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New system Powers up fine, just won't do anything else

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February 1, 2012 11:40:55 PM

I had a spare AMD Phenom II X4 955 and Gigabyte MA790XT-UD4P laying around from my last build so I decided to separate my dual boot Win 7/XP box (putting the XP boot on the new build w/ the spare cpu/mobo).

I got an MSI 210/51 graphics card (PCI-Express, NVidia w/ 512 MB DDR2 memory), 4 GB of Corsair DDR3 memory and a new 550w PSU. It all went in an old Cooler Master case I had from back in the day.

I hooked it up to an old monitor and pressed the power button. Fans started spinning and lights were lit, but...nothing.

No beeps came from the speaker and no sounds came from the hard drives (the two drives that came from the dual-boot XP that work fine in my Win7 box).

I double-checked all connections and everything looks good. I switched out the connections from the HDDs, thinking that might be why they're not spinning, but no such luck.

Where should I look next to troubleshoot the build?

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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
February 2, 2012 3:21:12 AM

Try a different PSU, preferably a better one.
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a c 122 B Homebuilt system
February 2, 2012 8:49:09 AM

You have an advantange in that you have a second system you can use to check some of your parts. The thing to be careful of though is that you do not end up with two dead systems.

Check out this thread with the intention of finding something simple you overlooked:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/274745-13-step-step...

If that doesn't help, 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.

If that doesn't help, it time to get serious.

The following is an expansion of my troubleshooting tips in the breadboarding link in the "Cannot boot" thread.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-read-postin...

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. Breadboard with just motherboard, CPU & HSF, case speaker, and PSU. At this point, if you do not have a system (internal case) speaker, you really need one.


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, LED's, or fan activity:

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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February 9, 2012 10:21:38 AM

Best answer selected by samfelis.
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February 9, 2012 6:27:33 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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