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Problems w/ BIOS, Startup, and random restarts

Last response: in Systems
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March 21, 2008 10:30:41 PM

I had issues with starting my home built comp last year when I first built it, after fixing a disfunctional RAM stick.

The computer would start, show the logo screen, start loading windows, then the screen went blank and the power light on the monitor flashes orange.

Now, pretty much out of nowhere it's started freezing, I get error messages that my graphics driver has failed, then when I try to startup again, the logo screen looks all chopped up (not displayed right - parts are cut out).

On top of that, when it goes to the black screen w/ white text checking up on all my devices and such, it seems to not read them correctly and has apostrophes all over the place.
My keyboard is not being detected, so I can't select the safe mode option when it asks how I want to startup, so it auto selects 'run windows normally', then after a few seconds of attempting to start windows, auto-restarts again.

I don't understand why this would start happening all of a sudden, nor did I ever figure out why the problem existed when I first built the machine.

The only change that took place when this error started happening was my installing a game, which I just uninstalled in safe mode. No change (except keyboard now being undetected).

Appears the problem could be with my CPU, motherboard, video card or hard drive. RAM should be fine since I ran a memtest on it before when this was happening and it showed fine. Power supply should be fine since I've tried two different ones, no change.


Ideas on what this is about or what I can do would be appreciated.
March 22, 2008 4:09:58 AM

Once or twice when I tried again it detected my keyboard and I was able to get to safe mode.

After that, it goes back to not detecting my keyboard. I tried all USB slots, including extras at a PSI slot. Could someone clarify if this invariably means a mobo issue?
March 22, 2008 7:13:02 AM

I remain perplexed despite my efforts. Keyboard detection appears totally random.

I ran the comp in safe mode for a while, virus/spyware scanned and managed to reinstall a couple drivers from my asus disc (CPU, a couple small ones that had Nvidia logo, don't think they were the main graphics drivers).

I restarted, and was glad to see that the random apostrophes all over all the black screen's were gone, everything appeared normal, a normal startup occured.
Then I shut it down to reassemble my tower, started it back up and the apostrophes were there again, keyboard undetected, and an endless restart cycle ensues.

Only changes between those: putting the side panel back on, putting a screw in on the video card (may cause it to move very slightly forward) and replugging a couple USB's.

Thus this still seems totally random and inexplicable.

Help needed please, and thanks in advance.
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March 23, 2008 3:32:40 AM

if my system were acting like that i would ghost the sucker,from dos,but, if you cannot ,,you should check and make sure that all your cables data/power and all cards video/audio are firmly attached,if they are then,there are only 2 options ?? i think,open to you,try reinstalling right over,or reformat and reinstall after making certain that all connections are firm..:) 
March 23, 2008 4:56:39 AM

ya, I'd just really like to get to the bottom of it this time since reformatting several times before didn't make the problem go away.

Definitely something beyond loose cables appears to be up. Floppy drive is detected, yet the system won't boot into DOS with a boot disc/priority 1 on removable.

The only thing I can guess is that my motherboard and/or video card and/or CPU have some issues from back at the start when I forgot to put the little brass stands under the motherboard, causing it to short out several times. Nothing got visibly fried, but who knows. And still that doesn't really explain why the comp worked fine more or less for almost a year.
March 23, 2008 7:27:40 PM

In a last ditch effort I reinstalled the latest video drivers from a cd, no effect though.

An interesting note, when I went to restart after installing the drivers I got a message saying the program "should not see me" was ending.

!