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Computer won't consistently boot

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  • Motherboards
  • Computer
Last response: in Motherboards
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December 7, 2010 5:17:31 PM

First off, this is my 1st post, and I want to say I've been reading these forums for years. Even though I'm just now signing up, you guys have helped me with numerous problems over the years, and I thank you.

The reason I'm finally posting a question is because it is very general, and I couldn't find a specific answer.

Here is the deal, I just built a new computer with the following hardware...

Asus Crosshair IV Formula
1090T CPU
GTS 8800 Graphics Card (I know it's not the best, but hell, it still scores 6.9 in Windows) :) 
8 Gig 1600 Ram (corsair, X-3 or something)
40 gig SSD Corsair card
The rest of the stuff shouldn't matter (blu ray drive, etc)

Upon initial boot, it worked perfectly, I installed windows (which surprisingly took longer than on my old PC, but this is my first 64 bit install, so maybe that's normal), and updated Windows. When my computer rebooted (during windows update process), it didn't turn back on! I tried manually turning it on, and it beeped once long, and 3 short beeps. The manual states that this is due to VGA failure.

Well, I turned the computer all the way off, and turned it back on - nothing - same beeping.

Then I turned it off and on again - it worked perfectly.

Then I did some more updates and it did the same thing. Then, on the 1st try (after the failed boot attempt) it booted up perfectly again.

I'm assuming the motherboard isn't reading the GPU right, or there maybe is a short somewhere. Can anyone tell me if I'm missing something? Is there a Bios update I'm missing or something like that?

Thanks in advance!!

More about : computer consistently boot

December 7, 2010 5:55:50 PM

Do you have onboard video? If so I would revert to that, install all drivers and then reinstall your graphics card. If not I would check the BIOS and just make sure that the default settings are setup. I would also run MemTest on your sticks of RAM just to make sure. If none of those yield any success I would check the MOBO manufacturer for a BIOS update.

"All advice is provided by Jade at www.customconnected.com "
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December 7, 2010 6:23:59 PM

I don't think the crosshair has onboard video - it was one reason I went with the card. Another thing it doesn't have (which sucks) are any old school ata connections :(  I have a lot of big HD's collecting dust now :) 
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Related resources
December 7, 2010 7:02:16 PM

I would go to the graphics cards manufacturers website and download their newest drivers for your card. I would then reinstall the drivers. See if that helps.

"Advice is provided by Jade at www.customconnected.com "
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December 7, 2010 7:21:59 PM

Already have the latest stable drivers. That wouldn't help though man - this isn't a windows issue. I'm talking before the computer boots, the motherboard isn't reading the GPU. Even with ZERO drivers installed, it should still have enough info to show the POST screen.
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December 7, 2010 8:20:15 PM

Sounds like a hardware problem then, it is odd that it is every time you turn the computer on, you would think that at some point it would work on the first try. Check your BIOS settings and make sure that you don't have some field set incorrectly, possibly just set it to default.

A side note, I had a similar situation with a new build, thought it was the GPU turned out it was a bad stick of RAM, just causing ODD intermitent problems, like no boot and random restarts. Run memtest on your RAM modules to be sure.

"Advice is provided by Jade at www.customconnected.com "
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a c 717 V Motherboard
December 7, 2010 8:30:07 PM

Belated - Welcome to Tom's Forums! :) 

I assume that you connected the 6-pin PCIe power from your PSU; pretty sure it has one...

For now, pull all but one stick of RAM - yep this can case that problem. Try a restart.

If that fails then unscrew ALL of the stand-offs and PCIe screws and 'dangle' the MOBO so it's not touching anything; use a towel to support. Also, disconnect ALL but the absolute minimum: 1 stick RAM, GPU, Primary SSD, MOBO, PSU. Rule-out 'oddball' short/grounding.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
December 7, 2010 8:33:25 PM

@ jpg1784 - didn't mean to steal your thunder {RAM} started typing and went for a break...BTW your URL is a spamming violation, add it in your "More Information"
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December 7, 2010 8:45:30 PM

jaquith said:
@ jpg1784 - didn't mean to steal your thunder {RAM} started typing and went for a break...BTW your URL is a spamming violation, add it in your "More Information"



It is? I apologize, I am just trying to show people that I am legit.
Where are the policies written I would like to read.

Thanks.
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December 7, 2010 8:48:53 PM

@ jaquith -
I definitely connected the 6 pin :) 

I appreciate you saying that though, I did a build about 6 months ago and forgot to plug in the cpu fan, regardless, it took me about 16 hours to figure out that was all that was wrong....(I've been building since I was 10, and I'm 30, so I've went through about 2/year since then)

I tried with just one stick of ram, the problem is both are new, so I can't verify that either works - typically with Ram failures in the past, the pc would either crash very early on in the process, or it would NEVER post. This one boots up just fine about 40% of the time, and just gives the no vga error beeps. When it's running, I can OC, can run extensive stress tests, whatever. It works perfect. It's once it turns off that the issue happens.

I'm going to be home in about 2 hours and I think I'm going to start over, make sure nothing is grounding, and go bare minimum. The problem is I'll have to turn it off and on and off and on and off and on about 20 times before I'm satisfied it's fixed - since it's an intermittent problem, it's harder to diagnose, because each change requires a lot of time testing to determine if it's the cause.

Luckily, I have multiple GPU's laying around, so if its that issue, I should be ok.

Anyone have experience w/ this specific MB? Any critical updates I'm missing?
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a c 717 V Motherboard
December 7, 2010 9:17:53 PM

If you're reusing a PSU the 'intermittent' issue could easily well be from dirty power off the PSU. Clearly, to rule-out the GPU try it in another MOBO. If it checks-out okay then either try another PSU or park a PC next to your C4F and piggyback a PCIe lead to the GPU.
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December 7, 2010 9:51:36 PM

jaquith said:
TOU - http://www.tomshardware.com/terms.html ; "I' get cross-linking + google.


I read the entire terms of use as well as conduct for posting and it doesn't say anywhere that I can't put a link on the page. It says many things about not posting viruses or trying to scam people. I am not doing either. I also talked to a moderator and they warned me as well, I responded that I am not spamming, I am answering questions legitimitaly and I am putting a link to my "local" site to show that I have experience. I am in no way selling anything to anyone nor am I expecting anyone to get anything from my site.

Thanks for the info.

-Jade
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a c 156 V Motherboard
December 7, 2010 11:19:38 PM

Nothing wrong with linking to another site. But you linked to a site that provides paid support.

Work through our standard checklist and troubleshooting thread:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-read-postin...
I mean work through, not just read over it. We spent a lot of time on this. It should find most of the problems.

If not, continue.

I have tested the following beep patterns on Gigabyte, eVGA, and ECS motherboards. Other BIOS' may be different.

Breadboard - that will help isolate any kind of case problem you might have.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/262730-31-breadboardi...

Breadboard with just motherboard, CPU & HSF, case speaker, and PSU.

Make sure you plug the CPU power cable in. The system will not boot without it.

I always breadboard a new build. It takes only a few minutes, and you know you are putting good parts in the case once you are finished.

You can turn on the PC by momentarily shorting the two pins that the case power switch goes to. You should hear a series of long, single beeps indicating memory problems. Silence indicates a problem with (in most likely order) the PSU, motherboard, or CPU. Remember, at this time, you do not have a graphics card installed so the load on your PSU will be reduced.

If no beeps:
Running fans and drives and motherboard LED's do not necessarily indicate a good PSU. In the absence of a single short beep, they also do not indicate that the system is booting.

At this point, you can sort of check the PSU. Try to borrow a known good PSU of around 550 - 600 watts. That will power just about any system with a single GPU. If you cannot do that, use a DMM to measure the voltages. Measure between the colored wires and either chassis ground or the black wires. Yellow wires should be 12 volts. Red wires: +5 volts, orange wires: +3.3 volts, blue wire : -12 volts, violet wire: 5 volts always on. Tolerances are +/- 5% except for the -12 volts which is +/- 10%.

The gray wire is really important. It should go from 0 to +5 volts when you turn the PSU on with the case switch. CPU needs this signal to boot.

You can turn on the PSU by completely disconnecting the PSU and using a paperclip or jumper wire to short the green wire to one of the neighboring black wires.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FWXgQSokF4&feature=yout...

A way that might be easier is to use the main power plug. Working from the back of the plug where the wires come out, use a bare paperclip to short between the green wire and one of the neighboring black wires. That will do the same thing with an installed PSU. It is also an easy way to bypass a questionable case power switch.

This checks the PSU under no load conditions, so it is not completely reliable. But if it can not pass this, it is dead. Then repeat the checks with the PSU plugged into the computer to put a load on the PSU.

If the system beeps:
If it looks like the PSU is good, install a memory stick. Boot. Beep pattern should change to one long and several short beeps indicating a missing graphics card.

Silence or long single beeps indicate a problem with the memory.

Insert the video card and connect any necessary PCIe power connectors. Boot. At this point, the system should POST successfully (a single short beep). Notice that you do not need keyboard, mouse, monitor, or drives to successfully POST.
At this point, if the system doesn't work, it's either the video card or an inadequate PSU. Or rarely - the motherboard's PCIe interface.

Now start connecting the rest of the devices starting with the monitor, then keyboard and mouse, then the rest of the devices, testing after each step. It's possible that you can pass the POST with a defective video card. The POST routines can only check the video interface. It cannot check the internal parts of the video card.
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December 8, 2010 1:50:31 AM

jsc said:
Nothing wrong with linking to another site. But you linked to a site that provides paid support.

Work through our standard checklist and troubleshooting thread:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-read-postin...
I mean work through, not just read over it. We spent a lot of time on this. It should find most of the problems.

If not, continue.

I have tested the following beep patterns on Gigabyte, eVGA, and ECS motherboards. Other BIOS' may be different.

Breadboard - that will help isolate any kind of case problem you might have.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/262730-31-breadboardi...

Breadboard with just motherboard, CPU & HSF, case speaker, and PSU.

Make sure you plug the CPU power cable in. The system will not boot without it.

I always breadboard a new build. It takes only a few minutes, and you know you are putting good parts in the case once you are finished.

You can turn on the PC by momentarily shorting the two pins that the case power switch goes to. You should hear a series of long, single beeps indicating memory problems. Silence indicates a problem with (in most likely order) the PSU, motherboard, or CPU. Remember, at this time, you do not have a graphics card installed so the load on your PSU will be reduced.

If no beeps:
Running fans and drives and motherboard LED's do not necessarily indicate a good PSU. In the absence of a single short beep, they also do not indicate that the system is booting.

At this point, you can sort of check the PSU. Try to borrow a known good PSU of around 550 - 600 watts. That will power just about any system with a single GPU. If you cannot do that, use a DMM to measure the voltages. Measure between the colored wires and either chassis ground or the black wires. Yellow wires should be 12 volts. Red wires: +5 volts, orange wires: +3.3 volts, blue wire : -12 volts, violet wire: 5 volts always on. Tolerances are +/- 5% except for the -12 volts which is +/- 10%.

The gray wire is really important. It should go from 0 to +5 volts when you turn the PSU on with the case switch. CPU needs this signal to boot.

You can turn on the PSU by completely disconnecting the PSU and using a paperclip or jumper wire to short the green wire to one of the neighboring black wires.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FWXgQSokF4&feature=yout...

A way that might be easier is to use the main power plug. Working from the back of the plug where the wires come out, use a bare paperclip to short between the green wire and one of the neighboring black wires. That will do the same thing with an installed PSU. It is also an easy way to bypass a questionable case power switch.

This checks the PSU under no load conditions, so it is not completely reliable. But if it can not pass this, it is dead. Then repeat the checks with the PSU plugged into the computer to put a load on the PSU.

If the system beeps:
If it looks like the PSU is good, install a memory stick. Boot. Beep pattern should change to one long and several short beeps indicating a missing graphics card.

Silence or long single beeps indicate a problem with the memory.

Insert the video card and connect any necessary PCIe power connectors. Boot. At this point, the system should POST successfully (a single short beep). Notice that you do not need keyboard, mouse, monitor, or drives to successfully POST.
At this point, if the system doesn't work, it's either the video card or an inadequate PSU. Or rarely - the motherboard's PCIe interface.

Now start connecting the rest of the devices starting with the monitor, then keyboard and mouse, then the rest of the devices, testing after each step. It's possible that you can pass the POST with a defective video card. The POST routines can only check the video interface. It cannot check the internal parts of the video card.


You are correct, however, I am not providing nor soliciting paid support from anyone on the forum, nor do I expect to receive any business or compensation from anyone. The site is merely provided to show that I know what I am talking about and am not some 12 year old kid sitting in his basement. I will alter my statement to reflect this more accurately.
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December 8, 2010 2:12:25 PM

I'm thinking it's the motherboard's Pcie slot. I am going to try an additional slot tonight (the board has several luckily).

Does anyone have experience with this specific board?

In the manual it states to use the 1st PCIe slot for optimal bandwith to the videocard - any idea why?
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December 8, 2010 2:13:25 PM

Also, can you guys battle out your disagreement outside of this thread please? I'm just trying to get help, can we stay on topic?
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a c 717 V Motherboard
December 8, 2010 5:09:16 PM

My 'experience' last month was on the ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme ; does that count?
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/282593-30-build-pheno...

The PCIe issue is typically one of three things: GPU, PSU, or MOBO and in some instances a botched CPU install or incompatible RAM or shorting. However, ALL components need to be installed correctly

The last instance I saw this problem it was a shorted MOBO. I build on a bench first then use plastic washers on the standoffs, but I know the rig works first before being installed in the case. Therefore, I would breadboard and then rule-out components as I recall you did with the GPU.

--
@ jpg1784 knowingly is cross-linking his site, and I'll see if I can get this all edited. Just ignore it.
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December 8, 2010 6:40:34 PM

I'll breadboard it when I get home tonight. Thanks for the additional suggestion.
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August 16, 2011 7:23:09 AM

I have the asus crosshair and same thing for me but it's the CPU light led after so many restarts it fired up then on cold
Boot failed you may have a defective motherboard like me or your psu not
Enough juice
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