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First Build Trouble


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#1
JScott

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As stated in the topic. I've just built my first system and after a good 5 hours of reading all the documentation and following it slowly step-by-step I have a very expensive table decoration. When I power on the machine nothing happens aside from the fans blowing. There's no beeps or a cursor. As far as I can tell the POST isn't ran and nothing is being sent to the monitor because it goes into stand-by.

I figure it's either my setup, the mobo or the cpu. Possibly the ram or video card, but I would think if it was either of those I'd get a few beeps at least.

I have read the tutorial in this forum about this problem. Ive done the first 2 parts and going to attempt the 3rd part tomarrow. I figure that'll give anyone a head start on comming up with an answer for when I can't get anything out of it.

Here's my specs:

CPU - AMD 4400+ Dual Core
Mobo - Asus A8N-SLI Premium Mobo
Ram - 2 x 1gb dual channel Corsair 400mhz
video - evga nvidia Geforce 7800GT
case - Cavalier Coolmaster CAVT03

Any kind of info would be helpful even things like "That Mobo sucks because blah blah blah get this other one instead because blah." I heard building a machine is simple, but after a good 10 hours of troubleshooting I'm nearly ready to break down, return my parts and buy a pre-built one so any recommendations in that area would be cool as well.

Thanks in advance.
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#2
foxshox

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The first thing that comes to mind is the first problem I had when I was building computers. I got everything mounted right and double and triple checked it. And i was having something similar to your problem. When i mounted my motherboard, I mounted something wrong with the motherboard, and there was some metal to metal contact which was shorting out the board, consequently it wouldnt start up. So make sure all of those copper stands that you put under your motherboard are mounted correctly and the motherboard is not touching the case at all.

Disregarding all the possibilities for shotty parts, thats the first thing that comes to mind. Building computers for the first time has really become a misconception, it can be really easy as everyone says but 90% of the time it wont be, most of the time you end up making a small mistake causing you lots and lots of time to go into looking for that stupid mistake, and you might have to restart building over and over again which gets really annoying, really fast. Keep in mind that still hasnt accounted for possible software problems.

Edited by foxshox, 08 January 2006 - 09:22 AM.

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#3
JScott

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I tested out the metal on metal theory, but with the mobo siting on a piece of cardboard with only the essential pieces it does the same thing. Could mounting it incorrectly cause permanent damage to it?

I'm gonna go ahead and start working on sending the motherboard and cpu back, but any more input would be appreciated.
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#4
Samm

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Welcome to G2G JScott

Here are a few more ideas that you may wish to try before returning the motherboard.

1. Try removing everything from the board except the cpu+hsf/fan, one stick of ram & the video card inserted. Make sure only a monitor & keyboard/mouse are connected. Note-when you have only one stick of ram inserted in these motherboards, it must be in either the B1 or B2 slot (not in either of the A slots).
Also make sure that you disconnect all cabling from the motherboard except the power & fan cabling (i.e front USB header, drive cabling etc).

2. After disconnecting everything listed above, also disconnect the main 24pin ATX power connector from the board.
Locate the clear cmos jumper (labelled CLRTC on your board) & place the jumper over pins 2-3 for about 10 secs.
Return the jumper cap to pins 1-2, reconnect the main ATX power connector to the board & make sure you also have the 4 pin ATX 12V power connector plugged in as well.

Then try & boot the system again.

3. If you still don't have any luck, disconnect the ATX power connector again, remove & reinstall the video card, making sure it is inserted evenly & securely into the board. Reconnect power & try again
NB. I am assuming you only have a single video card, as opposed to running dual SLi cards, right? If so, the single card must be inserted into the blue PCI-E slot.

Let me know if anything changes
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#5
JScott

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Thanks for the reply Samm. I've done as you suggested step by step with no luck. I've tried pretty much every combination of disconnecting and reconnecting I could think of or was told to try.

I think something's broken and since I only have 3 more days to return the parts for new ones without any hassle I'm going to send back the ones in question.

Thanks again for the help I'll come back with an update when the new parts arrive and I check em out.
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#6
Samm

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Thats cool. Let us know how you get on!
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#7
warriorscot

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Some people have had bother with x2s with asus motherboards(asus are an intel company mainly the AMD boards from them were released after others had been in the market for a while and the first few werent great and the mobos they release now can be buggy, its pretty hit and miss with Asus mobos it seems there is little middle ground with them(good and bad thing) it either works brilliantly or it doesnt work at all.

Its a safe bet it was the mobo, but it is worth sending both back as its not going to hurt, you should hopefully get a newer version of the board with the fully x2 compliant bios flashed onto it. A good rule of thumb with mobos if they arent beeping and you know they should(for example you have removed all the ram) there isnt much you can do to fix it and its best to send it back.
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#8
JScott

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Thanks for the tip warriorscot. I wish I'd have known that about asus before because I heard nothing but good things about their products. Also it seems it's not an isolated issue since I counted a few more asus mobo problem posts asside from mine.

I can't send the CPU back as easily as the mobo. 7-10 day turn around on the mobo and 2-4 weeks on the CPU so I only sent the board.

Few general questions...
If the problem is coming from a bum bios could I use a normal athlon/64 to flash a new version?

On a side note can I use dual channel ram with a mobo that doesn't support the dual channel? Does dual channel ram improve performance on single core processors?
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#9
DrMD

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I sympathize. I have tried to build a system that is similar to the one you describe (see my post from yesterday). I've done every troubleshooting thing I can think of, and still come up with nothing... well not nothing, the fans work and the motherboard will say that there is no memory if I strip everything out of the system except for the processor. (which, I tell you, nearly brought tears of joy to my eyes after hours and hours of nothing except a green LED that turns on)

I wonder if this is a problem with the ASUS SLI premium? It seems that people either have a great experience with this mobo or terrible.

Good luck.

Mike
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#10
warriorscot

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I think you probably could flash it with a normal 64 in it but its alot of work its easier to return the board and get a new one with the latest bios revision, this mobo is very hit or miss, reviewers love it but obviously asus check the boards before they send them to the reviewers.
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#11
JScott

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Alright I got my new mobo from newegg and no dice. I'm going to contact Asus tomarrow after school to see what they say but I'm expecting they won't be much help so I'm planing on taking the 15% restocking fee hit and going with another brand.

My question now is what brand and model would yall recommend? I'm going for reliable, user friendly, well supported, etc. Overclocking isn't something I'm wanting to do with this system.
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#12
Samm

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Alright I got my new mobo from newegg and no dice. I'm going to contact Asus tomarrow after school to see what they say but I'm expecting they won't be much help so I'm planing on taking the 15% restocking fee hit and going with another brand.


Am I right in thinking then, that you've got the replacement motherboard & you're still having the exact same problem?
If so, I would consider the possibility that maybe the problem isn't with the board after all. While it is certainly possible to have two DOA boards on the trot, the chances of that are a little slim.
While you still have the replacement board & before you purchase a new one, try booting the board up with just the CPU/Hestsink+fan inserted. i.e no video card & no ram. Make sure the system (case) speaker is connected as well. After powering on, the board should beep like crazy. If it doesn't, then I wouls suspect the CPU may be the problem.

Out of interest, can you tell me what PSU you are using? i.e The manufacturer & the power rating in watts.
Also remember that every time you remove the cpu from the board or remove the heatsink, you need to clean off the old thermal compound & apply fresh stuff. Have you been doing this?
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#13
warriorscot

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Have you tried it with different ram, use old slower stuff as long as its compatible, go into bios and set the settings properly as alot of people when they have used the corsair ram in particular have found that the settings the board uses for the ram are totally off and by setting them manually with the slow ram they can then use te good stuff, worth a shot.
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#14
JScott

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@Samm
I tried booting with only the cpu, HS, PSU, case with the same result.

Tagan 480w. The brand was recommended to me it's not crap is it? and I was under the impression that more than 450 was plenty?

Pasting it up, all the time, every time.

@warriorscot
I tried the old memory, but it didn't do anything new.

After reading all over the place I found out how to tell what bios was on the board and apparently my new one has v1002 but I need v1009 or newer... I'm most likely going to go ahead and ship it back monday unless I can manage to find a test cpu.
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#15
Samm

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Yeah, Tagan are OK & 480W should be plenty.
If you can find another cpu to test in the board, or test your cpu in another, then that's probably your best option. It does look like the cpu is the problem, rather than the motherboard
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