Building PC Woes

TushonTushon I'm scared, CoachAlexandria, VA
edited February 2009 in Hardware
I got my new Asus M3A78-T mobo and Phenom IIx4 940 today, installed, connected all the appropriate cords, system reads power is correct.

I turn it on, system power LED is solid green (good) and fans are all on, etc. I get nothing on display through VGA or DVI out on mobo or 9800 GTX+. Help? I'm on lappy and will be refreshing every few minutes for responses or contact me on AIM @ nickyt2006. Thanks in advance.

-Nick
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Comments

  • Sledgehammer70Sledgehammer70 California
    edited February 2009
    do you have all the power cables connected to the Motherboard? the 4pin in the upper left and the 24 main power pin?
  • GnomeWizarddGnomeWizardd Member 4 Life Akron, PA
    edited February 2009
    got power to your video card?
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    edited February 2009
    24 pin (check), 12V for CPU (check).

    video card has two 6 pins connected. Fan is working on it, albeit the lame version of the cooler, unrelated; anyways, gfx card has power.

    I'm not seeing anything at all on either monitor. They are both sitting on sleepy mode.
  • edited February 2009
    You may first want to be sure it supports your phenom 2 right out of the box without a bios flash.

    Somethings I usually try are, resetting the memory sticks, resetting the cpu, clearing the cmos. Clearing the cmos with battery out. If all that fails then I disassemble everything and put the motherboard in its ant-static bag, with the cmos set to clear and the battery out and let it sit overnight and then try again the next day.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    edited February 2009
    Komete wrote:
    You may first want to be sure it supports your phenom 2 right out of the box without a bios flash.

    Somethings I usually try are, resetting the memory sticks, resetting the cpu, clearing the cmos. Clearing the cmos with battery out. If all that fails then I disassemble everything and put the motherboard in its ant-static bag, with the cmos set to clear and the battery out and let it sit overnight and then try again the next day.

    I suspect you are right about the supporting it out of the box without a flash. Is there a way to flash it w/o a "working" CPU? I know it will support it with a later BIOS revision (checked their site). I guess it's my fault for trusting my friend over my looking at the spec sheet.

    I did try clearing CMOS, also disconnected power from video card just to hope it wasnt getting confused on what/how to display. Didn't take battery out, but I think I'm done fiddling with it for tonight because I'm fairly certain it's the CPU/BIOS problem. Any further suggestions would be appreciated.

    edit: local comp store might have a BIOS programmer, checking now! wish me luck
  • TvManPwnsTvManPwns Manitoba, Canada
    edited February 2009
    I had this problem while building a new rig for a friend just last week. We found the problem to be with the memory slots on the mobo. If you have four slots on the mobo and two of the four slots are orangey/yellowish then you should try to switch the memory out to the other slots. It ended up working with my friends amd 6000+, Hope it works for your :)

    -Tvman
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    edited February 2009
    TvManPwns wrote:
    I had this problem while building a new rig for a friend just last week. We found the problem to be with the memory slots on the mobo. If you have four slots on the mobo and two of the four slots are orangey/yellowish then you should try to switch the memory out to the other slots. It ended up working with my friends amd 6000+, Hope it works for your :)

    -Tvman

    Thanks for the tip, but unfortunately no manner of RAM configurations was able to fix it. I'm fairly certain that it is a BIOS support issue. The processor is very new and the board is several months old so I can see it not working w/o an update but now I either have to find a AM2/AM2+ processor to borrow that is supported or find a shop w/ a BIOS programmer. Not very many small shops near me and none open on Sunday, ftl. Maybe tomorrow before work.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX
    edited February 2009
    There is a way to emergency flash most BIOS chips. I'll look around.
  • LeonardoLeonardo Wake up and smell the glaciers Eagle River, Alaska
    edited February 2009
    A BIOS reset might do the trick. I have a couple computers, all with the *same model of motherboard, that if I make major hardware changes or unplug enough components, that I have to reset the BIOS before anything will appear on the monitor.

    Pull the CMOS battery for about half an hour. Boot with just one stick of RAM in the slot your motherboard shows for single-stick operation.

    *Abit IP35-E. I have three of them. They all do that - refuse to post if I've disconnected and reconnected too many items, like hard drives.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    edited February 2009
    Leonardo wrote:
    A BIOS reset might do the trick. I have a couple computers, all with the *same model of motherboard, that if I make major hardware changes or unplug enough components, that I have to reset the BIOS before anything will appear on the monitor.

    Pull the CMOS battery for about half an hour. Boot with just one stick of RAM in the slot your motherboard shows for single-stick operation.

    *Abit IP35-E. I have three of them. They all do that - refuse to post if I've disconnected and reconnected too many items, like hard drives.

    Thanks for the tip, but still gives me same results. Hopefully Thrax comes up with some method of emergency BIOS flash.
  • edited February 2009
    Hrmm. Don't they include a bios number on the motherboard or paperwork somewhere so you could see if the cpu is supported?
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    edited February 2009
    Komete wrote:
    Hrmm. Don't they include a bios number on the motherboard or paperwork somewhere so you could see if the cpu is supported?

    There is no BIOS number to my knowledge, the only thing I can see that is particularly identifying is the "revision number" (v 1.01G). The initial BIOS release for this board was 0204, so you see how little help that is. You only find out the BIOS version when it starts trying to post. Looked through the manual a couple times ,so I guess its just a generic manual, not related to indiviudal mobo.

    The BIOS started supporting Phenom IIx4 940 at 0502. Latest version is 0802. I've got the .ROM on a flash drive so I'll try and figure it out either with another AM2 or find acomputer repair shop with an EEPROM programmer.
  • Mt_GoatMt_Goat Head Cheezy Knob Pflugerville with a "P"
    edited February 2009
    You could order a new EEPROM with the latest bios from BadFlash.com. They are a first rate service and ship very quickly without paying for extra shipping. If in a hurry you could pay the extra overnight charge. I have used them several times in the past and do recommend them!
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX
    edited February 2009
    Can you read the motherboard's manual and tell me if it's an AMI, Phoenix or Award BIOS?

    This whole EEPROM ordering and paying someone to program the existing one business can probably be avoided.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    edited February 2009
    Manual is in the car and I'm leaving for work now, but I'll jump on before I clock on at work and let you know.
  • _k_k P-Town, Texas
    edited February 2009
    Ya, you have the initial BIOS loaded on that board. Currently off of ASUS's website they do not have a BIOS version that will support that chip.

    EDIT: sorry missed the Phenom II when I was reading through the list this morning.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    edited February 2009
    _k_ wrote:
    Ya, you have the initial BIOS loaded on that board. Currently off of ASUS's website they do not have a BIOS version that will support that chip.

    "Phenom IIX4 940 (HDZ940XCJ4DGI),3.0GHz,125W,rev.C2,SocketAM2+,Quad-Core" is listed as supported since revision 0502. I was going to update to 0802 to avoid future problems. Initial BIOS makes sense.

    Thrax,
    I can't see anywhere in the manual if it tells me what the BIOS type is. The screen shots of the utility only say "BIOS Setup Utility". Would be too convienient to list something like "Phoenix - Award BIOS". Lots of stuff about what the options in the BIOS are, but nothing about which specific BIOS I'm using. From looking at screenshots of each, it would appear that I am using AMI but that is only a guess and I know how deadly that can be with this stuff.

    [link=http://support.asus.com/download/download.aspx?SLanguage=en-us&model=M3A78-T&product=1]manual page[/link]. It's at the bottom of that page if you care to look.
  • Mt_GoatMt_Goat Head Cheezy Knob Pflugerville with a "P"
    edited February 2009
    Copied from manual;

    8Mb Flash ROM, AMI bios, PnP, DMI 2.0, WfM2.0, SM bios 2.5, ACPI 2.0a, Asus EzFlash2
  • Mt_GoatMt_Goat Head Cheezy Knob Pflugerville with a "P"
    edited February 2009
    natravis,
    if you have a floppy with the bios and the bios tool on it ready you can try putting it in the floppy drive and holding down the "Insert key" while powering up the system. You also need to have only 1 stick of memory in slot 1. This has been known to work on some systems. I did it on a DFI board not too long ago. You should have a speaker connected to the 3 pin connector next to the power connector so as to hear the board post since it may not show at first. If it doesn't work the first time it may take a try or 2 more to work, mine took on try #2.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX
    edited February 2009
    This thread contains details of the emergency BIOS flash procedure for AMI and Award EEPROMs.

    http://my.ocworkbench.com/bbs/showthread.php?t=50205
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    edited February 2009
    Heading over to a friend who has comp with a working floppy (lol at myself but im taking it lightly) and I'll update with results. Thanks to everyone who has provided tips and especially to Mt_Goat for pointing out that I missed the obvious BIOS type and Thrax for that site. I'm thinking that will be the best possible solution.

    Update: tried using Thrax's link, no dice. Tried Insert, per Mt_Goat, no dice. Tried using floppy, USB, and CD all formatted correctly and only using the ROM in the manner described by Thrax's link; you guessed it, no dice. Reading more reviews of the board is showing that people are getting DOA/no boot boards with alarming frequency. Frustrating for a first build but it happens. Going to let another friend with vastly more experience take a look then return the board if he can't fix it.
  • edited February 2009
    You can use thumb drives with the BIOS on it at least you can for the Gigabyte board I have, dont know if you could with your board but that would be a possibility.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    edited February 2009
    You can use thumb drives with the BIOS on it at least you can for the Gigabyte board I have, dont know if you could with your board but that would be a possibility.

    Tried to no avail. As I stated in update (which was posted after your post, so not trolling you), I think the board is bad. Between an alarming number of no boot reviews (others had no problems, etc) and knowing that I have to flash BIOS before I can use my CPU and its just not working. Ugh!
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    edited February 2009
    Update: board is not sending out anything through a system speaker. So conclusion is that board was DOA and I am returning the board to MicroCenter later today. Gonna borrow a known to work with BIOS proc to update BIOS using the built in utility ... which should be foolproof. Will post results. Thanks for the support!
  • BuddyJBuddyJ Dept. of Propaganda OKC
    edited February 2009
    Sounds like a good plan. Keep us updated!
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    edited February 2009
    My computer is now full of win. It's calmly installing Vista Ultimate 64 right now. Important stats are in the sig (definitely stole format straight from Thrax ... thanks!). Going to OC CPU and vid card once I find out what idle and load temps are under that nice big Zalman cooler. Maybe I'll even post some pics but my cable management looks pretty ugly right now. I could just show its nice blue lights ... ;D

    Thanks again to everyone who offered advice. I just went over to friends, used his old AM2 (which he decided to remove before I got there, and thought it was a good idea to bend some pins ... 30 minutes later, finally fit), loaded BIOS perfectly, popped in my new Phenom II 940, and viola (missing the accent or w/e) ... win! Just have to mess with mem timings and start OCing. Good guides/advice for AM2+ processors?

    Unrelated problem: my account says I have a sig ... but it seems to not want to display.
  • Mt_GoatMt_Goat Head Cheezy Knob Pflugerville with a "P"
    edited February 2009
    System lights working as well as loading an OS is always a good sign after a load of problems to start with! :)
  • LeonardoLeonardo Wake up and smell the glaciers Eagle River, Alaska
    edited February 2009
    Good work!

    Now, on another topic:
    viola (missing the accent or w/e) ...
    Accent's not the problem, but the spelling. It's not a violin, a cello, or a viola, rather voila. (Trust me, the expression has nothing to do with stringed instruments.)
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    edited February 2009
    LOL how terrible of me not to recognize that. I played in an orchestra for 4 years. That is just bad. I'm usually a decent speller too. Oh well.

    Next in line, getting my RAM to run at 1066. I did some random guessing and instead of default 1.8, I set it to 2.0 and got a no post, then reset setting and got a boot. ?? Thoughts? It appears that my board will only allow .2 increments so I was thinking final setting should be 2.2v (OCZ stated range is 2.1-2.3 and I see no warning of exceeding 2.1 on the package, their website said to watch out for it). First time to ever adjust RAM setting, did some light overclocking on older 939 to squeeze some performance out of it but I havent played with my new processor yet, it flies by itself.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX
    edited February 2009
    Set the RAM timings to 5/5/5/15 and use 2.0v. I can't believe your board won't allow .1v increments. O.o
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