Question from Michael: Hi Rick. I hope you can help me fix a problem I’m having with a brand new PC I just finished building.
After I got everything put together I installed Windows 10 on it and made a few settings changes.
Everything seemed fine and the system booted up normally a total of three times.
But the next time I turned it on the screen stayed blank and the motherboard’s LED error code display stayed on.
I’ve tried turning it off and back on several times but it just won’t boot up.
Any thoughts on what could be causing this? I don’t think it’s a software problem because I haven’t even installed any programs on it yet.
Rick’s answer: Michael, the fact that this is a brand new home-built system leads me to believe there might be a critical component that isn’t seated in its slot/socket as is should be.
If so, this should be a fairly easy problem to track down and fix because there just aren’t that many physical connections to check.
Since you didn’t list the components you used for this build I can only give you some general advice instead of specific instructions.
Below is a list of items for you to disconnect and reattach. The items are listed in order of easiest to re-seat to the most difficult.
I recommend that you disconnect and reattach the following items one at a time, and in order from top to bottom.
After you complete each task turn the system on and see if it will boot into Windows. As soon as the system boots successfully into Windows you’ll know the problem has been resolved.
Here are the tasks I recommend that you try:
1 – Remove and reinstall the RAM modules, taking care to ensure that they’re firmly seated in their sockets and that the retaining clips are securely in place.
2 – If your PC has a stand-alone graphics card, remove it and reinstall it in it’s slot. Make sure it’s firmly seated in the slot.
3 – If you have any stand-alone expansion cards (Wi-Fi card, etc.) remove them and reinstall them one at a time. Try to boot the machine into Windows after you have re-seated each card.
4 – Disconnect and reattach the power cables at both the motherboard connections and where they attach to all of the various devices.
5 – Remove the CPU and check to see if there are any bent pins. If not, CAREFULLY reinstall the CPU in its socket (make sure you don’t bend any pins in the process).
I have a feeling that re-seating one of the items listed above will fix the problem. But if it doesn’t, that means one of the components used in the build has likely gone belly-up.
If that turns out to be the case, let me know and I’ll tell you how to go about tracking the bad component down.
I hope this helps, Michael. Good luck!
Update from Michael: It must have been the RAM sticks. As soon as I removed them and reinstalled them the machine booted right up.
I’ve shut it down several times and it booted back up just fine every time. Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it.
Bonus tip #1: After you get your computer working again I recommend that you create a System Image backup to make it easy to get your PC back up and running in case of a hard drive/SSD failure.
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