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The worst build nightmare of all time?

Last response: in Systems
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January 14, 2013 4:39:30 AM

Just out of morbid curiosity, can anyone top the run of bad luck I had on my last build?

Before I begin, let me just say I’m not a professional system builder, but I do have a lot of experience. I’ve built about twenty machines, and 4 in the last year without any significant problems. So when amazon had a black Friday sale on SSDs ($299 for a 512gb vertex4) I grabbed two and decided it was time to upgrade my game machine. Little did I know the whole build was going to take 46 days.

Anyway here’s the list of components I went through:

• 5 motherboards
• 4 processors
• 7 ram kits
• 3 cases
• 2 power supplies
• 2 heat sinks
• 2 dvd rom drives

And here are the final specs:

• Core i7 3930k
• Cooler Master Hyper Evo 212 cpu cooler
• Asrock X79 Fatality Pro Motherboard
• 32 gb (4x8gb) DDR3 1866 (Mushkin redline)
• 2x OCZ vertex 4 512 ssd (not in a raid)
• FT02 case
• AX1200i PSU
• 2xGTX 580 geforce in sli (left over from my last game machine)
• X-fi titanium
• Sony slim line slot loading dvd drive

Here are the items that were verified as bad:

2x Asus P8Z77 mobos (bought from newegg)
1xRV02 case (bought from newegg)
2x32gb mushkin blackline ddr3 kits (bought from newegg)
2x32gb corsair vengeance dd3 kits (bought from fry’s)
1x32gb Patroit Intel Extreme Master dd3 kit (bought from fry’s)

And the components that were misrepresented from the seller:

1x Noctua NH-D14 (won't fit on a p8z77ws mobo, even though it is explicitly listed as so)
1x Toshiba slot loading dvd drive (doesn't list the drive interface, or show it in the pictures, not SATA)


So anyway I get the thing assembled for that first time and power it up, and nothing happens, except the boards “CPU Warning” LED turns on, So I figure it must be a bad cpu. So I send it back, and order another plus a cheap-ass Celeron test with. Also I quickly become frustrated with trying to build inside my old case (a Silverstone FT01), because it’s not designed for modern SATA ports that come out of the edge of the mobo. It took about 30 minutes just to plug in the ssds and I ended up with several blood blisters from all the pinches. So I order a new case, a Silverstone RV02.

The new parts come in, and I check the new CPU on a test machine I have laying around. It boots up and every works fine. So I put in the new mobo, and the “check cpu light” comes back on. So, it looks like a bad mobo. Also after I got the thing installed, and take off the protective film from the front of the case, all the drive covers fall out, turns out my brand new raven 2 case was shipped with a split front panel (and you can’t blame UPS, the outer box looked perfect).

So I ship those back, and order a FT02(the metal version of the rv02) from amazon. I get that installed, and I notice some odd behavior, the computer will won’t post the first time I try to boot, but it will work fine the second and subsequent times, until I leave it off for more than 3 hours, when it again refuses to cold boot. The mobo error light led reports the problem is: “reserved for future use” (Thanks Asus!)

Also about this time I noticed that Noctua messed up when it listed that the NH-d14 cpu cooler would work with an asus p8z77 mobo “without issues”. What they should have put is that it will obstruct the first PCI_E slot, in such a way as to block the PCI_E release lever, making it nye impossible to remove the video card, while at the same time pressing on it, so it won’t install correctly.

At this point I say f*-it I’m going x79. So I send everything back(after a desperate call to newegg they let me return the mobo for a full refund, which is against their normal policy, also they offered to pay for return shipping).

So I get everything put back together again, (this time with a smaller heatsink, one that won’t block the PCI_E slot or the ram.) New mobo, and a new cpu, and I still get the weird problem of the machine not booting on the first try (again the mobo, an Asrock this time, reports the problem is “reserved for future use”). I run the windows memory tester overnight, it comes back clean. The next day I run memtest86+ and I get a single error. After googling the mobo error code, I find out they are actually undocumented ram error codes(Thanks mobo manual writers!).

So I send the ram back for a refund, and figure I’ll just pop over to Fry’s and get some more. Long story short, every stick of ram I got from Fry’s had 100+ errors on it. When I returned the third set, I noticed the saleswoman marked the box as “unopened” and “new”, presumably so they can stick it back on the shelf. (Then it hit me why all their ram was bad!)

Now at this point I thought the Mobo, or PSU might be frying the ram. So, I pick up a new PSU (I had been using a three year old 1050w enermax revolution left over from my last build), and order two new sets of ram from newegg, one 32gb kit, and one cheap 8gb kit to test with. And I order another new mobo from amazon (which I never ended up opening.)

I get the new ram in, and test the 8gb kit on my known good system. It works great. Then I separately test a stick of good ram in each of the ram slots on the mobo I suspect is destroying ram. That also works great. So I install the 32gb kit in the new machine, and the d*mn thing won’t post. So I test each stick on the test machine, and low and behold, one of the sticks is DOA. So I send that back and order one step up from the same brand mushkin’s redline: (Not wanting to try any of the brands I got at Fry’s) .

Anyway, after an overnight run of memtest86+ that passed with flying colors, and a week of adding components one per day (so I could see it if would cold boot), and the machine runs flawlessly.

I learned many things from this build:

1) Never buy ram from Fry’s
2) Always test your ram
3) A manufacturer might list a part as being compatible, but they are trying to sell you something
4) Never put off fully testing a system past the 30 day return policy (I didn't run into any trouble here thankfully!)
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
January 14, 2013 4:51:03 AM

"
Also about this time I noticed that Noctua messed up when it listed that the NH-d14 cpu cooler would work with an asus p8z77 mobo “without issues”. What they should have put is that it will obstruct the first PCI_E slot, in such a way as to block the PCI_E release lever, making it nye impossible to remove the video card, while at the same time pressing on it, so it won’t install correctly. "

this kind of thing is not that uncommon , and it did fit .
They never guaranteed it would be easy to take apart
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January 14, 2013 6:14:29 AM

I get what you are saying and normally I'd agree with you but...

They specifically made a note on every other board listed (100+) explicitly showing the exact problem, with pictures that my board had, and not only didn't list it as one of them, but they put a little green check mark in the "no issues" box. (I'm sure it was just a typo, but an expensive one.)


Outlander_04 said:
"
Also about this time I noticed that Noctua messed up when it listed that the NH-d14 cpu cooler would work with an asus p8z77 mobo “without issues”. What they should have put is that it will obstruct the first PCI_E slot, in such a way as to block the PCI_E release lever, making it nye impossible to remove the video card, while at the same time pressing on it, so it won’t install correctly. "

this kind of thing is not that uncommon , and it did fit .
They never guaranteed it would be easy to take apart

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January 14, 2013 7:33:30 AM

Man that is seriously terrible luck the only components i have ever had issues with are old sticks of ram whenever ive bought brand new parts ive never had any issues although i will eventually get a doa part and i suspect it will be like your experience
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a c 136 B Homebuilt system
January 14, 2013 8:53:56 AM

MagicPants said:
I get what you are saying and normally I'd agree with you but...

They specifically made a note on every other board listed (100+) explicitly showing the exact problem, with pictures that my board had, and not only didn't list it as one of them, but they put a little green check mark in the "no issues" box. (I'm sure it was just a typo, but an expensive one.)



That is a little different

And I do feel your pain . It has just taken me a month to troubleshoot the computer I built for myself .
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