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After Replacing Mobo: PC Powers On but No Display Signal, Keyboard LEDs Flashing


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#1 UncleAJ

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Posted 05 July 2016 - 10:10 AM

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.)

 

My Specs:

* 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.



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#2 Captain_Chicken

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Posted 05 July 2016 - 10:28 AM

I'd start by clearing the CMOS. If that doesn't work, make sure all psu cables are plugged in, including the 8x2 Cpu power and PCIE power.


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#3 UncleAJ

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 11:48 AM

UPDATE:
I exchanged the motherboard and RAM for fresh versions just to narrow down the possibilities of the culprit. Took extra precautions when installing everything. Still no display signal. At this point, it's either a bad CPU, or I'm still missing something super obvious. Or there's a compatibility issue somewhere that pcpartpicker.com isn't picking up. Regardless I RMA'd the CPU back to Newegg for a free replacement. Now to wait a week.
 
I put the original mobo back in, so I'm back up and running for now. All the components are still working fine, so good to know I didn't damage a GPU or monitor cable or something along the way.

 

I'd start by clearing the CMOS. If that doesn't work, make sure all psu cables are plugged in, including the 8x2 Cpu power and PCIE power.

 

Thanks for responding. Went ahead and did this with a metal nail (it didn't come with a jumper cap) once I started accepting the possibility of a bum mobo being the culprit. Even took the coin battery out for half a minute. Still no change in behavior.



#4 UncleAJ

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 10:39 PM

Update! Finally had time to take another crack at this.
 
I'm working with a second round of fresh parts now: mobo, CPU, RAM and a new mobo speaker for providing feedback.
 
Still no display.
 
But thanks to the speaker I now know where the hangup is: ASUS support website lists my beep code pattern as "No memory detected."
 
I went ahead and tried seating the RAM sticks one at a time in every possible combination of slots, no difference in any of them.
 
So either I managed to get a second busted mobo or second faulty set of RAM despite astronomically low odds, or... the RAM I got isn't compatible?
 
They're 2 8GB DDR4 2400 1.2V sticks (Crucial Ballistix), and the official ASUS specs claim that should be fine. (https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/Z170-E/specifications/)
 
One friend pointed out to me that their voltage might be too high and I'd need to adjust that in the BIOS, but besides the fact I need a working display to use a BIOS at all, I'm not seeing any indication of 1.2V being out of the question based on the brief research I did into the subject.
 
I did find an official ASUS Qualified Vendor List for DDR4 2400 memory, and Crucial is listed there, but only for 4GB sticks. I'm using 8GB sticks...
 
The board clearly supports 8GB sticks from other vendors so it'd be quite silly for this all caused by me picking the wrong vendor, but I suppose it's possible. Anyone else think that's absurd?
 
Regardless I'll try swapping the RAM for a model listed on that official list and see what happens, as I've run out of ideas otherwise.


#5 ranchhand_

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 09:19 AM

Run Memtest 86+ from a burned CD to test your memory. Run one stick at a time.


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#6 OldPhil

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 10:03 AM

May be dumb question but did you make sure the ram is compatible with the board?  Quite awhile back had a similar issue, had video but it was a small square in middle of screen.  On advice swapped ram issue went away.


Edited by OldPhil, 24 July 2016 - 08:41 AM.

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#7 dc3

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 10:25 AM

Please post the exact model of your RAM modules.  It should be similar to something like the following...  CT8105887

 

I too suspect that there may be a compatibility issue with your RAM.


Edited by dc3, 23 July 2016 - 10:27 AM.

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#8 UncleAJ

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 10:57 AM

Model number BLS2C8G4D240FSB

I got a response on another forum suggesting my CPU wasn't compatible with any other DDR4 RAM clock speed than 2133, so I'm walking out of MicroCenter with model number CT4C4G4DFS8213 as we speak. Will be home in half an hour to test.

#9 dc3

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 11:47 AM

Well... there's the compatibility issue.  Let us know if this resolves your issue.


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#10 UncleAJ

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 11:50 AM

Argh... nope. Still getting beeps and no POST even with the 2133 sticks.

 

I even made sure it was included on the official QVL for the board:

http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/LGA1151/Z170-E/Z170-E_DRAM_QVL_20160316.pdf?_ga=1.141967218.1316382925.1469241872

 

What kind of memory will satisfy this damn thing?



#11 dc3

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 12:20 PM

The module I listed in post #7 was suggested by Crucial for use with the ASUS Z170-E motherboard.  Rather than going by the chart, use Crucial's advisor to find all the modules suggested by them.  I've never had one of their suggested modules fail to work with the intended motherboard.


Edited by dc3, 23 July 2016 - 12:23 PM.

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#12 OldPhil

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 12:42 PM

I could be wrong but I do not believe CPUs have ram compatibility issues.


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#13 UncleAJ

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 03:11 PM

The module I listed in post #7 was suggested by Crucial for use with the ASUS Z170-E motherboard.  Rather than going by the chart, use Crucial's advisor to find all the modules suggested by them.  I've never had one of their suggested modules fail to work with the intended motherboard.

 

When I Google "CT8105887" exactly 2 results come up: the Crucial Z170-E compatibility page that you just referenced, and... this thread. Really wish their compatibility tool listed real world SKU or part numbers so I knew for sure which part they're talking about.

http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/z170-e/CT8105887

 

Regardless, the reference photo was all I had to go on so I grabbed this from the local MicroCenter. Must be the same, right? Actual part number: BLS2C8G4D240FSE

http://www.microcenter.com/product/464706/16GB_8GB_x_2_DDR4-2400_PC4-19200_Desktop_Memory_Kit

 

Still doesn't work, still one long beep then two short beeps :( And yes I tried both one stick by itself, and made sure they were in the A2 and B2 slots according to ASUS' manual.

 

I made three separate trips to MicroCenter today... here's my running list of memory sticks I've tried, in the order I've tried them:

  • Crucial Ballistix Sport LT Gray 16GB Kit (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 UDIMM 1.2V (BLS2K8G4D240FSB) - Recommended by a MicroCenter store clerk when I picked up the Z170-E board
  • Crucial 16GB Kit (4 x 4GB) DDR4-2133 UDIMM 1.2V (CT4K4G4DFS8213) - Listed in the Z170-E QVL on ASUS' website, and also the only DDR4-2133 memory available at my local MicroCenter
  • Two separate Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB DDR4-2400 UDIMM 1.2V (BLS8G4D240FSA) - Listed in the QVL of the Z170-E manual that came in the box
  • Crucial Ballistix Sport LT Red 16GB Kit (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 UDIMM 1.2V (BLS2C8G4D240FSE) - Listed under Crucial's online guaranteed compatibility list for the Z170-E

All duds! I'd actually be impressed if this wasn't costing me time and gas money on every attempt.

 

With my local retail options exhausted, my next attempt is going to be ordering this, which is 2133 MHz and is DEFINITELY listed in the manual's QVL. And hey, it's not from Crucial... maybe that's the common thread I've been ignoring. But I'll have to wait until Tuesday to find out.

https://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-2133MHz-memory-Systems/dp/B00PLER4WC/ref=sr_1_2?s=pc&rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1469293326&sr=1-2&keywords=ram+ddr4+2133&refinements=p_85%3A2470955011%2Cp_n_feature_four_browse-bin%3A10656894011%2Cp_n_feature_five_browse-bin%3A677429011%2Cp_89%3ACorsair



#14 dc3

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 08:18 AM

I've given you the best advice that I know of.  If the local shop doesn't carry the modules you need, order them from Crucial directly.


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#15 UncleAJ

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 11:52 AM

Issue resolved! Though I’m not 100% certain why this did the trick, I tried assembling the board outside my case with just the bare essentials (CPU, CPU cooler, 1 memory stick, PSU and a monitor plugged directly into the board), and on my first boot attempt (by shorting the power button pins with a paperclip), the error beeps never happened and I got a display. Slowly added more things to the board - the other memory stick, the GPU, the keyboard and mouse - and it still got to POST flawlessly. It even went straight the BIOS interface once I had all 16GB of memory installed.


No issues after moving everything back into the case. I had to restart the system about 6 times to get all the firmware installed for all the stuff on the new board, but it looks like the worst is over.


Now, if you’re sitting there thinking “well it worked fine outside the case so he must not have had the board screwed into the standoffs correctly,” the way I mounted the board into the standoffs this time wasn’t any different than the half-a-dozen failed attempts before it. The standoffs were always perfectly aligned with the holes in the board. So I doubt this was the cause.


I suppose it’s also possible I didn’t have the RAM fully seated in their slots for the dozen+ previous attempts too, but I always worked on a firm surface and firmly pressed both ends into the slots.

I’m inclined to believe keeping the board outside the case AND removing all extraneous parts caused some sort of condition to be met that allowed the memory to finally be configured correctly. The original error beep codes I was getting were definitely related to memory.






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