I just finished building my computer from a bare-bones kit I bought online. When I go to turn it on, it starts for a second and shuts off. The fan turns on for a second, on the CPU and in the power supply. The lights on the case also come on. I unplugged the hard drives, maybe thinking it would help, but the problem is the same.

The motherboard is a Gigabyte M68MT-S2P. I bought it all in a kit, so I'm assume it all is compatible.

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    Best to strip it down to a single stick of ram, cpu and graphics card. If it works, you can add bit by bit to see where it fails. If it doesn't, then try swapping ram and reseating graphics / cpu. – Paul Dec 6 '11 at 23:34
  • What @Paul said, except that if it doesn't work I'd remove everything from the chassis at that point. It's possible something is grounding where it shouldn't be. – Shinrai Dec 7 '11 at 0:02
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    you could probably run the motherboard out of the case to make sure its just the motherboard. A full rundown on what you're using and any sounds that you get may be useful. I'd also try a known good PSU to rule that out – Journeyman Geek Dec 7 '11 at 0:27

Well the problem was simple, it was set on the wrong voltage, or something like that. I had to change a little red switch on the back of the power supply.

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  • Thank you for actually posting this. For a lot of us who commented and answered, this is something we take for granted...I think I speak for a lot of folks when I say this would never even occur to me because it's something that we never ever even have to consciously think about. Glad that it is working! – Shinrai Dec 12 '11 at 18:02

Is the heatsink/fan assembly correctly installed? and have you correctly applied thermal paste? This sounds like the CPU is overheating and shutting down to prevent damage.

Edit: Are all power connectors inserted into their respective slots on the motherboard? See this answer for details.

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Did you put the stand-offs (spacers between the motherboard and case) in?

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