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What causes this problem?

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January 7, 2011 8:43:14 AM

I bought a new i3 550 with 4 gigs of ram, 64 bit win 7, 1 TB Hard drive and voided the warranty on day one by installing my own TT Toughpower Power Supply and a decent 4850 graphics card.

My problem arised on day 2 when I turned on the computer and it wouldn't get pass the bios screen.
The hard drive activity light would work for a few seconds and then both the hard and keyboard light went dead.
I even tried to enter the bios and nothing.

I was thinking to myself, Oh *** a faulty motherboard!

But today I removed a kingston 16 GB usb drive that I had connected to the new computer to install something on my brother's computer and I thought to myself later, I wonder if that tiny little thing could be the culprit.

Turned the computer on and wouldn't you know, the bloody thing works again, firing on all cylinders and this time loading up windows.
Plugged in the usb device and restarted the computer and it still worked. But then I shut down the computer and started it back up and it failed to load. Took out the usb drive and windows loaded up again.

No doubt the problem has been the usb drive but why?
It has no OS on it so why would the computer try to boot from it?
And why couldn't I even enter the bios with it plugged in?

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January 7, 2011 9:00:31 AM

Normally I would say power issues but do not think that is the case here more that the the system is hanging on boot looking for something it cant find. Try this first check the boot order in BIOS setting, disable as well option to boot from USB.
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January 7, 2011 9:07:47 AM

Thanks, will do so.
I've got to stop leaving my usb drives attached too ;-)
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January 7, 2011 9:18:54 AM

EDIT - This HP computer may have an msi motherboard but the bios is piss weak.
No temps, voltages or even an option to stop usb drives from booting. I would have to have the drive connected to change the boot priority but I can't access the bios with the drive connected so I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't. Only option really is to remember to take the usb drive out before I shut down every time...

I scored the computer for dirt cheap at a clearance sale so can't complain too much....
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January 7, 2011 11:03:16 AM

My Gigabyte and eVGA motherboards will boot with a USB flash drive plugged in. My ECS motherboard will not.
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January 7, 2011 12:09:07 PM

I can boot with my mobile broadband usb modem plugged in. Perhaps because windows is detecting it as a cd drive and not a removable drive.
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January 7, 2011 1:27:38 PM

It shouldn't be detected as a CD drive. It should be reading as a mass storage device.

Even without the flash drive plugged in, you can still access the boot menu, and disable all other boot devices, besides the hard drive. Since you have a locked down OEM BIOS, you may or may not have the USB boot options to disable/enable.
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January 7, 2011 1:36:59 PM

The funny thing is my older pc detected it as a cd drive too and would always load up the driver for it upon starting windows for about 5 consecutive days if I had a new hard drive and then it would just accept it after that.
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January 7, 2011 1:56:34 PM

There's one other thing I'm concerned about and that's HWMonitor and CPU-Z showing my i3 550 voltage as 1.70 even though I haven't manually adjusted the voltage or over-clocked. Idle temps are around 35c and upon intensive work, it reaches about 52 c. There are no readings at all with my rails too ( toughpower 500 watt running a 4850 )
Should I be concerned about this or is it likely a very faulty sensor?
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January 7, 2011 2:05:37 PM

How did you adjust the voltages? Normally OC options aren't available in a locked down BIOS. You may want to verify the settings. If they are what you want them to be in the BIOS, and CPUZ is reading them wrong, try resetting to defaults in the BIOS, and compare to CPUZ. Do both change accordingly?
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January 7, 2011 2:13:53 PM

I didn''t adjust any voltages and bios has no option to read voltages or even temps so I can't verify. What I find puzzling is the fact I get no rail readings with any software for the psu. To me it sounds like I may had knocked a sensor when installing the power supply.
As you can see, it was one hell of a fit with the dvd burner so close. I actually thought I damaged the burner as the cables kept knocking into it.
http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/874/009zn.jpg
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January 7, 2011 2:29:48 PM

That's not too bad. The cables don't look too wrenched. Usually the sleeves on the PSU cables will slide down. That will allow more flexibility in the cables. That'll help relieve the pressure on the connectors.

My fault...I thought it said that you had adjusted the voltages. I'm not sure the exact readings you're looking at, but it's probably the core voltage, which is a motherboard voltage setting. It's not a CPU issue, that's just what your motherboard is set to by default.
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January 7, 2011 2:54:53 PM

I get the following with cpu-z
cpu v core - 1.67 to 1.70
VIN1 - As above most of the time
VIN2 - 1.65

Thanks for your help btw, much appreciated!
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Best solution

January 7, 2011 3:19:09 PM

Those are pretty safe. That's probably why they are the default. When someone OC's, it usually requires increasing that core voltage, which can cause damage if it gets too high. Your current voltages seem fine.

It's not uncommon to get slightly different readings when using different programs.
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January 14, 2011 1:25:41 PM

Best answer selected by blackclouds.
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January 14, 2011 1:29:32 PM

Thanks for the vote. :) 
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