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Intermittent boot problem on new cyberpower system

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March 12, 2011 12:39:27 PM

Hi,

I recently got a new system from cyberpower and am having some issues. The most concerning is what i believe to be a POST failure. Several times I have not been able to start/boot the system. It powers on and the hdd indicator light blinks and you hear 1 small noise - like a chirp not even 1/2 long, then about 20 seconds later it does it again. Bios never loads and I get no signal to the monitor. After letting the computer sit turned off for about 30 minutes, sometimes it will boot normally and then something will happen and the same issue happens again. Any suggestions? Also, is this a decent build?

Intel® Core™ i7-950 3.06 GHz 8M Intel Smart Cache LGA1366
12GB (2GBx6) DDR3/1600MHz Triple Channel Memory Module
GigaByte GA-X58A-UD3R Intel X58 Chipset SLI/CrossFireX Ultra Durable™3 Triple-Channel DDR3/1600 ATX Mainboard
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 1.5GB 16X PCIe Video Card
Intel Pro Gigabite 10/100/1000 Network Card
Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium (64-bit Edition)
800 Watts - XtremeGear Gaming Power Supply - Quad SLI Ready
30 GB Kingston 2.5 inch SATA Gaming MLC Solid State Disk
1TB SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 64MB Cache 7200RPM HDD
Azza Hurrican 2000 Full Tower Gaming Case with 4 Hot Swappable HDD Cage & (4) 230MM Fans
Asus BC-08B1LT 8X Blu-Ray Player & DVDRW Combo
HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO
March 12, 2011 1:31:18 PM


If that doesn't help, continue.
The following is an expansion of my troubleshooting tips in the breadboarding link in the "Cannot boot" thread.

I have tested the following beep patterns on Gigabyte, eVGA, and ECS motherboards. Other BIOS' may be different, but they all use a single short beep for a successful POST.

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, long single beeps, or series of short beeps indicate a problem with the memory. If you get short beeps verify that the memory is in the appropriate motherboard slots.

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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March 12, 2011 1:40:10 PM

That guide is a bit over my head, as I don't usually go inside my pc and cyberpower built the system (not me). And like I said, it does work a lot of the time (It's actually working right now).

I looked up the bios and it's Award. I d/l'd and installed biosagentplus which says it cant identify my bios version and that its bad and needs updating. I would likely do this but the program costs 30 bucks and I'm pretty sure there is a free alternative around, I just don't know what it is.

Could my bios have been causing the problem this whole time?

Also the problem seems to happen more when there is some type of power problem, e.g. when I first plugged it in, after in home power surges (yes I do have a surge protector - it's a strip not battery backup), and after running for a long period of time. Don't know if this makes any particular issue more or less likely.
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March 13, 2011 12:13:04 AM

That power supply is pretty bad if you can find a different one to test with it would help a lot or call Cyberpower tech support and explain what is going on.
Anything branded xtreme gear or cyper power is questionable.
I would never use either of those branded power supplys.
If you read their own forums people have a lot of issues with those power supplys they should contain a warning use at your own risk.
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