XP System won't boot - black screen

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Pandimensional

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Jan 25, 2009
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249
Hello,

(This is a followup to my previous post http://forums.techguy.org/hardware/1014155-xp-system-keeps-freezing.html)

I've replaced the motherboard battery, which mysteriously enough seemed to fix the problem for a few weeks - therefore I assumed I just had a dead battery. Yet now I'm still getting system freezes. Most recently when I power on the computer, I just get a black screen. I can't get into Windows.

I've replaced the hard drive with a fresh OS, which worked briefly - yet now I'm back to the same old problem.

Prior to being completely screwed with this inability to boot, I was able to run the XP memory diagnostic which did not find errors.

The power supply appears to be working - the fan is running as well as the CPU fan.

What could this be, and how do I troubleshoot this without wasting money on unnecessary purchases?

Thank you very much.
 

Pandimensional

Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 25, 2009
Messages
249
Installed another power supply. Computer booted into windows, worked for a few minutes then froze. Am I safe to say this narrows it down to either a problem with the memory or the motherboard? If the memory passed the XP mem test is it sure to be okay, or might it still somehow be faulty?
 

crjdriver

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Joined
Jan 2, 2001
Messages
43,408
What "xp" memory test are you referring to? Some systems like dell have a built in diagnostic however that has nothing to do with xp.

Next have you run the drive maker's diagnostic? This runs from bootable media ie CD or flash drive.

Have you tried the following?
1 Open the case and pull the pw connectors from all drives both hd and optical
2 Disconnect any usb type device
3 Pull out any add-in cards such as sound, nic, etc. Leave your video card installed
4 Pw ON and see if your mb will complete post. If it does post successfully, then shutdown and start connecting devices one at a time until you find the failed part. If it does not post, then you need to swap parts with known good units ie mb, cpu, ram.
 

Pandimensional

Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 25, 2009
Messages
249
The memory test I used was Microsoft's 'Windows Memory Diagnostic'.

http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp

Not sure why you are recommending using the drive maker's diagnostic. That would be helpful if I didn't have a second drive to try, but I do. The problem still occurs regardless of the hard drive. I swapped out the IDE and replaced it with a SATA with a clean OS - but still have the problem. Is there some reason why I should still be testing the HD despite this?

The strange thing about this problem that makes this issue nearly impossible to diagnose - is that it seems to respond well to fixes (i.e. installing a new mb battery) - work for a time after which the problem starts again. Last night I replaced the power supply as mentioned in my second post. The computer finally booted into Windows then froze again after many minutes. So naturally, I'd assume it was not an issue with the power supply - yet after that initial freeze - the system has been running flawlessly without a hitch all night long. It's still running great this morning.

My hunch is if it's not memory, it must be a crack in the motherboard or some other motherboard ailment that is somehow effected when I'm inside the computer. Maybe the application of pressure to the mb completes a damaged or broken circuit temporarily fixing the problem.

Thank you for the input. I will report back if and when the problem starts again, and try your 4 step troubleshooting method.

Thank you :)
 
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