Built a new computer. Fans spin but..

July 25, 2011 at 19:25:20
Specs: 7, Socket 1156
Built a new computer, fans spin but nothing comes on screen. This should probably help:

The reason we built this new computer was that on the old one, we had the same problem. Computer was working for years then, all of a sudden after cleaning out the computer and reseating the cpu, it wouldnt start.

So now we bought a new MOTHERBOARD, RAM, CPU, POWER SUPPLY. Built the computer in the SAME CASE. We have the SAME PROBLEM. I took the motherboard out of the case, used a different power button connection to the motherboard, even hooked up a different monitor. Started it up... and nothing. ANY IDEAS!!!?? I'm so frustrated at this point..

Motherboard is ASROCK H61M-VS and CPU is i3-2100. Ram is a 4gb set from crucial. We even have a new video card (but i'm trying onboard video too).


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July 25, 2011 at 20:16:12
Let's start with your old computer. It was working until you "reseated the CPU", right? Did you consider that the "reseating" is what mucked things up? Proper installation of the CPU & heatsink are critical. Are you sure you installed the CPU in the socket correctly? It should have dropped right in place with little or no pressure. The socket itself is known as a ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) socket. After the CPU is inserted & locked in place, then the thermal paste is applied - it MUST be applied correctly. Old paste should never be re-used. When applying thermal paste, it's extremely important to use the right amount. If done incorrectly, the system either won't boot at all or it will start, then immediately shutdown. The amount of paste required & how to apply it varies depending on the make/model of the CPU. The following site gives detailed instructions for numerous different models. Find your CPU on the list. If you did it differently than what's shown, it's very likely the reason your old system won't boot:


As for the new system, it would be helpful if you'd list the complete specs in detail. We know the board & CPU, but don't know the speed of the 4GB RAM, the make/model/wattage of power supply, or the hard drive info. But I'm guessing you bypassed one of the most important steps when building - the bench test. What that means is you should have temporarily assembled the base components on the bench, then tested the assembly to confirmed it worked. Obviously it would be pointless to install non-working hardware in a case, right? And if it worked on the bench, then didnt work once installed in the case, you'd at least know the components were good & that there's probably a problem with the installation - for example, shorting out on a improperly placed standoff under the board. The benchtest can save hours of troubleshooting. Here's how it's done:


Other than that, the power supply is arguably THE most important component in the build because everything depends on it. Hopefully you bought a decent name brand unit & not a generic cheapie.

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July 25, 2011 at 20:23:31
Ok so let me clarify. When I mucked up the cpu placement the first time, I corrected it and the computer WORKED for 1-2 weeks after that. It could still be that something messed up in the process and it only worked temporarily.

My new build is just about the same as:


Also, my mistake was not bench testing BEFOREHAND. I did a bench test AFTER i saw that it did not boot, as you'll see int he video shortly.

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July 25, 2011 at 20:25:49

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July 25, 2011 at 22:27:14
Power supply testers are pretty much useless. Does it check for amperage? No, of course not, all it does is check voltage. But it doesn't even provide actual voltage readings, it shows colored lights. Sh!tcan it & get a decent multimeter.

You didn't bother to answer my questions about the power supply. Am I supposed to assume you have the Antec 380W? I know Tom's has used that PSU in the past, personally I would have gotten something better.

I'm not confident that you applied the thermal paste correctly, especially after what you said about installing the 1st CPU incorrectly. For the i3, you should use the vertical line method - not the center dot, not the horizontal line, not the "X", & you certainly shouldn't lay the paste on like frosting a cake.

Also, you should benchtest with just ONE stick of RAM. I didn't notice a keyboard connected or a speaker? Does the board have a built-in speaker? If not, you need one to check for BIOS beep codes (or lack of).

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July 26, 2011 at 00:24:21
When I had the speaker connected, no beep codes.

Yes, the power supply is the 380W. I've used it in three computers that are still running just fine.

I did a bench test with 1 stick of ram, didn't help.

I have a multimeter I'll start using to test power supplies from now on. As for now, I've convinced that the board and/or cpu is bad. The board/cpu combo should work fine since ASRock lists the cpu as a working cpu in ALL their bios versions.

Oh well =/

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July 26, 2011 at 11:17:29

1 memory slot on the motherboard was bad. Occupying the slot furthest from the cpu would allow the computer to startup, whereas occupying the one closest would not.

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