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Black screen, no beeps first build - ASUS Sabertooth Z77

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February 17, 2013 3:51:24 AM

Hi,

I'm new to PC building and have scoured these forums for an answer to my problem. I have followed the instructions that many have suggested with no luck.

The components I put together were:
ASUS Sabertooth Z77
i7 3770k 3.5ghz 8mb LGA 1155 Ivy Bridge
Corsair 16gb (2x8gb) Vengeance 1866 RAM (CMZ16GX3M2A1866C10R)
Seasonic X-850 80plus Gold Modular PSU
Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler
2 x Sapphire ATI HD7970 OC Edition 3gb
Other HDD and optical components which I've removed from the equation.

The problem: After full build, machine powers up, LEDs on, fans spinning, DRAM_LED is off, no monitor signal from either motherboard HDMI output, or HDMI or DVI outputs from either graphics card. I have no internal speaker so I have external speakers plugged into MB audio out jack.

I removed everything, rebuilt outside the case. I replaced the Noctua with the standard CPU fan, because it doesn't fit with the Vengeance RAM. The only components connected for the test were MB, CPU, CPU fan, 1 stick RAM, and the PSU. All power cables are connected and seated correctly. I did use the Q-Connecter hooked up to the case power button however, because I'm not willing to try shorting the board. Every time, the same result, no display, no sound, but everything inside humming away.

I have tried RAM in every configuration, and I have tried no RAM, which activates the DRAM_LED, and causes machine to power off shortly after start-up. I have tried GPU with no RAM, and it ends in the same initial result. The machine appears as though it would just keep running if I don't shut it down. I have followed the ASUS forums including trying different flash bios and clearing CMOS. I have since discovered my RAM is not specifically listed in the vendor list in the manual, however I have also read this doesn't always matter??

Any help would be greatly appreciated please. I was so looking forward to building my first machine. I really hope it's something simple, and not a faulty MB.

Grant

a c 478 V Motherboard
February 17, 2013 4:07:18 AM

with the flash bios use the last bios only the 1805. rename is to z77st.cap and put it on a usb stick and run the usb flashback.
if the file and usb stick are done right the port should blink then turn off. one issue with the sabertooth and after market heat sinks is if the back plate is metal it can short out the mb. the other issue is over tighting the after market heat sink and causing a no post. if it not a seating issue with the heat sink look for bent pins under the cpu..also on newer asus mb if you plug the cpu fan into the cpu/aux port not the cpu fan port the mb may or may not post to save the cpu.
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February 17, 2013 4:28:54 AM

Thanks for reply. The flash bios worked fine as per the manual so I don't expect that to be an issue. The CPU looked all good, and I'm using the standard Intel fan because I couldn't fit the other because the RAM is too high. CPU fan is plugged into correct slot.

Thanks, Grant
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a c 478 V Motherboard
February 17, 2013 5:11:10 AM

could be a few things...make sure the 8 pin power plug on the top edge is plugged in. make sure you did not use the 6 plus 2 pin cable. the ps should have an 8 pin cable or a 4 plus 4 cable. if there just a 4 pin cable you can use that too intll you can get a 4 to 8 pin adaptor. check that the back mb shield not shorting into the usb ports or the bottom of the mb. check that the cmos reset jumper in the right spot and on the mb. check your case and case wires. the mb could be stuck in reset mode. or if the case has a small daughter card the wires could be on wrong. check the gray wire output on the power supply..make sure it 5v. if it low the mb wont post..it stay stuck in reset mode. look at the sata cables and drives...any broken cables or bent pins or cables on wrong. (dead short). one thing that can cause a no post is putting the cd-rom drive on the 3 party sata 6g chipset. make sure it on the intel 3g or 6g ports.
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February 17, 2013 6:05:09 AM

Thanks Smorizio,

I've checked back over your suggestions, at least those within my ability. I'm set up outside my case, so apart from the case power switch being connected to the MB through a Q connector, I don't think the case is an issue. I have no drives at all plugged in, so no Sata connections. The power cables for my MB are two 4 pins to a single 8 pin on the Psu, and a 24 pin connector on MB that splits into a 20 pin connector and a 10 pin connector which are both seated in the PSU MB sockets. I'm not sure how to check if things are shorting, that's well outside my knowledge, but again, the MB is out of the case and sitting on the cardboard box it came in. All cables seem to be in good condition as you'd hope for straight out of the box.

My personal feeling is it could be incompatible RAM. Another post on this site was experiencing a similar issue, and the only thing that he hasn't tried was ram. He also had ram not listed in the MB manual. Unfortunately he didn't post an update about the outcome of changing ram.

I appreciate you taking time to try to help me resolve this problem. It's really annoying me :) 

Thanks,
Grant
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a c 478 V Motherboard
February 17, 2013 10:40:40 AM

the dram led would be on for bad ram. you can try and press the mem ok to see if the system posts. sounds like to me there may issue with the power supply. one of the legs may be bad or there a mb/cpu issue. if you got the parts from micro center see if there walk in tech support can help.
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February 17, 2013 12:02:36 PM

I think I'm out of my depth with trying to isolate the issue. I've hit the men ok button which causes shutdown and reboot with same result...no post. I'm in Australia, but I've notified the place where I bought the components. Hopefully they'll be willing to help me through it. I've watched you tube videos and read a few sites about putting together a machine and I'm certain I've done the right thing, so I'm thinking there's got to be a faulty part.

Thanks so much for your help.

Grant.
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February 24, 2013 11:31:22 PM

**UPDATE**
Not sure if this will help anyone else, but I took the MB to be tested and it was fine.

I purchased some new RAM - 8gb (2x4) DDR3 1600, which was a configuration listed in the MB manual.

This time I tried the process with the new RAM, and one of my Graphics cards installed, and, IT WORKED!

The guy who tested the MB suggested using the graphics card rather than relying on the MB HDMI output, as he thought the MB might need drivers for the internal HDMI and sound jack to work??

Anyway, the bottom line is the only thing that was really new in this attempt was the RAM. I had previously tried the old RAM with a graphics card in and got nothing. I believe the Corsair RAM was preventing the machine from POSTING.

Grant

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February 25, 2013 1:23:33 AM

grantcran said:
**UPDATE**
Not sure if this will help anyone else, but I took the MB to be tested and it was fine.

I purchased some new RAM - 8gb (2x4) DDR3 1600, which was a configuration listed in the MB manual.

This time I tried the process with the new RAM, and one of my Graphics cards installed, and, IT WORKED!

The guy who tested the MB suggested using the graphics card rather than relying on the MB HDMI output, as he thought the MB might need drivers for the internal HDMI and sound jack to work??

Anyway, the bottom line is the only thing that was really new in this attempt was the RAM. I had previously tried the old RAM with a graphics card in and got nothing. I believe the Corsair RAM was preventing the machine from POSTING.

Grant
Ram issue huh? Uggh, I have no clue what's going on with my build. But it shouldn't be the ram, I picked up the asrock z77 oc formula simply because it seemed ready to rock with everything.

What other issues seemed incredibly prevalent while you were troubleshooting, Grant? I'd really appreciate a synopsis from a guy recently fresh from the battlefield of early build troubleshooting. :3 Here's a link to my own thread, save you the trouble of finding it.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/331982-30-troubleshoo...
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a c 478 V Motherboard
February 25, 2013 3:47:11 AM

grant when the system posted was the bios at rev 1805??? just wanted to check to see if it did. can you also toss up the part# of the dimms. I like to post the info of the dimms in the rog forum so asus can retest that brand and put a patch in on there next bios update.
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March 4, 2013 12:47:08 AM

I'll have to get this info for you when I get home, but the bios was the latest at the time, which was 1805 I believe. I did try different versions but finished off flashing it back to 1805 before I finally got action.

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March 4, 2013 1:01:33 AM

Merlos,

Sorry for late reply but I'm not sure how much light I can shed of your issue (you may have solved your problem by now). This was my first build, so I followed the advice that many others have kindly offered on these forums.

First I totally built the machine within the case and hooked everything up just expecting it to work, which I didn't.

I followed with a rebuild outside the case. Just put the MB on the box it came in, and hooked up CPU, RAM, and the cooling fan that came with the CPU, and plugged a monitor into the MB HDMI output. I also plugged speakers into the MB audio jack since it did not come with a speaker. I did plug the power switch on my case directly into the MB though, because I wan't comfortable with trying to short the board to start it.

For me, this resulted in lights and fans going,with no beeps and nothing on screen. It would not shut down either until I held the case power button in for a few seconds.

I tried the same config with one and two GPUs plugged in, with monitor plugged into various output types on the GPU, with same results. Swapped RAM around, 1 stick, two sticks, ad switched positons of the GPUs.

I tried the config without an RAM, and this caused the red light on board to activiate, and machine would shut down after running for onlya few seconds, and from memory it would try to start again?? and get caught in a loop of startup/shut down.

As I said in a previous post, my RAM was not listed in the vedor list of the MB manual for my config (2x8gb Corsair). I bought RAM which was listed after having the MB tested where I bought it, with not issues.

When I got home, same config with new RAM, no GPU. Same result. Started, fans, lights - nothing displayed.
Rechecked power cales, plugged in a GPU - tried again and it worked???

Don't ask me why exactly. A few considerations might be - that MB needs RAM as listed in the manual and a GPU plugged in. I heard no sound at any stage, even with speakers plugged into audio jack. The guy at the store said the display/sounds may not work on MB during posting because they need drivers installed?? Could be part of the explanation.

I know you've probably been told this a million times already, but seriously really check the power cables, particularly where they are seated into the pwoer supply. Mine really needed quite a bit of force to click in properly, and I have some doubt if one was fully in during some of the testing, even though the board "seemed" fully powered.

Good luck,
Grant

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March 4, 2013 10:28:58 PM

Hi Smorizio,

In response to your question:

The original RAM I puchased which did not work in my machine:
Corsair 16GB (2x8GB) CMZ16GX3M2A1866C10R Vengeance Performance Memory Module DDR3 1866MHz Unbuffered

I can't find the exact model number of the RAM I used as replacement, but it was a G Skill Ripjaws 8gb (2x4gb) DDR3 1600mhz PC12800 something or other. It is listed in the manual that comes with the ASUS z77 Sabertooth.

Hope this helps,

Regards,
Grant
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