This is my first build, so I'm hoping my problem is something simple. I've read through the troubleshooting thread (http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-perform-ste...). My motherboard didn't come w/ a system speaker, but I will order one tomorrow if I still need it. However, the motherboard has "POST state LED" lights for the CPU, DRAM, VGA card, and HDD that light up when there's an error w/ those parts.
Okay, so I started w/ an external build. The motherboard is currently lying on the top of its box (and not on the bag it came in), so it shouldn't be shorting. I installed the CPU, CPU fan, RAM, and video card, PSU, then tried to power on. Everything came on for a second and turned right back off. A second later, it switched back on, then right back off and continued to do this until I switched off the power. So, I removed the video card and tried again, same problem. This is about the time that I actually looked through my motherboard manual and learned about the LED lights. The CPU and DRAM lights were flashing. Another thing the manual pointed out was, although my RAM was technically the right type, it wasn't on the"Qualified Vendor's List". So, I removed the RAM and tried to power up without it. Everything turns on, flickers off, turns on again, and runs smoothly until I power down. And the CPU LED light stays off, as long as the RAM isn't in. So today, I braved holiday traffic to buy a set of memory sticks that were actually on the qualified vendors list, but it hasn't made one bit of difference. I get the same exact problem: power flickers on and off continuously. CPU and DRAM LEDs light up.
Things I've tried:
~ Trying one stick of RAM
~ Moving RAM to different slots
~ Making sure RAM is installed securely
~ Checked to see if CPU pins were bent, seem fine to my novice eye.
~ Used the MemOK! switch on my motherboard, which is supposed to "begin automatic memory compatibility tuning for successful boot."
~ Unplugged and replugged everything multiple times
~ Cleared the CMOS
Um, thanks. I saw that, and followed it. The only things I haven't done was use a system speaker, but if my motherboard is to be believed, it's the RAM causing my problem. But I switched the RAM, and still have the same problem. Of course, it's very possible I've just made some stupidly simple mistake.