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Worsening boot problem

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September 23, 2009 1:41:31 AM

Hello,

My computer's started behaving badly recently; it'll turn on with power light and fan, but no HDD activity and nothing on the monitor, and stay like that until the power is shut off. I've re-seated everything, and am inclined to think it's not a power supply problem as the computer will boot fine, and is solid as a rock, if I leave it for a while then try turning on again, but this only seems to work randomly. I've also tried returning my overclock to stock settings and it makes no difference.

specs as follows...

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz 95W G0, OC'd to 3.2 Ghz
Gigabyte GA-EP43C-DS3 iP43 Express Socket 775 Motherboard
ATi Radeon HD 4850 Overclocked 512MB PCI-E2.0
OCZ 4GB PC2-8500 Reaper HPC, OC'd to 5-5-5-18
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 64 OEM
OCZ 700W GameXStream SLI Ready PSU
OCZ Gladiator Max CPU Cooler

As I said, the overclock is solid as a rock normally, and the boot problem persists when this is returned to stock settings. It's been running overclocked, fine, for 7 months.

It's annoying; as I'm on a few tight deadlines with video editing and don't have time to sit around hoping my pc will even POST.

Any thoughts much appreciated!
Andy

More about : worsening boot problem

a c 113 B Homebuilt system
September 23, 2009 2:12:43 AM

It could be the PSU. It might not be warming up correctly and sending a ready signal to the board before it's really ready.

What about once it starts? Will a restart always work? That's a sure sign.

Otherwise, have to think it's the board.
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September 23, 2009 2:42:11 AM

Restarting seems to be working fine; four times with no problems. Shutting down just causes the boot problem... until it decides to work again. Is this a sure sign that it's the PSU?

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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
September 23, 2009 3:28:36 AM

I think so. It's pretty hard to tell you for sure.

It sounds as if your board and PSU are having communication problems, yes. The problem could still be on the board end, but it seems likelier to me that it's the PSU.
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September 23, 2009 12:52:20 PM

okay, thank you. I'll try and get hold of another power supply (and maybe some other lovely new bits and pieces!).

If it sheds any more light on the problem, I have the issue where my computer enters an endless boot/restart cycle if I try and restart it after being put into sleep mode.
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September 23, 2009 12:54:32 PM

Oh, and I forgot add that the phase lights on the mobo are all lit when it doesn't boot...
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
September 23, 2009 1:07:17 PM

That is not something I would expect from a P43 chipset... That would swing my vote around to about even. 50/50 board/PSU.

You have your FSB at 355?

You should be running the RAM at 710 so that you have a 1:1 ratio.
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September 23, 2009 10:06:52 PM

Bus speed is 400 with x8 (1600 FSB), with the RAM at 533Mhz, so it's 3:4. Is this much of a problem?

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a b B Homebuilt system
September 23, 2009 10:12:14 PM

Did you also manually set the RAM timings and voltage to the recommended specs in the BIOS? I had a similar problem with a computer a while ago. The problem went away when the RAM voltage was raised.
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September 23, 2009 10:21:50 PM

I have the memory running at 2.2v at the moment. It was previously set to automatic after some stability issues when setting up the overclock 7 months ago, but I've set it manually after reading the 5-5-5-18 timings written on the side of the memory itself with 2.2v specified. I wouldn't want to raise it any further (mostly because I'm in the "pink" region of voltages according to my mobo, which is a tad worrying).

What voltages are you running?
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 23, 2009 10:29:54 PM

You're right, don't go above 2.2v. :)  I was just making sure you had the voltage set correctly. Have you run Memtest86+ overnight to test for RAM errors?

I don't have OCZ RAM, so the voltages are lower. I currently have G.Skill PI Black RAM that runs at DDR2 800 with 4-4-4-12 timings at 1.9v. I've upgraded the RAM since I had the problems I mentioned, though. The G.Skill RAM has run flawlessly since I installed it.
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
September 23, 2009 11:52:32 PM

The multiplier on the Q6600 is 9 is it not? Running your bus speed higher than it needs to be doesn't make sense to me. It shouldn't have issues with 355x9. As 355 will stress your board less, I think it's at least worth a try.

If your RAM is happy, that's OK, but it's not really improving overall performance.
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September 24, 2009 2:36:21 PM

I've changed the OC to 9x355 and the RAM is now at 1:1... Still to properly stress test though.

Boot problem is still here! I'm getting hold of a working power supply later and will test that out. Luckily both my power supply and motherboard are under warranty.
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!