General Problems in a System Recently Assembled
Explanation: It is suspected that there may be a problem related to the fact that
the system was just assembled or upgraded. This is usually related to an error message,
trouble booting, or general system instability.
Diagnosis: There are many different reasons that a system can experience these
sorts of difficulties, but some are relatively unique to new systems, especially ones that
have just been homebuilt. Following the assembly instructions carefully is the best way to
avoid these problems, but we are all human and make mistakes. There are some common
gotchas that are typically made by those who do new system assembly or upgrading.
- You may find it helpful to examine this
inspection procedure, which is used as a checklist after completing significant
assembly work in the PC. The procedure covers many of the common pitfalls that can result
after doing work in a new system.
- Any time the PC is worked on, there is the chance of loose connections or shorts. Check here for a listing of things to check for in this area.
- Check for cables that have been inserted incorrectly. Many cables, such as IDE data
cables, are not keyed to force correct entry, and can therefore be easily inserted
backwards; make sure all your "pin 1"s line up. Another common problem is the
"off by one" error, where the connector is placed over a set of pins shifted one
column off, so that the pins and connectors don't line up properly.
- Some people try to assemble PCs a little at a time, starting with only a minimal set of
components at first. This is done to reduce complications during assembly, and in general
makes sense. However, if you do this, do not try to start up the PC unless you have
connected to the power supply at least the motherboard (with CPU, memory and video card in
it) and a hard disk drive. Power supplies may malfunction if started up without enough of
a load to draw current.
- A common problem in new systems is an overheating device, especially due to
misconfiguration. If after running the PC for a while, you suspect an overheating problem,
- Be wary of possibly overloading the power supply. If your system has an older or smaller
power supply, especially under 200W, you may have difficulties if you try to upgrade to a
machine that uses a lot of power. Pentium Pro motherboards and processors use a lot of
power, for example. Adding a new hard disk to a system that already has several and is
struggling with a smallish supply can tax the system and cause intermittent problems. Troubleshoot suspected power problems here.
- You may have a problem related to the system memory. It
may have failed, or may be inserted or configured incorrectly. You may have chosen the
wrong type for the motherboard.
- You may have a problem associated with the motherboard, such as a misconfigured jumper,
or an outright failure. You may want to diagnose it
- It is possible for the processor to be the source of problems. Troubleshoot the processor here.
- You may have your BIOS settings set up
incorrectly. Go through the settings and make sure they are correct. Try resetting them to
their default values, and being very conservative with items such as memory timing, cache
speed and hard disk timing modes, until you are sure the system is working properly.
- Troubleshoot expansion cards. Check them
especially for incorrect jumpers and settings.
- Check hard disk drives to make sure they are
- Check the system for resource conflicts,
which commonly arise when adding new hardware to an existing system, or setting up a new
Home - Search
- Topics - Up