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Help please, can't even get my new system to boot.

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Last response: in Systems
February 7, 2009 7:08:06 AM

Warning! Long post, but it needs to be due to the complexity of the problem. Please bear with me.

Sigh... so I had this really long day. My new Ati sapphire 3850 512mb ddr3 AGP finally came along with my new Orion 585w power supply. My mother board is an Asus K8V-X with a VIA K8T800 chipset. My GPU is an althon 64 3200+, and 1.5g of PC3200 sdram.

I promptly start installing the PSU and then the video card, when I finally see that everything is in place I hit the power button on my ATX. The asus logo pops up then it takes a little too long... I hit delete and find out that none of my 2 dvdRW and 2 HD drives have been detected except for the floppy disk.

So I started trouble shooting, I tried with the master hardrive only... Nada. I tried with my DVDrw master... nada. I began to worry that my new power supply was dead on arrival. So plug the old power supply while keeping the new video card.... same problem. Then I decided to just try the old video card and the old PSU... SAME PROBLEM! No drives were being detected.

I began to feel afraid for the well being of my hard drives, so I decide to grab my roommate's PC and connect my master hard drive to his by setting it as a slave... And I began to tremble in fear when my hard drive wasn't being detected. I changed it to master and have it by itself but the same result kept happening. I thought my HD was gone. Then I tried my back up HD and it worked no problem... So I installed windows on that one and was just going to go with it, but then I thought that maybe, just maybe, if I put my master HD to system select it might work... and it did!!! I got detected by my roommates PC and it started windows XP normally...

Thinking that I had just wasted a lot of time and that the problem was that for some unknown reason my master HD was the rot of the problem by only working on system select, I decide to go back to my computer and get ready to try again with just the HD, the video card and the PSU to start. I was very happy...

Unfortunately, even before I try my plan, I decide to call Asus costumer support and they tell me it is all BIOS related and that I should flash my BIOS so that any possible wrong voltage and device communication settings would be reset to factory defaul. I thought it was a great idea so I decide to flash the bios... Now, not even monitor turns on anymore. I do see the video card and the processor's fan spin but the monitor stays dead.

For those of you asking how I flashed my bios, well it was my first time attempting to do it, so this Indian guy told me to follow the following steps: Turn the PC off, unplug the power cable, take off the video card, the memory ram, take off the BIOS battery, change the CLRTC jumper position to 2-3, hold for 20 seconds, switch the jumper back to 1-2, put the battery back in, turn the computer on without video or ram for 20 seconds, then turn off the PC, plug everything back in and turn on the the PC.... Yeah... I know... but I did it none the less... I AM DESPERATE.

PLEASE HELP! I can't even call the costumer support anymore because it is already past midnight!

Give me ideas on what I can do... I already tried putting the old video card back in after the bios incident just to make sure my new video card hasn't died on me. Any ideas???


PS. I heard that ATI 3850s and Asus AMD boards with VIA K8T800 chipsets are a big pain in the butt to get drivers running... In other words, my journey is just beginning...

More about : system boot

February 7, 2009 7:51:42 AM

Thanks, out of all those steps I could definitely try: Testing each stick of ram at a time, and make sure the beard speakers have power (I think they have a separate connector, need to make sure).

I also would like to add that, fans and heatsinks are running normally, all the lights in are on as well. The only problem is that I get no boot whatsoever, the board has power. Basically is as if my board hasn't finished resetting the bios completely.

I also would like to ask if the sequence to reset the bios was done wrong and if by doing it wrong I might have damaged my mother board.
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February 7, 2009 8:57:35 AM

Could you list full specs please?
Specific RAM model, etc.

Just how old is this VIA chipset motherboard? As old as I think? 6 years?
February 7, 2009 6:57:56 PM

Proximon said:
Could you list full specs please?
Specific RAM model, etc.

Just how old is this VIA chipset motherboard? As old as I think? 6 years?

My mother board is an Asus K8V-X with a VIA K8T800 chipset. My GPU is an althon 64 3200+, and 1.5g of PC3200 sdram.

This mother board is about 4 years old or more.
February 7, 2009 11:14:53 PM

"I got detected by my roommates PC and it started windows XP normally..."

If you boot up an XP installation on another computer, you are asking for trouble. Drivers will try to install, hardware settings will try to reconfigure, and the result could be pretty messy.

The steps you described do not include actually flashing the BIOS, as far as I can see. They only describe re-setting the BIOS to factory default settings. This might have caused a problem if your memory is no longer set properly.

Are both of your hard drives IDE? Do they connect with a flat cable? Sometimes those go bad and need replacing.

It's certainly likely that a board that old, in constant use, could be dying. They didn't build those very well as I recall. Examine the board for bulging or leaking capacitors. Those are the little cans all over your motherboard.

February 8, 2009 8:03:28 AM

Ok, I just spent a lot of time trying to do figure out what is going on. Fortunately I had another mother board with its own processor as well.
Unfortunately my findings leave me with more questions than answers...

Here comes a very detailed explanation of what I did, it is going to be long, but once again the problem is more complex than you could imagine:

1. I started a system from scratch; took the old mother board that I had in the closet, the new power source that I got, the new video card and just one 1 stick of ram.

2. Turned on the system, it booted without any problem.

3. Added a hard drive, mouse and keyboard. The hard drive I started with was the master HD, (The one I thought was damaged permanently but didn't when I just moved the jumper to cable select). The system booted normally and my HD was detected.

4. Windows loaded, however it asked me to activate my copy because I forgot to set up the date and time in the BIOS. I selected no, and my system restarted.

5. I added my other hard drive, as slave. The system booted normally and both HD's were detected.

6. Added a DVD drive. The system booted but none of drives were detected. (It was just like at the very beginning!.)

7. I took the DVD drive out, left only both Hardrives. the system booted and the screen was frozen for like 20 seconds on "Detecting IDE drives" then both drives were detected. However once windows started it would display a VERY fast blue screen and reset the PC, I tried taking pictures and a video with my cellphone of the blue screen. The system was stuck on a loop where it would boot to windows and then reset due to the blue screen.

8. The camera and the video had very poor image quality but this screen pretty much said that I should "remove any faulty installed hardware, and uninstall any new software. If you need to disable or move any components, restart your computer, and go into safe mode."
It then gave a single long line of hex code followed by "Beginning dump of physical memory... Physical memory dump complete. Contact your system administrator or technical support service."

9. I took the master HD out and left the other drive as master. The system booted normally, the drive was detected but this time it wouldn't even finish loading windows, it wouldn't even load in safe mode. I tried restarting multiple times and changing the bios' settings to default or best settings, the result was still the same.

10. I took the power supply out and connected the old one. Now had the new video card, the old power supply, one stick of ram, and one hard drive.

11. Nothing changed. I still had the problems described in points 7 and 9.

12. I took the new video card out and connected the old one. No change.

13. Connected one hard drive to my roommate's PC and set it as slave. The system booted normally and both HDs were detected. The system acted normally. Windows was loaded and both HD's were fully functional.

14. Turn off the PC, set the hard drive as master. Windows loaded normally.

15. Repeated steps 13 and 14 with the other hard drive. Everything normal.

16. Connected the same DVD drive I used to test the my system with the old mother board, the dvd drive was set as slave. Disconnected my roommates HD, and DVD drive. I was left only with one of my hard drives. The system booted, however, it didn't detect my HD. Only the DVD drive was detected.

17. Set the jumper on my DVD drive to master. This time the HD was detected as well as the DVD drive. System worked normally.

18. Connected my second hard drive, it was set as slave. All 3 drives were detected and system worked normally.

19. Connected another DVD drive that I have and it was set as slave. All 4 drives were detected and system worked normally.

20. Disconnected all 4 drives from my roommates PC and went back to my old Mother mother board. This time I started with the old power supply and the old video card.

21. Started with one of the hard drives, system booted, HD was detected, but once again as soon as windows started I got the blue screen and the system restarted.

22. Attempted point 21 with my other hard drive. HD, was detected but like before, with the same HD, windows couldn't even load, not even in safe mode.

23. Attempted to check if all 4 drives would be detected. They all did. I tried moving jumpers around for all of them, but they were all detected normally no matter how the jumpers were set this time. However the system was giving me the blue screen or not letting me load windows depending on which HD I used.

24. Connected the new Video card and kept my old power supply. The system acted just like in point 23.

25. Added the new power source and kept the new video card. System acted just like in point 23.

26. Connected the 2 fans from the ATX and kept the 4 drives, and the new video card in order to test the PSU power output. All fans were working; video card's fan, CPU's fan, PSU's fans, ATX's fans. All 4 drives were detected and worked correctly, still system would act just like in point 23.

Conclusion: The new video card is in perfect condition. The new power supply seems to be in perfect condition as well; I was convinced that the new PSU was faulty and didn't have any power to supply all the components of my system resulting in damage to them. This wasn't obviously the case once corrected the issue in point 16.

I Concluded that now my old mother board was damaged by whatever "curse" that DVD drive had in it. It is also not capable of storing any bios settings; date & time and mother board settings must be input after each time the system is turned on. It sometimes doesn't reset, I have to press the reset button on my ATX multiple times or turn the PSU off for it to restart.

If the new power source and video card are working perfectly, then I am assuming they were not the source of problem to start out with. I believe that something was wrong with my old system before I even connected the new PSU and video card, even though it was working quite normally before. The only thing I know is that now I have 2 mother boards that don't work and I am forced to keep using my roommates PC until I found out what the problem is.

I hope you guys can figure out what the source of this very complex problem is and hopefully help me bring one of the new 2 damaged mother boards back to life... :cry: 

Thanks a lot for your time, I really appreciate it!
February 8, 2009 8:45:19 AM

It sounds to me like you have a failing IDE channel. A common problem those old VIA boards as I recall. Corrupts data and generally causes chaos.

I'm not seeing "re-formatted the hard drive and re-installed windows" any where. Did you read my last post? You do not install Windows on a hard drive. You install it on a system. New motherboard (or old one) and fresh OS installation. Every time.
February 8, 2009 9:08:37 AM

Proximon said:
It sounds to me like you have a failing IDE channel. A common problem those old VIA boards as I recall. Corrupts data and generally causes chaos.

I'm not seeing "re-formatted the hard drive and re-installed windows" any where. Did you read my last post? You do not install Windows on a hard drive. You install it on a system. New motherboard (or old one) and fresh OS installation. Every time.

Thank you very much for raiding my long post Proximon.

So by formatting my HD and installing windows on the old mother board, which by the way doesn't have a VIA chipset but instead a nvidia Nforce2 400 chipset, I should be able to get it to boot without any problems?

I did format and installed windows on one of the HD's but that was done on my roommate's PC.
February 8, 2009 9:28:07 AM

When you install XP or Vista on a system, it detects what the hardware is and configures itself specifically for that motherboard. This is called the "Hardware Abstraction Layer" or HAL. It's not drivers, but something deeper and almost impossible to change, at least without a great deal of effort. Different motherboards, different HALs. When you try to boot a computer with the wrong HAL, you get all sorts of blue screens and lock ups.

However, your OS will still TRY to configure for the change in systems. This will make a mess.

Will your old MB boot up if you use a fresh install of the OS? That's certainly possible. Or it might have gone bad as well. I can only say it WON'T work right unless you install fresh.

Don't activate Windows though. You only get a certain number of activations before MS gets upset.
February 8, 2009 7:03:28 PM

Hi proximon, I tried to install windows on the old mother board, but no matter which HD I tried to install it to the setup would stop and show a blue screen or the system would just freeze completely and I had to power off from the PSU.

I went back to the other Asus mother board, the one that wasn't even posting, and it still doesn't work. I tried for the one million time to reset the CSMOS but no video or beeps would come out.

One mother board was damaged by resetting the CSMOS, the other one was damaged by connecting a "faulty" DVD drive that was "fixed" on the other computer. In any case I got no mother board now, and I am wondering if for whatever reason either of my 2 CPUs have been damaged as well, specially with the mother board that won't post.

How can I find out if a CPU is working or not? I got no other MBs that are compatible with either of the the processors.

I wonder where I can find another mother board for socket 754 for a cheap price, I don't have money to upgrade boards at the moment or buy a new processor. My budget is 50 dollars max.

I am also worried that I could never figure out what the source of the problem really was so I can't prevent it from happening ever again.

Thanks in advance.
February 8, 2009 7:57:34 PM

Static charge, bad power from the wall, bad power from the psu can all cause problems.
Orion PSUs are pretty much the bottom of the barrel. They overstate the wattage and other specs and use incredibly bad parts. They are listed as "tier 5" meaning essentially that any HEC/Orion PSU is best used as a doorstop.

Some people need to wear a grounding strap while working on a PC...
I've seen my roommate destroy a lot of hardware with his mere presence over the years, I swear.

Old parts are old parts. They fail. The average life span of motherboards was 4-5 years, after they survived the first year. This may have improved recently.

The last video card I owned that lasted more than 2-3 years was the TNT2 Ultra - a now ancient Nvidia card.
February 8, 2009 10:23:13 PM

The funny thing is that my old power source is almost 4 years old and it is the same brand, It is an Orion 400w. I understand what you are saying though.

I now need to find out whether it is a mother board or a CPU problem, but how do I find out? I mean what kind of CPU goes bad after a CSMOS reset? But the signs are present, all Fans work, all lights go on, you hear the drives spinning, but I get no beeps or no image at all.

What to do? =(