PC gets stuck in boot loop for up to 10 minutes, then fine

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andythepandy

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Jul 2, 2006
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Hi All!

I've been having a problem with my home built PC for around two months, and I'm all out of options apart from replacing parts now, so I'm just checking on here before I do so!

Specs:
CPU: Intel i7-4790K @ 4GHz - not overclocked
RAM: 16GB (2x 8GB sticks)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97-HD3
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX950
Wireless PCI card
Blueray/DVD reader/writer
2x 500GB solid state drives

The problem first started around 2 months ago. At first I noticed my PC was taking a little longer to boot than normal. When watching the screens, it never made it to the Gigabyte logo, and never made it to POST. It just powered up - the fans spun up and the power light came on. 2-3 seconds later, the power light and fans go off. It then repeats this over and over again, until one time it will seemingly randomly succeed and fully boot.

One thing I have noticed is that the little flashing underscore cursor that appears in the very top left of the screen normally in the very first stages of booting (it appears for less than a second) is sometimes in a different position. It used to be in the very top left corner. However, sometimes it appears inset from the top left corner by around 10cm from the top and left on my screens. After it appears in this unusual position, it seems to trigger a load of boot loops (in which you can see nothing on the screen, not even the cursor). Then as soon as it appears in the normal position, it boots fine.

As soon as the PC boots successfully, there are no problems with the PC whatsoever, and have used it for 14+hours with no problems.

Things I have tried:
I have tested the RAM by booting with each stick individually using different slots. I have also booted with no RAM - the issue still happened in all these cases.

I have booted with the graphics card, wireless PCI card and blueray/DVD drive all disconnected - the issue still happened.

I have booted without the SSDs connected - the issue still happened.

I have tested the power supply voltages and timings with one of those tester things and all values were well within the accepted ranges.

I have reset the CMOS by shorting the jumpers, and by removing the battery for a while. The first boot after doing this worked first time, but the problem was back again on the next boot.

After trying all this, I went on holiday for 2 weeks. I came back to my PC 2 days ago (on Monday). The PC had not been booted on for 2 weeks (but I had left the power at the wall switched on, and the power switch on the power supply was on too). It booted first time, no problems whatsoever. Yesterday (Tuesday) I also had no problems at all, it booted straight away. It was this morning (Wednesday) that the PC is once again up to its old tricks, and it did around 30 loops before finally booting.

I think that I need to start replacing parts until I find the culprit, and I believe the place to start would be with the motherboard (seeing as the problem still happened with all the other parts disconnected). But I thought I'd check with you lot first for any good suggestions! I also find it very odd that it is an inconsistent problem, and it was fine for the first 2 days after it had a 2 week holiday!

Any advise would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,
Andy
 

Macboatmaster

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1. Which OS is it, I do not think you have mentioned it. - in full please eg windows 10 professional 64 bit or whatever.

2. Is time and date correct on computer

3. Have you actually tested ram using memtest as you only mention trying individual sticks
https://www.memtest86.com/
RUN TWO complete passes, each pass consists of 10 or 11 tests, so you will see a certain percentage of the pass and a certain percentage of the test as per my screenshot in which it is 41% OF THE PASS and 78% of test 4
memtest.jpg
4. The processor has integrated graphics, I know you say you have tried booting without the GTX950 - do you mean by that you have tried using the integrated graphics, or simply booting the computer without any graphics

5. What is make and full model of PSU please

6.You say you have attempted boot with various parts disconnected - you need to actually take them out of the slots eg the wireless card, the graphics card and ANYTHING connected usb apart from either keyboard or mouse
 

andythepandy

Thread Starter
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Jul 2, 2006
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379
Thanks for your reply!

1. Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
2. Time and date are correct now, and I have never noticed them to be wrong whilst this issue has been happening
3. I will run that now and report back.
4. Tried both and still the problem
5. Corsair Builder Series CX 500
6. Yup the parts were physically removed from their slots (and any extra power supply cables removed too). Also I tried disconnecting all extra things plugged in (USB/ethernet/audio/DVI)
 

andythepandy

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Damn I don't have a USB stick in the office with me. I'll bring one in tomorrow and run it first thing
 

managed

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Allan
FWIW I think this could be a PSU problem.
 

andythepandy

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
379
Am heading in now armed with a USB stick!

Also I forgot to mention, the PC lived for around a year in a small cupboard where it did get quite hot. It never automatically turned off due to overheating, but thought that could be a clue
 

andythepandy

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
379
I knew at the time that the lack of air flow would be bad for it, there was just no where else for the PC to go unfortunately! Ah well, lesson learned. I gave it a good hoover recently after I started getting this problem. It is pretty dust free in there, and there is no dust clogging the cooling fins.

Memtest has 0 errors after 2 passes.
 

Macboatmaster

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It could as my colleague says be the PSU. That said it is an unusual sequence of events for it to be that problem.
What make and model is the keyboard and mouse
 

andythepandy

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Jul 2, 2006
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379
I haven't got a wired mouse unfortunately, but the same issue happens when no mouse (and nothing else except from a keyboard) is plugged in
 

andythepandy

Thread Starter
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Messages
379
A little update....

I replaced all parts (Motherboard, PSU, RAM, used integrated graphics, no PCI cards) and the problem still persisted. So by elimination I believe the CPU has to be the culprit.
 
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