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New Build: Power-on problems


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#1
pmccombs

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Hello,

 

Before I get started, here are my system specs:

 

1) Motherboard is Asus Z87-A, ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire 
2) CPU is Intel Core i5-4460 Haswell Processor 3.2GHz 5.0GT/s 6MB LGA 1150 CPU
3) PSU is CORSAIR CX series CX600M 600W
7) RAM is Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB Kit (8GBx2) DDR3 1600 MT/s (PC3-12800) UDIMM. Installed in slots A1 and B1
8) I'm using Samsung 256GB SSD
9) No other drives or expansion cards are installed.
 
SYMPTOMS:
 
When I hit the power button, not much happens. The fans move a little. 
 
Occasionally the system will boot and behave normally. Maybe 1 in 30 attempts.
 
HOWEVER: If I unplug the CPU fan, it boots almost always (well, it complains about the CPU fan being unplugged, but at least I get to a screen where I can enter BIOS, etc.) 
 
STUFF I'VE TRIED:
 
1) Reseating motherboard
2) Replacing CMOS battery
3) Unplugging everything, re-plugging
4) Removing RAM, changing RAM slots
 
What could the problem be?

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#2
iammykyl

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:welcome: pmccombs.

It is inadvisable to run te computer without the CPU cooler fan connected.   Although the CPU has a thermal guarde to shut it down if it overheats, damage can still occur.

 

Your problem could be due to quite a number of things.

Incorrectly install CPU and cooler.

A faulty PSU.

A bad RAM stick/s or slot.

an intermitant short.

Damage to the MB.

 

Have you installed the stock cooler?

Have you access too, or can you borrow a known working PSU?


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#3
pmccombs

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:welcome: pmccombs.

It is inadvisable to run te computer without the CPU cooler fan connected.   Although the CPU has a thermal guarde to shut it down if it overheats, damage can still occur.

 

Your problem could be due to quite a number of things.

Incorrectly install CPU and cooler.

A faulty PSU.

A bad RAM stick/s or slot.

an intermitant short.

Damage to the MB.

 

Have you installed the stock cooler?

Have you access too, or can you borrow a known working PSU?

 

iammykyl,

 

Thank you for this advice. 

 

Yes, I am using the stock cooler (heat sink and fan). I re-seated the heat sink on the CPU last night. However, this brings up another question: Should I have scraped and replaced the thermal paste before doing this?

 

I tried removing one or the other RAM sticks and even removed both of them without changing the outcome of my tests. Tried different DIMM slots too.

 

I re-seated the motherboard, replugged everything, even tried the mobo outside of the case to see if perhaps it was some kind of obvious short. None of this made any difference to my results.

 

So, at this point I think the most likely possibilities are either a faulty PSU, or a faulty motherboard. I will procure a different PSU and try that first (I don't have one on hand). 

 

I'll keep you posted.


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#4
pmccombs

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Update: I have tested with a verified working PSU.  Since the issue persists, I am thinking that most likely I have a faulty motherboard. 


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#5
iammykyl

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Thanks for the update.

Should I have scraped and replaced the thermal paste before doing this?

Yes.   Remove all the old thermal paste from the top of the CPU and the heatsink plate,   use isopropyl alcohol or a kit like this, > http://www.newegg.co...N82E16835100010

Apply new thermal paste in the right amount.   Securely seat the CPU fan plug at the CPU 4 pin header on the MB.

Update: I have tested with a verified working PSU.  Since the issue persists, I am thinking that most likely I have a faulty motherboard

Possibly, but could be the CPU related, paste in the socket/bent pins.

Do a bare bones test.   Remove the RAM, then remove the MB again and sit it on the MB box, Remove the CPU and inspect for paste on the underside, paste or bent pins in the socket.

Clean up and reinstall the CPU, apply a small pea sized blob of thermal paste in the centre of the CPU, install the cooler, atatch the CPU fan.

connect the 2 main power cable from the PSU and switch it on.

With a small screwdriver, short out the 2 power on pins on the case front header block.

The PSU and CPU fans should run, if they keep going for about 15 minutes, 

Turn of the PSU and install the RAM, then test again. 


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#6
pmccombs

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Thanks for the update.

Should I have scraped and replaced the thermal paste before doing this?

Yes.   Remove all the old thermal paste from the top of the CPU and the heatsink plate,   use isopropyl alcohol or a kit like this, > http://www.newegg.co...N82E16835100010

Apply new thermal paste in the right amount.   Securely seat the CPU fan plug at the CPU 4 pin header on the MB.

Update: I have tested with a verified working PSU.  Since the issue persists, I am thinking that most likely I have a faulty motherboard

Possibly, but could be the CPU related, paste in the socket/bent pins.

Do a bare bones test.   Remove the RAM, then remove the MB again and sit it on the MB box, Remove the CPU and inspect for paste on the underside, paste or bent pins in the socket.

Clean up and reinstall the CPU, apply a small pea sized blob of thermal paste in the centre of the CPU, install the cooler, atatch the CPU fan.

connect the 2 main power cable from the PSU and switch it on.

With a small screwdriver, short out the 2 power on pins on the case front header block.

The PSU and CPU fans should run, if they keep going for about 15 minutes, 

Turn of the PSU and install the RAM, then test again. 

 

Thank you, I will try these steps and let you know what happens.


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#7
iammykyl

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:thumbsup:


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#8
pmccombs

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Ok, I have performed your steps.

 

- I removed the heatsink/fan and the CPU.

- I removed both DIMMs

- I cleaned the old thermal paste from the heatsink and the cpu.

- I removed the CPU from the socket and examined the socket. Upon visual inspection, the socket pins all appeared uniform and I did not detect any paste or dust anywhere in the socket or on the underside of the processor.

- I replaced the CPU into the socket and squeezed a pea-sized glob of new thermal paste onto it.

- I replaced heat sink and the fan, plugging the fan into the CPU Fan socket

- I plugged in the main power and the CPU power leads from the PSU into the motherboard

- I powered on the PSU

- I used a small screwdriver to short the power leads on the power header block

 

The motherboard powered up and the fans spun for a few seconds. The red indicator LEDs on the mainboard cycled through the standard sequence. After a few seconds, the motherboard appeared to "reset." The fans stopped, then they started again, and the indicator LEDs again cycled. This time, power remained steady and the RAM LED remained lit (indicating no RAM installed). The motherboard ran in this state for 15 minutes without any problem. The PSU and CPU fans ran the whole time.

 

- I switched off the PSU and replaced the RAM in the DIMM slots. I powered on again, with the same results. The indicator lights cycled, the motherboard "reset", then it came back up and the fans remained steady. 

 

 

So, it appears the "bare bones" test is a success? What is the next step?

 

P.S. I did my test with the motherboard out of the case, resting on its box.


Edited by pmccombs, 09 October 2015 - 09:55 PM.

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#9
iammykyl

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Sounds good so far.

Next, some checks.

Did you inspect the back of the MB to check that all 4 locking tabs from the cooler are lock into place?  see video > 

Did you install the I/O shield into the case, the one that came in the MB box?

Do the standfoff, screwed into the case MB mounting plate, match exactly the number and pattern of the screw holes in the MB, no extra ones?

 

If OK.

Install the MB, reconnect the 2 power cables.\Check that all onboard switches, like TPU and EPU are set to defaults.

Install the keyboard/mouse, use sockets on the back of the tower.

Connect the display to a MB port and switch it on.

Switch on the PSU, . (if you have an onboard switch, use that or) use the screwdriver again to power on.

You should get a message displayed, possible, no drive, no media, no OS.

 

If OK.

Switch off, 

(I note that you replaced the CMOS battery, but still perform the next step)

Restart the computer and enter the BIOS, > tab along to the exit menu, > select, load default or safe setting, (not performance or enhanced) > save and exit.

After the Reboot. > shut down, switch of the PSU.

 

Connect only, the Optical drive and the OS boot drive, > > connect up all the other headers on the MB including case fans.

 

Please test for about an hour and let us know the results. 


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#10
pmccombs

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Ok, things got sketchy during this step. 

 

 

My case is a Corsair Carbide Series 200R, ATX form factor. The Asus Z87-A fits nicely in it; there are no extra posts that might short out the bottom of the board or anything like that. I also made sure the metal I/O bracket was installed in the right spot, so that it fits all of the motherboard ports when the motherboard is installed. 

 

I checked my heatsink installation, according to the video you posted. Everything looks good.

 

I made sure that all onboard switches were set to default positions.

I installed the keyboard and mouse

I plugged in the monitor to the VGA port (it's an old Dell monitor)

I switched on the PSU, green light on motherboard

I shorted the power pins to power it on

 

Back to the original problem! The fan spun for a second or less, then everything stopped. No red LED sequence occurred as in the normal startup. Power was cut immediately after power on.

 

I unplugged the VGA cable and tried again. The board started right up this time. So, I plugged in the VGA cable while it was running, and I got into the BIOS setup screen. I loaded default settings, saved, exited.

 

I powered down, and the system would not turn on again. I pulled the board out of the chassis and tried the "barebones" test again. Nothing. After a couple of more tries, I got it to turn on once with only the RAM installed.

 

So, it's being flaky again.


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#11
iammykyl

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Sorry to hear power on is still flaky, you must be getting a bit frustrated by now.   

Moving/installing/, manipulating the VGA cable, could be a broken trace or faulty header, i.e. USB, or SATA port. Could also be other hardware, case fan, optical or hard drive.   Even though you ran without a cooler fan connected, I think a damaged CPU is the least likely cause as it did run Re, reply #8.

 

This up to you, assume a faulty MB and RMA it. or perform the following to see if any step fails.

MB installed in the case with nothing installed except the CPU, 2 power cables, CPU fan, test two or three times, do the same at each step. 

Install one stick of RAM.

Remove the first stick, install the second stick.

Providing you have working RAM.

Attach the display.

The HDDD.

The Optical Drive.

Case fans, one at a time.

USB header/s.

Sound.

Front panel case connectors. 


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#12
pmccombs

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Thanks for your advice. I will try these other steps and see what happens. I do suspect a CPU issue, even though I only ran without the CPU fan for less than 60 seconds as an experiment. I think it may have been flaky before then, although it has worked long enough for me to install an OS and other apps during those rare times when I get it to power on. Usually it shuts down after several hours, though.

 

I will also have access to a loaner motherboard, which I can attempt to use with my CPU and RAM.  If it fails to POST in a different motherboard, then probably it is a CPU issue?


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#13
iammykyl

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I powered down, and the system would not turn on again. I pulled the board out of the chassis and tried the "barebones" test again. Nothing. After a couple of more tries, I got it to turn on once with only the RAM installed.

Sorry, I did not take enough notice.   Given that failure, only try a bare bones, first without RAM, then one stick of RAM at a time, the rest of the tests can be ignored. 

I does look like a faulty MB, or CPU, so testing on a replacement board is a very good idea.   Let us know the result please. 


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#14
pmccombs

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Here is what I did:

 

I received a used motherboard, about 2 years old, recently in use and functioning without any known defects. It's a Biostar Z87X 3D, same socket as my ASUS. It has an LCD panel on it that is supposed to display POST codes, and it also has an onboard power button.

 

I put my CPU in the "new" board and attached the 2 PSU leads to the board. Power on was interesting: The CPU fan made two partial spins, then ramped up to high RPMs-- quite audible. After about 3 seconds, the motherboard completely cut power, the LED on the power button went dark. It remained latent for a few more seconds, then automatically restored power and the CPU fan spun normally for several minutes until I shut it down. However, no POST codes were ever displayed on the onboard LCD. 

 

Adding the RAM does not change this behavior. I plugged in a RAM stick as well as the VGA cable, and I got the same result. No video was ever sent to the monitor which remained in "power save" mode the entire time. No POST codes are ever displayed on the motherboard, and I never see the POST screens on my monitor. 

 

I reset the CMOS on the Biostar board by briefly changing a jumper, just in case. Maybe I'm just being destructive at this point... 

 

Anyway, this seems like a CPU issue. It's odd, because I can still occasionally boot on the ASUS motherboard and run Windows. So far, I've never made any progress at all on the Biostar motherboard.

 

 ...In the old days, I crammed my '386 into the socket, and everything worked... ;)

 

I admit, this is frustrating; but you have been very, very helpful. Actually, I've had a pretty good time trying to track this down, and I've learned a bunch of stuff. That's part of the appeal of building a PC, even if the first one is more expensive than it should be, given the problems that are possibly the result of newbie user errors.


Edited by pmccombs, 10 October 2015 - 10:21 PM.

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#15
iammykyl

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Thanks for the update.

Given the results with the "new" MB, I do agree, most likely a damaged or faulty CPU.   The fan behaviour was strange.   

I think you have done all a home user can do, you can attempt a RMA under the warranty.   Make sure to return in the original packaging.

Please read, 

Processors — Warranty Information

Contact Support

http://www.overclock.../rma-intel-cpu/

 

You are welcome :thumbsup:  I enjoyed helping you and liked your clear responses, only sorry we did not get you up and running.    Please do come back with the results.

 

Good luck. :rockon:  


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