Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

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Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:04 am

I have a MSI (Z87i) Mini-ITX mobo in a small Habey EMC-600B mini-ITX case (http://www.directron.com/emc600b.html). With the Habey provided 60 watt power supply the system appears to accept power. The blue LED case lights are on and the CPU and case fans spin. The most glaring problem? I am not able get the BIOS screen to appear on any display. I have tried three different computers, all three video connections (HDMI, DVI, and DP).

Everything is new. Core i7 4770T (45 watt CPU), cooler, fans, case. I have unplugged everything except for the 24 pin and 4 pin power and the CPU fan. Still nothing. CPU is aligned correctly and seated.

The case came with a 60 Watt laptop power supply brick, and a 120 watt power board. I tried an iGo 90 watt Green power supply, and it was unable to even get the fans spinning. Yes I pressed the power button on the iGO. It illuminated some of the blue LEDs on the case, but not as brightly as the 60 watt unit.

Might anyone have any suggestions on how to get things going?

This is my fourth PC build from scratch, and probably the 25th computer I have worked on in 10 years. It is the first time I have been truly stumped. I have always been able to get to the BIOS…

I think it has something to do with power, but I'm not sure where to start. I happen to have another 120 power converter board for the case. I was thinking of going there next.

It does not have a case speaker.

Thanks in advance,

Shaky
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Re: Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:24 am

If you have an ATX PSU lying around, I'd hook that up first. If it works, then yes, it's a power issue with the case.
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Re: Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:29 am

I assume you actually meant "three different monitors" not "three different computers"?

The first thing I would try is hook up a standard ATX PSU to the motherboard (yes I know it won't physically fit, just leave the case open and set the PSU next to it) to determine whether this is a power problem.

I am also very concerned about your comment that you tried an iGo Green 90W power supply. EMC-600B product listing says the supplied power brick is 12V; but the only info I can find about the iGo Green seems to indicate that it puts out 19V, not 12V. Depending on the design of the power board in the EMC-600B (do the specs specifically state that it can accept 19V input?), it is possible you've fried the power board, the motherboard, or both. Trying to boot the system up with a standard ATX PSU as I recommended above may help determine whether the motherboard is OK.

Edit: DPete27 beat me to the ATX PSU recommendation. :wink:

Edit #2: I also hope you didn't have a full-size (3.5") hard drive hooked up when you tried the iGo Green. If you did it is possible you fed 19V to the hard drive and toasted it, since the power board probably feeds the input from the power brick directly to the 12V pin on the hard drive power connectors.
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Re: Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:14 am

Yes, I do have an ATX PSU lying around. I will give that a try when I get home.

Yes, I did mean three different monitors. Good catch...

I'll update when I test it out.

Both hard drives in the system are laptop hard drives. And it still didn't work when I disconnected them.

I will check out the iGO. I never noticed the 19V spec. I never would have thought universal laptop PSUs had that sort of discrepancy. Either way, it still behaves the same with the provided PSU before and after I used the iGO PSU.

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Re: Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:37 am

shakyone wrote:I will check out the iGO. I never noticed the 19V spec. I never would have thought universal laptop PSUs had that sort of discrepancy. Either way, it still behaves the same with the provided PSU before and after I used the iGO PSU.

The issue isn't that "universal" laptop PSUs have a wide range of variation. The issue is that the EMC-600B looks like it isn't designed to use a laptop PSU in the first place (I've never seen a laptop PSU that put out only 12V). Just because two power bricks physically look similar (or have the same connector) doesn't mean they are functionally interchangeable; you need to read the specs.

I suppose there may be multiple iGo 90W PSUs with different voltage ratings, but the one I found when Googling was 19V.
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Re: Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:11 pm

Okay, so the update.

The ATX power supply did the trick, for now. It powered everything. I have finished my installation and everything, except for squaring away the power problem.

I went to RadioShack, of all places. I was looking for something to modify my PSU plug. Thankfully there was a very knowledgeable guy at the desk. So, to contradict what "just brew it" stated, laptops did used to come with 12V power supplies. It has been in the recent 5-7 years that they now come with ~19V power supplies. He said that was very likely my problem, and that I would need a 12V power supply. They used to carry a Universal laptop brick with an adjustable voltage, but no longer. He recommended I look online.

Low and behold, I found a 90 PSU with adjustable voltage from 12-21V. It was 16$ with free shipping. I'm waiting for it to arrive on Monday, and I'll report on the update.

I'm still a little skeptical. I'm going to do some more research to get smarter on the issue. It just seems strange that I didn't have enough current to run things. I cannot figure why the fans would spin, but there wouldn't be enough left over to run a 45W CPU and motherboard. I'm thinking the Motherboard, case fans, cpu fan, the keyboard and mouse attached was just a little over the 15W I needed, but we will see soon enough.

Wish me luck,

Shaky
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Re: Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:43 am

shakyone wrote:So, to contradict what "just brew it" stated, laptops did used to come with 12V power supplies. It has been in the recent 5-7 years that they now come with ~19V power supplies. He said that was very likely my problem, and that I would need a 12V power supply. They used to carry a Universal laptop brick with an adjustable voltage, but no longer. He recommended I look online.

Entirely possible that 12V was more common back in the day; I didn't really pay much attention to laptop power voltages until 2005 or so, when I started having to deal with a lot of laptop users at work. None of the laptops we've had there were 12V; all were 16V and up.

Getting back to your issue, we still don't know why the original 12V power brick didn't work (not enough current, maybe?), or whether plugging the 19V one into the power board damaged it. At least we know the motherboard is OK!
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Re: Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:42 am

You can buy a 120W Pico PSU for $40 (that one's 12V also, but 10Amp not 5A like the existing). That should be more than enough to power your system. Maybe the existing PSU board is defective? RMA?
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Re: Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:16 pm

DPete27,

I'm back to square one.

I'm considering what you suggest. I don't think the Habey 120 Watt power converter board is compatible with Core i7 4000 series.

I have a series of emails in work with Habey customer support. Nothing yet. His most recent question was what RAM am I using.

I think there is something wrong with my combination of Motherboard, Processor, RAM, and power requirements for the existing board. I actually had a second Habey 120W power supply board. With the 90W 12V PSU, it produced the same results as the provided 60W 5V PSU from Habey. I used everything from the new power supply, supply line, circuit board, and 24 Pin cable.

The PicoPSU option is looking pretty attractive at this point. I hope it works in my solution. I can vary the Power out of the 90W PSU, it goes from 12V - 21V. Very flexible with the voltage setting. I think I'll keep it for when I figure out the solution.

If there is anyone out there with another suggestion, I'm all ears. It is very frustrating to have all the OS, and software installed, but not be able to power the system with the intended solution. The Full size ATX power solution is just a hideous sight for such a nice looking enclosure.
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Re: Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:24 am

shakyone wrote:I have a series of emails in work with Habey customer support. Nothing yet. His most recent question was what RAM am I using.

Customer support is clueless, then. It's pretty clearly not the RAM, since using a standard ATX PSU fixes it. :roll:
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Re: Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:01 am

I probably should have linked this 150W pico psu for $45 (also here with free shipping) since it already has all the necessary power ends on it. That 120W one inexplicably comes without a 4-pin Aux for the CPU. That makes me think the 150W unit is a newer design. The $4 difference is a wash when you consider the need for a 4-pin adapter with the 120W unit.
Pico PSUs are great for smaller enclosures like this since there is no need for the added board that your Habey case comes with. Every little bit of space savings counts.
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Re: Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:37 am

Might anyone know if I actually need the 4-pin connector?

Follow up to other posts -

- No, I have not received any response from customer service. I had the same thought you had. Habey Customer support is stumped, IMO.

- Thanks for the 150W suggestion. I actually looked at it last night, after noticing the previously suggested 120W solution did not have the 4-pin connector. I'm leaning towards the 150W, but interested in the answer to the above question.

No, I'm not in a huge rush to get it working, I have time to wait for answers...

Shakyone.
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Re: Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:57 am

In most cases* yes, you'll have to plug in the 4-pin CPU aux cable to the mobo for the system to boot. Since you've already hooked your rig up to an ATX PSU, you can easily test it for yourself by simply unplugging said 4-pin power.

*I had an AMD Socket 754 board back in the day that would work without power to the 4-pin CPU header (100% stable under Prime95, IBT, Furmark, etc). I don't think you'll have much luck with that these days.
Last edited by DPete27 on Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:23 am

Laptops to the very best of my knowledge have never ever had a "standard" voltage except possible in just the last year when they all seem to be 17-19V. They didn't even all have DC, some used low-voltage AC (like 23VAC).

All of that said, I've already had some issues with Haswell and PSUs not working together on 4 different motherboards. I suspect this really could be the issue, also you might just need a bit more power - you are cutting it close enough. I'd maybe look at a pico-PSU-120WI-25V - it's nice because it can use a nice wide input range rather than just 12V. I have about 30 19V@8-15A adapters in a box, so I'm like set for life. The AC-DC adapter you use also needs to have MORE power than the DC-DC board will draw or the AC-DC adapter will shutdown/set off the thermal fuse/blow magic smoke/turn into a pool of melted plastic/similarly self-destruct.

You generally want your draws to be like this:

Accessories draws less than
Mainboard draws less than
DC-DC board draws less than
AC-DC adapter draws less than
Power Socket. :)

Any time an item higher draws (or even can draw) more than a lower level, you can/will have problems. Some devices may have protection from overdraw, but it's really not something you will want to rely upon.

Edit: the 12V AUX 4 pin adapter is 100% required for Haswell boards that support a 35W CPU. The manufacturer is probably used to dealing with Atom boards which often don't have the plug.
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Re: Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:37 am

Great stuff!

I think I will buy the 150W pico-PSU and try it with the 90 laptop brick. If that doesn't work, I guess I will make one more effort with the system by acquiring a 120W psu brick.

I just find it really hard to accept that I don't have enough juice.

Thank you for the help.
Last edited by shakyone on Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:46 am

shakyone wrote:Might anyone know if I actually need the 4-pin connector?

It would be a bad idea not to use it. Even if the system boots, you may be sacrificing stability or reliability.

FWIW every time I've ever forgotten to connect it, it has resulted in failure to POST. Fans typically spin up, but no other signs of life from the system.
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Re: Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:16 pm

If you use a 150W DC-DC PSU, you need a 150W or greater AC-DC adapter.
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Re: Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:36 pm

keltor wrote:If you use a 150W DC-DC PSU, you need a 150W or greater AC-DC adapter.

Only if the DC-DC PSU will be run at close to its rated maximum. A 150W DC-DC PSU that is being asked to deliver 80W will pull ~100W (give or take) from its power input.
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Re: Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:38 pm

Mine should only be drawing about 80 Watts per the power supply calculator I used.

I think the calculator was a little high for a 45 watt CPU, Mini ITX mobo, one 2.5 inch SSD and one 2.5 inch laptop drive.

I'm fairly certain I will be okay to at least get it up and running with the 90 Watt, but we will see.

I still need to order the Pico-PSU, when a I get some more funds. That should be next week.
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Re: Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:07 pm

I'm just concerned with accidental fires and thermal runaway. :) Both things I have experienced a good number of times with cheap laptop "bricks". If you use an actual PicoPSU and a UL listed AC-DC brick, there's not much to worry about as it should just "stop working". But there's a fair amount of dangerous crap that comes out of China and SE Asia. (Don't get me wrong, there's probably loads of crappy toasters and what not built right here in the good ole USA.)
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Re: Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:20 am

Keltor,

Do you have a recommendation for a UL listed 120W 12V solution then? I'm all ears. (Yes I tried Google, and I have not found anything yet, except some Chinese product that comes in orders of 100+).

I don't want to fry my system, it cost enough as it is. From what I can tell, the Pico-PSU is a 12V system.

When I get home, I'll take a look at what I have and confirm if it is UL or not.

S.
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Re: Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:56 am

This is an update, for Keltor and Just Brew It.

I bought the PicoPSU 150Watt kitt, because it had the 4-pin ATX connector. The system booted perfectly. The extra cabling and circuit board on the 24 pin connector, surprisingly fit in my very shallow enclosure. It is 1mm shy of pressing slightly against the lid.

I'm very happy with it. It stunk that I had to drop another $80 on this system, but in the end, the PicoPSU was the only UL listed power supply I could find over 100W.

One additional detail. The PicoPSU 150XT comes with a very nice pigtail that would be a great power plug receptacle on a HTPC for a power brick. I started installing it, up until when I realized, it is useless with the provided PSU brick. They provide 2 female adapters for the 24/4 pin plug. One is huge, and awkward, the other has a simple retention nut for a power hole. Unfortunately, the kit does not come with an adapter to plug into the more elegant provided receptacle. You have to use the awkward one, and drill about a 5/8 inch hole in the side of your case and two little screw holes. It is not a very secure install. It works. But it shouldn't be that hard to include the PSU adapter with a 90 degree turn, to use with the provided cabling. It would have been much more attractive in the end.

After I finished, I went back to their site. It appears the better adapter solution is compatible for their 102Watt Brick. http://www.mini-box.com/picoPSU-150-XT-102-power-kit Which would have worked great for me, but I didn't feel like burning any additional cash on it. It is nice that they offer the 150 W psu with the 102W brick. Nice Job Mini-Box.

Pete
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Re: Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:14 am

Glad to hear you got it working!
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Re: Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:33 am

shakyone wrote:This is an update, for Keltor and Just Brew It.

No update for the guy that suggested the PicoPSU in the first place? Bummer :(
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Re: Help with difficult build. No video out/BIOS screen.

Postposted on Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:27 am

Pics or it did not happen! :lol:
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