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Computer hangs at motherboard splash screen during initial boot up

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April 18, 2011 3:26:16 AM

Hey all,

I've had this problem with my computer for a couple months now. If I leave my computer off for any longer than a couple minutes, it will then hang at the initial motherboard splash screen(where it says to push a button to enter setup and whatnot). Then if I leave it on in this state for awhile(10-15+ minutes), turn it off, and then turn it on it will advance forward and boot as normal. Any idea what would cause this? I don't even know where to start with diagnosing such a thing.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
April 18, 2011 3:57:54 AM

So your computer can re-start fine if off for only a short time, but cannot do that if it's off for a few minutes. That suggests some component weakens rapidly in a few minutes with no power applied. I would suspect immediately the battery in the mobo that keeps the BIOS memory live. It is usually a silvery disc about the size of a quarter, mounted in a plastic holder on the mobo.

Disconnect the power cord to your machine and open the case. Find the battery and remove it - NOTE which way it is mounted - which side is out in the holder. Take it to a shop where they can test it and sell you a new one if needed - not very expensive. When you get back, BEFORE replacing it, look on the mobo near the battery holder for a set of 3 pins marked BIOS Reset, with a black plastic jumper on two of them. Move the jumper so it connects the middle pin to the other side and leave it that way for 10 to 15 seconds, then put it back in the original location. Now replace the battery in its holder, paying attention to which side is out, the way the original was mounted. Close up the case, reconnect the power cord and turn on. Push whatever key is used (often hold down the "Del" key) to get you into the BIOS Setup screens. Look on the last menu page for a place to load a default set of BIOS values - often the ones called Optimized default. Load that. IF you know that certain BIOS settings need to be changed, do that now, too. Then Save and Exit.

All this will ensure that your BIOS is completely reset to a stable set of values and your machine should boot OK. If the problem really was a dead battery, this will solve your problem.
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April 18, 2011 4:35:36 AM

Thanks Paperdoc, I'll try that. Would Best Buy or a similar store be a good place to get you CMOS tested?
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April 18, 2011 5:42:11 AM

What if you are having the opposite problem?
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
April 18, 2011 5:57:37 AM

Try just running it without he CMOS battery (it will reset your motherboard to defaults). That should at least fix your boot settings (especially "Optimized Defaults"). You can probably check in your Bios or with HWMonitor in Windows to see your CMOS Voltage. If it is low, you need a new one. You can buy a new CMOS battery at Walmart for like $2.

@wigglerthefish--Does that mean your computer randomly crashes in Windows? If so, the CMOS & defaults trick should also work.
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April 18, 2011 6:04:33 AM

wigglerthefish said:
What if you are having the opposite problem?


I'm not sure what you mean, wigglerthefish. In my brain, it seems like the opposite of my problem is that your computer boots normally! :D 
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April 19, 2011 12:43:10 AM

Requisition said:
I'm not sure what you mean, wigglerthefish. In my brain, it seems like the opposite of my problem is that your computer boots normally! :D 

It's just weird... The poor thing can boot up fine when it's off, but when you restart it it hangs, or doesn't boot at all... Haha I always get the weirdest of problems!
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
April 19, 2011 2:36:42 AM

I've often gone to The Source (formerly Radio Shack) because they stock lots of batteries and usually have a little testing machine for them. Many places that sell watch batteries may have the right one, but not always - this thing, the size of a quarter, is nothing like what fits in a watch. Some of those have testers, some just want to sell you the battery and have no way to test. A place like Best Buy that handles lots of computer stuff may do the job, too. I don't have one where I live so I can't really comment. Or, try a computer parts place.
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April 24, 2011 5:48:30 PM

I have replaced my CMOS battery, but unfortunately I still have the same problem. :( 

EDIT: New weirdness since replacing the CMOS battery.

First thing, after waiting the usual amount of time for my computer to advance past the splash screen, I got a warning message saying that, "CPU fan fail or speed too low" and I could either press F1 to continue or DEL to go to BIOS. I could see my fan was spinning as normal, so I went into BIOS and disabled the warning thinking it must have been disabled before as well.

As it booted and approached the windows login screen I could hear the fan start spinning quite harder. I was worried the past message was true and it was now too hot. So I quickly logged in and opened the program 'Speccy', but all my temperatures looked normal and the fan slowly went down to it's typical speed.

I then started to adjust the time as the new BIOS settings defaulted to the first of January 2007. I even downloaded a program to sync it to the atomic clock for supreme accuracy, but it said that the change it was trying to make was too great, so I started to change the settings to get it close enough for the program to sync it.

Well, during my time fiddling I still had Speccy open and could hear a fan suddenly jump up in speed and noise and I could see in Speccy that my graphics card had jumped up to 70ish degrees. O.o Once I got the time close enough for the program and synced my computer to the atomic clock, the graphics card slowed down and the temperature dropped. Any ideas on why that would happen?

And on top of it all, my computer is now detecting and has installed a floppy drive even though I have no such hardware in my computer. Each time I boot up it says that I need to format the floppy in it if I want to use it. I can't even begin to wonder what is happening to my poor computer. This is all on a fresh format too. T.T
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April 24, 2011 10:53:41 PM

Requisition said:
I have replaced my CMOS battery, but unfortunately I still have the same problem. :( 

EDIT: New weirdness since replacing the CMOS battery.

First thing, after waiting the usual amount of time for my computer to advance past the splash screen, I got a warning message saying that, "CPU fan fail or speed too low" and I could either press F1 to continue or DEL to go to BIOS. I could see my fan was spinning as normal, so I went into BIOS and disabled the warning thinking it must have been disabled before as well.

As it booted and approached the windows login screen I could hear the fan start spinning quite harder. I was worried the past message was true and it was now too hot. So I quickly logged in and opened the program 'Speccy', but all my temperatures looked normal and the fan slowly went down to it's typical speed.

I then started to adjust the time as the new BIOS settings defaulted to the first of January 2007. I even downloaded a program to sync it to the atomic clock for supreme accuracy, but it said that the change it was trying to make was too great, so I started to change the settings to get it close enough for the program to sync it.

Well, during my time fiddling I still had Speccy open and could hear a fan suddenly jump up in speed and noise and I could see in Speccy that my graphics card had jumped up to 70ish degrees. O.o Once I got the time close enough for the program and synced my computer to the atomic clock, the graphics card slowed down and the temperature dropped. Any ideas on why that would happen?

And on top of it all, my computer is now detecting and has installed a floppy drive even though I have no such hardware in my computer. Each time I boot up it says that I need to format the floppy in it if I want to use it. I can't even begin to wonder what is happening to my poor computer. This is all on a fresh format too. T.T

For you graphics card, have you installed the latest drivers?
I can't help with the ghost floppy drive though... You should inspect you motherboard and the port that your computer is recognizing the floppy in to make sure the pins aren't touching. If it's not the CMOS, consider RMAing the MOBO. It could be feeding to much power to the GPU... :/ 
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April 24, 2011 10:57:08 PM

Yep, fully up to date on my graphics card drivers. I've had this MOBO for a while, I'm not sure I can RMA it.
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April 24, 2011 11:14:49 PM

Requisition said:
Yep, fully up to date on my graphics card drivers. I've had this MOBO for a while, I'm not sure I can RMA it.

Did you check the floppy connector pins?
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January 31, 2014 7:21:30 PM

Maybe I,m Out of lione but have you vacuumed it out lately? It sounds like you have a heat gremlin....

DUST KILLS!!!!!!!!Argh, I'm Dying...
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