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Possible Hardware Failure - OS wont boot even with Clean Install

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January 4, 2013 2:01:14 PM

Hi All,
So I built my first ever Desktop back in August and up until recently it's performed great apart from a few minor hiccups once or twice resulting in a clean install.

However, on December 29th I began to notice to issues with the OS freezing up resulting in me having to manually power it down as the system appeared to be permanently stuck on the desktop. I tried restarting it several times but it appeared to get worse as after going past the pre-startup screens that tell you how to access the BIOS the system couldn't even boot to the Windows logo screen.
After seeing that there was no hope of the OS actually booting up I decided to do a full format of my HDD and a clean install of Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit. This took a total of around 6 hours to complete which is certainly not normal for my machine. When it was done for about 5 minutes the system was faster and then it reverted back to it's original slow state when it tried to restart as part of a Mobo driver installation.

Because of the slow speeds when even booting the windows 7 official installation CD I have been led to think it's not a HDD issue but a CPU problem.

If anybody could offer some suggestions as to what the issue could possibly and how to fix it (if possible) that'd be fantastic as I'm not PC expert by any means but I know my basics!

My specs are:
Intel core i5 3.30Ghz
8 Gigs of 1336Mhz DDR3 RAM
Asus P8Z77-V Mobo
Gigabyte GTX 560 GPU
500W OCZ ModXStream PSU

Thanks in advance!

Kieren
a b B Homebuilt system
January 4, 2013 2:13:58 PM

it sounds liek a bad hdd to me, actually
Related resources
January 4, 2013 2:32:23 PM

AMD Radeon said:
this one is really long troubleshooting but it can save you from getting headache
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-perform-ste...

but i smell something fishy here.... OCZ 500w


What about the 500W PSU is so "fishy"?

And thanks for the link I'll have to look into a little more tonight!

Also ScrewySqrl: Is this something that's fairly clear to be HDD failure usually?
a b B Homebuilt system
January 4, 2013 2:54:40 PM

dude.... failed PSU will kill anything inside your PC slowly. anything....
January 4, 2013 3:04:11 PM

AMD Radeon said:
dude.... failed PSU will kill anything inside your PC slowly. anything....


So you think it would probably be a wise idea to start there? Is there any way to test this or should I just buy a new PSU to test this?

Thanks!
January 4, 2013 4:40:13 PM

Probably a HDD or PSU but it could a particulate short. I know this sounds silly but I have had a tiny piece of dust get into the RAM and cause all kinds of not booting and blue screens. Get an SSD as a system drive, you'll never go back. Just for kicks, have you re-seated everything, even the CPU?
January 4, 2013 5:06:07 PM

arialmt said:
Probably a HDD or PSU but it could a particulate short. I know this sounds silly but I have had a tiny piece of dust get into the RAM and cause all kinds of not booting and blue screens. Get an SSD as a system drive, you'll never go back. Just for kicks, have you re-seated everything, even the CPU?


The Thermal paste that came pre-applied on the stock heatsink has all dried up and I'm receiving delivery of some tomorrow so I'll have to wait until then to boot again after re-seating stuff. I also noticed some overheating last time I booted after re-seating the heatsink fan (Probably something to do with dried thermal paste).

Which do you think it would be wiser to start with: PSU or HDD? I was planning to get an SSD soon anyway but being 16 and not currently having a job buying two new hard drives would clean me out almost (not a huge problem though :D ). Does the issue seem more like a PSU issue or Hard drive issue? (obviously it's easier if I know so I don't buy the wrong thing).

Is it possible it's not the Hard drive though? I say this because even when I boot to the windows installation menus on the windows CD it's still slow and I wouldn't have thought that a HDD would affect this though I may be wrong.

I've also tried the RAM sticks individually but to no avail as it boots past two mobo "press delete key to access setup menu" screens and then sticks on a black screen with a flashing underlining cursor.

Does this seem like it's leaning towards either piece of hardware faulting and could the CD installation still be affected by a failing HDD?

Thanks for helping me so far!

a b B Homebuilt system
January 5, 2013 12:24:11 AM

get some hard disk test software (your HDD manufacturer should have a free software). SMART failures or targeted read failures can cause such things as 30 minute boot times. compared to modern (SATA II and faster) hard drives, CDs/DVDs *are* slow (to the tune of 2-3 minute boot times)
January 5, 2013 7:09:45 AM

ScrewySqrl said:
get some hard disk test software (your HDD manufacturer should have a free software). SMART failures or targeted read failures can cause such things as 30 minute boot times. compared to modern (SATA II and faster) hard drives, CDs/DVDs *are* slow (to the tune of 2-3 minute boot times)


Trouble is, the pc no longer boots at all so I can't test the hard drive I can try and format it again though and see if I can push through.
Also the CD drive isn't slow when booting disks on the OS. Just when I'm trying to boot up the Windows CD it takes about 3 minutes to get the the "install" first screen and then the actual installation takes around an hour at the least.

Also is it possible my BIOS could be reading my cpu temp wrong as until now it's never gone above 45C at the most and now it's hitting 80C!

But thanks! Regardless I'll have a look for some software!
a b B Homebuilt system
January 6, 2013 2:16:00 PM

insanist said:
Trouble is, the pc no longer boots at all so I can't test the hard drive I can try and format it again though and see if I can push through.
Also the CD drive isn't slow when booting disks on the OS. Just when I'm trying to boot up the Windows CD it takes about 3 minutes to get the the "install" first screen and then the actual installation takes around an hour at the least.

Also is it possible my BIOS could be reading my cpu temp wrong as until now it's never gone above 45C at the most and now it's hitting 80C!

But thanks! Regardless I'll have a look for some software!



the 3 minute boot of windows install files and an hour to load is pretty normal.


the 80c screams 'bad heat sink contact'
January 6, 2013 3:14:35 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
the 3 minute boot of windows install files and an hour to load is pretty normal.


the 80c screams 'bad heat sink contact'


I'm starting to think that my stock heatsink is failing which may have caused my booting issues with the cpu being overloaded? Managed to get the temp down to around 70C while in games and idling at around 40C by constantly re-applying thermal paste and testing. However on a boot today after re-attaching the side panels for my case the bios said that I had no cpu fan. When I checked, the fan was connected but not spinning. I pushed the blades round quickly and the fan kicked in again.

Should I get a replacement to be keeping it cooler?
(Such as the coolermaster hyper 212 evo? Or an better alternative close to £30?)

(Also on another note: bought an ssd which will arrive in a couple of days so I'll see how it goes with that. Is there an easy way to transfer my programs over?)
a b B Homebuilt system
January 7, 2013 10:32:16 PM

I'd replace that heat sink for sure. Hyper 212 evo is a great budget cooler
!