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PC wont boot past BIOS sreen after using memtest x86

Last response: in Motherboards
March 23, 2012 2:50:47 PM

I was having problems with my pc crashing, BSOD and IRQ not less than or equal to and several STOP messages.

The thinking was it could well be a RAM problem so I created the memtestx86 ISO disk and left it running for a week, all tested ok no errors.

Unfortunately now my pc wont boot at all and freezes on the BIOS screen. I cant access the CMOS. Ive tried running the system as bare as possible but it still wont boot! HELP The MOBO is a Gigabyte G41M and the CPU is a E3300 2.5GHZ Intel.

I have tested the power supply and all appears fine. I have also tried, I have tried swapping memmory sticks 1 at a time etc.

I am now truly stuck HELP!
a c 716 V Motherboard
March 23, 2012 3:26:55 PM

Welcome to Tom's Forum! :) 

I noticed your other post - and

I would indeed purchase or somehow borrow a case speaker; buy -

The Beep pattern 'should' suggest what component is acting up, otherwise it is a guessing game. If you have a different GPU or have a e.g. GA-G41M-ES2L use the integrated graphics.

Statistically, after ruling-out other components and assuming you indeed did a proper Clear CMOS (see below), then it's 80% MOBO to 20% CPU failure rate. However, booting to Memtest suggests that the RAM, CPU and MOBO are okay. Leaving ANYTHING else connected including a failed HDD, Keyboard, Mouse, etc so disconnect them ALL plus any headers especially USB. While running Memtest the load is low so that might easily suggest a bad PSU. Keep in mind older PSU's lose over time 20%~30% of their capacity i.e. 'electrolytic capacitor aging.'

Make damn sure you did a 'proper' Clear CMOS procedure. Unplug the PSU for 5~10 minutes until the PSU is full discharged then using the Jumper method see ->

Make damn sure your PSU isn't the problem, testing with a digital voltage meter is no guarantee (voltage + AMPS).

Q - Can you boot off your original OS CD/DVD?
March 23, 2012 4:09:44 PM


To begin at the begining, I was self building a home server. I bought all the kit MOBO, RAM, CASE + PSU, 2 x 2TB HDD and even WHS 2011.

I had a 320Gb sata lying around from a pretty new machine so i decided to use that as a HDD for the OS. I also had a CPU from the same old machine so I bought a MOBO to match as i was attempting to save some cash!

Put it all together and all worked fine as far as i could tell. Then after a few hours started to get the BOSD problems shortly followed by random IRQ NOT LESS THAN EQUAL TO and random STOP messages.

After reading several posts on here and alike, one of the suggestions was bad ram, so I downloaded memtest x86 and ran that for 5 days. It ticked along happily with no errors so I decided to move on to the next suggestion in the list. So I exited the memtest program and re-booted the machine. Now it only boots to what I call the BIOS screen, telling me what mobo and cpu it is.

It wont let me enter the BIOS/CMOS or any kind of setup utility.

I have tested the PSU as I said, but as an engineer, I accept the the readings may not always tell the real story!

I am now lost

Regarding the clearing of CMOS I probably only powered it all down for a few mins

Please help

Related resources
a c 716 V Motherboard
March 23, 2012 4:22:06 PM

Clearing the CMOS has zip to do with 'entering' the BIOS; follow the video and don't over-think it. A BSOD 'IRQ NOT LESS THAN EQUAL' can have its' origins from all sorts of things and RAM just being the 'tip of the iceberg.'

Q - What EXACT MOBO? ; provide a link
Q - What EXACT CPU? ; provide a link
Q - What EXACT RAM? ; provide a link
Q - What EXACT BIOS revision?

Yeah, the first thing I'm going to do is verify compatibility...
a c 716 V Motherboard
March 23, 2012 4:26:49 PM

Q - Did you replace and clean the old (TIM) Thermal paste when you installed the CPU and HSF?

So I assume that you cannot boot off the OS DVD...correct?
a c 716 V Motherboard
March 23, 2012 7:49:57 PM

Gigabyte G41M combo ; note there are (2) different versions -
CPU support (confirmed)
Version (1.3) requires BIOS F1 (first release) ; there are 3 releases F1, F2 & F3
Version (1.4) requires BIOS F4 (first release)

Memory (same on both versions):
2 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 8 GB of system memory (Note 1)
Dual channel memory architecture
Support for DDR3 1333(O.C.)/1066/800 MHz memory modules
2 x 1.8V DDR2 DIMM sockets supporting up to 8 GB of system memory (Note 1)
Dual channel memory architecture
Support for DDR2 1066(O.C.)/800/667 MHz memory modules

RAM (compatible):
Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) Ballistix Sport DDR2 800MHz CL5 1.8v 240pin


Assuming Clear CMOS, as I posted the procedure fails then:

Especially, if the case has 'cheapo' pseudo standoffs (punch-outs) this can cause a grounding or short. Breadboarding is best at this stage; full removal of the MOBO from its' case with bare minimal connections.

If it won't post or boot then use the onboard video, and disconnect all USB devices, HDD/DVD, GPU (if discrete), ANY front panel and short the PWR+ and PWR- with a screw driver. (see page 16 of manual)

If that fails then unscrew, better to remove the MOBO from its' case, all MOBO screws pull the MOBO away from anything conductive and again short the PWR+ and PWR- with a screw driver.

Failure, try a different PSU. Use only a stock HSF; (no metal to MOBO contact) metal back plates or standoffs in direct contact can cause a grounding/short.
a c 716 V Motherboard
March 24, 2012 7:53:22 PM

Yes, I've had plenty of experience with Post and Boot failures.

Breadboard as I've recommended above. If the problem persists then try a different PSU, and if it still fails then RMA the MOBO.
March 26, 2012 1:49:40 PM

I have tried your reccomendations exept I dont have a spare PSU at the moment.

I tried F1 as the video on you tube shows but my bord says to hit <DEL> this is what happens when I do, it just hangs on this screen

Award Modular BIOS v6.00PG
Copyright (C) 1984 - 2010, Awrd Software, Inc

G41M Combo F4

Main Processor : Intel (R) Celeron (R) CPU E3300@2.5Ghz (200 x 12.5)
<CPUID:0001067A Patch ID:0A0B>

Prepare to Enter Setup.........

MOBO or PSU ? Gamble
March 28, 2012 6:41:42 AM

MOBO RMA'd On way back to supplier.
a c 716 V Motherboard
March 28, 2012 2:04:05 PM

Keep in mind IF the PSU is the ROOT PROBLEM it can kill any MOBO it's attached to and since you didn't have a spare PSU I'd RMA the PSU as well.

I'm having that fun myself on one of my rigs - PSU killed the MOBO, MOBO confirmed bad, RMA MOBO same problem -- PSU killed them both. End result RMA (2) MOBO's and (1) PSU + crap load of time...
March 29, 2012 1:29:51 PM

How do you suggest testing the PSU ? I tested it under load and it gave the correc readings, have you had them mess about any more than that?

I suppose they could spike which the MOBO wont like!

I need to get this sorted asap so I can get on with my home media project.
a c 716 V Motherboard
March 29, 2012 2:05:46 PM

The thing that kills a MOBO is the Voltage, so the only way to test it is to remove it and use the 'paper clip' test + load e.g. a fan and to have a Digital Voltage Meter.

There are (2) bad situations for a PSU to your MOBO: 1. Too high/low voltages, 2. Amperage. The bad voltage is what kills your MOBO. Fans spinning means nothing in either of those two cases. I'm dealing with a bad PSU with a Voltage issue right now via an RMA.

Paper clip test -
Voltage points -

PSU Testers -
Otherwise get a Digital Voltage Meter locally for at least DC ($20~$35+)
March 29, 2012 4:58:22 PM

Yeah mate as I said earlier I have tested the PSU under load and all the voltages are per spec.

a c 716 V Motherboard
March 29, 2012 5:23:48 PM

Then you have nothing to worry about! :)