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3 problems with year old home built system

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August 18, 2012 1:19:13 AM

I built my PC by myself just about a year ago. It was my 3rd build and went relatively smoothly. Pretty high end parts and no issues since I built it.

About 5 days ago, I started having 3 separate problems....

1) The first problem is that my main monitor (an ASUS 27 incher that is a couple of years old) won't wake up if it goes to sleep. It also doesn't start up on boot until I get to the windows log-in screen. My secondary monitor will boot up (so i can use it to see the bios menu) but not the main one.

2) The 2nd issue is that it appears that my PC isn't recognizing 2 of my 3 hard drives until I actually log into windows. I have an SSD (which holds windows and a couple of games) and two 800 GB regular hard drives for data. One of the regular HD's is recognized at boot (and in the BIOS) but it doesn't appear that the other 2 are. Once I log into windows, I hear 2 "beeps" indicating that the system has recognized 2 new pieces of hardware (presumably the SSD and the other HD) and then they work fine after that. I can access anything I want off of any drive and even play games for hours without a problem (unless the 3rd problem happens).

3) My computer has basically crashed a handful of times. It has usually happened while web browsing, but happened once during gaming as well. Basically, whatever I'm doing on the screen freezes for like 20 seconds, and then I get a picture of my desktop (but with no icons) and then the screen goes black.



Considering whatever is going on appears to be affecting my SSD, one HD, maybe my vid card and my monitor, I have to presume its a motherboard issue, right?



FWIW, when I try a re-start, I get a black screen during boot with the message "Reboot and Select Proper Media device or Insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key_". The only way to get past this screen is to actually turn off the computer manually (at which point I get the message that tells me windows was shut down incorrectly the option to boot from safe mode.


I can't imagine this is any sort of virus or anything like that. I haven't installed any new programs and I tried a system restore to go back a week or so, but that didn't help. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Full specs below....



Case: Coolermaster HAF 32 full tower
Power supply: Coolermaster Enthusiast series 750 Watt
Motherboard: ASROCK P67 Extreme 4
Processor: Intel i5 2500K sandy bridge
Vid card: NVIDIA 570 GTX
RAM- 16 Gigs GSkill rip jaws X series (4 x 4 gigs)
SSD (boot drive)- 128 Gig Crucial M4
HD X 2- 800 GB western digital caviar black
a b B Homebuilt system
August 18, 2012 1:51:06 AM

Make sure your SSD is up to the most recent firmware level. Do you have a spinning drive where you can clone the boot drive and recreate issues without the SSD ?

"I have to presume its a motherboard issue, right? " No, MBs do not have mainframe class checking. Any device can fail in a way that it looks like another component is failing. SSDs are notorious for introducing instability (but getting much better). PSUs can do this. A partially inserted PCIe card can do this. A failing disk can do this. etc.

Can you switch your primary and secondary monitors and see if the problem moves ? (so we can rule out a problem with the ASUS monitor and assuem video card problem triggered by something)

Do you have a second video card you can swap in for the 570 and see if problem stops (could be video, PSU, etc. if 2nd card has no problem)

Do you have another PSU you can swap in? (if so I might do this first)

Assume no OC or you would have told us.


August 18, 2012 2:21:23 AM

Sorry, forgot to mention that my CPU is overclocked to 4.5 Ghz (using the Zalman CNPS9900MAX-B 135mm) for cooling. All the other components are running stock. This OC has always been rock solid.

Gonna check to make sure the Vid card and everything else is seated properly. I already swapped out the SATA cable for the SSD, but no change. I'll also try switching the monitors.

I do have the PS from my last build lying around, but I'd obviously prefer not to do this if at all possible.

I'll also look to see if my SSD needs new firmware. (although I don't think this is the problem, as my system isn't recognizing one of my regular HD's in the bios either)

Thanks for your response
August 19, 2012 4:08:37 PM

So I seem to have partially solved a couple of my problems.

I swapped in an older video card which solved the issue of the PC not recognizing one of the monitors until I log into windows. So I have to conclude that one of the 2 ports on the vid card is at least partially fried.

It also appears that 2 of my 4 SATA 3 ports are messed up, as they don't show up in BIOS and hard drives plugged into them aren't recognized in BIOS. (and in windows, they show up as SCSI devices rather than SATA 3). So I can get all my drives to show up in BIOS and set up my boot order by simply avoiding those SATA ports (kinda sucks that they're failing after less than a year)

So now I'm gonna try and use the older video card for a day or so to see if I have any crashes or other problems. If I don't, I have to assume there is an issue with the video card and I'll try to get it replaced (should still be under warranty)
!