Questions

Characters appears when I turn-on my PC

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Characters appears when I turn-on my PC

jeffreyalejo
Whenever I turn-on my PC, characters appears on my monitor and hangs there even before it loads my OS. I can't even enter my BIOS because it hangs immediately.

This problem occurs when I reformatted my Hard Disk and the installation of the new copy of OS failed.

Here are the things that I've done so far:

1. I cleaned the Memory Cards and the slots. I started the PC without a Memory card and it beeps which means it knows that a Memory card is not present.

2. I cleaned the Video Card and the AGP slot. I started the PC without the Video card and it beeps followed by short beeps which means it knows that the Video card is not present.

3. I cleaned the Processor and its slot. I started the PC without the Processor and nothing happens (the display is black).

4. I removed the Hard Disk Drive and started the PC. The characters still appears and I can't enter the BIOS.

5. I removed the CMOS Battery for 30 minutes. I put it back and started the PC, the same problem occurs.

6. I removed the jumper near the CMOS Battery. I put it back and started the PC, the same problem occurs.

7. The PC has a 500w Power Supply and has 1 80GB Hard Disk and 1 DVD ROM.

Those are the things that I've done so far and none of them solves my problem. Any help from you guys is appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
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    OH Smeg

    The Keyboard?

    Sounds as if there are some sticking keys.

    Col

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    jeffreyalejo

    Thanks for the reply.

    I checked the keyboard and there is no problem with it. It works fine with other desktop.

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    Russell Gates

    I had a computer in the other day. Client bought it at a computer show. It wouldn't boot they said. You didn't describe the "letters" in great detail but on the one I just fixed the letters were like misplaced or substituted.
    My first thought was a corrupted BIOS. Removed battery and reset CMOS switch. NOPE, didn't work.
    I removed the RAM and tested with one stick in. It booted fine. Now the funny part. I put the second stick in to verify. It worked to! So I put both sticks in and booted to desktop.
    Another happy client.
    I hope this works for you.

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    jeffreyalejo

    Thanks for the reply.

    The letters are similar to those letters which are enclosed in a square. Some of them have colors too. Other letters appears like a percent sign (%), equal sign (=), etc.

    This happens immediately before the first beep after turning-on the PC. Actually the first display is written at the upper-left part of the screen which is all about the graphics adapter information. It happens immediately at this part.

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    OH Smeg

    And see if it still does the same thing.

    This is sounding more and more like a major Hardware failure and when that happens it's not good news.

    Col

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    jeffreyalejo

    What do you mean by this sir? Do I have to pull-out the Power Supply cord (24-pin) on the Motherboard? Thanks!

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    OH Smeg

    To Physically remove the Power Supply from the case and fit another Known Good one to test with.

    So that means removing the 24 Pin Plug from the M'Board as well as any supplementary 12 V Leads and the Drive Power Leads and then finally the 2,3 or 4 screws that hold the Power Supply in the case and lift the Power Supply out of the case.

    Place it on a desk somewhere and fit another one that you know works. If the system now works you have a Bad Power Supply that needed replacing and if it doesn't you have ruled out a Faulty Power Supply Maybe.

    It is however not unheard of when a PS allows too much junk through and into the inside of the case damaging the M'Board which in turn destroys the Power Supply.

    Also have you tried another Video Card in this system just to double check that isn't the problem or that Video Card in another computer for correct Function?

    Col

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    jeffreyalejo

    I'll try your suggestion sir.

    I haven't tried testing the Video Card with other PC. I'll try it too for checking purposes.

    Another question sir, is it possible that a "Grounded" CPU Case causes this problem? I'm actually planning to remove everything from the CPU Case, re-arrange each parts outside the CPU Case and see if the problem still occurs.

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    OH Smeg

    On each of the Standoffs that it sits on.

    If this is a New Assemblythat has never worked I would say check the CPU's Orientation on the Socket and fit it correctly.

    But if you remove the M'Board from the Case remember to sit it on some Clean White or Brown Paper on the Work Bench or if you have one a Anti Static Mat. The Paper will do quite nicely though if you do not have a Anti Static Mat.

    The Power On Switch on the front of the case is a Contact Switch which means that when you press it it makes Contact and causes a Ripple on the Standby 5 V DC Rail which in turn turns on the full Power Supply and runs. Well that is what should happen but several different things can cause problems.

    If the PS doesn't get a signal from the running M'Board it will turn off but as things don't always go as they should it's possible for the unit to cycle through a Power On period followed by a Power Off and back to the Power On and so on.

    But if this is a new Build it is possible that you have got Incompatible Components so things like the Video Card may conflict with the M'Board and stop the unit from starting at all or put it into a Loop that is never ending.

    The Individual Components may be perfect but they are unable to work Together. I have seen this a lot with AMD M'Boards and NVidia Video Cards but I have seen it also with ATI Video Cards just not as often.

    In the case of the ATI Video Cards the same Chip Set from a Different Maker will sometimes work. But with the NVidia Video Cards you need to use a different Video Chip Set not just a different Maker of the Video Card.

    This isn't as common with Intel Chip Set M'Boards but with SIS, NVidia and so on it is quite common.

    Col

    Col

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    bamstav

    a new graphics card...sound to me like it's locking up the port..can you try to install the card in another pc to check what it does?

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    jeffreyalejo

    I'll try your suggestion.

    I'm also thinking about "GROUNDED" CPU Case but I'm not sure about this. I'm planning to remove everything from the CPU Case then re-arranged everything outside the case and see if the problem still occurs. What do think?

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    dldorrance

    You said "I removed the jumper near the CMOS Battery. I put it back and started the PC, the same problem occurs."

    Did you also move the jumper to short out the CMOS? If not, it could take over 30 minutes to erase the RAM inside the BIOS.

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    jeffreyalejo

    Thanks for the reply.

    Initially I did not. Then I realized I forgot to short it out, so I did it again but I did not wait for over 30 minutes.

    I only waited for over 30 minutes on the process of removing the CMOS Battery.

    I'll try this one anyway. Thanks for the idea.

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    OH Smeg

    Was the Mains Lead disconnected?

    If not the ATX Power Supply would have been supplying the necessary power to keep the Settings in the CMOS.

    Even when you Short out the Header by moving the Jumper from Pins 1 & 2 to Pins 2 & 3 the Mains Power Lead should be disconnected to prevent the PS from supplying the necessary power to keep the settings in the CMOS.

    Col

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    dldorrance

    When the computer is OFF the RAM in the CMOS is kept energized by the battery. Moving the jumper interrupts that energy and the RAM is immediately deactivated.

    If the jumper is not switched to deactivate the CMOS, removal of the battery will do the same thing, however there is a storage capacitor across the battery which provides the current needed to keep the RAM active. It takes some period of time for that capacitor to become discharged. That's where the 30 minutes came from in my post above. However it might take longer than 30 minutes and with a motherboard with a jumper this is irrelevant anyway.

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    OH Smeg

    There is no 5 V DC from the ATX Power Supply.

    Remember it is a ripple on the 5 V DC Rail which turns the system on when it is off. ATX Power Supplies Do Not switch off the power they just sit idle till there is a load on the 5 V DC Rail and then they will turn on.

    Look at a Optical PS2 Mouse and see if the LED's go out when the Computer is turned off but left turned on at the mains. Of course provided that you turn off the Power Switch on the PS and it is a Double Pole Switch that will have the same effect but if it is a Single Pole Switch like are used in some cheap no name PS's and the House Wiring isn't wired correctly the entire system will be active and the switch will be breaking the Neutral Link.

    Still turns the power off but it doesn't remove the power and can cause an electrocution with the switch in the Off Position.

    Col

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    seanferd

    that anyone would mess around inside a box with the mains connected at all, regardless.

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    OH Smeg

    Of supposedly bright people doing really dumb things.

    Col

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    ---TK---

    purge the power... easy way to do it is pull the power cord from the wall outlet, push the power button for 3 sec. you will see the fans twitch, clear the CMOS (move jumper to the correct place for 5-30 sec), move the jumper back, plug the system in, and fire it up.

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    ---TK---

    When you pulled the CPU, did you reapply new thermal grease? If not, I would highly recommend applying some, if not you could melt the CPU to the heat sync.... yes its been done, lol, many times... I will admit I have melted a CPU to a heat sync, many years ago. Every now and then users (here) have posted up, with an end result of the cpu melting to the heat sync..

    I would also look for bulging compositors, if you have a "popped cap" (google it for images), it could potentially be causing this issue... unlikely but it could be...

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    jeffreyalejo

    Thanks for the info..

    I haven't applied any thermal grease yet. I have checked all the capacitors in the Motherboard and they are all in good condition.

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    OH Smeg

    Because the Owner didn't unplug the mains lead before they pulled the CPU. Even then you should push the On Switch to discharge the Capacitors in the PS and on the M'Board.

    Things can get nasty with ATX Power Supplies if you do not understand how they work.

    Col

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    Sue T

    what do they say, if anything? Here are a couple of ideas to try - is your mouse and or keyboard using USB to connect? If so, try using one with a PS2 connector. Are you able to boot to a bootable CD? Did you try updating your BIOS before this problem started?
    good luck.

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    jeffreyalejo

    Thanks for the reply.

    I'm using a PS2 Mouse and Keyboard.

    I can't boot to a bootable CD because the PC immediately hangs after the first screen (the information about the video card displayed at the upper-left of the screen). I can't even go inside the BIOS.

    I haven't updated it before this problem occurred.

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    CG IT

    If you did, did you make sure you used the right BIOS for your mainboard and that the tools you used reported the BIOS flashed successfully?

    If you flash it and mucked it up and can't reflash, your motherboard BIOS is unrecoverable and you'll have to either replace the motherboard or the BIOS chip [if it's removable]

    If you didn't flash the BIOS, it's possible you have a bad mainboard. After the SVGA BIOS from your SVGA card is shown on the display, you should get either the mainboard splash screen for the BIOS settings, if you don't get that and the system hangs, your not getting to the point of the BIOS handoff to the operating system.

    If this is a new mainboard or still under mfg warranty, return it.

    if you flashed the BIOS and return it they will know and deny the replacement refund under warranty.

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    jeffreyalejo

    Thanks for the info.

    The third paragraph you have written seems to be the exact problem I encountered. After the SVGA Card information is shown on the upper-left of display, it hangs and the BIOS settings doesn't appear.

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    OH Smeg

    Or a upgrade?

    That would explain the problem if it is with something being incompatible.

    if it was working previously and no changes have been made it's much harder to explain what's happening here.

    Col

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    CG IT

    if your not getting the BIOS splash screen or even the BIOS settings screen, even for a second or so, either the BIOS is toasted or you've got something in there that isn't compatible with the mainboard.

    upgrades? new CPU? memory? and are they compatible with the mainboard?

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    jeffreyalejo

    I actually changed the Motherboard. After I did it last April 2009, everything works fine until I formatted the Hard Disk and the installation of new OS failed.

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    OH Smeg

    Wouldn't cause the BIOS Screen to not appear unless you did something really drastic.

    So what have you done here?

    Col

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    jeffreyalejo

    I formatted the Hard Disk and installed a fresh copy of OS. I done this last April 2009. I was able to use the PC until last September. Then I decided to reformat my Hard Disk earlier this month. Unfortunately, the installation of OS suddenly fails (some components cannot be copied). Then I tried to reformat it again and the problem above occurs.

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    OH Smeg

    When the Windows Installer is unable to find Files it has to do with either incompatible RAM or a Module going off. Even if the RAM passes every Test that you throw at it you'll need to remove all but 1 Module and then install the OS.

    However if the RAM does Fail the Test the Module is faulty and needs replacing.

    No matter what happens though by reducing the PAM Load you can get your OS installed provided that you have 1 Good Module Installed on the M'Board. If this doesn't work the only other possibility is that the Optical Drive is faulty or that the Disc being used to load the system is damaged and needs replacing.

    Col

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    Jacky Howe

    before you cook it. Do as bamstav has suggested and try another Video card.

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    jeffreyalejo

    Thanks for the reply.

    I'll try it.

  • +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    The Keyboard?

    Sounds as if there are some sticking keys.

    Col

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    0 Votes
    jeffreyalejo

    Thanks for the reply.

    I checked the keyboard and there is no problem with it. It works fine with other desktop.

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    Russell Gates

    I had a computer in the other day. Client bought it at a computer show. It wouldn't boot they said. You didn't describe the "letters" in great detail but on the one I just fixed the letters were like misplaced or substituted.
    My first thought was a corrupted BIOS. Removed battery and reset CMOS switch. NOPE, didn't work.
    I removed the RAM and tested with one stick in. It booted fine. Now the funny part. I put the second stick in to verify. It worked to! So I put both sticks in and booted to desktop.
    Another happy client.
    I hope this works for you.

    +
    0 Votes
    jeffreyalejo

    Thanks for the reply.

    The letters are similar to those letters which are enclosed in a square. Some of them have colors too. Other letters appears like a percent sign (%), equal sign (=), etc.

    This happens immediately before the first beep after turning-on the PC. Actually the first display is written at the upper-left part of the screen which is all about the graphics adapter information. It happens immediately at this part.

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    And see if it still does the same thing.

    This is sounding more and more like a major Hardware failure and when that happens it's not good news.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    jeffreyalejo

    What do you mean by this sir? Do I have to pull-out the Power Supply cord (24-pin) on the Motherboard? Thanks!

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    To Physically remove the Power Supply from the case and fit another Known Good one to test with.

    So that means removing the 24 Pin Plug from the M'Board as well as any supplementary 12 V Leads and the Drive Power Leads and then finally the 2,3 or 4 screws that hold the Power Supply in the case and lift the Power Supply out of the case.

    Place it on a desk somewhere and fit another one that you know works. If the system now works you have a Bad Power Supply that needed replacing and if it doesn't you have ruled out a Faulty Power Supply Maybe.

    It is however not unheard of when a PS allows too much junk through and into the inside of the case damaging the M'Board which in turn destroys the Power Supply.

    Also have you tried another Video Card in this system just to double check that isn't the problem or that Video Card in another computer for correct Function?

    Col

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    0 Votes
    jeffreyalejo

    I'll try your suggestion sir.

    I haven't tried testing the Video Card with other PC. I'll try it too for checking purposes.

    Another question sir, is it possible that a "Grounded" CPU Case causes this problem? I'm actually planning to remove everything from the CPU Case, re-arrange each parts outside the CPU Case and see if the problem still occurs.

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    On each of the Standoffs that it sits on.

    If this is a New Assemblythat has never worked I would say check the CPU's Orientation on the Socket and fit it correctly.

    But if you remove the M'Board from the Case remember to sit it on some Clean White or Brown Paper on the Work Bench or if you have one a Anti Static Mat. The Paper will do quite nicely though if you do not have a Anti Static Mat.

    The Power On Switch on the front of the case is a Contact Switch which means that when you press it it makes Contact and causes a Ripple on the Standby 5 V DC Rail which in turn turns on the full Power Supply and runs. Well that is what should happen but several different things can cause problems.

    If the PS doesn't get a signal from the running M'Board it will turn off but as things don't always go as they should it's possible for the unit to cycle through a Power On period followed by a Power Off and back to the Power On and so on.

    But if this is a new Build it is possible that you have got Incompatible Components so things like the Video Card may conflict with the M'Board and stop the unit from starting at all or put it into a Loop that is never ending.

    The Individual Components may be perfect but they are unable to work Together. I have seen this a lot with AMD M'Boards and NVidia Video Cards but I have seen it also with ATI Video Cards just not as often.

    In the case of the ATI Video Cards the same Chip Set from a Different Maker will sometimes work. But with the NVidia Video Cards you need to use a different Video Chip Set not just a different Maker of the Video Card.

    This isn't as common with Intel Chip Set M'Boards but with SIS, NVidia and so on it is quite common.

    Col

    Col

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    bamstav

    a new graphics card...sound to me like it's locking up the port..can you try to install the card in another pc to check what it does?

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    0 Votes
    jeffreyalejo

    I'll try your suggestion.

    I'm also thinking about "GROUNDED" CPU Case but I'm not sure about this. I'm planning to remove everything from the CPU Case then re-arranged everything outside the case and see if the problem still occurs. What do think?

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    dldorrance

    You said "I removed the jumper near the CMOS Battery. I put it back and started the PC, the same problem occurs."

    Did you also move the jumper to short out the CMOS? If not, it could take over 30 minutes to erase the RAM inside the BIOS.

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    0 Votes
    jeffreyalejo

    Thanks for the reply.

    Initially I did not. Then I realized I forgot to short it out, so I did it again but I did not wait for over 30 minutes.

    I only waited for over 30 minutes on the process of removing the CMOS Battery.

    I'll try this one anyway. Thanks for the idea.

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Was the Mains Lead disconnected?

    If not the ATX Power Supply would have been supplying the necessary power to keep the Settings in the CMOS.

    Even when you Short out the Header by moving the Jumper from Pins 1 & 2 to Pins 2 & 3 the Mains Power Lead should be disconnected to prevent the PS from supplying the necessary power to keep the settings in the CMOS.

    Col

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    0 Votes
    dldorrance

    When the computer is OFF the RAM in the CMOS is kept energized by the battery. Moving the jumper interrupts that energy and the RAM is immediately deactivated.

    If the jumper is not switched to deactivate the CMOS, removal of the battery will do the same thing, however there is a storage capacitor across the battery which provides the current needed to keep the RAM active. It takes some period of time for that capacitor to become discharged. That's where the 30 minutes came from in my post above. However it might take longer than 30 minutes and with a motherboard with a jumper this is irrelevant anyway.

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    There is no 5 V DC from the ATX Power Supply.

    Remember it is a ripple on the 5 V DC Rail which turns the system on when it is off. ATX Power Supplies Do Not switch off the power they just sit idle till there is a load on the 5 V DC Rail and then they will turn on.

    Look at a Optical PS2 Mouse and see if the LED's go out when the Computer is turned off but left turned on at the mains. Of course provided that you turn off the Power Switch on the PS and it is a Double Pole Switch that will have the same effect but if it is a Single Pole Switch like are used in some cheap no name PS's and the House Wiring isn't wired correctly the entire system will be active and the switch will be breaking the Neutral Link.

    Still turns the power off but it doesn't remove the power and can cause an electrocution with the switch in the Off Position.

    Col

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    seanferd

    that anyone would mess around inside a box with the mains connected at all, regardless.

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Of supposedly bright people doing really dumb things.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    ---TK---

    purge the power... easy way to do it is pull the power cord from the wall outlet, push the power button for 3 sec. you will see the fans twitch, clear the CMOS (move jumper to the correct place for 5-30 sec), move the jumper back, plug the system in, and fire it up.

    +
    0 Votes
    ---TK---

    When you pulled the CPU, did you reapply new thermal grease? If not, I would highly recommend applying some, if not you could melt the CPU to the heat sync.... yes its been done, lol, many times... I will admit I have melted a CPU to a heat sync, many years ago. Every now and then users (here) have posted up, with an end result of the cpu melting to the heat sync..

    I would also look for bulging compositors, if you have a "popped cap" (google it for images), it could potentially be causing this issue... unlikely but it could be...

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    0 Votes
    jeffreyalejo

    Thanks for the info..

    I haven't applied any thermal grease yet. I have checked all the capacitors in the Motherboard and they are all in good condition.

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Because the Owner didn't unplug the mains lead before they pulled the CPU. Even then you should push the On Switch to discharge the Capacitors in the PS and on the M'Board.

    Things can get nasty with ATX Power Supplies if you do not understand how they work.

    Col

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    0 Votes
    Sue T

    what do they say, if anything? Here are a couple of ideas to try - is your mouse and or keyboard using USB to connect? If so, try using one with a PS2 connector. Are you able to boot to a bootable CD? Did you try updating your BIOS before this problem started?
    good luck.

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    0 Votes
    jeffreyalejo

    Thanks for the reply.

    I'm using a PS2 Mouse and Keyboard.

    I can't boot to a bootable CD because the PC immediately hangs after the first screen (the information about the video card displayed at the upper-left of the screen). I can't even go inside the BIOS.

    I haven't updated it before this problem occurred.

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    0 Votes
    CG IT

    If you did, did you make sure you used the right BIOS for your mainboard and that the tools you used reported the BIOS flashed successfully?

    If you flash it and mucked it up and can't reflash, your motherboard BIOS is unrecoverable and you'll have to either replace the motherboard or the BIOS chip [if it's removable]

    If you didn't flash the BIOS, it's possible you have a bad mainboard. After the SVGA BIOS from your SVGA card is shown on the display, you should get either the mainboard splash screen for the BIOS settings, if you don't get that and the system hangs, your not getting to the point of the BIOS handoff to the operating system.

    If this is a new mainboard or still under mfg warranty, return it.

    if you flashed the BIOS and return it they will know and deny the replacement refund under warranty.

    +
    0 Votes
    jeffreyalejo

    Thanks for the info.

    The third paragraph you have written seems to be the exact problem I encountered. After the SVGA Card information is shown on the upper-left of display, it hangs and the BIOS settings doesn't appear.

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Or a upgrade?

    That would explain the problem if it is with something being incompatible.

    if it was working previously and no changes have been made it's much harder to explain what's happening here.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    CG IT

    if your not getting the BIOS splash screen or even the BIOS settings screen, even for a second or so, either the BIOS is toasted or you've got something in there that isn't compatible with the mainboard.

    upgrades? new CPU? memory? and are they compatible with the mainboard?

    +
    0 Votes
    jeffreyalejo

    I actually changed the Motherboard. After I did it last April 2009, everything works fine until I formatted the Hard Disk and the installation of new OS failed.

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Wouldn't cause the BIOS Screen to not appear unless you did something really drastic.

    So what have you done here?

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    jeffreyalejo

    I formatted the Hard Disk and installed a fresh copy of OS. I done this last April 2009. I was able to use the PC until last September. Then I decided to reformat my Hard Disk earlier this month. Unfortunately, the installation of OS suddenly fails (some components cannot be copied). Then I tried to reformat it again and the problem above occurs.

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    When the Windows Installer is unable to find Files it has to do with either incompatible RAM or a Module going off. Even if the RAM passes every Test that you throw at it you'll need to remove all but 1 Module and then install the OS.

    However if the RAM does Fail the Test the Module is faulty and needs replacing.

    No matter what happens though by reducing the PAM Load you can get your OS installed provided that you have 1 Good Module Installed on the M'Board. If this doesn't work the only other possibility is that the Optical Drive is faulty or that the Disc being used to load the system is damaged and needs replacing.

    Col

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    0 Votes
    Jacky Howe

    before you cook it. Do as bamstav has suggested and try another Video card.

    +
    0 Votes
    jeffreyalejo

    Thanks for the reply.

    I'll try it.