HELP! Boot problems after dust cleaning

I opened my case for its monthly cleaning and saw dust buildup on under the GPU fans. I proceeded to remove the graphics card. It gave me some resistance even after flipping the little switch. It released after a little "crack" sound. It wasn't big. It was enough for me to look around at the motherboard, but I didn't see anything and the motherboard was still solidly in place. I didn't think much of it after that. I got my compressed air and started blowing out the dust from both the computer and the GPU. I hold the can upright and spray stuff pretty directly. At one point I noticed I could actually see the stream from the didn't look quite right. Again, I wasn't obviously spraying fluid and at this point I really don't think I was, but it's in my head.

Link to computer booting:

When I boot up
1. My mobo screen appears
2. Windows start screen appears
3. Windows starts to launch and then fails (error code 60 which in the manual is "DXE core is started") I do not know what this means htough...
4. My mobo screen appears again

What I have tried:
Re-seating GPU, RAM,. Tried them all in different slots.
Tried a differnt GPU in different PCI slots
Replugged all connections to the motherboard
Cleared CMOS by button and battern
Repair via Windows 7 Disc - went through entire repair sequence and it said that it could not repair. I checked the log and it seemed all checks were "successful"
Replaced hard drive cord (not the harddrive itself - i dont have another one to test)
Tried different SATA ports.
Inspection reveals no cracks, bent pins, etc on any component.
Ran widows memory tool

My system is 1.5 years old. I have had 0 problems before this event.
ASRock P67 Extreme 4
MSI R6950 Twin Frozr II Radeon HD 2GB
Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750 Vs 750W ATX 12v
Intel Core i5-2500k Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz
Windows 7

If anyone can fully diagnose the problem, I have no issue replacing parts (mobo probably?). I just dont want to toss money at a problem I dont yet understand
26 answers Last reply
More about help boot problems dust cleaning
  1. if you have onboard video i would see if the mb will boot from it.if not try moving the video card to the other video slot if there one on your mb. check the pci slot on the mb for damage..bent pins or the connector snapped. check the video card for damaged pins or a broken trace or broken part. most times small solider on caps one gets ripped off and falls onto the mb or slot. i just hope that crack sound was not a mb trace snapping.
  2. I looked at the video and it's a Stop 7B error i.e. a hardware failure error.

    Normally -- I would pull and reseat the GPU, RAM and all of the PSU connections -- hoping something is loose. Yes, I see that you did that.

    However, "It released after a little "crack" sound" is the damaged component -- if the crack sound came from the MOBO then chances are the cure is replace the MOBO or ditto the GPU.

    Further, the problem with compressed air is that it can blow out sub-zero liquid and if anything was warm/hot then you can crack and damage anything it's in contact. Reason I use and recommend air compressors and never clean when the PC or components are still warm.

    Try -> Now the ASRock has (2) PCIe slots, so try the second PCIe slot and pray.
  3. I did a little research and that looks like a problem that may come with your MOBO, I will look a little more but do you have any other RAM you can test with it?

    Were you able to check the MOBO for damage?

    The thread I saw regarding your problem was solved by replacing the RAM, try booting with only 1 stick and try it in different banks. You could have damaged a connection between the MOBO and the RAM when removing the GPU, just because thats what you were dealing with when you heard the crack does not mean it was necessarily on that part of the MOBO.
  4. Those compressed air cans can spray some of the liquid co2 and you may wqant to tyr the vaccum and put the hose on the output so you can get the air blowing out of the hase and make sure that the video card is completly dry. You can also wait for a good amount of time even up to a day of drying to make sure that the card is completly dry. The good news is that there was no smoke or burning smell which would have been very bad for the video card.
    If it's not the video card then we go back to that cracking noise that you heard and that could be bad if there is a hairline crack in something. An easy way to examine the MB is to take a flashlight and with your finger lightly press on parts of the MB around the video card area and use the light to help see is there is anything that looks like it's damaged, it doesn't take much pressure from you finger so there would be no chance of doing anything to the board , you just want to move the surface of the board a bit to see if there is anything there.
    Also you can do the same to the slot the video card was in to see if it's loose and compare it to the other slots on the board.
    This all could lead to nothing but you should eliminate the possability of it being one of those things.
  5. Well most compressed air cans today use difluoroethane or ___fluoroethane derivatives. It's essentially the same chemical used in modern A/C's use as a refrigerant; −50 °C.
  6. Thanks for the advice so far... I'll repost after trying the above suggestions.
  7. I reset the RAM, tried different slots, and used each independantly of the to avail. I dont have any other RAM to try though...

    Physical Inspection - I found no cracks, missing pins, etc on any equipment

    I tried another GPU to no avail.

    I tried the GPUs in other PCI slots, to no avail.
  8. Then your MOBO is toast, it's under warranty so contact ASRock. You might want to ask if they have some form of 'Cross Ship' RMA options; essentially they place a hold on your credit card and and send you out a refurbished MOBO in a day or two.

    Cross Shipping RMA <1 week vs Conventional RMA 2-4 weeks.
  9. A guy from another forums seems to be thinking hard drive and is saying to check "my sata setting" and run a "chkdsk from console." I guess this is my last attempt before looking at replacing the Mobo.

    Can someone explain how to do this?
  10. If the Stop 7B happened after you 'cleaned' the HDD then sure I'd buy into that Googled conclusion, but a Stop 7B can be a generalized 'Hardware Failure' and I didn't see 'INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE' in your video ~18 seconds.


    Cause of STOP 0x0000007B Errors

    STOP 0x0000007B errors are caused by device driver issues (especially those related to hard drive and other storage controllers), viruses, data corruption, and sometimes even hardware failures.

    If STOP 0x0000007B isn't the exact STOP code you're seeing or INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE isn't the exact message, please check my Complete List of STOP Error Codes and reference the troubleshooting information for the STOP message that you are seeing.
  11. You can put in your Windows disc and see if there is an option to use the chkdsk from it. If there ia a problem with the hard drive sometimes chkdsk will automaticly come up and run so there also could be an option to use it withut the disc. When starting the computer try using sae mode and see if there is an option there for chkdsk or even let Windows load in safe mode if you havn't tried that allready.
  12. You can try to move the SSD/HDD to a different bank of SATA Ports and see if the 'crack' didn't damage all of the SATA pathways -- if that's problem. Otherwise you 'can' try a different HDD from another PC and try to boot.
  13. CHKDSK found no errors, bad files, etc.

    Tried all SATA ports.
  14. It does now sound like a RMA is in order and before send it in double check for any damage because if they get the board and find some damage they will say that you damaged it and the warranty is void and charge you to ship it ack to you. So to save yourself some money really check it over.
  15. I was afraid of that. So you guys are pretty certain it is the motherboard?

    Unless I can get this cross-shipping option through ASRock, I'm probably just going to buy a new one. Mine is discontiued but they have a new gen board.

    Since I'm not a whiz at this stuff it would be easiest for me to get the same (I dont need to figure out what goes where again, change pylons, etc).

    How do people recommend removing the thermal paste from the CPU and heatsink?
  16. There are lots of guide for removing TMI, usually coffee filters, microfiber clothes, etc.. and as pure as you can get Isopropyl alcohol (95%+). You made sure to check the underside of the board for damage correct?
  17. Without being there to get hands on there is not 100% certianty, we can only go by your reporting of the condition and what you are saying your trying. Do you have any kind of computer repair shop nearby where someone can look at it or a Best Buy.
  18. Nefarious said:
    I was afraid of that. So you guys are pretty certain it is the motherboard?

    The key item was the GPU (known good) failing. There's no guarantees and the only way is to test ALL of the components on a different PC and if they all work then by process of elimination only the MOBO and CPU are left, and I seriously doubt cleaning killed the CPU.
    Nefarious said:
    Unless I can get this cross-shipping option through ASRock, I'm probably just going to buy a new one. Mine is discontiued but they have a new gen board.

    ASRock I'm sure has a few on hand and if they don't then they'd offer a similar replacement MOBO and/or offer you an upgrade (for a fee). Otherwise buying a new MOBO is your choice...
    Nefarious said:
    How do people recommend removing the thermal paste from the CPU and heatsink?

    Personally, use use Q-Tips (ones without 'stuff' on them), paper towels, Isopropyl alcohol (90%+). I remove both the CPU and HSF first, and clean them first with the paper towels and Isopropyl alcohol a couple times to remove the majority of the TIM, and then dip the Q-Tips head in Isopropyl alcohol and clean 2-3 more times, and lastly blow-off any lint. Both surfaces must be cleaned. You 'can' (optionally) purchase cleaner like Arcticlean - but I found absolutely no differences in cooling.

    Then I prefer MX-4 TIM - and once the CPU is re-installed (LGA 1155) I create a thin line ~3/8" long and re-install the HSF. I do not recommend older TIM like AS5, the newer TIM's perform better, have no curing time, and no risk of any form of conductivity.
  19. Disconnect everything from your motherboard except memory or CPU.

    Put power to the Motherboard and CPU fan. Hook up on board video. If you get video then your Motherboard is fine. Next step would be hook up your Video Card. Again check for video.

    Other then that its possible you cracked your motherboard when you were removing the graphics card. Hence the cracking sound you heard. Its possible you broke a trace on the board. If that is the case all you can do is get a replacement then.
  20. If you tried spookyman's option, I'd say try to replace HDD, freshly install Windows (no need of using key, since it's gonna be deleted of your backup HDD). Now if you install Windows and be able to boot up in Windows, it's your HDD, but before getting a backup HDD from a friend or someone, or your older ones, I say try the HDD from the PC that cracked, on someone else's PC.
    If it doesn't work, try reinstalling Windows on the other PC, and putting the HDD in your PC.
  21. Spooky - this mobo doesn't have on board video... unfortunate i know.

    Kajcha - What will I lose by doing a fresh windows install? Files? Downloaded programs?

    This is what ASRock wants me to do:
    Please set the UEFI BIOS default (press F9 in BIOS), save and exit.
    Test with 1 memory stick in A1 slot, try with another memory if its same issue.
    Install fresh Windows instead of repair to check if its solved.
    Try with another known good HDD and Windows Installation disc.

    Problem is I only have this system and one hard drive. I've got someone coming over to look at it tonight. Hopefully all this information and an "IT guy" getting hands on will get to a solution.
  22. FIXED!

    This IT connection guy game over and changed one setting in the BIOS.

    IDE was selected in the "storage" section, and he changed it to AHCP or something like that...hence the "A3" error I was getting.

    Thanks to everyone who helped out. I learned a lot during this process lol.
  23. Well good to hear it's fixed , how the heck did the sata mode get changed to IDE.
  24. Yeah after blowing with a dust can....crazy
  25. After rereading your first post , clearing the cmos will do it. But you only did that because your computer wouldn't start.
  26. Nefarious said:
    A guy from another forums seems to be thinking hard drive and is saying to check "my sata setting" and run a "chkdsk from console." I guess this is my last attempt before looking at replacing the Mobo.

    Can someone explain how to do this?

    That was the sata settings he was talking about, AHCI rather than IDE. But as inzone says who knows why it didnt start in the first place.

    Glad it is working.
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