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Weird problem with my pc, plz find the culprit device causing this iss

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February 7, 2008 2:13:19 AM

Hello everybody, I am new here, although i've been a silent reader of Tomshardware and its forums for quite a while now, just registered last night.

Ok now to the topic, i've got this

P4 3GHz HT CPU
Intel D865GBF MoBo
2x512 MB DDR400 Kingston RAM in dual channel
MSI GeForce FX5200 128 MB AGP video card
Windows Vista Ultimate

in my system, other than smaller devices like DVD-Drives etc, now the problem that my PC has been giving me out lately and about whom i am totally clue-less is that Whenever i turn my PC ON , it hangs up with a black screen instead of loading the OS in the first try, then i've to restart it, once again it'll hange up with a black screen after showing the first Logo of Intel. Then i again have to restart it for like 3,4 times, during which it sometimes even reaches to show the OS loading progress bar but hangs up there also.


Thats the issue, i need to restart the PC like 3,4 times before it 'warms up' and load the OS successfully.
Once the OS is loaded, the problem's gone and i can restart the pc, do whatever i want. Looks like it just wont let me see the first windows login screen for the first time when i turn it on in the morning or whenever i turn it on after a gap of a few hours.

Which device can be causing this issue. I am very much worried caz i seriously need to upgrade my pc for studies and get a core2duo, and am trying to sell this PC to some friend, now i cant sell it with this problem, you guys are d gurus of Computer building, plz tell me which device is causing all the issues, so i can replace it and sell my pc to get my new pc. thanks in advance.
February 7, 2008 2:36:42 AM

What power supply do you have? It might be geating ready to blow out.
Also I think those components are pretty old for Vista Ultimate.
Hard drive might be getting corrupt also.
Try a different PSU and run some test on the HDD. Most HDD manufactures have testing tools for their HDDs. If that dont work take Vista off and put XP on it.

One time a customer had this problem and he brought the computer over and I hooked up my mouse and keyboard, and the computer worked fine. He told me his cat chewed his mouse cord. He bought a new mouse and presto it worked perfect.

Do you have the latest bios?
February 7, 2008 3:44:42 AM

roadrunner, i removed the hdd on which vista was installed earlier and yesterday i installed Vista onto another of my HDD (a 200 GB seagate sata), but i am still getting the same 'warm-up' problem with my pc, so today in the morning, again i had to restart the pc like 4 times before it loaded the OS successfully.

I've got a regular 300 Watt PSU, (the one that you get with a standard ATX, probably chinese made. but everybody else over here uses the same chinese-built PSUs regularly).

I am still wondering whats causing the problem. :-/

and yes, we've an adorable cat :p , but she's mature-enough not to chew my cables, so my keyb/mouse cables are safe :p 
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February 7, 2008 3:51:43 AM

Has Vista ever workeed right before on this computer? Either Vista doesnt like the older parts or the PSU is getting ready to give. If it is Vista giving you fits maybe a Bios update will help ifthere is even a bios update for it.
February 7, 2008 9:15:04 AM

roadrunner, my bios is updated to the latest version, although its sad that intel has discontinued drivers etc for this moBoard.

Vista has been running FINE for 3,4 months, then this problem started appearing slightly, at first, it'd hang up just once at startup and a reboot would fix that, but then it increased and now i have to reboot 3,4 times before being able to see a successfully loaded Windows.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 7, 2008 10:07:06 AM

For this type of problem, I would first suspect your Memory. Could be a memory chip going bad, or your PSU is not supplying enough voltage. Could be as suggested, the PSU slowly going belly up.
February 7, 2008 2:36:03 PM

Run memtest86 for 8 hours. If the memory passes you definatly have a bad PSU.
February 7, 2008 3:32:32 PM

hmm, i presume its gonna be the PSU... i hope its the PSU now, caz i am selling this system and i cant afford a messed up ram, although i'll of course honestly tell the buyer upfront that he needs to buy a new PSU.

if any other suggestion/comments, plz let me know, i've still got two days to fix this thing up before the buyer contacts me again. i want to sell a perfect system as i dont want me rep go down in my friends. (the buyer's a friend of mine)
a b B Homebuilt system
February 7, 2008 4:13:47 PM

I think I would try a new PSU. Lockups and what not are a symptom sometimes of memory or PSU. Try running memtest or similar utility to test your memory, your vista cd even should have a utility you can run in diagnostic mode.

However assuming your PSU is as old as you are saying, and just a regular one that came with the case, I would watch that. Maybe try a new one.

The other thing, have you defragmented your hard drive? Are all your cables plugged in and not loose? Have you cleaned the case out, or is there dust around where your drives and everything plug in? I'd start looking in those areas too, just to be safe.
February 7, 2008 4:15:53 PM

one other thing.. do any of the caps on the mobo look bulged??

bad caps on mobo can also cause this sort of behaviour.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 7, 2008 4:45:27 PM

Your mobo appears to have onboard graphics, so I'd recommend:

1) Assuming you do not have another PSU handy (if you do see #3):

- Pull the graphics card, and hook up the onboard graphics.
- Pull one memory stick out of the appropriate slot.
- Check your BIOS to ensure it is supplying the correct voltage for your specific memory stick. (I have had BIOS's mysteriously return to "optimum default values" after a crash, and sometimes insufficient voltage is given to memory.)

This minimizes the power demand, etc.

- Try to boot it up. (If this works, put back stuff one item at a time until it fails to boot up. When it fails, the problem is most likely either that part or the PSU.)

2) If that fails,

- Replace the installed memory stick with the one you took out on the first try. (If this works, it could be a bad memory stick, although that's not guaranteed.)

3) If that fails,

- Swap in a replacement PSU. (If you have one handy, I'd try this first because, as others said, this is the most likely problem.)

4) If that fails, the problem is likely your mobo, processor, or intermittent memory/PSU issue.

In any case I wouldn't sell this machine to a friend without knowing the problem is truly fixed.
February 8, 2008 9:42:31 AM

thanks for the support guys, i am gonna open up my case today,
i know there's dust inside as my PC case has been open on side for about 2 months, caz of the vibration noise by loose casing covers i had to remove one cover.

i am gonna check all the parts one by to find the culprit. although i am not much sure if i can find it easily
caz normally, once the PC loads the OS,
it then restarts/ starts up just normal. if i shut it down for an hour or so, it still loads on first try.

the problem occurs when i start the computer after a gap of 4,5 hours .. say like in the morning ... or after i get back from uni. then it needs the 'push start' procedure .... prettty weird :-/
February 8, 2008 3:48:01 PM

just opened my case, cleaned up the parts a bit, then tried putting one RAM at a time, the os loaded ok, then tried the 2nd ram, and the os loaded ok....

when i put both the rams in Dual channel, i got a black screen after OS-load screen.

now i m using a non-dual channel placement for both rams, with one ram in slot 1 and the 2nd in slot 4.
but ia m not sure if the problem is gone, caz i think by the time i put both the rams in non-dual channel, the system had 'warmed-up' and i cant know for sure whether the prblem is gone, or the os loaded ok caz the system was 'warmed-up' by then.
!