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Computer shuts down during bootup process

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December 11, 2010 7:32:19 PM

I have a 3.5 year old Desktop running Windows Vista. I have been having problems for a while where the computer will stop during the bootup process. It will get to the Windows splash page with the progress bar at the bottom and then just completely stop.

I can boot the computer into safe mode without a problem. Normally after anywhere from 4-6 tries the computer will boot normally and it not a problem, as long as I don't have to restart it.

I thought it was possibly a corrupt driver that was loading during the bootup process, so I decided to back everything up and reformat the computer. But that has not solved the problem. I also plugged it into the wall to verify, it was not the surge protector that was causing a problem (too simple a solution).

I have not made any recent hardware changes either. My only thought is that I may need to replace the power supply. I would like to get any feedback on this, before I replace it

Any thoughts as to what is causing the problem would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
a c 122 B Homebuilt system
December 13, 2010 4:25:33 PM

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 13, 2010 7:21:17 PM

jsc said:
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.


You, sir, are a genius and I love you. I was playing Dragon Age: Origins, and my video just randomly died on me. My instant reaction was to restart my computer since alt+tab/ctrl+alt+del wasn't working.

That's when the problems started. I built my computer early August (my first ever buildand had no problems until now. After that crazy shutdown during Dragon Age, my computer would turn on (fans/led lights) but no video and no beeps from the mother board. I would've never thought it was the PSU if it wasn't for this post. I ended up buying a OCZ ModXStream 700W 80+ Certified yesterday. I'll be finding out if this is the problem when I receive my new PSU. Hopefully it is and it isn't the mobo :( .

Specs:

Case: Rosewill Challenge
Graphics : XFX Radeon 5850 stocked
Mobo: Jetway JBI-600
CPU: i7-930 stocked
Memory: 12GB Mushkin Enhanced DDR3 1333
PSU: Rosewill Green Series 530W CONTINUOUS power 80+ Certified (soon to be OCZ ModXStream 700W)
HDD: Hitachi 1TB 7200 RPM
Optical Drive: Lite-on DVD-RW

Everything is set at stock speeds with no plans on OC'ing besides the GPU in CCC. And yes, I know, I went extremely budget with my computer. It was my first build tho :) .
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