PC assembled but not working?

  Stowit 20:17 02 Apr 2004

I've bought the bits to assemble a P4 PC, MSI MoBo Built in sound/graphics, P4 chip, & memory etc. Of course they're all from different sources & a hard drive from my Sky + but are all compatible. So here's what happens, on boot, I got post beep the display came on with a multi coloured screen & a selection of characters. I guessed it was trying to boot from HD & shut down then reset BIOS (with the jumper). Pressing DEl on boot gets me a flashing cursor, but wont let me type anything. The floppy never whirs & putting a boot disk in doesn't make any difference. I swaped the hard drive to one from my PC, & the same happens. What's likley to be faulty, or have I missed something?

  anon1 20:22 02 Apr 2004

I would look at the cable connecting the motherboard to the hard drive make sure the ribbon cable is the correct way round. You could boot without the hdd attached and then you will get a "no os error" or similar but at least it will boot to bios. Double check the floppy connection also. Check the cmos jumper is not set to clear and check also the cmos battery is properly seated.

  Gongoozler 20:30 02 Apr 2004

To get the computer started all you need is the motherboard, processor with heatsink, a stick of memory, the power supply (both connectors), the power on switch and the case speaker. This should get you to the POST beep and the "No operating system" message.

Pressing Del at boot-up (if that is the correct key for your BIOS) should get you to the BIOS set up menu, not a flashing cursor, and you shouldn't be able to type anything.

  woodchip 20:31 02 Apr 2004

It's not like putting Knives and Forks on a table, You should try starting with minimum Hardware first i.e. no drives other than a floppy disc one stick of memory in the first slot this may be slot 0 or 1 Graphics card and CPU with fan. this should show a DOS screen when you boot, that will say something like "to Enter Setup Press Del" for Delet Key or some other

  Stowit 20:35 02 Apr 2004

CMOS battery I never thought of, could that cause the simptoms? I'm pretty sure the cables are ok & I didn't realise it'd boot without HD. I'll try these 2 things next. Thanks. Any other suggestions also welcom.

  Stowit 21:59 02 Apr 2004

I've changed the battery, removed the hard drive & floppy. I swapped the memory from slot 1 to slot 2 to no avail (then back). Now I get no post beep & pressing del achieves no change what-so-ever. Heeellp thanks

  Gongoozler 22:05 02 Apr 2004

If you have no POST with the basic setup, try taking the motherboard out of the case and resting it on an insulating surface. If that doesn't work, then one of the components is faulty. The problem is deciding which one. If the fans are rotating, then the power supply is probably ok, but only substitution will confirm this. I recently built a computer, and nothing worked except for the fans spinning. It turned out that the motherboard was faulty. This is not uncommon, especially with the cheaper makes. Motherboards are very complex units and are made very cheaply. It's not surprising that a proportion of them are Dead on Arrival.

  woodchip 22:06 02 Apr 2004

The memory should be in slot zero or slot one. Have you put the battery in the right way up as if you reversed you may have poped the CMOS

  woodchip 22:07 02 Apr 2004

PS did you get a DOS black screen with white text

  Stowit 22:36 02 Apr 2004

Thanks chaps. I think the PSU is ok as fan is going, & I am getting something from the PC. When I got the post beep I assume the memory was ok. (I've assembled one before, when a badly fitted memory wouldn't let it boot - no beep) The cpu I understand was tested, working before I got it. Now I've no beep, but the display remains steadfast with 'a multi-coloured chequer board with a selection of flashing characters if you try to enter set-up or not. I'm inclined to think it's the mobo as Gongoozler hints, but is there any way to be sure. No Woodchip, no Dos screen.

  woodchip 22:45 02 Apr 2004

Then all you are getting is the Monitor test screen, try going back to what the setup was but it should boot to dos without drives being connected you are sure you did not try putting the battery in the wrong way as that would do it in. and you should have not needed a battery for a new mobo

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