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Really Crazy boot problems

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October 13, 2010 11:26:36 PM

Ok so this is my system

core2duo e6420
abit ab9pro socket775 mobo
eVGA 8800 GTS 320MB
4 sata HDDs, 3 on RAID as secondary HD, windows on one seperate sata HD
4GB corsair mem, 1 GB kingston, set to dual channel asynchronous setup, 3GB channel 1, 2GB channel 2.
Hardware is capable of handling all of this as is. Been running for nearly 4 years. Only about 58 cycles. (Only reset or turned off 58 times).

The other day, my gf was working on movie maker and went to publish her project when it stopped responding. As a favor to her, I let it stay until it would resume (knowing that 99.9% it would not resume).

I let it continue and started playing starcraft 2. About 5 minutes in I started noticing vertical lines, then the mouse started hanging. Immediately threw in a new battery, still nothing. It would work sporadically, but the computer was not frozen because I could alt-tab into windows where the video distortion was still apparent.

As I alt-tabbed back into the game, I let my opponent know that my mouse was not working, and he said "neither is your internet, I was about to drop you". So, my ethernet was failing simultaneously, apparently.

I shut off the computer using the power button.

It restarts fine, goes into windows. About 3 minutes in, distortion appears again. mouse starts locking up. Computer then freezes. I shut it off.

I leave it that way for several hours.

I disconnect the power, open the side, make sure every is fine and nothing smells burnt. Upon putting it back on, I'm greeted by the high-pitch, low-pitch alarm that I had set to off in the bios. The alarm is from the cpu fan being below RPM, however, I have a fanless sink, so that is why it is set to off.

Now, because this has also been happening recently along with power disruption (removal of cord), it makes me think that the mobo battery is out, because it is supposed to save that info even during power loss. (obviously)

Along with the alarm, I also get a long beep followed by 2 short ones. According to the internet, this is either a memory problem, or a video problem. Granted, because of the video distortion, I'm inclined to say it's the video card. My POST (indicated on the mobo) is hanging at 7F (one step away from FF, which is 'all clear'), and beeping on 2A.

(the alarm is fixed, i simply moved the case fan power source to CPUFAN. I was too lazy to do it before but I wasn't sure I was hearing the two small beeps with it blaring)

So I remove the video card----same problem.
I remove the ram----same problem.
I remove the pci cards----same problem.
I adjust the thing that resets the mobo----same problem
I remove and reseat the battery---same problem
I clean the video card (massive amounts of dust inside the compartment), reseat it, ----same problem.
I remove all RAM testing each one by themselves----same problem.

Here is a description of what's happening besides that;

No display, monitor reads 'no input'
All fans power up, including graphics card fan
USB is still working, repeated pressing on keys results in the clicking sound in the pc to let me know it has some effect.
I've tried holding insert while booting...nothing.
When I remove the power source and do an initial start, it hangs at C1 (memory POST code), then resets itself, makes it through C1, C3, beeps at 2A, 25, 26, 50-something, 75, hangs at 7F.
Once it reaches 7F it will continue that way for a long period of time. However, if I press delete a couple times, it seems to go through POST again, beeping again at 2A.

What in the hell is going on?

Memory problem?
Video problem?
Mobo problem?
Complete fry of the entire setup?
Thanks in advance for help.

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a c 715 V Motherboard
October 13, 2010 11:50:13 PM
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This sound more like a PSU issue, dirty power. Cross-referencing ALL of the information is too long a process for me to run through my head. There's too many codes to sift through.

Also, if you've recently added or moved around components you may want to breadboard.

My starting place, before the PSU, is to disconnect EVERYTHING to bare bones. If the rig 'seems' more stable get the new PSU.
October 13, 2010 11:52:39 PM

As you seem to have checked everything else, I would swap out the power supply, and if nothing, look for another motherboard.

Also many times alt-tabbing a multiplayer game could show up as a dropped connection to other players. Not 100% about SC2, as I do not own it. I think SC1 was like that.
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October 14, 2010 12:09:20 AM

jaquith said:
This sound more like a PSU issue, dirty power. Cross-referencing ALL of the information is too long a process for me to run through my head. There's too many codes to sift through.

Also, if you've recently added or moved around components you may want to breadboard.

My starting place, before the PSU, is to disconnect EVERYTHING to bare bones. If the rig 'seems' more stable get the new PSU.


Ouch, really?
So, you think the PSU would be resulting in those video distortions?

I was really hoping it was something that I could replace with a better part.
My PSU was really expensive and it's about 850W, cost like 140 or 160 or some such.

That would really suck. Is this a common thing though? It seems strange that the PSU would affect the computer in this way.
What I was thinking was that the hung program ate the memory to sh*t, and then running another video intensive program somehow burnt out the video card (or severly impaired it) and then possibly affected the motherboard as well.
I'm going to check for charring or bloated transistors later, and if I have to, I'll order another PSU.
a c 715 V Motherboard
October 14, 2010 12:25:11 AM

My third paragraph, sentence really, is to disconnect to the bare bones. If the PSU is at the beginning stages of failure then the reduced AMPS can clear-up the 'problem' and illuminate the cause. In addition, if you've been moving around components I too would suggest that you R/O a short. Yes, I realize 'shorts' don't typically come out of the blue, but my suggestions are FREE before the need to purchase parts.

Power of 'some kind' explains the problem(s); the key is to find out from where {MOBO, PSU}. In addition, if your GPU is bad it too can generate all sorts of oddball behavior; check for bulging/popped transistors. - do you have another PC to pull parts from to test?

All of those errors and symptoms can easily be explained with the beginning stages of PSU failure; my guess is that you do NOT use an UPS. A voltage spike or KHz drop can damage 'some' PSUs.

Also, if there's a local 'computer' store that allows returns then if the PSU is not the problem then return it.

edit: If you get a new PSU then I'd recommend Corsair or any PSU with a single rail + Japanese capacitors.

Q - What PSU do you have? - does it have a good warranty {5 year is typical for quality PSUs.}
October 14, 2010 12:47:55 AM

jaquith said:
My third paragraph, sentence really, is to disconnect to the bare bones. If the PSU is at the beginning stages of failure then the reduced AMPS can clear-up the 'problem' and illuminate the cause. In addition, if you've been moving around components I too would suggest that you R/O a short. Yes, I realize 'shorts' don't typically come out of the blue, but my suggestions are FREE before the need to purchase parts.

Power of 'some kind' explains the problem(s); the key is to find out from where {MOBO, PSU}. In addition, if your GPU is bad it too can generate all sorts of oddball behavior; check for bulging/popped transistors. - do you have another PC to pull parts from to test?

All of those errors and symptoms can easily be explained with the beginning stages of PSU failure; my guess is that you do NOT use an UPS. A voltage spike or KHz drop can damage 'some' PSUs.

Also, if there's a local 'computer' store that allows returns then if the PSU is not the problem then return it.

edit: If you get a new PSU then I'd recommend Corsair or any PSU with a single rail + Japanese capacitors.

Q - What PSU do you have? - does it have a good warranty {5 year is typical for quality PSUs.}


Let me first express my happiness with your "free" suggestions.
I will look around for some 'local PC' stores. The only one I know of is Microcenter, and I believe they do not allow PSU returns.
How many things need to be disconnected before you would call it barebones?
All the HDDs? I've had it without any cards of any sort, one RAM stick and fans, and sata HDDs (about 4 of them) and the ROM.
Should I pull everything except one harddrive?
If it continues even with that, then what? (Hopefully it will work, and point to the PSU, but being without a PC at home I'm making the most of you being online to answer a 'just in case' question. :-P
PS: I really hope I still have the power supply box. Would I need it to return it? Or the receipt?
Thanks for all your help.
PPS: oh and the PSU is a good brand, either thermaltake or thermalrock or something similar. It is pretty high quality, about 140 or so on sale (like 20% off or so) for 800W or so watts, maybe 750.
October 14, 2010 1:06:53 AM

Ok I looked around online and I believe it's an antec true power 650 Trio
a c 715 V Motherboard
October 14, 2010 1:08:27 AM

You can pull the RAID drives {3 on RAID as secondary HD}, 2 of 4 RAM {some can boot fine with 1/see your manual}, any peripherals, all fans off the MOBO {except CPU/which can be run off the PSU}, ALL USB devices {unless KB/M}. Remember this is to test.

I've returned at Best Buy, but I don't know your area - EASY if there's an open box.

Thermaltake use multiple rails but do use Japanese capacitors. To check which size PSU go to http://www.corsair.com/ and use their {Power Supply Search}. Based upon my search the Corsair TX650W.

Keep in mind, it could just as easy be something else as I've described.

While you're at it, another FREE test is Memtest and R/O your RAM http://www.memtest.org/ {D/L the ISO/zip and create a boot CD/DVD}.
a c 715 V Motherboard
October 14, 2010 1:13:04 AM

theprof00 said:
Ok I looked around online and I believe it's an antec true power 650 Trio

Antec are horrible PSU; I had 2 burn-out and they destroyed (2) GPUs before I concluded it was the PSU after-the-fact when they began to short + smolder. Then I educated myself about Corsair, and rails (1) + Japanese capacitors. Expensive lesson! :fou: 

Yep, I'd look really hard at the PSU!
October 14, 2010 1:13:05 AM

jaquith said:
You can pull the RAID drives {3 on RAID as secondary HD}, 2 of 4 RAM {some can boot fine with 1/see your manual}, any peripherals, all fans off the MOBO {except CPU/which can be run off the PSU}, ALL USB devices {unless KB/M}. Remember this is to test.

I've returned at Best Buy, but I don't know your area - EASY if there's an open box.

Thermaltake use multiple rails but do use Japanese capacitors. To check which size PSU go to http://www.corsair.com/ and use their {Power Supply Search}. Based upon my search the Corsair TX650W.

Keep in mind, it could just as easy be something else as I've described.

While you're at it, another FREE test is Memtest and R/O your RAM http://www.memtest.org/ {D/L the ISO/zip and create a boot CD/DVD}.


no way best buy does returns on power supplies?
Guess that makes sense for how much they will try to overcharge me for it.
I'll try your suggestions as soon as I get home.
If it boots, then I have a faulty PSU, correct?
October 14, 2010 1:17:44 AM

jaquith said:
Antec are horrible PSU; I had 2 burn-out and they destroyed (2) GPUs before I concluded it was the PSU after-the-fact when they began to short + smolder. Then I educated myself about Corsair, and rails (1) + Japanese capacitors. Expensive lesson! :fou: 

Yep, I'd look really hard at the PSU!


GODDAMN YOU ANTEC!!
I had another one explode once inside this same computer as well.
Heard a whine and then like a champagne bottle opening. Nothing was damaged....really hope that nothing is damaged this time too.

Ok, so Corsair on single rail and Japanese capacitors?
PS: and no, I do not use a UPS, although I always want to buy one and never have the money to do it. I have a basic surge protector rated at 700 watts.

PPS: how's this one?
http://www.tigerdirect DOT com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5074042&CatId=1483
a c 715 V Motherboard
October 14, 2010 1:17:52 AM

We're posting over each other, read my prior post - > ANTEC!
October 14, 2010 1:21:48 AM

jaquith said:
We're posting over each other, read my prior post - > ANTEC!


-> ANTEC!!!!!!!!!!!!!
October 14, 2010 1:27:38 AM

Ok, I'm going to go by best buy tomorrow and see if I can pick one up and get it working.
Hopefully the PSU didn't short every goddamn thing on the board, and that is really the only problem with it.
I'll probably start thinking about a new mobo and vid card just in case.
October 14, 2010 1:59:21 AM

Oh, and thanks again.
I'll keep the thread posted on how it works out.
a c 715 V Motherboard
October 14, 2010 3:02:06 AM

Good Luck! Yes, please let us know. I hope it is only to be a simple solution!
a b V Motherboard
October 14, 2010 3:50:57 AM

Too funny
October 14, 2010 4:07:06 PM

OK, so I did the barebones setup....and.......still didn't work.
-just kidding-
It finished POST!
But, I'm still getting a beep at POST code 26, which says that

"1. If Early_Init_Onboard_Generator is not defined Onboard clock generator initialization. Disable respective clock resource to empty PCI & DIMM slots.
2. Init onboard PWM
3. Init onboard H/W monitor devices"

and the beep code is 1 long, 2 short, which is:

"a video error has occurred and the BIOS cannot initialize the video screen to display any additional information"

So, it finishes POST and moves to POST code FF which is "boot attempt".

How do we still feel about the PSU? I think we nailed it, ahem, YOU nailed it!
Although, there could still be a problem with the gpu.
a c 715 V Motherboard
October 14, 2010 4:23:52 PM

Remember the "destroyed (2) GPUs before I concluded it was the PSU" comment.

On many MOBO you can R/O the GPU by simply pulling the GPU and 'sense' a full boot, plus you obviously seem to have an on-board debug.
October 14, 2010 4:27:50 PM

jaquith said:
Remember the "destroyed (2) GPUs before I concluded it was the PSU" comment.

On many MOBO you can R/O the GPU by simply pulling the GPU and 'sense' a full boot, plus you obviously seem to have an on-board debug.


can you explain a bit more? What's R/O? I thought it might've stood for "rule out", but I'm not sure now.
What is 'sense' a full boot.
And yeah, i have onboard debug.

So you think my gpu is still garbage, perhaps?
a c 715 V Motherboard
October 14, 2010 4:48:56 PM

R/O = Rule Out.

'sense' if you pull the GPU then you cannot see the monitor.

'garbage' no, ruined by the PSU maybe.
October 14, 2010 11:51:45 PM

jaquith said:
R/O = Rule Out.

'sense' if you pull the GPU then you cannot see the monitor.

'garbage' no, ruined by the PSU maybe.


Well, if you recall, the mobo still didn't post when I took out the videocard. It only did when I took out the harddrives, most RAM, and the DVD.
When I put the videocard back in, it won't finish post. Same goes with anything else I put back in.

But, when you say garbage is different from ruined by the PSU, what do you mean? If it's ruined, it's garbage, no?
a c 715 V Motherboard
October 15, 2010 12:11:22 PM

Sorry, yesterday I had the headache from hell.

'garbage' & 'ruined' are the same from your point of view, I didn't want to suggest that you had a 'junky' GPU. I did mean to suggest that the PSU may have destroyed your GPU and it too may need a replacement.

Keep in mind, it is indeed difficult to narrow down damaged components without replacing them, and worst if more than 1 component is damaged then replacing them is the only viable way to determine which components are bad.

In your case, it is probable to have 2 or more bad components. {PSU, GPU, MOBO, CPU} I wish it weren't that way. Logically and based upon the errors the PSU & GPU are the places to start, but I have too seen 'bad' CPU post the similar errors.
October 15, 2010 6:07:31 PM

Ok so I found another thing out. My mouse actually died exactly as the errors were happening. I tried the mouse on a different computer and it wouldn't even turn on.
What in the world!?
That makes me think the mobo is fine.
Originally I thought there was a usb problem, but i guess not!
a c 715 V Motherboard
October 15, 2010 6:48:11 PM

Ha! How in the H-E-double-LL could a bad USB mouse cause ALL of those errors?!
October 16, 2010 6:35:46 PM

What made me think there was a motherboard error was that I thought the USB was failing, but it was just the mouse dying at the exact same!

Anyway, I picked up a new power supply and it still didn't post when I put the GPU in.

So, I bought the Zotac 1GB GTS 250, which seems to be a roughly 50-60% increase on GPU power for 110$.

I'm going to plug in the PSU again and see if it posts.

I don't expect it to, but I'm going to try again just in case.
October 16, 2010 6:36:22 PM

I also picked up a deathadder mouse.
October 18, 2010 2:12:57 PM

Ok, so I plugged everything in again with the old PSU and it booted (onboard POST code FF).
I'm still very nervous about picking up a new videocard.
I decided against the Zotac and am either going to pick up a eVga GTS 450, GTX 460, or Sapphire vaporx 5770.
a c 715 V Motherboard
October 18, 2010 3:17:56 PM

Both Zotec {all GPUs} & EVGA {certain GPUs} offer Lifetime Warranties.

As I indicated earlier "In your case, it is probable to have 2 or more bad components. {PSU, GPU, MOBO, CPU} I wish it weren't that way."
October 18, 2010 7:08:58 PM

jaquith said:
Both Zotec {all GPUs} & EVGA {certain GPUs} offer Lifetime Warranties.

As I indicated earlier "In your case, it is probable to have 2 or more bad components. {PSU, GPU, MOBO, CPU} I wish it weren't that way."


So, I ended up getting a Zotac 460 768MB for around 130$ (great price!)

Most likely, the last question: Is it possible for a CPU to fry a GPU?
a c 715 V Motherboard
October 18, 2010 7:25:56 PM

theprof00 said:
Most likely, the last question: Is it possible for a CPU to fry a GPU?

You'd be the first - No.

As I mentioned a Bad PSU can and have fried everything they're connected to.

I have ever since my own problems have been using an UPS + Good PSUs. Even my Plasma & LCD TVs are on UPS, yes it is expensive. Brownouts, Outages, Dirty Power, Lightning, Voltage spikes, non 60 KHz power, etc - all are BAD for electronics.
October 28, 2010 4:14:13 PM

Best answer selected by theprof00.
October 28, 2010 4:16:34 PM

turns out-
the PSU was fine.
One stick of RAM 2gb burned out, (had a heatsink on it too)
And the video card died as well.
I ended up getting a ZOTAC 460GTS
A corsair 650W power supply
and I have to get another stick of RAM (really noticing a huge drop in performance without it!!
I'm considering getting a new mobo and processor, but I'll have to save up for that.
Everyone thanks for your help
!