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Did I do something wrong?

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May 21, 2012 11:00:07 PM

I am trying to build my first computer, and came to the first test boot stage of this video, but my graphics card doesn't power up. Did I somehow short it? I've been touching my case like someone who has severe OCD. Or is it something simpler like I didn't install the CPU correctly (which I think would be hard to do since there's only one way to drop it in...)


CPU: IvyBridge 3570k
Motherboard: ASROCK z77 Extreme 4
GPU: Sapphire Radeon 7970.


I hit the power button on the motherboard and the CPU fan spins up, and a little LED display on the board lights up as well, but the GPU's fans don't start and I don't get anything displayed on my monitor.


Also, do any big chains offer computer building services (I'm in Tampa). I'm too paranoid to try this again for fear that I already screwed up the GPU

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May 21, 2012 11:22:22 PM

Yeah I looked at that, and to the best of my knowledge I did everything except the system speaker. I took everything apart since there's no way I'm going to be able to finish it now after blowing an hour and a half trying to figure it out. I can try again in the morning, but I can't figure out why the GPU won't power up if everything else does. I'm pretty nervous that I shorted it somehow between taking it out of the bag and installing it, even though I discharged myself multiple times before touching it.
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May 21, 2012 11:37:15 PM

What PSU do you have, and have you made both of the power connections to the GPU? It needs one 8-pin and one 6-pin.
May 21, 2012 11:47:18 PM

Make sure the graphics card is seated properly. Sometimes you have to push down hard to make sure it snapped in.
May 22, 2012 1:23:22 AM

When your card is seated correctly it will click into place. A MB speaker might help here, but what is your LED display saying? Anything? If that's not working, does it work when you remove the card?
May 22, 2012 1:43:15 AM

There is also a self-closing lever at the end of the PCIe slot. It will close when the board is properly seated. Play with the lever on one of the unused slots and you will see what I mean. Be gentle trying to seat it. Never try to force anything. If something is giving too much resistance, you are probably doing it wrong. Look carefully at the power plugs and make sure you are using the right ones. If you are easily frustrated or impatient, get over it, because building a PC from parts you have never used before is seldom quick or error free.

DoA does happen sometimes, but I have been lucky.
May 22, 2012 9:24:31 PM

Sorry for the delayed response, I had to can the project for the night and now I need stuff to get the thermal paste off the processor to apply some new stuff.

The LED displays numbers, it doesn't ever really fixate on one. According to the manual it's the Dr. Debug LED, but it doesn't offer an explanation as to what that is.

EDIT: Found a list of the codes and their meanings in the online manual. I gotta get the thermal paste off and then I'll give it another shot tomorrow.
May 22, 2012 9:50:27 PM

The LED on that ASRock board should eventually settle on a two digit combo. I think it was A2 for me when everything was plugged in and working properly.

Try the output on the mobo and see if you get something on the screen. It would be much easier to troubleshoot a problem with the GPU if you could get booted up.
May 23, 2012 8:06:46 PM

Alright, the card booted up and Dr. Debug is showing codes A2 and then A6 (IDE Detect, SCSI Detect). I didn't get a beep, and nothing is showing up on the monitor. I've tried plugging the HDMI into the motherboard as well as the graphics card, same thing.

Edit: Got it up and running finally. I did have an unrelated question about thermal paste. I got the Antec formula 7 to apply to the processor, but it was really thick so I had a hard time spreading it. I spread it evenly, but it's a pretty transparent coating. Is that going to be enough?
May 24, 2012 5:12:07 AM

If temps are fine, leave it. Since there are two fairly flat surfaces there you don't need to spread it out at all actually. Most instructions tell you to use a tiny drop in the center and let the heatsink spread it out.
!