Windows XP freezes regularly during boot-up

My system is regularly freezing when I try to boot up to Windows XP. It will load up the standard Windows XP screen, and as it fades to black before popping up the login screen, I hear a distinctive click and electronic whine come from inside my computer, as if a flip were switched, and the screen will stay black, with the mouse cursor appearing in the middle, the system unresponsive.

When I hold down my power button to force a shut down, I will restart the system and it will go to a screen that announces that "windows was unproperly shutdown" and offer me options, such as "start in safe mode, etc." I will continue to start Windows normally, and THEN it will work!

Yes, my Windows will only start when I UNPROPERLY shut down! It has gotten to the point that when I do shut my computer down for a couple days, I will simply hold down the power button then doing it the "proper" way, just so I can avoid this awkward and disturbing start up process.

I presume this is not a good sign. Something is obviously wrong. My computer has not always done this. Three things I have done somewhat recently that I think could be possible contributing factors:

1) Recently installed new graphics card and RAM
2) Recently attempted to overclock CPU, but got scared after trying it once and experiencing system instability, so I went back to default settings after just two boot-ups.
3) Recently clean booted my HD with a fresh install of XP.

My system seems to work just fine when it turns on! My new GPU has definetly breathed new life into my gaming, but could it be causing a power drain/short?

Any ideas?


Windows XP Pro
Athlon XP 2500+
Asus A7N8X Deluxe
1GB Corsair XMS 3200 (512x2)
ATI Radeon X800
3 answers Last reply
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  1. At first blush I think that in order to overclock you screwed with the memory settings.
    Usually, that will prevent boot-up though and switch you directly to the Bios to revert the changes you made.
    Try going into the Bios and using default settings and go from there.
    Have your manual handy for the MB.
  2. I had this problem too. I found out that if two cdrom/dvdrom devices were on the same IDE channel, this problem would happen. Moving one to a different IDE channel fixed my problem.
  3. Usually, if you mix cd and HD on the same channel there could be problems with performance, but you are supposed to keep master/slave combos of the same stripe.
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