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Build Problem: Won't POST

Last response: in Systems
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October 24, 2011 3:01:46 PM

To start with, yes, I've checked the guides to building and troubleshooting these problems, and I'm still stumped. I've never seen a problem like this in the years I've been building my own systems.

Problem:
Semi-new build (new motherboard, processor, RAM), other parts retained. New build won't POST. When I power it on, the fans start up fitfully and not at full speed. Will sustain this state indefinitely. If I plug in USB keyboard and/or external drive, doesn't change anything, but if I plug in the charging station/receiver for my USB mouse (Logitech G7 wireless), the fans spin up faster for a few seconds, then the entire system reboots. It will continue this cycle until I power it off with the PSU switch. Behavior is unaffected by presence of RAM. Behavior is same, whether or not I have connected the 2x4-pin CPU 12V connector. Behavior is unaffected by presence of video card.

Steps to resolve:
RMA'd motherboard twice, CPU once. Haven't replaced the RAM, but since it doesn't seem to affect the problem, I haven't bothered. PSU is known functional, as it's currently powering the old build, no problems. Thinking of acquiring a newer, beefier PSU, but will scrounge the office this evening to see if we have a PSU that's adequate to the task.

Current build:
Motherboard: ASUS P5Q Deluxe
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 3.0 Ghz (E8400)
PSU: Zalman ZM600-HP
GPU: ASUS EAH4850 (512M)
RAM: 4x2GB DDR2 800 (2 sticks each of 2 different varieties of Corsair)
HDD: 1x1TB WD Caviar Black SATA, 1x1TB Samsung SATA
CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS9700
Optical: 1x LG BD/DVD/CD w/ Lightscribe SATA
Case: Antec P183 Black Aluminum / Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower
Accessories: 1x1TB Hitachi External HDD, 1x Generic USB Keyboard (scrounged from a Gateway), 1x Logitech G7 RF Wireless Laser Mouse, 1x Samsung 23-
inch 1920x1080 display w/ DVI connection

Attempted New Build (Just the Diff):
Motherboard: ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 (Z68)
CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K
RAM: 2x8GB Corsair DDR3
CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS9700 or Stock (tried both)

I've been working on this for over a month, and I still have the same results. I have a hard time believing that there's a pallet of bad motherboards in New Jersey with my name on it, and same with CPU. It seems unlikely that I've botched my handling, either, as I've built at least half a dozen systems in the past, and I keep swapping my 'old' setup back into the case and it works like a charm. At this point, I'm thinking either I'm missing something obvious, or my PSU is somehow inadequate to the task. It doesn't seem like it should be, as the PSU is rated at 16A on each of its 4 +12V rails (specs tag: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/fullimage.php?image=5851), but given that the issues I'm having aren't affected by disconnecting the 12V CPU power connector, leaving me with only the 24-pin Motherboard connector, there's not much else to point at.

I've run it totally stripped down, out of the case on a nonconductive surface, stock cooler, nothing in the board but the CPU and the essential connectors, with the only other thing hooked up being the two case fans and a scrounged speaker, same results: No POST, no beeps, no Dr. Debug LEDs, barely enough voltage to spin the fans (if they sit long enough, not always enough juice to get them spinning).

Thoughts?

More about : build problem post

a c 136 B Homebuilt system
October 24, 2011 7:31:17 PM

start again on the bread board

only the cpu/cooler on the board.
psu out of the case
start with a screwdriver
any POST beeps ?

If not then check the mb speaker , and do not proceed till you get beeps .
If NOTHING beeps then your problem is cpu or mb
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October 24, 2011 7:39:47 PM

moving on from the bread board as outlander has considered..

If you do get beeps. Take the RAM, add one stick at a time. Post between each stick added to make sure it works.

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October 24, 2011 7:42:05 PM

I tested it in that state (been starting it with the power button built onto the motherboard), no beeps. Will function test the speaker tonight, as it's been a year or two since I used the case I pulled it from, though it worked at that time.


Having a really hard time with the conclusion that I am systematically mishandling the equipment, given my lack of past history of same. Also having a really hard time with the idea of getting two bad CPUs and/or three bad motherboards. I MAY be able to talk Newegg into RMAing both of those items (Now about 45 days from original order) and sending me a fourth set, and assembling it in our lab, where I have a grounded ESD mat and proper static straps and what all, just to be extra sure, but I haven't needed that level of protection before.
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October 24, 2011 7:56:57 PM

chances are, there is a standoff from the old mobo that is making contact shorting the board, hense the bread board technique. By pulling it off, placing the mobo on a wooden breadboard (or any wooden top) with CPU and PSU, you are eliminating all possibilities except the CPU and Mobo. Adding piece by piece till the problem reoccurs will give you the solution to your problem.
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October 24, 2011 8:03:52 PM

rozz said:
chances are, there is a standoff from the old mobo that is making contact shorting the board, hense the bread board technique. By pulling it off, placing the mobo on a wooden breadboard (or any wooden top) with CPU and PSU, you are eliminating all possibilities except the CPU and Mobo. Adding piece by piece till the problem reoccurs will give you the solution to your problem.


I agree with that possibility. This is why I checked my standoffs, and they only make contact at the designated screwholes, and why I tested the motherboard out-of-case and on a non-conductive surface, with nothing but CPU, cooler, speaker, and power connected. I've tested three board and 2 CPUs (same CPU on boards one, two, and three, new CPU on board three), all with identical results.
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October 24, 2011 8:07:29 PM

Tried BIOS reset?
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a c 136 B Homebuilt system
October 24, 2011 8:10:18 PM

the case speaker is going to tell you what the problem is , if you work methodically .

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October 24, 2011 8:14:59 PM

The only other thing i can think of was an error my friend did once.. He had his board RMA'd twice and CPU RMA'd twice and in the fustration of it all, he came to me for help.. By chance, i looked at his 8 pin EPS PSU plug by the CPU (the one everyone forgets to plug in). triple check that ;) 

Dont facepalm if i'm right
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October 24, 2011 8:18:44 PM

rozz said:
Tried BIOS reset?

Not yet. Will tonight. Tried CMOS reset as suggested by ASRock, no dice.

And yeah, I double-triple checked the 8-pin CPU power connector. Always certain that one's good to go. Saw some similar suggestions, alas, no dice on that being the problem. In fact, I get the same results from my system whether or not that's connected at all. It's a two-part connector, 2x4 pins, and I've tried it in all four possible combinations, same results (poor spin, no POST).
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October 24, 2011 9:41:49 PM

Ayup, positive function on speaker test. Still no beeps or Dr. Debug from the new board. One curious thing is that the PSU fan and LEDs seem to be pretty fitful, too. Thinking about it, the case fans during previous testing were directly connected to the PSU, so things are not performing correctly whether directly connected to PSU or to the motherboard.

Hosed motherboard, 3/3? Highly questionable. Anyone think this could possibly be due to the PSU, or should I really just put it yet another call to Newegg and try for someone else's board, for once?
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Best solution

a c 136 B Homebuilt system
October 24, 2011 10:40:16 PM

I think it would be worth trying another power supply
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October 25, 2011 12:38:12 AM

Outlander_04 said:
I think it would be worth trying another power supply

Interestingly enough, I dropped a 350W supply on it and it booted. The speaker was still silent, but it boots as far as giving me an A3 message, which is IDE enabled. I'm guessing it stops there because there's nothing connected to it. I suppose I shall go acquire a new power supply from the local vendor tomorrow.

Very strange that the current PSU would work just fine with the current build, but not with the new one.
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October 25, 2011 5:29:02 AM

crimsonruari said:
Interestingly enough, I dropped a 350W supply on it and it booted. The speaker was still silent, but it boots as far as giving me an A3 message, which is IDE enabled. I'm guessing it stops there because there's nothing connected to it. I suppose I shall go acquire a new power supply from the local vendor tomorrow.

Very strange that the current PSU would work just fine with the current build, but not with the new one.


I Have Seen And Experianced Boards That Flat Out Refuse To Work With Certain Perfectly Good PSUs
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October 25, 2011 5:40:19 PM

Best answer selected by crimsonruari.
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October 25, 2011 5:41:00 PM

Slapped a nice new Antec CP-850 in it, boots not problem. Huzzah for fixed, thanks for the help.
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