Need help with my first build--no life signs!


I'm having trouble with my first build, and would greatly appreciate any help I can get. The system won't boot, gives no display signal, and doesn't beep. The fans are all running (CPU, GPU, PSU, box). And I have 3 lights on the PSU.

Here is an overview of the hardware:

Gigabyte GA-970A-D3
AMD FX-8120 (Zambezi) @ 3.1 Ghz
XFX Radeon 9850 1 GB
Thermaltake Toughpower 675W
2x 4GB 1866 9-9-9-24
128G SSD, ASUS DVD-RW, external Seagate 1TB 7200

What I have tried so far:

- checked all cable connections:
- data
- power
- headers
- front panel
- verified RAM seated properly & using correct sockets
(for 2 sticks, then for single)
- removed one stick of RAM, then the other
(was hoping for a beep, but got none)
- reseated GPU, then CPU
- disconnected all drives


- Before disconnecting, the DVD-RW did seek when I turned it on.
- The power button works, but not the reset button.
- There are no lights on the front panel
- I haven't tried connecting the external drive yet--was hoping to get a BIOS screen, beep (or other sign of life) first.
- The GPU instructions say the card takes two power connectors--but there is only one on the card (6 pin).
- there is no power connector for this CPU socket
- there are no cable splitters or other workarounds

How I was thinking on proceeding:

- removing the CMOS battery for 30 min.
- resetting the CMOS jumper
- buying a cheap power supply for test purposes
- digging up an old PCI graphics card I have buried somewhere to test with
(this may take some time)

That is all that came to mind so far.

One other thing I wanted to ask about is the standouts/mobo screws. I read somewhere that they serve a dual purpose of grounding the mobo--then read elsewhere that they shouldn't, and would cause a problem. Mine are straight copper, metal on metal... no rubber washers. Not sure if this is an issue or not, and would appreciate clarification.

I'll be happy to provide more info if needed. Thanks again for your help!

7 answers Last reply
More about need build life signs
  1. the stand offs are just what they are, provide space between mobo pcb and the back plate of your case.

    From what I'm reading you don't have power connected to the CPU, some boards will not boot without CPU. So, look into that plug first.

    Another thing you can try is, verify that the PSU is working if you can hook it up to another PC in the house.

    On a side note, there's a good guide when you have no boot issues:
  2. can you take a pic of the inside of the comp and post it up?

    I had something like this happen but I for got to attach power to the GPU
  3. Well, usually the standoffs are plastic, something non-conducive. If your rear I/O ports line up with the case then you are probably okay on those; you said you did not plug in the 8-pin CPU power? That would be a definite issue.
  4. I have always used the metal standoffs. They screw into the case, the mobo sits right on top of them and then screws secure the mobo to them.

    Also, you posted - "there is no power connector for this CPU socket"

    i show your model does have a 8 pin CPU power connector on the left side of the board.

    ATX_12V/ATX (2x4 12V Power Connector and 2x12 Main Power Connector)
    With the use of the power connector, the power supply can supply enough stable power to all the components on the motherboard. Before connecting the power connector, first make sure the power supply
    is turned off and all devices are properly installed. The power connector possesses a foolproof design.
    Connect the power supply cable to the power connector in the correct orientation. The 12V power connector mainly supplies power to the CPU. If the 12V power connector is not connected, the computer will
    not start.
    To meet expansion requirements, it is recommended that a power supply that can withstand high
    power consumption be used (500W or greater). If a power supply is used that does not provide
    the required power, the result can lead to an unstable or unbootable system.
  5. hey, give us an update if you figure out what happened
  6. Hi guys,

    It's working now. And, yes, I feel a bit dumb.. :-) It was the atx 12v after all. I guess it's true that you can stare at something long enough that you stop seeing it. You know, 30 years after learning to program and having done tech support, I get around to doing my first build... and I make a newbie mistake! I am duly humbled.. :-)

    My thanks to each of you--inerax, AntiZig and Chugot9218. You knew the answer on the first shot.

    Now to kick back and enjoy a good game..
  7. Glad its working and that you had no other issues, enjoy your rig!
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