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I've got a big system problem, please help...

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April 21, 2008 1:12:44 PM

Hi guys,

I'm not really sure which section to post this in so I'll stick it here. I just had a huge issue happen to me on Friday evening. I was getting intermittent Raid access failures like every 20 seconds in the form of a small popup bubble in the lower right. So I figured I'd just do a restart so I shutdown. Well, now my system will not boot up at all. I will reach the Windows screen with the green loading bar on the bottom going across. The next thing that should happen is I should get to my desktop, but no. The screen goes black and that's it. No hardrive activity, no mouse pointer, no nothing. Just a dark screen.

After trying to do many restarts I was like oh well, I'll load up from my Vista dvd and see if I can do a repair or just plain reinstall Vista. Guess what? I can't startup using the dvd either. It starts up and I get to the screen with the message saying Windows is loading files with the white bar going across on the bottom. Then I get to the blue Windows splash screen with a mouse pointer, and that's it. No menu items or anything. Just the blue opening Windows screen with a mouse pointer. Never progresses from there.

Here is what I have done. I reset my bios to defaults, removed a second video card, removed the sound card, removed 2 of my 4 sticks of RAM, swapped the RAM around, ran Memtest86. Nothing has helped. I cannot boot up either from the installed Vista or the dvd.

What can this problem possibly be? Which piece of hardware do you think may have failed here? Unfortunately, I'm thinking mobo but I really can't be sure.

Here's my specs:

Vista x64
Q6600 CPU
eVGA 780i mobo
(2) BFG 8800 GTX
SB x-fi Extreme Gamer sound card
4 gigs Ballistix RAM
Thermaltake 850w Toughpower

More about : big system problem

April 21, 2008 1:32:54 PM

I would run a test on your hard drives. What raid setup do you have? Most likely a hard drive is corrupt or took a crap.

Run CHKDSK and your HDD manufacturer should have diagnostic tools for download, run those also.
April 21, 2008 1:35:35 PM

My first worry would be hard drives too, or possibly the RAID controller? Is the controller built into the mobo, or is it an after-market solution?
Related resources
April 21, 2008 1:38:40 PM

Yeah, try removing all SATA or IDE connections (not DVD) and then booting from the DVD again, see if that helps.

And do what roadrunner197069 says.

If its still gone then then come back.

If it works, shut down, plug one HD in at a time, boot again, etc, repeat until it stops. There is your problem (most likely).

What RAID setup do you have? 0, 1, 5?

(Y)
April 21, 2008 1:38:59 PM

Not sure, but maybe you have corrupted your system BIOS? If you can't narrow it down to hardware failure, try flashing the BIOS while you can still get there.
April 21, 2008 1:59:18 PM

Drudge said:
Hi guys......
Here's my specs:

Vista x64
Q6600 CPU
eVGA 780i mobo
(2) BFG 8800 GTX
SB x-fi Extreme Gamer sound card
4 gigs Ballistix RAM
Thermaltake 850w Toughpower


Welcome to the wonderful world of NVIDIA :D  :bounce: 

I have had the same problem with my 680i motherboard. The board was fine, other than the fact that i could not OC my Q6600 much at all. As there was a new BIOS available i updated the BIOS in the hope that it would help with OCing. After i did the BIOS update i still could not OC past 2.8Ghz stable, and even with this small OC the system sometimes fails to startup 1st time. I then also had the problem you have now with the Raid access failures warning.

The only way i was able to solve the problem was to flash the BIOS to an earlier revision . I had to Flash to a very early BIOS revision for my ASUS P5N32-E to become stable. I still can not OC past 2.7Ghz without issues but at least the system is now working. As for the OCing thing, well there are issues with quads and some 680i chipsets.
April 21, 2008 2:02:12 PM

badge said:
Not sure, but maybe you have corrupted your system BIOS? If you can't narrow it down to hardware failure, try flashing the BIOS while you can still get there.



the Raid access failures warning is a known issue with the NVIDIA boards, even the 7xx series.


google and read ppl.

April 21, 2008 2:13:12 PM

Drudge said:
Hi guys,

I'm not really sure which section to post this in so I'll stick it here. I just had a huge issue happen to me on Friday evening. I was getting intermittent Raid access failures like every 20 seconds in the form of a small popup bubble in the lower right.


This could be a timing issue on your RAID controller - Can you even get into the RAID setup when the machine boots? Does your machine boot off the RAID controller? How old are the hard drives? Are they a matched pair? Are the SMART drives - if so get the manufacturers SMART diagnostics and check the drives out on another controller. What RAID level is it?

Drudge said:

After trying to do many restarts I was like oh well, I'll load up from my Vista dvd and see if I can do a repair or just plain reinstall Vista. Guess what? I can't startup using the dvd either. It starts up and I get to the screen with the message saying Windows is loading files with the white bar going across on the bottom. Then I get to the blue Windows splash screen with a mouse pointer, and that's it.


Is Vista asking you for RAID drivers (does it need 3rd party RAID drivers)? What RAID chipset does your board have?. "That's it" as in there is no disk activity or the machine just hangs?

Drudge said:

What can this problem possibly be? Which piece of hardware do you think may have failed here? Unfortunately, I'm thinking mobo but I really can't be sure.


Can you switch off the RAID functionality on the current connections and connect a drive in "native" SATA? Doe the machine see the drives?

UD.
April 21, 2008 2:24:33 PM

Thanks for the replies all. Well, here's my deal. I have the OS installed on a 150 gig raptor all by itself. I had a mirror Raid, think it's raid 1, setup on my other 2 500 gig drives for just simply storage of photos and music and such. Before the whole not being able to boot up thing started happening, the WD smart status was good on the drives and they were perfectly accessible.

It is my understanding that hard drives do not play into the equation when trying to load the Vista dvd. The files are written to the RAM before any installation or anything takes place.

Keep in mind, I cannot run any hard drive diagnotics right now because I cannot boot up at all.

I've also just flashed the bios to the most current one just in case it did get corrupted somehow. Didn't help.

When I first turn the computer on, everything posts just fine and I can get into the bios and the raid setup just fine. But after that screen where the Windows green bar scrolls on by the screen goes black.

This is no longer even a raid issue anymore. I cannot get my system to boot into Windows either from the installed OS or the Vista installation DVD.
April 21, 2008 2:44:10 PM

Quote:
Johnny Rock wrote:

the Raid access failures warning is a known issue with the NVIDIA boards, even the 7xx series, and I know because I'm a great Googler, but a very poor lover. google and read ppl, you can learn to spell good and be a loser with the chicks like me. /FIXED.
April 21, 2008 2:53:19 PM

For what it's worth, I have completely disabled Raid in the bios so raid is no longer a factor. The drive with the OS on it is not and never was part of the Raid I had setup.

A complete Raid failure would not explain why I am not able to even boot up from the Vista installation dvd. The problem I am experiencing is something more than just a raid failure. It appears I have somekind of catastrphic hardware failure here.

Considering the dvd turns and begins to load my files, the dvd rom would appear to be good.

I ran memtest86 and swapped around the memory sticks. This tells me my memory is good.

Hard drives are not even involved when trying to run the installation dvd until you get to the point of installation of the OS. This tells me my hard drives are not the issue.

I have video, it's not the graphics card.

I have power to everthing so it's not the PS.

The only conclusion I can draw is the motherboard failing. If someone has any other ideas I would be happy to hear them.
April 21, 2008 2:59:38 PM

Drudge said:
The only conclusion I can draw is the motherboard failing.


Only thing that's left.




April 21, 2008 3:23:24 PM

Yeah. Check the caps.
April 21, 2008 3:26:39 PM

Check the caps?

As an aside, what are the symptoms of a CPU failure?
April 21, 2008 4:05:05 PM

Your computer would not be booting up at all if you had a CPU failure
April 21, 2008 4:08:23 PM

That's what I thought. Thank you for the clarification. Just initiated an RMA on my board. Man do I hate tearing everything out and starting all over again. Board was like 2 weeks old.
April 21, 2008 8:34:01 PM

I had a similar problem recently. Thought it was the hard drives (on my old system, with RAID controller, however it just used the native SATA) as it wouldn't boot past 'Press any key to boot from disk' when trying to boot from the XP CD, and wouldn't even get to the Windows loading screen if you booted it normally. Tried an IDE hard drive, no luck.

I tried the memory. Took 3 sticks out, tried one at a time. Turns out that 2 of the 4 are dead and in any combination will not let it boot.

I may have read wrong, but you said you removed 2 of your 4 sticks of RAM. Try it with just 1 at a time. It probably won't work, or you may have already tried it, but it's worth a go. Good luck.
April 21, 2008 8:50:30 PM

You know, I will give it a shot. What the hay. Which RAM slot should I use when using just 1 stick? I tried with only 2 previously and ran the memtest86 which it passed on but who knows. Maybe the memtest didn't catch it either. I'll report back after I try it as I'm at work now.

Only other thing is I will reset my CMOS with the jumper.
April 21, 2008 9:03:00 PM

Try running WD Diagnostic on the Raptor. Try disconnecting the other drives. See if you can install/repair on the Raptor. If that fails, try substituting one of the other drives and installing to that.

Mike.
April 21, 2008 9:19:03 PM

Can't run the diagnostics because I can't load Windows. And again, even if there were issues with the hardrive, I should still be able to load windows from the Vista dvd. The initial files when loading from the dvd are loaded into RAM not the hardrive. The hardrive doesn't come into play until you go ahead and begin installation of the OS.
April 23, 2008 9:35:20 PM

WD diagnostic runs from diskette or bootable CD! Try running a Live Linux CD, that boots without a HD. I think Vista may copy temporary files to the HD, but I maybe wrong. Have you tried another DVD drive?

Mike.
April 23, 2008 9:42:28 PM

When I did it, I just used the first RAM slot (0 or 1 depending what it's called on yours).

Also, when I had this problem, I couldn't even run the ultimate boot cd or memtest, so it seems slightly different.

I also tried a live CD of DSL (damn small linux), and that didn't work. Again maybe worth a try, it's a small download.
!