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Vista fails to boot

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October 26, 2009 10:02:44 PM

Hi folks,
am suffering from a bit of trouble and need some advice to target my fault finding / fixing. I am experiencing an issue where whenever I turn on my PC it completes POST quite happily, then at the Vista loading screen with the green bar and black background it will remain on the screen for 30 secs to 1 minute (while apparently loading) and then the system will completely turn off.

The rig:
Asus P5 N32 E Sli Plus
Core 2 Duo E6750
OCZ Platinum PC2 6400 2 x 1GB
BFG GeForce 8800GTS OC2
Creative Xfi Music 5.1 sound card
Western Digital, Samsung and Seagate Hard drives
OCZ 600w PSU

I've tested my components by breadboarding my mobo and have managed to discover that one of my matched pair of RAM was faulty, as the machine would not POST at all with it in on its own. However using my 1gb of remainging RAM I've managed to replicate the problem with only the bare essential components plugged into my motherboard, which makes me think that the faulty ram and lack of power is not the root cause of the issue.
I have run a chkdsk on my booting HD and also another diagnositc that looked soley for bad sectors / volumes with delayed response and the tests came back clean. I've also ran the repair utilities on both the windows Vista disc and the Windows 7 disc (have heard that there is a self heal utility of Windows 7 disc that can solve some Vista issues) yet this too has had no success.
Further I used a formatted HD and attempted to install vista onto it in order to at least use it as a stop-gap solution, however upon getting to the stage of installation where the first reset in neccessary the machine will simply turn off rather than reboot. When the computer is turned on again (booting only from the "fresh" drive) the black vista loading screen issue re-occurs and the machine simply turns off.
I have completely cleaned all of the components on my board to make sure it is free from dust, done a visual check of all the caps on the mobo, none appear to be bulging, I've done a stress test on my CPU to make sure it's not overheating and it happily idles at 26c.
I've even gone so far as to change my CMOS battery as I have had a faulty one of these cause problems for me in the past.

I am completely stumped! Any further opinion would be greatly appreciated, many minds are better than one.

More about : vista fails boot

a b B Homebuilt system
October 26, 2009 10:55:12 PM

If I understand your story, when booting the hard drive gets a certain distance into firing up vista, then the computer turns off. You have used two difference hard drives and had the same results.

Is that totally off, or a blank screen with fans still running?

Have you tried a different graphics card? Sounds like you might be getting to where the graphics drivers are loading when it turns off.

I would also recommend inspecting the motherboard carefully for signs of a capacitor or voltage regulator that looks different than the rest (damaged, cracked, a bit of brown goo coming out of it, a black spot on the motherboard).
a b B Homebuilt system
October 27, 2009 7:37:20 AM

A faulty PSU cant do this, so can a overheating CPU and sometimes an overheating chipset (depending on motherboard).
October 27, 2009 6:44:37 PM

Thanks for the replies. I hadn't thought that the gfx card might be the cause as I'd assumed it was OK given that I've managed to boot in safe mode - but on that suggestion I'm going to switch it out and see if it makes a difference.

My RAM is set to 2.1v in the bios so I'm going to rule that out as being a factor. Temps on my CPU are completely fine and the motherboard looks in good physical condition.

So i guess that leaves the gfx card and the psu to check, fingers crossed. And in answer to dndhatchers question when the machine turns off everything goes off, case fans, gfx fan, cpu fan, screen, the lot. The only thing left on is the LED in the mobo indicating that the board has power.
!