Discussion Desperate for help with new build

JTF91

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Oct 18, 2020
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Hello all,

I recently pulled apart my Skyreach S4 Mini build I have posted about on here in the past to cannibalise its parts for the new S4 tiny case I just purchased.

Ive got it all together now and just went to turn it on for the first time, but disaster struck - I have a black screen and can’t even get to the BIOS let alone desktop.

the only thing differing from the original build is that there is no GPU present, and I am using the new HDPlex 250W GaN unit PSU.

I have plugged my HDMI cable into the motherboard slot assuming integrated graphics would work, but all I am getting is a black screen. The fan is running and there are lights lit on the mobo but I can’t interact with anything whatsoever.

Additionally, the PC will fail to power on at all. I’ve tried reseating the RAM dimms and this occasionally fixes the issue.


My specs are

Intel core i7 10700K
2x 16GB DDR4 3200Mhz RAM
2x 512GB M.2 SSD
Asus Z409i Mini ITX motherboard

Thank you in advance for any assistance, I’m so disheartened that something has gone terribly wrong and really need this to be fixed asap.
 

steelfractal

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have you tried resetting CMOS or disconnecting the CMOS battery for 5-10 min
 

steelfractal

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and have you done a clean wipe of the m.2 with the os on if not and you still have the GPU you used in your s4m plug that in and see if it works if it does then do a clean from a bootable media ie USB stick with the gpu
 
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JTF91

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Oct 18, 2020
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I can’t seem to locate the cmos battery on my board, I can see and access the jumper pins to clear it though. I’ve never needed to before so I’m not sure how it’s done.

I haven’t wiped the OS M.2. Mainly because I can’t access it. It was working fine before so I don’t know how it could affect being unable to boot.

One thing I did think of is that I know this motherboard isn’t compatible with 3200Mhz dimms until after a bios update, and then to get them to run at that speed they need Intel xmp enabled in the bios, but I did all that in the previous build and these are the exact same parts.

All I have done is pull out the motherboard with everything still installed, and stick it in a new case with new power supply. The only difference being I am now attempting to run in integrated graphics instead of the graphics card I had installed previously. I cant for the life of me think what has changed to make it unable to even boot. I can’t reach the bios so I can configure anything. Very much up **** creek without a paddle.
 

steelfractal

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cmos header
1667978135228.png

and CMOS battery might look like this and be hot-glued somewhere under/near the read io similar to this
1667978496543.png
 

JTF91

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Oct 18, 2020
18
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Ok so I had a thought at I had an old M.2 laying around and replaced the current one with the OS on it and I’m able to get to the bios now.

should I reset everything to default? Or update it to the latest version? I still can’t get to desktop yet.

There are two M.2 slots so I’m thinking maybe I can format the old one that doesn’t boot, reinstall windows, and that might fix things?
 

steelfractal

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note what the current bios ver is and if you have access to another PC download the bios that is on the board and the latest ver then reset bios if you can get beyond bios the 👍
also, I have to leave for a meeting not sure when I am back if you have not solved this by then I gladly try to help some more
try with only one SSD that makes it simpler
 

JTF91

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Oct 18, 2020
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I was briefly able to get to desktop with the old M.2, so I swapped out the other storage M.2 slot for the first one to format it, and kept this one in because it got me to desktop. I had to shut down the computer to do this obviously, and now after powering it on I’m back to the dreaded black screen and can’t even get to bios.

I’ve tried one stick of RAM, and both sticks, in different slots, and still nothing. Sometimes I’ll get the Asus logo, and a prompt to hit F2 to enter bios, sometimes I’ll get nothing at all.

This is really doing my head in. These are all new parts that were working flawlessly in the last build.

I’m getting a yellow dram led on the mobo, or a white one whatever that is when I power it on every time if that helps.
 

GuilleAcoustic

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Did you try resitting your CPU ? Sometimes the CPU ain't fully aligned with the pins on the CPU socket and it causes weird issues. Clearing the CMOS is also something to try.

Did you try with the motherboard outside of the chassis too ? Maybe you have a short somewhere. Try different USB ports for your keyboard and mouse, it's also a source of weird issues when a USB port is faulty.
 

JTF91

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Oct 18, 2020
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Haven’t pulled out the cpu, it took a lot of work to get everything in this tiny little case so I’m not real keen on pulling it all apart to get the cooler off unless I really have to. It was working fine in the other case I only just removed it from though so I’m not sure how it could be the problem.

On power up I get a yellow/green led on the board apparently indicating a boot error according to the manual. The cpu fan starts, the rgb on the board lights up, and the screen turns black - that’s all I get.

the cmos battery is under a large heat sink with its own fan on this mobo, I doubt I could get to it without breaking something.

I actually had it on the desktop at one point during all this, I haven’t even been able to get back to the bios since. Blowing my mind what could be the cause.
 

GuilleAcoustic

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If you didn't remove the CPU not changed the heatsink ... their might be a short somewhere. Hence my suggestion to try it outside the chassis. The GaN PSU is new or you where using it in the previous chassis ?

To clear the CMOS, you do not need to remove the battery, just short the clear CMOS pins as @steelfractal mentioned. Number 13, bottom right corner of the picture below for your specific motherboard.



 
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JTF91

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Original poster
Oct 18, 2020
18
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Tried shorting the cmos pins with a screwdriver but nothing has changed. The fan spins, leds light up, and the screen goes black.

the GaN unit is brand new and I’ve never used it before, it was a nightmare getting in the S4 Tiny with the 24 pin connector so close to it, but both ends appear seated firmly and powering the computer on the fan and leds work so I was under the impression everything is getting power.

There don’t appear to be any shorts on the rear of the mobo, all four standoffs are in the correct positions and are elevevating the mobo securely.

I’m at my wits end. If something was faulty I’d have the option of replacing it, but I can’t even figure out the cause of this trouble.

I undervolted the CPU in the last build as it’s TDP is 125W, I had it running at 95W, that has to be done through the bios.. it was working though so I just don’t see how it’s the problem either. Thought I’d mention it anyway.

The yellow/green boot led is constantly on when the system is powered, would that not indicate that there is a fault with the SSD?

I’ll try attaching a photo so you can see what I’m seeing, maybe there’s something immediately obvious that I’m missing.

 
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JTF91

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Oct 18, 2020
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I’ve solved the problem!

The I/O plate is integral to this motherboard and it was pushing against the flash BIOS button preventing me from even getting to the BIOS to change anything.

Additionally my main SSD with the OS appears to have died. I replaced it and reinstalled Windows and it’s all working now.

Thank you both for your input it was appreciated.
 

steelfractal

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I’ve solved the problem!

The I/O plate is integral to this motherboard and it was pushing against the flash BIOS button preventing me from even getting to the BIOS to change anything.

Additionally my main SSD with the OS appears to have died. I replaced it and reinstalled Windows and it’s all working now.

Thank you both for your input it was appreciated.
glad you solved it and just shows that sometimes it is stupid and simple and makes you want to rip your hair out
 
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