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PC won't POST at all after connecting HDD once

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Go to solution Solved by WereCatf,
11 minutes ago, slick_phone_case said:

Recently I decided to clean my PC to get rid of all the dust inside

Out of curiosity, did you use a vacuum-cleaner? All of this sounds to me like you broke your HDD and there's now a short in it, which causes the mobo to fail.

Hello friends,

 

I've been running in circles for the past two weeks and I'm getting closer and closer to my breaking point. I'm hoping someone can spread some light on my issue. Thanks for reading!

 

(Full specifications below)

 

Short summary of my problem:

 

Recently I decided to clean my PC to get rid of all the dust inside and at the same time erase all my drives (by overwriting everything with 0's) to start fresh.

 

When carefully rebuilt, it just didn't POST. No display; with just the LED for BOOT DEVICE being lit.

 

Now, after thoroughly looking up this error message and trying different setup combinations (tried resetting BIOS, resetting CMOS, removing the battery, running with only motherboard, CPU, 1 RAM and PSU; same error) I decided to try a new motherboard.

 

I bought the ASUS ROG Strix Z270H Gaming and tried it with my setup by only installing the CPU and 1 RAM stick and it POSTs immediately without issues.

 

But as soon as I connect the HDD it just doesn't POST. Doesn't matter if I disconnect it. Doesn't matter if I reset CMOS, remove the battery or seemingly anything.

 

I'm at a complete loss here. I guess I could get another motherboard and just never connect the HDD, but 1) I'm not 100% convinced the HDD is the culprit and 2) even if it is, I feel like I should be able to use the build without the HDD after disconnecting it. And I mean, that's $300 down the drain.

 

If you have any idea what could be the issue, or if you can provide further steps to isolate the issue, I'm all ears.

 

Any help appreciated!

 

Full specifications:

 

ASUS Z170-A / ASUS ROG Strix Z270H Gaming

i7 6700K

32GB Corsair DDR4 3200MHz

MSI GTX 1080 GAMING X

Corsair RM850

Samsung 950 Pro M.2

Samsung 850 Evo SATA

WD Red 3TB (likely corrupt/damaged following the secure erase process)

Sound Blaster Z

NZXT H440

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7 minutes ago, slick_phone_case said:

Any help appreciated!

We here at LTT have seen this before.

Might be a short in the connections between the case and the mobo.

So, take the mobo out of the case, put it on a phone book or something equally large, and attached things as normal, power it up and report back.

So rise up, all ye lost ones, as one, we'll claw the clouds

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11 minutes ago, slick_phone_case said:

Recently I decided to clean my PC to get rid of all the dust inside

Out of curiosity, did you use a vacuum-cleaner? All of this sounds to me like you broke your HDD and there's now a short in it, which causes the mobo to fail.

Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

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18 minutes ago, Radium_Angel said:

We here at LTT have seen this before.

Might be a short in the connections between the case and the mobo.

So, take the mobo out of the case, put it on a phone book or something equally large, and attached things as normal, power it up and report back.

I considered that and set up the motherboard outside of the case with only CPU and 1 RAM. This was with the previous motherboard though, so I'll probably try this again with the new one.

 

I'm doubtful though, since everything worked fine in the case until I connected the HDD drive.

17 minutes ago, WereCatf said:

Out of curiosity, did you use a vacuum-cleaner? All of this sounds to me like you broke your HDD and there's now a short in it, which causes the mobo to fail.

I used a vacuum cleaner on the case when all components were stripped out.

 

It's possible the HDD is broken, but even if that's the case, shouldn't I be able to boot without it?

 

Thanks for the replies folks.

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15 minutes ago, slick_phone_case said:

I'm doubtful though

Shorts don't advertise themselves, hence why the first steps in troubleshooting, is to isolate everything.

Start with all drives removed (after mobo is outside of the case) see if it posts

Then start with your boot drive and see if it posts

Add one drive, power on, then add second drive, and so forth, until you fin the one that causes the issue.

 

Try various SATA ports as well. Might have a bad SATA port...

So rise up, all ye lost ones, as one, we'll claw the clouds

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2 hours ago, slick_phone_case said:

It's possible the HDD is broken, but even if that's the case, shouldn't I be able to boot without it?

If there's a short on the HDD, it can break your mobo when you power it on, so no; if the HDD has shunted current through to your mobo and broken it, removing the HDD won't magically unbreak it.

Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

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Update: After having the CMOS battery removed for a few hours (incl. having the whole system unplugged) I was finally able to POST. Previously, I only had it removed for 20 minutes which apparently wasn't enough!

 

Not sure if the issue is necessarily resolved, but I'll carefully add one component after the other before claiming victory.

 

Only the motherboard, CPU, 1 RAM-stick and the PSU are in place in the case and it POSTs every time I boot it up. I'll of course refrain from connecting the HDD, but it remains to be seen if there still are issues present after connecting everything else.

 

I still need to add the GPU, 2nd RAM, SSD, sound card, a new HDD and all case connectors.

 

Thanks for the replies, I'll come back with any new findings.

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Bought and installed a new HDD and everything works like a charm. Woo!

 

My previous motherboard still doesn't POST, but I haven't reseated the CMOS battery on that one yet but will do eventually. It'll have to serve as a spare for now.

 

Thanks for all the replies folks and have a nice day!

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