So I recently started work on my first home build; I decided to start by putting together the motherboard components on its box outside the case to test and make sure things worked before putting the mobo into the case and hooking up the optical drive, hard drive, case fans and lights, etc. I installed the CPU and the stock heatsink fan and plugged the fan's power cord into the CPU fan plug. I also installed 2 x 4GB sticks of RAM. I hooked in the 24pin power cord along with the 8 pin CPU power cord. I then plugged in the monitor and shorted the 2 power pins with a screwdriver; the CPU fan starts immediately, but nothing else is done. I don't at this time have a mobo speaker so I can't listen for POST beeps. I do not see anything on the monitor; it just flashes in 'standby' mode. I unfortuately, this being my first build, don't have replacement or extra parts like another PSU or something to swap in and am not comfortable opening up my working computer to remove components for testing as I use that machine for working and will be screwed if it breaks. At this point, these are the items hooked together:
From what I have been researching, it sounds like the mobo might be DOA? I understand I have a 'good' power supply (i.e. not some crap brand) and it does power the CPU fan so what is the likelihood something could be wrong there? I was very careful installing the CPU and it installed fairly easily, however I had a lot of trouble getting the heatsink fan to latch properly and had to push down with a great deal of force (from what I was reading this is expected) to get it to latch so don't know if I could have broken something there. I touched the metal part of the case frequently; hoping I didn't forget once or something and cause the board to short out.
Here are my notes from the sticky on what to check:
1. Did you carefully read the motherboard owners manual?
2. Did you plug in the 4/8-pin CPU power connector located near the CPU socket?
==> Yes, it is a quad core processor and motherboard so plugged in the 8-pin power connector
3. Did you install the standoffs under the motherboard?
==> Building outside of the case first to test things; it is just sitting on the foam the motherboard came in on top of the box. Tried it on just the box, just the foam, both, nothing
4. Did you verify that the video card is fully seated?
==> I don't have a separate video card; I am just plugging into the VGA port on the motherboard.
5. Did you attach all the required power connector(s) to the video card?
==> See above, no video card.
6. Have you tried booting with just one stick of RAM installed?
==> Yes, I tried one stick, 2 sticks, switching the sticks, no sticks, switching to the other set of slots.
7. Did you verify that all memory modules are fully inserted?
==> Yes, they clicked into place and pulled the prongs on the side of the slots closed.
8. Did you verify in the owners manual that you're using the correct RAM slots?
==> Yes, I tried multiple slotting. The motherboard manual didn't indicate which slots to use, just to use 2 sticks of ram and place them into corresponding colored slots.
9. Did you remove the plastic guard over the CPU socket?
==> There was not one present.
10. Did you install the CPU correctly?
==> Yes, I opened the lever by the socket, matched the golden triangle to the correct corner and laid the cpu in the slot. I tapped it a bit and it fell into place so I believe it is sloted correctly.
11. Are there any bent pins on the motherboard/CPU?
==> As far as I know, no. I had a ton of trouble getting the stock fan latched into place and at this time I don't have extra thermal paste (only what was already on the fan) that I don't want to take it apart.
12. If using an after market CPU cooler, did you get any thermal paste on the motherboard, CPU socket, or CPU pins?
==> Dont think so...I had to take the fan off a couple of times because it wouldn't latch properly and the thermal paste got smeared a bit, but I don't think there was any present besides on the silver part of the cpu where it would be expected.
13. Is the CPU fan plugged in?
==> Yes, when I do the outside build and short the power pins, the CPU fan starts spinning immediately and keeps spinning but the monitor does not display anything. I plugged the monitor into my laptop computer and it works fine.
14. If using a stock cooler, was the thermal material on the base of the cooler free of foreign material, and did you remove any protective covering?
15. 15. Are any loose screws laying on the motherboard, or jammed against it? Are there any wires run directly under the motherboard?
16. Did you ensure you discharged all static electricity before touching any of your components?
==> I believe so, I touched the inside of the case on metal frequently.
17. Did you install the system speaker (if provided) so you can check beep-codes in the manual?
==> I don't have a system speaker; I am going to try and find one locally this weekend.
18. Did you read the instructions in the manual on how to properly connect the front panel plugs?
==> The motherboard is still outside the case, so don't think I need to be there yet.
19. Did you turn on the power supply switch located on the back of the PSU? Is the power plug on a switch?
==> Yes, the PSU is plugged in and switched on. Plug is firmly in place. The CPU fan powers, but nothing else; I don't know if I get any post beeps since I don't at this time have a speaker.
20. Is your CPU supported by the BIOS revision installed on your motherboard?
==> I'm not sure, do I need to go there yet? Nothing at this point is happening other than the CPU fan powering.
21. Have you tried resetting the CMOS?
==> No, I'm not sure I am confortable at this point removing the battery on the board.
22. If you have integrated video and a video card, try the integrated video port.
==> Don't have one.
23. Make certain all cables and components including RAM and expansion cards are tight within their sockets.
Ok, so more information...I found a motherboard speaker in the case box so I set everything up outside the case again: CPU/fan heatsink installed to motherboard, the 2 sticks of RAM, plugged in the 24 pin connector and the 8 pin CPU power, but no monitor this time. I put the mobo speaker on and shorted the power pins. CPU fan started and I did not get any POST beeps. The CPU fan still started. I turned it off, turned the speaker around in case it mattered which way it was on the pins, powered up, still no beeps, but fan started. I turned it all off again, took out the RAM, powered up again and more of the same. I then unplugged the PSU and used the paperclip test described in Q42 on http://www.seasonic.com/support/a08.jsp and the PSU seems to power up as I hear the fan spinning. So my understanding is that it pretty much narrows down the problem to either a CPU or mobo problem since it seems that the PSU is working and even with the RAM removed I still get no beeps so don't think the problem exists there. Any way besides having another CPU or mobo to determine which might be the culprit? My hunch is that it is the mobo since I am not getting any beeps or any response from it whatsoever besides the CPU fan starting, but with this being my first build I am not sure. Any ideas? Thanks in advance for the help!