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Just rebuilt desktop, bootup doesn't show anything on screen

by NLFlower / June 30, 2006 6:17 PM PDT

Hello!!! I just rebuilt my desktop computer (Epox 8rga+ m/b, nvidia FX5200 graphics card, 1Gig RAM, two new Maxtor 300Gb hard drives. I put the components from my old computer into the new case. The only new ''internal'' components are the two new hard drives. As what has always happened in the past has happened again. I try to be a little ambitious and put together the computer myself and I always have some type of problem (connections wrong, doesn't boot up or power up at all, etc.). I noticed I was getting a ''FF'' post code on the mb. I thought that was an error until I looked online and found out that means the computer has booted up to the OS. I have two new HD's in the system connected to my SIIG RAID card (it acts as a HD controller until the RAID is actually implemented. I'll eventually be setting up a RAID O config. with external storage backup). When I start the computer, nothing happens on the screen. It doesn't even show the initial BIOS boot. I put the WinXP Pro disc in the drive and reboot. If I had to guess I would say that something was happening between the CD drive and one of the hd's, but I don't know for sure because the screen doesn't respond at all to the startup sequence. I was figuring (assuming my having hooked everything up correctly) that I would boot up once, then load the WinXP Pro disc and reboot and take things from there. Hmmm, not working. Shocker!!!
Any suggestions on what to do would be greatly appreciated. I know the hd's are new, but I thought if I load the WinXP Pro disc I could format the drives and install the OS. TIA for any help you can provide. ERH

P.S. I originally tried it without the graphics card installed because the mb had a built in graphics processor (GeForce4 MX). I'm not doing any gaming on this setup. Then I installed the FX5200 card to see if that would help, but no difference.

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4 pin power connector connected?

Dbl check that MB is properly seated, no stands were they do not belong.

Re-set the BIOS via jumper ....
Attach to MB, KB/mouse/monitor to on-board video , w/one memory chip only, nothing else ....

If system boots to Post attach one item at a time.

''''''I noticed I was getting a ''FF'' post code on the mb''''''
You have a Post card? Generally when I see this code the MB is damaged. Did you use proper ESD proceedures?

Luck

BIll

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(NT) (NT) Lol happened to me once. ^
by strickjh2005 / July 1, 2006 9:39 AM PDT
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Will try tomorrow...
by NLFlower / July 1, 2006 2:50 PM PDT

I'm going to try some of the things you mentioned tomorrow. The 4pin power connector (the one that connects right next to the ATX power connector, right?) is connected. I thought about the MB being properly seated and maybe an improperly placed standoff was shorting something. Not sure what a Post card is, but the LED readout on the mb would eventually show "FF". I read on someone else's post that they saw that code and thought something was wrong (even though everything was working fine) and looked it up to find out it meant the mb was okay and had passed off the boot sequence to the OS. I have my two hd's connected to the RAID card. Could that be a problem? Do I have to connect to the mb hd controllers until I get the OS installed and the hd's up and running and then switch the hd's to the RAID card? The card is supposed to act as a hd controller until the RAID is actually setup. Again, I will be trying some of your suggestions tomorrow and see how it goes. I noticed you suggested only using one RAM chip to start. Why is that? Thanks for your time and help. ERH

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Trouble shooting non-post MB
by billzhills / July 2, 2006 10:06 PM PDT
In reply to: Will try tomorrow...

Re-set the BIOS via jumper ....
Attach to MB, KB/mouse/monitor to on-board video , w/one memory chip only, nothing else .... A repeat to clairfy


Re-seting the BIOS via of the jumper reloads factory defaults to the MB. This forces the MB to use the on-board video port .....

Attaching just the bare hardware to the MB isolates the issue to the MB. If the MB posts, you know the MB is ok.

Also you may have to attempt post four times if boot fails. By placing memory chip #1 in each memory slot, the same for memory chip #2, depending on post. Again you are attempting to isolate the problem, bad memory/memory slot. So far the CPU appears to be OK as you are getting a post code, you are now down to MB or memory.

Add only one device at a time ... boot failure = bad device.

Bill

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Still trying...
by NLFlower / July 7, 2006 11:19 AM PDT

I just posted a follow up message in the "Computer Help" section in regards to this problem b/c I couldn't find my original post (clearly I'm not an "expert"). Well, after posting in the other forum, I now find my original post. I reset the Bios (as per the manual I moved the jumper over for a few seconds, put it back, then rebooted). I also removed the Raid card, graphics card, and wireless card. I now get the 7F code instead of FF. I will try this again with just one memory chip. I'm assuming I should leave my HD's disconnected also? Last but not least, the most puzzling thing (for me anyway) is the monitor never shows anything. Whenever I boot, the monitor just stays in standby mode. Looking forward to solving this dilemma. Thanks again. ERH

P.S. Just realized I have to also remove keyboard and mouse...

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Just reading...
by PKsteven / July 7, 2006 11:29 AM PDT
In reply to: Still trying...

on as on your particular mobo the FF is used for both successful boot or bad Mobo, etc... Quite confusing isn't it? By the sounds of things, and just a guess currently, I would say a major motherboard problem, perhaps the controllers. Or you were not properly grounded when putting in and transferring parts and you may have fried a circuit by way of ESD. This said, I am not saying for sure it's a bad Mobo but sure would lean toward this.
Paul

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Tried some steps, incl. memory check, always get 7F code...
by NLFlower / July 8, 2006 3:42 AM PDT

With only the basics connected (kb,monitor,mouse) I moved one Ram chip between the three slots (my mb has #1 slot for bank 0 and slots #2 and #3 for bank 1) and keep getting the 7F code. I also had disconnected my hd's, but left the opticals connected. According to my mb manual, the 7F code message is:

Switch back to text mode if full screen logo is supported.
-if errors occur, report errors and wait for keys
-If no errors occur or F1 key is pressed to continue:
Clear EPA or customization logo.

Not quite sure what that means. My confusion continues with regard to why the monitor never shows anything, just stays in standby mode on bootup.

Any thoughts on what I can do next (or what that 7F code means in plain english)? TIA

ERH

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The 7F errors
by PKsteven / July 8, 2006 6:24 AM PDT

are many times related to a person using a PS2 keyboard and mouse. It may be a short since this is typically caused by the PS2 ports. If so , can you try a serial keyboard\mouse? See what happens. Just wondering.

Paul

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Trying other keyboard/mouse options...
by NLFlower / July 8, 2006 8:46 AM PDT
In reply to: The 7F errors

I tried what you mentioned (at least part of it anyway). I have a USB mouse so I'm guessing that isn't part of the problem. Keyboard wise, I'm currently stuck with the PS2 port (I'm assuming that's the good 'ol standard keyboard port, usu. color coded for still learning types like myself). Don't know if this would help towards sorting out the problem, but I simply just disconnected the kb to see what would happen. On bootup I still get the 7F code. At this point the only things connected w/ the mb are the usb mouse, monitor, and optical drives. No one has mentioned anything about the monitor never coming out of standby and displaying something, anything!! Any more suggestions?

It would kill me if the mb is now no good. Even though I just purchased two new (actually three!!!) hd's, a mini-tower case, and a raid card, I think if I have to buy a new mb I might just sell everything off and stick with my laptop. Hopefully this problem will be sorted out. Otherwise, my days as a desktop "tinkerer" are numbered...

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Let me see if I've got this right ....MB has onboard video
by VAPCMD / July 8, 2006 9:39 AM PDT

and it's got an AGP video slot...right ? By any chance do you have access to an old PCI video card ?
And the MB PSU connector a 20 pin and the PSU has a 20 pin or 20+4 plus the 12V (4-pin) connector ?

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Let me see if I've got this right ....MB has onboard video
by NLFlower / July 9, 2006 2:15 AM PDT

Yes...mb has onboard video (Geforce4400MX I think) and an AGP slot. Old PCI card won't be possible. The MB PSU connector is a 20pin connector. The PSU is a 20+4 (new psu that came with the new case). Now here's a thought. When I connected the new PSU to the psu mb connector, the psu connector obviously wouldn't fit b/c it is the newer (I guess from what I read in the manual) 20+4 type. However, it could be seperated into it's 20 and 4 part connections and the 20part fit in the mb psu slot. Now, there is a seperate 4 pin slot near the 20pin. I connected another 4pin coming from the psu into the 4pin psu slot. The 4pin that seperated from the 24pin psu connector didn't seem to fit in the seperate 4pin slot. Was I correct in placing a seperate 4pin psu connector in the 4pin slot and not the 4pin that seperated from the 24pin psu connector? Thanks.

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You're exactly right ....occasionally I read where someone
by VAPCMD / July 9, 2006 2:47 AM PDT

puts the ATX12V PSU 4-pin re along with the PSU 20 pin into the 24 MB power connector which doesn't work. Once the right 4-pin connector ...the one that's designed to go with the 20-pin PSU connector it works as it supposed to. Believe PSU mfgs would have been much better off with 24-pin connectors on all new PSUs with adapters that convert 24 pin to 20 pin where necessary.

Bummer about an old PCI card ... anything that might help get you video would be a quantum leap at this point. Without it you're toast.

Keep us posted..and don't give up.

VAPCMD

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Typically..
by PKsteven / July 8, 2006 11:51 AM PDT

it's good to ask if you should replace everything before using an older part as incompatability issues among others arise. If you went the mile, and the MB is bad, go the extra mile, 69 bucks for a cheaper MB but yet has good ratings. They are getting cheaper all the time.

On to your problem though. Did you check if you have ONBOARD video enabled in the CMOS? This can either be a good or bad thing, if you have a graphics card, the bios may have reset the onboard to ON and will conflict with the card. If it's off, you may want to take out the graphics card, turn on the Onboard for now and see what you get. If there is a PS2 problem, simply unplug the mouse and keyboard and see what you get. The serial connections are the round type. A problem I have seen before is people install the graphics card on a pc, without realizing the drivers come first and on a new system, turn off the onboard, no drivers, no video and they can't boot the pc, no monitor etc...try the onboard first. Let me know...were you properly grounded when you worked on the pc? I think I asked already but...anyway, I still think your controllers are bad but we'll see.



Paul

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Re: Typically..
by NLFlower / July 9, 2006 2:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Typically..

I understand what you're saying with just buying a new m/b (if that's what it comes down to). It's just frustrating because every time I've tried to put a computer together over the years I run into some type of problem (things not connected correctly, one time I had a mb support incorrectly placed and it was shorting the mb on bootup and it shutdown immediately). I guess for that pricepoint it makes sense. We'll see...

In what I guess may be the final test run, the only things connected were the cpu (obviously) and monitor. No kb, mouse, optical/hd's, or video card. Just to be sure, I reset the CMOS to the original settings. This is the second time I did this. I moved the jumper over for a few seconds and then moved it back. Still getting the 7F code. Hmmm... When you mention the "controllers" being bad, what exactly are you referring ? I guess the next posting will either get things straightened out or recommend my buying a new mb!!! Thanks.

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(NT) (NT) Are you removing the CMOS battery while clearing CMOS ?
by VAPCMD / July 9, 2006 6:19 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Typically..
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No, I wasn't removing battery...
by NLFlower / July 9, 2006 11:40 AM PDT

No, at no point had I removed the battery. I didn't realize I was supposed to...
I only would move the CMOS jumper over for a few seconds, then move it back (as per manual). I'm going to remove the battery and move the CMOS jumper over. Then put both back. I'm assuming the order doesn't matter, just as long as both occur at the same time and some point. I'll try now and let you know what happens...

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Removed CMOS battery...
by NLFlower / July 9, 2006 11:42 AM PDT

I moved the CMOS jumper over, removed battery for about a minute. Then replaced the battery and moved the CMOS jumper back to it's original setting. Bootup still gives me the 7F code and no video on monitor...

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To be as simple...
by PKsteven / July 9, 2006 12:52 PM PDT

as possible, your controllers (chips) control data from PC to peripheral devices and the other way around. (simple definition) It may also be your CPU itself.

I don't say this to be insulting but I have a feeling you may not have taken proper steps to insure you didn't damage the computer parts. IF this is the case, remember, at all times, do not touch the MB circuits etc...handle by the edges if need be, also as I said, ESD electro static discharge can render your motherboard usless. One Zap! is all it takes. So, if you rub your feet on carpet and zap the cat's nose, that little spark will kill your pc. Also don't lay parts on carpet, work on the pc on carpet, or beds etc...Make sure you are grounded to the chasis or get an ESD wrist strap when working inside the pc.

That said, if you do end up having to get another MB, post here first if you have questions and someone will always help. And don't be discouraged about building your own PC, you just sound like you need a bit of guidance and you'll do fine.

But still, in my opinion without being able to actually test the MB myself, I would say it's roasted.
But at this point the best thing to do would be either wait to see if anyone else has an idea or get it tested.


Paul

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To be as simple...
by NLFlower / July 9, 2006 2:26 PM PDT
In reply to: To be as simple...

No insult taken!!! I wasn't perfect in my ESD technique, but I was working on wood and often touched the psu case. I read somewhere awhile back that it was good to do to rid your body of static electricity (hope I'm not looking like a total moron right now...). I guess I could get the mb tested, but I don't have any ESD bags to protect the mb. Plus, how much is it to get tested?? Am I better off just buying a new mb and be extra careful during the install?? I guess we're down to the final blow for the mb...
Thanks...

Going to bed...will check postings again tomorrow...

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To be as simple...
by NLFlower / July 9, 2006 2:26 PM PDT
In reply to: To be as simple...

No insult taken!!! I wasn't perfect in my ESD technique, but I was working on wood and often touched the psu case. I read somewhere awhile back that it was good to do to rid your body of static electricity (hope I'm not looking like a total moron right now...). I guess I could get the mb tested, but I don't have any ESD bags to protect the mb. Plus, how much is it to get tested?? Am I better off just buying a new mb and be extra careful during the install?? I guess we're down to the final blow for the mb...
Thanks...

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Bummer....if willing, might try that again and leave the
by VAPCMD / July 9, 2006 2:05 PM PDT

battery out longer. Double check your MB manual.

VAPCMD

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Bummer...
by NLFlower / July 9, 2006 3:16 PM PDT

I'll give it a shot tomorrow. Just to be sure, any specific order to perform CMOS reset (i.e. move the jumper over and back before replacing battery, etc.)? Thanks...

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From the previous posts you are in
by billzhills / July 9, 2006 10:50 PM PDT

good hands. One last thing to try before purchase of new MB.

Pull the MB from the case, place it in a cardboard box, attach internal speaker (if no on-board speaker), power supply, monitor. Do not install memory. Short w/small screwdriver the start pins and see if system boots w/beep codes. (benchtest) if so then add memory and re-boot. If successfull return MB to case. If no boot the case has an issue.

I had one case that refused to allow three different MBs to post and still have not figured out why.

Bill

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Pull the mb...
by NLFlower / July 10, 2006 11:36 AM PDT

Unfortunately, I don't have an onboard speaker or do I have one to attach. I'm curious...what would the beep codes indicate that the LED error codes wouldn't? I didn't know if you were aware or not that my mb has an LED error code output. Let me know if this or the lack of a speaker changes anything. I'll wait to hear from you first. One last thing...do I have to remove the cpu also before doing this? Thanks.

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Bunner...thought you already had it out of the case
by VAPCMD / July 10, 2006 12:02 PM PDT
In reply to: Pull the mb...

By all means....pull the MB, place on cardboard ... I'd leave the CPU installed for now...much easier to remove CPU once out of the case. Attach PSU, video and fire it up.

Sometimes you can just turn the case on it's side ...add the piece of cardboard, put the MB on top of it and connect the PS while the PS is still mounted in the case.

Good Luck
VAPCMD

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Bench test MB
by billzhills / July 10, 2006 11:06 PM PDT
In reply to: Pull the mb...

Missed that you had on-board Diag LEDs, so speakers are not needed.

The purpose of the bench test disqualifies any possible case ground shorts or bad devices. Looking back on the previous posts you may want to leave the KB/mouse unattached. If the system boots w/mouse/KB error swap out the KB and re-attempt boot: No joy bad controller > joy > bad KB.

You may have a bad MB and are down to the stage of swaping many parts to confirm. You will have to decide on how much time to invest confirming the MB is damaged or attempt refund/RMA.

Luck

Bill

Another thought while I was proof reading this.
Re-seat the CPU. Had one system that would not boot, pulled and re-seated the CPU: System booted.....

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Re-seating CPU
by billzhills / July 10, 2006 11:44 PM PDT
In reply to: Bench test MB

Re-read of posts indicates that this is not needed ... Sorry ....

One other item, turn off the monitor, allow system to boot watching for the KB to flash. After the KB flash turn on the monitor.

Again don't know why only sometimes the system video gets confused and will not recognize the monitor. Forgot about this one as it does not happen often.

Bill

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Pulled the mb, bad news...
by NLFlower / July 13, 2006 1:02 PM PDT

I pulled the mb, used a newspaper instead of cardboard, no good on the bootup...

I'm a little bummed about all this. Well, actually, more with my trying to do my case swap and running into problems. I'm not sure if it was you or someone else who encouraged me to stick with it and buy another mb if necessary when I was thinking about just selling off everything if it didn't work out. I have to agree that in general it's good advice. However, for me, I think I've reached my wits end with my "computer technician" imitation. I still have my laptop. Any suggestions on the best way to get rid of everything?? This would entail:

Antec minitower case w/ 380W PSU (it is some type of "newer" version of psu's)

512Mb RAM x2
300Gb Maxtor HD's x 2 (brand new)
SIIG Raid card (includes Firewire x2 and USB x3)
Geforce FX5200 (?) graphics card
Athlon XP 2800+ (might be 3200+, I forget) Barton core I'm pretty sure...
Thermaltake(?) huge heatsink CPU cooler w/ fan
Heck, maybe I was doing something wrong somehow and the mb really is good!!! Epox 8RGA+

I know if I ebay'd everything I would get whatever the "market" would allow. However, I think I would prefer to sell the package to someone from the CNET forum since people here seem very helpful, are obviously into computers, and more than likely honest based on the aforementioned "helpfulness" factor...

Thanks for all your help.

ERH

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Almost forgot...
by NLFlower / July 13, 2006 1:13 PM PDT

One other addition to my setup:

D-link Air wireless card DWL-520

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Boy, this computer stuff really has me scrambled...
by NLFlower / July 13, 2006 1:42 PM PDT

Forgot addt'l component:

Two DVD-RW drives, LG and Toshiba(?)

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