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HELP! Windows wont start - after cleaning tower

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October 3, 2012 11:09:41 PM

Toms Hardware Community - please help!

I opened my case for its monthly cleaning and saw dust buildup on under the GPU fans. I proceeded to remove the graphics card. It gave me some resistance even after flipping the little switch. It released after a little "crack" sound. It wasn't big. It was enough for me to look around at the motherboard, but I didn't see anything and the motherboard was still solidly in place. I didn't think much of it after that. I got my compressed air and started blowing out the dust from both the computer and the GPU. I hold the can upright and spray stuff pretty directly. At one point I noticed I could actually see the stream from the can...it didn't look quite right. Again, I wasn't obviously spraying fluid and at this point I really don't think I was, but it's in my head.

Link to computer booting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjoT5LEExfs&feature=yout...

When I boot up
1. My mobo screen appears
2. Windows start screen appears
3. Windows starts to launch and then fails
4. My mobo screen appears again

I have tried re-seating my GPU, I have re-plugged most of the connectors. I have looked for any physical signs of damage. I'm not savvy enough to really figure this problem out...unless it is a "re-seat component x" type issue, I'll need to take it in to a professional. I thought I would start here in diagnosing the problem. ANY help is greatly appreciated.


My system is 1.5 years old.
Components:
ASRock P67 Extreme 4
MSI R6950 Twin Frozr II Radeon HD 2GB
Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750 Vs 750W ATX 12v
Intel Core i5-2500k Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz
Windows 7
a b B Homebuilt system
October 3, 2012 11:31:21 PM

Try removing the motherboard battery for a few seconds with the power supply unplugged. Then power up; you will hear the fan noise and may have to reset some bios settings.
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October 3, 2012 11:36:49 PM

Nefarious said:
Toms Hardware Community - please help!

I opened my case for its monthly cleaning and saw dust buildup on under the GPU fans. I proceeded to remove the graphics card. It gave me some resistance even after flipping the little switch. It released after a little "crack" sound. It wasn't big. It was enough for me to look around at the motherboard, but I didn't see anything and the motherboard was still solidly in place. I didn't think much of it after that. I got my compressed air and started blowing out the dust from both the computer and the GPU. I hold the can upright and spray stuff pretty directly. At one point I noticed I could actually see the stream from the can...it didn't look quite right. Again, I wasn't obviously spraying fluid and at this point I really don't think I was, but it's in my head.

Link to computer booting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjoT5LEExfs&feature=yout...

When I boot up
1. My mobo screen appears
2. Windows start screen appears
3. Windows starts to launch and then fails
4. My mobo screen appears again

I have tried re-seating my GPU, I have re-plugged most of the connectors. I have looked for any physical signs of damage. I'm not savvy enough to really figure this problem out...unless it is a "re-seat component x" type issue, I'll need to take it in to a professional. I thought I would start here in diagnosing the problem. ANY help is greatly appreciated.


My system is 1.5 years old.
Components:
ASRock P67 Extreme 4
MSI R6950 Twin Frozr II Radeon HD 2GB
Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750 Vs 750W ATX 12v
Intel Core i5-2500k Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz
Windows 7


You've got a hardware problem. The system is acting like it is starved for power. The symptom you've got is classic for a bad power supply. However, the odds that the power supply would go bad at the exact moment you are cleaning the system out is like slim and none.

I'd suggest:
1) Remove all cables from motherboard
2) Remove all RAM from motherboard
3) Reseat RAM boards
4) Reinstall all cables on motherboard
5) Push down firmly on RAM sticks to make sure they didn't loosen up again when reinstalling cables on motherboard.

If all of the above doesn't work, try replacing the hard drive AND the data cable for the hard drive.

If you've done all of that and the system is still acting up, you've got a bad power supply or a bad motherboard. Seeing as you were stressing the heck out of the motherboard when the problem happened...
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October 4, 2012 12:22:54 AM

No luck with the above suggestions thus far.

I get an error code "A3" on the initial boot up, then a code " 60" (DXE Core is started) just as it fails to launch windows.

Replacing the hard drive and data cable will take me some time though, so I haven't tried that one.
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October 4, 2012 1:38:45 PM

I've been given these suggestions on other forums...

"I see the ubiquitous Stop 0x7b.
There are too many causes but let's start with the most common.
The BIOS was set to IDE EMULATION and Windows installed. Later some reset occurs and it's now on SATA mode. Blammo, Stop 0x7b.
Sure there are other reasons such as needing to boot your 7 DVD and running CHKDSK but let's start with the most common 7b cause I encounter."

Can someone explain this 7b problem and what this guy is saying i should do?
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October 4, 2012 1:56:58 PM

Update:

Running a repair with my win 7 disc was not able to fix the problem.

Clearing CMOS did not fix the problem.
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October 4, 2012 3:21:24 PM

Can anyone yet narrow down whether I have a hardware problem or software?


At this point, would I be better off taking it into a professional

or

should i just replace the motherboard?
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October 5, 2012 1:39:19 PM

Issue resolved; details below.

I stopped by as I was in the area and took a look. Got Windows to halt on failure and took a look at the BSOD error code. Searched it up and it noted problems with boot device. Nefarious noted he did a check disk already and no issues were returned, so I don't think it is the disk per say. Checked into the A3 error that shows on the motherboard and it noted an IDE issue. No IDE ports on the board; only using SATA. Did some checing and some other fixes for this issue were done with on board video; there is not an option here nor is it needed. Despite the issue, the Video Card and PSU are/were not at fault and were working fine.

TL: DR...Long story short was I went into the BIOS and switched the SATA controller mode from IDE to AHCI as he was running Win7 and based on the errors. BAM; Windows boots fine without crashing and boot looping. As a heads up, I have seen problems using other MOBOs with WinXP not installing when AHCI is enabled over IDE. Just a head up for WinXP users and this issue if you did not know already.

-Cheers
AkuPyro
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