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Computer freezes at boot

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by tekgyrl, Feb 7, 2005.

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  1. tekgyrl

    tekgyrl Thread Starter

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    I have been wrestling with a hardware issue for a while now. I have a PC running Windows 98 SE that started having problems with lockups. So I did a format and reinstall. After which the computer would not boot at all unless it was in safe mode. It would get to the point where it was updating the settings and then would reboot itself and on the second boot attempt it would freeze at the same place.

    Even though I assumed it was a driver issue, I went ahead and tried msconfig and stopped all apps from starting (except systray of course), I tried the selective startup and neither worked so I went to the step by step confirmation and loaded all but one driver each time and that didn't work. Then I tried disabling the network card (which is onboard so I can't take it out) in device manager and it helped. Now it just freezes the first time and doesn't reboot then freeze.

    Any suggestions?

    Thank you in advance,
    Tekgyrl
     
  2. pinntech

    pinntech

    Joined:
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    I would do the following:

    SAFETY NOTE:

    Unplug the computer from the AC outlet, hold the power button on your PC for about 10 seconds – this is discharge the power supply.

    Always use an antstatic strap when working with computer components.

    END OF NOTICE

    FIRST:

    Open the computer case. Inspect the capacitors on the motherboard by looking at them and by rubbing the tip of your finger over the tops of the capacitors. The capacitors should be slightly indented (pushed inwards) and usually have an X or Y stamped in them. If the capacitors are raised, even slightly, the motherboard is defective. Sometimes they will even be “leaking”. This looks like corrosion or sticky dirt on the tops of the capacitors. Don’t forget to look and feel all of them! One raised capacitor can and will cause you erratic lockups.

    A lot of people will say why do this? Simple, there are a lot of motherboards out there that have defective capacitors in them. Gateway, IBM, HP, Compaq, Dell and so forth. It is most common in the IBM NetVista systems, Gateway systems that have the letters OXN on their system model number (on the back of the system where the serial number is located) and also on the Gateway “FLEX” system, which will also be stamped on the plate with the serial number. The FLEX system is also in a mini, compact desktop case, which requires ½ height cards. I have seen a lot of the other manufacturers with this problem also, just not the same pattern as IBM and Gateway.

    SECOND:

    Go to the hard drive manufacturer’s website and download their diagnostic tools. Run the diagnostic tools that they have for your hard disk drive – that eliminates the HDD as a possibility of your issue.

    THIRD:

    If possible removal all expansion cards except the video adapter. If that does not help, try a different video card too.

    FOURTH:

    Test the power supply to see if it has the recommended voltages and can maintain them.

    Those are the four easiest things to eliminate off the bat. Let me know if anything helps. If not, we can continue with more troubleshooting.

    Shane
     
  3. tekgyrl

    tekgyrl Thread Starter

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    I am sorry I forgot to mention this before. There are no cards, everything is on board and I had actually tried another hard drive that I knew was good in the computer and it did the same thing. I will try the others that you mentioned and let you know if they worked. Thank you so much for your help!
     
  4. pinntech

    pinntech

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    You are very welcome. If you have not done so yet, you might want to disable the onboard components in the BIOS and try it that way.
     
  5. tekgyrl

    tekgyrl Thread Starter

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    I feel like a goof, I went into the BIOS to check some settings but I haven't thought of disabling the components in the BIOS. Video, sound and network are the only onboard components. So I will try that along with checking the capacitors and the power supply. I will let you know how it goes. Thank you again for your help.
     
  6. ~Candy~

    ~Candy~ Retired Administrator

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    Hi and welcome.


    Try reseating the ram. Also, is the fan spinning ontop of the cpu? When you access bios setup, are there temp settings you can see there?
     
  7. tekgyrl

    tekgyrl Thread Starter

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    I haven't tried reseating the ram, I will do that too. The fan is spinning. I don't remember seeing temp settings but I will definitely double check. Thank you.
     
  8. tekgyrl

    tekgyrl Thread Starter

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    I didn't get a chance to crack open the case again but I did go into the BIOS. The only onboard component that is listed is the audio chip. I checked everywhere, the video and NIC are onboard but I don't see them in BIOS. I also did not see any temp settings.
     
  9. Skivvywaver

    Skivvywaver

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    What does the bios say about voltages? It should be under hardware monitoring or something similar.
    Could be that your power supply is dying/dead.
     
  10. ~Candy~

    ~Candy~ Retired Administrator

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    Temp settings, IF there, are under PCHealth.
     
  11. tekgyrl

    tekgyrl Thread Starter

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    I didn't see anything that said PC health or hardware monitoring. I still couldn't find the onboard nic in BIOS. Does this mean that disabling it in device manager is good enough?
     
  12. ~Candy~

    ~Candy~ Retired Administrator

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    Should be good enough.
     
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