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Help! - Why not booting properly?

Last response: in Systems
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February 24, 2006 3:39:16 PM

Hi, I put together my first home built machine a few weeks ago. Things seemed to be fine to begin with, with minor issues. Since then, startup reliability has deterioriated - it often doesn't reach POST without resetting.

Fans turn, hard drive spins, things seem OK, but there's no reassuring beep from the motherboard, nor any screen display. Upon hitting reset, things operate normally. System seems stable after that point.

There's also a Creative SoundBlaster Live! Value leftover from previous machine, without which I don't get any onboard sound, which isn't right, but I can live with... There's a floppy and a USB card reader. The case fan is not connected.

The BIOS is as installed: Phoenix Technologies, LTD ASUS A8N-E ACPI BIOS Revision 1008, 22/08/2005

The chipset fan is a bit annoying and loud but I believe is the updated one, so at least reliable... can easy change for something quiet once this is fixed. It does spin :-) at about 5000rpm.

Can anyone suggest possible causes for the thing not booting reliably?

Many thanks in advance

Asus A8N-E SKT 939 NFORCE 4 AUDIO LAN PCI-Express
AMD (Venice) Athlon 64Bit 3200+ Socket 939pin 512k L2cache 90nm
Corsair (VS1GBKIT400) 1024MB (2 x 512MB Matched Pair), DDR400 / PC3200, non-ECC, Unbuffered, CL2.5
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9, 3.5" IDE 7200rpm ATA133 Hd 2MB Cache
Antec Sonata II 450W SmartPower2.0 PSU
Leadtek WinFast GeForce 6600 256MB DDR2 PCI-E TV + DVI
NEC ND3550A 16x DVD±RW Dual Layer Internal IDE

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February 24, 2006 3:52:38 PM

there are a couple of things I can think of.........did you install all the drivers correctly? and also are you memory timings set up properly? A similar situation happened with me and I adusted the timings on the memory and all the instability disappeared....

As for you sound..it sounds like it is not enabled in your bios.....or you have not installed the drivers for the onboard sound
February 24, 2006 4:01:48 PM

The newest BIOS is 1011 go to ASUS and get this.
A8N-E bios download page

Check your power connections. You need the 24-pin EATX_PWR plug AND the 4-pin 12v plug both on the mobo. The 4-pin is at the top-left of the board near the IO panel. Also make sure your video card is powered by a molex or 6-pin, whichever the card requires.

Hope this helps
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February 24, 2006 4:23:35 PM

OK, thanks for the input.

The drivers are all there and 'working properly'.

Memory timings are stock - is it likely I need to check that?

My system is /not/ unstable - once it's POSTed OK everything is as it should be. It's not yet locked up, crashed or anything.

The sound is a lesser issue, but it was enabled in the BIOS, and the drivers were installed.

---------------

I considered updating the BIOS, so if you think that's worth a shot, I'll do that. I think it can be rolled back, if I make a backup?

Yes, power is as it should be, ATX2.0 with both 24-pin and 4-pin plugs in place.

The vid card has no additional power, it being a mere 6600.

Thanks again
February 24, 2006 4:27:22 PM

I had problem similar to yours...and yes the memory timings were stock as well.... I ran memchk several times and kept coming up with errors....so I posted on the memory forum and they told me to check the timings and make sure they were set to specifc timings....other then the stock that came with the MB....sure enough I had to change one timing and all the problems disappeared...hope this helps..
February 27, 2006 2:03:20 AM

memtest.org
dl it
install to floppy
reboot in your machine let it run for 24 hours
report what you get from there.
!