Brand new build won't start up, even after replacing CPU and M/B

Jeffery Owen

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Jul 26, 2015
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I'm stumped. I put together a new build, and nothing happened. The fans spun up, the HDD light flashed for a second, and then nothing (fans still running). Occasionally after a minute, the fans will spin down as if de-powered (only for a moment), then come back up. No video output, no POST, nothing. I followed all the steps in the sticky and also tested the P/S, good to go on that. So I RMA'd both board and CPU and got brand new ones, and exactly the same thing happened. Whaaaat?

My specs:
MSI Z97S SLI Krait Edition
Intel G3258
MSI GTX 960 Twin Frozr OC
Kingston HyperX Fury DDR3-1866, 4x8GB
WD Black 1TB, x2
Raidmax RX-850AE P/S (tested good)
CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO
LiteOn DVD-RW
Zalman Z9-U3 case

Is it possible that I have a bad case? A short in the front panel wiring perhaps? I know, it's a long shot, but this has been stumping me for over a week. I've breadboarded it, tried it with and without the GPU (using iGPU), consulted with some bench techs at Fry's, everything I could think of. I admit, it's been 7 years since my last build, maybe I've forgotten how to do it.
I would deeply appreciate any insight. Thanks in advance.
 

Jeffery Owen

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Jul 26, 2015
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Calvin -

See, this is why I love all you guys here. In a manly fraternal sort of way, of course. ;)
I had thoroughly checked the compatibility sheets for both the memory and the mainboard, and it looked good to go. After I read your suggestion, I went back and re-checked, and confirmed, the compatibility on these two items. The mainboard sheet said the memory is OK, and the memory sheet said the mainboard is OK. But it had never occurred to me to check the CPU compatibility sheet. And sure enough, right in front of my bloodshot eyes - 1333MHz. Doh!
Darn shame, because I'm putting together a beautiful Black/White Build, with my black and white sticks in my black and white DIMM slots. I hope I can find that color scheme at the correct speed. By the way, you are correct that this memory is not sold in 4x8GB kits. I neglected to mention that it was a pair of 2x8GB kits.
I'll post a follow-up when I get the correct memory, but it looks like we have a winner here. That would definitely explain the zero activity at power-up. Yep, it's been way too long since I've done this.
Appreciate the knowledge, Calvin. As a former boss used to say, "Buy yourself a cold one, on me!"
 

Jeffery Owen

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Jul 26, 2015
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Jeffery Owen

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Jul 26, 2015
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Well, it took a couple of weeks, but I finally got the memory RMA'd and got some new sticks. The new memory is identical to the previous, except for speed. Kingston HyperX Fury DDR3-1333MHz. I got two 8GB sticks for a total of 16GB, currently have them installed in DIMM slots 2 and 4, as per the mobo guidelines.
So, on this new build I have replaced M/B, CPU, and memory. Tried it with external GPU and without, using onboard GPU. Tried with two different monitors.
Nada, zip, zero.
The only components I haven't outright replaced are the case and the P/S. I bought a P/S tester and it seems to indicate a good P/S. Tomorrow I'm going to tear it all down and start again, deep sigh. I'll try rotating a single stick around the DIMM slots, then I'll try a known good P/S, the Antec 650 I'm using right now. If that doesn't do it I'm going to cry uncle and give up, take it to a tech. Bummer.
Thanks all for the good suggestions, they were worth trying.
 

Jeffery Owen

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Jul 26, 2015
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Do you mean the power supply? I think it's 6 years old. It's the one powering the system I'm using to write to you as we speak, so I know beyond any doubt that it's good. It's a long shot, but tomorrow I'm going to pull it and try it with the new build. At this point, I'm just grasping at straws. I have never had this much difficulty with a new build. It doesn't seem possible that the components I have replaced are all bad, so the most likely explanation is that I'm doing something wrong. I just can't figure out what. This is not my first rodeo, this will be my third build, but this one has got me in a hammerlock.
I'm somewhat frustrated now, but nevertheless I deeply appreciate your taking the time to try to help me. If I could, I'd buy you a cold beverage of your choice.
 

Jeffery Owen

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Jul 26, 2015
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The PSU is a no-go.
Wow.
I have now replaced every major component of this system, and still nothing. I don't even get any error code beeps on powerup. Somebody up there doesn't want me to have a new PC.
I'm going to tear it all down and start again, but I have pretty much no hope that will work either.
I'd like to think I'm not that dumb. There's always the possibility that I am, but I've done this before, several times, and have never experienced failure on this massive level.
After this next try, if it fails again, I'm going to surrender and take it to the bench tech. How humiliating! And I'm willing to bet that when the problem is discovered, it's going to be one of those forehead-smacking moments - "Doh!" It's going to be something really simple and really stupid, that I overlooked.
Anyways, much thanks to all of you who have tried to help me. You guys are the best.
 

Jeffery Owen

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Jul 26, 2015
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Okay, quick update. You guys are absolutely going to love this.
I tore it all down and breadboarded it, starting with only mainboard, PSU, and CPU/fan, on my wooden table. Got three long beeps. Okay, memory. Added 1 stick in DIMM 1. No beeps! Okay, looking good. Repeated the process, adding one component at a time, you know the drill (better than I). Got to the point of adding video display, using my old 19" D-Sub, and Glory Hallelujah! Got to the BIOS and no errors!
Alrighty then, dumped the 19" and added the new 24" HDMI, and nothing. Well, hmm. Raised an eyebrow like Spock, and pulled the HDMI cable off the TV in the living room.
Bam! There you go.
All this time, I was having a bad $10 HDMI cable.
Told you guys you were going to love it. Is that crazy, or what?
So, I don't know how to mark this thread as "solved," but it's solved.
Let that be a lesson to all that follow. Don't buy cheap bargain HDMI cables. Pay extra, and get quality.
Cheers to all of you here. I raise my glass to you. Thanks for your help.
 

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