TechSpot

1st time build...not working

By fad3toblack
Sep 17, 2005
  1. Okay, to start out with, here are the specs for my new comp:

    MSI K8n Neo4 mobo
    AMD Athlon 64 3200+ processor
    1 GB (2x 512) Corsair Value RAM
    EVGA e-GeForce 4 6600 GT Video card
    ASPIRE 520W PSU
    80 GB Western Digital Caviar HDD (SATA, slave)
    40 GB Western Digital Caviar HDD (IDE, Master, old HDD with Windows)
    SONY FDD
    Micro Advantage CD+/-R/RW DVD+/-R/RW (basically, does everything)
    Thermaltake Tsunami case.


    Now for the exciting part: :bounce:
    I put everything together, started it up, and alas... it just stayed on the startup screen for the [mobo?] which says ('Platinum'). I checked, and the keyboard was inactive, then looked in the back of the computer where the D-Bracket is (in case you don't know, the D-Bracket uses a variety of combinations of red/green LEDs to tell you what your computer is doing during startup. A very convenient tool when your computer doesn't work.) The code which was shown between the 4 LEDs translated into 'Early Chipset initialization'. I left it for a while, came back, and it was still not working. I restarted the comp several times, but always the same. The next day, however, I turned it on, and everything worked - Except Windows (XP), but that was because, as I soon realized, it was from a Windows Restore disk from eMachines (my old computer, the one I'm using now). However, I retrieved a real retail version of XP and installed it on that computer. It worked. Kind of. A large number of files were missing, not installed. But anyways, I restarted the computer for some reason, and... [take a wild guess here]

    Early Chipset Initialization. Stuck.

    So I put the HDD back into my eMachine, started it up, and it was fine (hey, I'm usin it now)... i had to reinstall Windows to get all those missing files. I'm not sure if the fact that they weren't installed had anything to do with the new computer, or just the disk being wierd.

    I have gotten my friend's HDD to work in the computer twice, but both times after restarting once or twice for various reasons, it just didn't go - stuck on ECI.

    So, therein lies my perdicament. I realize that there are many, many things that could be wrong, but I'm just hoping that someone may be able to think of something.

    Thank you in advance for your help, it is much appreciated.
     
  2. etherga

    etherga TS Rookie Posts: 69

    I recently built my box using the K8N Neo Platinum board and an AMD3400+. I had a similar problem, but it turned out that a connection was loose on the motherboard. You might want to check that. When the platinum screen comes up you should be able to go into post view, maybe that will give you some insight into whats actually happening as it freezes. Are you able to get into bios?
     
  3. fad3toblack

    fad3toblack TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 40

    Thanks for your response. I am only able to get into the BIOS sometimes, when it's working... otherwise, when i get the platinum screen and the chipset initialization is stuck, I can do nothing. The keyboard won't even work.
     
  4. etherga

    etherga TS Rookie Posts: 69

    Try going into bios, setting your boot priority to disc and use the windows install disc and try to re-install windows. Generall with any big hardware change such as mobo/cpu etc you're gonna have to reformat/reinstall windows. It sucks like that. What might be happening is windows is tryin to talk to your old hardware and its confusing the crap out of it. I'm not sure if thats the exact scenario of what happens, but i know that with a cpu/mobo change you have to reinstall windows.
     
  5. fad3toblack

    fad3toblack TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 40

    I already re-installed Windows. As I stated previously, this problem has nothing to do with windows - even when the HDD is not present, sometimes the computer loads the BIOS and the chipset initializes, other times it gets stuck. This is most certainly not in any way connected with windows (though there is another problem with that, I know why and how to fix it).
     
  6. etherga

    etherga TS Rookie Posts: 69

    hm sorry about that, i posted that last one a while after i read your problem. Mustve forgotten you already fiddled with windows. I've worked with MSI boards a few times in the past, let me try and dig up some old manuals and troubleshooting charts
     
  7. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,456   +228

    You listed your 80gb SATA hard drive as a slave. Is that a misprint? Slave and master don't apply to SATA HDs. I don't know if this has anything to do with your problem, however, you should leave the SATA HD jumper in its default position.
     
  8. fad3toblack

    fad3toblack TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 40

    Sorry - I just meant that it didn't have windows installed on it... I'd love to install XP on it, but I can't because the CD I have is an upgrade disk... so im stuck running off the IDE drive. And as I believe I stated in a previous response, I get the same problem regardless which combination of the 2 HDDs I use (IDE only, SATA only, or both). But thanks for your help, it is much appreciated :wave:
     
  9. fad3toblack

    fad3toblack TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 40

    That sounds great - Thank you!
     
  10. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,456   +228

    I have the MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum motherboard too with a single Western Digital SATA HDD but, fortunately, didn't run into any problems. After installing Windows XP, did you install the various mobo drivers?
     
  11. fad3toblack

    fad3toblack TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 40

    I was unable to - I restarted the computer after the reinstall for a reason which I am unable to recall, and after that it didn't work - so no, I didn't. Do you think that it may work if I were to install them onto the HDD on this computer, and then put the HDD back into the new comp, or would those drivers mess up this comp in the process?
     
     
  12. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,456   +228

    The hard drive needs to be in the MSI machine for the MSI mobo drivers to install properly.
     
  13. fad3toblack

    fad3toblack TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 40

    Mmmm... the floppy disk that I got withit which contains the drivers needs to be put in when Windows is running, correct?
     
  14. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,456   +228

    The floppies have your RAID drivers while the CD that came with your mobo has your other mobo related drivers as well as utilities such as temperature and fan speed monitors and controls.
     
  15. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,916   +9



    Have you tried changing memory speed settings to slower ones, or tried with different memory modules?
     
  16. etherga

    etherga TS Rookie Posts: 69

    I've been lookin through some old troubleshooting charts and one of the symptoms of failure to initialize is driver failure. Just a thought. Ill do some more digging and try to come up with a solution
     
  17. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,916   +9

    Hardly a driver failure if it happens before any operating system has been loaded...
     
  18. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 830

    Have you tried clearing the CMOS settings? Also, it looks like a new BIOS was released on the 9th. Perhaps a flash would resolve your issue.
     
  19. fad3toblack

    fad3toblack TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 40

    Yes, i've cleared them several times... i've become a bit trigger-happy with that button hehehe - and thanks for the BIOS update, I'll check into it shortly
     
  20. fad3toblack

    fad3toblack TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 40

    No, I have yet to alter the memory speed - but, isn't RAM used only when Windows is loading/running? :confused:
     
  21. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 830

    RAM check is basic POST operation, if the timings are unusable it can lock the system.
     
  22. fad3toblack

    fad3toblack TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 40

    I believe that it is fixed

    Hello everyone - Thank you very much for your assistance in solving this problem. I stopped into Red Barn Computers (a local computer shop), and mentioned my problem to one of the employees. He informed me that a common cause of this problem is that there is an extra spacer under the mobo which is shorting it out. I knew that that was not exactly what was happening, however I immediately realized the problem.

    When I first put my mobo into the case, the holes on the mobo didn't line up perfectly with a couple of the pre-drilled holes in the case. One of these holes, which was in the upper-right corner of it, was so far off that I didn't want to force the MB farther over in order to insert a screw. Therefore, I left the spacer there to support the MB, for when i was inserting cables, etc. So, i believe that sometimes that spacer would short out the MB, as it was straying off to the side a bit.

    Thanks again for your assistance.
     
  23. etherga

    etherga TS Rookie Posts: 69

    Heh, figures it'd be something simple :p
     
  24. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    if you can use plastic spacers that might help.
     
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