Problem with MSI MAG Z790 TOMAHAWK WIFI ATX LGA1700 Motherboard - No video and debug LED's lit.

forestrygu15b202ed

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Hello,

I am having trouble with the PC I am putting together. The PC is not displaying any output from either the HDMI or Displayport. When putting my RAM into DIMMA2 and DIMMB2 The DRAM debug light is lit. When trying just one of the sticks in either DIMMB1 or DIMMB2 instead the BOOT debug light is lit, but there is still no output to either of the motherboard video outputs. I have tried updating the Bios by flashing it with version 7D91vH9 (the latest version I think) and renaming the file to MSI.ROM before inserting the USB and pressing the flash button and that didn’t work either. All fans work including the CPU cooler. I have been debugging without the video card installed to try and limit issues, but everything else is installed. I have checked all the power connections and those seem fine.

Where should I go from here? Thanks in advance for your time and assistance.


Components:
Intel Core i7-12700K 3.6 GHz 12-Core Processor
Thermalright Phantom Spirit EVO 69 CFM CPU Cooler
MSI MAG Z790 TOMAHAWK WIFI ATX LGA1700 Motherboard
G.Skill Flare X5 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR5-6000 CL36 Memory
Western Digital Black SN850X 1 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 4.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive
Corsair 4000D Airflow ATX Mid Tower Case
Corsair RM850x (2021) 850 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
 
The CPU will work with the factory BIOS, so the BIOS version can't be it, and there are no such BIOS bugs known in older versions that could cause something like this. Make sure you installed the RAM sticks properly. It can take a surprisingly large amount of force to properly insert a DDR5 module into the slot, see here, here, and here.

Then, a potential source of problems with any LGA-type socket are always bent socket pins, which can happen very easily by accident, before or during the CPU installation. So you could take off the cooler, carefully take out the CPU, and look at the socket pins. Check if all the socket pins all look identical in position and in height, from every angle (with a magnifying glass, or take macro photos). Check if some pins look bent in a different way to the others surrounding them (even very slightly), and if they do, take photos of the socket from different angles and upload them/link them here.

Here you see an example of bent pins in the socket (click to enlarge):

Screenshot_2023-11-23-01-41-03-33_fd1e8ef594b195c55a3bba4818d0ce35.jpg


Once you see bent pins like this, the troubleshooting is over, they are the cause for everything. It will not work properly until they are fixed, or until you replace the board.

If the pins all look ok though, the problem is obviously somewhere else. Before doing the pins inspection, you can check all the obvious stuff, like are all the cables properly latched on, 24-pin ATX power and 2x 8-pin EPS for CPU_PWR 1 and 2.


edit: Dear "Tom's Hardware"-readers reaching us from here, the author of that article linked the wrong thread, i'm afraid.
This thread here is not about DOA boards from MSI, it's about bent socket pins which mostly happen by accident during CPU installation.
This would've been a correct thread to link about the DOA boards: https://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?threads/mag-z790-tomahawk-wont-power-on.389589/
 
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No, i would try to repair them. That could be attempted by carefully nudging (not pulling) the pins back into position. You don't want to grab them and force them back into position, you just want to gently prod/push them in the right direction one at a time. No bending back and forth, metal fatigue could lead to them breaking off. I've also seen a report about using a Q-tip, where you cut the cotton ends off, put the little hollow tube over the bent pin, and "guide" it to the correct position like that, that seems like a promising and gentle enough approach. You'd do this while looking through a magnifying glass, ideally one that you don't have to hold and that has an integrated light.

This video here is probably the most useful one, they show examples of how to fix pins. And in this video for example, they talk about bent pins at 37:17 mins. And then there is this video where he is working on some socket pins. If you feel like you can't do it yourself, you could also try to have a PC repair shop or even a watchmaker/jeweller repair it, someone like that has the tools and skills to do such intricate work. However it's done, the end goal is that all the socket pins look exactly the same again, both in position and in height. Another option is to sell the board as defective with bent pins for a lower price, so someone who is experienced in fixing that can fix it for themselves.

Because the thing is, depending on the store, they will not replace the board for you when they see bent pins in the socket. And definitely not MSI under warranty. MSI always see it as damage caused by the user, due to the socket being inspected in the factory and the plastic cover protecting the pins afterwards (see MSI pins inspection video). So it isn't covered by their warranty, they would return the board to you as-is. And it's understandable from their point of view, because after all, if you dent your new car by hitting a pole by accident, you cannot take it to be fixed under warranty either.

I wouldn't say it's all your fault though, because when a process is so prone to mistakes like CPU installation on an LGA socket, they probably should've come up with a better solution for installing the CPU in there by now. Just like you, most people never noticed causing any damage, they only see the debacle once they take the CPU out and look. So it's way too easy to mess up for the end user without even realizing it.

There's two generally accepted methods of installing the CPU in the socket. I use one hand, thumb on left side (or right side if you're left-handed), index finger on the other, gripping slightly more from above instead of underneath (so you don't risk touching the pins), gently lowering it flat into the socket. With the protective plastic cover still being on top of the opened socket mechanism (it's supposed to be left on, it snaps off by itself once you close the socket mechanism). Sort of like this:

amd_intel_lga_cpu_installation_12-600x338.jpg



The other method is shown here in this video.

It's easy to accidentally bend pins during the CPU installation if you don't carefully lower the CPU flat into the socket (or anchored on one side), or do some other mistake like taking off the protective plastic cap before they install the CPU. Installing the CPU into an LGA socket with its very sensitive pins is the most critical moment of building any system. If you touch the pins with one corner of the CPU first or the CPU "bounces" on some pins, they can already bend in that area.

Here is a CPU installation FAQ by ASUS: [Motherboard]How to install CPU on Motherbaord? | Official Support | ASUS Global
The cap, wether it's on Intel or AM5, is specifically designed to be pushed outwards and pop off once the lever is closed when the CPU is installed.
 
Updated BIOS and it didn't work
Here are some photos of cpu socket, I can't see any damage. Also photos of RAM

 
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