I tried to avoid resorting to making a thread, but I gave up my entire July 4th holiday to troubleshooting this mess... I'm tapping out. Just looking for some guidance!
I wanted to upgrade my CPU from an i7 2700k to an i7 6700k, The current mobo (ASUS Sabretooth P67) didn't have the right socket. Picked up an ASUS Z170-E and some new GDDR4 RAM (Two 8GB Ballistix sticks) from a local Micro Center. I set aside today for the mobo replacement process.
I spent most of the day troubleshooting the PC failing to get to POST, but turns out I'm a dummy and completely missed the 2-pin connector for the main power button. So seeing the lights light up and the fans spin was huge progress for me. I walked out of Micro Center with a new PSU just on the CHANCE that my current PSU was to blame (despite the fact it worked perfectly fine this morning before I started this whole process), but I'll be returning it today.
So where I'm at now is: the PC powers on, but my displays aren't getting any signal. And the only form of feedback I'm getting is the LEDs on my Corsair Strafe keyboard behaving very strangely. All of the keys flash in an oscillating pattern from right to left, like ocean waves. The last time I saw that was a similar no-display issue that I resolved by re-seating the RAM. No such luck this time.
Things I've already tried:
* Re-seating the RAM sticks, including leaving only 1 stick in the board instead of both, in all four of the slots.
* Unplugging the VGA cable from my GPU and plugging it into the VGA port directly on the mobo.
* Powering on the PC without the GPU connected at all.
* Unplugging everything from the rear panel except the VGA cable and power cable, then powering on.
* Unplugging everything, including the power cable from the PSU, then holding down the power button for a full minute (apparently discharges electricity), then plugging everything back in and powering on.
* Searching the web for various permutations of "corsair strafe LEDs blinking" to find out what the heck that means. (Results are sparse. There are some mentions of ONLY the Scroll Lock key blinking which apparently indicates being in a BIOS mode, but that doesn't apply to me.)
Things I haven't tried yet:
* Getting audio feedback from the motherboard speaker. (I don't have one... never have. Micro Center didn't have any in stock, but I just ordered one from Amazon and it'll be here tomorrow.)
* Clearing the CMOS. (Very skeptical about having to go this far since I just took this mobo out of its packaging today, but I looked into it. The manual states "Unplug the PC, then short circuit pin 1-2 with a metal object or jumper cap for about 5-10 seconds." What? When I search the web for guides about resetting CMOS almost all of them mention removing a battery first, and you just want me to go right in there with a paperclip or something? I'm going to be 100% SURE that's necessary before going that far.)
* CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K 8M Skylake Quad-Core 4.0 GHz LGA 1151
* CPU Heatsink: Cooler Master Hyper 212... uncertain of specific model
* Motherboard: ASUS Z170-E LGA 1151
* PSU: Corsair HX850
* RAM: Ballistix GDDR4 8GB x2
* GPU: Gigabyte GTX 970 G1, GDDR5, 4GB
* Hard Drive: Western Digital WD20EARX 2.0TB
* OS: Windows 7 64-bit
* Monitors: ASUS VW246 and Dell S2415Hb
* Keyboard: Corsair STRAFE
Still holding onto hope I'm just missing something obvious and that nothing is damaged. Much appreciated, everyone.