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Black screen when booting. plz help!

Last response: in Motherboards
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November 1, 2011 2:54:57 PM

Please help, I am having the craziest of problems. I built this system about two years ago so i know the ins and outs of it. Here are the specs...

Asus P5N-e Sli Motherboard
Intel E8400 Wolfdale
eVGA GTX 260
Corsair 2 x 2Gb Mem
Antec 550w PSU
2 500gb Drives in RAID striping
Win XP SP2

This system had been running strong for a little over two years with no problems. About two months ago I started having some problems booting. It would load and log in to windows, but there would be about a 30 second lag until I would actually be able to do anything. It really didn't bother me it was just a little longer to boot up. Then it got weird...

One day my system would just not boot. It would run fine through the BIOS POST but then when it comes time to load windows all I get is a black screen with a flashing white line in the upper left corner. I have waited several minutes to see if it will load and it will not.

At first I thought it was the power supply so I tried a brand new one and I have the same problem. I tried swapping the memory modules around/only using one, and running a mem test and that doesn't work. I have tried clearing the CMOS to reset the BIOS settings and that doesn't work. I have checked my RAID utility and it sees both of the drives and tells me that they are healthy. I have tried a different video card.

And this is really weird! I can see all my drives in the BIOS.... but I can't even load windows from cd/rom! I have checked/changed boot priority in BIOS and still the same problem.... After BIOS POST, it doesn't load windows, all I get is a black screen and a flashing white line.

In my opinion I have sufficiently narrowed this problem down to either the motherboard or the cpu. Can I get some other options/opinions on this please? I have priced out a whole new system on newegg but I would rather just get this one back up and running.
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 717 V Motherboard
November 1, 2011 3:05:43 PM

Welcome to Tom's Forum!

Well in reading I too would have done the same exact steps and I too would have initially concluded a failed PSU. I assume the replacement is/was at least 450W+.

When it comes down to the brass tacks - 80% MOBO and 20% CPU.

However, before ass-u-ming either I would do a full breadboard, I've seen shorted a shorted mouse and even a bad fan cause a problem.

You can try Lazyman's Breadboard -
* Disconnect ALL Front Panel & USB Headers ; keep only the PWR & Ground <best> short w/wire.
* Disconnect ALL peripherals including the Keyboard/Mouse
* (1) Stick of RAM in the second DIMM slot from CPU
* Unscrew both the MOBO and PCIe screws

Pull the MOBO away from anything conductive and supported by a towel ; short PWR & Ground to start.

Failure 'full breadboard' outside the case.
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November 1, 2011 4:54:25 PM

Ah! Ok. When I go home tonight I will try the breadboard testing method. *Sigh*, just sucks I have to take EVERYTHING out again, haha.

Thanks for your input!
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 717 V Motherboard
November 1, 2011 5:02:09 PM

Testing = Removal
Replace (RMA) = Removal

So 'Removal' is where you're at based upon what you've stated. No Pixie Dust :( 
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November 7, 2011 1:49:02 PM

Ok so finished breadboarding yesterday...

When the only thing I have installed is the cpu I get one long beep and three short.

I then install the memory (in any configuration) and I get one long beep two short.

I install the video card and then power it up. One short beep.

Are these all normal steps?
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 717 V Motherboard
November 11, 2011 4:03:33 PM

Furballonastick said:
I install the video card and then power it up. One short beep.

Sorry, I have been overwhelmed with my business.

The One short beep = ALL GOOD! So I assume all is okay?!

I didn't 'exactly' mean to boot without 'critical' components -- I meant to remove 'superfluous' components and/or shorting.
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November 14, 2011 5:27:03 PM

That's ok I appreciate your help.

So that's where I am at. With the cpu, mem, and video card only I get one beep on startup, which is good.

But then I plug in and try to start up with hard drive, or put in the windows install disk to load off of that. The system is still breadboarded so there is nothing else plugged in.

I still have the same problem, black screen with blinking line.

Could I have this narrowed down to maybe a problem with the southbridge? The soutbridge controls the sata ports right? I am just guessing here but maybe it could be southbridge/sata ports.

I am going to see if I have an old IDE based drive and see if I can get it to boot off of that.

I have decided to just build a new system in a couple of weeks, but I am DETERMINED to find out what is wrong with this thing. I have never had a system beat me and I am not going to start now, haha.

I appreciate your help.
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 717 V Motherboard
November 14, 2011 7:24:56 PM

So to understand, you get the (1) Beep and are getting NO e.g. BIOS/MOBO 'Splash Screen' - IF that's the case then I'd look at the GPU and Monitor and Cabling/Adapter.

IF you're seeing the Post 'Splash Screen' AND trying to Install Windows then: 1. HDD must be free of another OS, 2. ODD (DVD Drive) is not compatible. In the BIOS you can try both SATA -> AHCI and SATA -> IDE. Try a different ODD.
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November 15, 2011 1:34:56 PM

Yes, I am getting the splash screen and I can see the BIOS/modify the BIOS.

After the BIOS loads and it switches to load windows from the HDD or the ODD all I get is a black screen.
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 717 V Motherboard
November 15, 2011 2:18:07 PM

Then as I stated the problem is more than likely from the ODD. IMO - get a new e.g. $20 ASUS SATA DVD drive. But, first in the BIOS make sure the 'current' ODD is in the #1 Boot Priority position. There's also a small chance the Windows OS DVD is damaged.
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November 15, 2011 2:36:41 PM

Yes, that is what I have tried, including different boot priorities based on what I was trying to do.

But my question is how is it possible for two DVD drives and two HDD to go bad at the same time? That is why I was leaning towards the motherboard.

I wish I had a friend with a spare board I could test with.

Like I said I have some old IDE based drives at the house but I didn't get a chance to work on it last night. Hopefully tonight my master (the wife) will give me some time to mess with it.

Thanks for sticking through this with me, haha. I just want the answer to this problem, it is bothering the heck out of me!
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 717 V Motherboard
November 15, 2011 2:54:20 PM

Bad vs Unsupported. Typically 'IDE' drives are more a problem than SATA (ODD or HDD). I assume the ODD is a SATA type and not IDE. If using IDE drives then both the BIOS and drives must be setup correctly for Salve & Master; Review page 1-30 'IDE Connector' of your manual for proper connections.

Further, I assume you have the latest BIOS installed 1406. If not then use the ASUS EZ Flash 2 method -> http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/289507-30-what-flash
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