At first, I suffered from the dreaded Gigabyte Z68 "boot loop" problem but was eventually able to solve it on an out-of-case build. The system worked perfectly then. However, as I had ordered the case separately, I suffered the problem again after installing the motherboard and components inside the case. I had checked and tried everything (switching RAM, PSU, clearing CMOS, leaving battery out overnight, re-seating the processor, etc.) and nothing worked. Thus, I decided to return the motherboard and try my luck with a different one (as Gigabyte Z68s are supposedly well-known for having this problem..)
I replaced the Gigabyte Z68 motherboard with the Asrock P67 Extreme4 Gen3.
I built the system out-of-case again. Upon connecting and engaging power, both the CPU and GPU fans spin, the Dr. Debug LED on the board lights up with the code "00". However, nothing further happens. No video is output on the screen, and no beep codes are ever output.
Again, I tried switching RAMs around, clearing the CMOS (both with the switch on the back and with the jumper), and switching the PSU. I tried doing a bare-bones start (no GPU or no RAM or both), but the same thing happens. I am starting to think that the defect may be with my processor at this point. What can I do?
had the same issue once on a build ... save your self some trouble .. if you havent already done this.. go and get some rubber washers enough to put on both sides of the mounting holes and this will prevent your board from being over tightend and also prevent discharge from the case.. its self... but to add insult to injury .. i have to say you may of damaged your processor.. normally when nothing beeps or you get just a spinning fan like that theres a good chance its your processor.. if you replaced the mobo then that only makes sense .. i had the same thing happen to me on my first build only later to return my processor and installed the replacement and every thing booted up just fine.. just an fyi
I've gone through the entirety of the checklist, but the build is still a no-go.
My system as of now is still sitting on top of the motherboard cardboard box. On top of trying to boot with only one stick of RAM, I tried booting without RAM at all. Theoretically, it should give me a memory error but nothing changes at all!
I think I will go ahead and try to return the processor for another one. I did not see any bent pins when inspecting the socket, so I am crossing my fingers and hope for the best!
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.
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.
I swapped out the Gigabyte Z68 for an Asrock P67 due to a different, unrelated issue. Unfortunately as a result, I don't have onboard video to test with on the P67.
My system right now is in what you call the "breadboarding" stage. I have tried connecting a known good PSU (the 650W one powering the system I am actually typing this on!) to it, and it doesn't make any difference. I also tried powering this system using the Seasonic 750W one in question and it works. Thus, I don't think the PSU is the problem.
I think most likely, then, is that the fault lies within the motherboard or processor. However, the fact that I just actually swapped out the motherboard for a new one makes me really hesitant to say that it is the motherboard's fault. Tomorrow, I am going to try to find someone with a LGA1155 processor I can borrow (I don't have another processor to test with currently..) to see what happens then!