Troubleshooting a new system for a friend

Hey everyone. I've been helping an out of town friend with his first build by scraping together a few old parts and some new ordered parts. After quite a few hours on skype helping him with his assembly we got to the first boot up and unfortunately it was not successful. After pressing the power button there was nothing displayed on the monitor. The case/cpu/gpu fans powered up and it sounded like his hard drives were working. Unfortunately the case/motherboard did not come with an internal speaker and he doesn't have access to another one so I can't confirm any POST or beep codes.

Here is the build


AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition Deneb 3.6GHz Socket AM3

Antec 900 Case

EVGA 01G-P3-1465-AR GeForce GTX 465 (Fermi) 1GB

OCZ Fatal1ty 550W

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

Seagate and Samsung SATA HDDs (no further information available)

The new parts are the MOBO, RAM, case and CPU (stock fan). Old parts are PSU, GPU, and HDDs. All parts from his old system were working (together) as of 24 hours ago.

We have tried re-seating RAM in all 4 slots, using 1 stick instead of 2. We have tried to boot w/o HDDs connected. GPU has been seated in both x16 slots and both x4 slots. All of this has been done with and without USB keyboard/mouse plugged in. Also tried both DVI output slots on the GPU, and tried using a VGA cord w/ DVI adapter instead of DVI cord. We have tried to make sure that all connections have been firm, and that there are no errant cables. There are no USB devices attached at this time. We've also unplugged the internal headers for the front USB and front audio.

I am looking for any additional troubleshooting steps, incompatibilities that I may have overlooked, or suggested steps from here.

Thanks in advance.
12 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    The only thing I can think of at the moment is trying a different Video Card if your friend has access to one.
  2. When the computer is booting with or without something on the screen try going into the BIOS by pressing hopefully either f2 or del repeatedly after turning on the system (or whatever button google tells you to push with this motherboard), if the BIOS screen appears then it may just be one of the system video settings are disabled.

    Monitor channels might need to be changed to recognize the signal, which i assume may be different and it doesn't always do automatically.

    Try a different video card, even a crappy one

    Does the CPU fan spin when turned on?
    Have you tried reseating the CPU?
  3. Unfortunately no other GPUs are available for test. As for the trying to activate BIOS with a blank screen we haven't tried I'll give that one a shot tomorrow.

    Reseating the CPU was what we were trying for approximately 1 hour ago, but my internet died and he went to sleep. He was actually having a bit of a difficult time unseating the CPU fan/heatsink from the latches so I'm really hoping that didn't get installed improperly.

    CPU fan is spinning. Monitor channels were messed with (ASUS 24'' LCD [can't remember exact model #]) and eventually was reading DVI (or VGA when we were using that) signal no input.
  4. In case you don't know already, after removing fan/heatsink off the CPU it is always recommended to clean off and reapply the thermal paste properly, and if that's not an easy task right now then avoid messing with the CPU until you verify the video card works. It does seem like the problem is probably with either the video card or the video controller on the motherboard, whether it be catastrophic or just a simple non recognition situation. Random thought, you made sure he plugged in the 6 pin connector or connectors on the actual video card from the power supply? and it is possible that those specific connectors coming from the power supply are dead? a basic power supply tester would be appropriate to determine that
  5. Cleaning and reapplying the thermal paste should be easy enough, he has plenty of extra arctic silver. Like I said the video card was working in his old system as of 24 hours ago, so I doubt that it has spontaneously died, but a recognition issue could most certainly be a problem. The 6 pin connectors (2) are coming from the power supply, and like I said, the same configuration with the video card (and cables) were used approximately 24 hours ago, so I doubt they've died, but I think he had a spare so we'll try swapping it out. However if the fan is spinning on the GPU its unlikely that the cords are dead, correct?
  6. Correct, i apologize for not remembering the details of the things you've tried. So yea it can't be the power supply at this point, i'd bet money it has some kind of recognition issue between the video controller and video card, but there's also the chance of a more catastrophic problem with the video controller or dvi port although that's unlikely. and then of course the chance of a CPU problem. no video is usually a pretty basic diagnostic. alright man i have to get some sleep, Goodluck!!!!!!!!!!!!
  7. Bumping for more help =)
  8. Did you resolve this problem?
  9. Yea, I'm ashamed to say that once he took it to a local shop to get an internal speaker and try out a spare video card the video card appeared to be the issue. The shame comes from the technician reinstalling the original video card and it working perfectly. I suppose my buddy didn't install the card quite properly and this was all a goose chase.

    Thanks for all the help.
  10. Best answer selected by kjbautis.
  11. Oh damn that figures, well at least it got taken care of. Hopefully not too much waste of money at the shop.
  12. robertnewton said:
    Oh damn that figures, well at least it got taken care of. Hopefully not too much waste of money at the shop.

    Total for opening the case and messing around with the video cards + a new DVD read/write plus install was less than $40, so it wasnt too bad.
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