Question Bench testing an MSI B550-A Pro

Mar 28, 2021
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Hi all!

I'm building a computer from all-new parts, the fourth that I've built, and I'm running into an issue that I have never encountered before. Simply put, when I try to start it (either with the power switch or by shorting the power switch pins on the motherboard), nothing happens at all. No debug lights on the motherboard, no indication of anything receiving power anywhere. This build has an MSI B550-A Pro motherboard, a Corsair CX 650M PSU, and an AMD Ryzen 5 3600X.

I've gone through the no-POST troubleshooting guide and the motherboard bench testing thread. I don't have a multimeter, but the power supply passes the paperclip test (PSU fan starts spinning). The standoffs were installed correctly, and I confirmed that there was no unwanted metal contact anywhere on the board, back when it was still installed in its case. Currently I have it out in the box it came in for bench testing. There are no visual indications of damage to capacitors or any other component. The CPU does not appear to have any bent pins, and there is no thermal paste anywhere it shouldn't be. I've tried removing the CMOS battery and waiting several minutes before reinstalling it. Some of my forum searches indicated that this motherboard requires a BIOS update to support late generation AMD Ryzen CPUs, but the Ryzen 5 3600X shouldn't be one of them and in any case I would still expect some activity from the motherboard debug lights. I have tried cycling the power both on a bare board, and with the CPU+fan and a stick of memory installed, in the configuration illustrated here:



By all accounts from the motherboard bench testing thread, it seems like the motherboard is dead, but I also know that it's rare for the motherboard to actually be the problem in a new computer no-POST situation. Are there any other tests I should try before contacting the motherboard manufacturer? I would hate to go through the return process, only to find out that was never the issue.

Thanks for any advice any of you may be able to give!

Best,
Matt
 
a no posting situation isn't quite the same as a total lack of power.
and a paper clip test doesn't actually prove a PSU is functional under any type of load.
do ANY lights show or ANY fans spin up at all when the system is fully configured and trying to power on?

it's not totally uncommon, especially these days, for a motherboard to arrive DOA.
but it seems to be a far more common occurrence for it to be the PSU.
quality assurance testing doesn't seem to be a big thing for even most of the largest\most popular manufacturer's anymore.

either try this PSU in another system or try another PSU in this one.
while it can be the motherboard, it is usually much easier to switch out the PSU and test it first rather than reinstalling everything on another board.

if your CX 650M turns out to not be the issue,
and you've already verified that it isn't a damaged power cable\surge protector\UPS\or wall outlet,
than you know it is the motherboard.
 
Mar 28, 2021
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Hey, thanks for the fast reply! No, no lights or fans show any signs of power in any of the configurations I've tried. With the PSU paperclip test, I've tried connecting other things to add a load but it's unclear what I can do to draw more power. Online I've seen suggestions to power fans, but none of the fans I have use connectors that I can attach directly to the PSU. I tried plugging PSU cables into the motherboard CPU socket, as well as an SSD, but not sure if that actually worked. If you have a suggestion for a better way to do this, I'd appreciate it.

I've got a working PSU in another computer, but it'll be a pain in the ass to unhook it from everything and connect it to this motherboard! It sounds like maybe that's all that's left to do though, so I suppose I can suck it up and give it a try.
 

Karadjgne

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It's a Ryzen. Often times you get exactly no response from anything if a gpu is not present. Breadboard looks perfect btw, yes all you need is cpu, cooler, 1 stick of ram in A2 and the 2x power plugs for 20+4 and eps/cpu. The gpu is questionable, some do, some don't.
 

itsdigger

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Jan 11, 2018
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Hey, thanks for the fast reply! No, no lights or fans show any signs of power in any of the configurations I've tried. With the PSU paperclip test, I've tried connecting other things to add a load but it's unclear what I can do to draw more power. Online I've seen suggestions to power fans, but none of the fans I have use connectors that I can attach directly to the PSU. I tried plugging PSU cables into the motherboard CPU socket, as well as an SSD, but not sure if that actually worked. If you have a suggestion for a better way to do this, I'd appreciate it.

I've got a working PSU in another computer, but it'll be a pain in the ass to unhook it from everything and connect it to this motherboard! It sounds like maybe that's all that's left to do though, so I suppose I can suck it up and give it a try.
I would try a different stick of RAM in slot labeled Number One and install a GPU. Do you have a MB speaker installed? The best you can hope for without a GPU is some beeps telling you there is no GPU installed.
 

BogdanH

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Sep 21, 2020
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This board had debug LED's, so if missing GPU would be the issue red VGA error LED would be lit -that is, it must lit in case GPU is not inserted (or not powered).

I watched your smallish photo.. and in my eyes, it looks like CPU cooler is mounted a bit sideway -maybe it's perspective thing. Anyway, at least from BeQuiet video, this CPU cooler must be mounted in different orientation (fan should be facing RAM).
 

itsdigger

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Jan 11, 2018
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Hey, thanks for the fast reply! No, no lights or fans show any signs of power in any of the configurations I've tried. With the PSU paperclip test, I've tried connecting other things to add a load but it's unclear what I can do to draw more power. Online I've seen suggestions to power fans, but none of the fans I have use connectors that I can attach directly to the PSU. I tried plugging PSU cables into the motherboard CPU socket, as well as an SSD, but not sure if that actually worked. If you have a suggestion for a better way to do this, I'd appreciate it.

I've got a working PSU in another computer, but it'll be a pain in the ass to unhook it from everything and connect it to this motherboard! It sounds like maybe that's all that's left to do though, so I suppose I can suck it up and give it a try.
I forgot to mention to check to be certain connections with the 24-pin & CPU power cables are made,
 
Mar 28, 2021
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Hi all,

I've gone ahead and hooked up a power supply from my other, working computer to the breadboarded motherboard:



Following one of the suggestions in this post, I added a GPU in case the motherboard needed that. Still no response at all when i power it up - no debug lights or anything. I tried powering it up both by putting a screwdriver across the pins and by inserting the connectors to the new computer's front panel power switch. Are there any other tests I should try while everything is out? Any way this isn't just a dead motherboard?

Thanks,
Matt
 
Mar 28, 2021
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No debug or any other led's, yeah that sounds bricked to me.
Ahh damn. Is there any other way I could be messing up turning on the power, given that I tried the screwdriver and the switch? Replacing a motherboard isn't the worst thing, I'd just hate to do so and find out it wasn't the actual issue, but right now it seems like it's either that or I'm doing something dumb with the power.
 
Mar 28, 2021
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The Power LED, Power switch and Reset Switch goes to the JFP1. Bottom right corner of your board.

Should check the manual. Front panel connectors does not go to JCOM1.
Oh my god... this is what it was. Moved to JFP1 and it started right up. So i was indeed doing something dumb with the power switch! Thank you for your help.
 

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