New Machine Won't Boot


Doc, I just built a new system with a 2.66GHz Core i7-920, Asus P6X58D Premium, 3GB of Corsair DDR3/1600, two GeForce 8800 GTs in SLI, two 250GB Barracudas, and an 850W Corsair PSU in an Antec 1200 case. It’s all stock-clocked and the GPUs, HDDs, and PSU were from an older machine and functioned fine.

My problem is that my new rig doesn’t work. I power on, but no boot. No POST, nothing on the screen, no beeps. The MEM_OK LED is on and it is red. The manual says that means the RAM is not properly installed.

So, I check to see if they are all in the correct slots, and they are. I pull them all out and put them in, one at a time, and none of them work. I took a stick from a working computer and it doesn’t work. I try it on every slot, same. I take my Corsair RAM and try it in the working computer, and it all works. I power on the system with no RAM installed, and same thing; no boot, no POST, nothing on screen.

After all that, I put the Corsair RAM in and took out the videocards. I then put a 9800 GT from a working computer in and the problem is the same.

So, any thoughts? Aside from assuming that the board is defective, I don’t know what else to try troubleshooting. I have heard that Asus has had some problems recently with RAM slots not working. I may have fallen victim to that. Maybe a jumper I don’t know about? As far as I can see, the only jumpers on the board are related to OC’ing, and I didn’t change any of them. Let me know what you think.

—K. Diaz

Whenever you build a new system and you run into a no-POST situation, you should first double-check your power connectors. Did you plug in the ATX12V connector located near the CPU? This is a very common oversight. You should also reseat your videocards, RAM, and finally (if those did not fix it), the CPU. The Doc knows you tried the RAM in many different slots, but one thing to remember with Core i7 systems is that the RAM should be paired up in the slots away from the CPU, not closest to the CPU as it has been with Core 2 and Phenom/Athlon systems. Failure to do this will cause a failure to boot. Since this is a new system, it’s also possible that you may have shorted the board on a motherboard standoff. You should dismount the board. Then, with it out, count the number of standoffs in the case enclosure, remount the board and screw it in place. If the number of screws you put in the board doesn’t match the number of standoffs, you have a standoff poking the motherboard in its backside, which could cause the problem. The final thing to consider is that you may have bent pins on your motherboard’s CPU socket. This would be very, very bad news, as bent pins in the CPU socket mean the board is dead. When you remove your CPU to reseat it, take a close look at those tiny fingers in the socket and look for any signs of damage.

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION Are flames shooting out of the back of your rig? First, grab a fire extinguisher and douse the flames. Once the pyrotechnic display has fizzled, email the doctor at for advice on how to solve your technological woes.

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