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Old 07-30-2006, 05:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Guide To Startup Failures

This Is A Guide To Troubleshooting Startup Failures

So, what happens when your computer doesn’t turn on?
Well for one, u get angry.

When I first put my comp together it didn’t start.

TIP 1-
First when buying a Mobo I would suggest getting the more high priced ones because when going for the cheaper ones (ECS) or unknown brands… you normally get screwed over with the DOA or Incompatibility issues

TIP 2-
If you don’t know which device is causing the problem. Try putting one component after another in your friends build, finding out which component is the problem.
(Sometimes your friend will ask you for money, turn him down and find another friend)

TIP 3-
Make sure all the wires are connected. Check twice if necessary
Also take your time and don’t rush, read the instructions thoroughly.

TIP 4-
When all else fails, sometimes resetting the CMOS (or Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) will get things running. Its memory that stores the BIOS setting's. To keep the memory active it needs a source of electricity, which explains the battery on your Motherboard. And when you Set the cmos jumper.. it will basically cut off the source of electricity to the cmos, and then causes it to reset to default settings. Sometimes you have to actually remove the battery during the process.

TIP 5-
Sometimes when you don’t have enough power, or your powersupply is broken, it will kinda start up for a sec, and then flash back off. (This happened to me once b4)

TIP 6-
Don’t play around with your components!!!
When I was building my first build, I bought one component after another, and there for I would sometimes b stuck with just a mobo, a screen, and a case for a while. And when u have something that valuable and special for a while…. ya wanna touch it
All I want to let u guys know is… leave it alone if u can, even if it is hard

TIP 7-
Leave your stuff in the package if you are not putting it in sometime soon. I left my ram out on my countertop, and well it didn’t work 4 months later. They are very sensitive to electronic stuff (especially subwoofers, TVs, etc.)

TIP 8-
Sometimes after installing an Operating System it wont startup properly because the OS disk was real badly scratched during the install

TIP 9-
If you plan on overclocking… remember to research and make sure you don’t overclock too much, and overclock a little at a time. Because if you overclock like crazy, sometimes your comp will not start up properly, therefore making you have to reset your cmos.

TIP 10- (Thanks nightstick)
Most people forget to connect the 4pin connector on the mobo. I think everyone has done this at least once

TIP 11-
"Some motherboards are picky about the slots you put memory in and will require you to have 1 stick in slot 1. If your pc turns on but you get no video and/or beep codes with no POST checking your memory may help. Try each stick on it's own in memory slot 1."

TIP 12-
Sometimes, when using multiple harddrives.. the computer wont be able to get past the "self test" thats required in order to boot properly

My Recent Problems:
1. DOA
2. Virus:amazed:
3. My Memory (that was on counter top)
4. Not enough power
5. Missing some component (bah, forgot to put in Cpu)
6. Graphics card power plug is not plugged (kinda hanging loose)

What I recommend:
I am not a fanboy. But I really suggest an ABIT mobo.
I can overclock anything, and I’ve never run into any problems.
They’re strong, dependable, and somewhat cheap.

Now.. I know that this guide is pretty small, but hey it’s my first.
Gotta start somewhere

I would gladly add anything else you guys would suggest
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Old 07-30-2006, 06:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
TIP 4-
When all else fails, sometimes resetting the cmos will get things running
(The cmos is a jumper on your board, it deals with the settings of your bios and stuff, and it basically resets them)
firstly a correction.

CMOS (or Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) is essentially the dynamic ROM of the BIOS chip. in other words it is the memory on the BIOS chip that your settings are stored in and it needs a constant source of power to maintain them (like the CMOS battery). the CMOS jumper on the motherboard disconnects the CMOS's power source and resets to default settings. by removing the battery on the motherboard you can also reset the CMOS.

now an addition

in many cases the cause of a newly built computer not booting is that the P4 (a 4 pin power connector, similar to the extra 4 pins on the main power connector) connector has not been connected. this normally presents by the PC powering up but with no video and no POST. sometimes the PC may turn on and stop at the manufacturers logo or beep wildly at you.

some motherboards are picky about the slots you put memory in and will require you to have 1 stick in slot 1. if your pc turns on but you get no video and/or beep codes with no POST checking your memory may help. try each stick on it's own in memory slot 1.

the NUMBER 1 cause of your computer not turning on is: the computers power supply is either turned off, the power cable is disconnected or the power is switched off at the wall (i must say i've scared myself more than once with this)

Quote:
Sometimes when you don’t have enough power, or your powersupply is broken, it will kinda start up for a sec, and then flash back off. (This happened to me once b4)
and extending on that: hard drives can take up to double their power rating to spin up when you turn your pc on. therefore it is possible that while your pc may have more than enough power to run once it has booted but may struggle to boot if you have a lot of hard drives. with SATA drives this can be solved because you can stagger each one as they power up.
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Old 07-30-2006, 08:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by nitestick


CMOS (or Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) is essentially the dynamic ROM of the BIOS chip. in other words it is the memory on the BIOS chip that your settings are stored in and it needs a constant source of power to maintain them (like the CMOS battery). the CMOS jumper on the motherboard disconnects the CMOS's power source and resets to default settings. by removing the battery on the motherboard you can also reset the CMOS.
Yeah.. thats what i was trying to say, just didnt come out right
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Old 07-30-2006, 08:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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hope u dont mind.. but i kinda just quoted what you said, its 7:30.. and im dead tired.
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Old 07-30-2006, 08:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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it's fine, but can you change NightStick to nitestick or Nitestick . it's the only time i'll ever prefer an incorrect spelling

edit: also the point i made about hdd's is only during boot. it's normally fine if you can get the pc to boot but it may actually be bad enough to cause the power supply to not send it's PWR-GOOD or PWR-OK signal. this signal is kind of like a power supply's self test telling the motherboard that it is fine. if it doesn't receive the signal it won't turn on. the average hdd probably only draws about 7-10w. but say you have 5 hdd's. at boot that could be an excess of 35-50w which could be more than enough to stop your computer from starting
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