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Went through all 23 steps on No POST thread. Still, no POST.

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December 14, 2011 4:17:24 AM

As the title says. I have stripped every single part of my build out of the case aside from the motherboard (ASRock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3), CPU (Intel i5-2500k), and RAM (Corsair XM3 2x4Gb), which I have reseated and even removed one. Nothing. All the cords are plugged in properly. I have checked them countless times, and I spent hours carefully building my computer; I got worried at even the slightest bend of the motherboard, that is the extent of care that I took. The PC Speaker is plugged in, but I get absolutely zero beeps. When I powered it on for the first time, everything turned on, every fan on every component, the hard drive spinned up, the lights went on, but the system would not post. As I took components out one by one, everything still plugged in worked properly as far as fans, lights, and components go, but I got no display, and no speaker beeps.

I cleared the CMOS 4 times using a button supplied on the motherboard, and twice manually. Nothing. I checked for compatibility with my CPU: it is compatible. Heck, the BIOS I have is P1.1, pre-upgraded; I'm not dealing with the first wave of buggy BIOS boards.

Again, everything becomes physically powered up, what fails is any pc beeps or any signal transmitted to the monitor. Before I took my graphics card out, I tried using it as the display output. Nothing. I used the motherboard for the display output. Nothing. I even switched from HDMI to VGA, still, nothing. And yes, my gorgeous monitor worked just fine with my old computer when I hooked it up just to make sure.

My mobo comes with a Dr. Debug tool, but it shows no errors, it only loops with initialization processes. Here's the code:

19, 0x19: "Pre-Memory South Bridge initialization is started"
32, 0x32: "CPU Post-memory initialization is started"
42, 0x4F (there was no 0x42 in the manual, so I'm assuming that this corresponds? This was the only one that had a 4 in the tens place in the manual): "DXE IPL is started"
62, 0x62: "DXE Core is started"


Thankfully, I'm not as frusterated as I would have expected myself to be. This was my first ever PC build, and I made an earnest effort to plod carefully along, following both the manual and the internet, and despite it not working out, I can at least assemble a new PC at a much faster pace next time. This was a $1000 investment however, and so I'm hoping that any and all RMA's work out, as I'd hate to spend even more than I have already.


Anyways, with this said, can anyone think of ANYTHING that I might have overlooked. I have done every. single. step. on http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-perform-ste... to no avail.

Also, I might just go for a refund if possible and get a new board entirely. Are there any highly recommended reliable motherboards that aren't 250 bucks?

Here is my build:
GIGABYTE Radeon HD 6950 GPU
Intel i-5 2500k CPU
Corsair Enthusiast 650W PSU
Corsair 2x4Gb XM3 DDR3 1333Hz RAM
Hitachi ULTRASTAR 1Tb hard drive
Memorex External CD R/W Drive
CoolerMaster HAF 922 Chassis
Xigmatek LOKI 92mm CPU Heat Sink

This motherboard would be just fine for what I'm looking to do, in fact, it has more features than I need, but at this point I'm not looking to troubleshoot for 2 days again, so if there is anything more reliable, I might heavily consider swapping this out for it if the price is fair.


What a headache :) 

Thanks to all who read and respond.

More about : steps post thread post

a b B Homebuilt system
a c 435 V Motherboard
December 14, 2011 9:27:41 AM

Have you tried each ram stick one at a time in dimm slot number one? Could be you have one bad stick, or one that's not seated all the way in. If you change boards, I recommend biostar. I've never had posting problems with them.
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a c 122 B Homebuilt system
a c 156 V Motherboard
December 14, 2011 9:44:18 AM

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.
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December 14, 2011 10:13:43 PM

o1die said:
Have you tried each ram stick one at a time in dimm slot number one? Could be you have one bad stick, or one that's not seated all the way in. If you change boards, I recommend biostar. I've never had posting problems with them.


SON OF A—

I moved the RAM to the slot closest to the CPU, and it recognized it!!!!!! I avoided doing that earlier because it's a bit harder to maneuver.

Good god! All of this troubleshooting for such an easy fix!!!!!!


Thank you so much!
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a b B Homebuilt system
a c 85 V Motherboard
December 14, 2011 10:25:44 PM

I have done [i said:
every. single. step. on http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-perform-ste... to no avail.]I have done every. single. step. on http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-perform-ste... to no avail.
[/i]

I guess step #6 slipped past ya! :whistle:  I'm glad you got it working.

"6. Have you tried booting with just one stick of RAM installed? (Try each stick of RAM individually in each RAM slot.) If you can get the system to boot with a single stick of RAM, you should manually set the RAM speed, timings, and voltage to the manufacturers specs in the BIOS before attempting to boot with all sticks of RAM installed. Nearly all motherboards default to the standard RAM voltage (1.8v for DDR2 & 1.5v for DDR3). If your RAM is rated to run at a voltage other than the standard voltage, the motherboard will underclock the RAM for compatibility reasons. If you want the system to be stable and to run the RAM at its rated specs, you should manually set those values in the BIOS. Many boards don't supply the RAM with enough voltage when using "auto" settings causing stability issues."
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December 14, 2011 11:25:59 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
I guess step #6 slipped past ya! :whistle:  I'm glad you got it working.

"6. Have you tried booting with just one stick of RAM installed? (Try each stick of RAM individually in each RAM slot.) If you can get the system to boot with a single stick of RAM, you should manually set the RAM speed, timings, and voltage to the manufacturers specs in the BIOS before attempting to boot with all sticks of RAM installed. Nearly all motherboards default to the standard RAM voltage (1.8v for DDR2 & 1.5v for DDR3). If your RAM is rated to run at a voltage other than the standard voltage, the motherboard will underclock the RAM for compatibility reasons. If you want the system to be stable and to run the RAM at its rated specs, you should manually set those values in the BIOS. Many boards don't supply the RAM with enough voltage when using "auto" settings causing stability issues."


To be fair to myself, I did "tried booting with just one stick of RAM installed?", and I did move them to different slots. Just not the one closest to the CPU...


Thing is, it wasn't the RAM though. I had taken off the wifi card preparing to get the mobo out for RMAing, but thought I'd try messing with the RAM once more, and this is when it ended up working. Initially excited, I begin to add things back to the PC, unfortunately, it once again did not boot. After adding and removing things one at a time, I finally pinpointed the problem to my wifi card installed in the PCI slot.


That doesn't seem to be a good thing (bad PCI slot?)...

Any advice on how to deal with this?


Also, I'm currently sitting on the BIOS menu, preparing to install windows. We'll see how it goes.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a c 435 V Motherboard
December 15, 2011 9:09:25 AM

I doubt the pci slot is bad. Probably another conflict somewhere. The wifi card is cheaper to replace than sending the board in for an rma.
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