release the case power switch. 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.

October 19, 2011 5:23:29 AM

Your guides are very helpful on determining what the problem is. Unfortunately, my motherboard did not come with speakers (no beeps). I am under a time constraint with my refund deadline for Newegg drawing near.
If the problem was my RAM: What should I do to fix it?
e.g. Change RAM slots, etc.?
*If my mobo crinkled a little bit when I pushed my RAM in to secure it, that's alright, right?
my Motherboard?
e.g. Change CMOS, Reset, etc.
PSU?
e.g. buy a new one
CPU?
*When I was securing the CPU, i heard a small crinkling sound. I was told to expect resistance so I assumed it was normal...
!