PRO B660M-A WIFI DDR4 First time build won't post blinking CPU and DRAM EZDEBUG

lowdominio154d02de

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May 16, 2022
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Hi Everyone,

Full part list for the build at the bottom.

My first time build won't post so I'm looking for some support on additional steps to take in my debugging process. My case powers on and all fans, CPU cooler, RGB power up as well. Problem is I get not display and on the motherboard the red CPU light flashes for 2-3 seconds then the yellow DRAM light quickly flashes then back to red back and forth. From what I understand of reading the manual the lights should stay solid if neither CPU or DRAM were not detected. I did some further research online and tried a couple of things others have tried with similar debug lights but nothing so far

1. I pulled out the DRAM and reseated them both in MSI recommended slots for 2x install A2 and B2 I believe.
2. I pulled and reseated the power all the power supply connectors on both the motherboard, GPU and the modular end of the power supply.

Those were the first simple things I tried but wanted to get some advice before pulling apart more of my machine if I can help it. In case I'm missing something that may be more obvious. I know some people have recommended removing and re-inserting the CMOS battery but from what I ready of this board it's buried under a heatsink and it's not recommended for replacing by inexperienced users like myself haha. I've also heard some people recommend other re-flash the BIOS. This is another step I wanted to avoid before seeking out advice. Lastly and maybe most simply is DRAM compatibility. I was unaware at the time when I bought everything some DRAM4 from major brands may no be compatible with my motherboard. I looked for my model DRAM on MSI list of compatible RAM and I did not see the specific model. (CORSAIR 16GB 2X8 D4 3200 C16 VLPX). I've also read that the list by MSI is not often kept up to date and they maybe otherwise compatible and they just haven't tested it.

Thanks for reading this far! I'm just dealing with information overload at this point. If anyone can look at my part list below and let me know if something is blatantly incompatible or I'm otherwise missing something simple to try I would greatly appreciate it!



298281/ ENERMAX ETS-N31-02 CPU COOLER
Vendor Warranty:
Parts: 1 Year
Labor: 1 Year
Vendor Support:
Customer Care Information: Articles, FAQs and more
094516/ G.SKILL 750W GD FULL ATX GS
Vendor Warranty:
Parts: 2 Years Limited
Labor: 2 Years Limited
Customer Care Information: Articles, FAQs and more
096586/ WD **1TB WD BLUE SN550 NVME
Vendor Support:
Customer Care Information: Articles, FAQs and more
280792/ CORSAIR 16GB 2X8 D4 3200 C16 VLPX
Vendor Warranty:
Parts: Lifetime Limited
Labor: Lifetime Limited
Vendor Support:
Customer Care Information: Articles, FAQs and more
310185/ ASUS DUAL RTX3070 LHR OC
Vendor Warranty:
Parts: 3 Years Limited
Labor: 3 Year Limited
Vendor Support:
Customer Care Information: Articles, FAQs and more
348276/ IPSG 32GB USB 3.1 FLASH 2PK
Vendor Warranty:
Parts: 2 Years
Labor: 2 Years
Customer Care Information: Articles, FAQs and more
362020/ INTEL INTEL I5-12400 BOX
Return Policy: May be returned within 15 days of purchase
Vendor Warranty:
Parts: 3 Years Limited
Labor: 3 Years Limited
Vendor Support:
Customer Care Information: Articles, FAQs and more
372862/ MSI PRO B660M-A WIFI D4 MATX
Return Policy: May be returned within 15 days of purchase
Vendor Warranty:
Parts: 3 Years
Labor: 3 Years
Vendor Support:
Customer Care Information: Articles, FAQs and more
 

citay

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While a BIOS update is always a good idea after building your system, your CPU is supported by the board out of the box, the the problem can't come from having an old BIOS.

A problem like this can happen for example when you are not very careful while installing the CPU into the socket. The socket pins are very fragile. Take out the CPU and carefully inspect it and the socket for any bent pins, foreign objects, or any abnormalities. Check very carefully (with a magnifying glass, if possible) if all the pins look exactly the same, in position and in height.

If the pins are all perfectly aligned, you can put the CPU back in. For further testing, you can put the cooler back on without replacing the heatpaste. Finally, how to do it properly once it all works: Clean the CPU heatspreader and the cooler base, because when you re-use old heatpaste, there can be trapped air bubbles which could lead to overheating. So i'd then clean it 100% and then apply new heatpaste. I use soft, lint-free paper towels and q-tips dipped in high-purity isopropanol alcohol to clean, and then apply a drop of new heatpaste onto the middle of the CPU, at least the size of a large grain of rice. It will be spread by the cooler pressure.

Of course the problem can be caused by other things as well, but it sure looks like something between the board and the CPU (the DRAM LED might be involved because the memory controller actually is part of the CPU).

You did plug in the EPS12V 8-pin cable from the PSU into the top left of the board though, next to the CPU, right? The 4-pin header next to it is not important, but the 8-pin header has to be populated.
It supplies the power for the CPU.
 

lowdominio154d02de

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Thanks for the response! I'm 100% sure about the cable in question. Check and reseated on both end. Gonna pull off the cooler now. Not sure if I'll be able to see pins without a magnifier. Would have to track something down.
 

citay

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Oct 12, 2016
Messages
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There are 1700 pins in the socket, it's very easy to damage them by accident. You might see with the naked eye if some are bent, especially if you shine a light on them from different angles.

Another thing i just spotted, your CPU cooler doesn't seem compatible to Socket LGA1700:

Screenshot 2022-05-16 at 16-19-29 Enermax - ETS-N31.png


LGA1200 was the previous socket standard of 11th gen and 10th gen CPUs. Mounting mechanisms for LGA1200 and older will fit mechanically, but LGA1700 requires a different mounting pressure.
If the LGA socket pins don't make the right contact with the CPU's contact pads because the mounting pressure isn't right, you can also have these kinds of problems.

They have just started to include the LGA1700 mounting hardware with more recent coolers, but some of them still come without it. If LGA1700 compatibility isn't explicitly advertised, you will have to get an LGA1700 mounting kit which they sometimes offer for free, or if that's not available for the specific cooler, you will have to get a different cooler that is LGA1700 compatible out of the box.
 

lowdominio154d02de

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Thanks for all the responses everyone. Here is where I stand so far after what you've told me. I removed the cooler. It did have an adaptor ring that fit the board but I never like how it attached as it was a cheaper cooler.......was trying to keep my build under budget. I pulled the CPU and inspected the pins on the board to my eye they looked completely fine. Pics below in case someone see something I don't but pins looks regular. After reseating the chip making sure that orientation was in the correct direction(I did clean the paste off with alcohol before removing) I then attached the Intel stock cooler which had fresh thermal paste on it. I of course reattached the fan to the correct input. Turned it on and same error lights flashing. CPU fan is turning without issue.


 

mzakrzewsk157402df

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Since:
1) Your socket pins look absolutely fine (to me at least),
2) You've switched to the stock Intel cooler (@citay was right to observe that the Enermax does not officially support LGA1700),
3) You've connected the 8-pin PSU-CPU cable,
4) Hopefully you haven't mucked up any of the internal connections (USB, Audio, etc.),
I would suggest that you try out another known working power supply.

PS Silly question, but your RAM is correctly seated?
 
Last edited:

lowdominio154d02de

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Since:
1) Your socket pins look absolutely fine (to me at least),
2) You've switched to the stock Intel cooler (@citay was right to observe that the Enermax does not officially support LGA1700),
3) You've connected the 8-pin PSU-CPU cable,
4) Hopefully you haven't mucked up any of the internal connections (USB, Audio, etc.),
I would suggest that you try out another known working power supply.

PS Silly question, but your RAM is correctly seated?
Thanks for the input. I don't have access to another PSU so gonna have to figure something out there. I did reseat the RAM as one of the first things I tried. Felt like everything is snapped nicely in place and I'm using the recommended slots for the 2x layout. As far the the rest of the inputs are concerned the only things I did not hook up was the USB 3.0 ports from the from of the case. Connector was being difficult even though it was orientated with the notch on the connector the right way. Decided I just wouldn't use the from USB. Nothing on the port looks damaged though and I don't believe not connecting those ports would cause and error.
 

mzakrzewsk157402df

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And what happens if you use only one stick of RAM?

PS No, not connecting the USB 3.0 will not cause an error - only connecting it wrongly.
 

lowdominio154d02de

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Just tried using 1 stock in the first slot and still the same. I then swapped the sticks and the same with the other. Tried using the other slots......the same :(
 

lowdominio154d02de

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Would have to buy some. Was thinking of trying something from there official list but was hoping to officially rule out the modules I'm using.
 

citay

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The pins do look fine indeed. It was worth checking though.

What i would do now (in lack of a different PSU) would be to take the board out of the case and try it on a non-conductive surface (wooden table for example). This will exclude a short with the case.
Also take out your graphics card for all further testing and only use the integrated graphics. You can also take out the M.2 SSD while you're at it. The less components, the better.

If the RAM was at fault, you would only see the DRAM LED, not CPU/DRAM alternating. If we hope it has nothing to do with the PSU, then it might be a fault of the CPU or the board. So you see why it would be good to borrow/acquire a different PSU first, just to get this eventuality out the way.

It's not easy to find out which one it is though, CPU or the board. Short of testing your CPU in a different 600-series board or a different 12th gen CPU in your board, you won't know for sure.
 
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mzakrzewsk157402df

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Sorry @lowdominio154d02de, I'm too stupid to give you a definitive answer. ;)
If it were me in your shoes, I would start off with the power supply, then proceed to the RAM, the CPU, and finally the motherboard.
I always have a few known good PSUs and RAM kits on hand, as these components are cheapest and, in a sense, easiest to test - but once you've eliminated them as the culprits (even though what @citay mentioned above about only the DRAM LED lighting is technically absolutely correct), you're left with the CPU and motherboard. Obviously, you can't keep a stock of these, but you then know, more or less, what you'll have to RMA.
Perhaps you have a computer shop nearby where you could test at least your CPU/MB?
 

lowdominio154d02de

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Sorry @lowdominio154d02de, I'm too stupid to give you a definitive answer. ;)
If it were me in your shoes, I would start off with the power supply, then proceed to the RAM, the CPU, and finally the motherboard.
I always have a few known good PSUs and RAM kits on hand, as these components are cheapest and, in a sense, easiest to test - but once you've eliminated them as the culprits (even though what @citay mentioned above about only the DRAM LED lighting is technically absolutely correct), you're left with the CPU and motherboard. Obviously, you can't keep a stock of these, but you then know, more or less, what you'll have to RMA.
Perhaps you have a computer shop nearby where you could test at least your CPU/MB?
No apologies needed and thanks for all input you've given! It's been a learning experience here. That was probably my fall back scenario if I have to start procuring parts to rule out other things. Would love to be able to claim I figured this outs myself but it may end up being more cost and time effective to pay MicroCenter 60$ bucks for a diagnostics. Bought everything there anyway so if it's a warranty issue I can swap there.

Thanks again for all the help. I have been learning even it's the hard way :D
 

lowdominio154d02de

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The pins do look fine indeed. It was worth checking though.

What i would do now (in lack of a different PSU) would be to take the board out of the case and try it on a non-conductive surface (wooden table for example). This will exclude a short with the case.
Also take out your graphics card for all further testing and only use the integrated graphics. You can also take out the M.2 SSD while you're at it. The less components, the better.

If the RAM was at fault, you would only see the DRAM LED, not CPU/DRAM alternating. If we hope it has nothing to do with the PSU, then it might be a fault of the CPU or the board. So you see why it would be good to borrow/acquire a different PSU first, just to get this eventuality out the way.

It's not easy to find out which one it is though, CPU or the board. Short from testing your CPU in a different 600-series board or a different 12th gen CPU in your board, you won't know for sure.
Thanks again for the input. That will probably my last step of diagnostics before I may have to pay for the convenience of having someone with spare parts look at the build. Been learning a lot from the failures but I may be only able to go so far without parts to swap out. AHHHH I just want a boot screen!:mad:
 

mzakrzewsk157402df

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Troubleshooting is usually a PIA. I've done my fair share and I can honestly say I've never really enjoyed the experience - event if I have learned quite a bit.
The MicroCenter option looks sensible, I think.
 
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