Mobo: Asusrock Z77E-ITX
VGA: EVGA Geforce GTX670 FTW (fearing its broken)
CPU: Intel i5 2550K
PSU: Seasonic SS-560MK Gold
Cooling: Antec Kuehler H20/Stock
Mem : 2x 4GB Crucial 1.2Volts low profile


This is a lot of text but I am trying to be as detailed as I can. I have seen a lot of similar cases in this forum, but they seem different still! I hope you can help out.

So here is the story.
I started my pc outside its case and mounted into a metal/white coated MSI Hetix 745 box (same as H61i), with possibly the VGA card underside touching the metal, although I carefully had mounted rubber distance holders. But I can't rule it out.
The motherboard was on top of this, upside-down (cooling was well taken care of), and the first seconds, the H20 Kuehler was making a weird noise. Probably not working very well because some air in the system had moved around (it is back to normal now).
The mobo did not have proper earth maybe. Also, it may have been touching the metal of the case.
(I know i was WAY too lousy but this is in retrospect)

The VGA card was connected to the pcie slot through a new flexible pcie 16x riser, cable length 25cm or so.
The GPU fan started roaring like crazy, and there was no display. I MAY have smelled something burning for a tiny fraction of time, I am not sure if my imagination was fooling me there!
Keyboard num lock light is on, ctrl-alt-del seems to restart the mobo as it makes the lights go off and then on again.

So I checked all, all connections, and I DID find that the big m/b cable had not been totally pushed into the PSU. But can this cause any damage? Hm.. didnt change anything.

So I went to a pc repair/parts shop. In the shop they removed the CPU and put in a new one; and the pc booted like normal, with onboard VGA.
Then they replaced the CPU with my own CPU and pc booted normally!
(NOTE: i'm not sure if the VGA card had been in the pcie slot at this point, if so, its fan had been silent while the new CPU was in it, because i heard no noise at the time. But i unfortunately have forgotten if it was).
Then they added the VGA card back in the pcie-slot (NOTE: see above, it may already have been in), and connected the cable.
Now, the VGA card fan started spinning again at 100% and there was no display.

The resulting verdict was: CPU and Mobo fine; GFX card broken.
(NOTE: the last 'test' has therefore been a faulty one, they did not 'retry' the working configuration (without the VGA card).

I went home and tried again.

ALL SYMPTOMS THE SAME AGAIN. I still have no image. Tried onboard HDMI and also DVI cables. The cables are OK, so is my monitor (tested). Although it always is a bit of a hassle to switch to a different source, and source scanning doesnt really seem to work well. (Dell U2711).

I only see the num lock keyboard light switch on, but no sign that i am in windows (although I might be). Ctrl-alt-del instantly makes lights on keyboards flicker, so that would suggest a reboot, so -not- being i Windows.

Putting the VGA card back in, its fan goes crazy.

The only beep tones I have heard is when I remove EVERYTHING (also the memory): then I hear 3 long beeps.
As soon as I place the memory sticks back in (they are 1.2 V by the way), the mobo is quiet again.
But I tested this with brand new memory, same behaviour.

One final note : I touched a part of metal from the heater at the wall and also the motherboard backside (audio port), and got an electric shock!! At that point, the power supply had been switched OFF.

After this, there was no change in behaviour, still showing the green keyboard light when switched on, doing 'something' when pressing ctrl-alt-del.

So that is the story...
I really hope you can help, my nice 6 months old pc is totally crippled... any suggestions welcome!

So, you can not get any video even when you remove the video card and connect the monitor directly to the onboard video? Is that right?

yes, correct... it DID work in the shop, surprisingly! But now back at home, again all is bad...
maybe a grounding problem? the rest is unchanged from situation in the shop...
(also there the last status was 'no display', but it had worked).

A couple of questions
1:Did the shop use their own power supply?
2:Did they use their own DVI cable?

  1. It was my power supply (Seasonic 6 mo old)
  2. But yes, their cable. However I am quite sure I did test this extensively. The monitor always tells me 'cable inserted' and then 'no signal'. But I will try again with a 100% working cable (i can test via mac mini).

Hm. The cable is def. working.
The thing i dont get is that in the shop they did following and this made it WORK:
1) replace CPU with working CPU
2) replace GFX card with working card
The PC booted. Then
3) replace their CPU with my CPU
and it worked. Then
4) replace their GFX card with mine
and the whole stuff failed again.

But now I am not able to reproduce this anymore even without the GFX installed,
which would bring me to step 3).
Can it be that executing steps 1) and 2) were essential? In other words, that there is some kind of faulty state now, only fixed by inserting a working CPU/GFX card? I did clear CMOS in a number of ways.

I would have first recommended you disable onboard video in the BIO'S before instaling the PCMI card in the slot then once it boots you should have normal cpu & fan function at the proper speed as long as it hasn't been overclocked.
The memory will not have any affect on the problem.
Good luck!!

It's not unusual for a VGA card's fan to run at full bore until the card's temperature has been read during bootup.
Do you have your system's BIOS configured to show a POST screen instead of the AsRock graphic? You should do this so that you can monitor the hardware boot process.
Try booting with a Windows installation CD or a Linux live CD to test your system as I suspect that a corrupt Operating System boot process is the culprit.

Hi, thanks for all the helpful replies.
No, it is -not- working yet; with my remark 'it was my PSU' I meant to say, as opposed to one from the shop.
A lot of plausible causes have been offered by you here in the forum. Also, AsRock, the mainboard producer, have made a suggestion, possibly a bent PCB from mounting the cooler too tightly, which leads to the CPU not connecting properly. This is why sometimes you see people able to fix their problem by replacing the CPU cooler with a system cooler.
I am going to do a few tests now, and tomorrow I will head back to the shop to pinpoint the problem, taking the suggestions from this thread with me. I will post an update here, once I find out anything.
In the meantime, thanks, and any additional input would be much appreciated!

stormal1, I would not be able to configure anything as i am not able to see anything.
However the BIOS was configured to not show the AsRock graphic but status info and this is what was showing in the shop as well (when we got it to work).

The mystery has been SOLVED!! :)

- mobo works with other GFX card in shop... so my CPU is working
- mobo works with other CPU in shop... so my onboard Video is working
- BUT onboard video does NOT work with my CPU at home, even with GFX card disconnected..

Cause: a combination of 2 things.
- my GPU is indeed broken! So I will 'RMA' it to EVGA and hope for the best.
- the Intel 2550k processor that I have is lacking a GPU!!! It runs a bit faster and stays a bit cooler than the GPU-version 2500k.
thanks to the shop guy who suddenly came up with that detail, what a hero :)
No wonder I didnt get any image with a broken GFX card :)

All repliers, thanks for helping out!


OK. I will have to remember that one. Good job to the tech.

cheers, i'll tell him. :)
thanks for the help :)