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Can't boot, one long beep

Last response: in Systems
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September 13, 2012 4:10:45 PM

Hi, computer has suddenly stopped working on me. I built my rig a year ago and it's been working fine for a while, replaced PSU in December and everything has been going okay for a while now. I attempted to turn my computer this morning and noticed it was taking an extremely long time to get past the initial boot screen. I noticed it was faltering especially long when the message "checking USB mass storage devices" came up, and since it didn't seem to be making any progress at all I turned the computer off and removed both external hard drives. I then attempted to boot again. This time, I managed to get through the initial boot screen (albeit slower than usual), but when I had finally gotten through it all my motherboard emitted one long continuous beep. The beep did not stop until I powered off the system.

I turned to Google to attempt to troubleshoot the problem myself. I received about a billion different answers as to what the problem may be. First, I attempted to remove the video card. All this achieved, however, was allowing me to see the hardware check screen after the initial boot screen before being greeted with the same beep. I then switched the slot the RAM was in, this led to no results however. I'm still relatively new to computer building so I really have no idea what's going on, but I'm extremely distressed and concerned because I can't seem to fix this. I imagine a certain part is broken but I really can't shell out the money to replace it until I know exactly which part is broken. I have no spare RAM or PSU, unfortunately.

I'll list my specs in a second, but there are two other things I'd like to mention. One, the PSU on/off switch appears to have broken and is stuck in the on position. This happened while troubleshooting, only adding to my frustration. Two, a certain fan in my computer had been making odd noises upon booting up for a while now. This whole thing may be my fault for not troubleshooting while I had a chance, but I honestly just hoped it would go away, which it did. It hasn't been making any irregular noises for over a week now.


Specs:
BIOSTAR N68S3B GeForce 7025 Motherboard
AMD HDZ550WFK2DGI Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Processor


I can't seem to find the specs for anything else right now but I will look harder. I am sorry if this is in the wrong section or something or I'm missing something else, but I'm desperate. Thank you for your time.

More about : boot long beep

September 13, 2012 4:20:45 PM

Update, I appear to be able to boot now but it is extremely slow. Basically, the POST beep or whatever it is called used to be very short, but now it is long and droning. If it sit through it it will eventually let me boot into Windows. This still seems like a problem however so I am still concerned. Booting has gone from a 30 second process to a three minute one, approximately.
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September 13, 2012 4:26:07 PM

Do you have multiple sticks of RAM installed? If so take one out and try booting, if that doesn't work replace with the one you took out and try booting.

Also, something to try anytime you have these type of issues is reset the CMOS. Disconnect PC from power and take out the over-sized watch battery from the motherboard. Give it 30 seconds to let the capacitors flush then put the battery back in and try booting.
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September 13, 2012 4:28:19 PM

Sounds to me like a defective CPU. I had one go bad a few years back and the symptom was very slow boot and operation once up and running. How is it once in windows? Normal speed? If once in windows all is normal I would run benchmark diagnostics. Problem with a PSU going bad, it can damage other hardware.
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September 13, 2012 4:33:01 PM

According to your owners manual you have faulty memory or a memory problem.
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September 13, 2012 4:43:54 PM

I agree I pulled the manuall too and it apears RAM related although the manual is a tad lacking. Hence the sugeston about removing memory sticks one at a time to troubleshoot. However the CMOS reset can on occasion can resolve issues like this if its not the RAM but motherboard related say static electricity etc.
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September 13, 2012 4:46:07 PM

Quote:
Do you have multiple sticks of RAM installed?

I unfortunately do not, just one 4GB stick.

Quote:
Also, something to try anytime you have these type of issues is reset the CMOS. Disconnect PC from power and take out the over-sized watch battery from the motherboard. Give it 30 seconds to let the capacitors flush then put the battery back in and try booting.


I will look into this. Just a bit apprehensive about touching anything sensitive.

Quote:
Sounds to me like a defective CPU. I had one go bad a few years back and the symptom was very slow boot and operation once up and running. How is it once in windows? Normal speed?

Yes, once I actually am able to boot everything runs just fine. It's just the length of the boot process that's a problem now and nothing else.



I've put back in my video card as that didn't seem to be the problem, everything is running fine again, once I am able to boot. Booting is still painfully slow.


About the memory issue thing, I don't know too much about computers other than the basics, but wouldn't a memory problem make me unable to boot at all?
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September 13, 2012 5:17:08 PM

I would reset your CMOS as jamessneed said. The fact that all is well makes me think your RAM/CPU is fine; however running memtest86 would be a good idea.

My suspicion is there is something wrong with the mobo itself; simply because you only have trouble at the start of the boot process.

I have also heard of some strange long boot time issues being caused by the PSU; it maybe worth looking at if none of the other things are found to be faulty (especially if you have purchased a cheap PSU).
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September 13, 2012 10:01:20 PM

I'm not currently at my computer so I can't test anything out quite yet, but I've been reading about resetting the CMOS and it seems that there's a way to do that in the BIOS without physically touching anything. This seems like something that I'd be more comfortable with, but would it have the same effect?
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September 17, 2012 8:18:58 PM

Update to this, my computer died in the middle of usage, and now it cannot power up at all. I'd like to assume the PSU is dead because that's a simple replacement, but I'm not certain. The PSU was 650W and I'm certain that with my hardware I wasn't anywhere near the amount needed to overtax it. Still, does a dead PSU fit into my earlier symptoms?

Additionally, the switch that turns the PSU on and off broke several days ago when I first had trouble booting. It is stuck in the on position and when I attempt to switch it off, the button does not stick. I appreciate everyone's help.
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September 20, 2012 3:21:55 PM

Please respond.

I replace the psu with a spare one, and everything worked perfectly for a day. Computer was able to turn on, regular boot time, everything went fine. I turned on my computer this morning however, and the slow boot problem is happening again. Given how that was a prelude to my previous power supply just failing, I'm extremely worried.

I just don't understand what it could be anymore. Can two PSUs really be failing me one after another, or were they two separate problems to begin with? If it's the latter why did everything work perfectly for one day? I'm really confused and getting desperate, please help.
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Best solution

September 24, 2012 3:07:57 PM

What kind of power supplies are you working with, and what's the history on them? If you had 2 no-name PSUs fail, I wouldn't really be suprised at all.

I wonder, do you have any strange USB devices connected to your computer or something? You may have a USB device shorting out and pulling too much power from your PSU's 5V rail or something.


(Sorry for the long delay, I was on a business trip last week)
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October 1, 2012 12:06:29 AM

djscribbles said:
What kind of power supplies are you working with, and what's the history on them? If you had 2 no-name PSUs fail, I wouldn't really be suprised at all.

I wonder, do you have any strange USB devices connected to your computer or something? You may have a USB device shorting out and pulling too much power from your PSU's 5V rail or something.


(Sorry for the long delay, I was on a business trip last week)

Two Antec PSUs, replacement being an Antec VP450 and the original was a 650w EarthWatts. The 650w worked perfectly up until I posted this thread, and the replacement worked fine for a day. As for USB devices, I have my wireless mouse and keyboard dongles in the front of my case, and going into the motherboard itself is a dock device for a wifi dongle and my monitor so I can use the USB ports on that. I actually started using that fairly recently since my last USB hub equivalent kept dying. Could that possibly be the issue?

I also had two external hard drives plugged in but I haven't had those in for extended periods of time since the first PSU died. Those have worked fine for at least a year though on multiple machines, and they haven't been behaving oddly.
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October 1, 2012 12:12:10 AM

That appears to have been it. I feel very stupid. I'll find some work around to all the USB devices that now don't have a port, but one question before I chose your answer as the solution, is it safe to use the monitor as just a monitor, or should I abandon it all together?
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October 1, 2012 12:06:11 PM

I would guess that the monitor is just pulling way too much juice out of your USB ports or something. If there is a way to power the monitor from a wall outlet it may work fine as a regular monitor or even as a USB monitor.

A solid powered hub may also solve your problem. Not all of them are well built to provide full USB power to multiple devices (in fact, most are probably not) I've recently used this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for a project at work that required high sustained power from USB and it seemed to work quite well; but a fault with your monitor could still cause it to consume more than USB can supply.

Don't feel bad, it's easy to forget the science behind USB, since it usually just works :) 

edit: Not sure if your monitor is just a hub or if it's a USB monitor that doesn't hook up to VGA. I originally thought it was a USB monitor, so if it's a hub, some of the above doesn't quite make sense. The monitor is probably fine, even if the hub is broken; though it's also possible that the monitor hub + dongle + 2x wireless devices were just too much for the 5V bus, and using a powered hub would solve some problems. It's also possible your old USB hub is also fine (especially if it wasn't powered externally), if the devices you had hooked to it were pulling too much power, it could start dropping off to keep the PC5v alive.
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October 3, 2012 4:22:39 AM

It sure would be nice to get All the facts in the orignal post, alot of guess work going on here.
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October 10, 2012 1:38:43 AM

Best answer selected by tenrii.
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