I mean work through, not just read over it. We spent a lot of time on this. It should find most of the problems. Other BIOS' may be different.
Breadboard - that will help isolate any kind of case problem you might have. You do have a case speaker installed, right? If not, you really, really need one. If your case or motherboard didn't come with a system speaker, you can buy one here: You should hear a series of long, single beeps indicating memory problems. Remember, at this time, you do not have a graphics card installed so the load on your PSU will be reduced. At this point, you can sort of check the PSU. Try to borrow a known good PSU of around - watts.
That will power just about any system with a single GPU. If you cannot do that, use a DMM to measure the voltages. Measure between the colored wires and either chassis ground or the black wires. Yellow wires should be 12 volts. The gray wire is really important. CPU needs this signal to boot. You can turn on the PSU by completely disconnecting the PSU and using a paperclip or jumper wire to short the green wire to one of the neighboring black wires.
But if it can not pass this, it is dead. If the system beeps: If it looks like the PSU is good, install a memory stick. Beep pattern should change to one long and several short beeps indicating a missing graphics card. Silence or long single beeps indicate a problem with the memory.
Insert the video card and connect any necessary PCIe power connectors. At this point, the system should POST successfully a single short beep. Notice that you do not need keyboard, mouse, monitor, or drives to successfully POST. Now start connecting the rest of the devices starting with the monitor, then keyboard and mouse, then the rest of the devices, testing after each step.
It's possible that you can pass the POST with a defective video card. The POST routines can only check the video interface. It cannot check the internal parts of the video card.
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