TechSpot

Custom Built Computer Will Not POST

By tylerhardt
Oct 23, 2006
  1. Hey everyone,
    This is my first post on the forums, so I don't know if this is a bad question or not. I have a custom built computer that has never worked. When I first got it it would never POST or boot at all. It sounds like it is working, but nothing comes up on the screen. I have tried almost everything. I returned the motherboard three times and it tested OK everytime. I also replaced the power supply with a 650 watt Ultra Power Supply. Still nothing. Here are the specs:

    AMD 3000+ Dual Core CPU

    Asus A8N-SLI Motherboard

    1 GB Corsair RAM

    EVGA 7300 Video Card

    SeaGate 120 GB SATA HDD

    If you need anymore specifics, let me know. I will be glad to look them up again. I have booted it up a few times by luck, but it managed to lock up within 10 minutes of it turning on. I can also boot it up when I reset the CMOS. Then it will boot up. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,086

    Load it with Fail-safe opinion.

    You should set your A8N-SLI PCI - X small card (dual mode change to single mode)

    I dont know about your ram... I think A8N-SLI only support DDR2.
     
  3. tylerhardt

    tylerhardt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    I'm not sure what you mean by fail-safe opinion, but as for the other 2 things, I ran Memtest 86 on it and came out find and the card is set for only one video card. I talked to a friend and he thought it may be a bad video card. I have no clue as of right now.

    Also, I can get it to boot up everytime I unplug the SATA cable from the motherboard, the computer boots up once. After it boots, it freezes very quickly. Any ideas are welcome.
     
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,934   +167

    Hold down the F8 key while you system begins to boot, this will put you in the Windows Safe Mode. If you can get into the safe mode, go to the Control Panel, System, Device Manager and notice if there are any yellow exclamation marks in the device list. Also, try resetting your CMOS, and make sure your memory settings are for single channel, and not for dual.

    Make sure your first boot device is you SATA hard drive. This is done in the Bios
     
  5. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,086

    Removes every off the motherboard. Leaves nothing but CPU, ram, Video card, and power supply.
    If you have 512MB X 2 stick of ram, Leave a stick of ram in DDR1 or whatever the manual say. Some motherboard opted the dual choices, Both DDR and DDR2.

    Fail-Safe = Every bios are set up in a way to PREVENT any hardware bios from failing due to unauthorized bios tweaking (and i means noobs ^^) Do this if you havent tried that.

    Second, im guessing you got wrong kind of Chip.

    I dug up more details for you. Well you didnt tell us what version you using either Deluxe or Premium. But i will just throw all it in.

    http://usa.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=3&l2=15&l3=148&model=375&modelmenu=1 (click the enlargement and see the small card between the PCI X. If you have that dual side set up, pop it out and rotate it to single side and pop it back in. it should solve your problem.)

    http://usa.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=3&l2=15&l3=148&model=539&modelmenu=1 (maybe is this yours?)

    I guess that covers it.

    If it is POSSIBLE to reset the CMOS. that should help a little bit. If your friend say it is coming from your Video card, then Im guessing you set the video card in wrong way of Deluxe motherboard
     
  6. N3051M

    N3051M TS Rookie Posts: 2,800

  7. tylerhardt

    tylerhardt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    Hey guys,
    I think I've tried all of this stuff, but I'm happy to try it again. As for the model of the motherboard, it isn't Premium or Deluxe. It is just plain old A8N-SLI. I also noticed that if my harddrive is completely unplugged, the computer will not boot or POST. If I unplug and plug it in, it will boot that one time. All drivers are installed for the board and video card. Is there any sort of program that will test all of the hardware? Thanks for the help so far.
     
  8. N3051M

    N3051M TS Rookie Posts: 2,800

    Not realy.. just a few selection of programs that are designed to test the hardware its supposed to, but thats assuming your PC can get past POST stage or if you can get access to a working PC.

    HDDs can be tested using a utility from the drive manufacturer's website (for example Seagate's Disk Diagnostic Utility, Maxtor's Powermax etc) which will give you a test of how reliable your HDD is or if its going to quit on you anytime soon.

    Memtest will test your ram and see if there's any bad blocks in there.. sometimes not accurate so its used as a rough guide..

    but apart from those two that i know off, some other hardware may come with its own diagnostic utility but it depends on the maker.. the only real way of testing parts are to swap them over with some other ones you know for sure works.

    Once you're down to a CPU/MOBO/PSU + using onboard audio & video if available and all the extras out of the case, then you'll know you've at least narrowed it down to the difficult 3. They can only be tested by swapping parts.

    I know these are in the guide i've posted, but just need to know where you stand..
    -Do you get any beeps/lights flashing?
    -does it give you the signs of life? >fans/drives spinning, lights flashing, visual on screen etc.
    -have you tried to switch different/new cables etc?
    -check that the extra power connector for your motherboard and video card (if needed) is plugged in?
    -eliminate shorting to the case by constructing it outside the box on a non-conductive surface?
    -check the HDD on another PC (slave mode if needed) and see if it can read it ok, do a chkdisk and/or a diagnostic utility on it.
    -reset bios/cmos again..
     
  9. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,086

    or you might need to contact the ASUS via Live CHat. THey are able to help you.
     
  10. tylerhardt

    tylerhardt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    -No beeps or flashing lights, but the HDD working light blinks
    -The fans and drives spin, but no display on the screen.
    -I have tried new cables yes.
    -It is plugged in.
    -Have tried running it outside of the case, same result.
    -I can try putting my SATA on slave in my other working computer I guess.
    -Reset the CMOS many times, just makes it works once.

    Also, I have tried talking to ASUS and they are as baffled as you or I. I've sent the board in 3 times and they've said it's fine everytime and even sent a brand new one last time. I have tried running the PC with only RAM, CPU, and Graphics Card and I still have problems. So I am assuming that the HDD isn't a problem. I don't have any parts to swap out at the moment though.
     
  11. N3051M

    N3051M TS Rookie Posts: 2,800

    Theres probably only one or two options left as far as i can think off.. get a working rig thats got similar specs to yours and use that to test your components.. or if you can't get a test rig go to your PC shop and get them to test the ram, video card, etc. especialy your CPU to see what its failing at..

    apart from that i'm starting to run out of ideas.. the floors open to others who's reading :D
     
     
  12. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    What about replacing the video card?
     
  13. tylerhardt

    tylerhardt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    Well guys,
    As of right now I have rescheduled with the Geek Squad. I had a Full Diagnostic test done a while back and they said it was most likely a motherboard problem. I took their advice and replaced the motherboard. When I got the new motherboard, the same problems occured. I called the Geek Squad and told them, they are now willing to retest all of the components. Once I get the results, I will let you guys know what I know. Thanks for all of the ideas so far.
     
  14. tylerhardt

    tylerhardt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    Hello again,
    As I said, I had my computer in for a Full Diagnostic over the weekend. Well the Geek Squad just called back and gave me some "interesting" information. First they said the card to choose single or dual video cards was flipped backwards, so they switched that. It had no results. After further inspection, they found that there was water damage on the board. This is a brand new board from Asus and all I did with it was put it in the case. If Asus does not fix this problem, I may become very angry very fast.
     
  15. tylerhardt

    tylerhardt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    I had my old computer class teacher put the computer together again, he said he still has to reset the CMOS every time he wants to boot up the PC. I am at a complete loss. What could be causing this problem?!
     
  16. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,934   +167

    a BAD cmos battery or a defective motherboard
     
  17. tylerhardt

    tylerhardt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    I've gotten several new motherboards which I assume have new CMOS batteries so I am quite confused.
     
  18. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,934   +167

    Or a defective motherboard, as I said. It could be a faulty power supply too. Please take note, HAVING TO reset the CMOS every time you boot IS NOT NORMAL!
     
  19. tylerhardt

    tylerhardt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    Power Supply is brand new and 600 watts. I tried another to no avail. I'm slowly getting rid of the possibility of a bad motherboard though because they've sent me 4 different motherboards.
     
  20. N3051M

    N3051M TS Rookie Posts: 2,800

    time to switch suppliers?
     
  21. tylerhardt

    tylerhardt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    The only thing is, no one is really sure if it is even the motherboard right now. If it is, what other manufacturer can I go with in the motherboard category?
     
  22. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,934   +167

    I wonder that myself... It may be time to turn the system over to someone else to help with the troubleshooting
     
  23. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    What about the PSU itself? Have u tried another one? Also, have u tried switching out the CPU?
     
  24. tylerhardt

    tylerhardt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    I just got off the phone with my old teacher who is working on my PC, he says that he can get it to boot up when he resets the CMOS battery. When he gets into XP, everything works just fine. I have tried multiple PSU's, but I don't have a Socket 939 CPU to switch with. My teacher thinks it could be some BIOS settings, any ideas on what settings might cause this problem? I haven't been building computers for very long, but this is by far the strangest problem I have encountered.
     
  25. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,934   +167

    Your teacher should know how to reset the bios to their default settings, especially if he's troubleshooting it for you. Maybe you should tell your teacher to pull the motherboard out of its case and try to run it on a bench. Troubleshooting PC's or anything else takes practice. I've been working with computers for over 37 years. There is no problem that can't be solved using a few simple steps. You and your teacher are missing some of these steps. We just seem to be going over the same problem(s) over and over here
     
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