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Newly Built System wont get through POST - ASUS A8N SLI Premium proble


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#1
DrMD

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I have recently started my first attempt at building a new gaming computer and have run into some seemingly major problems. To start, the system consists of:

ASUS A8N-SLI Premium Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego 1GHz FSB Socket 939 Processor Model ADA3700BNBOX
eVGA 256-P2-N517-AX Geforce 7800GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card
CORSAIR XMS 512MB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered System Memory x 2
Antec TRUEPOWERII TPII-550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200KS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
PLEXTOR Black IDE DVD Burner Model PX-740A/SW-BL

Monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, etc.

I started by essembling all of the components, and powering on to get absolutely nothing, no beeps from the case speakers, no voice warnings from the motherboard on board audio system (it has a voice warming POST error system) no text to the monitor (SAMSUNG 940b Silver 19" 8ms LCD)

Actually, the green light on the motherboard comes on and the fans spin, and the LEDs on the case come on (COOLER MASTER Ammo 533 RC-533-SWN1 Black/Silver Aluminum+Plastic front bezel; SECC chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case... in case that maters) the eVGA card fan spins, and the drives do a little something. But, not apparent POST

I then unhooked the power, took out the little nickle sized battery, changed the CMOS jumper to reset the CMOS RTC RAM, changed the jumper back, rebooted -> to get the same as above.

I then unhooked everything except for:

The CPU and heat sink (the fan on this spun as well at first power up)
The 2x 512 MB memory (A1 and B1)
The graphics card (and the 6 pin power connector to the card)
power to the mother board 20 + 4 12V and the auxillary power (4 pin - ? 5V ?) for the graphics card
Monitor
Speakers (from on board audio, and to case speakers)
and keyboard

Still got nothing on the monitor, and no beeps or warnings... Frustrating.

I then took the board out of the case and hooked up the above components -> nothing

I then took off the keyboard, and graphics card -> nothing

I then took out the memory, and FINALLY I good a warning -> some beeps and the on board audio 'system check - memory failure' or something along those lines.

Put the memory back in -> then got a warning 'System Check VGA failure' - Interesting???

Put the eVGA card back in and went back to nothing

Took the card out and this time no warnings - just nothing

Took the memory out and got the warning 'system check - memory failure' This is very reproducible, and this is where I am stuck.

SO, right now it seems that rather than a computer I have a very expensive and somewhat ugly fan (as far as fans go) that says in a very pleasant voice 'system check - memory failure'. I was hoping go get more from this experience, which is why I ask, most humbly, for help.

I thought I had done my reasearch well and picked compatable and high quality components. I feel like I must have been delusional to think this would be as easy as some suggest. Anyway, If I have forgoten anything important (or have included too much junk) in this post please forgive me, as I said, I'm new at this...

Thanks.

Mike
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#2
Doby

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Hi Mike and welcome,

Very nice first post, very informative and to the point I apprecate that. You have done your research well nice components

Now for your problem, I would first try another video card even though the system does not beep or give a voice warning right away it can be forced to indicating the motherboard and cpu are good.

If that fails try with just 1 stick of ram in then swap to the other stick.

If still no go if possible try another powersupply.

I would then remove the cpu and check for bent pins or maybe just to reseat it but you must clean the heatsink and replace replace the thermal compound if you need to do this.

This is all general troubleshooting because you have tried all the right things but at this point swapping in parts to find the offending one is about all you can do because its hard to pin point just one.

Rick
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#3
DrMD

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Rick - Thanks for the reply.

When you say to try a new video card, do you mean try a different brand/model altogether, or would one of the same be OK. ie. is the evga card that I picked compatable with the ASUS board? I imagine I could contact ASUS about this, but so far their support has been...well, not very responsive.

I tried a single stick of memory already, one of the many permutation that I have been through. It seemed not to solve the problem.

Checked the processor - no bent pins. Put it back in without using new thermal paste. Will this make it catch fire? I can only hope at this point! It didn't fix the problem.

I may just have to return everything and either give it another try or cut my loses.

Has this been a common problem with the ASUS SLI premium board? There is another active post that is very similar to my build with the seemingly same problem.

Thanks for your help.

Mike
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#4
warriorscot

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You need the thermal compund because otherwise if the system starts you will severely damage the cpu.

You have covered the bases pretty well, another of the same card will work, it should be compaitbel with the gfx card and the cpu these boards have a specific problem with the X2s with the older bios revisions but since you dont have one you just have a general something is broken problem.

Try starting the system with no ram or video card or without both, this should trigger the motherboard error system if its operational if it isnt its a good indicator of wether or not the motherboard is damaged. You do get duff parts in electronics its just the nature of the beast the production of these is the black art of manufacturing some work some just dont, as much of the product that hits the shosp has allready been labelled defective and recycled at the factory stage so its just your dumb luck when you get a duffer.
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#5
Doby

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Yes you must replace the thermal compound, and you can try any video card that is pci express,

Asus is one of them boards that when they work they are the best but we do see alot of problems here with them. I use to recommend them but any more I have not been unless you are a very experance builder.
I mostly recommend Abit now for high quality boards. I have been using Biostar for my budget builds and for a cheap board they are ok just don't have a lot of options but so far they have been stable and reliable.

I don't thing this is the board because of the beeps and al post reporter going off even though you have to force it.

Try not and cut your losses here, figuar it out even if it costs you because other wise you will learn nothing and it will all be worth while once you get it running and the experiance will be priceless. Building with high quality parts such as yours usually ain't this difficult but troubles can happen. If you end up with spare parts you can use them for your next build or for a friend and at the very least spare parts will help you troubleshoot problems for others.

Just my 2 cents and encourgement because we are all here and do this to learn
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#6
disko555

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DrMD - I'm having what sounds like is the exact same problem as you. Just after Christmas, I built what is/was supposed to be a home theatre PC with the following components.

OrigenAE x11 HTPC case
Seasonic S12-430W Power Supply
Asus A8N-SLI Premium
Athlon 64 Venice 3500+
Zalman CNPS9500 LED CPU Cooler
Gigabyte GV-NX66T256DE GeForce 6600GT PCI Express 256MB DDRII Video Card
320GB Western Digital SATAII Hard drive
Benq 1620 DVD ROM

I could not get any video to show up on monitor, even though all fans and everything in the system seemed to be working. I wasn't getting a voice error message over the speakers, nor any beep codes. So I figured it to be the motherboard. Anyhow, I got a new replacement board yesterday from Newegg, and put in just the CPU, RAM and video card in the board while outside of the computer case. Amazingly, it actually worked...however short lived. I shut off the PC, put everything in the case, turned on computer, and lo and behold, I got the same problem I originally had, where I don't get any video.

So I am stumped. After searching google for 'no video a8n-sli' I found several others have this similar problem, but haven't really found a good solution. One guy said his CMOS battery was loose, and that fixed his problem, but I had no such luck. So I am going to try Asus today and see if they have any suggestions, but I'm sure they will blame it on everything except the board - and they may be right, who knows. Unfortunately I do not have tons of spare parts just laying around the house to narrow down the problem. My other system (which I'm currently typing on) is an older Intel AGP system, whereas this other one is a newer AMD PCI-E system, so swapping CPU or Video card won't work. I'll let you know if I figure out a solution.

Edited by disko555, 12 January 2006 - 08:58 AM.

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#7
disko555

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Ok, I spoke with Asus customer service today, and was informed that I needed an updated BIOS in order for the board to recognize my AMD 3500+ chip. I got the newer E4 stepping model, ADA3500CGBOX, as opposed to the older ADA3500BPBOX model - and the guy claimed that I needed the latest bios. Unfortunately, not having another CPU in order to update the bios myself, they are going to send me a new updated bios chip, and i apparently install it myself (although I have never done so, he said its very easy to do). Anyhow, I will let you know if this works or not - he seemed to be pretty confident that is the problem. That being said, I don't understand why yours would not work as you have an older model CPU and seem to be having the same symptom...I guess we'll find out next week when I get the new bios chip installed.

Edit: I should also mention the test he had me do was to take out the CPU, and see if it gave "No CPU installed" voice error - which it did. He told me this suggests that it was the BIOS not recognizing the CPU when it is installed, and that others have had this same type of problem. So I hope he's right!

Edited by disko555, 12 January 2006 - 11:33 AM.

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#8
DrMD

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disko555 - It does indeed sound like we have the same problem. So, I took my system to one of the local computer repair shops (bit the bullet - I was at my wits end). The idea was to swap out all of the components to another motherboard (MSI - I'm not sure which one specifically, but it was the SLI board from MSI) and see if it worked.

The bottom line - All of the components worked on a different Mobo. No problems at all! A giant sigh of relief from me... finally the light at the end of the tunnel.

They tried a number of different processors on the ASUS board and none of them worked (they were apparently aware of the ASUS bios issues that you mentioned in your last post).

So, as it turns out another board DOA from ASUS.

That said, it is possible that I damaged the board in some way when I was trying to set it up myself. BUT, this is my second board from NewEgg, I had the same exact problem with the first (that I RMA'ed - they are going to love me), and I couldn't have possibly been more careful than I was. The helpful folks at this shop said that they didn't see any physical damage to the board and as long as I 'didn't do anything stupid' I probably didn't screw it up. I didn't ask for a precise definition of anything stupid...

I hope that you get yours to work, but I have given up on ASUS (at least for the time being...boy that premium board sure would be slick if I could get one to work).

When I get my new system up and running with the MSI board, I'll post the exact specs in case you are interested.

Mike

BTW to make sure that the guy at ASUS isn't leading you on, at the ASUS site you can see which BIOS supports which processors, and on the little BIOS chip in (I think) the bottom left of the board (not in front of me know) there is a chip with the bios number on it, eg. 1009. Might save you a wait for no reason.
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#9
warriorscot

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The MSI board is just as good if not better than the Asus board and its more reliable, plus if you have a window it looks quite nice as well. The Asus boards are good if they work but they arent anything special to start with ABIT, MSI and DFI mobos are just as good and more reliable
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#10
disko555

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See, I was wondering about that as well, since the bios on the chip says 1009, and to me that looks like the latest official bios on their website, other than the beta ones - so I'm wondering why it wouldn't work. So I just looked on Asus' CPU support, and it sure looks like the CG model should be supported on 1009 bios. So maybe it is a messed up board...ugh! The reason I really like this board for this home theatre PC is because of its lack of a small, whiny chipset fan - the heatpipe is really cool, and the CPU cooler I have blows right over the exhaust fin/radiator (or whatever you call it), so I really wish I could get it to friggin work!

Just out of curiosity, how much did your local computer store charge you to test the components. I don't know if I really want to waste any more $$ trying to get this board to work, or if I should just RMA it again, and try a different board altogether.
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#11
disko555

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I am also skeptical now, because why would have it worked at first, and then all of the sudden stop working? If the CPU supposedly isn't supported by the BIOS, why would it ever work in the first place? You wouldn't think it to be intermittent.
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#12
DrMD

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Disco555 - The intermittent working does sound a little fishy, but I'm no expert. They charged me $50. And, although I'm sure they had a little laugh - 'easiest $50 I every made' etc, there was no way for me to swap all of the components to a new motherboard short of RMAing the motherboard, waiting 1weekish (Newegg is pretty fast) and then testing again. Eventually, when I have a study littered with spare parts I wont have to ask for help like this, but I tell you, it was $50 well spent to isolate the problem. It also assured me that if I buy the MSI board, my system should work when I put it together.

I'm sure I would be mocked as a 'n00be' Oh, the shame...

Mike
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#13
warriorscot

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Well you can get new coolers, and the MSI board cooler isnt whiny as you put it i cant hear it over th system fans or the cpu fan. Replacing the chipset cooler is also a simple and painles job an there are lots of silent heat sinks you can get for them, they usually run about ten or twenty quid depending on what they are and if they have lights etc.

Edited by warriorscot, 12 January 2006 - 02:42 PM.

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#14
Doby

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disko555,

Rma the board a bios update ain't it if the computer fired up outside the case.

You either have a case short or bad board.

DrMD, you did the right thing good luck with your new msi board

Rick
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#15
MEJ

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I had the same problem.

My system as follows:
AMD Athlon 64 3700+ San diego Rev E4 or E6 not sure.
Asus A8n-SLI premium
2 X 512mb corsair memory
XFX 6600 GT 128mb graphics card PCI -E
21 inch gate way monitor.

I installed everything powered up and no display no beep etc.

Pull out the memory and got the audio message " memory error" or something like that. and the beep..beep.

So I errased the Bios and I had to install a floppy drive.
I used my other computer and downloaded the new Bios 1009, since my bios chip was printed with 1004.

I guess this new bios has the update information for cosair memory sticks.

So now I am install the new OS. So my mobo is ok.

You should be able to use a bootable floppy and the display will come up with the disk.
Correct me anyone if I am wrong.
But my systems so far is working.

thanks for the above information.

Mike
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