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Please Help. (Not as good as I thought I was.)

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July 17, 2003 4:21:14 PM

Yesterday I came home from work and all of the parts for my new PC were finally there. :)  Yay! Being my wife's birthday though, I couldn't just spend all night putting the PC together. :( 

So later that night I finally got some time to build the PC. I slapped on my anti-static strap and threw everything together as quickly as I could. In the end to get through all of the retail packaging and fit all of those damn little cables onto the mobo it took me three hours. In retrospect, I probably should have taken more time. :\

It all went pretty easily and quickly except for all of those damn little front-panel leads! (AKA the power switch, reset switch, and LEDs and crap, the front-panel firewire and USB leads, and the front-panel audio leads.) The Firewire and USB were, of course, all done in individual pin brackets. Why couldn't we just have a nice standard jack people? Ugh. On no. That'd be too bloody easy. Doing a Firewire cable and two USB cables pin by pin was a royal pain in the arse!

What <i>really</i> ate up a lot of my time though was the front panel audio cable had different labels on the pins than what the manual said and I spent a good half hour just trying to figure out what the hell the manual was trying to tell me to hook up where. In the end I gave up and left the front panel audio cable disconnected from the mobo. I'd have thought that it'd be easy enough to figure out, and after hitting the internet this morning and finding the correction to the instructions it turned out that I was right. But I didn't want to kill anything by being wrong, so that's why in the end I didn't connect it last night. Better safe than sorry.

So anywho, everything assembled, I plug her in, hit the power button ...

...

and nothing happens.

Oops. Not even the power supply fan spun up. Talk about an anti-climax! (Though I suppose at least it was better than a night ending in smoke.) I didn't even think to leave the case open so that I could see if any internal LEDs lit up, but I doubt that they did.

Getting to be very late at night which at that point my contacts had felt like they dried up an hour ago and my eyes ached like hells fury and my vision was growing fuzzier by the second, I was having little desire to mess with the system any more last night. (And couldn't even see all that well even if I'd felt up to it.)

It occurs to me that I <i>should</i> have taken the time to test the power supply before I had really done much of anything. I just knew that I didn't have the time then and rushed, assuming (hoping) that it'd all work out anyway.

I know that I <i>did</i> connect the little 12v cable to the mobo. I also know that I connected the CPU fan up to the CPU fan header. Heck, I even connected the power supply's fan monitor cable to a fan header on the motherboard just so that I could monitor it. (I don't think I could possibly be more sick of those infernal tiny little cables! I hadn't worked on a fresh mobo in a long time and forgot how annoying those can be, and this project of mine seems to have a very atypical number of them to boot.) I'm pretty sure that I connected everything. And <i>most</i> of the cables are designed in such a way that they can only be connected in one way.

But I still have a few stupid questions just to make sure:

1) If I have the power supply completely disconnected from the motherboard, will its fan spin up if I plug it in and turn it on? (So that I can make sure it's not just a dud power supply.)

2) Black is negative, right? All those damn little cables with tiny little pins, it's possible that I just didn't connect the case's switch to the motherboard correctly (for all that I know the power switch cable could just not be pushed down far enough or have gotten pulled out accidentally), but I also wonder what'd happen if I had switched those little plugs backwards...

3) Would clearing CMOS possibly make any difference if nothing is spinning up at all? I'd think no, but hey, it isn't like it's hard to clear it if it would make a difference.

So anywho, that's my tale. It's kind of sad. I thought that I knew exactly what I was doing, but it turns out that it's been a while and now I'm not quite sure of myself. So please help out an old idiot and his sleep-deprived mind.

Oh, and one final question ... what do I do with all of those little stickers? Normally you'd just put an OEM sticker in the little square indent and be happy. I even ordered the free Newegg one to do just that with. But if I remember my new inventory correctly, I now have one each for Newegg, Antec, Asus, and MSI. (Maybe I even have an 'Intel Inside' one buried somewhere in the retail packaging. I didn't actually look...) I might be wrong on the Asus. It's so hard to remember at the moment. But what do I do with them all?! It's mad I tell you, MAD! Many stickers and just one square!

(Yes, I am that sleep deprived. This is what happens when your brain is trying to shut down but you keep feeding it sugar and caffeine. OEM stickers become an army of angry squares, all vying for my attention and a prominant display. Can't we all just get along?)

"<i>Yeah, if you treat them like equals, it'll only encourage them to think they <b>ARE</b> your equals.</i>" - Thief from <A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/daily.php?date=030603" target="_new">8-Bit Theater</A>

More about : good thought

July 17, 2003 4:41:51 PM

1. No. There are two leads on the power connecter of the power supply that must be bridged for it to turn on. If you know exactly which ones they are then you can trigger them manually but I wouldn’t mess with it.
2. Black is almost always negative. It actually doesn’t matter which way you install the power switch, because all it does it bridge the two wires. Either way will work. I usually just get a screw driver and bridge them by hand when I am testing.
3. CMOS usually cannot stop the board from powering up, however I suggest you still check the CMOS jumper. Many boards ship with the jumper in the ‘clear’ position and the board will perform exactly as you have described if it is not switched over. I have seen this mistake several times. Double check in the manual which is clear and which is boot.


<font color=red>Proudly supporting the AMD/Nvidia minority</font color=red>
July 17, 2003 4:53:01 PM

Yep, it's probably something simple like the CMOS jumper being set to clear, backwards/wrong front-leads, or the PSU isn't switched on in the back. It's always easy to mess up the little things, especially late at night!
Related resources
July 17, 2003 5:11:02 PM

#1 : True, you have to bridge 2 of the connectors, on my PSU it´s bright green and grey - I´ll look for a link to describe it more precisely.

#2 : Some cables are all grey, use good lighting to see the darker one of the two, that´s the negative.

#3 : Ryan_Plus_One is right, check that the jumper isn´t in clear mode while booting!



<A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/modules.php?name=Forums&..." target="_new"> My system </A> :cool:
July 17, 2003 5:16:30 PM

heya Slvr_Phoenix;

it could be so many things, its like where to start.

Check the power on button connecter make sure it uses a standard pin configuration, i have heard of cases/motherboards that uses non standard pin connectors/configurations, and if this is the case obviously it isnt going to switch on, or perhaps you just accidently plugged the connector into the wrong pins, as you said you were tired, and when your tired you make silly mistakes.

just a thought, stranger things have happened.

oh as an after thought, even if the c-mos jumper is set in the clear position your lights, and fans will still power up so i doubt that is the problem.

XeeN
July 17, 2003 5:21:54 PM

Thanks Ryan_Plus_One markgun, and XeeN.

Bummer about testing the power supply. :(  I'd really like to know if it works before I spend hours trying to find any other culprits. I should have ordered a power supply tester. Oh well. Live and learn. Mostly learn.

I was pretty sure that black was negative and also fairly certain that being just a switch it shouldn't matter. It's been a long time since I've done any electronics, so my memory on that subject wasn't so fresh, but it all seemed pretty straight forward.

Chances are that I just accidentally pulled the bloody thing out. The primary IDE RAID port is just right next to the darn thing and that anti-static wrist strap kept catching on cables. So goodness only knows what havoc was accidentally wrought last night. Heh heh.

I know that the manual said that the CMOS jumper is initially set to a normal position and not to 'clear'. However considering that I've already seen one manual wrong, it wouldn't surprise me if a second one was too. I never did actually check any of the jumper positions, which again was rather stupid of me.

And the PSU was switched on in the back. I made sure of that just seconds after I made sure that the voltage was set right on the back of the power supply, and I did that just seconds before I plugged it in. Heh heh.

I think it was all a pretty standard pin setup to. Most of it even matched my memory, and I haven't done those kinds of hookups in a while. It was really the USB, Firewire, and front-audio cables that gave me a rough time. That aside, those little things all snag so easily and pull out so readily that my guess is just on an accidental disconnection.

Ugh. What a frustrating and long night though. Hopefully it'll all be something simple. Tonight my wife and I are going out to a fancy dinner (and probably drinks) so I doubt I'll be in any position to work on my PC tonight. Heh heh. If I get any work done it'll have to be before then, and I won't have much time at all to do that.

Oh well. At least I was smart enough to take Friday off. :)  What may very well end up happening is that I sleep in rather late Friday morning and then fix my PC after I'm rested and sober. **ROFL**

Heh heh heh ... which reminds me of a friend of mine who tried to do PC work once after coming home from the bar. He stumbled in along his nice carpet after coming out of the cold winter air, cracked open the case, and zzzaaappp! Oops. Someone forgot to ground first. Poor guy. Poor PC. It's in his memory that I try my best not to make the same mistake. Heh heh.

"<i>Yeah, if you treat them like equals, it'll only encourage them to think they <b>ARE</b> your equals.</i>" - Thief from <A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/daily.php?date=030603" target="_new">8-Bit Theater</A>
July 17, 2003 5:23:41 PM

You know you mentioned just about every single cable there is. Except that I didn't see a mention of the ATX power cable to the motherboard. I know it is dumb, but I left one off and forgot it (it was hovering just above the slot so it looked plugged in) and plugged it in and everything worked. also if you have a NIC or a built in LAN then another easy way to see if there is power is to plug in a network cable. If there is power it will light up.

Just a computer junky
July 17, 2003 5:33:14 PM

Quote:
You know you mentioned just about every single cable there is. Except that I didn't see a mention of the ATX power cable to the motherboard.

**ROFL** Heh heh, I think I'd have noticed if I forgot to connect that one. :)  I just didn't mention it because, well, a cable that big is usually pretty obvious. :) 

(No offense. We all have our moments.)

Quote:
also if you have a NIC or a built in LAN then another easy way to see if there is power is to plug in a network cable. If there is power it will light up.

Thanks for the idea. :)  That's a good one. I'm not entirely sure if the mobo has any LEDs or not, but I'll check. I know that I have a patch cable or ten laying around. :) 

(Even though I haven't set up a network with my home PCs yet! Strange, no? I just kept picking up a bunch of old network components from work whenever they were going to be tossed. I'd always hoped to one day have a network at home, even if it was just a 10Mbit. Now I have a gigabit ethernet on my motherboard and the only other PC to run a connection to is going to be using a USB ethernet adapter. **ROFL** And next after that will be my wife's laptop with it's 16-bit PCMCIA ethernet card! Oh, how much of my new PCs ethernet potential is going to waste...)

"<i>Yeah, if you treat them like equals, it'll only encourage them to think they <b>ARE</b> your equals.</i>" - Thief from <A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/daily.php?date=030603" target="_new">8-Bit Theater</A>
July 17, 2003 5:41:49 PM

hey Slvr_Phoenix;

I noticed my post went unnoticed, ya might wanna scroll up and read it, its a simple solution but it just might be the one your looking for.

XeeN
July 17, 2003 5:47:27 PM

Quote:
I noticed my post went unnoticed, ya might wanna scroll up and read it, its a simple solution but it just might be the one your looking for.

??? You might want to scroll up and read my post again.

:o 

No, seriously what happened was I caught it just a second after I posted my first response, so I just editied my first response to include you too. :) 

There was maybe a thirty second window there before the update that you must have just caught. Timing is everything. :) 

"<i>Yeah, if you treat them like equals, it'll only encourage them to think they <b>ARE</b> your equals.</i>" - Thief from <A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/daily.php?date=030603" target="_new">8-Bit Theater</A>
July 17, 2003 5:54:56 PM

heya Slvr_Phoenix;

ROFL...i guess timing is everything sheesh
July 17, 2003 5:55:55 PM

To test your power supply you just have to connect two wires together (or stick a paperclip or something in the plugs to bridge them). On every power supply I've had the wires you connect are the only green wire (should be labeled "PS On" or something like that in a manual) to any ground wire (black one). This should cause the PS fan(s) to come on. Hope this helps. Also....you may want to test the other leads (12V, 5V, etc.) with a multimeter once you have got the power supply turned on to make sure they're within an acceptable range.
July 17, 2003 6:09:45 PM

This works on some power supplies however others also require some load to be on the 5 volt rail...the power supply may come on but it will not supply full voltage (11.5 on the 12v rail for example).

There is no smell better than fried silicon :evil: 
July 17, 2003 8:57:11 PM

Yeah that's true, but the fans should still come on right?
July 17, 2003 11:04:20 PM

Hm not powering at all eh. First I would check the power supply. On the atx20pin, take a wire, stick it in the green one, and put it to any black one. Plug it in and flip the switch. If its good, the psu fan will spin. Next I would check the clear cmos jumper. That would cause it to not boot, but If you tried to power the computer in that position (ie flip the psu switch couple of times) that might delete the bios. Thats wat happened on my old mobo. Next Id check the floppy power connectors. They can go on wrong if the pins of the drive are up just a little. It can be off by like 1 pin or so. Sometimes this is disaterous, causing smoke. Sometimes it just causes the psu not to power up. Those are my suggestions

<i>Royal Fusileres, Company C</i>
July 17, 2003 11:09:47 PM

sometimes no...i have had power supplies that needed about .1 amps of load on the 5v rail...sometimes the PS fan doesn't even spin if you have the PS on and do the wire trick some need a little load no matter what.

There is no smell better than fried silicon :evil: 
July 18, 2003 9:08:01 AM

You can use an old harddrive as a load. The psu should not latch however so you will have to keep the wire in place between the green lead and ground. I think the psu case is the safest ground.
July 21, 2003 1:20:33 PM

Thanks everyone for the help. :) 

It turned out to be a monumentally simple thing. The front-panel power switch had just been pulled loose when I was plugging in the IDE RAID cables. No switch, no power. Heh heh.

In the end though I took the time to unplug every darn thing and run some of the wires around the case better. (Like run the cables that connect to the bottom of the mobo all the way down the front of the case so that they don't cross any of the IDE cables.) And with Antec's corrections for the audio cable I was able to run the front-panel audio too. :) 

So the PC is up and running! <b>YAY!</b> My 1GB (2x512MB sticks) of Corsair XMS 3200C2 is running with timings set by SPD, on my 865PE mobo in dual-channel, and so far is doing perfectly fine. I didn't do any burn-in testing yet though. I was distracted by Duke Nukem - Manhattan Project and Morrowind. (Mostly by Morrowind.) Both great games, but as a pencil/paper/dice gamer Morrowind lured me in pretty quickly. It's everything that Daggerfall had been meant to be. :) 

Let me tell you though, installing Windows XP was no simple task. It <i>should</i> have been, but it wasn't. My hard drives are in a RAID1 configuration, but the Windows installer didn't have a suitable driver, so it kept telling me that I had no hard drive. (Even though the RAID1 array was made bootable according to BIOS.)

I <i>had</i> the driver for it of course ... <i>on a CD</i>. Would Windows let me load the driver from a CD ROM? (Which I had two installed, a DVD player and a CD burner.) Of course not. It <i>required</i> a floppy drive! (All you scoffers on the usefullness/importance of keeping a floppy drive even on a new PC: <i>Be warned.</i>)

Eventully I got my old Celeron 500 box running again (it had been temporarily incapacitated since it had no desk to call a home) only to find that the driver file on the CD was way over 1.44MB. After some mucking around I was finally able to get just the necessary drivers onto a floppy.

After that, installing Windows was pretty easy. Things went relatively smoothly ... except for my Nero 5.5 download which must have been corrupted. It not only wouldn't install, but permanently FUBARED Windows XP from ever using either of my CD drives, forcing me to reinstall Windows. (Windows kept reporting an error that the registry info for my CD ROMs was corrupted.) Reinstalling Windows fixed it all, but it was, of course, a pain in the arse way to fix the problem. The next time I try to install Nero I'll be sure to back up my registry first.

So anywho, being distracted by Morrowind I've been a tad lazy. :o  I haven't flashed the BIOS yet. (Though right now I don't see a reason to. Everything works just fine.) I haven't benchmarked the system. I haven't even done a burn in. (Well, unless you count a good 10 hours of playing Morrowind.)

I can however say that while the Sonata's power supply and 120mm fan are both extremely silent (I tested them out by themselves when I was reassembling the PC), the CPU's heatsink fan and/or the graphics card's heatsink fan is not. :( 

Well, it's not bad really, but it's not golden silence. It's still quieter than my Celeron500 box. I can't even hear the hard drives crunching away, and the DVD player is pretty quiet too. But still, one day I may have to put a non-stock CPU cooler on there, and maybe mod the graphics card with a fanless heatsink. Then I'll have golden silence. :) 

So anywho, the system is up and running now. :)  It turned out to be a pretty stupid problem, but that's what happens when you rush.

And in a few days my 120mm Antec smartfan should be delivered from Newegg and I can put that in the front fan position. :)  Maybe then I'll do my stability testing and measure my temps.

"<i>Yeah, if you treat them like equals, it'll only encourage them to think they <b>ARE</b> your equals.</i>" - Thief from <A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/daily.php?date=030603" target="_new">8-Bit Theater</A>
July 21, 2003 4:30:07 PM

Quote:
It turned out to be a pretty stupid problem, but that's what happens when you rush.

LOL! The worst problems always seem to have the simplest solutions... But hey, we live and learn... :smile:

---
$hit Happens. I just wish it would happen to someone else for a change.
July 21, 2003 5:03:26 PM

Quote:
It all went pretty easily and quickly except for all of those damn little front-panel leads! (AKA the power switch, reset switch, and LEDs and crap, the front-panel firewire and USB leads, and the front-panel audio leads.) The Firewire and USB were, of course, all done in individual pin brackets. Why couldn't we just have a nice standard jack people? Ugh. On no.

I know what you mean! I just built my new machine last week using an Antec Sonata case. Very nicely made case, but man those little connectors are a pain in the ass. Somebody really needs to come up with some standard pin configurations for those things.
July 21, 2003 6:35:22 PM

Quote:
I know what you mean! I just built my new machine last week using an Antec Sonata case. Very nicely made case, but man those little connectors are a pain in the ass. Somebody really needs to come up with some standard pin configurations for those things.

You know I should have just epoxied those darn things together to make a single jack per cable. Heh heh.

Except that it may never fit onto another mobo then...

Hmm ...

I suppose I could just run down to RadioShack and get the parts to make my own adapter. Plug the cable's end bits to the adapter and then easily slide the adapter onto the mobo. That might work. It'd still be slightly annoying, but at least connecting the cable to an adapter would be a lot easier to handle than trying to connect it straight to the mobo.

Of course I think I'm probably too lazy to do that now, I mean what with it working and all. Heh heh. I'll try to remember to do that if I ever upgrade the mobo though.

And hey, since you have a Sonata case too, did you find it a bit ... cramped? It felt to me like they could have made the case even just an inch or two longer to get the drive bays a little further from the mobo. And maybe an inch or two higher as well to give the mobo more distance from the power supply...

'Tis a great case though. Even with the stock cooler (and stock TIM) my temps so far look to be incredibly low thanks to that rear 120mm fan. (Not that I'm OCing yet.) I can hardly wait until my front fan comes in the mail. :) 

"<i>Yeah, if you treat them like equals, it'll only encourage them to think they <b>ARE</b> your equals.</i>" - Thief from <A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/daily.php?date=030603" target="_new">8-Bit Theater</A>
July 21, 2003 6:42:25 PM

Quote:
LOL! The worst problems always seem to have the simplest solutions... But hey, we live and learn... :smile:

Yep. That's life. :)  I won't stop learning until I'm dead. (And even then I'm not so sure that I'll stop learning...) At least the problem inspired me to redo it and this time lay out the cables a lot more inteligently.

"<i>Yeah, if you treat them like equals, it'll only encourage them to think they <b>ARE</b> your equals.</i>" - Thief from <A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/daily.php?date=030603" target="_new">8-Bit Theater</A>
July 21, 2003 7:41:07 PM

>>>since you have a Sonata case too, did you find it a bit ... cramped?

A bit, but I kind of expected that. I went with the ASUS P4C800 Deluxe motherboard, I'm using the onboard sound and LAN, so the only add in card I've got is the graphics card. Not too crowded in there.

>>>Not that I'm OCing yet.

Not me - as soon as I had it booting up, I jacked my P4 2.6C right up to 3.4GHz <G>. It runs there, but didn't seem to be completely stable. Even had a hiccup over the weekend at 3.3GHz, so I've dropped it back to 3.2GHz for now. Can't complain considering I'm using the stock heat sink and didn't even use thermal paste when I put it together. Call me a rebel. I'll apply some when I decide if I'm sticking with the stock HSF or not. I would like to have a bit quieter heat sink fan...
July 21, 2003 8:36:51 PM

Quote:
Not me - as soon as I had it booting up, I jacked my P4 2.6C right up to 3.4GHz <G>. It runs there, but didn't seem to be completely stable. Even had a hiccup over the weekend at 3.3GHz, so I've dropped it back to 3.2GHz for now. Can't complain considering I'm using the stock heat sink and didn't even use thermal paste when I put it together. Call me a rebel. I'll apply some when I decide if I'm sticking with the stock HSF or not. I would like to have a bit quieter heat sink fan...

Heh heh. I actually bought some Arctic Silver Ceramique to use, but also decided to use the stock TIM for now. (Like you I'm saving the better stuff for a better HSF.) So I can respect not bothering to use a better TIM. Heh heh.

I'm thinking of a Thermalright SLK-900 monster heat sink and a low-RPM 92mm fan for this puppy. It'll probably be a few months before I order it though. I'm also contemplating just leaving it at stock forever more and getting a big fanless heatsink. (Relying on the two 120mm case fans to provide enough airflow over the heatsink.) Does that sounds nuts, or what?

And did you put on a front 120mm fan yet? I'm just dying to get one on there. Hopefully Newegg ships my Antec 120mm smartfan soon. :\

"<i>Yeah, if you treat them like equals, it'll only encourage them to think they <b>ARE</b> your equals.</i>" - Thief from <A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/daily.php?date=030603" target="_new">8-Bit Theater</A>
July 21, 2003 11:32:31 PM

>>>did you put on a front 120mm fan yet?

No, but I've been thinking about getting one. I haven't even put the side cover back on the case yet.

>>>I'm also contemplating just leaving it at stock forever more and getting a big fanless heatsink. (Relying on the two 120mm case fans to provide enough airflow over the heatsink.) Does that sounds nuts, or what?

Actually, I was just thinking earlier today about the possibility of having someone who does metal work cut out an opening to fit one of those 120mm fans on the side panel, blowing room temp air into the case and onto the CPU and MB. Combine that with the type of heatsink you're talking about and who knows? But it would seem a shame to chop into such a nicely made case.

As for CPU temps, I'm not really concerned about the CPU itself. Those chips are pretty tough. They actually cook them in a big oven (while the CPU's are executing test routines) during burn in. I've toured the Assembly/Test facilities and seen the ovens and burn in boards (imagine a 1/8" thick circuit board with 15(?) CPU sockets and you've pretty well pictured a burn in board). Not sure what temps they burn them in at exactly. When it comes to heat, I'm more concerned about the motherboard and surrounding components, and the long term effects of the heat on the plastics.
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