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PC won't boot consistently

Tags:
  • Memory
  • Boot
Last response: in Memory
November 3, 2012 9:49:41 AM

Hi,

My computer graphics card was running a little hot (still below the specified max temp under load, ~70 degrees) when playing Diablo 3 even with the settings turned down. Eventually I bit the bullet and decided to clean the CPU and GPU fan/heatsink. I powered everything off, grounded myself and using an anti-static wrist strap I removed the fan from the CPU and cleaned the heatsink gently with a small brush. I then removed the GPU and the GPU fan and cleaned the fan and the heatsink (which were very dusty).

I reinstalled everything and the computer refused to boot. All fans and mobo light would come on and the HDD would spin but the monitor was not receiving a signal. The mobo did not beep and there was no obvious sounds of the HDD being accessed. I messed about a bit but couldn't get any progress.

After several hours I attempted to get the machine on again. I removed the graphics card and the memory and disconnected everything but the HDD and the mobo beeped continuously. I replaced the GPU, again lots of beeps to indicate no RAM installed.


I disconnected my second harddisk thinking that the PC was trying to boot from that instead of the HDD with the OS on it. I was able to get the machine to boot eventually with the 2nd HDD disconnected with 4 sticks of RAM installed (I reseated it).

The machine will not boot (the motherboard doesn't beep) when I hit the power switch. It powers on, then off, then on again but there is no beep, everthing just remains powered on but it doesn't POST. The machine will only boot when the reset switch on the front of the case is hit. It appears that the 2nd HDD must be disconnected for it to boot at all (the boot order in the bios appears to be correct though).

Unfortunately the machine will not boot consistently like this. I had the machine running last night but the OS was only recognizing 1GB of the 4GB installed RAM. I noticed this when I was playing Diablo III and I was getting incredible FPS drops when I tried to do anything, it was unplayable. I initially thought the GPU might be the culprit but when I checked the systeminfo I noticed the machine was only seeing 1GB of installed memory. I updated the drivers for the GPU (a GTX460) and shut the machine down with the intention booting into the bios to see if I could get it to recognize the other 3 x 1GB sticks of RAM. The machine wouldn't reboot though.

Ok...this morning the machine booted on the first attempt with the 2nd HDD drive and the USB mouse and keyboard disconnected. I didn't alter anything from my attempt the previous night apart from ensuring all these devices were disconnected. It is still only seeing 1GB of installed RAM in systeminfo. All 4GB of RAM is showing up in the SPD tab of CPU-Z. When the machine is on it is not sluggish and seems responsive. Since there's only ~400MB for something like Diablo III to use I guess this might explain why I get extreme FPS drops when I try to play it so at this point I'm assuming the GPU is good.

I did remove and replace the CMOS battery and got into the BIOS but I did not restore the BIOS defaults, I just made sure the boot order was correct.

Any ideas what I can try to get the machine to boot consistently and see all the RAM?

I don't have a second machine to test components on.

What I'll probably do is see if I can get it to boot consistently with 1GB of RAM installed. If I can do that I'll try to get into the BIOS and restore defaults, change the boot order and check any memory settings that might help.

If that doesn't work I might try a full reinstall of the OS. Would flashing the BIOS be worth it? Do I need to manually enter information for the RAM in the BIOS?

For what it's worth the RAM is as follows:
2 x 1GB sticks of Corsair CM2X1024-6400C4
2 x 1GB sticks of Crucual PC2-6400


Many thanks for your help in advance.

System info as follows:

Operating System Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium
Central Processor Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU @ 2.66GHz
Video Adapter NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460
Video Memory 1023.69 MB
Screen Resolution 1680 x 1050
Total Memory 1022.31 MB
Free Memory 320.19 MB
Total Hard disk 149.05 GB
Free Hard disk 21.48 GB
Mouse Logitech USB G3 (MX518) Optical Mouse
Keyboard USB Human Interface Device
OS Name Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium
OS Version 6.0.6002
Service Pack 2.0
System Up Time 02/11/2012 14:39:23
Internet Explorer Version 9.0.8112.16421
Microsoft DirectX Version 10.0
OpenGL Version 6.0.6000.16386 (vista_rtm.061101-2205)
Maximum Size 682 MB
Current Size 30 MB
CPU Name Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU @ 2.66GHz
Code Name Model 15, Stepping 7
Manufactory GenuineIntel
Current Clock Speed 2670 Mhz
Max Clock Speed 2670 Mhz
Voltage 1.3V
External Clock 266 Mhz
CPU ID x64 Family 6 Model 15 Stepping 7
Socket Designation LGA775
L1-Cache 128 KB
L2-Cache 8192 KB
L3-Cache 0 KB
Model P5Q SE PLUS
Manufactory ASUSTeK Computer INC.
Serial Number 106261250001299
BIOS Name BIOS Date: 08/28/09 15:37:45 Ver: 08.00.14
BIOS Vendor American Megatrends Inc.
SMBIOS Version 2204
BIOS Date 28/08/2009
BIOS Features
ISA is supported Yes
PCI is supported Yes
Plug and Play is supported Yes
APM is supported Yes
BIOS is Upgradable (Flash) Yes
BIOS shadowing is allowed Yes
ESCD support is available Yes
Boot from CD is supported Yes
Selectable Boot is supported Yes
BIOS ROM is socketed Yes
EDD (Enhanced Disk Drive) Specification is supported Yes
Int 13h - 5.25 /1.2MB Floppy Services are supported Yes
Int 13h - 3.5 / 720 KB Floppy Services are supported Yes
Int 13h - 3.5 / 2.88 MB Floppy Services are supported Yes
Int 5h, Print Screen Service is supported Yes
Int 9h, 8042 Keyboard services are supported Yes
Int 14h, Serial Services are supported Yes
Int 17h, printer services are supported Yes
Int 10h, CGA/Mono Video Services are supported Yes
ACPI supported Yes
USB Legacy is supported Yes
LS-120 boot is supported Yes
ATAPI ZIP Drive boot is supported Yes
Memory Resource
Total Memory 1022.31 MB
Used Memory 700.26 MB
Free Memory 322.05 MB
Memory Usage 0 Byte
Physical Memory
Memory Bank BANK0
Description Physical Memory 0
Device Locator DIMM0
Capacity 1.00 GB
Speed 800 Mhz
Manufactory Manufacturer0
Data Width 64 bit
Memory Type
Form Factor DIMM
Disk Drives
Name SAMSUNG HD161HJ ATA Device
Media Type Fixed hard disk media
Capability 149.05 GB
Interface Type IDE
Partitions 1
Total Cylinders 19457
Total Heads 255
Total Sectors 312576705
Total Tracks 4961535
Tracks Per Cylinder 255
Bytes Per Sector 512
Sectors Per Track 63
S.M.A.R.T Support Yes
Current Temperature 0C (32F)
CD-ROM Drive
Name PHILIPS SPD2412T ATA Device
Drive D:
Transfer Rate -1
Status OK
IDE Controller
Name Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller
Manufactory (Standard IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers)
Status OK
IDE Controller
Name ATA Channel 0
Manufactory (Standard IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers)
Status OK
IDE Controller
Name ATA Channel 1
Manufactory (Standard IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers)
Status OK
IDE Controller
Name Intel(R) ICH10 Family 4 port Serial ATA Storage Controller 1 - 3A20
Manufactory Intel
Status OK
IDE Controller
Name ATA Channel 0
Manufactory (Standard IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers)
Status OK
IDE Controller
Name ATA Channel 1
Manufactory (Standard IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers)
Status OK
IDE Controller
Name Intel(R) ICH10 Family 2 port Serial ATA Storage Controller 2 - 3A26
Manufactory Intel
Status OK
IDE Controller
Name ATA Channel 0
Manufactory (Standard IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers)
Status OK
IDE Controller
Name ATA Channel 1
Manufactory (Standard IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers)
Status OK
Video Adapter
Name NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460
Video Processor GeForce GTX 460
Manufactory NVIDIA
Video Architecture VGA
DAC Type Integrated RAMDAC
Memory Size 1023.69 MB
Memory Type Unknown
Video Mode 1680 x 1050 x 4294967296 colors
Current Refresh Rate 59 Hz
Driver Version 9.18.13.0697
Driver Date 02/10/2012 22:20:00
Monitor
Name SyncMaster 226BW(Digital)
Screen Height 1050
Screen Width 1680
Status OK
Local Area Connection 2
Product Name Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller
Service Name RTL8169
Manufactory Realtek
MAC Address 20:CF:30:25:0D:D B
Wireless Network Connection 2
Product Name abit AirPace Wi-Fi Wireless Network Adapter
Service Name athr
Manufactory Universal abit Co., Ltd
MAC Address NULL
Sound Device
Name NVIDIA High Definition Audio
Manufactory NVIDIA
Status OK
Mouse
Name Logitech USB G3 (MX518) Optical Mouse
Manufactory Logitech
Buttons 0
Status OK
Keyboard
Name USB Human Interface Device
Description Enhanced (101- or 102-key)
Function Keys 12
Status OK
USB Controller
Product Name Intel(R) ICH10 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 3A37
Manufactory Intel
Protocol Supported Universal Serial Bus
Status OK
USB Controller
Product Name Intel(R) ICH10 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 3A38
Manufactory Intel
Protocol Supported Universal Serial Bus
Status OK
USB Controller
Product Name Intel(R) ICH10 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 3A39
Manufactory Intel
Protocol Supported Universal Serial Bus
Status OK
USB Controller
Product Name Intel(R) ICH10 Family USB Enhanced Host Controller - 3A3C
Manufactory Intel
Protocol Supported Universal Serial Bus
Status OK
USB Controller
Product Name Intel(R) ICH10 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 3A34
Manufactory Intel
Protocol Supported Universal Serial Bus
Status OK
USB Controller
Product Name Intel(R) ICH10 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 3A35
Manufactory Intel
Protocol Supported Universal Serial Bus
Status OK
USB Controller
Product Name Intel(R) ICH10 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 3A36
Manufactory Intel
Protocol Supported Universal Serial Bus
Status OK
USB Controller
Product Name Intel(R) ICH10 Family USB Enhanced Host Controller - 3A3A
Manufactory Intel
Protocol Supported Universal Serial Bus
Status OK

More about : boot consistently

a c 133 } Memory
November 3, 2012 12:59:02 PM

It might be a CPU bent pins issue Try reinstalling the CPU and check for bent pins.
Related resources
November 3, 2012 1:27:23 PM

I don't think it has anything to do with bent pins since i didn't remove the heatsink, I just unclipped the fan. Thanks for the link h3sham, I'll as many of those suggestions as I can.
November 3, 2012 6:05:07 PM

Turns out one of the memory modules was defective. One of the slots on the motherboard also seems a little intermittent - would POST with some sticks often after several attempts, would not POST with other sticks.

I threw the remaining sticks into the 'good' slots on the motherboard and everything seems to be working fine.

Resolved thanks.