POST Screen appears after painfully long time

My system specs are:

Processor: Core 2 Duo
Motherboard: ASUS P5g41t-m LX
GPU: Nvidia 9500 GT
Optical drive: Samsung DVD RW
Power Supply: Some unbranded one that claims on its label it's 700W which I seriously doubt.

I have Windows 7 64 bit in HDD1 and OS X Lion in HDD 2 that I installed using Hackintosh distro. I press F8 key on POST screen which gives boot drive selection menu from where I select the HDD to boot from.

The system was running flawless on both operating systems until recently. The problems are listed below:

- Almost always it takes unusually long for POST screen to appear (around 60 to 90 seconds) whereas during good condition it used to appear within 5 to 10 seconds of power on
- Sometimes the system doesn't receive display signal
- If I take out power cables from all SATA drives but one, then the POST screen usually appears normally for sometime.
- At one time I removed ALL SATA drives, i.e. both HDDs and DVD then turned on, it turned on promptly without delay. Then I connected Optical drive and turned on, it turned on properly. Then connected the HDDs one by one, and it still turned on without delay. But this lasted only for 2 days after which the same problem, i.e, either POST screen appears after painfully long time or doesn't appear at all

Before this motherboard, I had Intel DG43NB and had both Os X and Win 7 and experienced exactly the same problem and my hardware guy told me that my motherboard had gone down so I replaced with this ASUS one. Again the same problem with this board

My questions:

- Where is the problem?
- Could the problem possibly be in the motherboard? I think it's unlikely because once the system starts it works flawlessly, i.e. no errors, no crashes, nothing.
- Could it be the power supply? Since it seems to work better with less load, i.e. some drives disconnected.
- Could it be the GPU?
- What's the best way to diagnose?
- Does the problem have anything to do with my frequently switching boot drive from POST startup menu?

Any help will be greatly appreciated since I am in the middle of an important project and I dread the day when I am not able to turn my machine on at all.

3 answers Last reply
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  1. It's yet unclear where the problem is, but you can now be sure about where the problem is not.

    The problem is not the motherboard, since you had the same problem with your last motherboard.

    It may be the power supply. Having the data cable connected but the power cable disconnected (or shorted) can cause the problem you're describing. You might try using a different power connector for any hardware in question.

    You can try re-seating the video card, but it doesn't sound like this is your problem.

    The best way to diagnose is to remove variables. That is, sequentially find out what the problem IS NOT in order to narrow your search.

    Frequently switching boot drive in the BIOS should not affect this issue.
  2. Thanks very much ECHOSIDE for your response. I'll surely try to narrow down the problem the way you described.

    I did indeed took out the display card, cleaned the contacts and reinserted but nothing changed. I'll try to remove/replace the power cables. Thanks again.

    I took out everything, even SATA and power cables of all drives but the problem remained. So the last thing that was left was the display card. I removed it and connected my monitor to the onboard VGA and it worked. The problem was the display card. I cleaned the contacts and reinserted the card and the problem went away. It's been two days and not a single glitch.

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