Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

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Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:43 pm

I followed the guide on this site and I got everything installed and all of the power cables hooked up. The power supply is plugged into an outlet and turned on (I'm pretty sure I checked all the idiot problems). I've tried the power button on the case and the motherboard. I did hear a "zap" sound one time when I pressed the power button on the motherboard, but no lights came on, no fans started spinning, no response from the monitor, or anything else happened. I checked the 24pin ATX power connector, and pin 20 on the cable was not there but http://pinouts.ru/Power/atx_v2_pinout.shtml says that's ok. The 12V power connector is also ok. Like I said, this is my first time, so I don't know what it could be. I included my components below. Thanks for any help.

Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz LGA 1155 Processor
http://www.microcenter.com/single_produ ... id=0388577

Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Z77 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.microcenter.com/single_produ ... id=0387554

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822152185

Corsair Vengeance 8 GB ( 2 x 4 GB ) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) 240-Pin DDR3 Memory Kit for Intel Core i3, i5, i7 and AMD Platforms SDRAM CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance ... 662&sr=8-1

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM Model #:DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6827135204

SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-NA-_-NA

PowerColor AX7850 2GBD5-DH Radeon HD 7850 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814131473

Zalman Z9 Case
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:04 am

Well the connector from the case's power button to the motherboard could be plugged in wrong.

Does your motherboard have a light? Mine has one so its easy to tell if its getting power from the PSU. Sometimes just switching on the psu will send a little juice through the system and spin the fans but thats not very common.

Other than that the only advice I have is basic troubleshooting, double check all the connections and try with the minimum number of parts plugged in that you need to boot up.
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:08 am

Motherboard or power supply.

I haven't ever had problems with power supplies but i hear people always blabbing about that crap. For me motherboards are often DOA. It will turn on with bad memory or gpu, just won't post screen. since you're not getting any life from it, could be the cpu. CPU is very unlikely though, I think they stress test CPU's before shipping them out of the factory.

DOA's are common, have some patience and return stuff.




This system has never once booted or spun a fan or anything, correct?


Another thing, you might just be making a noobie mistake, but I can't say from here, good luck!
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:21 am

Take everything but the CPU out of the motherboard (since that's annoying to do) and reseat it all. As my old cisco teacher told me 90% of all problems are on the physical layer.

If you still can't get it to power up starting removing things one at a time and trying to power up. You should get strange post beeps (the manual will say exactly what you should expect). If you're not getting any it's most likely the motherboard although as others have said in rare cases it can be the PSU and in super rare cases the CPU.
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:44 am

Make sure that motherboard is grounded and brass stand-offs are firmly in place.
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:08 am

It's annoying to do, but if you try other steps and get nowhere, take the board out of the case, and just run the motherboard & CPU from the power supply sitting on a cardboard box, or the anti-static bag it came in.

If the CPU fan won't spin, it's almost definitely a dead board.
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:09 am

Try to test critical parts one at a time, preferably on other systems that are known to work. For example the PSU and RAM. What concerns me though is that you heard a zap sound. That's usually associated with electric short.

Right now what you should do is to diassemble everything, even the mobo. Check to see if you forgot a standoff or put in one too many. If the mobo tray looks fine, put the mobo back. Put in the 24 pin mobo plug, the CPU 8 pin plug, the motherboard speaker, connect the power on cables from the case then plug the PSU and flip the PSU power on switch. Don't plug in the dedicated video card yet - use the integrated GPU- (though impossible, afaik, to prevent power up you need to test parts one by one) or the RAM (the system can power up without the RAM but ofc you won't get to POST screen, let us worry about that latter). Now press the power on button from the case.

The desired effect is to get the cpu cooler fan spinning and a beep code for missing RAM (you can check the code in your motherboard manual or you can check online for the BIOS manufacturer):
-If that happens (beep code and cooler fan spins) then you can proceed to install 1 stick of RAM and continue testing.
-If you don't get the fan spinning or beeps then it's either the PSU or the mobo. In this situation get the PSU out and test it on your old system or a friend's system. If indeed it doesn't work, RMA it. Upon receiving replacement recheck the new one the same way. If it works on another system but fails to power your system then it's the mobo's time for a RMA.

It's a tidious process, many times (for begginers) stressfull, but keep in mind that you are a legitimate customer who has warranty for every individual part. Don't let this thing affect you, you finally got ur new Pc be happy about that. Also be assured that one way or another it will function properly so don't be mad. This is like a rite of passage for every system builder.

Good luck.
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:41 am

Do not power on a motherboard while it's sitting on its anti-static bag. Many varieties of anti-static bags, including all of the ones I've seen motherboards placed in, are actually slightly conductive. They have to be in order to produce their anti-static effect. I would suggest you just use the cardboard box that the motherboard came in.
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:56 am

To test the PSU, turn off the PSU (switch) and unplug the PSU from all devices. Take the 20/24 pin mobo power connector and find the only Green wire, connect it to any black wire, with a paperclip in a "U" shape, flip the switch on the PSU, the PSU fan should spin up and stay running.

edit:
http://www.overclock.net/t/96712/how-to ... components
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:37 am

ColeLT1 wrote:To test the PSU, turn off the PSU (switch) and unplug the PSU from all devices. Take the 20/24 pin mobo power connector and find the only Green wire, connect it to any black wire, with a paperclip in a "U" shape, flip the switch on the PSU, the PSU fan should spin up and stay running.

edit:
http://www.overclock.net/t/96712/how-to ... components


I figured I'd try this first since it seemed simplest. I turned on the power and nothing happened. I guess its time to send the PSU back.
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:18 pm

esc_in_ks wrote:Do not power on a motherboard while it's sitting on its anti-static bag. Many varieties of anti-static bags, including all of the ones I've seen motherboards placed in, are actually slightly conductive. They have to be in order to produce their anti-static effect. I would suggest you just use the cardboard box that the motherboard came in.


I've been doing this for over a decade with no problem, though it's probably good advice to use cardboard instead, since it's also a good insulator and you don't have to worry about what type of anti-static bag you're using.

That said, the typical silver bags still have a very high resistance (10^11 ohms) so they're unlikely to cause any problems.

The common nylon bags with criss-cross patterns are only conductive on the inside, you'd have to turn one inside out to risk a short circuit. I have read posts on the web of clueless people doing just this, and you have to ask yourself if someone with this little understanding of electricity should really be trying to assemble something that will be plugged into the mains ;)
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:47 pm

Mantorok wrote:
ColeLT1 wrote:To test the PSU, turn off the PSU (switch) and unplug the PSU from all devices. Take the 20/24 pin mobo power connector and find the only Green wire, connect it to any black wire, with a paperclip in a "U" shape, flip the switch on the PSU, the PSU fan should spin up and stay running.

edit:
http://www.overclock.net/t/96712/how-to ... components


I figured I'd try this first since it seemed simplest. I turned on the power and nothing happened. I guess its time to send the PSU back.

Glad you figured it out quickly.

I've yet to have a worse feeling than when I power up a freshly built system and it just doesn't work.
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:15 am

Ok so I'm using a friend's power supply that works, but now it looks like the motherboard isn't staying on. I press the onboard power switch and everything comes to life (case fans, cpu fans, video card fans) and the motherboard LED lights come on and cycle through some troubleshooting codes, none of which, according to the manual, seem to be bad (except no peripherals connected, which is true). But after it goes through all these messages, the LED on the message display, power button and reset turn off, but all the fans and case lights stay on. If I press the reset button, the messages repeat and if I press the power button, everything stops.

I don't know if I'm just worrying unnecessarily, but I'm thinking those lights on the mobo should stay on. The first time I tested this PSU, I had everything but the CPU disconnected and removed and the lights were showing some error code (no RAM), but the lights stayed on, displaying the error message.

The manual/website don't seem to be very helpful http://www.asrock.com/support/faq.asp?c=General
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:15 am

Sounds like something may be mis-wired or if your getting zero post you might have not seated the heat sink properly. Id check to see if a pin is bent in the CPU socket... run only a single stick of ram. Does the system shut off on its own eventually and if it does is the time it stays up immediately after you restart it get shorter than the last?

How loud of a zap are you talking about before? If something is seriously wrong with that old PSU it could have fried other parts... depends on the protective circuitry of the board and PSU.

If you have an old system to test it in... plug that psu of yours into it to see if it powers it up. Ive got a feeling your not fully plugging your 24 pin motherboard and 8 pin cpu power in all of the way. If you partially plugged certain ones in before it could explain the zap you heard earlier as the electricity had a poor connection and barely bridged with the other contact.

As for sending things back, hold your horses... don't get over eager to start sending things back. Some people want to say DOA hardware is soooooo common. If thats the case then why when ive built a few 100 systems over the last say... 12 years have i never had a single DOA item and only had to RMA ram that went bad a few times in the first few weeks of recieving it. Most of the supposed DOAs are builder errors or misunderstandings. Nothing wrong with that.... after all it is your first build and there is a chance it could be a DOA, never know. Either way lets figure it out :)
Last edited by Welch on Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:33 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:29 am

You say you only tested without RAM?

Can you try with one stick of RAM and monitor connected to the mobo I/O DVI or VGA, w/e you got? Let's see if it POSTs.
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:16 am

take the board out of the case, and just run the motherboard & CPU from the power supply


You should get beeps/LED errors for no RAM and or no GPU. Assuming you get that far give it a stick of RAM and then try again. If that works, give it a GPU and it should POST.

This test is foolproof, and it'll take you less than 30 minutes:

Step one narrows it down to a PSU/Motherboard/CPU fault.
Step two identifies faulty RAM.
Step three identifies a faulty card.

If you get it to POST out of the case and it doesn't work when you put it back in the case, you know there's a short in the case somewhere. Viola, problem solved.
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:57 am

Chrispy_ wrote:
take the board out of the case, and just run the motherboard & CPU from the power supply


You should get beeps/LED errors for no RAM and or no GPU. Assuming you get that far give it a stick of RAM and then try again. If that works, give it a GPU and it should POST.

This test is foolproof, and it'll take you less than 30 minutes:

Step one narrows it down to a PSU/Motherboard/CPU fault.
Step two identifies faulty RAM.
Step three identifies a faulty card.

If you get it to POST out of the case and it doesn't work when you put it back in the case, you know there's a short in the case somewhere. Viola, problem solved.


I did all this, and it worked. Then I put it back in the case and did it step by step, it worked.

When I connect my SATA cable from my hard drive, I got the same problem I had before - the mobo turning off. I tried both of the SATA cables I have and each of the SATA2 and SATA3 ports and no matter where I put the HDD, the mobo quits.

I have a SATA optical drive that doesn't kill the mobo no matter where I put it, as long as the HDD isn't connected. So what do I do about the hard drive?
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:12 am

Mantorok wrote:I did all this, and it worked. Then I put it back in the case and did it step by step, it worked.

When I connect my SATA cable from my hard drive, I got the same problem I had before - the mobo turning off. I tried both of the SATA cables I have and each of the SATA2 and SATA3 ports and no matter where I put the HDD, the mobo quits.

I have a SATA optical drive that doesn't kill the mobo no matter where I put it, as long as the HDD isn't connected. So what do I do about the hard drive?

Sure that you're giving the hard drive power? After that, do you have another SATA hard drive you can test? It could be possible that the hard drive has a short in it somewhere and that the motherboard is shutting off to protect itself.
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:24 am

Yeah, I have the hard drive connected to the PSU and no I don't have another SATA hard drive
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:38 am

Mantorok wrote:Yeah, I have the hard drive connected to the PSU and no I don't have another SATA hard drive


Can you test with another HDD and/or test your HDD in another PC?
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:41 am

I have an external USB hard drive and a 13 inch macbook so no, I can't really test it. Is it possible/probable that my earlier bad psu zapped and killed this hard drive?
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:54 am

Mantorok wrote:I have an external USB hard drive and a 13 inch macbook so no, I can't really test it. Is it possible/probable that my earlier bad psu zapped and killed this hard drive?

It's possible, but unlikely, also I think the system should still post even with a faulty hard drive.
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:07 pm

Any bad piece of harsware (eletrically shorted) can cause a system to loop or not post. Especially a hard drive that might lock up the SATA controller on your system as it tries to read it.

Plug that drive into an external usb craddle or similar running windows and if windows locks up or you cant open the logical disk manager then youve got a bad drive. Also have you tried plugging that drive in with a different sata power plug? Inspect the pins on both plug and drive, top and bottom pins.

Ive had many systems that would appear completely dead that were just a HDD that had gone bad in this manner. Good to know you can post now :), best of luck
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:10 pm

Mantorok wrote:I have an external USB hard drive and a 13 inch macbook so no, I can't really test it. Is it possible/probable that my earlier bad psu zapped and killed this hard drive?


Your external USB hard drive is a standard hard drive inside a case plugged in to a adapter. It's either 2.5" or 3.5" form factor hard drive, if it's 3.5" it'll have the same connectors as the hard drive you're trying to trouble shoot. If you're unsure just post the model USB hard drive you have and me or someone else can identify it for you. Of course, you don't have to do that unless you want to. Glad to see you can at least post your system now though and you're certainly getting a lot of trouble shooting experience! :wink:
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:21 am

So the SATA hard drive causes a POST failure and a SATA DVD drive on the same port/cable POSTS ok?

It's the first time I've heard of an HDD stopping a machine from POSTing (drive detection is usually not until partway through the POST)
As others have said, a serious short or electrical problem with the drive could be playing havoc with anything it's plugged into. Try another drive!
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:24 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:So the SATA hard drive causes a POST failure and a SATA DVD drive on the same port/cable POSTS ok?

It's the first time I've heard of an HDD stopping a machine from POSTing (drive detection is usually not until partway through the POST)
As others have said, a serious short or electrical problem with the drive could be playing havoc with anything it's plugged into. Try another drive!


I've seen this SO MANY times.
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:18 pm

It shouldn't be possible to install the SATA cable upside down as you could with old floppies. Try a different SATA cable and a different port?
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:32 am

Welch wrote:I've seen this SO MANY times.


ORLY? Guess it's definitely a dead disk then!

Are these DOA disks from new, or drives that have failed/exposed to surge? I figured my sample size (managing 1000's of workstations + servers for 10+ years) would give me at least a few occurences of this, though I do still occasionally see something new ;)
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:04 pm

All of the drives I've seen that completely freeze a system up, even prevent posting... have been drives that were in use for a long time. We had one of our backups servers come back that was a RAID 5 and 1 of the drives in it (one that wasn't in the raid or even on the same controller) was locking the system up. 1 by 1 I removed the drives that weren't apart of the RAID until I suddenly it booted fine. I tried putting it back in, same issue. Was able to plug the new drive onto the same SATA power and SATA data cable without any issues. Its the oddest thing, I'd imagine something on the controller is shorted bad enough to really cause this odd ball issue. I've also seen it in a few workstations where the other tech thought it was a bad mobo and didn't bother to strip down the other components to confirm it. I guess that's just 1 more good reason to strip a system to bare-bones when testing it.

I've never had a new DOA drive that has done this to a system... yet.

My assumption is that these old drives have suffered from Electromigration. It would explain why I only see this behavior in long term used drives and more often in a server settings due to 24/7/365 up-time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromigration
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Re: Just built my first PC but it wont turn on!

Postposted on Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:31 am

Nasty stuff.

The one lesson to be learned here is:
Don't shortcut diagnostics. Start from scratch with the minimal kit: Motherboard, CPU, and either a PC speaker or the onboard diagnostic LED's.
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