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I need PC Building Expertise


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Grr... so a guy I worked with asked me if I knew how to build pc's.. I told him I've never actually built one, only ever modded them., but that the logic should be roughly the same. So he asked if I would build him a pc off of parts he would send to my house. So he went to newegg and bought a $1000 computer.

So I got everything in the case and hooked up, when I push the power button on the front of the case it turns on... all the fans start going (the case he bought has 5 fans), the processor fan turns on, his graphics card fan turns on, several LED's on the mobo saying its on all turn on.. yet nothing happens. According to the Asus handbook, you're supposed to hear a series of beeps when it performs its startup tests, and I haven't heard any beeps.

Can anyone give me any advice as to what may have happened?

I know my descriptions are vague but if I could have some advice that'd be much appreciated.

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You'll only hear bleeps if there's a problem usually (post error codes)

You have connected a monitor yes ? ;)

Does the monitor come out of standby to on ?


You might have overloaded the power supply slightly (as you say you have five fans). Unplug some case fans and hard drives (do NOT unplug CPU / chipset / gfx card fans) and try it again.


It will hang as there will be no OS installed but you should have some display (memory count, basic checks etc)

Edited by ΑndyF
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You'll only hear bleeps if there's a problem usually (post error codes)



You have connected a monitor yes ? ;)



Does the monitor come out of standby to on ?




You might have overloaded the power supply slightly (as you say you have five fans). Unplug some case fans and hard drives (do NOT unplug CPU / chipset / gfx card fans) and try it again.




It will hang as there will be no OS installed but you should have some display (memory count, basic checks etc)




Yeah I've connected the monitor, it doesn't come out of standby.

Would it also be worth it to pull out the graphics card until I at least have the OS installed?


checked the jumper pins on the motherboard are set right ? or it may be a faulty board




I believe they're right.
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No as you won't be able to install the OS without seeing what you are doing (unless you plan on doing a network / un-attended installation)

Do you have onboard graphics too ? (if you do, remove the added card and plug the monitor into the onboard) as it may not want to switch to the external one until you set this option in the Bios.

How many sticks of ram do you have fitted ? , remove them apart from two then try it again.

If its no better remove them all (yes really) then power up. It should bleep and complain badly about this. If not, put them back (or two at least) and leave only the keyboard / monitor / graphics card / cpu fan connected and power up with this 'minimum' to see what happens.

You could have a faulty CPU or board as John has suggested, its rare but not unknown. Most modern boards auto config the CPU speed but carefully look for FSB jumpers etc as if these are wrong it may not work at all.

If its still no better, turn it off again and reset the Cmos (either with jumper or take the battery out for 10 minutes)

EDIT... Does the mainboard have an additional 4 or 6 pin power socket ? , If this is not connected (unsuitable / old power supply maybe will not have a plug for it) then it will not usually boot either. I had this with an old P4 a few months ago, a different PSU that had a connector and it then worked.

Edited by ΑndyF
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No as you won't be able to install the OS without seeing what you are doing (unless you plan on doing a network / un-attended installation)



Do you have onboard graphics too ? (if you do, remove the added card and plug the monitor into the onboard) as it may not want to switch to the external one until you set this option in the Bios.



How many sticks of ram do you have fitted ? , remove them apart from two then try it again.



If its no better remove them all (yes really) then power up. It should bleep and complain badly about this. If not, put them back (or two at least) and leave only the keyboard / monitor / graphics card / cpu fan connected and power up with this 'minimum' to see what happens.



You could have a faulty CPU or board as John has suggested, its rare but not unknown. Most modern boards auto config the CPU speed but carefully look for FSB jumpers etc as if these are wrong it may not work at all.



If its still no better, turn it off again and reset the Cmos (either with jumper or take the battery out for 10 minutes)




Ok I'll give it a try. It has onboard graphics so I'll take out the card. at the moment I only have two 4 GB sticks of RAM in place. I'll let you know what happens. Btw thanks for your help
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You're welcome.

Hopefully it will be the graphics at fault so just try that (remove card and plug monitor into onboard) , there's usually an option to determine which to use / use first or less common a jumper to set it, I think only older boards will have a jumper though, but using the onboard is a sensible idea until at least you can get it to post (ie: get past basic hardware detection and the memory test)

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You'll only hear bleeps if there's a problem usually (post error codes)



You have connected a monitor yes ? ;)



Does the monitor come out of standby to on ?




You might have overloaded the power supply slightly (as you say you have five fans). Unplug some case fans and hard drives (do NOT unplug CPU / chipset / gfx card fans) and try it again.




It will hang as there will be no OS installed but you should have some display (memory count, basic checks etc)






The computer power-on self-test (POST) tests the computer to make sure it meets the necessary system requirements and that all hardware is working properly before starting the remainder of the boot process. If the computer passes the POST the computer will have a single beep (with some computer BIOS manufacturers it may beep twice) as the computer starts and the computer will continue to start normally. However, if the computer fails the POST, the computer will either not beep at all or will generate a beep code, which tells the user the source of the problem.

A simple thing like a faulty or incorrectly seated seated RAM, Graphics card etc MAY cause a pc to fail POST, try re-seating them and only put 1 RAM stick in at a time, if it still fails try the ram in a different slot as the slot may be faulty
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Just thought too, make sure you have the motherboard pegs sitting safely and that there is no shorts, it is very easy to have one with the old brass type spacers

If in doubt take it out the case and lay it on a non conducting surface/mat and hook it up to see if it fires up ;)

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Just thought too, make sure you have the motherboard pegs sitting safely and that there is no shorts, it is very easy to have one with the old brass type spacers




Ok I just tried moving the RAM in the slots and still nothing... tomorrow I'll take out the mother board and see if it could be touching anywhere.
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Sit the motherboard on the table on the static bag it came with.

Fit the CPU only.

If it has a speaker connector plug in the speaker. Temporarily remove it from the case if you don’t have one spare. Or it may have an onboard speaker check the manual for that.

Connect the power supply sockets. The 24 pin ATX power socket AND the PCI-EX additional 12 Volt feed.

Do not connect anything else, there is no need. Mouse keyboard monitor ect.

Then using something metal like a screwdriver to short the pins to soft boot the motherboard.

Even with only the CPU and the motherboard you should hear some post boot bleeps. It should sound like this.

Beep, pause, beep, pause, beep, pause. Continued.......

Power off the power supply. Don’t keep it running to long without the fan.

But a few seconds is ok to test.

If you hear the bleeps then fit one stick of RAM. And retry.

If you have a built in graphics card then you should hear . a single beep.

If there is no built in graphics card then you will hear. Beep beep beep, pause beep.

If you didn’t hear any beeps. After the first process, then it would be a faulty motherboard and or CPU.

Recheck you have connected all power cables to the motherboard.

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What power supply are you using? I know this might not make sense it most probably in the power supply unit. I know your thinking but it turned on but heres an issue I had.

Firstly a little test make sure all the power supply rails are connected so both the 24pin and the 8pin connection. Boot the PC with just the motherboard and cpu, take out the memory, hdds, gfx card etc. If that doesn't work this is where the issue could be, the rails in the PSU might not be enough for the motherboard. This happened to me, even though on the box it said it was ok and it had 1000w PSU the rails weren't very good so didn't get enough power to the motherboard to load everything up (common for high spec motherboards/pc's) even though it should have. I sent that back, bought a lower watt one in the end but better quality and worked great.

Might be worth taking it to a pc shop as they usually have the power testing kit to see how much power is making it to your PC.

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What power supply are you using? I know this might not make sense it most probably in the power supply unit. I know your thinking but it turned on but heres an issue I had.



Firstly a little test make sure all the power supply rails are connected so both the 24pin and the 8pin connection. Boot the PC with just the motherboard and cpu, take out the memory, hdds, gfx card etc. If that doesn't work this is where the issue could be, the rails in the PSU might not be enough for the motherboard. This happened to me, even though on the box it said it was ok and it had 1000w PSU the rails weren't very good so didn't get enough power to the motherboard to load everything up (common for high spec motherboards/pc's) even though it should have. I sent that back, bought a lower watt one in the end but better quality and worked great.



Might be worth taking it to a pc shop as they usually have the power testing kit to see how much power is making it to your PC.




Now you have mentioned this, i have had this issue too with an old PSU. Has power going to the board, exactly as .Peter has described, but the system wouldn't boot. I was using an old 400 watt PSU that came with some old pre-built system. replaced it with a 1000watt new PSU and everything worked great.

I think the PSU could possibly be the issue.
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Wait... He bought all the parts and doesn't know how to build a computer? A 520W is very low, especially with a decent graphics card. If the mother board has onboard graphics (what decent motherboard does?) then only have the CPU and 1 stick of RAM plugged in. If the screen doesn't come on there has to be something wrong. Alternate RAM in Slot 1. If it does come up more than likely you don't have enough power. Newegg has a power supply calculator, and there are a couple good ones online that let you pick exactly what hardware you have and it'll tell you what you need. You won't need anything above 800W unless you have 2 graphics cards. 700-800W is a good range. I recommend Corsair.

I have found modern motherboards are automatic. Most will not have jumper settings, especially if you're not overclocking.

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Yeah I'm on a 520w. Do you think if I upgraded to a 920 or 1000W it'd work?




Your GPU should tell you what wattage is required, but if your disconnecting the GPU and still getting nothing through the on board graphics it's more likely you have faulty PSU. If you have a spare one lying around try that and see if the new system will power up.

Process of elimination is the best way to find the problem, for example, try the new PSU in your system, as you know your system works, if it wont boot with the new PSU and then the new system boots with an old PSU you can be safe in the knowledge that the PSU is the problem.
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