A Major upgrade, a new Motherboard (MoBo)           

A Jump table:
Why mobo dead ,long story.
Testing mobo near naked.
How to hot swap or not.
Using the wrong CASE:
How to use PCtrans, for apps.
Why mobo dead , short story.
Heat sink/fan choices and issues.
How to use CSM (Dual BIOS)
Using the wrong PSU, and cure.
Best mobo picks by features.
    Most sane persons  just do a fresh OS (operating system) load, after a new motherboard or new HDD/SSD (or even M.2 drive) was installed.
I offer my page (my personal journal) to anyone who wants to read how I do this job,  a new MOBO.  I hope these words help someone, any one.
In my case I have no data to lose ever, I am backed up, my only worry is losing my complex desktop (I run Fences ™ and have over 100+ real applications and many are fully licensed for lifetime and for 3 or more PCs.)
My #1 goal is to not have to reload all 100+ App.'s (it's 130 +  games, my few games all reload easy from STEAM™ so there is no need ever to back that up. Steam =  cloud)
I have no MS cloud accounts. (nor any form of any Microsoft accounts of any kind, in fact I run my own cloud ) I have servers and I also have blue ray burners (BD-R) to save data. (many ways , both local and remote)
My PC has 4 mass storage HDD and SDD) , I never use the boot disk to store any data, ever, I have  Documents in HDD#2, and  Games HDD#3 and a App.'s HDD#4. This setup makes for super easy backups to my servers.
Later I retired the SSD drive and installed SM961 M.2   boot drive. (cloned)
All my PC's are W10 and all are 64bit.  (but my servers are MS 2012R2 OS server HP Gen 7)
Some folks buy a 128GB thumb drive and do the back up there, just drag the files there or use a nicer external drive or NAS.
It turns out my FX  mobo swap to Z270-Prime just worked with out a hitch, I plugged it in and it works with no problems what so ever. (well I never count having to re-Activate windows as problem)
The Ethernet internet connected in under 10seconds W10 PnP figured out what to do and did it, like magic. (end story, but others may need to do the below, steps or actions)
Don't let this happen  to you: (with a PC or MOBO problems) 




How to upgrade your PC Hardware
Tools, a screwdriver, and a new mobo, motherboard. (and frisky fingers and ESD strap on your idle wrist, grounded to the PC frame)
Have   modern PSU ATX v2.3 , ready for action , as see here.

Software , at least own PcTrans v9 (and up). ( and learn this super cool program can even transfer C:/program files to say the E: drive.) So that the SSD does not have applications on it, besides A/V)
The PcTrans is just insurance, if something went wrong, you can very easily recover and restore all 100 applications, like I have.

For a new SSD only! ,just clone the HDD to SDD and use it. (Mini tools has  free cloner Google it)  (solid state drive from hard disk drive upgrade path, easy) See my cloning  page?
But a new Motherboard (MOBO) swap  is the most extreme and is MY TOPIC here.. (from an old AMD- FX processor to a new Series 7 Intel processor upgrade, z270 chip-set)
This new mobo does just  X1 express lane 984.6 MB/s each,  (version 3 spec)!  Almost 2 times faster that my old FX system, and also does very very fast M.2 SSD cards ! (screams) I will be booting from M.2 soon.
If also upgrading to a SSD or M.2-ssd,  then clone the 2 drives, using PC Minitool partition wizard (free), do this FIRST, motherboard last for faster results.


The there are 3 ways to do this MOBO SWAP. (not counting going without applications later , or buying a new PC and never using applications? beyond PCpaint or Notepad? some folks live in IE11 !)
  • Just do it and pray it works, I have done this100s of time (a 23 year span) and it just works  (plug and play, internet connected yes...) I just did this July2018 and works (AMD FX to Z270)
  • Load fresh, w10 and then install 100+ App.'s, (no thanks,) ( I just tested this now and the new mobo booted witn no issues at all (but, resolution change, and activation needed reset)
  • Run EaseUS Todo PcTRANS v9.9,    (this is Insurance only, and my not be necessary) The $30 not free program backups all applications so you can restore them if the below fails !!! or if later you PC gets infected or explodes/melts, or self destructs, Bingo for Pc Trans.
Here is the full list of steps;  ( sorry but not reloading 100+ apps, and then re Activating my huge number of licensed software , no way will I do that) Keep in mind W10 has a new feature called IN-LINE UPDATE.
Run ccleaner. (free) clean makes for better results.
Remove App.'s now that you don't want or forgot to remove, (less is better) I use REvo-uninstaller Pro.(I love this app,, best of all others!)
If you run REVO 1 time, on 1 app, you now have  restore point, so do so. or  do a manual restore point save.
Back up data that you forgot,  everyone has this  done already, but here is a reminder.

Phase I: (I call this staging down)  The Vbs script below passes   Virustotal.com (and I read the script first, ok?)
  1.  Run this COA key finder from Majorgeeks.com  (it is safe, of your A/V gets upset tell it to exclude this file)  The modern PC the COA is stored, in the BIOS, but not any of mine, even my brand new mobo ASUS, Z270-p) (or run this safe simple script)
  2.  In my case I load the intel.com drivers and put them in a folder in C:/intel, so i can find them fast.  ( Intel mass storage device driver for my A270)  or at ASUS (link to chips + SATA)
  3. I run PcTrans v9.9 or newer and back up all my App.'s. (to my server , you can use any other device, say 2nd HDD or external HDD or even a huge USB thumb drive (mine took 15GB)
  4. Next  I go to device manager (run box + type this+ "hdwwiz.cpl" ,enter) no quotes, is a short cut. (or Control panel + Device manager) is the long cut.
  5. I then go to my "DISPLAY ADAPTER) and RIGHT CLICK IT AND disable DEVICE for Nvidia (or what you have) {This will force the next boot see and load the new correct video driver , at the get go}
  6. Turn off w10 fastboot now. See all ways to do this now (this is basically W10 forced in the old SAFEMODE)  This forces the next boot not to use the  now useless image file.!!!
  7. Turn off PC  POWER (Shut down). (unplug PC from wall AC and push the  power button to discharge all Capacitors in the PC) here the fans spin down, bingo for DISCHARGED.
 Keep in mind my SSD is set up as a MBR disk not UEFI  nor GPT, I run pure legacy mode, as it is  the most easy to support and most reliable.(for decades).
Phase II: (the grand event, the purge!)
  1. Remove old  mobo! Now (screws /cables , etc) Sell it to some Fleabay chump (sorry for dark jokes)
  2. New mobo installed (has ram and cpu sure) and original SSD onto sata-0 port(1st), with old w10 still there. (all other drives disconnected., I have 3 there... this is to protect them and not confuse the first boot..)
  3. Make sure the Ethernet jack is wired cat5/6 cable to your router. (you want the internet up as soon as possible for PnP to work fully. (do not use WiFi here)
  4. Next we enter the new MOBO BIOS. (the manual tells you what hot key to press, powered on, DEL or F2 on ASUS, or whatever. (power on and hammer DEL key on keypad lower right corner,until BIOS POP's)
  5. I first upgraded BIOS to 1205 using the EZ BIOS flash, using the 1 file I have on fat32,USB stick, effortless and safe. Done.
  6. Turn off safe boot in the new BIOS. (or you can have huge pains now)   (SAFEBOOT kills dead alien boot media,  FASTBOOT , is just as bad. it loads a now a wrong image file that is hopeless below)
  7. Turn on "Launch CSM" , enabled, mode , seen here. (advanced pages of BIOS) CSM is really DUAL BIOS, (I like that name or DUAL OS) I set all modes there to LEGACY (no UEFI at all) (this works)
  8. Make sure SATA is set to AHCI,(default)  same as your old mobo was for its boot SSD. SATA IDE mode is OBSOLETE now.(as is PATA)
  9. Make sure the BIOS boot order shows your SSD as first to boot in the BIOS boot order page. (it sees my SSD drive so its in the BOOT list)  (if the BIOS can not boot it pops the main BIOS menu now)
  10. OK,  the SSD boots and you see video on the screen you see W10 coming up., and then plug and play starts correcting wrong drivers.  (be patient let PnP do it's job , took all if 10 seconds, for me, the delay... super fast.)
  11. If w10 wants to do repair mode let it.  (it is very effective here, let it do its job...) Mine did not, it just boot and ran,  and I had to set Screen resolution next and then activate windows. (its off due to NEW MOBO)
  12. I poppedin to DM device manager and the list is 100% perfect and clean.
  13. Be ready to boot like 3 times, to get it stable, mine did not need this done,   (and correct them easy, even right click and do automated update in DM) or worse case see this.
Every time I say BIOS here I mean (old BIOS or new CSM BIOS (called DUAL BIOS by there makers)  (that can also allow, OPROM  like a RAID CARD has.)
CSM is Compatibility Support Module, or DUAL BIOS. (this ends the horror of a UEFI only motherboards see on OEM PCs like Dell or HP, and very limited.) In my opinion nothing beats CSM and for sure  gaming motherboards for endless versatility
Building your OWN PC allows you to have it like you want. (Have it YOUR WAY).
The CSM feature  (Dual BIOS) will boot to anything, CSM is very very good here. (feel free to play with it and try different modes)
If you fail, totally? , you can reload w10 fresh and use  EaseUS Todo PcTRANS v9.9 to bring back all App.'s  and data. (I love this tool !) Best is w10 to W10 swaps, it even does your user profile if you tell it to.
Turrns out I  lost no appliations and most the Phase I, things are not necessary in my case. (turning off fastboot is a good idea above and in the new BIOS do the same fast boot off.

PCTRANS: (backing up methods) (I have the paid version, okay?)
What I do is click transfer to an Image file.
What I did is backup, APPS, then Files then Users and made 3 files output.
So they are more easy to recover later.

In retrospect , I could have just replaced the motherboard, in my specific case, and then with internet connected all would just come back in 10 seconds time. (I did the above only for Insurance, not ever wanting to reload 100 applications and endless re-licensing steps.
Only These apps failed (all ran ok , or in demo mode)but activation reset, Malwarebytes Pro Lifetime , had to call them. (emailed) Blue Iris web cam app. same deal., MS OFFICE 2007 stayed Activated, W10 did not , had to manually activate it., No issues with STEAM ever.
Revo Uninstaller pro, failed, had to email them tell them new mobo. (they fix it on their end, yes, tricky that, call home tech. it's called.)
All Corel x9 software ran.
Stardock, Fences v3  failed. had to email them too.
HDsentinel failed. (click license link in app, click online license mode, 1second flat done!)



CSM is Compatibility Support Module,  examples: (or DUALBIOS)
First get the BIOS out of EZ mode. use Advanced ONLY. (the best feature here is dual OS platform/multi-OS platform feature)
Only you know if your PC uses (old pre upgrade) has UEFI, or MBR disks or GPT. (what you have matters, and must match what you swap in)
I recommend using CSM on both ends of the upgrade.(to ease the pain) but CSM belows purpose is to make old systems work here. (legacy mode) ( this can work on a near 10 year old PC)
Safe boot:  You must play here what you do here depends on (what mobo you had before and how it was formatted, UEFI or not)

100% legacy mode on all pages.
This new MOBO has BIOS that goes into the BIOS screens automatically now, if no boot devices found, is that not cute?


Click BOOT tab.  Secure boot, off. fast boot off.


CSM page: All choices set to legacy. (my bootable C: is 100% MBR NTFS boot disk)  This page below is set first, so it shows up above.



Just got my new MOBO and...

I discovered, that I only had to set time of day (expected), and boot order to boot my C: drive, that has Windows 10-64b setup from the old mobo FX4350. 
With zero  problems doing that, not a single hickup of any kind. Mobo radical swap  AMD FX to Z270-prime upgraded.
 


This is my ACE in the Hole , to make sure I do not lose my 100 applications programs. (turns out , it was not needed)
I use Via and image to my server. Transfer local is amazing too. Move C: program_files to E:? it does.
I click VIA and Image file above and get this, below.
I check box 1, and backup then check box 2 and backup and last pick box 3 user, then pick my account name and backup.
The blue box with a pencil icon means EDIT,  you can in fact recover, any one application or all or any mix you want , this is POWERFUL !
I do this 3 time to my server, so that It is more robust and modular.

I tested the recover mode, of box 1 above on my desktop,  Applications, I picked at random, 20 of the 100 programs to restore to an ALIEN W10-64b PC.  (It works like a charm) !
User accounts
would bring back your full desktop, (I have not test that)
The only complaint I have is you can not click date or file size as you browse in the applications mode above,  to say get all huge App.'s at the top.(in file size order)
The only weakness, but not really, is that it restores to C: only, on my PC, App.'s are all on K: so...
So after the restore, use the feature called, transfer local app's and that does work and was tested by me to work GREAT.

One last hint, some folks and the EaseUS forum show success even transferring App.'s from W7 PC to W10.  (keep in mind some App.'s do not run at all on W10-64bit PCs, so upgrade that App.)

Best mother board?, sorry there is no such thing, at all, best can be the one most pretty,   yeah pretty cool looking , omg it a freak'n mobo, not tennis shoes? (what matters is COMPUTES fast and lasts ! and has real support)
What matters is brand names and there success in sales (ASUS tops that list) They have  new support page here, and click SHOW ALL PRODUCTS.
(Desktops are now called TOWERS there, how odd that is,bucking 36 years of history, why?) if you click ALL under towers you get nothing....(bad web site coding)
Asus really does not have a forum now, just on a few products, they ended real support, like they had for 23 years,  My respect for them has dropped 50% (If Asus thinks that $500 ,motherboard is bread toaster, I am buy from you again!)
They have  Zen forum and Gaming box forum.
But the products lacking a real forum only have a FAQ and this is a horror, if you read it and understand PC and there history , this FAQ uses answers for the wrong, PC , wrong product.  (IMO, pathetic , 10 points for cute page, 1 point for accurate content.)


Each maker has  huge numbers of motherboard even using one Generation of Processor (gen6/7 above) and Chip set Z270 is best in the bang for the buck , IMO.2018 perspectives here.
They make them for everyones needs. ("SIZE" and Cheap, business , Bitcoin mining, video rendering work stations or CAD/CAM,CAE, or gaming) Gaming is top catagory in sales.
Opinion polls do not hold much value to me but here it is. (the top 5 makers are mostly equal)
What I buy in order are: (top 7)
  • Brand, I am an ASUS guy,  since they went into business in Twain. (I even built systems 100s  for large businesses with ASUS as  base)
  • Top chip set,  z270 up. (speeds higher get real expensive real fast here, your Call ) I5-7600 is (ball park hit)2018
  • Max PCI-express lanes, and 2 X16 slots and more. more slots  is good. (legacy slots no) no shared lanes if possible.
  • Can  load 16GB of DDR4 RAM or more.
  • Onboard video GPU I do not need this, I run GTX1050 here. (the on board GPU is for sure way too slow for gaming, 20FPS slow)
  • FAST M.2 slots, it has to have them IMO, mine has 2 at. (version 3 all) This is one of the best features here as are the fast PCI-e lanes !!!
  • Must have BIOS called CSM or  Dual OS platform/multi-OS platform + UEFI.  (each maker uses there own name here, DUAL BIOS is what we want and need)
  • If you have special needs, then that is #1, in all cases, say wanting the best CSM, That is my top need, or better stated, maximum usage flexibility.
  • Special; needs can be Bitcoin Miner(fools?) or running 2 GPU in SLI mode, and more.  I do none of that ever.
  • Gamers want to do over-clocking(OC), I'm to savvy to play that ever, why would  you torture a $1000 mobo setup? daddy is rich?  Answer: kids being kids. (I will pay to watch you, LOL)
  • All are high quality ISO9000+ boards,  learn what QA does.!
  • All mobo's made, and for SURE all UEFI boards all have FIRMWARE BUG's,  if you try all options in CSM many FAIL, HARD.
  • UpGrade the BIOS first thing, learn to do it with EZ flash. (RTM first then leap) Do not flash under windows, or over the internet or sub net, DO NOT. (put the flash binary on a good fast USB stick) UseBIOS to flash BIOS !

Over the  counter mother board sellers are:
ASUS /Gigbyte/ ASrock /MSI  boards are all best.
 Most  owner /customer  complaints of makers are based on users doing things wrong, and are covered my last section below (dead mobo)
To be fair, the makers manuals have no real troubleshooting guide in print. (why ?). 

The top sellers all  have CSM features   
Compatibility Support Module  is a top feature I must have. (aka Dual BIOS, or DUAL OS support)
Each Top Maker is selling 3 to 5 million, units per quarter (x4= 25million mobos each per each) 2015 stats.  (I think this is lower now due to dirt cheap Chromebooks) The the prime growth force is GAMERS that hate notebooks.

I'd say with numbers like that those maker are equal, what matter in these cases are documentation, support  and lack of bugs, and last cost. (really you do get what you pay for in most cases)
And CSM features:
Even some top HP models have ASUS boards inside, (for years), hard to beat best !
HP also uses. The largest by far is Foxconn.  (Foxconn does not sell MOBO over the counter new.)
We are talking over the counter new mobo here, not what HP buys under a secret contract from ASUS™ or FOXCONN™. Ok? Mobo sold as only a mobo, new. (not part of some whole OEM computer, but may be sold at newegg as  bare bones PC new)
My MOBO maker choices mostly full scale on this meter Everyones needs are different, so pick a mobo that fits your needs.

For sure no BULL, a good choice  of mobo that is future proofed, would be with the Intel GEN 8 processor + gluelogic  and using (IMO) a MSI, Z370
I like MSI, MSI still has a forum.  (I never buy things lacking this level of support on complex technology)
Asus is no longer my #1 choice. (support failure, and has shut down some of their best  forums.)



That new CPU and new Heat Sink , needs help, do not guess, nor scrimp here:    (see fan choices pick list)

Do not use junk TIM (thermal interface material) on the new CPU, for sure my 91 watt CPU must have Shin Etsu on it, or LAIRD ,and nothing else. (I get it for 6 tubes for $9 in bulk) Overlocked CPU can hit 150watts or more.
One guy used a gallon of Heat sink compound on the CPU top surface, looked like the CPU had 1/2 a tube of tooth paste dumped there, my guess he watched the dimbulbs on youtube do that and believed it.
 wow, who does that?
This is some one who is clueless how TIM works  0.001" (1 mil) good,  Wedding cake frosting  thick fail. 


 I have done the tests under full power and know what works, TIM wise (heatsink/fan and thermal interface material, many fail on 90watt up fully loaded CPU .
Crazy grease 2.

Crazy grease 3.  You are not using glue or window pain Caulk or gutter Flex-Seal, the grease must be super thin. (put a  BB size drop on drop, let the springs do there job !!!) like seen hereHeat sink compound

One drop, not a line, or a cross, or 5 Dots nor use a putty knife to spread it, just do this and put the HS down, let the springs do the job for you.(the thinner it is after the better it works !!!)

Factoid #1. All UEFI is buggy, and bug ridden, it all is, unless you run 2018 updates?,  There are now 6 years and 20 Plus updates to get the new UEFI paranoia features bug free.   ( a moving target?)
 My Asus Z270-P BIOS v1205, seems bug free to me... love it.

Why in the world is my new motherboard dead?    LONG PLAY ,see short  play  here.
DO NOT HOT PLUG PARTS,
if this is not clear, leave the board alone until you learn what this means. (or boom) (Some Server MOBO you can like Asus Z10PR-D6 (LGA2011-3) $700 each.


The Dead list:  (It is amazing all the ways there is to mess up)
(besides not paying your AC power bill on time)
This is only about air cooled PCs not water (H²O).  The PC you have (CORE) has one  iGPU (inside the core) and maybe a second GPU (maybe called Nvidia GTX1050 it needs no AUX power ! )
Only overclockers need water. (I am not one).
I will cover fans dead (2 or 3 fans, dead, PSU, CPU and  the 1050)
I will cover dead iGPU  VGA and dead (only) the high performance GPU say a GTX650 (worse case) the GTX650 or any older series will not run lacking the AUX port wired to the ATX12 PSU.
If running the GPU (GTX) it must be in slot 1, top, X16 PCI-express slot, if you had RTM it tells you that clear as day. (if running 2x SLI GPU card, I can not help you, I never do that.)
To use the GTX card in slot 1 , you must tell BIOS to set VIDEO to auto or PCI-e mode. or it will run in iGPU mode. (okay?)

Rules: Do not HOT Plug parts, make sure it is at  zero power and no green SB_Pwr LED lamp on the mobo before touching parts. (you will not get shocked with 12vdc, what this warning is about is not blowing up parts.
HOT plugging parts are ok on USB ports, and SATA data cables. Do not hot plug any PCI cards, or power cables of ANY KIND.
The manuals for MOBOs are just weak reference guide, in fact it does not cover diagnosis at all.(nor how to do the heat-sink compounds correctly at all, nor does it cover hot plugging parts, (way bad  that))

First learn this:
Power on logic 101: (this is a sequence of events)
  • Human sees motherboard standby LED glows, if not see below,  if not glowing now the power button will be dead as a door nail.  If your PC has no Standby LED we use  voltmeter on the pin 9 purple PSU wire.
  • Human pushes power button,
  • The button closes and shorts the mobo power pin (on pin) to ground for logic zero state  to said pin,  the mobo sees that state (glue chip saw it) and then this same chip sends power-on command (a wire green pin 16)to the PSU.
  • The PSU sees power on logic state, and then turns on the power, now.
  • The PSU makes sure all RAILS go to spec. (correct) voltages  and is happy, but if not happy it turns off power pronto. (or even overcurrent detected)
  • The MOBO receives power and runs, if the VRM's  fail on said mobo, the MOBO tells the PSU to turn off. (all this can happen in 1 second flat, or even at ANY TIME)

There are many symptoms and evidence.
  • PSU fan dead, but CPU fan runs then that is a bad PSU (FAN)
  • PSU fans and all fans dead, PSU is bad, or overloaded. or wrong PSU, not 500watt min. A PSU can shut off in 1 second by design, and that  tells you it is overloaded, (my high end PSU can do that 5 ways)
  • Above ok, PSU runs, but iGPU output (VGA) to monitor is dead.  (all PCI-e express slots empty) see below.
  • iGPU works great and BIOS shows with DEL key pressed, but the fancy high-end GPU card (say just the GTX650 is only dead?, see below)
Hopefully you updated the BIOS first. (RTM) (some boards are running Beta BIOS )
 Use only the EZflash3 way or Freedos way, do not flash over the internet ever.(flash only from USB stick ,page 2-2 in the manual)
(if the PSU fan is dead this is first , the PSU can be bench tested and jumper wire tested easy )
  1. Didn't RTM tops list , READ THE MANUAL.  It covers what is needed. (pay attention to 3 power jacks,  2 on MOBO and one set on say GTX650 card, if you forget any of  those, it will not work.
  2. Did you do it like this first done mostly naked? (on a cardboard box)  no plastic under it,   or metal staples allowed  there. Pure cardboard box is best, never plastic as it is a ESD generator. Then jump this pin?
  3. Do not plug in any HDD or anything on the mobo now, run it with only CPU and 1 DDR RAM stick (A2) at first, no PCI-e  cards, test the mobo in its minimum state naked like seen below.
  4. Lost or forgot to use standoffs under mobo, now the PCB shorts to steel base, boom/smoke the poor MOBO shorts  (if the old mobo had stud standoffs not used on new board, make sure they are removed)
  5. WRONG PSU (or bad) that new MOBO many sucks 2 time the current now and that lame old weak  200watt PSU is hopeless or just bad. (use only 500watt PSU minimum) (run 2x need or power budget)
  6. Learn that the A270 manual shows 350watts, well that does not include adding things at all , after all they don't have clue as to what you will add, my GTX660 GPU sucks 300watts alone! (learn to add the power demands total)
  7. The PSU fan dead,  is a  bad PSU or power plug on PC is not wired to the mobo power pin pair, or plugged in backwards or 1 pin off. The PSU is bench tested here.
  8. The PSU has 2 power cables to the mobo, 24pin and 8pin, if the 8 pin is missing (forgot) or missing on the PSU That manual shows plugging it in ( and states clear as day will not boot (both conn).
  9. You bought a used MOBO from fleabay, there are 50+ MoBo's there now... all with bent CPU pins , and they (the bad guys) only mentioned that, deep in fine print.  See Intels GREAT bent pin pages.
  10. If the PSU runs for 1/2 to 1second (ATX spec ) means the PSU is overloaded, or the PSU is bad, bench test all PSU easy. See above link.
  11. Is the CPU fan plugged in to the wrong FAN jack, The CPU fan must have a working fan and RPM must not be zero or the MOBO turns it self off, or if it overheats. The fan is not an option nor is a fan at 0 RPM. (revolutions per  minute)
  12. Ok the PSU fan runs and the CPU fan runs now and stays running, if not remove the GTX card from PCI-E slot 1 (top) or on the right seen below.
  13. Never buy just 1 DDR RAM,  (noobs?). Do buy at least  2 sticks (you paid a fortune on CORE Dual Channel RAM so...,. but test them 1 at a time in BANK 0,  on my board it is slot A2.
  14. Or goal now that fans run, is to get BIOS working on the iGPU, only. Okay (see how I am doing this one tiny step at a time,so if things fail we know why)
  15. Make sure the CPU is on the valid list GEN8 will not run here. (My z270 runs Gen 6 or 7, you need gen 8 motherboard to run Gen 8 CPUs (RTM it is there) The CPU list is here.  the bang for buck CPU is I5-7600.
  16. See the validated by ASUS RAM sticks  (A270 example) the list is huge. , My  memory is PC4-2400 Micron  MTA8ATF1G64AZ – 8GB CL-17  8GB x2.  (use what your manual tells you do use)
  17. Dead MOBO still, then Reset your BIOS by  removing the coin cell (no PSU attached. for 10seconds to 1min.) and put it back.
  18. Next (again RTM) the CLRTR jumper to clear and reset BIOS CMOS with battery attached.  This  resets  XMP to Off, (no over-clocking(OC) and magic happens, the mobo and CPU gets happy)
  19. Last is bad CPU, (rare as lightening hits) bad MOBO , if new in a sealed box, I bet you it is NOT BAD. (There (Intel) QA is super good !) Notwithstanding bad TIM.
  20. Below are some tricks to wake up a dead mobo and can not get past #11 above. dead mobo.
Punting 101: (things that fail, for inexperienced system integrators or just bad luck or ?)I have build 100s of systems from scratch, and made many of these mistakes (long ago, not now, Grin )

  1. The green L.E.D. on the mobo only means 1 of the many PSU rails has power , only STANDBY power is present, if it is dead the PSU is dead.(or just bad) That green LED glows on the mobo even with power not turned on.
  2. The PSU must be "ATX12V v2.2 spec" if not it will not work right, lacking AUX cables and rated at the correct need current amperage.  (my Z270 has 8pin EPS12V spec cable or 4+4 cable)
  3. Many folks have never seen a DDR RAM in their life, and have no idea at all how to insert one fully, watch youtubers do it?, flip the end ears open, slide the stick in with notch correctly and push down fully. not 1/2 way, mine has 288 pins, all must make contact, and fully lock down, or it is HOPELESSLY lost. The computer will not run with dead or all RAM missing. The RAM stick can not be inserted backward, if you do , you will wreck the socket.
  4. Mobo standby +5v (SB-PWR) green LED dead means PSU dead or has no AC power to it. (I'm not sure all do,  but all ASUS mobo here have this LED) If no LED use a magic thing called a DMM meter on the PSU plug.
  5. Test the MOBO out of case as seen below, in a max naked state,  even  with no GPU card installed, works now? (on CORE processors)
  6. Test the PSU on a bench, using the jumper clip (an unbent paper  clip)
  7. The BIOS can be reset 2 ways, so it goes to default setting, Factory BIOS defaults see  #17 way above and #18 (avoid the hell pit of XMP over-clocking(OC) madness, use the safe defaults, play Hell boy later)
  8. If using a GPU card, and the 6pin power cable is missing it fails, GTX650 is one example of this noob failure. and the wrong PSU, used, or not enough watts for both CPU and GPU, 500watts is good min.
  9. If using GPU card, did you put it into PCI-E x16 slot one (1)?
  10. Did you use no heatsink compound (aka, grease) the manual covers this topic super poorly ,  only top quality compounds work on any 91watt Processors. (see here, how to do it right)
  11. The CPU fan, has clips on legs that must be fitted and locked if not the CPU overheats in seconds, (super fast) and the BIOS detects that and shuts off the PSU, fast. even in 1 second flat.
  12. One guy replaced every part in the PC, 3 times, RMA endless, then found out he did not read the pages in the mobo book, for 2 power jacks, or forget to read the NVIDIA book that told him it has  power jack and sucks 30 amps.
  13. Now the inane, one guy with BITCON mining fever but no idea how SMPS work at all, he puts 2 PSU in parallel.  The 2 PSU go to logger heads against each other and lose control and blows up 6 GPU cards and 1 mobo in 1 second flat.  (not wise this)

The lights in your home are out?  ( 1/2 Joking here, if the wall jack is dead or the power strip off or bad, there will be no AC power to the PSU, check for A.C. POWER carefully.(avoid the power strip for now)
Do not forget to turn this on first. (fails @ Fukushima Daiichi #4?) RIP all.!

The AUX connector (above left arrow) is to run the CPU VRM ,  requiring 4+4 or , 8 pins PSU,  all are keyed connectors DO NOT FORCE them on WRONG or backwards .
If the mobo is dead above, you can remove all things, that can be shorted .
Even the USB can be unplugged (devices all USB: The fan is not optional, but all RAM out , but one in bank 0 is what we do. (see Window PE test live)
Here is one more ASUS drawing that confuses many, I will add notes. 
See how to get a PSU that works and has power for the VRM jack AUX here.


BENCHING THE BEAST IS FIRST  , ALWAYS:
The next photo is the new funky standby LED grid. (the single LED on the bottom is un populated and now you get this, power off. ( this LED feature targets 13  year  old  gamer boys) I find it silly.
This  image below is what a fully stripped down system does, NO CPU , NO RAM, empty of all things but Mr. 24pin power. See standby work? It even reads +5vdc on my DMM meter.
BIOS is dead due to AUX empth.
If the above fails,  the PSU is DEAD. (none gaming Mobo have just  one simple green LED there, marked SB_PWR (Asus jargon)
After doing the above I add more parts. (never hot swapped, ever)
My methods are (first crawl, then walk then run) okay?
The next STRIP down tests are here. 

There is goal here , just one and get BIOS screens up, and working, then if frisky like me, boot to WINDOWS PE or LINUX Ubuntu v17+ Demo mode..( I use USB boot stick now)
BIOS will be dead if power is weak, CPU missing or RAM missing. (or if mobo is used and set to over-clocking(OC) crazy  mode, reset the PC as the manual states (clear CMOS RTC NVRAM)
With no power active add the 8 pin AUX connectors cable to PSU next.
In this case the mobo has no iGPU  (means internal on board not there) So must have a VGA card installed to see BIOS, even a 10 year old $5 PCI-e VGA card works.
But if  the MOBO was dead, now, the PC may come  up with the VGA card pulled, (bad card get another or learn to plug in its AUX power  cable this time)
A stripped down system (some called it benched) needs 1 mobo and PSU, 1 CPU, and 1 stick of ram inserted in the manual stated slot for 1 stick rules , do NOT GUESS, learn to RTM ok?

The below, BIOS runs, and POSTS and the PC boots to USB flash stick: ( I then add all DDR RAM, dead cold system never hot swapped.)
xw4600 HP tests.... shoe box testing...safe...
How did I turn the MOBO from off to on, easy, jump 2 pins with a blade screwdriver tip, or use 2 Audrino jumpers.
IF? you look close left front mobo see my 2 wires there on power jack pin, I touch them together and the mobo powers up.
The power switch is  momentary closed switch.  My Z270 needs no GPU card to test, so leave it OUT for any base line, stripped down test.
You do the jump here, and the PSU fan takes off running, if not the PSU is dead. If the PSU runs 1 second and dies, the PSU is overloaded, so find what is shorted on the mobo.
The only way to prove shorts is unplug things seen here, 1 by 1.
Best is to bench test a PSU when suspected, I even have dummy loads for the PSU and DMM to check voltage and if really worried, I SCOPE the PSU rails for NOISE. (best is  new PSU for NEW MOBO, IMO)
First get all fans working, then iGPU and BIOS working then get add-in GPU cards (PCI-E) working last. Then load the OS.
Touch these together and release, hear fans take off. and run and stays running. (if not power is bad) These 2 wires will be dead if PSU standby power is DEAD.
Jumping these 2 simple pins, tells the mobo to start the power up sequence.
The mobo then tells the PSU to turn on and if the Power is ok (PSU BRAIN CHIP) (not overloaded) the power stays on, if is overloaded, power is shut off in 1second or less.
 (my expensive PSU can self  shut off for 5 reasons)
Not only that but the MOBO VRMs, if overload (bad CPU) the VRM tell the PSU, shut down now.  (3 + 5 is 8 reasons) or on my BIOS it can turn off based (and no) RTC time clock turn on feature of the BIOS, (turn this off)
There is a 10th turn off, feature, all modern BIOS measure temps of CPU and RPM of fans, if wrong it tells the PSU to turn off. (this can happen very fast)
Not simple is it?; as you thought?
That is how ATX spec, PSU works, and is covered here in detail and at the wiki.
Newer Gaming GPU cards: (or high end graphics, for vast reasons, not just gamers use fast graphics)
My GTX1050 is amazing it has  no AUX power jack at all , the older cards did, the PCI-e x16 slot is rate at 75 watts max, and my new card runs under that under all conditions..


Do not read the section on old LEGACY VIDEO cards (lets be truthful the all time record on ENERGY HOG's)
The below older card, (5years old only) sucks huge AMPS,  30 amps (360w) per card in fact,  and the AUX PSU cable  must be connected, orTHE OS  will crash (BSOD) as sure as the sun rises in the East.
Goes dead or crashed endlessly, some even allow windows to load  and then CRASHES to BSOD screens. (blue screens of death)
 
Some folks not using the AUX jacks blew off the traces off the MOBO, PCI-E slots, BOOM you let the smoke out. (The AUX jack below 6 pin each,, is NOT optional when SEEN there.)
Using this card you need  about 300watts just for it, and 350 more for the new MOBO. 650watt min.  (you need to add up cpu watts, mobo watts and gpu watts)  (a power budget is what that is called)
Learn that static currents  are low, (say using Notepad)  and dynamic currents in high end games are Freak'n Huge. The PSU needs handle all dynamic currents it the system fails.
  The AUX power cable from ATX12 is not optional on this card, ever. (my 1050 card
has no such AUX connector)
Both photos below are cut from the Nvidia pages, and annotated by me. This card is  power hungry card, one of the worst made, the new cards do not need this level of power now. (I retired my 650 )
The manual for the above card is clear as day, 30Amps. 500watts is a minium here. (add 360w to your mobos spec ? would be 360+300=660watt )

This is in the same manual (RTM) and that means you need 2x  4pin cables  to make 6pin power to the GPU.
End legacy cards.

Let me be clear here,  the GTX-1050 card has no AUX power jacks, that is because they shunk the GPU die, and it uses very little power now.  (amazing fact) and sips current gently, we have proof of this even dynamically.
The PSU in all cases must handle the full dynamic power needed, under huge loads, both the CPU and the GPU run low power not used much but if you run fast graphics APPS or games the currents GO TO MAX.
If you fail to use the correct PSU here the OS will CRASH. !!!!  (this is like driving car with bicycle tires, it will crash but grandma going to church at 10mph may work. see?)
The PSU sticker on the side must show it  handled 30+ amp 12vdc draw of just this card. plus the mobo needs and HDD/DVD drive needs.
Many PC's sold new in most stores HP or DELL have tiny 250w or 300w PSU, a gutless wonder PSU, and you will have problems, using legacy cards for sure.
..

A note on CPU fan and heatsink(HS) choices:   For Intel LGA115x CPU motherboards. (x = any number there)
My fan choice hit list. (for heavy duty fans only, gaming or video rendering , CAD/CAM/CAE)
  • Fits 75mm mobo mount hole pattern LGA115x
  • 4 pin fan plug, nobody wants the hear the fan run full bore RPM for there whole life, let PWM do its job.
  • No plastic mounting screws allowed by me, (for high TPD spec wattage heatsinks, we demand metal screws nor  do I want lame, AMD 2 point tilting heatinks adaptations, a huge heavy heat sink need 4 screw (metal) mounts.
  • The whole HS/fan assembly must not hit things and for sure on mine max 6.5" tall is max even 6 is a goal is good, measure yours case first. 150mm tall is a limit I set on my new full size ATX case.
  • Many cheap fans have AMD clip adaptor mounts,  and I hate these, Buy only fans with 4 steel screws and  nice base mount,  metal mounts are best and with some kind of insulation is seen here.
  • Ask the maker what is max TPD,  120 to 150watts is a good answer, 90w  is not, that 90 is the same as stock intel fan, so... demand they answer this or walk,  many USA sellers told me, gee I asked the China guy and he didn't know,  (sad no?)

First off the stock CPU HS/ fan runs perfectly well, when not overheat unless over-clocking(OC) the CPU.
The PC is like the reverse of your home, the home you use lots of insulation to keep the home warm in the winter and cool in the summer (HVAC)
The PC CASE  is the direct opposite of your home. (well not off the grid sure).
The PC has things inside that  generate lots of heat, up to 200 watts, in fact. (CPU + GPU + Glue  logic + HDD + RAM)
It is also a fact that if you only read you mail or cruise the web, very little heat is expelled (say 15watts (as low as),TDP watts,  is max watts running real applications, not CPU overload programs.(aka torture tests)
Right now my gen 7 CPU is running the fan at 503 RPM and is dead quite. Gaming is whole other matter here. My case fans are all 4wire too and they do turn 800rpm and that too is near silent operation.
The i5-7700k chip is 91 watts max TDP max, not overclocked ( the QZ9775 (gen9) is 150watts, (a high water mark reference point (not going in to the SERVER REALM.)
Seen here  my point is you need a bigger heat sink that can handle up  125 to 150watts (for a margin of protection)

Overclocking any CPU , you need worry die temperatures and this what the heatsink fan does,(I don't do  or talk about water cooling)  (150watt TDP rated here 5.2L x 3.94W x 5.71H inches)

In fact the system runs slow and burns little heat when doing little or no work. (for sure Laptop/notebooks. )
The mother board (or only topic) has one very large heat sink in it for the CPU (intel or AMD)
The heat travels from the CPU top , then through the grease (TIM) and then to the heatsink fins, and the fan cools the sink and makes the inside of your CASE HOT.
Your job is to add a case fan and get the heat out of the case or the case insides gets too hot and the CPU overheats.
Why does CMOS get hot?:
That is easy CMOS runs hotter that faster you clock it. (take a class on CMOS logic)
READ  THIS.
 
Next up is TIM , thermal interface material.  (aka, Heatsink grease)  (I use a brand that works best and never dries out)


The best greases are independent lab tested, all those HYPE greases I see sold are not.(lies , and half truths endless)

Read about SHIN ETSU  T.I.M, grease and why it  is the best and is also now sold by MASSCOOL at 3 times what I pay direct from SHIN.
One maker called LAIRD makes the best in the world, even solid in huge super thin sheets. (best spec, and again independantly lab. tested) No bull. (I can tell the truth because I don't sell grease)
Best from Laird Industries. (nothing is better, but SHIN is close enough)

SHIN does not pump out under pressure (50psi typ) and under heat (both) {if not over applied , that is}
First the grease , then the heatsink rated above 100watts, then good air flow throught the case.
Give AIR A CHANCE !  (with the right grease and  huge heatsink) + keep the casing internal air paths cool. (say 25C max inside ,sucking 21 C from your room)
 
You do not need to use  credit card to spread the grease.  (myth busted) Let the 50 pound springs to there job for you and best.
The best in point is grease  that is  (0.001" thick, not credit card thick ever)

IMO, In my Opinion, (above is physics and facts)

The below Intel methods for LGA-115x processors, comes like this.  It is ok for home or office PC's but not gaming.

I don't like my plastic mounted intel fan, mounts, so I bought one with a real MOBO back mount. 
This leg breaks easy , as it is only .060' thick, as will the ? lock pin in white.

I will not cover water cooling, but is a good way to game, no kidding.
LGA1151 is my CPU mount.

The intel mount is square 76mm spaced holes lacking Nutserts(tm) rivets (sadly) Intel fan mounts are weak.(as seen above)
Got my first STOCK Intel, fan in the mail today, and the leg is totally borken off, 1 of 4. "Frail is the word"  I had 2 on order so the second came (real steel legs) and it's a GO.
The mount must clear the bottom of mother  board  MOTE socket, stiffener plate, (by offsetting it or using curved mounts as seen here.
 

The use of base mounts behind the mobo, will not fit if you case is a relic of the past.
A good case has  a cutout here by hand or here using a real modern case.

This  fan will spin   fast if  you overclock the CPU, and also if the case gets too hot inside or if the heatsink grease is junk or put on wrong.
If you do not like fast RPMs  buy bigger heat sink and more case fans.
No winner of  beauty contest, but a spare fan is sold in all PC stores, and the ,main screws work with fan in place.  Mine runs, at 38C,right now, and does not overheat gaming.  
AVC BRAND. (sold by other makers too with other names)  with copper core ! 3" is really 75mm. or 2.953"
The mount above is not obsolete, and the new mount has  proper offset, to clear the MOTES socket back side brace, but the CASE must have cutouts. The base will not clear bottom pan metal because the MOBO studs are less tall..
I now use Dynatron bracket of steel.
In my setup the base plate seen above has step in it, to clear the MOTEs bottom stiffener plate no problems.
Mine clears the LOTES base plate, but not my old , now retired, main  bottom pan under MOBO. see cure below.
Some very old cases; the rear of the mobo is not accessible at all, so the CPU must be pre-mounted, using screw mounts and not the snap plastic mounts.
All modern cases are now sold with cutouts, so any processor will fit right and any class of heatsink works.(at any power rating)

Myth debunked, (seen on the web everywhere , says the screw springs are too strong)
 The spec is 50lbs force total.  , 20grams per each spring pin, I am told by Intel and Motes,, or 44lbs total 1000 pins.    12lbs per spring, is the perfect amount.
The intel spec is clear on LGA spec page (the DATASHEET) is, 130 lbs force static max, and 160 for dynamic (as when you attach it roughly )
If your mobo bends at 50 pounds force, never buy from them again. The CPU is very happy at 50 up to 130 lbs.  per Intel spec. myth debunked.
Turn the screws in stages (they are captive and have stops) until the screw bottom gently hits the base nut top, and stop, DO NOT overighten and damage the base.
The usage of platic rivets on huge 6 inch tall heavy heat sink , is not going to fly with me. Metal screws only.

Now the rule of Physics, if you over clock any CPU , then you have no idea at all what the MAX, Pd is ,max power dissipation is over 91watts,  there are labs that measured 120 or 150watts, with the CPU overloaded.
My ASUS PRIME MOBO I can make any fan profile I want TEMP/RPM  curve by me.
 
Games mostly don't run all 4 cores for sure not 8 or even that 10 core CPU. So  heat from the game is limited here.
The job is to get the heat off the top lid of the CPU and get that heat out side of the case (chassis) and heat your room up (or basement).
I am not fan of DeLiding CPU's after all intel uses Shin 751 there, and is more than good.

The below shows the actions of extreme overclockers, and huge FAN/HS.
$100,  below , but will fail too if the case can not be kept cool inside. (my mobo has case temperature sensor seen here)
Beyond this HS is water cooling and that is a pain doing that, if you case is not setup for water coolant, you need to cut holes in the case for large hoses and grommets so the hose are not cut resting agains sharp metal edges. ( or  WC case water cool designed)
220watts rated, but the case needs fans to expel the heat from here. (I do not have this HS, nor do I want one, I am showing extremes here.

The case of the wrong CASE (PC chassis) ATX cases come in vast types and qualities, from Tower,mini, micro or even super wide CUBE cases.
The first thing that will fail you is if the motherboard, base has no cut outs for HS/ fan bases? , some good cases you can remove the backing plate from the main case (nice no?).
I also like hinged door sides, and are rare now.
For sure avoid all cases lacking a right side panel, omg.
Not only this lil' horror but the LOTES LGA-1151 socket has a thin stiffener that can also hit the fan mount but not mine. (so we cut that base part to fit)
The MOBO standoff  posts (and screw) are too short mine are 0.25" 1/4" high exactly, and you can't use taller posts, or the rear J-Brackes (L) will not fit now.  (the case brand and model dictates what standoff work here)
To cure this , take the naked PC case to your garage,  use a  sheet metal snipping tool to  cut out what space you need in the MOBO  CASE back pan. (a square is cut out just larger than the fan base plate.)
Now you can run any mobo made,  even water cooling fits.
See these photos, this shows how to get any FAN/HS base to fit no matter how thick the fan backer base is.
First step is get the fan base to not hit the MOTES base. (CPU socket back side)  It does.

Next get all that to fit the MOBO BACK PAN. (it did not)
Here are 3 photos showing how to cut it right or how to buy it right.(case)  This case and that case.

Here is my Case,  that AVC heat sink has  base mount and is 0.35" thick and is 0.1" too thick, for my .25" MOBO studs, so cut the hole and is now good.
  • I used the motherboard, to mark 4 holes with my pen or scribe.
  • Next I drilled 4 holes on those markes, 0.150" drill.
  • Mobo removed now.
  • Then from the rear inserted the new  base for HS/FAN, seen below, into the 4 holes.
  • I took a pen and marked lines forming a box a tad bigger (1/6" to 1./8") around the base below with yellow end devices seen.
  • Then removed the HS/FAN base device and with thin tin snips cut the hole out. (drilled large hole  5/16"First to get the snips to start)
  • I lastly used a file to file off sharp edges on the cuts, (or it will cut you) Take your time here, wear gloves.  (I use a vacuum cleaner sucking the whole time here to get the metal dust )

 Do not overtighten the Top spring loaded HS/FAN screws, turn them until you hit the stops. (and halt) If not you risk damaging those NutSert Nuts in this plastic mount.
Done the cut , and CPU temp is 38C and 200 RPM on fan, slow, dead slow happy fan. (the fan speed and thus  noise is programmble in the BIOS, see fan profiles. Give the PC and hour to run to allow the grease to settle out. Then try gaming.
hand cut,
Never forget to always use duct tape in projects or it is no fun. (pun) (the most powerul fans need this mount, any fan/HS over 91  watts, needs a mount.)
too think at 8.9 mm,  under 6mm studs (fails on old cases)
The above spacer base, is  too thick (some times) and hits the chassis mobo base plate.
Below is a spacer made of steel, and can fit in old PC cases with mobo pulled, and fits in the 6mm stud depth max space. and on any mobo made or case. (LGA115x brace bracket spacer)
these are steel and fit under mobo on relic cases with no cutouts.
Do not remove the above insulation, or it will short out the MOBO rear.




I got sick of my old siliver case , I wanted a CUBE style case, but they don't have DVD drives (and I rip DVD's  like screen door flapping in  a tornado) so in the end, I bought this nice CASE, in white, to match my wifes MAYTAG washer.(grin)

AeroCool PGS Aero Series Aero800 White White 0.55mm ATX Mid Tower Computer Case , from NewEgg.com) No need to wack holes in it. The bottom PSU idea seems great to me.
The bottom  PSU design  is so the top can have  huge water cooler fan assembly , later, if you want.
As you can see the new screened vent below PSU is there. (it is not easy to find a case that has lots of features, but this one does) The top and bottom screens are magnet it ! No screws to clean them.
The PSU sucks air from the bottom grill and blows it to its rear, and the added heat of the PSU is not added to the main case.
That means all fresh cold air hits the CPU and GPU fans,  a good  thing. (and this case has filters, that I like)  The maker also has  many holes in the back pan so you can hide most cables on the back side of the main pan.
The other factor not told by case makers is the MOBO standoff heights, the below uses 6mm studs.(standoffs) to hold the Mobo down.
This is the coolest running case I have ever owned and the most quiet.


If it don't fit?



Hot Plugging(Swapping) , DC Power cable, is always a bad idea  The word HOT means full power is active in the system, all rails are hot we say.  (wiki says)
DC power cables are not hot swapped ever. (learn that if one part of a system is plug and play, do not expect the whole system to be that way, for sure hot swapping live power feeds)

This funny video is a $1500  server board , from  Asus Z10PR-D6 (LGA2011-3) $700 +CPU costs !each.  Photo of it: (It only worked after 2 BIOS upgrades (wow) and the last was BETA !
Forget servers, we are work cheap home PCs here. ($300 to say $1500 invested , cash burned)
Real PCI-Express slots x1 to X16 most are not  hot swapped unless both the motherboard supports it(and BIOS) and  and the device in your hand supports it, most don't,, and the OS supports it.
This most serious of events here is power, when you hot swap raw power you are raising the voltage from 0v to say 12vdc in say 1  Pico Second (means instantly).
This cause all capacitors to charge way too fast and as we all know a cap is short to fast rising voltage and things can blow up.
Due to this crazy current surge,  being bad, but any chip on that power rail,  wants to do CMOS latch up.

Things that do work Hot swapped are all USB and SATA or SAS drives. (RS232 ports, printer ports)
PS-2 device are not hot swappable
(sure folks do get lucky and get away with this, just like all things done wrong, sometimes you get lucky.)
MANY things are hot swap rated, for sure many top branded  servers (HP /Dell), .(or as they say Enterprise grade HDD , all mine are, and are rated for 10 year life not 5.)
M.2 cards the spec and data sheets state, no hot swap allowed.
Exception (as a  nice reference)  are my HP G7 server, has hot swap fans , hot Swap PSU (has 2 PSU and  smart controller ) so I can hot swap SAS drives.

One basic clue is the power pins are staggered. wiki quote: (wiki says)
"For a typical staggered pin design where the length difference is 0.5 mm, the elapsed time between long and short pin contact is between 25 ms and 250 ms.
 It is quite practical to design hot-swap circuits that can operate at that speed. " (they mean reaction speeds )

Hot swap PCI-express cards uses a  sense pin to tell the PC BIOS that get ready for a swap ,  a ~25mS early warning so the PC BIOS brain (uCode) can get the socket ready in TIME, so bad things do not happen.
A simple rule of thumb,  hot swap cables outside PC but not inside PC and you win every time.

Do not hot swap for fun or willy nilly,  do not hot swap MOLEX cables, and power cables.
Do not hot swap the PSU (non server grade home PC's) nor any power feeds.
See that PSU cable bundle, do not hot swap any of those, OK?
To make the CASE of PC ready for service do this:
Turn off the PC (etc) and unplug the power cable from AC service, then push power on, see the surge of latent power, happen (fans spin for 1second) , now play all you want (swap things). 
Do not hot swap CHIPs (like the CPU)  nor the GPU card HOT, that would be and expensive damage bill and not fun.

The above is a hardware answer, and for sure the OS must support hot swap too (like USB does), so it can detect the change and match up a working software driver or the device plugged in is born dead.
HOT swapping must be allowed in BIOS or do not try it. (at this card)
See those offset power pins (PRSNT)   on the edge , if missing do not ever hot swap this card.  Powersupply sense pins.

The PCI express pin out is covered here at wiki.
This card above does have hot swap potential in  a hot swap PC  , a hot swap MOBO and a Hot swap OS. (windows 10 works)  (1,2,3 rules)
Note to that M.2 cards have no stagger pins and are not Hot swap cards.   U.2 cards are hot swap.

Good luck swapping things hot, if you do.
Hint 1: if you guess wrong, and latch up a chip, the chip or far worse burns up, and you go broke fast.  ( yes you could blow  up a nice $400 gaming MOBO, easy, if you do crazy things.)

Dead Mobo, answers done flash card style.
Do not force connectors, they are keyed, do not plug them in backwards and do not hot swap anything here, do not use the wrong jacks, read your motherboard manual carefully.
Do not use the video card cable 6pin plug on the mothergboard 8 Jack. (6pin cable is for power hog video cards and the 8 pin is for motherboards only or use 4+4 plugs married) (nor the reverse of that)
Do not use old relic PSU's, but do use a modern PSU with  at least v2.3 ATX

This  ATX12- v.2.3, and sets a new baseline for a good PSU.
Do not open the PSU case and touch things inside with power AC plug being hot (hot means, live 120vac (felt as 169volts, pain and even death)

Dead mobo? yes. (short version !)
If you ONLY PLUG IN AC, on the PSU the mobo standby LED(s) must  glow,  if not it is a dead PSU, or the PSU SEES RAIL SHORTS on the Standby +5V feed

Is the STAND BY LED dead (SB_PWR marked) if not dead good, if is dead, the PSU is Bad. (I will not warn cover the Captain Obvious the AC cable is dead,, nor my NUKE station is dead.)
Fans dead? if the CPU fan is not plugged to jack marked that way, in the PSU will shut down. fast even 1/2 a second fast. (off by one pin?, backwards inserted by force)"my mobo BIOS yells, CPU FAN DEAD" at first try.
Power button plugged in wrong? 2 wires, and is clear in the manual. (exactly what  2 pins these are ,do so with great care) Asus boards all have same location for this.
AuX power jack 8 pin EATX12v (Asus labeled that) connected? and the 24 pin plug too from the PSU? (both are needd or  the CPU WILL BE DEAD) Read that again there are 2 MOBO power cables.
You then push the power on button on the front of PC (the wire to mobo are correct for this) and 2 fans turn on, the PSU fan must spin, and the CPU fan must  spin, if  not  the PSU is no good. (bench test the PSU)

PSU fan dead? means  2 things,  is a bad PSU. (or is just too weak for you 350watt rated  mobo)  or the PSU found your loads shorted, PSU  shut off super fast if any rail is shorted. (shorted means gross overcurrent overload)
If PSU fan is dead but CPU is working that means the actual physical INSIDE THE  PSU fan is burned out. (they can also make huge noise ,whine , rattle ,squeal, or chatter,  and  that fan is  bad)

Fans now work?.yes! both do. (PSU and CPU) Wow the MOBO is now running, turned on and trying to work. PROGRESS!
The NEXT GOAL is BIOS, (does BIOS  work right we say BIOS POP's OR POSTS) (hit DEL key on ASUS now, means you have keyboard USB plugged in now)Don't use the mouse it will make you angry.
BIOS dead., yes, if not BOOT  the PC up now. If BIOS is dead, you have bad RAM or bad CPU (pins bent is 99% likely ) so you can not do the inside BIOS reset to defaults now.
Try all DDR RAM sticks 1 by 1, in slot A2 only?!   RTM read your manual carefully to see how this MOBO runs 1 stick of RAM,  each maker has there own rules here, so learn to RTM.
Bent CPU socket pins?, do not remove (day1) the CPU protector off any CPU socket lid  first, do it just seconds before inserting the new CPU into the socket. (Do the insertion very carefully) Do not drop the CPU here, do it gently.
See the great Intel page on bent pins here, and all the endless pitfalls. (the CPU must be lowered into the socket and kept level as you do that or the pins will get bent (buckup, steal your self and don't drink coffee (LOL))
Some used once mobo's or  sold called Refurb's (they dust them off and sell them,only) will have the wrong BIOS settings, (count on that fact and WIN)
Bent pins , gee 1000 of them if bent the CPU goes dead or crashes endlessly, or BIOS acts dead or odd or it crashes. (no 1 pin is optional , sorry)
Stumped here?
Did you do the Clear CMOS method yet?  both the jumper and pulling the coin  cell out, as the manual instructs, yes do that now. (this  cures most dead USED MOBO in seconds)  RTM there are 2 ways to do it. (battery out is best)
By now at least BIOS is alive,  so load windows, but make sure BIOS SEES the HDD/SSD or M.2 drive in the boot order page, even set the order correctly first. As seen here
Last:
Install windows, or cheat like I did,  I just swapped mobo and  W10 was happy, after re-activating  W10,  do the swap with ethernet cable connected !!! (to your router wired CAT/5/6) see just do it above.

Why do we say over and over RTM ,read the manual, that is easy, because my manual on my mobo is not your manual on your mobo. OK? 10,000 mobo's are not the same. sorry ! It is not a toaster it's a complex computer.
I am a hardware guy , to me software is like dirty socks, change often. (a throwaway) I am happy with windows or linux, equally.
I asked ASUS for information what PCI-express lanes are shared,  ( know only of 1, the M.2.port #1 (up top) being used kills dead SATA port 1 and I know from experiment the lower M.2 does not kill other SATA ports)
Asus says the block diagram is a secret! really ?
Even their  response to my questions is secret.
I think my ASUS buys are ending today. (I will shop for mobo where the facts like this so simple are not a secret)
Looks Like MSI is the winner on good documentation.
Like the M5 seen here. (no secret block diagrams here)  The first M.2 steals the SATA1 port via a switch and M.2 #2 has its own 4 lanes.  We don't have U.2 on ours, and ours has 4 SATA ports not 6. 
MSI M5 Gaming.$130 new, $70 factory refurbs


Here is what can be.... as Intel reports ,clear as day.
Why ASUS can't tell what they did, amazes me. (I only asked for PCI-e lane sharing.)  PCH is z270.  \

May new M.2 card,  Samsung SM961 NVMe does this for speed, 1/3rd full , Running the OS W10 same time. (booted)  It scoots. (my app is in German, sorry) Obvious Lesen is Read.


PSU issues, all: (covered here mostly already and bench tests on it)  ATX only is my topic, nothing more. The power supply unit is PSU.
But here are the bulleted list of right and wrongs.
  • Has to fit, spec, is DxLxH, 140x150x86 mm. The depth is what varies. up to 160mm (some cases the PSU hits the DVD drive if deeper PSU used but only in mini cases)
  • The watts must be correct for your worst cases loads.  500watt is a good choice. That means if using 1 or 2 GTX-650 cards, you will overload 500watts, easy.(you need 300  more watts)
  • Version? do not buy PSU ATX versions below v2.3,. ever.
  • Must have at least  a pair of 4+4 connectors for the mobo.(best choice)
  • Forget RGB lights, you don't need those, use the cash to buy a bigger watt PSU. (or faster CPU)
  • A newer  PSU will not go mad (it can ) and blow up a $1000 investment in hardware. (the newer PSU also has a smarter protection chip inside, and well worth every penny)

Comments on topic PSU
A new PSU, if yours is gutless watts as most are or not v2.3 with at least this 4+4-pin  that join to , 8pin  or is 8pin actual and 500watts min.  As seen here.
A good PSU is only $39 free ship,500w. v2.3. (At newegg, amazon and fleabay)
In most cases online this topic the guy that failed most often , had the wrong PSU, or failed to use both power plugs ! 24 and 8 pin. Sad to watch.
The old PSU seen in millions of PC's do not have the 4+4 PLUG pair, so are no good now.



The PSU power plug topic:

Ok? ASUS is not clear and loves to show simple drawings lacking words in the manual ,(globalization )
We think all AUX jacks are 4 yellow 12v and 4 ground wires, each row is PCB traced heavy in each row and parallel connected. Due this fact a 4 pin (Y/B) plug works. Yellow/black.
8Pins is best overclocked.
 
The first comment is noob'ish, the others are not.
Not one of these are  are Hot swap rated, do not touch them if the AC power is LIVE and HOT and  connected to the PSU, ever. Unplug the AC lines first. (let bus capacitors discharge first)
Asus hints that at least one AUX jack has  4pin plug works, and must not have RED  +5v wires on it. No 6pins plugs can be used here.
#2 is VRM is the CPU low voltage regulator modules. (aka power regulators)
The below pair , are typical of what you will see inside the NEW PSU box.
This is a PSU V2.3 ATX and we use 4+4 to the Mobo, AUX VRM jack. Do not use red wire plugs.
The 8 pin Plug is only seen on expensive and may be too long, server grade PSU, EPS12v
One can on Ebay find adaptors that will create the above 4+4 plug ends. (may take a month to get from China)
Many folks do not RTM, and never noticed that the MOBO has and  VRM AUX power jack seen below, at all, most MOBO do now. (AUX is 4 or 8 pins)     
Never hot plug the power jack/cables in the mobo.
If the mobo was used or messed with by others? even buying one from a buddy, do not forget to reset BIOS. Per the manual. (10x this fact on mobo's that can be overclocked like the Z270 and CPU ending it K , can...)
Do not open a PSU case with AC line connected or you will be electrocuted easy, if you do this act  for say installing a new fan; let it sit one hour, dead. (and isolated) We use a grounding probe to discharge caps inside, for full safety.
Do not lay the motherboard over any unused now , back pan CASE studs (standoff's) or BOOM. (remove the studs and use the correct ATX pattern only.
Do not hot swap RAM, or omg, the CPU's.
Do not hot swap Video cards ever.
Do not lay any powered motherboard on to any conductive surface (metal, carbon,screen,chickenwire (lol), water folded areas, or static generating plastic of any kind, including varnished wood desktops or Formica top desk.(ESD damage is real)
Do not leave the CPU protector cap off , with no CPU  installed and then drop anything on top the Lotes™, CPU socket or it will end up a  useless $300 brick dead mobo, with bent pins, so easy it's like falling off a log as they say.
Avoid PSUs older that ATX12 version 2.3.
This jack must have power from the PSU ! Never Ignore this jack if seen. (all modern Mobo have this)

If you do not game the PC, (or super fast graphic Cad/CaM/CAE, or vidoe rendering apps) then the 4 pin AUX plug will work, in the 8pin jack.
The PSU must be rated for both the MOBO (full tilt speed loaded) and the GPU 1, 2, or what you have in the system.
We call that an energy budget, it is not rocket science, but you must add up the total wattage on each rail you are using, then pick a PSU that has at least that level of power. 350watts for a NO GPU card PC and lots more if you have one.
The PSU must handle all loads you have now statically and dynamically, or even what you might add later , only you can do this work based on what you own.
Loads are , anything connected to the PSU, that includes things added to the mobo or things added like 3 HDD and DVD  or  blue ray burners. (everything that plugs in to the mother board is a load, as is the mobo it self and all things in all slots)
 
But if doing SLI VIDEO CARDS and using old GPU cards (FAST Plus OLD equals HUGE CURRENTS) the PSU will fail. (my GTX1050 is new, fast and sips current easy)
Old GPU cards in pairs SLI, can suck 60 amps of current all by them selves. (yes this is legacy now and is extreme)  All modern Nvidia cards use very little current (watts) now. Vastly less.
As high as 720 watts burned  by just 1 SLI  cards. (yes, standing behind it gaming it's like a space heater)  <best advice, is avoid old GTX cards) Amazing fact :the GPU card manual tells you the currents needed and tells you what you must do.
I loved and hated my  GTX-650 , (too hot) but never crashed,(PSU powerful I have) but the old 650 is now retired. (like me.)
This is an anti static electricity (ESD) discharge strap, this protects the billions of CMOS transistors inside your PC. (a carbon based strap)
Ever touch a door knob and get a shock? sure you have, so don't do that to your mobo or you will go broke fast.


This is the end of my page, I do dead things, and this page covers Dead MOBO's fully.
My PASSMARK v9.0  results.(total upgraded) 5677 (that M.2 screams)



Now the wild dreams of Bitcoin miners and the crazy idea of putting 2 PSU in parallel. SMPS dreams.
It is possible to do, sure but many DIY builders fail hard here.  PSU = Power Suppy Units (that box you see in the PC is it)
First off the bat (baseball slang) the 2 PSU's will go to war against each other, including , oscillations or even smoke or just shut off. I had to do this, without my permission. (USN) Be sure to duck those NEUTRONS!
The 2 PSU (ATX) are not the exactly the same   (nor same year, same model, same version, doomed,  adopted in 1995, so 23 years of PSU and 10000 models made.... ) so will get into a bucking war, eash , parallelled up (direct)
A PSU is not some dumb as  brick, battery, not by a mile, all PSU's regulate and to do that , and  has a feed back path (called sense) that is NOT ACCESSABLE by you.  (There can be 3 feedback loops inside that will fail you)
You have no schematic of it, then just speculate how it works, why? saying you have a theory blind is silly. (In fact you have  no idea what the dynamic range is of the rail driver !!! )
The ATX has no voltage adjuster pot, it is a fixed output supply. (so you can not balance them !) One PSU will think the other PSU is lowering its output so it raise its output and then the other goes nuts (mad) STOP do not DO THIS.
The ATX PSU are voltage mode regulated, and   use  a sense wire , see IC1 pin one here (this schematic is a very good example, show here only for its gross (era) simplicity. (simple is more easy to understand)
If SMPS sense ATX#1 sees voltgage drop first, it raises voltage in the output, what if  that confused SECOND, PSU#2, as it surely will.  You are DOOMED, (what happens next can be anything, even SMOKE)
Now it is in a bucking war to win the battle of control.
Rule #1 never buck powersupplies, unless you know what you are doing,  or the PSU maker (deep deep in China hiding) tells you , that you can or shows you how. OK?

One guy "BITCOIN-MINER" (at least) burned up $1000 worth of hardware (CPU,mobo/GPU1 to 6) two times ! learning this the hard way, but not once asked a real EE engineer his opinion. (wow)
Putting a resistor in series (trick1) can work, if lucky,  do you like blowing up $2000 in parts just on luck? (the trick is valid in the commerial Power supply world, but not on toy grade PC ATX )
Trick #2  the series diode trick. well the Vf  voltage drop in the diode will be 0.4vdc, min.,  is that good for the load, 4.6v for 5v is not good. Sorry,  if the drop is 0.7v using pure silcon diodes, it's hopeless. at 4.3v out.!!! OK? is this clear?
My PSU can source 80 Amps on just the 12vdc rail, ever price diodes that big and know how to keep them cool. I bet not. (60watt diodes, .7x80)
The same holds true for a resistor there (.1ohms times 80 squared (P = I² x R) or 0.1ohms= 700watts (freak'n huge and hot) and the voltage drop (Vr) at max current is, 8volts,  oops, 12v reads 4 volts at full load. (fail)

Real commerical SMPS have kelvin outputs,  force and sense (and adjustments) so you connect the sense wire to the Diode cathode (output side) and the SMPS raises 5v to 5.7v for 5volt to the load, that is if the SMPS can go that high, did you read the data sheet, oops you have none?
PCs DO NOT USE commercial power supplies. (the PSU is a SMPS switch mode Power supply, we don't use analog power supplies)
The wiring in the ATX  PSU are not the same ,some are way more complex. But  still not one ATX PSU is designed for parallel operation. (not only that it is not 1 power rail, it is at least 3  rails, +3.3v, +5 and +12vdc. with sensed feedback.)
My HP server DL380G7  has 2 PSU's, but they switch fast to the side that is good, they are not in parallel at all. 2x 750watts, only one is active at a time, after all it's a backup and not only that the are HOT SWAP rated, unlike any PSU in  simple PC.

Yes 2 PSU's can be connected parallel (kinda ! but not really) in BITCOIN BOX" (how ?, sure with great care , in fact it's not really in parallel if you pay attention to what the details are....)
With very very careful layout and connections.
This can happen by accident building huge BitCoin Miner systems with 2 PSU,  one PSU must run the MOBO  and HDD/SDD only, and the other  PSU ,only  the video cards use 4 Pin molex legacy power, and MUST not be mixed between the 2 PSU. or BOOM.
These BitCoin miner gambit, he must use 1 PSU just to run the end point risers. The problem is the video cards can trip you up, badly. (PSI power +  AUX) BOOM you let the smoke out.
The USB cable on the RISERs are not real  USB signal or power at all but are a actually (facts)  PCIepress-X1 lanes up to the riser and the X1 PCI slot gets all its power from the 4pin Molex. this 4pin cable must be from PSU#2 not #1
A good practices here is to HAVE A THICK GROUND  JUMPER WIRE from PSU1, black wire to PSU2, black wires (16gage (AWG)) To keep the grounds and close as possible equal. (AWG means American (USA) wire gauge.)
One more failure here is the video cards that have 6pin AUX power jacks, all these JACKS must be wired to the same PSU powering the 4pin Molex supplies if not?, or again BOOM.
end bitcoin madness.... and boom...



UNDER


version 2.  7-19-2018  (sorry no support for Cell phone screens here, I fired that guy, LOL or as they used to say" I fired the maid". Nor do I care a hoot what Google says or does.!I am older than dirt.