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Unable to load windows

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February 17, 2010 2:25:29 AM

For some reason when I restart my computer or try and boot it up within five minutes of shutting it down, it will not boot past the bios logo screen. Windows never loads, it just stays at the bios logo. If I wait for like an hour or so, it'll boot up fine. I've come to the point where I just don't turn off my system because I'm scared it'll never boot back up (but alas a few days ago windows update automatically restarted it while I was sleeping! ah!!).

Below are my specs. This didn't start happening until recently, when I purchased a new video card, new memory, and a new power supply (all listed below). Would anybody mind helping me out please?

EDIT: Also, just to mention, when it's stuck on the bios screen, I can't do anything (such as enter setup). Additionally, while it did indeed start after I purchased those new hardware items, it didn't happen until about a month after using those (so up until then everything was completely fine).

Motherboard: ASUS Striker Extreme LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6420 Conroe 2.13GHz
Memory: Kingston ValueRAM 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
Graphics Card: XFX HD-489X-ZSFC Radeon HD 4890
HDD: Western Digital Caviar RE WD3200YS 320GB 7200 RPM
Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V

Thank you!!

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a b B Homebuilt system
February 17, 2010 2:42:36 AM

Usually your condition would indicate that the BIOS is not happy with one or more pieces of hardware, but it may also mean your BIOS is corrupted. I would try the CLR_CMOS step first. The re-sets the BIOS to their default settings. Your motherboard manual should show the steps to do this - it usually involves disconnecting the power cord, moving the CLR_CMOS jumper on the board from pins 1-2 to pins 2-3 for a few minutes, and then moving the jumper back to the original position, re-connecting the power cord, and starting the system. Then you can enter the BIOS to re-set your system's settings, if necessary.
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February 26, 2010 11:44:30 PM

I apologize for not replying to this sooner--I've been very busy and just kept my computer on, hah. I finally got around to doing what you said and windows seemed to load up fine afterwards. I'll keep watching it over the next couple of days and let you know if it's fixed. Thank you very much!!
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 27, 2010 8:47:51 PM

Good! You are welcome. I hope it fixed the problem.
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March 1, 2010 5:48:48 PM

So, this didn't work, unfortunately. In fact, now when I restarted my computer, I got the blue screen of death several times before windows actually loaded. When it did load, it said that it was unable to load my user profile. After performing a system restore, I was finally able to get back on windows and now I'm terrified to turn my computer off, haha.

When i performed what you suggested, I heard a really weird hissing sound. Now, every time I turn my computer off, I hear the same sound. Here's what I did:

I turned off the computer/unplugged the power cord, moved the jumper cap to pins 2-3, pressed the clr CMOS button (which I then though, hmm, this doesn't seem like it'd do anything without power). So I then plugged the computer back in, turned it on, and then pressed the cmos button again (this is when i heard the noise). I checked the bios setup and none of my settings were reset (like the manual said they would be). So I then turned off the power, unplugged the cord, put the jumper cap back on pins 1-2, and turned the computer back on--still no reset.

Did I do something wrong? And, since windows had trouble loading my username, does that mean there's something wrong with my hard drive? This is really starting to scare me.
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March 1, 2010 8:14:47 PM

To add on to the list of things going wrong, when I left my computer on for an hour and came back, it was just a black screen with my mouse pointer. Couldn't do anything but force it to shut down by holding down the power button. When I tried to turn it back on, I got blue screen after blue screen after blue screen.

I was able to go into safe mode and nothing seemed to go wrong--which leads me to believe there's something wrong with windows. I went ahead and did a system restore to a stable point about a week ago (granted this was still when I couldn't load windows immediately after restarting--but at least I could let it be off for a few minutes, turn it on, and log in). While it's doing that, I'm on another computer typing this very message.

Thank you again for helping me out with this. Please let me know if you have a solution.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 2, 2010 12:42:01 AM

bendrummin58 said:
So, this didn't work, unfortunately. In fact, now when I restarted my computer, I got the blue screen of death several times before windows actually loaded. When it did load, it said that it was unable to load my user profile. After performing a system restore

OK.

, I was finally able to get back on windows and now I'm terrified to turn my computer off, haha.

When i performed what you suggested, I heard a really weird hissing sound. Now, every time I turn my computer off, I hear the same sound.

Can you hear what piece of hardware is making the weird hissing sound? I can't think of anything that would make such a noise.

Here's what I did:

I turned off the computer/unplugged the power cord (next time pres the power-on button two or three times before moving the jumper and pressing the clear CMOS button), moved the jumper cap to pins 2-3, pressed the clr CMOS button (which I then though, hmm, this doesn't seem like it'd do anything without power).
At this point you should have put the jumper back over pins 1-2, and then powered-on the computer. This procedure is described on page 2-21 of your manual.

So I then plugged the computer back in, turned it on, and then pressed the cmos button again (this is when i heard the noise).
No, you never clear the CMOS with power on to the board, it can cause severe damage to the board.

I checked the bios setup and none of my settings were reset (like the manual said they would be). So I then turned off the power, unplugged the cord, put the jumper cap back on pins 1-2, and turned the computer back on--still no reset.

Did I do something wrong?
yes, see above

And, since windows had trouble loading my username, does that mean there's something wrong with my hard drive? This is really starting to scare me.
Based on your post, your HDD seems to be fine.


See above. Please use the steps on p. 2-21 to clear the CMOS. Then re-check your BIOS settings, and reset any custom settings you needed.

Please post your results after properly clearing the CMOS. If Windows still isn't working properly, we may have to try a Windows Repair Installation. Don't do that yet, there is way to do it where you will not lose your Windows system settings or other data on the Windows partition, at least for XP. Michael Stevens has the steps here, please print and read them all the way through and be sure you understand what you will need to do, and when.

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March 2, 2010 3:51:31 AM

Another update. I got advice to only try one stick of RAM at a time to see if it were one of my memory sticks causing the problem, and sure enough, with just one in, it *appears* the problem has been resolved. No blue screens (which were becoming much more frequent) and no hanging on the initial logo screen prior to windows loading.

You mentioned that pressing the cmos button while the power was on could be damaging. If windows is now loading properly and whatnot, does this mean I was lucky and no damage has been done? Or is there something I can do to see if I've damaged anything?

Thank you for the advice and included steps. I'm going to wait for a bit to see if any blue screens occur and if they do, I will indeed follow them. For now, I think it might just be the RAM (which I suppose makes sense given all the blue screens and hanging).

Thank you again :) 
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 3, 2010 12:54:11 AM

Bad RAM could cause BSODs, maybe that was the problem. Since you are now running one stick, you may want to replace the bad one - try to replace it with the same model number and size.

I think you got lucky with the power-on clear CMOS; it can fry the BIOS chip - yours is still working.

You're welcome.

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March 7, 2010 7:34:52 AM

Alright, boy do I have a story to tell haha. Ok so with that one stick of RAM, the BSODs returned and the system returned to the usual unable to load windows. I was able to acquire my old sticks that were at my house and put those in place of the RAM that I *thought* was bad. The BSODs continued. This led me to believe it was a motherboard issue.

A friend told me since my motherboard was made several years ago that I should flash my bios and perhaps that would allow for better compatibility with my memory. I got the update off the Asus website, stuck it in a flash drive, and ran it from the BIOS (with pure luck of being able to stay in the BIOS without the computer restarting/freezing). I ran the flash tool, it worked it's magic and said it was successful, and then proceeded to reboot. Well, when the computer started up again from the reboot, nothing showed up on the monitor. No logo screen, no windows, nothing. I turned it off and back on again--nothing.

I then unplugged everything, cleared the CMOS (the right way), and tried turning it back on--still nothing. Dead motherboard..lol.

SO, today I went to Fry's and long story short got a new Gigabyte motherboard. Installed it and the drivers and low and behold, my computer is 100% perfect again. No BSODs, no freezes, and no restarts. I've restarted it several times to make sure of it, lol. Also, I can now utilize all four of my RAM sticks (which the Asus board had a flaw with it that wouldn't allow me to).

So, I feel pretty good now that this is all over. That was a very stressful thing to go through! Thank you so much for all of your help, dude. If you ever want to play modern warfare 2 or crysis wars, you just let me know :p 
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March 7, 2010 7:36:34 AM

Best answer selected by bendrummin58.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 7, 2010 7:17:58 PM

You are welcome. I don't play much on-line cause I'm really bad.

It's hard to know the tech level of posters - flashing the BIOS isn't for noobs, but we would have gotten to that. I think your story shows you aren't a noob, and you got it figured out. I'm glad you're up and running again.
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!