Computer Not Booting

This is a discussion on Computer Not Booting within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; Does it boot into safe mode? (You do know how to get to safe mode, right?) It could always be ...

  1. #31
    ATH0 quzah's Avatar
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    Does it boot into safe mode? (You do know how to get to safe mode, right?)

    It could always be that you just have bad hardware. I run linux, and as such, have no need to ever reboot. One day I decided to, just for the hell of it. When I did, the computer would no longer boot. As it turns out, somewhere along the line, something toasted both my motherboard and video card. (They're dead as disco. I have an identical machine which I played the hardware swapping with, and it confirmed both motherboard and video card are toast. The really odd part is the video card, since it was working seemingly perfectly, but now no computer with it in it will remain stable.)

    Now the interesting part here is that linux ran just fine, until I rebooted. Then because it needed to access or check some nifty piece of hardware apparently called apparently at boot, but no place else, it couldn't boot any more.

    At any rate, the moral of the story is, never reboot your linux box because you don't need to.

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  2. #32
    Set Apart -- jrahhali's Avatar
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    >>Just a thought, but maybe your memory timings are messed up
    Thanks Salem, I did that, didn't work, but i'm going to try memtest86. Just to be sure i downloaded the right one, can someone confirm:

    Memtest86 3.1a Release (11/Mar/2004)
    Enhancements in v3.1a

    Added processor detection for newer AMD processors
    Added new "Bit Fade" extended test
    Fixed a complile time bug with gcc version 3.x.
    E7500 memory controller ECC support
    Added support for 16bit ECC syndromes
    Option to keep the serial port baud rate of the boot loader

    Download - Linux Memtest86 v3.1a Source and binary Package
    Download - Pre-Compiled Memtest86 v3.1a installable from Windows and DOS
    I downloaded the second choice because i am running an amd machine
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  3. #33
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    Salem, or anybody that is familiar with memtest86, i tried it out and here is my error report for one pass:

    Test: 0 Errors: 0
    Test: 1 Errors: 0
    Test: 2 Errors: 0
    Test: 3 Errors: 0
    Test: 4 Errors: 35
    Test: 5 Errors: 23887
    Test: 6 Errors: 49
    Test: 7 Errors: 1
    Test: 8 Errors: 0 - didn't do
    Test: 9 Errors: 0 - didnt' do
    Test: 10 Errors: 0 - didnt' do
    Test: 11 Errors: 0 - didn't do
    The first time i ran it, i did 5 passes but accidently pressed ESC
    It was somwhere around 340 000 errors

    Anyways, i have no clue on what this means, and the site doesn't offer much help either. Is this telling me that my memory is bad?
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  4. #34
    i dont know Vicious's Avatar
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    Ive had that problem before. A buggy computer that kept crashing and got to the point where it wouldnt load windows. I couldnt even use restore on it because it would crash on me.

    But while installing linux (I was trying everything) I noticed it having errors with memory addresses beside them) And sure enough, I took one of my memory cards out and I am using that PC right now.
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  5. #35
    PC Fixer-Upper Waldo2k2's Avatar
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    well think about it man, if you got that many errors while testing your ram, means your ram is probably bad..why not try using a stick you know is good?
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  6. #36
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    >>if you got that many errors while testing your ram, means your ram is probably bad
    true, but just wanted to be sure. I wouldn't want to go buy something to try to fix my computer and have it not be the problem.


    >>why not try using a stick you know is good?
    I only have one stick of ram. My mobo i have doens't support the other ones i have ='(

    Thanks for the confirmation, both of you, your probably right. I just hope it's only my ram. I"m going to take the stick to one of my friends computers tommorrow, see if it works on there system.

    cheers.

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  7. #37
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Freezing in the BIOS has nothing to do with RAM. Of course BIOS code is ROM on the chip and is mapped to FFFF:0000 - FFFF:FFFF. Settings for the BIOS are mapped to somewhere in this area as well. If this portion of memory is bad then theoretically nothing should work since this is where BIOS is mapped to.

    It could be the RAM but I'm not positive. You need to know what memtest86 is checking on the test(s) that your RAM fails on. Perhaps it is testing something at that time that your RAM does not support - which would not indicate a problem, it would indicate your RAM does not support every function in the universe available for RAM. For instance testing parity on non-parity RAM will certainly fail even if the RAM is in perfect condition.

    It's something in the bootup process for Windows, backed up by the fact that safe mode does not work as well. It sounds like your NTFS.SYS file has been corrupted. I got the same exact error the other day when I booted. Rebooted 4 times and still no icons, no nothing. Finally rebooted again and everything worked. Scanned the drive for errors....nothing.

    For me and perhaps for you this points to a possible fault in the hard drive mechanics and/or circuitry. That sort of problem will cause some very weird stuff to take place. Perhaps your drive, like mine, is in danger of an imminent crash.

    I really think if it was your RAM...you wouldn't even see the Windows XP logo screen...it would crash way before that. Also other funky stuff would happen during execution of Windows and other programs. It would be like having code with a bunch of NULL pointers in it, something you could easily tell was being cause by memory and/or code problems.

  8. #38
    and the hat of wrongness Salem's Avatar
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    http://www.memtest86.com/#details
    Test 5 is a stress test of memory bandwidth as far as I can tell, moving large blocks of memory as fast as possible.
    Taking a guess, I'd say the mobo is trying to access RAM just a little too quickly, and its occasionally failing.
    Try setting slower memory access parameters in the BIOS.

    Also, until you know the speed of the RAM, turning off "BIOS shadowed into RAM" or whatever option copies BIOS into RAM is perhaps a good idea.
    If you dance barefoot on the broken glass of undefined behaviour, you've got to expect the occasional cut.
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  9. #39
    PC Fixer-Upper Waldo2k2's Avatar
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    Well I didn't want to say it right away, but there's a chance that the ram is good, and the processor is bad . A bad processor would keep him from getting acurrate memtest results. You REALLY should take this computer in to someone who can work on it hands on, don't go out and buy components becuase they're our best guess...we wouldn't want you to waste money.
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  10. #40
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    Waldo2k2, I'm going to fix this myself!!

    But seriously, if i can't get it done, i'll go to a person who can take a better look at it, and at this point, i have not done everything i can do. You seem like you really care for the wellfare of my system though

    Thanks Salem for the suggestion, but the option was already disabled.

    Originally posted by Bubba
    Freezing in the BIOS has nothing to do with RAM. Of course BIOS code is ROM on the chip
    Just out of curiousity, why would a video card have the BIOS to crash? As i mentioned earlier, my newer MX440SE-T video card makes the bios freeze, while it doesn't freeze with my older XENTOR32 Ultra? Why a video card?

    Good news, I brought my ram and my video card (mx440se-t) to my friends house, he tested the both and the work fine on his system. So it's now down to my
    1) power supply
    2) cpu
    3) HDD
    4) (i hope not) my motherboard

    Also, he lent me a working HDD and CR-ROm drive
    My cd rom drive may not be functioning correctly because the two times i tried to install winxp and win2k, both struggled when they were copying files. Though, this could be my HDD fault to. So i thought that was nice.
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  11. #41
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    You can easily set Windows XP to pause so you can read the blue screens.

    Start->Control Panel->System->Advanced->Startup and Recovery Settings button

    Uncheck Automatically Restart under System Failure.

    Now you should be able to read the blue screen.

    But again, you got some strange problems there....get it checked out.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 09-13-2004 at 09:33 PM.

  12. #42
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    Do you have a spare power supply you could use, or a computer you could fish one out of?

    I've had hard drives that seemed to have bad PSU power connector jacks to where my computer will lock up, and freeze, but if I wggled the plug, or pushed it in really firm, the hard drive would click, wind back up, and we'd be back in business.
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  13. #43
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    I was searching for a web site that explained how to troublshoot power supplies, to find out if it is really faulty or not and i came across this site: http://www.fonerbooks.com/pcrepair.htm

    I found it really helpful becuase it contains flowcharts for diagnosing and repairing PCs as well as discussions on each topic in the flowchart. I'm going to be posting this in the general discussion board also. Anyways, i was reading the psu troublshooting part and i came across this:
    Unstable voltage problems are real ghosts in the machine, and can mimic all sorts of other problems. If you get into a flaky failure situation that you can't diagnose and you've already started troubleshooting (i.e. swapping parts), you may as well try a new power supply as well. I've seen power supplies produce some really bizarre failures, like a PC that reboots when you set your coffee cup down too hard on the table. The most pervasive of the unstable power supply problems are random lockups or spontaneous reboots. Modern motherboards have some ability to regulate the power they receive, but it's got to be within a reasonable range. When it starts overshooting the limits, the system may freeze or shutdown the motherboard to protect itself.
    Sounded awfully familar
    So before i go out and buy or borrow a new psu, i know there's some variables that need to be considered like if it can supply enough power for you system. How do i go about borrowing or buying the right one?
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  14. #44
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    > How do i go about borrowing or buying the right one?
    Well, give me the model number of your PSU. There should be a sticker on it somewhere. If you want to tackle it, search for your PSUs model number on Google and find out everything you can about it.

    Or, make sure the one you're buying or borrowing(I suggest borrowing first!) has the same hookups to your motherboard.
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  15. #45
    PC Fixer-Upper Waldo2k2's Avatar
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    if you can get your computer to boot (can't remember what you said you have to remove) get into the bios and monitor the voltages, watch how much they spike....they shouldn't go plus or minus very much, a few tenths of a volt.
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