PC Hardware forum


New PC hardware won't start

by aaronkr / December 11, 2012 4:59 AM PST

I'm building a new PC with the following components and am experiencing an exasperating problem.

Corsair Enthusiast Series 650-Watt 80 Plus Bronze Certified Power Supply

Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB SATA III Hard Drive

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9D-16GXM

EVGA 01G-P3-1556-KR GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) FPB 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K

ASUS P8Z77-V LE PLUS LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

I'm building this PC in a Dell XPS 630 case where the original internals have died. I am using vandal momentary switch/led's for the start button and reset button. In other words the only Dell part in use is the case and one 120mm fan.

When I power up the unit the only thing that happens is all or most of the fans run at high speed for a few seconds and then the system shuts down. Occasionally the fans will run a bit longer and slow down but the system still shuts down. The MB speaker never beeps and there is no monitor activity. The monitor remains in sleep mode. The MB status light is green and if the power stays on long enough the red memory indicator LED extinguishes.

I have replaced every component at least once under warranty (the MB twice) from the various manufacturers or place of purchase. All components are new. This has been going on for two months now and any help is appreciated.

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Clarification Request
Did you try it outside the case?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 11, 2012 5:05 AM PST

I usually try just a few parts on cardboard to narrow it down. Inside the old case can be an issue so we start with cardboard, motherboard and PSU to try to power up. If those don't we are looking at the bad part or parts.

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Been there :(
by aaronkr / December 11, 2012 10:23 AM PST

For the second board I tried with the board not mounted in the case. When I got this third board I put an insulator between the case and the board just to make sure, though there appears to be plenty of space provided by the standoffs. Same results for all attempts. Also, the peripheral connector template fits the case properly and the board also physically fits with no problems. I removed the graphics card and memory but still get the same results. I find it hard to believe I still have a defective part.

The case is a tank and most parts inside and out simply snap on and off. That's why I decided to reuse it. I suppose if all else fails I could purchase a new case. It's just about the only thing left except for one case fan. Thanks for the suggestion though.

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So it's in the case?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 11, 2012 10:51 AM PST
In reply to: Been there :(

We must get it to work on cardboard first. If not we are losing hair and time.

And we don't need much. Just the motherboard and PSU for most setups.

-> Most common gaffe? Extra mounting post hitting the board in the wrong spot. Again, it's another reason we start with no case, few parts as possible.

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Will try tomorrow
by aaronkr / December 11, 2012 11:13 AM PST
In reply to: So it's in the case?

An extra post never occurred to me. I will remove the board tomorrow and try what you suggest. If you are correct I hope some of the components are not damaged because I'm not sure I can get them replaced again. But then again if they are damaged the test will fail anyway and I still won't know what the problem is. Thanks.

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Good news and a discovery
by aaronkr / December 12, 2012 4:56 AM PST
In reply to: Will try tomorrow

I removed the MB from the case as well as everything except the CPU and memory. Powering up the MB was still unsuccessful. I tried several things and one of them paid off. After initially pressing and releasing the power switch I waited a few seconds and then pressed and held the button. While doing this the MB passed the fan POST, beeped once, and displayed the initial screen. Pressing F1 brought me to the bios config where I saw the 16GB of memory, the processor description, and everything else I would expect to be there. It appears the new components are good.

Since the Dell case has a proprietary MB connector I improvised by installing a half height USB 3.0 adapter and putting two vandal switches in it, one for power on and one for reset. Both switches also have built in LED's.

Vandal switch

The switches are momentary and connected with the normally open contacts. So the question is, why is the MB responding this way and/or should I have purchased the latching switch instead?

Oh, and you were correct, there was an extra post. I removed it but have not put the MB back in the case.

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4 seconds.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 12, 2012 5:02 AM PST

There is a thing about the 4 second press and hold the power button. You do that to clear an error with the power up circuit or shut it down when the machine locks up.

I did not read your motherboard manual but the ATX standard is for momentary. If the PSU is proprietary that could be a problem but Dell only used those long ago.

Sounds like progress.

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by aaronkr / December 12, 2012 6:29 AM PST
In reply to: 4 seconds.

There is nothing Dell on the PC except the case and one 120mm fan. The MB has connectors for both power and reset so I assume the power button does not also do the reset.

I do have a Dell XPS 730 that acts that way. There is no reset button, only the power button and it functions as you describe. Not sure where to go from here. I have a chat session waiting with ASUS. Perhaps they can help.

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With that extra stud, all bets are off.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 12, 2012 6:35 AM PST
In reply to: confused

You knew that was coming so let's hope they tell more. A quick look around and the momentary is noted for that board so unless they tell more, my bet is the stud shorted something out and partially killed a chip.

It's a common issue and one that repeats a lot.

The power button also has a reset feature. Press and hold for 4 seconds and it does something else. It's on the web about that so I'll stop here.

Wish I had a better idea.

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Are you using all brass standoffs or some brass and some
by VAPCMD / December 12, 2012 6:38 AM PST
In reply to: Been there :(

plastic standoffs with the tips cut off ?

I've always had success with using 3 or max 4 brass standoffs (to stabilize the MB/keep it from moving) and the rest of the mounting holes are supported with the white plastic standoffs. The board is snug but supported without a brass standoff at all MB mounting holes. A lot of MBs don't have notches for the plastic standoffs ut if you cut off the tip (the short part under the wide base) the standoff sits flat on the motherboard mounting plate.



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All metal
by aaronkr / December 12, 2012 7:39 AM PST

All 9 of the standoffs are metal. There is no plastic. I just finished a chat with ASUS and they recommend I RMA the board. I started that process.

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Ok...still recommend you try the approach previously
by VAPCMD / December 12, 2012 9:21 AM PST
In reply to: All metal

described. You don't want any brass standoffs under the MB unless the align perfectly with MB mounting holes and you can put in the screws. Best to just put in three/four brass standoffs to keep it in place and use the plastic standoffs to support the MB elsewhere. Makes the MB installation/removal quicker, easier and ensures the successful use.

Also ....when you get the replacement MB, make sure it works outside the case before mounting it in the case....it's the very first thing folks should do when building a new PC to ensure success with the least effort/hassle.

Last...please keep us posted on the outcome.


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riveted standoffs
by aaronkr / December 12, 2012 11:22 AM PST

On this Dell chassis all the standoffs are actually steel rivets, not threaded on the case side. The MB fits perfectly on them however and all 9 screws match without even a nudge. The one standoff I removed I had to twist and yank out. The tests ASUS had me do were to clear the BIOS and when that didn't work to remove the 8 pin power connector and try and start the PC. With the power connector removed the fans didn't even start though one of them nudged. At that point the tech said I should RMA the MB.

I will definitely start the new MB outside the case before going any further. I'm still not sure what's going on if I can actually run the system by holding in the power button. Perhaps the PSU may be faulty or damaged from that post I removed. I am reluctantly considering scrapping this awesome case and getting a new one. I have an XP license and want to be able to get the $40 Windows 8 upgrade before the offer expires or I get too old.

I will definitely keep you posted on how this is progressing. I can't thank you enough for your time and advice.

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Ok look forward to hearing more....any chance you could post
by VAPCMD / December 13, 2012 9:27 AM PST
In reply to: riveted standoffs

a PIC of the MB plate ? I looked but didn't see any PICs on the WEB. The case looks nice but really kinda of cramped.

If it's any consolation, there are lots of great cases out there. I suggest checking out those at Newegg because they have a big selection and do a pretty good job displaying the product and features.


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