Solved: Faulty boot...but intermittent

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Scorpion

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Jun 13, 2005
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Ok, need some help on this one please.

My system:
P4 3.0Ghz
1G ram
Asrock P4S61 mobo
Elitech 500W PS
ATI 9550 256Mb video
Creative sound card
80G WD hard drive
LG DVD-rom
XP Pro
120mm front fan
80mm side fan

The problem I'm having is intermittent..... boot will halt for some reason, and not always in the same place. It all started last week while I was playing a game...system just shut down, althought fans etc were still running, but I had a black screen.

Sometimes, the monitor will not power up at all, and I get no beep.
The next time, monitor might turn on, and might go to the point where I can usually press F2 for BIOS, and then get stuck, not accepting input.
Other times, it will pass this point, and get to the screen that shows the drives etc, but then stop, frozen, just a flashing cursor.
Then of course there is the full POST check, beep, then black screen......or full normal boot.

As I said, this does not always happen, but the last few days it has taken 5-6 tries to boot up. When it is booted, it is stable, and I can play games etc, no problems (BHD/DFX etc).

I thought about the battery (have taken it out to clear cmos too, and redone the bios setup), but checked it with multimeter, and it's giving 2.99V (3V batttery), so is ok.
Done the usual testing, removing all but ram, processor, vid card....wont boot all the time.
I was wondering about the vid card, as I know it is part of the POST check, but don't have another to test until Monday night.

Any help greatly appreciated.

Scorp.
 

Scorpion

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Hmmmmmmm....it did cross my mind, but when it does start, it's fine, so......I sorta put it to the back burner.

Is there any way to test it fairly easily? I have a multimeter, so could test the pinouts, if that is possible.

And I guess these symptoms are indicative of a bad PS? I know there are power splits for different things, but didn't think it would be intermittent like this.

Scorp.
 

Triple6

Rob
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You could use a multimeter or a power supply testor but neither are a 100% guarantee that it is or isn't the problem.

I had the same problem with my bosses computer just recently. It would complain about no keyboard, or freeze during the Windows boot process, or very(and I mean very, very) intermittenly reboot while in use. Dropped in a new power supply and the problem went away.

Its a good place to start, especially when using el cheapo power supplies.
 

Scorpion

Thread Starter
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Yeah, thx Triple6, I think I'll try to snag a PS form work on Monday. Wont be 500W, but it'll at least tell me if it's the problem or not.

Actually, another thing I've noticed is that it won't reboot from either XP, or by pressing the reset button. It needs to be shut off for a few minutes before it'll start. Weirdness.

Also, the system monitor in bios shows all voltages to be correct (actually, it shows 3 plus the v-core), but I don't know how far to trust that, as it might not be monitoring all of them (13 different leads, plus 7 'grounds' on the ATX pinout).

Scorp.
 

Scorpion

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Ok guys, it's NOT the power supply. I took the one from the wife's system (300W...we only had 250W units at work) and hooked it up...same weirdness with the intermittent boot, and when it does, I can't do anything that requires a lot of power it seems, like play online games, anymore, although it would a few days ago...so it's getting worse.

So, to reiterate, it almost never makes it thru the boot process...or takes a few tries to get it to the windows stage...and then sometimes it freezes. I took Triple6's advice, and changed out the PS, but it's not that.

I'm gonna stick in the XP setup disk and try several boots from it, so if it still gets stuck (I think it will in the early stages still), just in case it's some HD error making this happen.

Other than that, I have a whistling coming from the mobo...slight, but changing in pitch if I do things with the system, like scroll the mouse, or open/close a window. If you look at the picture, it either comes from the arrowed 'coils', or from the 'dotted' capacitors, but I'm not certain. It could also have been doing this since I had it, but I don't think so...I'm sure I would have noticed when opening the case.

Any help greatly appreciated.



Scorp.
 

Triple6

Rob
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Ok, do any of the capacitors look rounded on top instead of being perfectly flat? Any brown gunk coming out of any of them?
 

crjdriver

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44,202
I agree. Give the mb a VERY close inspection with a bright flashlight or other intense light source. Since you have already swapped ps [that would have been my first thought also] and it did not cure the problem; memory checked ok, I would think you might have lost a voltage reg on the board.

If it is the board in your sig, asrock boards are designed by asus, however they are actually mfg by ecs:eek: :eek:
 

Scorpion

Thread Starter
Joined
Jun 13, 2005
Messages
1,023
Well, just thought Id update yas all.

It was a mobo problem in the end, and it also seems to have made the HD fail too. Got a new mobo (Asus this time!), but every time I tried to do anything with the HD connected, it failed XP installation...so just to check, I chucked another old drive I have in there, and it worked fine. So, mobo, HD, dead....mobo wouldnt even complete POST in the end....no beeps, nothing.

Now have the ASUS P4P800-SE, with a Maxtor 200G SATA drive...and all is well again.

Weird thing is, I put the failed drive in my P2 server as a slave...and it worked! Weirdness! But, it enebled me to save over 11G of stuff...lol

Thanks for the help people.

Scorp.
 
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