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Old March 26, 2011, 04:54 AM
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Default First post, and I'm here to moan and cry (solved)

About two months ago I confidently announced to a couple of friends that I wanted a HTPC but that PC gaming just wasn't worth the hassle and basically garaunteed that I would have to build a PC to try it. I've never built before so it was a lot of reseach, in the end this is my configuration.

Antec 1200 case
Athlon II 455 (proven unlocker)
Cooler master hyper 212
Asus M4N75TD
8 gig of GSkill ram (1333MHz)
Gigabyte 900Mhz 560 Ti
Caviar black 1Tb for the OS
Caviar Green 2Tb for storage

You can see that my little HTPC build grew on me.

I finally got my processor today, first thing I bought last thing to get here, figures eh? I lovingly cleaned the heatsink and put it into the board that I has been in the case waiting for weeks already. I carefully applied heat compound to the cooler and installed that as well, and that was it, it was ready to go.

I moved it over to the tv and hooked it up and I'll be damned if it didn't fire up and post first shot. I've been studying how to do this stuff since before I even started looking for parts so I knew that I had to go into the bios and set up a raid configuration so that all six sata ports would register, and the raid drivers would load during windows install in case I want to play with that later, even if the raid was JBOD.

I had windows 64 on an external drive ready for install so it was time to take that plunge. I've been reading about short stroking too and so just for the hell of it I partitioned the caviar black into two 100G sections and the balance, 100G for windows and games, and 100G just in case I get brave and want to try linux or something.

Are you getting bored yet? stick with me, you'll love the funny/not-funny finish.

Windows install was a little rocky, it installed but wouldn't boot unless I went through the install drive. After a LOT of messing around in the bios to make sure the boot order was correct I figured I might as well just try re-installing from another source so I grabbed wintoflash online and configured a thumb-drive and I was in business! Install worked and things were rolling, I was stoked!

I stuck in a usb wireless adapter and that caused a crash, but I wasn't surprised I've had that issue before, back to the laptop to grab the latest driver and that was fixed. Finally! I'm online with the new PC, and I built it myself. It was time to see how it measures up.

Over to the nvidia site for the latest saftware and after another re-boot I ran windows experience. I was actually shocked, 7.3, 7.7, 7.3, 7.7, and 5.9, only held back by the hard drive. I don't know how much those scores really mean but I didn't expect to be scoring within .2 of the highest current marks available with my budget build. More smiles!

So, it was time to settle in, install some software and play with the new toy. I plugged in another external drive to start moving files and setting things up. I was about to sack out on the couch and I wanted to get some thing out of the way so I grabbed a couple things off the coffee table and went to set them on top of the case. And it happened.

I reached to set the items down and when my hand got close to the connected drive ZAP! Static electricity, happens to me all the time, the wheelchair (wheels_78..... get it? har har) causes it for some reason, I hardly ever even notice it any more. The screen went black and that was that.

All I know for now is that when I try to boot it, the fans and lights power up and about the time you'd expect somthing to show up on-screen power dies and after a second it tries again. It just does that over and over. You can force it to stop by holding the power button, but the re-set button has no effect (not that I'm really on the ball with this stuff, but the reset button thing has me thinking the mobo is toast)

So that's my story. I was so pleased, I had pics I was going to post up too but the whole thing just stinks to much to bother with that at the moment.

I don't have time to look at it in the next couple days, but do anyone have any words of advice on how to start diagnosing without buying a whole second set of parts to swap out? F..k!, this stinks.

Last edited by Wheels_78; March 27, 2011 at 12:30 AM.
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Old March 26, 2011, 05:15 AM
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I have never had static electricity damage before and from your situation it is hard to tell which part is damaged but you could try swapping out the PSU first. A motherboard damaged by static electricity is also plausible but check the PSU first as it is the easiest to diagnose.
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Old March 26, 2011, 05:20 AM
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That's strange, if you did kill something with static, it should have just been the drive. Shortest path to ground would've been through the hard drive screws to the case to the PSU, assuming the PSU was installed and plugged into a grounded outlet. Shouldn't have taken out the drive unless you were unlucky though. Even if that did fail it should have gone through a ground wire on either the sata data or power cable.

Only thing you can do now without buying anything is to take everything out of the case and unplug everything that isn't essential for a bare minimum POST. No video card, just motherboard, RAM, and CPU. Look for POST indicators in your motherboard manual, helps if it came with an onboard/plugin speaker. Then go from whatever information you can get from there. Patience is key, you're twice as likely to miss something obvious if you aren't calm.
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Old March 26, 2011, 05:20 AM
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hmmm.....

so what exactly did you zap yourself to? the case? the mobo? the video card?
you can always take out the extras(dvd etc) and leave bare minimum see if it boots..if not, you must assemble them on thine
table and check again...if the zap went to the mobo, its possible it fired it.

ps welcome aboard. fun username :)
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Old March 26, 2011, 08:55 AM
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static electricity is nasty.

Electronic components that are used to running on 1v to 5v really don't like voltages in the 5 and 6 digit range.

Your only option is to keep swapping parts out to see which one (or more) is flaky or bad. Try PSU first as you could probably just borrow or buy a cheapie for testing.
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Old March 26, 2011, 09:35 AM
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Unfortunately there really isn't any good way to see if you static-zapped a component (unless you have access to an scanning electron microscope or similar). Components are just too small for a visual inspection to prove useful in many cases.

The first thing I do whenever I have a problem that I know isn't software is (1) CMOS reset and (2) check all connections. Also when I check my cables, I reseat connections which seem to be flaky (e.g. unplug, then plug back in). As the ilya, dangtx, and Perineum stated, you want to do this troubleshooting with the MINIMUM required to boot the computer. I've had so many issues with peripherals that I often unplug my keyboard and mouse in a no-boot scenario; my most recent issue like that was a compatibility issue between Asus M3A78-T motherboard + TV tuner + Microsoft gaming mouse.

That behaviour also sounds like what my Gigabyte motherboard did on an unstable overclock / bad BIOS. (again supporting the CMOS reset)
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Old March 26, 2011, 11:03 AM
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You might want to figure out a way of grounding yourself so you don't cause the same problem again. (Synthetic clothing that charges up easily as you move.)

If so, you'll only need to ground yourself to discharge the electrical static prior to touching any components, such as a wrist strap:

NCIX.com - Buy nGear ANTI-STATIC Wrist Strap - nGear Technologies Inc. - ANTI-STATIC-WRIST - in Canada
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Old March 26, 2011, 12:39 PM
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Thanks guys,

dangtx I zapped to the case of the external hard driveIt was via the usb at any rate because the case sides were on.

When I get a little time I'll figure out how to clear the memory and take things down to a minimum to see if it will post. Howerver I can't eliminiate the graphics card because there are no onboard graphics on the the motherboard.
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Old March 26, 2011, 12:45 PM
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right. it went thru the usb ports. wouldve been better off to zap the video card directly!

gl and let us know!

also check our folding forums, and dont forget to vote in the fitness poll!!
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Old March 26, 2011, 01:47 PM
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Try to remove all parts and reset CMOS. Install just the basic configuration, 1 stick of RAM. All you want to see is if it will at least let you go into BIOS.
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