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Irritating cold boot issue

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January 30, 2010 6:59:08 AM

Hi guys, I'm definitely in need for some help here, before I loose my mind!

My specs:
Asrock M3A770DE [flashed to 1.4 AMI BIOS - the problem was there with 1.20 too]
Corsair HX520W [replaced an Enermax Noisetaker 470W, thought it might have been it, no difference]
Athlon II X4 620 [auto vcore 1.4V]
OCZ 3X13334GK 2x2GB kit [manually set to 7-7-7-20 1.75V - manufacturer's specs]
XFX Radeon 4770
WD 640GB HD
Avermedia TV tuner
Logitech MK300 wireless keyboard&mouse
[I also have plugged-in but turn off an external HD and an EMU 0202 - both USB]

Everything is stock. No attempt to overclock whatsoever

My PC just won't play nice after being turn off for a couple of hours (in the morning for instance). The system will power up, then the BIOS will "beep", lately it will usually restart itself right away, then pass POST while displaying "your system has failed to start, change some settings etc" and then Windows 7 64 will lock up in the loading screen. This is with the SATA controller set in IDE mode. Before I had it on AHCI and it will get stuck on the screen where it detects the devices, endlessly searching "..."

Now, I used to have an issue where it will get stuck before it passed the memory test displaying 6B38 on the bottom right. I changed the RAM settings to the manufacturer's specs [7-7-7-20 1,75V] and it never got stuck there again. I also run memtest86+. No errors after 4 passes.

The frustrating thing is that this behavior is only demonstrated after the computer is off for some time. In fact the problem has deteriorated, from some failed boots, to every time it's off for a couple of hours.
When it loads into windows is rock solid for hours (8-10 hours), doing everything from gaming, to heavy DAW usage, multitasking, you name it.
Also I can restart it and it will allays reload fine. And the final nail in the coffin of my sanity is that even if I do a full shut down and cold boot [leaving it off for about an hour] it will still load fine, quick, no problems!

I cleared the CMOS, loaded default settings, everything is on auto, except for the RAM that was set by default to 7-7-7-16 1.5V, and I change it to spec.

How can it be any hardware or software issue, if after the first miserable boot everything is working fine and reboots and cold boots...

I'm loosing it here! The only other factor I can possibly think is that the room is pretty cold, about 12-14C [around 55F], when I turn the pc on... The temperature is actually in correlation with the amount of trouble it has when first booting... Since the temperature got this low, it always fails to boot on the first attempt. But I don't see how that can affect anything save for the fact that the motherboard is not electrically sound...

Any help and suggestions will be gladly appreciated guys!

Thanks

ps. The motherboard has a EuP jumper, that supposedly lowers the power consumption to EU standards. Can there be some kind of power instability/inefficiency happening with this and the low temperatures?

More about : irritating cold boot issue

January 30, 2010 7:07:15 AM

Radikal said:
Hi guys, I'm definitely in need for some help here, before I loose my mind!

My specs:
Asrock M3A770DE [flashed to 1.4 AMI BIOS - the problem was there with 1.20 too]
Corsair HX520W [replaced an Enermax Noisetaker 470W, thought it might have been it, no difference]
Athlon II X4 620 [auto vcore 1.4V]
OCZ 3X13334GK 2x2GB kit [manually set to 7-7-7-20 1.75V - manufacturer's specs]
XFX Radeon 4770
WD 640GB HD
Avermedia TV tuner
Logitech MK300 wireless keyboard&mouse
[I also have plugged-in but turn off an external HD and an EMU 0202 - both USB]

Everything is stock. No attempt to overclock whatsoever

My PC just won't play nice after being turn off for a couple of hours (in the morning for instance). The system will power up, then the BIOS will "beep", lately it will usually restart itself right away, then pass POST while displaying "your system has failed to start, change some settings etc" and then Windows 7 64 will lock up in the loading screen. This is with the SATA controller set in IDE mode. Before I had it on AHCI and it will get stuck on the screen where it detects the devices, endlessly searching "..."

Now, I used to have an issue where it will get stuck before it passed the memory test displaying 6B38 on the bottom right. I changed the RAM settings to the manufacturer's specs [7-7-7-20 1,75V] and it never got stuck there again. I also run memtest86+. No errors after 4 passes.

The frustrating thing is that this behavior is only demonstrated after the computer is off for some time. In fact the problem has deteriorated, from some failed boots, to every time it's off for a couple of hours.
When it loads into windows is rock solid for hours (8-10 hours), doing everything from gaming, to heavy DAW usage, multitasking, you name it.
Also I can restart it and it will allays reload fine. And the final nail in the coffin of my sanity is that even if I do a full shut down and cold boot [leaving it off for about an hour] it will still load fine, quick, no problems!

I cleared the CMOS, loaded default settings, everything is on auto, except for the RAM that was set by default to 7-7-7-16 1.5V, and I change it to spec.

How can it be any hardware or software issue, if after the first miserable boot everything is working fine and reboots and cold boots...

I'm loosing it here! The only other factor I can possibly think is that the room is pretty cold, about 12-14C [around 55F], when I turn the pc on... The temperature is actually in correlation with the amount of trouble it has when first booting... Since the temperature got this low, it always fails to boot on the first attempt. But I don't see how that can affect anything save for the fact that the motherboard is not electrically sound...

Any help and suggestions will be gladly appreciated guys!

Thanks

ps. The motherboard has a EuP jumper, that supposedly lowers the power consumption to EU standards. Can there be some kind of power instability/inefficiency happening with this and the low temperatures?

ps2. The CPU temperatures hover around 20C when booted. Maybe it's some sort of CPU instability with low temperatures?
a b V Motherboard
January 30, 2010 1:01:51 PM

Bump the RAM voltage to 1.8 or 1.85 and see if that helps.
Related resources
January 30, 2010 2:17:30 PM

A couple of hours ago I resided to shut the power completely off [turned off the power strip]. After booting it [after about 4,5 hours] it booted fine! I don't know if I'm on to something. I'll have to check that tomorrow morning as well.

Thanks jitpublisher, I'll try that as well. [ocz rates the ram as far as1600MHz 9-9-9-28 1.8V. I'm actually running it now as 1.77V - 1333Mhz, since the BIOS didn't have a 1,75V option]
January 31, 2010 6:35:24 PM

I'm having the exact same issue... as quite a few people seem to have at the moment. There's several threads displaying the very same symptoms... all with completely different hardware setups.

What version of Windows 7 64 do you have (Pro/Home/Ultimate)? I've got Pro and have the same issue as you do... it always dies at the windows loading/welcome screen.

I too can play for hours and hours without a hiccup and turn it off for hours without the problem coming back. Only after perhaps 8+ hours does the issue return. It just doesn't make sense unless there's been a huge increase in faulty components for all the big PSU/Mobo makers... which I doubt.

If you find a solution please post it here!

Thank you. :) 
January 31, 2010 7:06:31 PM

It's nice (in a bad way :@) to here that I'm not alone in this :p  I'm running 7 64bit Ultimate.

Same thing today. Didn't boot properly in the morning. Left for 4,5 hours. Booted fine. WTF? :@ Does it need coffee to boot up?! :p 

What I'll try for tomorrow's test [this must be the slowest troubleshooting ever!] is that I have relaxed the RAM timings to 8-8-8-24 as suggested by OCZ...

I'm also going to try a Linux Live CD, just so that I can rule out the OS factor.

Does your system work after a reboot?

I'll let you know hoe my latest experiment pans out.
January 31, 2010 7:51:56 PM

Here's my 'diary' thread of stuff I've tried and what's happened: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/274319-10-takes-boo...

It's fails fairly consistently just after the 'starting windows' or during the 'welcome' screen. Once the initial failed boot happens... my system runs flawlessy all day long. Even turning the PC off for 4-5 hours will not have the cold boot problem return. Only over nights in the morning... 8+ hours.

I'm possibly going to try to up my vcore after reading this thread: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/262852-12-cold-boot...
It's not exactly the same problem but it can't hurt to try.

And yea, it sure is frustrating to troubleshoot a problem that only happens once a day... you have to wait an entire day before finding out if a fix worked. :/ 
January 31, 2010 10:21:55 PM

Sometimes in the winter when its' really f'n cold in the morning in the house, I boot my PC into the BIOS and just let it run for a minute or two before trying to boot an O/S.......kinda like warming up the car before driving off down the street...

February 1, 2010 4:19:06 AM

Ok so it booted today, first go with the relaxed timings! :bounce: 

It's nothing conclusive, I'll have to see what it does after work, when it's gonna be off for a while. But maybe we got something here.

Again I relaxed the timings of my OCZ RAM from 7-7-7-20 <-> 1,77V to 8-8-8-24.
February 1, 2010 1:06:03 PM

Second good boot after about 8 hours. Looks promising now.
February 2, 2010 6:38:54 PM

Man.... I'm also having the same issue. I'm using Windows 7 Pro as well. I've tried everything. Memory timing and voltage. I went as far as replaceing the motherboard and memory. I also reloaded OS and i still have the issue.
Asus M4A78t-E
G.Skill DDR3 1333 8.8.8.21 1.5V
AMD Phenom II X4 945
I'll keep troubleshooting unilt hopefully i find an answer. I've never had an issue like this and happening only 1 time a day makes it more of a pain. :fou: 
February 2, 2010 7:58:01 PM

Hmmm... Mine booted fine again today, after almost 15 hours of off time.

Does it get stuck on the POST or on windows loading?

How much did you relax the timings?
February 3, 2010 4:12:09 AM

Soooo... did it again... failed to boot, restarted, crashed on loading...

Relaxing timings to 9-9-9-30...
February 3, 2010 6:10:14 AM

I noticed that the Vcore is strange. On BIOS is reported around 1,327V (I think), AMD OD says it's 1,4V, CPU-z shows it at 1,425V...
February 8, 2010 4:22:09 AM

**Update**

Unfortunately neither the looser timings, neither the manual Vcore settings did it. It worked for 3 days, today failed to boot again.
Only difference? Today is much colder... This does not look good...
February 14, 2010 10:01:25 AM

Just so that I don't leave this thread hanging (like so many others) I'll report my final findings.

The issue was (is) definitely temperature related. This whole week with the temperature no less than 15C I didn't have a single boot problem.

So, some component (I suspect the graphics card - because it's it's fan that makes the most noise - spins up and down on the failed boots), if left for couple of hours in low temperatures (maybe 11-12C) fails to boot.

I haven't changed a single setting all week, as a matter of fact everything is on auto or default settings, so this is as conclusive as it's going to get for now... Maybe I'll figure it out some time...

Thanks for all the help and suggestions.
a b V Motherboard
February 14, 2010 12:26:56 PM

Thank you for keeping your findings current, we very much appreciate keeping us posted.
February 26, 2010 5:46:16 PM

:heink:  This is happening to me too :pfff: 
i7 920
MSI X-58 Pro E
HD 5850
Gskill 1333 Mhz
PSU - Cooler Master GX 550 W
It works perfectly fine all day... only the cold boot in the morning that is soooo annoying.
Installed the latest BIOS today.. will see if that worked :heink: 
Again... Not Glad... but good to know its not just me that's having this problem :) 
Help will be (obviously) Incredibly well appreciated :D 
Cheers all
February 26, 2010 6:02:31 PM

I posted this once before above but if you think your start up problems are related to temp, why don't you just boot into BIOS setup, go to PC health or similar option to monitor system temps and let the system temps rise 3 or 4 degrees before trying to boot into OS? The system temp will rise by 3 or 4 degrees in about 30 seconds so it's not too difficult or time consuming to use to method to see if the start up problem is remedied.....at the very least you can determine what the actual system temps are when A) the problem occurs and B) at what temp it stops occurring.
February 26, 2010 6:10:30 PM

amdchuck said:
I posted this once before above but if you think your start up problems are related to temp, why don't you just boot into BIOS setup, go to PC health or similar option to monitor system temps and let the system temps rise 3 or 4 degrees before trying to boot into OS? The system temp will rise by 3 or 4 degrees in about 30 seconds so it's not too difficult or time consuming to use to method to see if the start up problem is remedied.....at the very least you can determine what the actual system temps are when A) the problem occurs and B) at what temp it stops occurring.


Thanks Chuck :)  will try this tommorow for sure... Will post results shortly after. :) 
February 26, 2010 6:10:52 PM

It's interesting that this is happening to various configuration and on modern systems.

Hmmm... I'm wondering if this has something to do with ATI cards? Can we find a common component here?
February 26, 2010 6:48:33 PM

Rayfish said:
Thanks Chuck :)  will try this tommorow for sure... Will post results shortly after. :) 


cool, hope it helps.

I do that quite a bit during the winter myself as I don't heat the entire house at night so first thing in the morning, it's pretty chilly and I have had glitches when trying to boot when it's that cold....it's just sort of standard procedure now that when it's cold in the house I boot into to BIOS and let the system temp raise a few degrees before loading an O/S.

In the O/P Radikal indicated 13-15C temps were the conditions in which the problem occurred and my experiences echo that. Generally, I let the system get into the 18-20C range before loading O/S.
February 26, 2010 6:54:56 PM

Radikal said:
It's interesting that this is happening to various configuration and on modern systems.

Hmmm... I'm wondering if this has something to do with ATI cards? Can we find a common component here?



most likely just a coincidence but yeah, ATI graphics here as well......wonder if eliminating that ATI graphics card would eliminate the problem....oh well, I ain't about to remove it to find out.
February 27, 2010 4:42:30 AM

amdchuck said:
most likely just a coincidence but yeah, ATI graphics here as well......wonder if eliminating that ATI graphics card would eliminate the problem....oh well, I ain't about to remove it to find out.


I actually borrowed an Nvidia card from the office one day :p  BUT the temperature was slightly above that temp limit and I wasn't able to determine if that was the problem...

Also let me note that if for example the temperature was 12-13 degrees in the morning, it would have probably plummeted more during the night.
February 27, 2010 11:13:49 AM

You can probably rule out my pc setup when trying to analyze the components.

I've found a roundabout 'fix' for my problem: Turn the pc on for even just 1 second, then turn it off, turn it back on again: It works fine.

So unless my PC components heat up in just 2 seconds I don't think mine is heat related and differs from you guys. :( 

I'd like to know if this helps for you guys too though? Turning your pc on, then off, then on again when cold booting...

With this info I have no idea what's causing it though.
February 27, 2010 2:11:23 PM

noarms, yeah, my suggestion is basically doing the same thing but instead of turning off and on just go into setup for a few seconds and then reboot from there....it probably would save a little bit of wear and tear on the system as power cycling is a notorious suspect in many system failures....what I mean is that a lot of times, when a component fails, it will be during a power on/off cycle....a lot of people use that reasoning to conclude that they should just always leave their pc running. I don't go that far but all the same, the fewer power cycles, probably the better.

I really have no idea what could be causing that sort of operation but as this "cold boot" issue only seems to occur at low temps and during the summer, me and the O/P etc. do not have the same problem.


Kinda leads me back to my original point, in the summer, sure, I can jump right in my truck and go, no worries....I can do that in the winter too but it's not very good for the vehicle and there is a decent chance I will encounter some hiccups....best to let it warm up for a minute or two before spinning up your drives...
February 27, 2010 2:28:01 PM

Ah, there's another odd thing though: I tried letting it sit in the BIOS for several minutes and then quitting out of it... it still crashed at the startup screen. I actually have to turn it off and back on via the power button in order to get around the problem. :/ 
February 27, 2010 3:43:32 PM

What about just reseting the system, when it freezes?

Some people found that turning the PSU off from the switch helped [when the PC is off of course!].
February 27, 2010 10:26:34 PM

Noarms said:
Ah, there's another odd thing though: I tried letting it sit in the BIOS for several minutes and then quitting out of it... it still crashed at the startup screen. I actually have to turn it off and back on via the power button in order to get around the problem. :/ 


yeah, that is odd, can probably rule out any sort of temp issue as the cause due to that I suppose.



Radikal said:
What about just reseting the system, when it freezes?


I know when my system locks up (which thankfully was quite some time ago, system is stable as heck currently) the reset button does not respond but by depressing the power button for about 3 seconds it will cut the PSU.....since my PSU doesn't have a power switch of it's own, I am glad that works or else I might end up yanking the power cord out.
August 15, 2010 12:06:03 AM

I had the exact problem, and similar hardware components. It turns out, that my ATI 4670 Graphic card was malfunctioning, replaced it, and everything works fine now :bounce: 
!