Step ??. Clear the CMOS. This works just often enough to be worth doing.
Step 15. If the system doesn't power up, try swapping the case power and reset switches. Doesn't cost anything or take long. I was building a give-away system with a recycled case and had that problem once.
We should include that breadboarding link for sure. I don't completely understand the case switch thing jsc, are you saying to try to boot the build using the reset switch in case the power switch is bad?
I think this should be put in the first post so people don't have to hunt for it, its very good stuff. People might not see it unless you put it up top. One more step towards stickification.
I also wanted to add some suggestions that jsc often posts. This is a direct quote from him:
"Pull everything except the CPU and HSF. Boot. You should hear a series of long single beeps indicating memory problems. Silence here indicates, in probable order, a bad PSU, motherboard, or CPU - or a bad installation where something is shorting and shutting down the PSU.
To eliminate the possiblility of a bad installation where something is shorting and shutting down the PSU, you will need to pull the motherboard out of the case and reassemble the components on an insulated surface. This is called "breadboarding" - from the 1920's homebrew radio days. I always breadboard a new or recycled build. It lets me test components before I go through the trouble of installing them in a case.
If you get the long beeps, add a stick of RAM. Boot. The beep pattern should change to one long and two or three short beeps. Silence indicates that the RAM is shorting out the PSU (very rare). Long single beeps indicates that the BIOS does not recognize the presence of the RAM.
If you get the one long and two or three short beeps, test the rest of the RAM. If good, install the video card and any needed power cables and plug in the monitor. If the video card is good, the system should successfully POST (one short beep, usually) and you will see the boot screen and messages.
Note - an inadequate PSU will cause a failure here or any step later.
Note - you do not need drives or a keyboard to successfully POST (generally a single short beep).
If you successfully POST, start plugging in the rest of the components, one at a time. "
Great thread...refreshes my memory from previous builds and hopefully will help me with my current build.
BTW: I've never had a build work right the first time. I've not done enough of them to know the pitfalls and what not. I'm not ignorant by any means but it's threads like these that certainly help me get my bearings.
If I post the same ole same ole it's not from a lack of reading.