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No BIOS, no POST, but Power and Fans are on

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  • Homebuilt
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March 8, 2013 8:47:59 PM

Hey guys, been working on this the last two days.

I have been working on recovering data from my SSD on a different computer, and since I had the case open to put it back, I decided I'd reapply the thermal paste on my processor/heatsink (CoolerMaster hyper 212+).

Once I plugged everything in and hit the power button, that's when I noticed that it wasn't working right.

All the fans were powered (including the video card), the motherboard was powered (the LED's were green), and I'm pretty sure (but not positive) that my harddrive and SSD were powered.

Everything was going well, except the monitor showed an amber light (no active signal from the current connection) from either video card, the motherboard with the video card attached, nor the motherboard's output without the video card attached.

When I was prowling these forums, I noticed that people said to check each memory stick. I removed each one at a time, and had the same issue.

I also noticed that people said it's a power issue. So, I decided to swap out power supplies with an old antec 500W that I used to use, and that didn't work either (same exact symptoms as described above).

Last time this happened, it was because I bent a few pins on my processor. So, I removed the processor, and checked that too, to see that there were no bent pins (there weren't any), and I'm pretty sure it's all set correctly.

I tried it without the corrupt SSD attached, and that didn't work either. Also, when I remove the VGA cord from the computer, the monitor shows "no signal" and those color bars you see on TV, so the monitor works fine.


Any idea what's wrong, or what I can do to keep testing it? The coolermaster heat sink has a backplate which, if what I read about it is correct, is supposed to prevent the motherboard from bending, and it shouldn't be bending.

I saw some people posting about the case shorting out the power, so I tried putting tape between the screws protruding from the backplate and the metal casing, but that didn't work either. Not sure what else I can do for this.

I'm almost positive there's no DMM in the house, so if possible (and the troubleshooting isn't too ridiculous without one), I'd appreciate it if any ideas to fix this don't include one since I'm a bit broke (college has a tendency to do that ;)  ), but if it's the only way I can find out how to fix this, then it won't kill me to buy one.

Thanks for the help, I appreciate you guys reading this. Hopefully this goes quick. Here are my specs:

AMD Phenom II x6 @ 3.7Ghz (OC)
CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ Heat Sink + Fan
ASUS M5A88-V EVO
Radeon HD 6950 1GB
A standard disc tray..
WD 750GB HDD (Sata III)
Corsair Force 3 GT SSD 90 GB (Sata III)
G.Skill 8GB (6 ATM, removed one and haven't put it back) 1333 Mhz DDR3 RAM
Windows 7 Ultimate
Antec Earthwatts 650W PSU (80 plus bronze) --- I really need something modular >.>

UPDATE::::

Popping the Motherboard battery out, hitting the power button twenty times or so, then putting it back in worked perfectly. I owe my friend a few drinks for helping me, thanks to all who responded.

More about : bios post power fans

March 8, 2013 9:11:18 PM

First thing that popped into my head was faulty ram. You checked that so probably not that.
Second thing, is it possible that you overdid it with the thermal paste when you reinstalled your heatsink? (took a lot of effort not to say "make sure you didnt overgoo it with the paste". You're welcome)
Try switching out your monitor and cables if possible.
Disconnect everything from your case if you think that it may be case related. Then manually jumper the mobo.
Check all of your shiney gold connections for finger prints or smudges. They're the golden part on the ram, gpu, cpu that go to the mobo. I don't know its proper name, sorry.
If none of that works, try swapping out parts one at a time cpu last. Only things you need to connect to power are the mobo and video card. hard drives shouldnt stop you from at least seeing your computers bios.
Edit: Check the mobo battery too. You'll loose all your bios settings, but maybe something got over volted on accident?
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March 9, 2013 12:29:27 AM

I popped out the battery and then put it back in, powered it up to no avail. I'll try booting with just the processor and video card, although I'm pretty sure it'll be the same.

As for the thermal paste, I tinted it, then did the center dot technique, one about the size of a grain of rice. Before, some of the processor was exposed but now the top of the processor is nicely covered. I didn't put an extreme amount on, i.e. cover the whole thing with half a centimeter thick (and thanks :D ).

I checked the bottom of the processor before I put it on, and i removed any thermal paste that made its way down the side of it and on the edges of the bottom, didn't notice any smudges but I can quadruple check if nothing else works and you (or anybody else) doesn't have any suggestions.

Also, slightly unrelated. Anyone know how if it's possible to remove the heat guards on G.Skill Ripjaw series RAM, and if so, is it okay to do (if clocked at normal or slightly above normal settings), and can you tell me how? Have to keep a slot open with my heat sink, but if i could remove it, I could utilize the extra 2GB.

EDIT: Disconnected all drives and all ram sticks, powering it on didn't work. Took out the processor, wiped the pins with a coffee-filter (lint free, which I had also used while tinting for anyone curious) with isopropyl and still it didn't work. Either the processor is in an awful mood and hates me, or that's not the problem.

>.< Anyone else who's reading this, feel free to drop-in suggestions ^.^. Thanks for the reply plankingdom, let me know what you think about the above.
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Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
March 9, 2013 3:14:57 AM

a few things you can try
1) Update bios(if possible)
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/308518-30-update-bios
2) Clear Cmos, do this if you cant start or have messed with the bios (don’t forget to unplug the computer from the wall and let it sit for few minutes, if you don’t have a jumper than remove the battery make sure the computer is unplugged and let it for about10 minutes before putting the battery back in)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pdp_L5IxaNI
3) Check your psu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FWXgQSokF4
4) Make sure your computer is hooked up correctly
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-perform-ste...
5) Run memtest(if possible)
http://www.memtest.org/
6) Run Burnintest (if possible)
http://www.passmark.com/download/bit_download.htm
7) If all else fails then try a gpu, Ram, or psu from another computer
Hope this helped! :D 

also this looks like a motherboard failure... if you have a motheboard speaker please use it

also try booting with one stick of ram at a time
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March 9, 2013 3:43:00 AM

Nothing will happen if there is no ram, sorry I wasn't clear.
To do a basic test boot for any computer all you need is one stick of compatible ram (DDR(x)) your CPU, the mobo, and the PSU. Video card is not necessary since you have a video-out built into your mobo.
The only connectors to your mobo should be the fan the cpu power, and the mobo power. Any pci or sata connectors are unnecessary as the bios is self contained on the mobo.
The only thing left after that is to start "buying" new parts. If you can afford it for a day or 2, basically buy a new computer with full compatibility. New mobo, new ram, new cpu, and new psu. Use a stock fan if possible (just in case). Test them each on your current setup, then test your old parts on the new setup (redundancy). If you cannot afford to buy all that at once, you can get them one at a time. You just need the most basic of compatible parts. Basically, dont get the $100 set of gaming ram if a single $20 stick will do.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 9, 2013 3:46:58 AM

to be honest by the way im pretty sure this is cpu failure... i helped this guy once who had the exact same problem with everything starting up but no post... he replaced his ram, gpu, and psu then finally RMA'd his cpu and BOOM worked, so what i would advise you to do is get a motherboard speaker if you hear a beep then its your graphics card or ram but if you dont then its your cpu or motherboard and most likely your cpu
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March 9, 2013 5:34:00 PM

Hmm, I really don't think the CPU failed; It was working just the other day and I've had it for a year. I do think that's where the issue lies, however.

What's a good way to clean off the pins on the processor, and would the system really not boot to BIOS if there's too much thermal paste? I could always try wiping some off, but I would think the computer I would boot for a few seconds at least -- at most I would think the heat dissipation would just be not as efficient, not non-existent.

I already tried about everything from the list, although thanks for posting it panic. I already popped the battery out for about ten seconds, but I can always do it again for longer. Unfortunately, I cannot run any of the programs or firmware updates you posted. I know that my BIOS is updated to the latest one as of December 2012, so it's pretty recent.

Would a tiny bit of thermal paste at the bottom of a pin (and I mean reaaaally small amount, one I can't or can barely see) affect the processor's performance? I would think since it's conductive, and as long as it doesn't connect pins, it should be okay.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 10, 2013 5:25:04 AM

your in the wrong with your first comment... just because it was just working does not mean it is fine things just die like that all the time thats why they give you a 3-5 year warranty on those things because electronics are not very stable after tons of use

do NOT clean the pins on your proccessor there is no upside to doing so.. it will only break the processor

ok thats good

im not sure


ok get your processor replaced... i am almost positive it is it, no matter what you do to it as long as the pins are straight you can send it back... the truth is that if your processor fails nothing happens(your situation exactly) there is no beep if you have a motheboard speaker, there is no post, the only thing you get is some fans and lights going on... get it replaced and we can then talk about "too much thermal paste"
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March 11, 2013 10:29:08 PM

Alright, thanks. Next time I'm home I'll see if I can get the processor replaced. You guys know what I can ship it in? Almost positive that someone in the house threw out the box, if not me, and would really prefer the pins not bend on the way over. Even if I have to order something on Amazon, better than doing something risky.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 12, 2013 9:34:09 PM

try and find the box otherwise contact the sellers or where ever you are trying to get it replaced from and ask them what you should do
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Best solution

September 6, 2013 9:23:07 PM

Hey all,

Sorry it's been so long. It turns out that popping the CMOS battery out, hitting the power button about 20 times, and putting it back in worked (thanks to a good friend). Hopefully this helps anyone in the future.
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