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Need help with second ever build


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#1
sewildman50

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I am attempting my second ever build of a PC and I have run into mysterious video problems. Iíll start with a list of my components and follow that with an explanation of the process Iíve followed thus far as well as the problem(s) encountered.

Mobo: XFX nForce 680i LT (socket 775)
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700 2.66GHz
CPU Cooler: Thermaltake Mini Typhoon
RAM: 2048MB (2x1024) OCZ DDR2 PC6400
Video Card: XFX GeForce 8800GT PCI-express (Alpha Dog Edition)
HD: Seagate Barracuda 250GB 7200.11 SATA
Power Supply: Ultra LSP750 750 watt ATX
Case: Ultra X-Blaster ATX Mid-Tower

The issue I am having right now is that Iíve assembled this PC twice and I am not getting any video. I have followed the process written in the sticky post but still no avail.

At one point early in the process, I was able to get the PC to post but at that time I had moved the video card to the lower PCI-express slot and the computer told me to move it back to the upper slot. After moving it back to the upper slot, the splash screen came up but froze there. Since that, I have been unable to get any video whatsoever.

I thought, at one point, that it might have been because I missed supplying power to the Auxiliary Graphics Power port but it still doesnít work.

Another possibility I considered was that none of the cables I have are any good.

I would like to use my 40Ē Samsung LCD TV as my monitor (this PC will be a media center of sorts). It will only allow two connections; D-Sub and HDMI.

I have a 6 foot d-sub cable that I tried using the DVI adapter supplied with my video card. I also tried this with my flat panel lcd monitor and a VGA monitor without success. It was this configuration, with the D-sub cable attached to the TV and the other end to the video card by way of the DVI adapter, that I encountered the brief video described above.

I also have this 6.6 foot DVI (male) to DVI (male) cable (Single Link, 18+1 pin)
http://www.futuresho...mp;catid=25633#
This has also not been successful when used with my 19Ē flat panel monitor. Since I donít have a female DVI to male D-sub adapter, I was unable to try this cable with my TV or VGA monitor.

Just trying to explore some possibilities before I consider the card DOA.

I have searched the internet and realize that I am not alone with this video issue using the XFX 8800GT but no solutions have come.

Further complicating the matter is the fact that this mobo doesnít come with a case speaker connection, so I have been unable to even hear a post beep.

Hereís what I know:

The fans all come on (system, cpu, gpu, mobo fans), I can hear the Hare drive spin, the CD-RW spins, and the motherboard displays all of the appropriate lights. Just no vid when the PC is turned on.

Any bright ideas
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#2
Fenor

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First thing I would try is resetting the CMOS, since it could be pretty jacked up since you've been moving the video card around a lot.

Please do the following:
  • Turn off your computer
  • Remove the power cord from the back of your computer
  • Open the side panel
  • Locate the CMOS battery (it's shiny stainless steel about the size of a nickel) and remove it
  • Wait at LEAST five minutes
  • Put the CMOS battery back in
  • Re-attach the side panel
  • Re-attach the power cord to the back of the computer
  • Power on your computer
You will probably get a CMOS checksum error first time booting after doing this. Don't worry this is NORMAL. It only means that you need to set the date & time on your computer again. It should say to press one of the Function keys or the DEL key to enter SETUP. Do so and reset the correct date & time. Make sure you SAVE CHANGES before you exit setup.

Fenor
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#3
sewildman50

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Thanks for the response.

No such luck. I've tried resetting the CMOS three time using the jumpers on the motherboard. Still no video.

Unfortunately, to truly test if it's a video card issue, I need to get my hands on a working PCI-Express card. I don't have another nor do I know anyone that could loan me theirs.

Any other ideas?
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#4
Fenor

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I would try setting up the computer outside the box.

Basically what you do is take everything out of the computer and put it on a non-static forming surface (meaning not on the carpet! :)), and then plug in only the necessities. Which would be the PCI-e Video Card and a keyboard. Of course plug in all the power connectors to the motherboard and video card. Then use a screwdriver to jump the two pins that the Power SW plug usually goes onto and that will start up the computer.

If it doesn't boot then, then you have some sort of hardware failure either in the Video card or the motherboard and you can only test those by like you said, getting another PCI-e card or another motherboard.

If it still doesn't work and since you said this is a new computer build, then most likely the parts were ordered not long ago and you should be able to contact the company you purchased them from and get them RMA'd.

Fenor

Edited by Fenor, 27 May 2008 - 01:22 PM.

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#5
sewildman50

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Thanks, I'll try to think "outside the box" as a last resort.

All of my essential parts were TigerDirect except for the video card which is from FutureShop and still within the 30 day exchange policy, so I'm pretty good.

I'll post back with results ASAP

With that said, just as an aside...if I am getting all of the mobo lights turning on properly, all fans spinning (CPU, GPU, Power supply, case fans) is it still possible that there is a short? It would seem to me that I wouldn't be able to get it to turn on at all if it was a short circuit.

Edited by sewildman50, 27 May 2008 - 02:46 PM.

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#6
Fenor

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I always setup a new PC outside of the box/case first when building a machine just so that I can rule out faulty hardware right from the get-go and don't have to worry about having to take everything out of the case later to test it like you are doing now. Just make sure that all power connectors (motherboard connectors and video card) are in fully (that they 'snap' in).

Edited by Fenor, 27 May 2008 - 03:08 PM.

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#7
sewildman50

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Well I did the setup outside the case as you suggested and I basically got the same result.

Motherboard lights come on, all fans spin (including video card), no video.

I dunno, I'm thinking video card.
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#8
Fenor

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Same here. :) But since it is a new build you can get the stuff RMA'd and get a replacement. Do that for the video card and see how things go.
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#9
sewildman50

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And the plot thickens.

I took the video card back to Future Shop where they were prepared to replace the card. However, they didn't have any more of the 8800 GT in stock. So I said, if you guys can test it and confirm that it works then I'll obviously not look to exchange it.

The guys there were good enough to throw it into one of their floor model PC's and magically they got video.

So I don't know what the heck is going on. All signs are indicating that the motherboard is working, I KNOW the video card works. I don't believe there is a short anywhere since I tried it outside the case.

I finally heard back from a support guy at XFX (three days later) who said I should check the make sure the CPU connector pins are all aligned. I don't even know what he's referring to. CPU power connector or the actual connection between the processor and motherboard? He also suggested that my 3rd party cpu cooler could be the problem if it is screwed on too tightly, or covering closely against any transistors or other motherboard components on the back side of the board. Having said that, is it safe to fire up the PC for a short amount of time to see if it will post without the cooler on? Of course, I would turn it off after about 30 seconds or so.

I guess another remote possibility is that both sticks of RAM that came together are dead. I can't test that either because I don't know anyone with DDR2 memory I can try to replace them with.

At this point I just want to send the whole bundle back to Tiger Direct. Two weeks I've been trying to get this thing to work.
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#10
Fenor

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It's obvious something is faulty somewhere. I would guess it's the motherboard since you did test it outside the box with nothing connected to it but the video card (which was proven good). You can try re-seating the processor, but DO NOT turn the computer on without the heatsink/fan on it, because they get so hot so quickly that you could fry both the processor and the motherboard in a very very short timeframe.

I still say return the stuff if it's that new and get TigerDirect to send you new stuff.

*EDIT* -- If you do re-seat the processor, you can check the pins on the button of the processor and make sure that none of them are bent.

Edited by Fenor, 28 May 2008 - 02:12 PM.

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#11
sewildman50

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It seems the same conclusion was reached by the guys at XFX. They are ready to issue an RMA for the motherboard.

It would probably be better to return it to TigerDirect since I wouldn't have to send it outside Canada, but TigerDirect is not offering exchanges on that motherboard (only returns) because they apparently don't have any more for sale.

Apart from that, what am I likely to get a better experience with in general; returning to the manufacturer or the retailer? I don't have much of a choice this time but just in case it happens again in the future.
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#12
Fenor

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If you can get one from the manufacturer go for it. If The retailer (TigerDirect in this case) will give you the full value of the motherboard in trade, then see what other motherboards they have that are compatible and maybe there is a motherboard just a little bit newer then the one you have that is now the same price as the one you are returning.
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#13
sewildman50

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If The retailer (TigerDirect in this case) will give you the full value of the motherboard in trade, then see what other motherboards they have that are compatible and maybe there is a motherboard just a little bit newer then the one you have that is now the same price as the one you are returning.


Just had a look. Anything with equivalent features is going for twice what I paid for the XFX. If this RMA is successful (i.e. replacement works) then it will be worth it. At least until I can afford a better quality one.
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#14
sewildman50

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I RMA'd the motherboard and just got this message back from XFX.

"Your recent returns ref: ######## has recently completed the testing process with the following status: {######## = FAULTY}. A technician will be in contact shortly to discuss completion of this returns. If you have any queries regarding this test result - please send a message to the support team. Thank You. XFX Support Team"

I know they said they'd contact me but who knows when that will be.

Can anyone pick out what this message means? I can't figure out if they are saying I damaged the board and want to discuss a possible return or if they have determined that the board itself is faulty and they want to discuss providing me with a replacement.
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#15
Fenor

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From what I am understanding from it, is that the motherboard failed internal testing and that someone from their tech support department will be in contact with you shortly regarding the replacement.

But it could mean anything. It really depends on the company and how they do things. Just wait and see what they technician says when he contacts you.
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