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Ugly boot. please help

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January 14, 2002 1:49:08 PM

Anyone seen this:

During a reboot (warm or cold) I'll get no beeps and my monitor will sleep as if it's not getting a video signal.
I reboot a couple of times. Sometimes I can hear a single post beep as if everything is fine, but no video.

I can sometimes get around this by actually pulling the power cord on my box, waiting a few seconds and starting it up again. Oftentimes when I do this rather harsh thing it will reset my bios so to speak. The clock multiplier and memory CAS settings and whatnot are all set to factory defaults. I'll reset them all and reboot. Sometimes this works, other times I'm back at the start of this whole procedure with blank video.

The only possible "event" recently was the addition of a second nic. Other than this really annoying boot problem once things are up the system is rock solid. I've just been leaving it running to avoid the reboot mess. I haven't had a crash/error since I installed the OS about 2 months ago.

Specs:
1.33Ghz T-bird
Motherboard: can't remember. It's a 760northbridge and a Via southbridge though.
512MB CAS2 DDR.
9GB 10krpm SCSI drive (boot drive for OS, quake and pagefile)
40GB 7200rpm ATA/100 drive (for everything else)
Ti500 video
3COM and Netgear NICS
SCSI CDROM - dunno brand
SCSI Yamaha CDBurner
Windows XP OS - Fully patched, all drivers updated.
I'm a bit behind on flashing my bios - I'll give that a shot.

Anyone have any ideas?

More about : ugly boot

January 14, 2002 8:30:31 PM

I know this sounds stupid and you've probably already checked, but... make sure all cards and RAM are seated properly. Perhaps also check if there may be a heat problem with the vid card... can't really think of anything else off the top of my head.
January 15, 2002 1:33:12 AM

It could be an issue with your PSU. With an AMD processor, the recommendation is 20A for the +3.3V line, and 30A for the +5V. This is continuous, not peak.

I ran into a similar situation in the early part of last year with a GF2 card and a 1GHz Athlon on a KT133 mainboard with a couple of Seagate SCSI drives and several PCI cards. I also had to pull the power cord and wait a bit before being able to boot the system and have a visible display. The monitor also had a tendency to "go to sleep" during game play. (The situation with the BIOS settings also sounds very familiar.) I discovered that neither a 300W or a 400W Antec PSU was sufficient to drive the system, and couldn't handle the load-balancing. Replacing the other PSU's with a 550W Enermax solved the problem.

You might also get some useful troubleshooting tips from this <A HREF="http://www.geforcefaq.com/faq.html#hw:gef:troub:startup..." target="_new">page</A>.

Toejam31

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
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January 15, 2002 1:19:10 PM

550W?? Wow.. would that have something to do with the GeForce 2 card? I'm using a 300W AOpen with an ATi Radeon and the KT133 chipset; haven't had any such issues...
January 15, 2002 4:11:04 PM

550W? Sure, why not? :eek:  It wasn't exactly cheap, as PSU's go ... but it didn't cost anymore than a older 10GB hard drive, and it certainly does the job. The dual-fans are <i>very</i> nice, and I consider it to be a major part of my cooling solution.

The PSU is usually the last thing people think about when they upgrade, maybe because it's not so glamorous as a hot video card or a new processor. But it's the heart of the system; the power plant, and as such, it really shouldn't be ignored. You might be surprised at how many so-called Windows issues are due to an inadequate PSU. Anything from spontaneous reboots to hard lockups.

It's not really about the wattage of the PSU. It's more about whether the PSU is lightly constructed or heavy-duty, the efficiency rating, whether it can do load-balancing well, and if it can supply enough clean power on the +3.3v/+5v/+12v lines for all the devices, and still have some redundancy left over. For the best results, most manufacturers recommend that the total power requirements of a system not exceed 70% of the full load of a PSU, which can only last a few nanoseconds, at best. Of course, that's the best case scenario, and many people manage to get by with less. But that doesn't mean it won't cause problems sometime in the future, especially when it comes time to upgrade.

And, of course, an over-loaded PSU also runs hotter than one that is supplying current well within the design specifications, which is something to consider.

I've seen 250W name-brand PSU's that were much better units than any generic 400W.

As for the GF cards ... the older the card, the more power required. GF 256 cards were particularly bad about needing lots of power on the +3.3v line. Since the +3.3v and +5v lines "share", and have a combined total output, this is where the PSU's load-balancing ability would come into play.

There have also been some AGP power issues with VIA mainboards mated with GF cards, although it was primarily limited to the early revisions with older chipsets. My poor ole MSI KT133 board was one of them. Same thing applies to some of the older Intel 440BX boards. There were also some compatibility issues with older boards.

The fact that you are running with an ATI card may be one of the reasons that you never came across this kind of problem with your system. And there's nothing wrong with an AOpen PSU, in my experience. It's a decent PSU. (Aren't you glad? :lol:  ) But if I were you, and I decided to install a GF card to replace the Radeon, I'd upgrade the 300W PSU to the AOpen 400W FSP400-60PFN, just to avoid having any problems.

Toejam31

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
January 15, 2002 4:32:31 PM

A power problem would make sense. I quite frankly can't remember what PSU I have in this thing. It's a good one but has a few years on it...might have been adequate at the time. Maybe that new NIC pushed me just over the edge.

I'll try unplugging a couple fans and maybe the 40gig drive. Think this would do the trick? If it does I'll drop the cash for a high end PSU (I don't mind paying mucho$$$ for components that don't go obsolete).

This will all have to wait a bit though...I'm gonna see just how long I can go without a reboot. :) 
January 15, 2002 4:32:49 PM

Thanks for the advice Toe :) . I don't plan on upgrading for a little while yet, but I will certainly keep all that in mind.
January 15, 2002 5:13:26 PM

Smilin: Maybe the hard drive, since they run off the +5v line, and that could effect the +3.3v line. I wouldn't bother with removing the fans ... they run off the +12v line, and it's doubtful that would have any impact on the video card. I'd keep my cooling solution intact. You don't need a heat problem, too!

"This will all have to wait a bit though...I'm gonna see just how long I can go without a reboot. :) "

I'd feel exactly the same way. LOL!

Zoron: You're very welcome. Always glad to offer some helpful info to a fellow user!

See ya ...

Toejam31

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
January 16, 2002 10:30:58 PM

I have been looking for someone to ask re: a new PSU, and I think I have found the person.

Here's my rig:
AMD K6-3 450
EPoX Apollo MVP3 mobo
Hercules 3D Prophet II MX 32MB
Quantum FireBall 6.4GB HDD
SB Live! Value
Internal Zip 100
Samsung 32X CD-ROM (P.O.S.)
HP CD-Writer 9100
56K modem
Win 98

I think the PSU is a 250W. It came with the case, which I got from a computer reseller that used to live across the street from me. The original chip was a K6-2 300. I put a better CPU fan on the new chip to keep it cooler (Volcano). My computer freezes on shut down 2/3 times and I have a few other little quirky things that are going wrong with it. The biggest thing is that the PSU fan is going out on me. Sometimes it makes this nasty vibrating sound, other times it does even work until I smack it a few times. I tried to replace it with another fan, but it is wired in, and I am not a soldering artisan.

I have decided that the two things that I am going to get now are a new HDD (40GB @ 7200) and a PSU. What should I look for as far as a good PSU? What wattage should I aim for given my system specs (all ads nowadays are geared toward XP systems)? I have heard a few people mention Enermax, Antec, Sparkle, etc. What would be the best I could get, and one I could just get by with?

Thanks in advance for the time, and I hope I wasn't too out of line by posting in this thread rather than a new one.

VSP

<i> Thoughts are thinking; Thunk from knowing
<b> nwod </b> gniog em peek reverof sthguohT </i>
January 16, 2002 11:31:37 PM

Vulcan, looking at your system specs, any new PSU will be fine. Getting a decent brand (Enermax, Antec, etc...) with a high wattage will stand you in good stead for future upgrades though.

As for your shutdown probs, get the new HDD, reinstall from scratch, only worry if the fault doesn't go away. Sounds like a S/W issue to me.
January 17, 2002 12:00:46 AM

I agree with hammerhead ... a good, name-brand 300W PSU would do nicely for your system. You could get something larger if you planned on doing some upgrading in the future.

My preferences are <A HREF="http://www.enermax.com.tw/products/switch-main.htm" target="_new">Enermax</A>, <A HREF="http://www.pcpowercooling.com/" target="_new">PC Power & Cooling</A>, <A HREF="http://www.powmax.com/ATXPOWER.htm" target="_new">Leadman POWMAX</A>, and <A HREF="http://www.sparklepower.com/" target="_new">Sparkle</A>. In that order.

Shop around at places like <A HREF="http://zdnetshopper.cnet.com/shopping/0-7413293-7-74133..." target="_new">this</A>, until you find the best price for the model you prefer.

Here are a couple of pages you might find interesting:

<A HREF="http://www.gamepc.com/reviews/hardware_review.asp?revie..." target="_new">Power Supply Roundup</A>

<A HREF="http://www.pcpowerandcooling.com/maxpc/cases.htm" target="_new">Wattage Component Table</A>

You were not out-of-line posting in this thread, not one bit.

Toejam31

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
January 18, 2002 9:27:00 PM

Thanks for the advice.

"As for your shutdown probs, get the new HDD . . . "

I <b>love</b> fixes that coincide with my desired purchases!

VSP

<i> Thoughts are thinking; Thunk from knowing
<b> nwod </b> gniog em peek reverof sthguohT </i>
January 18, 2002 9:40:40 PM

Thanks for the info, <b>Toe</b>. I will definitely delve into those sites to some extent once my work schedule has quieted down.

BTW, I checked out your rig . . . <drool>. Maybe someday . . .

Oh, something I forgot to mention in my response to <b>hammerhead</b> . . . I am looking towards the Seagate Barracuda 40GB or 60GB @ 7200. I have only read the review in the Storage Guide re: drives, so I don't know if I should be looking into any other options. Do you or anybody else know of any other drives that have more bang for the buck, or have better performance?

Someone in another post mentioned problems with data transfer due to chipsets, like with the Intel 850 or 860 restricting transfer to 80MBps vs the 133MBps that it is supposed to. Does anyone know if there are any known issues with my EPoX Apollo MVP3 mobo? Will my board restrict transfer, or otherwise limit speed? Would it behoove me not to overinvest in a HDD (like the Barracuda) that I will most likely leave in this machine when I upgrade (I will start anew in a few years, passing this one to my wife). Given this, what specs should I look for in a HDD given my system?

OK, enough questions for one post.

Thanks in advance!

VSP

<i> Thoughts are thinking; Thunk from knowing
<b> nwod </b> gniog em peek reverof sthguohT </i>
February 8, 2002 4:40:46 PM

I had to resurrect this thread because I had another question re: my tangent.

Quote:
a good, name-brand 300W PSU would do nicely for your system. You could get something larger if you planned on doing some upgrading in the future.

I told a friend of mine that I was looking into a 350W PSU and he cautioned me that getting a larger PSU than I need will cause me to incur higher costs on my electricity bill due to its demands. But I thought that I had read on one of the sites that you posted that the new PSUs are smart in that they only deliver the power that the systems needs,
Hence, wouldn't they only comsume the the power that they would need to dispense?

I am thinking that if I installed a 350W where I only needed a 300W, the same amount of electricity would be consumed because of the demand of the system, not the rating of the PSU. Am I correct in this assumption?

VSP

<i>Thoughts are thinking; Thunk from knowing
<b>nwod</b> gniog em peek reverof sthguohT</i>
February 8, 2002 4:48:31 PM

Yes, you are correct. Even if you weren't, I wouldn't think 50W would make much difference. In fact, from what I've heard, a higher rated PSU can actually save you on energy costs.

<font color=red> If you design software that is fool-proof, only a fool will want to use it. </font color=red>
February 9, 2002 12:46:07 AM

Wha?!? How's that? Better power management?

Mebbe I should get a 550W like <b>Toey</b>, then, eh? :wink:

VSP

<i>Thoughts are thinking; Thunk from knowing
<b>nwod</b> gniog em peek reverof sthguohT</i>
February 9, 2002 2:34:39 AM

ROTFLMAO!

It's not that bad ... but almost!

Sorry that I've been kinda absent the past few days ... I had to attend a business seminar out-of-town, and when I got back, I had a backlog of systems to install, repair, etc. As of last night, around 11 p.m., I had been awake for about 40 hours straight, and the left side of my head began to feel numb! You could have dribbled me and I wouldn't have noticed anything was happening for about 10 minutes!

I got online just long enough to check my mail, and then I died for about 12 hours.

I think that I am finally caught up, but I don't know how much longer I'll be conscious, so bear with me if I stop making sense! Luckily, I only have one more machine to build this weekend, and I'll take my break when the Pro Bowl comes on.

Now ... as for your subject.

Fact: A heavier, better constructed, higher-wattage PSU is going to run more efficiently, not less, than a PSU with lower specifications.

Power supplies run best when under a full load that is near 70% of the rated capacity. This leaves some redundancy for when requirements might suddenly increase (such as during the initial startup) ... and this also allows the PSU to run cooler.

You may notice, when looking at the specifications of different PUS's, that the 70% mark is what is shown when rating the overall efficiency level of the unit.

Over-stressed PSU's not only can run hot (which increased the system temperature ... and defeats part of the efforts of your cooling system) but can cause damage to components over a period of time by leaving them starved for power.

You are right ... your friend is wrong. Higher-wattage PSU's do not raise your electricity bill an appreciable amount. And a PSU can only deliver the power a system requires ... anything more is indicative of a unit that is either very badly constructed, weakened, or about to fail due to faulty resistors.

Toey

P.S. I'll get rid of that nasty alien so that you'll know that I've returned from the mothership basically intact. But be polite, and don't mention probes in the conversation. LOL!

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
February 11, 2002 2:17:15 AM

Glad you're back . . . and don't worry, I would never use you for a basketball. :wink: Hopefully you've had the chance to catch up on your sleep. I know how pulling all-nighters can mess wit'cho head. "I have done a few myself, in my day."

Thanks for the info on the PSUs . . . that's what I was thinking based on the literature you pointed me to from both Enermax and PC Power & Cooling. I will definitely be getting the 350W now. Per my rig, I think that is the most that I will need. I will not be upgrading it much (aside from the new HDD you know oh so well about), but I would like it to last for a while . . . maybe make it a kiddy-computer for when my nephew when he is old enough (just born Jan. 13th). His dad will have three rigs for him by the time he is 5, but if he feels like bumming around when we babysit, we have to have something that I wouldn't mind sticky fingers touching.

Again, glad to know you're in one piece. Hopefully you don't have any nasty scars on your cheeks or a hole in the roof of your mouth. :tongue:

VSP

<i>Thoughts are thinking; Thunk from knowing
<b>nwod</b> gniog em peek reverof sthguohT</i>
March 5, 2002 1:35:35 PM

********** update *************

It finally crashed. Nothing major - 3D app did something dumb with nv_disp.dll. XP has gone since whenever this post started without a crash...not too bad.

turned out this problem was related to a bad stick of memory. It's a stick of Crucial or Corsair PC2400. I'm pretty sure it's under warranty so I'll send it in. Meanwhile I'm running at 256mb

Thanks to everyone who threw some ideas out there for me. Memory problems are so damn hard to track.
!