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NO fans, ONE led, no power

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November 30, 2011 10:35:51 AM

Hi guys, I've just finished building my first PC.
The specs are:
Asus m4a88t-m/usb3 Motherboard
AMD Phenom II X4 840 3.2 ghz CPU
Corsair VS2GB1333D3 2GB DDR3 PC Memory
650 watt Alpine PSU
I'm also using the hard drive and cd drive from my old Dell Dimension 2400 desktop PC.

The problem is that the PC won't start, only one light comes on when I switch it on. No fans spinning,
no hard drive running, just the light.
I've been able to test the PSU with my case fans, and it works fine, I've even taken the mobo out with only the PSU, one stick of RAM, and the CPU, and still it doesn't work!
I don't even get any beeps when trying to turn it on,
I've already replaced the mobo and the power supply, because I thought that they were the problem
Please help me out guys, thanks.

More about : fans led power

November 30, 2011 12:17:38 PM

There are two power connectors required on the MB. The large 24 pin one at the long edge at the front of the board and a 4 pin on the right hand side just above the cpu socket. Are both properly in place? Does the PS have a voltage selection switch (220v/110v) and is it properly selected? My first thought is the four pin connector to the MB.
a c 122 B Homebuilt system
November 30, 2011 1:31:14 PM

The recycled hard drive - are you planning to use the OS that was previously installed on the hard drive? If so, it probably will not work. You most likely will need to reinstall the OS once you get your hardware working.

Now, on to the hardware:

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:

Check for line power at the PSU input. Extension cords, power strips, and power cords do fail.

If you have power and no beeps, suspect components in likely order are PSU, motherboard, and CPU.

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.
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.
Related resources
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
November 30, 2011 3:18:22 PM

Is there a video card that wasn't listed or is there no video card?
December 1, 2011 4:29:47 PM

Thanks for the reply, Ive already tested the psu under no load conditions and it works fine,
the mobo comes with ATI Radeon HD 4250 built in. I don't think the hard drive is to blame because I've tested the mobo with just the
CPU, 1 stick of RAM, and the power supply, and it still didn't work.
I'm given to believe that the computer won't boot without RAM, i there a possibility that my RAM stick is somehow broken, and
the computer just fails to recognise it?
Please reply soon, thanks
December 1, 2011 4:42:14 PM

Does the cpu fan spin? Did you check for both power connections to the MB? Even without ram the cpu fan should start.
December 1, 2011 4:47:14 PM

Ive plugged the two power connectors in, but I still don't get the CPU fan to run.
I've checked the CPU pins as well, and none of them are bent.
I've taken the CPU fan off and the CPU fan out many times, and I haven't put any thermal paste on it,
the only thermal paste it has on is the one that comes pre-applied with.
Please reply soon, Thanks.
December 1, 2011 4:53:33 PM

it sounds like you have somthing grounding out.....or a shorted wire

December 1, 2011 4:54:57 PM

badtaylorx said:
it sounds like you have somthing grounding out.....or a shorted wire


I'm sorry, could you please explain to me in more detail?
Thanks
December 1, 2011 4:57:01 PM

are you using the dell case and power button/hdd light/reset button......i ran across a prob like this that was solved by jumping the chassis intrusion detection

grounded out= a + wire coming into contact with the chassis somewhere


shorted wire= a +charged wire with a break in the insulation touching either a -charge wire or a ground source
December 1, 2011 4:59:48 PM

No, I'm using the cit Mars Blue computer case.
December 1, 2011 5:07:05 PM

There doesn't seem to be any shorted wires or anything grounding out.
Even outside of the case the PC doesn't boot...
:cry:  Please help guys, Thanks
December 1, 2011 5:29:55 PM

Can't anyone help a brother out here?
Please reply soon! Thanks.
December 1, 2011 5:43:58 PM

Ok if the PS is good and all connections to the MB are in place; even if the cpu was bad the cooler fan would probably spin. At this point I am say the MB is bad, return it get a new one. Can you power and of the other fans from the MB. You would need an adapter or a fan with the correct power connector.
December 1, 2011 5:51:42 PM

Dogsnake said:
Ok if the PS is good and all connections to the MB are in place; even if the cpu was bad the cooler fan would probably spin. At this point I am say the MB is bad, return it get a new one. Can you power and of the other fans from the MB. You would need an adapter or a fan with the correct power connector.


Like I said, I already suspected that the Mobo was bad and just got the replacement mobo 2-3 days ago.
None of my other fans get power from the Mobo.
This is my first build of a PC, and it's a complete cotastrophe :( 
Please reply soon, Thanks.
December 1, 2011 5:59:03 PM

Find a knowledgeable friend to come and take a look at your work.
A friend of mine built a system and it would not turn on... turns out he forgot the little brass standoffs that go behind the motherboard and keep the case from shorting it out.

Nothing beats a pair of experienced eyes to troubleshoot.
December 1, 2011 6:02:41 PM

Heh... I'm 13, I don't have any knowledgeable friends on the subject.
Would it be worth replacing the RAM
P.S. Please don't say that I'm 'too young' to be building PCs, you are never too old or too young to do something that you love or have a passion for.
December 1, 2011 6:07:17 PM

I've been building them since I was about your age, 20 years ago :) 

You have parents? They have friends? Your friends have parents or older siblings? You need to find someone who has done this before.

Or submit pictures, lots of pictures.

If you suspect ram, try one piece at a time.

By the way... If you are posting, you still have access to a working computer (I hope, not a phone). You are way ahead of the game. It's hard to figure stuff out without an internet connection :) 
December 1, 2011 6:14:43 PM

Thanks I will try to get some pics. Also, no-one that I know has any knowledge on this subject, everyone my age is either getting high or playing PS3/XBOX 360 like there is no tomorrow. I only have one stick of RAM. Also, my power cable( the one that goes from the wall to PSU) is from my old Dell Dimension 2400 Desktop, is there any chance at all that this could be the problem?
December 1, 2011 6:41:07 PM

Any one else have suggestions?
Please help me! Thanks.
December 1, 2011 6:57:03 PM

Get high tonight. Worry about fixing it tomorrow. /JK
December 1, 2011 7:57:27 PM

Does anyone know someone that I could e-mail my problem to or even call?
I don't mean some technician from PC World, I mean someone who can help me?
P.S Thanks for all the support guys, It's been much appreciated. If you guys think of something that I could have done wrong, then please tell me. I hope I can repay you guys someday with the same kindness. If I had a Paypal account, I would probably donate to all of you because you are actually helping me out. This is a pretty long p.s dontcha think?
Seriously, if you can help, then please do. Thanks
December 1, 2011 8:33:51 PM

Is there a battery in the bios battery holder? I figure there is so.. Start over. Remove everything that is connected to the MB. If you are sure (and I mean you recheck and confirm) that the MB mounting is ok, you can leave it in the case. You must be sure that there are only the metal standoffs where there are screw holes in the MB; that a screw is in each location holding the board and that nothing else is under the board. Attach only the 2 power leads from the PS to the MB. Put in the cpu and cooler. plug the cooler fan in and turn on the ps. At this point the board should light it's LED and the cooler fan should spin up. If it does not then either the PS is bad or the board is bad. Testing a PS without load does not ensure it is any good. I have seen many instances where a PS test ok with a meter and was DOA when attached to the MB. BTW is your memory type supported by the MB? From what you have said the MB is not getting properly powered. Take a deep breath and relax. This will get fixed. If the cpu fan spins up then add the memory only if it is an approved brand and model number. You really need a trip set btw as ddr3 is made to work in triples. Also go back over how you wired the case buttons and headers. Take them off check them and make sure they are on the right MB locations.
December 1, 2011 9:32:17 PM

you live in Maine???
December 1, 2011 9:48:58 PM

sorry for the dbbl post.....it wont let me edit???


are you using an extension cord??? thats bad

are you using a crap surge protector??? thats bad

are you using a small wattage battery backup??? thats bad

is your house really old with old tired circuit breakers??? thats bad too

have you looked for blown caps on your mobo??? here is a link to know what to look for
http://www.siliconchip.com.au/cms/A_30328/article.html

these are kinda left field.....but thats the point your at.......

most likely culprit.....

bad mobo
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
December 2, 2011 1:43:37 AM

You should at least try to replace the thermal paste. There are plenty of guides around that tell how to do this sort of thing.

Also, what happens if you short the two pins that start the computer without connecting to the case's power button. There are guides for how to do this too.
December 2, 2011 5:03:39 PM

Hi guys, first of all I don't live in Maine, what do you mean by surge protector? Battery backup?
I will try to buy some thermal paste if I can. I will try shorting the two pins too.
My mono come with only 4 stand offs, but my case protrudes outwards in some places, making it unnecessary for stand offs in some places.
Thanks DogSnake, I will try to do what you said later today.
In the meantime I will try to see if I can get more help from the community.
Please answer soon, Thanks.
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
December 2, 2011 5:18:46 PM

Is it possible you could lay the motherboard, processor, and RAM all out on a wooden table and take a picture of what it looks like and host it somewhere?

Also, what exactly happens when you do this?
December 2, 2011 5:29:03 PM

I will show you what j=happens when i do that in a series of pictures.
Also, my Mobo has the memOK! feature, so something would happen if the RAM was unsupported, right?
December 2, 2011 5:44:04 PM

No that is not correct about the memory. Here is the link to download the compatible list: http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_AM3/M4A88TMUSB3/#M.... When only the cpu, cpu fan (connected) and the PS connections to the MB are in place...Does the fan spin up when the PS is turned on. Have you checked and tried replacing the bios battery yet?
December 2, 2011 5:50:57 PM

Wow... my RAM isn't on the list...
December 2, 2011 5:52:38 PM

My CPU fan isn't spinning, it should still spin regardless of wether or not the RAM is supported, right?
December 2, 2011 6:34:14 PM

Will someone please answer my question?
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
December 2, 2011 6:49:15 PM

Do you know that I went 7 hours yesterday without having anyone answer my question?

You don't need to worry after 30 min. We are doing this for free, after all.

Problems can manifest in a number of ways. Bad RAM in one motherboard may show different symptoms than in a different board. I would expect the fans to come on even if the RAM isn't supported, however, I haven't personally tested every board out there to determine this.

Also, RAM is pretty generic a lot of times. It is priced as a commodity, because for most people it is one. People try to minimize RAM price all the time, much more often than for, say, processors and video cards.

My wife's computer uses RAM called Super Talent that isn't on anyones QVL, but it works just fine. The specifications are in line with what the board expects and the functionality isn't highly complex. Data in, wait a little bit, data out, etc. There is little a company can do in this space to separate itself from all the other companies making RAM.

Now, will you please do what I asked you to?
December 2, 2011 8:14:15 PM

Jam, please also try to borrow or get another power supply. Also try another deep breath. Two or three of us are watching the thread :) 
December 3, 2011 11:24:18 AM

Guys, I won't be able to try or get another power supply. I do have a spare, but it's from my old Dell Dimension 2400 and it's only between 200-240 watts
December 3, 2011 12:15:55 PM

wow your 13, good luck...i'm 16 and i already did my first test run and it worked lol...

does anyone here know if it's good to have the mobo laying flat on a antistatic bag, with the cooler on the cpu? will it cause gravity force on the cpu? i hve the case coming in 2 days!

to jamster786, you should do like raidden said and do a test run like me, testing the core componenets required to start a post message on the moniter. make sure you connnected everything correctly, if it still doesnt work, change your psu and try again.
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
December 3, 2011 1:46:01 PM

If you can't get and try different parts then sit there with a broken computer.

There are a lot of problems we can't diagnose without proper testing equipment, and a second good PSU is proper testing equipment.

Whoever said that the cheapest way to go was to build your own system lied. They didn't factor in the cost of everything including testing equipment.

OEM computers are tested and working when they leave the factory (though damage can be caused in transportation, rendering them inoperable when they get delivered).

Hand crafted PCs have no such tests at all, especially not hand crafted PCs with tier 2 PSUs in them.

If you can't or won't do things we tell you even if they are free then why bother?
December 3, 2011 1:57:01 PM

In situations like this we look at the MB, CPU, PS and Mem. components as the cause of the trouble. You have replaced the MB. Your mem. may or may not be compatible. Unless showing bent pins or physical abuse, the cpu usually is the last thing causing problems. So for you we now have two items that need proofing. The PS and the mem. You can use the other PS as a test device. hook it up to the two power connections with the cpu, cooler and mem. stick in. Turn it on and see it the cooler fan spins up. If it does then you have shown where the problem is. Please answer this: if you connect a case fan directly to one of the 12v molex connectors on the PS, does the fan spin when the PS is turned on?
December 3, 2011 3:38:16 PM

Guys, I've finally got it to boot outside of the case with the CPU, RAM and PSU, but when I put it in the case and connect everything, my fans start to spin then they turn off. Also, it beeps once, but it sounds like half a beep because the system shut off cuts off the beep. Please Help, Thanks
December 3, 2011 8:32:21 PM

Great, 1 short beep is Ram failure usually. When you say it boots outside the case, are you getting windows up on the monitor or able to get to the bios? If it boots properly outside the case, put it in and only attach the power switch button leads. Then see if you can turn it on with the power button. If it goes ok the connect the other leads one at a time. If you get a failure to boot then whatever you just did caused it. The system should spin up and shut down when power is first applied by the PS. Unless you short the turn on connection on the mb you need the button to turn on.
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
December 3, 2011 8:40:02 PM

I still think it needs a real PSU in it.
December 5, 2011 2:48:18 PM

jamster786 said:
Guys, I've finally got it to boot outside of the case with the CPU, RAM and PSU


You have an electrical short somewhere in your case. End of Story. Check standoffs and raised areas in your case there should be one for each hole that looks like this.



Check the IO plate at the back of the motherboard, make sure tabs aren't jamming into any of your mobo ports. It looks like this:



And as someone already said, only connect the power switch wire.

see if you can get it to work the same in the case like that as it does out of the case.

I think all your parts are OK.

!