New PC will not post or boot, $1,800 Nightlight

By Tattooed4Ever
May 24, 2008
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. It takes me roughly 4 to 5 hours, start to finish, to assemble a new PC and load the OS. I lost count of how many systems I've built over the years, but this one has me stumped, I've never seen anything like it!! I hope there's someone out there that can shed some light into what's going on....
    I started out with:
    Intel LGA775 ATX Motherboard BLKDP965LTCK (D41694),
    Intel Core 2 Duo E4600 LGA 775 Processor,
    Zalman Ultra Quiet CPU Cooler,
    Mushkin 4GB (2X2GB) DDR2 Memory,
    Logisys All Clear 550W ATX Power Supply (With UV Cable Management sleeves),
    eVGA GeForce 9600GT Superclocked 512MB GDDR3 PCIe 2.0 Video Card,
    Two Seagate Barracuda ES.2 500GB SATA Hard Drives,
    One Sony 20X SATA DVD Burner,
    and I added an AVerMedia AVerTVHD MCE A180 PCI ATSC HDTV Card,
    HP w2207h Monitor,
    Creative SoundBlaster Audigy SE 5.1 Channel PCI Sound Card.
    I packed it all into an Blue Apevia Aspire X-Plorer ATX Mid Tower Case with enough mods to light up the whole house with a bright blue glow.
    For the initial setup I was using my old 19" Viewsonic VGA Monitor, and I had done a full assembly on the case. Once assembled, I hit the power switch, the case lit up, all fans came on, the monitor came on for 15 seconds, then went to Power-Save Mode. Okay, I decided to strip it down to bare-bones to set it up, but it still did the same thing.
    I ran to Fry's Electronics to buy washers for the Motherboard Stand-Offs, on the off chance it was grounding out. That wasn't it.
    I figured the 550W PSU may not be enough, so I bought an Apevia 750W PSU. It still did the same thing.
    I then replaced the video card. Nope, not it.
    I replaced the Mushkin RAM with Corsair XMS2 DHX 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 Dual Channel Memory.
    I swapped the Motherboard out for an Intel DQ965GFEKR (D41676) LGA775 MicroATX Motherboard, with on-board video. I removed the PCIe Video Card, and reset the BIOS, but the on-board video didn't even kick on the monitor!
    Methodically I replaced every piece of hardware, each time with the assumption that I had finally found the bad piece of hardware. Each time I was wrong!
    To make a very long, dreadfully painful, and ghastly expensive story shorter, I have replaced EVERY SINGLE piece of hardware for the new system at least once. I even replaced the Apevia case with a Tagan A-plus El Diablo Gaming Case, to eliminate the possibility of some faulty wiring grounding out the system!!
    The NEW-new system now has:
    Intel DQ965GFEKR (D41676) LGA775 MicroATX Motherboard,
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6320 LGA 775 Conroe Dual-Core CPU,
    Zalman Ultra Quiet CPU Cooler,
    Mushkin 4GB (2X2GB) DDR2 Memory,
    Logisys All Clear 550W ATX Power Supply (With UV Cable Management sleeves),
    eVGA GeForce 9600GT Superclocked 512MB GDDR3 PCIe 2.0 Video Card,
    Two Seagate Barracuda ES.2 500GB SATA Hard Drives,
    One Sony 20X SATA DVD Burner,
    AVerMedia AVerTVHD MCE A180 PCI ATSC HDTV Card,
    HP w2207h Monitor,
    and a Creative SoundBlaster Audigy SE 5.1 Channel PCI Sound Card,
    all packed into a Tagan A-plus El Diablo Case.
    I have gone by the book during assembly:
    static-free environment,
    seating and reseating everything,
    strictly bare-bones while trying to POST.
    I have disassembled and reassembled the system a total of 7 times, I am grasping at straws now.
    Please tell me there is someone out there that has gone through something similar, does anyone have any ideas? What am I missing????
    Thanks in advance,
    Tattooed4Ever.
  2. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Go back to basics. Is it plugged in? Thermal paste? bad case, bad case switch, bad cable. We have seen this at least three times due to bad case pins, switches, or cables. It has to be there, right? You have a fundamental failure that you would not normally expect. Check your electrical box to see if one of the switches has been thrown open. Verified adequate electrical power at the socket. Do you have a volt ohm meter?
    Test everything from that basic level.
    Then, leave it alone for 24 hours. Get some rest. then when your frustration level is down and your sense of humor is back, get to work.
    I would start out with the most basic system. Motherboard, CPU, thermal paste very thin, one memory module, and any bootable device... preferably a USB floppy drive or a simple optical drive.
    Does it boot?
    Keep adding components one at a time starting with additional memory... until you have tested each device one at a time, removing other stuff util you create a history for each component.
  3. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,732   +156

    Yes Tattooed4Ever,
    put this beast aside take a day or two off, to regain your wits. Start over completely. You are not a novice at building PC's. Try a basic assembly outside the case
  4. Tattooed4Ever

    Tattooed4Ever Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    raybay

    Hey, thanks for the input, it's much appreciated. I am talking a break now, gatering ideas from the 10 sites I posted this on, then I will calmly start over. I will be sure to let you know if it turns out to be one of your suggestions.
    Thanks again!
    Tattooed4Ever.
  5. Tattooed4Ever

    Tattooed4Ever Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Tmagic650

    I didn't try that, I've never had to, but I will be sure to let you know if your suggestion helps!
    Thanks!
    Tattooed4ever.
  6. zeroxzero

    zeroxzero Newcomer, in training Posts: 23

    My self does not like to make my pc shinning like hell, cox it jus waste the electricity of my pc....blah blah blah

    u should start ur pc with minimal component as possible at 1st to eleminate other possible HW failure like raybay say

    ur case seem to be ur motherboard or PSU problem....

    did ur monitor power supply by ur pc PSU???

    try not to seen ur pc use quiet a lot of electricity
  7. SittingDuckie

    SittingDuckie Newcomer, in training Posts: 60

    Sounds like the same problem I had with my PC, although I didn't get as far as you with the testing, because I tried a change of power cable with a corsair hx 520 and as soon as i switched it on the psu blew.

    I returned both the psu and mobo and got replacement parts, jolly good, same problem. Anyway, I gave up went to bed. Convinced I was cursed by the Gods, I decided to deal. I concluded it was related to my exams, and divine intervention was occuring to stop me from playing computer games instead of getting my degree. Next morning I sat on the bog and promised the Gods I would not touch a game if they let it work.

    Anyway, its probably not much help to you, but the latter actually worked, and the thing sparked to life as soon as I touched the power on button. This post probably isn't what you want to hear, and is a long story that isn't really helpful, but should your problems continue, do try contemplating whether divine intervention is the reason for your problems

    :haha: I couldn't find an effigy of the traditional Christian God in the smilie list, but here is darth vader :darth:, evil god of the jedi religion (now officially a religion in uk). Is someone using the force to kill your machine?
  8. Tattooed4Ever

    Tattooed4Ever Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    SittingDuckie

    Ha ha, funny, I guess I've been lacking in the humor department since I got stuck on this computer! I haven't been paying homage to the Gaming Gods as of late, that is kind of the whole reason for this new system, after all! I will seek out the wisdom of your words, thanks for the laugh!
    Tattooed4Ever.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,526   +856

    Intel 965 chipset boards will auto configure to SATA if 2 drives are connected at first boot. Connect 1 and it should revert to IDE. If it doesn't, it's off to BIOS for you.The "Intel Matrix Storage" floppy can be run at Windows install. You need to disconnect a bunch of stuff and go back to basics.
    For no post I'm thinking wrong RAM. Intel boards really like cheap 1.8 Volt RAM. Strange but true, "Kingston Value RAM" posts them every time.
  10. Tattooed4Ever

    Tattooed4Ever Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    captaincranky

    I'm pretty sure the Corsair RAM was the wrong speed, but I built a clone of this one 3 weeks ago, and it powered up fine. The mods for that one came in last week, so we tore it all apart, modded it out, reassembled it, and it still powered right up. I just got finished starting from the ground up on this one for the 8th time, and it still won't post. I'm thinking I need a break for awhile, I've been working on this off and on for more than 3 weeks, and non-stop since yesterday afternoon (Almost 24 hours now).
    Thanks for the advice.
    Tattooed4Ever.
  11. SittingDuckie

    SittingDuckie Newcomer, in training Posts: 60

    Enjoy your time off.

    For when you get back, did you try replacing the cpu cooler? Looks like its the same for both those rigs (could be shorting both mobos [long shot]).

    Also, have you tried just plugging the psu into the mobo and connecting a speaker to the mobo so you can hear any post error beeps? Try those two psu's against the two motherboards with no components whatsoever on the mobo (not even cpu) and connect the speaker to listen for post beeps (Don't mount mobos in case). If you get nothing, the mobo is dead. Its perfectly possible you have two dead motherboards, so if you can't get a single post beep for any of those then its time to RMA them.

    Another long shot (if you're into that kind of thing), have you tried different power sockets/power cables....careful with the power cables though as I blew a psu by trying a third party cable with it, check manual for any warnings (can be warrantee voiding).

    Consider also whether it is your destiny to fail to build this pc.
     
  12. Tattooed4Ever

    Tattooed4Ever Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    SittingDuckie

    No, I didn't replace the CPU cooler, it powers up fine, totally silent.
    Here are the componants:
    This is the RAM:
    http://www.directron.com/996556.html
    Motherboard:
    http://www.directron.com/dq965gfekr.html
    Power Supply:
    http://www.directron.com/ps550ac.html
    Processor:
    http://www.directron.com/e6320.html
    Processor fan:
    http://www.directron.com/cnps9500led.html
    Video card:
    http://www.directron.com/512p3n862ar.html
    Two Hard Drives:
    http://www.directron.com/st3500320ns.html
    Case:
    http://www.directron.com/cseldiablobm.html
    Please note that the case has a 250MM fan in the front, and a MASSIVE 360MM fan in the side!
    Both Motherboards had an on-board speeker, not a single beep.
    "Consider also whether it is your destiny to fail to build this pc"??? That is not an option at this point!!!
    Thanks for the help!
    Tattooed4Ever.
  13. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Some system boards are just very demanding and particular about which memory modules they will accept. Some, such as ASUS, now post which memory brands and models are acceptable on certain models.
  14. Tattooed4Ever

    Tattooed4Ever Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Update:

    Several people sugested I had the wrong memory, so I went and replaced the memory again....
    I bought four 1GB Kingston Value RAM PC2-5300 DDR2 667MHz 1.8V.
    Guess what, it's still doing the same thing....
    That's it, I have to let it go for now, I've been battling this for more than 24 hours!! I'm off to pay my respects to the Gaming Gods, in hopes that they will look kindly upon me and my woes. Perchance the clouds will part, and the Gods will shower my tower with Cold Cathode and LED lighting, so that it may be healed!! Can I get an AMEN???
    I'm out for today, my friends, thanks for trying to help....
    Tattooed4Ever.
  15. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Value Ram is not the same from modules one month to modules the next month. The timings are not right for a gaming machine. It is just another kind of third tier memory that is not fully tested.
    Value Ram would be as wrong as you could get for gaming, but you shouldn't have the exact same behavior.
  16. seanc

    seanc Newcomer, in training Posts: 284

    Take the components out of the system, or use the many spare ones you have now and build it straight on the work bench.

    In the past I've declared a motherboard dead, then tested it on the bench afterwards to find it powered straight up.
  17. Tedster

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

  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,526   +856

    This is now an Intel 965 board we're discussing. Intel certifies Kingston Value RAM to be compatible with that chipset. The voltage and timing are correct. I would argue that this is the wrong board for gaming at the outset because of Intel's limited BIOS adjustments. You constantly bad mouth that memory, but I guess that could be explained by my great good fortune at always buying it at the right "month" for it to work the first time, every time, and to stay working in 2 Emachines at that. It's my prescience about knowing in advance exactly which month to buy it that's a little eerie.

    Disclaimer; Don't read past here unless you have a highly developed sense of humor.

    At this point I would suggest that whichever parts are the same between the two almost completely different computer be thrown away. Well, except maybe the heatsink. My plan "B" will never change, put down the crack pipe. I'm just kidding about that..., aren't I?
    Well, at least I didn't include the link to Newegg's customer reviews of Kingston Value RAM. 132 out of 153 of which are 5 star, I might add.
  19. SittingDuckie

    SittingDuckie Newcomer, in training Posts: 60

    AMEN brother! :haha:

    (p.s. Isn't everyone missing the point that if the mobo doesn't beep with no RAM in it, its not even getting as far as checking for RAM??)
  20. seanc

    seanc Newcomer, in training Posts: 284

    Not quite, the PC won't beep without a CPU. With a CPU in it and no RAM it will beep continuously.
  21. SittingDuckie

    SittingDuckie Newcomer, in training Posts: 60

    Okay so leave the cpu in, but:

    is exactly my point. So far all we know about beep messages is:

    So I don't know exactly what you've tried in terms of getting beep messages out of the system Tattooed, but can you confirm whether you do get any beep messages if the system is started with no RAM? Its just theres no point discussing RAM types if the system doesn't get so far as to even check for the presence of RAM. At this stage, if I were you I wouldn't bother trying anyones solutions (particularly if they cost you money) when the problem has not been properly isolated.

    Also, I popped open the documentation for your BLKDP965LTCK mobo and found this:

    During the POST, the BIOS generates diagnostic progress codes (POST-codes) to I/O
    port 80h. If the POST fails, execution stops and the last POST code generated is left
    at port 80h. This code is useful for determining the point where an error occurred.
    Displaying the POST-codes requires a PCI bus add-in card, often called a POST card.
    The POST card can decode the port and display the contents on a medium such as a
    seven-segment display.

    Now I don't know anything about this hardware but I've checked online and seen prices as low as $2, so you might be able to get one cheap or if they are that cheap, someone might have one that they'd be happy to lend to you. I'd be interested to know if anyone has used these cards and whether they are useful though.
  22. Tattooed4Ever

    Tattooed4Ever Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,526   +856

    The Intel 965 chipset is designed with the C2D (s) in mind. That's what they're built for, the rest of the nonsense they say will run in them is just backward compatibility. When I say C2D, I mean the original 6XXX conroe series. The higher number "Allendales" E4XXX and Pentium Dual Cores, EXXX might require BIOS updates. The 8XXX 45nm processors absolutely would require BIOS updating.
    >> Your link is pointing to a thread about an Intel "955" chipset. <<
  24. Tattooed4Ever

    Tattooed4Ever Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    It's Alive!!!!

    IT'S ALIVE!!!!!!!!! At 5:15 this morning the new system roared to life!!!

    I tested the CPU, memory, and the GeForce 9600GT Superclocked video card in a friend's computer, it all tested fine. I decided on replacing the PSU with a Kingwin MACH 1 ABT-800MA1S 800W, MUCH BETTER POWER SUPPLY!! I also upgraded the motherboard to an ASUS P5N-D LGA775 (NVIDIA 750i SLI Chipset). Both the PSU and motherboard are SLI ready, and the ASUS board has two 16X PCIe (Gen 2.0) slots! So all I need to make the system complete is one more of the Gen 2.0 9600GT video cards. Then I'll be locked and loaded!

    Hey, thanks to all of you that took the time to lend a helping hand! I'm really surprised at how many people responded, thanks for all the great ideas!

    Tattooed4Ever.
  25. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Thanks for sharing your success with us. It is always fun to get good news.
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