Need a little help with computer build [Archive] - Glock Talk

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BobRicks
05-12-2007, 18:51
I am trying to build another computer and am running into a little problem. Went to Fry Electronics(first mistake), bought a MB/CPU combo. The MB was an ECS brand(second mistake). Bought 2 gig of Patriot memory DDR2 5300. Came home put it together, and it will not boot up. Will not do anything other than spin the cooling fans in the case and CPU cooling fan. With a ribbon cable hooked up to the hard drive and MB, the hard drive will not power up and spin. If you remove the ribbon cable from either the MB or hard drive, the drive will spin up. There is no display on the screen, and the monitor light stays amber instead of turning green and displaying anything.

I figured since the hard drive would not power up with the ribbon cable connected to the MB, it must be a short in the MB. I drove about 100 miles to return it and exchange it for another MB, came home, and SAME THING!

What are the chances that I got two bad MB's? What would my next step be? If it is not the MB, that only leaves CPU and memory. Anyone have any suggestions other than quit buying junk at Fry's:animlol: ???

Thanks.
Bob

doktarZues
05-12-2007, 19:55
Some chipsets (and some specific motherboards) are really picky about what kind of memory they will run.. Is the memory two 1gb sticks or one 2gb stick? If it's two sticks have you tried 1 at a time and swapping them out? If it's a single stick of 2gb, do you have a different stick of ddr2 ram you can put in there?

Check for where the screws are clamping down on the motherboard to the mb tray, are you using any sort of paper washers here? Could they be shorting out one of the circuit traces?

Could be so many different things.. the above is where I would look first. -dok

Blitzer
05-12-2007, 20:13
In tech talk it is always a nice thing to know the details of your parts like CPU type and speed etc.

The way your build reads is you are using a old case and power supply, no? The power supply could be under rated for the new CPU/Motherboard combo.

Not knowing your experience level I will make this at a 6th grade level.

As a positive function test lay everything on a layer of news papers on the kitchen table.

Pull the motherboard and power supply out of the case.

Hook up the speaker and power switch leads to the motherboard, the hard and floppy drives, and power LED too.

Be sure the Video card is in the correct slot if it is a PCI card.

Power up the unit in that configuration.

Check that there is no mounting boss touching the motherboard anywhere but a valid screw hole, a mis-located or extra boss will shut down power to the motherboard.

There could be a short to a place where a screw head or mounting boss is touching a trace, a hole that isn't supposed to have a screw there. A valid screw mounting point has a ring, of circuit board trace, around the hole either on the top or bottom or maybe both surfaces.

I use 50% plastic feet and 50% screws/bosses to mount a motherboard. I also use the outer holes to mount the board to the chassis's back plate.

Best wishes.

:thumbsup: :supergrin: ;)

BobRicks
05-12-2007, 20:26
Blitzer, thanks for the reply. Here is run down on parts. As noted in first post ECS motherboard, Athlon 64 X2 5600+ CPU, new case and PS, new Nvidia Geforce 7300 video card. Only thing from other computer is old hard drive which is less than a year old. Memory is 2 1gig sticks of Patriot PC5300 memory which is also new.

I have tried cardboard between mounting holes and motherboard and it still does not work. Have not tried to set everything on desktop with no case but will give that a try before I load everything up and see what they can tell me. I did take the MB out of the case and set it on the foam that came with it, and hooked everything up and I know the MB was not touching any metal, and it still did not work.

BobRicks
05-12-2007, 20:29
MitchSrader, thanks for the PM. I had tried all of that which you suggested already. All parts were new except for the hard drive. The cable was a new cable that came with the MB.

I tried to PM you but it said your box was full, therefore I responded here!

srhoades
05-12-2007, 20:53
Try reseting the CMOS. Years ago I encountered a problem with Athlons and ECS boards. If you didn't enter the BIOS and set the clock speed on the first boot, your were done. I exchanged 3 boards before I figured it out by talking to the droves of people in line to return their boards as well.

BobRicks
05-12-2007, 20:59
Srhoades, tried that also! Still no worky. I haven't tried it with just one stick of memory at a time, so I guess that is what I will try next. Tired of working on it tonight, getting sleepy. Guess I'll try some more tomorrow.

IndyGunFreak
05-12-2007, 21:04
Originally posted by srhoades
Try reseting the CMOS. Years ago I encountered a problem with Athlons and ECS boards. If you didn't enter the BIOS and set the clock speed on the first boot, your were done. I exchanged 3 boards before I figured it out by talking to the droves of people in line to return their boards as well.

On a new motherboard?... Wow...

If you shorted your motherboard out, to the point your putting cardboard under it to make sure, you might have hosed the components on the board. I personally never use those plastic standoffs, and only use the brass standoffs.

Have you followed doktarZeu's advice, to only use 1 memory module, and see if it will boot? I've had the exact problem you describe, and it was 2 memory modules not co-operating. They were the same speed, voltage, etc but one was bought from TD, one at Best Buy. Independently, both worked fine, put them both together, and PC wouldn't boot.

BobRicks
05-12-2007, 21:07
Indy, I swapped motherboard today for a new one. Made sure it sat on either brass or cardboard so it would not short.

I have not tried the memory by using one stick at a time yet. I am tired and sleepy, so it will have to wait until tomorrow. The memory was two sticks of Patriot that came as a kit, so they should be the same.

Thanks for the suggestion.
Bob

c6601a
05-13-2007, 08:44
This is a prime example of why some of us constantly advise against armatures building their own computers. If you were doing it on a regular basis and had 100% spares on hand, you could very quickly figure out which component was bad by selectively replacing things one at a time. By the time you are done driving 500 miles for 5 trips to Fry’s, standing in line there for 3 hours on the return line, filling out the return forms, getting flagged by their system as a problem customer because of frequent returns, you would have spent more time and money than if you had bought the absolute top of the line, most expensive PC from Dell.

IndyGunFreak
05-13-2007, 12:49
Originally posted by c6601a
This is a prime example of why some of us constantly advise against armatures building their own computers. If you were doing it on a regular basis and had 100% spares on hand, you could very quickly figure out which component was bad by selectively replacing things one at a time. By the time you are done driving 500 miles for 5 trips to Fry’s, standing in line there for 3 hours on the return line, filling out the return forms, getting flagged by their system as a problem customer because of frequent returns, you would have spent more time and money than if you had bought the absolute top of the line, most expensive PC from Dell.

Its not difficult to build a PC, I've talked several people through it. The Key is not buying/using junk hardware. We've all already expressed our disdain for the board he used, with good reason. If he's using the power supply that came with his case, it likely sucks.

BobRicks
05-13-2007, 14:00
c6601a, I am not an armature, nor am I an amature. I work as a technician for a school district. I may not know everything about computers, nor as much as most technicians do, but I do know enough that I usually build my computers, and this is the first time I have run into anything like this, thus I came here seeking help. I just don't have spare parts laying around the house that I can use to troubleshoot.

I just got off the phone with Fry's and am taking it all back tomorrow. If they cannot give me parts that work and check them before I leave this time, I will just get my money back and order a Dell like you talk about!

IndyGunFreak
05-13-2007, 16:50
Originally posted by BobRicks
c6601a, I am not an armature, nor am I an amature. I work as a technician for a school district. I may not know everything about computers, nor as much as most technicians do, but I do know enough that I usually build my computers, and this is the first time I have run into anything like this, thus I came here seeking help. I just don't have spare parts laying around the house that I can use to troubleshoot.

I just got off the phone with Fry's and am taking it all back tomorrow. If they cannot give me parts that work and check them before I leave this time, I will just get my money back and order a Dell like you talk about!

The thing is, you had reservations about the parts you bought in your first post, so why did you purchase them? You said yourself to quit buying junk at Fry's. Take it all back, and order the stuff online from reputable sellers.

Motherboards- Stick with the best, Asus, MSI, Abit.
Power Supply- Nothing beats Antec
Memory- I always get Kingston at Best Buy. But both TD and Newegg have a wide assortment of memory.
CPU Fan- I like Thermaltake

I've yet to have a problem. I personally would still build a PC, I just wouldn't use anything from Fry's.

TigerDirect and Newegg, often have good deals on Barebones systems. You just have to watch them tossing cheap power supplies in the systems, but they do test them before they leave.

http://wwww.tigerdirect.com
http://wwww.newegg.com

Edit: I used this barebones from TD to build my sister's computer not to long ago. I don't remember the power supply model, but up to this point, its been fine.. The case is a bit cramped, but its doable.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3059603&CatId=332

IGF

Deanster
05-13-2007, 17:07
Bob - he's not trying to give you a hard time, or suggest that you're an 'amateur', in anything other than the sense of 'not a professional who has all kinds of stuff sitting around to test with'.

There's an ongoing 'tension' between 'build' and 'buy' folks - your situation is a great example of where builds go wrong - you're a smart and capable guy, with solid tech experience, and multiple builds under your belt.

However, you're not doing it frequently enough that you've got a standard and proven mix of parts that you KNOW come together to make a working computer, it's easy to be finding yourself in a tight spot, where your components aren't playing nice, and you don't have a lot of options for making it work without investing a TON of time tracking down what doesn't work together (sounds like something with how SATA is set up in BIOS in this case, at least to me).

Building yourself is great if you know what to buy, and can assemble the needed parts with some confidence that they'll all work together at the end of the day. Indy's list above is a good one - and a prime example of someone who's building enough that they've got a good grasp on what works, what you need to watch out for, etc.

However, my observation is that a remarkable % of even frequent builders end up with a spare mobo or two, a couple cooling systems, a fistful of fans, a power supply or two, and a bin of cabling and little metal bits that 'didn't quite work in my last build' - and that couldn't be returned. Doubly true for folks who just do it every couple years.

There's also a surprising number of trips to the local (or not-so-local) Fry's for stand-offs, connectors, adapters, cables, power supply plugs, etc.

These tend to be the same folks who explain that building is super-easy, cheap, and only a complete fool could have anything other than total success with each and every build, with not a cent wasted.

Long story short, while it's certainly possible to save some money by building your own, and to have the pride of having done it. I think an awful lot of the supposed savings get eaten up in time, hassle, postage, gas, and buying things a couple different times until you get the right one. Same story when something breaks - I think there's a lot of value in a box with a warranty.

Good luck, and I hope you have a successful build with your new components.

IndyGunFreak
05-13-2007, 17:33
Originally posted by Deanster
These tend to be the same folks who explain that building is super-easy, cheap, and only a complete fool could have anything other than total success with each and every build, with not a cent wasted.

I don't know if its cheaper nowdays to build or buy, but I do believe when you build a PC for $800, you get a far better PC than if you bought an $800 PC from Dell/Gateway/Box Store. Dell and the others seem to constantly cheap out on the components of the PC.

Bob, don't take the chop busting to seriously, trust me. I could tell you how I was dumb enough a long time ago to buy 2 Chaintech motherboards, one after another, despite the fact the first 1 lasted about 6mo(and the second one I would find out, not much longer.. ;))

IGF

BobRicks
05-13-2007, 18:44
Hey guys, its all good. Go ahead and bust my chops if you want to! I am learning once again from this experience. I did have a positive experience today with Fry Electronics return people. No questions asked they gave me new motherboard, memory, and cpu, and hooked it all up before I left to make sure it would do post test, which would be a lot more than I ever got it to do. It worked fine over at Fry's and went to the first screen when you turn one on.

Then, I come home and set it up the same way, out of the case on the floor, not touching ANYTHING metal, and the POS would not do anything. I am now guessing it was the power supply all along. I do happen to have some spare cases at school, and I will borrow one tomorrow and make sure that it is the culprit before I make another drive to Fry's. If it is the case, I think I will just get a refund on the one I bought, and keep the school case at home and replace the power supply with a GOOD one so I maybe won't have to go through this crap again.

Oh well, buy crap, expect crap I guess. Maybe I will learn in the future to spend a little more money and get good well known brands over trying to save money. I have wasted more than I saved buying gas to go to Dallas twice again!!!

Deanster
05-13-2007, 21:42
I don't know if its cheaper nowdays to build or buy, but I do believe when you build a PC for $800, you get a far better PC than if you bought an $800 PC from Dell/Gateway/Box Store. Dell and the others seem to constantly cheap out on the components of the PC.


That's one area where building is a real plus - you've got total control over the component mix. Want a bigger power supply? Pay $25 more, and you've got it. Power supply is a great example of a place where Dell, etc., do go too low-end.

Interestingly, I think I actually do MUCH better on the low end with Dell than with self-build. While I agree that you can do better in the $800+ range, I'll put my $379 refurbed 2.8 Pentium D Optiplex with a 3-year on-site next day warranty up against any other $379 computer on earth.

BobRicks
05-14-2007, 17:31
Solved this dilema today by taking all parts back to Fry Electronics and getting a refund of my money. Will more than likely look at Dell refurbs or a new Dell that is not fully loaded. Glad this is over!

IndyGunFreak
05-14-2007, 21:55
Originally posted by BobRicks
Solved this dilema today by taking all parts back to Fry Electronics and getting a refund of my money. Will more than likely look at Dell refurbs or a new Dell that is not fully loaded. Glad this is over!

So did you try the alternate power supply? I guess I'm curious what the actual problem was. If they tested it at their shop, and it worked, and you brought it home, and it didn't work, something isn't making sense. I'm guessing this was a memory or power supply issue

Hope your search goes well...

IGF

c6601a
05-14-2007, 23:50
Originally posted by BobRicks
c6601a, I am not an armature, nor am I an amature.Sorry about the typo. Word takes it upon itself to correct my typos and sometimes what it thinks I want to type is not what I intended.

c6601a
05-15-2007, 00:24
Originally posted by IndyGunFreak
I don't know if its cheaper nowdays to build or buy, but I do believe when you build a PC for $800, you get a far better PC than if you bought an $800 PC from Dell/Gateway/Box Store. Dell and the others seem to constantly cheap out on the components of the PC.C’mon, lets gets serious here. Do you really think that you can get better quality parts for less than major manufacturers like Dell/HP etc? How do you what is better? By watching late night infomercials or by counting the buzzwords in their advertising? Can you afford to buy a dozen of each kind of a device from each of the major manufacturers and destructively test them to see which one is better? The big guys do that to decide which manufacturers’ parts they will use. Should they just ask you and save themselves some bucks?

I have no illusions that major brand name companies use the best quality components no matter what the cost. They choose the best part they can get at a price point. It is a compromise and you may not agree with the compromises they have made and may want to make different ones.

You can build something for less than you can buy but you will sacrifice quality in a big way. You can build something that will be significantly more reliable than a Dell desktop, but you will spend a lot more. That is the reality you can not get away from.

IndyGunFreak
05-15-2007, 04:01
Originally posted by c6601a
C’mon, lets gets serious here. Do you really think that you can get better quality parts for less than major manufacturers like Dell/HP etc? How do you what is better? By watching late night infomercials or by counting the buzzwords in their advertising? Can you afford to buy a dozen of each kind of a device from each of the major manufacturers and destructively test them to see which one is better? The big guys do that to decide which manufacturers’ parts they will use. Should they just ask you and save themselves some bucks?

I have no illusions that major brand name companies use the best quality components no matter what the cost. They choose the best part they can get at a price point. It is a compromise and you may not agree with the compromises they have made and may want to make different ones.

You can build something for less than you can buy but you will sacrifice quality in a big way. You can build something that will be significantly more reliable than a Dell desktop, but you will spend a lot more. That is the reality you can not get away from.

Why do you keep trying to ram your point down someones throat? You know we disagree on this. Simple fact is, you answered yourself....

I have no illusions that major brand name companies use the best quality components no matter what the cost. They choose the best part they can get at a price point. It is a compromise and you may not agree with the compromises they have made and may want to make different ones.

I'm not even sure they choose the best part at a price point. All of them have one goal, profit. PC profits have become razor thin, and they aren't giving a PC away for a loss. So logic says, something has to give, either they make money or you get a product that might have some inferior components.

If you're happy with the compromise, feel free to buy Dell/Gateway/etc. I'm not.

IGF

c6601a
05-15-2007, 08:26
Originally posted by IndyGunFreak
PC profits have become razor thin, and they aren't giving a PC away for a loss. So logic says, something has to give, either they make money or you get a product that might have some inferior components.I do not disagree that you can get better quality than what you can get from any major manufacturer. I know you can. Where we disagree is that you can get better quality for a lower price. If better quality could be had for a lower price, the big guys will be all over it long before you ever found out. The only way your logic works out is if the goal at Dell is to make an inferior product and they will pay more to get crappy parts when they could have bought better parts for less and made more of a profit.

Deanster
05-15-2007, 16:29
Some fine deals in the Dell outlet today - I'm a big fan of this one...

$469 for a dual-proc Core 2 Duo, with the Nvidia 7300 graphics card. Given that upgrades to Vista Home Premium are $159, you're effectively getting the rest of the computer for $300... probably needs another Gig of Ram at your convenience... They've also got the XPS 410's in the Outlet for $609 with the 2.13 C2D, or $699 with the 2.4 C2D CPU...

Dimension E520
(System Identifier: Z8MY1ZDZ)

Dimension E520 Small Mini-Tower: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E6300 (1.86GHz, 1066 FSB)
Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium
System Price : $469.00

Operating System
Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium
Memory
1 GB DDR2 NON-ECC SDRAM 533MHz (2 DIMMs)
Hard Disk Drive
250 GB EIDE SATA II Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
Video
256MB nVidia Geforce 7300LE TurboCache
Scratch & Dent
Base
Dimension E520 Small Mini-Tower: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E6300 (1.86GHz, 1066 FSB)
Media Bay
16X DVD +/- RW w/dbl layer write capability
Software Upgrade
Corel Paint Shop Pro XI - Advanced photo editing
Microsoft Works 8.5
Hardware Upgrade
USB Keyboard
Dell Optical USB 2-button Mouse

Blitzer
05-15-2007, 16:48
I have been in Desktop side of PCs for many moons. I had served as a dispatcher/maintenance coordinator/help desk in the field service division of COMPAQ. I was located at HP for a 3000 store client. That was before a bunch of us got canned from COMPAQ in 2002's merger with HP.

I intend to buy my next PC from HP, see that post under tech talk here on GT. :thumbsup: