Question Multitude of issues with new motherboard

Jun 28, 2021
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Hey everybody,

I'm helping a buddy of mine to get his computer back up and running after it stopped powering on last week. After replacing the power supply, motherboard, and processor it simply does not want to behave and won't post under certain conditions and I'm honestly at a loss of where to go to keep troubleshooting this computer. I have a couple of questions below, and any advice to make sure I'm still on the right track would be much appreciated.

First, the power issue seems to be linked to the graphics card. Last week the computer simply would not start one morning after working the night before. We tried shorting the power switch pins and got no response so we replaced the power supply. This didn't work so we replaced the BIOS battery, which also didn't work. Then the motherboard/cpu got replaced, that also did not start. However, I removed the graphics card this evening and accidentally hit the power button and it powered on without the card installed. To check the card, I installed it into a different computer and that computer wouldn't power up. I'm confident here in saying the graphics card is toast here.

The second problem is that the computer will not go past the BIOS without the graphics card. Windows is installed on an M.2 drive, and switching from UEFI to CSM to boot from the M.2 doesn't work. The description in the BIOS says that onboard graphics are disabled in CSM mode, which essentially means the computer cannot boot from the M.2 drive without a graphics card installed. I took the graphics card from my own computer and installed it into the problem child, and that allowed the computer to boot to Windows. I'm assuming that this will be solved when the graphics card is replaced.

The final problem is related to the RAM. The motherboard is an MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Edge Wifi, and it has little debug LED lights. Whenever the two RAM modules are installed as stated in the manual (First in A2 slot, second in B2 slot) these lights alternate between CPU and DRAM, an error that doesn't seem to be covered in the manual. Removing the RAM in the B2 slot, and leaving only one in the A2 slot, results in the computer booting properly. To check the RAM I've installed each of the two modules in the A2 slot and the computer boots just fine (with my gfx card in it). For giggles, I've also installed the second ram module in the A1 or B1 slots while the first was in A2, and the computer will not boot when a RAM module is in either B slot. When both modules are in the A slots the computer boots, but I am given a warning that the second module is in the wrong slot. Still, the computer sees both ram modules in the A slots. I believe I've confirmed that both RAM modules are working properly, and an issue is present in the motherboard's B slots. Another topic (https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/ez-debug-led-flashing-cpu-ram-loop.3419417/) has a possible solution as trying a motherboard driver update to be compatible with newer CPU generations. The CPU in the motherboard is a 10th generation Intel i9, and MSI does have a driver update to add compatibility with 11th-gen processors, but could this particular motherboard also be incompatible with 10th-gen processors?

If anybody can point out something I overlooked or has any advice on where to go from here I'd greatly appreciate it. Thank you!!
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Does the following link present the User Manual for the motherboard?

https://download.msi.com/archive/mnu_exe/mb/E7C79v1.1.pdf

Are the RAM modules from a kit with with two modules matched for dual channel use?

That question having now been asked - going back a step: the computer was working for some time beforehand - correct?

And there have been a number of hardware changes made after the computer failed to power on for some unknown reason(s) - correct?

Update your post to include current and full system hardware specs and OS information.

Did you mix and match PSU cables anywhere along the way?

What you must do is to read through the motherboard's User Manual to verify that all components are indeed supported and also properly connected and/or configured as applicable.

Read all of fine print in the manual including any caveats. If referred to MSI's website - go there as well for updated information.

Also get the applicable User Guides/Manual for all installed components to double check the installation of each. Remember the case as well,

Basically you need a careful and methodical "do over" to reassemble the build. Start with as simple a hardware configuration as possible: one boot drive (C:), iGPU (if supported) and RAM correctly matched and installed per the supported physical configurations.

Objective being to establish a reliable and stable boot. Let Windows update itself as necessary.

Then start adding in additional components (GPU, another drive, etc.) one by one as required.

Hopefully all that has happened is a simple error of omission or commission. And you have simply been unable to get all into "sync" again.
 
Jun 28, 2021
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Hey Ralston,

Thanks for the reply, but we swapped in RAM and GFX card from my computer and my GFX card worked, the RAM did not, so we sent the new motherboard back and installed the motherboard that was to be replaced and it works flawlessly now.
 

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