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First Build, no video output

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December 23, 2011 3:58:06 AM

Finished building by first computer and no video output. Everything sounds like its booting up, fans running, disk drive spinning and led lights come on.

History: Brand new build, put it together today.

Today I finally got all the parts for my new PC. Everything was going great until the end when I hooked it up to my monitor and nothing happens, also I don't get any beeps from the system speaker. I have tried a different graphics card, different ram, and nothing works.I have taken it a part just to make sure I have everything in the right place and it still doesn't work. I have gone through the guides on this site and still no success. At this point I think my motherboard is dead, but I would like to know if there is anything else I can try.



ASRock P67 PRO3 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
SAPPHIRE 100315L Radeon HD 6850 1GB
OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W
Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache
ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner

More about : build video output

a c 78 B Homebuilt system
December 23, 2011 4:39:11 AM

I understand that you have gone through the guides, but a lot of people doing so often skip steps they don't think are applicable and there are quite a few guides around.

It would help us more if you spelled out which steps you had taken more specifically.

Also, which other PSU and which other RAM (maker, model #, approximate age)?

What it sounds the most like is either that the processor power cord isn't connected or that there is a short somewhere.

I would like you to disconnect everything and lay all of the parts out on a wooden table.

Then connect the PSU twice to the motherboard and insert the CPU and one stick of RAM in the motherboard and then use a metal thing like a flat screwdriver and barely touch it on the two pins on your motherboard listed for PWR_BTN.

This should generate some response. If it does not, then disconnect the power from the motherboard again and try to turn the PSU on when it is not plugged into anything.

You should be able to take a paperclip and put one end in a black wire port on the fat 24 pin connector and the other end into what should be a green wire most likely. This should cause the PSU to come to life.

You should be able to consult your PSU manual to see what pins do what if there are any complications with this.

Anyway, please try those things and then list the results.

On a side note, you will want to touch the metal part of your case early and often throughout this process. This allows you to shock the case (harmless) rather than your internals if you have built up a static charge.

If indeed you have a charge, even one so small you can't feel it when you release it, it could damage the motherboard or other parts. That is why I am requesting this. I have always been careful in this way and have never broken any parts even though I have spent a lot of RL employment time working with computer hardware.
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December 23, 2011 5:11:19 AM

I have gone through the troubleshooting guide about my issue and did every step except for laying the parts on a table outside the case.

Here are the other parts I tested
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
XFX HD-687A-ZNFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB

I did the first one and the PSU started up, not sure what to do next.
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
December 23, 2011 5:21:17 AM

Ok so if I understand this right you laid out the parts on a table, connected the PSU twice to the motherboard, put in the CPU and 1 stick of RAM and you used a metal thing touched to the PWR_BTN pins and it did come on.

If I understand correctly, then the next step is going to be testing each part one at a time, turning it on, and then taking the part back out.

So the setup will be PSU connected twice to the motherboard, CPU in, 1 RAM in + 1 other thing in each test.

You will want to try each other part this way. It doesn't really matter what order, but you could go in this order if you want
1) Other RAM stick
2) Video Card
3) Hard Drive
4) CD Drive

If the fan on the processor comes on and stays on during these tests that will be considered a successful test.

Please try those things one at a time and let me know if any of those tests are unsuccessful.
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December 23, 2011 5:41:18 AM

I tried everything in the order you suggested and motherboard powered up and the CPU fan ran for the entire time. All of the tests were a success.
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
December 23, 2011 5:52:40 AM

That is good.

Next just put the RAM in and leave it in, then run the other 3 tests again.

If they are all a success then add the CD drive and try the other 2 tests again.

If those both pass, then add the remaining items and try it again.
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December 23, 2011 6:05:32 AM

The tests with 2 sticks of RAM and the cd drive, GPU and HDD separately were a success.

The tests with the CD Drive, then the GPU and HDD separately were a success.

And the final tests with all of the components was a success.
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a c 122 B Homebuilt system
December 23, 2011 6:06:47 AM

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.
I am guessing this was the guide you workd through. And you were unsuccessful. :( 

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.
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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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
December 23, 2011 6:10:50 AM

OK, so it doesn't appear there are any catastrophic failures with any of the components.

You can go ahead and put everything back in the case and verify that the fans are indeed spinning when everything gets plugged in.

Afterwards, tell me a little bit more about the external stuff:
1) What outputs are available on the video card? DVI? HDMI? VGA?
2) What cables do you own?
3) What inputs are available on your monitor?
4) What is the maker, model, part number, and approximate age of the monitor?
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December 23, 2011 7:11:40 AM

All the fans spin, as well as the disk drive and HDD sound like they are booting up.


The video card has 2 DVI, 1 HDMI, and 1 Display Port

I have DVI and HDMI

VGA, and HDMI are available on my monitor

ASUS ML228H 22-Inch Ultra-Slim Widescreen LED Monitor, the monitor is brand new got it today.

Also when I started up the parts individually there wasn't any noticeable beeping, I heard a faint clicking sound from the system speaker and that was it. The sound never change when I added parts.
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
December 23, 2011 7:31:50 AM

Do you have something else capable of using HDMI or VGA or DVI in the house? Some other home entertainment thing perhaps? A console? Blu Ray player? Anything you might connect to a HDTV?

The idea just being to verify that the monitor works somehow.

I would generally say at this point for people to try taking out their video card and trying with only their onboard video card, but your motherboard doesn't have one.

Is it possible you could borrow a card from somewhere? Another PSU that you have access to perhaps? Maybe your IT staff at work has one laying around that you could sign for?

If not, might you consider buying a cheap like $10 video card and trying it in the computer to see if that changes anything?

Also, are you sure you have the system speaker plugged in correctly? You may want to buy another system speaker for like $5 along with the video card.

Unless the motherboard is broken there should be beeps of some kind.

Anyway, my gut feeling is either bad video card or bad motherboard at this point if you are sure that everything is plugged in correctly.
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December 24, 2011 2:56:07 AM

jsc said:
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.
I am guessing this was the guide you workd through. And you were unsuccessful. :( 

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.
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.


WOW JSC, You are so technically sound, I'm soooo impressed. I wish I had someone with your expertise when I started my first builds and had issues years ago.
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a c 122 B Homebuilt system
December 25, 2011 5:59:50 AM

Well, thanks, niki. But the key thing to remember is that we all had a first build. Mine was just back in the not so good old days when "building" meant taking soldering iron in hand.

Anyway, I hope you stay around. amdfangirl could use the company. :)  She generally hangs out in the Linux forum.
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December 25, 2011 6:16:57 AM

I found out what was wrong. I went to a local computer store and had them look at it and they determined that the motherboard was dead. Thanks for the help.
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!