Questions

My desktop computer cannot boot up. Desperate. Pls help.

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2 Votes
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My desktop computer cannot boot up. Desperate. Pls help.

teri732
My computer crashed while I was away from my desktop. So, don't know what exactly happened. Tried to boot up with Vista Ultimate Boot Disk. It still canot boot up. What happened? The computer did a memoy check, loaded window files about 1/4 way and then dissappeared and went right back to checking memory again. It repeats this loop a few times (memory checking repeatedly) until it froze or the entire screen is blank. I tried with a new hard disk to reboot it, the same thing happened. It cannot boot up. With the new h/disk, it asked for a system disk to be inserted to the DVD drive. I try putting DOS Window 2.0 XP. It went to A> drive. A few minutes later, the whole screen become black/blank. It's unstable. I believe the BIOS is corrupted. Any ideas? Becos' I can't boot up and stay in DOS long enough before it goes blank, I can't load a new BIOS. Your help is most appreciated. Thank you.
My configuration:
2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor (64 bits)
Vists Ultimate Operating system
160 GB HD SATA II
ATI Radeon Garphic cards
MotherBoard: P965T-A Rev 1.0B
Current BIOS: Phoenix-Award V.00PG P965T-A Ver 1.0f 9/15/2006
1 DVD -RW
  • +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Do you need to get any Data off the HDD?

    If you do it's more than likely that it's way too late to even consider this option now with what you have done.

    Secondly test the RAM with something like Mem Test on the Ultimate Boot CD which is available free from here

    http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html

    Just make sure to download the ISO on this Web Page and not the Add which is for something different.

    After you download the ISO File and burn to CD boot your faulty computer off the CD and see if it runs. If it falls over try some of the Diagnostics but the main ones to check are CPU, RAM and Video Card, forget the DOS Idea as it's not supported by many newer M'Boards.

    You also need to confirm the correct function of the M'Board as this is a ECS M'Board which have a very poor Reliability reputation it's quite possible that the M'Board has suffered a Failure. As you where not there when the unit fell over it's also possible that the Power Supply has given up the Ghost and unfortunately this doesn't mean that the computer is just dead it can mean that everything sort of works and then the system appears to restart.

    Even if FANS run and the Video Appears on the screen this doesn't mean that the system is actually working correctly just that it's getting enough power to run the system to the stage where things go wrong. So if the the unit doesn't run with a Boot Disc like the Ultimate Boot CD in it you should look at replacing the PS and trying again with a Known Good Power Supply.

    As for the new HDD as this M'Board has SATA HDD Capability and if you are using a SATA HDD you may need the correct SATA Driver for Vista here. This can be got from ECS/Eletegroup Web Site or from your M'Board Disc.

    http://www.ecsusa.com/ECSWebSite/Index.aspx?MenuID=0&LanID=9

    Col

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    0 Votes
    teri732

    Thanks for the reply. I still can't boot up the computer.

    I burned a copy of Ultimate Boot CD. Test the following:
    1. CPU
    2. RAM
    Each time it completed the test, it went back to memory check and the computer froze. I have to unplug the power outlet, waited a couple of minutes, then rebooted the computer. It went very fast for each test. 2 tests altogether. So, I don't know if sucessful or not.

    To make it simple. This is what I want to do - just boot up on the new Western Digital HDD (WD Caviar Blue - 320 GB) I had connected. I don't want to boot from the old drive anymore. It's a headache! I already have the old data backup on another extrenal drive. I can restore to the new drive later.
    =============================
    So, how do I boot up the new HDD and install Vista Ultimate?

    Each time, I try with Ultimate Boot CD and run a test, it hangs after the test completed. Should a new BIOS be installed?

    Without the Ultimate Boot CD (no CD/DVD in D drive), the message appears:
    "Boot Failure, Insert System Disk and Press Enter". What system disk?

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    0 Votes
    teri732

    One more note, each time the computer froze, I cannot reboot any more b/cos it will hang/froze again BEFORE it can even read the D drive. So, I have to turn the power off, waited about 5 minutes at least, then reboot to read the D drive. Why? If I reboot immediately after it hanged, it will hang again!

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    0 Votes
    it

    Try turning off the computer, removing the adapter, removing the battery, and waiting one hour. It's actually just around fifteen to thirty minutes but I think one hour for good measure. Plug your computer in without the battery and try starting up your computer. That should tell you that you have a bad date and time in your computer and should set it up. If it does that, you've reset your BIOS. Now, while you're in BIOS, make sure that your computer even sees that you have a hard drive installed in that system.

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    0 Votes
    teri732

    It's a desktop. If you go to the top/begining of the question, you'll see it's stated desktop.

    Any other remedies? Thanks.

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    You need to open the case and at the very least clean it out. You can used Canned Air to do this but most defiantly none of those Static Dust Collecting devices that are advertised on TV. Also you shouldn't use a Vacuum Cleaner either as they generate Static in the way that they pump air around.

    When you start the system and get the Insert System Disc Message this is just telling you that there is no OS present it needs a System Disc to load an OS. Here you should be inserting the Vista Install DVD to allow the system to start the Install Process.

    So back tot he Ultimate Boot CD insert this and start the system. When you get the Menu Screen Select the Memory Option then when the next screen opens select the Memtest86+ Option and run that.

    This is a Open Ended Test it will run as long as the computer runs it will not revert to anything else. If the lines stop moving or adding to the page the system has hung up. If there are any entries in Red there is a RAM Error and you need to look at the actual installed RAM.

    As I have never had much joy with ECS M'Boards over the years I tend to expect the M'Board to be damaged and need replacing but maybe that's just me as I have never had any joy with systems using that brand of M'Board and I've spent a lot of time wasted trying to get customers systems to work again, till I just refused to do any work on computers with this brand of M'Board,. For a few $ more you could fit a Gigabyte M'Board which are ultra Reliable will last for years if there is a Part way decent Power Supply involved and just work. ECS M'Boards on the other hand tend to take ages to be replaced while Under Guarantee and then if they last long enough to rebuild the computer that you have to fit them to and they get back tot he owner it's close to a miracle. The last one of those M'Boards that I worked with I got 3 supposedly New M'Boards the first 2 didn't work and the third one died while Windows was being loaded and that was with a New Antec Power Supply fitted.

    Of course it was my fault int he owners eyes that it took 6 weeks to repair and the fact that ECS took so long to supply nonfunctional M'Boards as a replacement didn't count. Hence if I now get a nonworking system with a ECS M'Board I give the Owner the option of dealing with ECS themselves for a replacement or just fit a Suitable Gigabyte M'Board and Antec Power Supply which they pay for.

    Anyway after you have the unit clean you need to look at the M'Board for any signs of Obvious Damage, so any Burn Marks exploded Integrated Circuits and the like mean that the M'Board needs replacing. It also means that the Power Supply is to be suspected and if it's a No Name Brand replaced with a Good Unit that actually filters the Mains Voltage and prevents Spikes entering the case destroying the Electronics.

    You also need to look for Bulging/Leaking Electrolytic Capacitors. These look like little Tin Cans standing on their ends and are mostly around the CPU. If any are leaking or have rounded tops the M'Board needs replacing. If these are leaking Do Not touch the liquid coming out of them as this is Toxic and will not do you any good Handel the M'Boards with great Care and make sure that anything leaking can not run onto anything that you touch. If there is any of this liquid on the bottom of the case you need to clean it off but not touch it with your skin so be careful.

    Now if the M'Board looks OK remove all but 1 RAM Module which is the closest to the CPU and try to test the RAM again. If the test fails remove that 1 RAM Module and fit another of the removed ones to the socket where you removed the Last removed Module from and retest the unit.

    If it passes the test try loading the system with the Vista Disc with only the 1 RAM Module Fitted and see how that goes. If it doesn't load the OS check the connection on the Cables tot eh HDD and make sure that both ends of the Data Lead is connected. Ideally the Data Lead should be connected to Socket 0 or 1 on the SATA Connector whichever is the lowest number.

    Lets see how that goes.

    Col

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    0 Votes
    teri732

    Ok, these are the actions:
    test 1
    I have already vacuumed and cleaned the motherboard before you suggested, including the CPU fan. S, after boot up with UBCD (Ultimate Bood CD), select Memory => Memtest86+
    The computer runs fast, then back to memory check again; and return to Main Menu of UBCD. Is that a good sign? I suppose so, since it does not freeze.
    While trying to figure the next step, about 1 - 2 minutes, the whole screen went blank. I was at the Main Menu when this happened.
    I reboot the desktop. It hanged immediately, even BEFORE reading the UBCD.
    So, I unpluged the power, and have to wait about 5 minutes to reboot later.

    Test 2.
    Meanwhile, I checked for any physical damages you decribed. Everthing looks clean. All cables properly connected. I have only one connector for the SATA HDD in the motherboard. So very straight forward. No leaks or damage to capacitors.

    Test 3.
    I have a total of 4 sticks, 2 memory sticks @2GB and 2 sticks@1GB. Thus, 6 GB total memory. Removed ALL RAM modules, except 1 stick @2GB nearest to the CPU, then reboot. Run Memtest86+ again. It completed the test, then return to memory check and FROZE.
    I repeat the test with 1 stick@1GB, replacing the 1 stick@2GB, run Memtest86+, It return to the Main Menu of UBCD after the memory check. Seems to pass the test, right?
    Retest with 1 stick@2GB, run Memtest86+, it works this time. After the test, it return to Main Menu of UBCD.
    Why is that erratic?
    Why does it not work with 2GB memory initially, then after testing with a 1GB memory, it works. And, replacing the 1GB with 2GB stick, it now works for both. I made sure that the memory stick sits properly in the slot each time I install it, so it couldn't be a bad connection.

    Test 4.
    Installing Vista Ultimate with 1stick@2GB. Put Vista Install disk. It installed about 10%, then it went back to memory check, ask to press any keep to boot from DVD (ie Vista Install disk) and the desktop goes blank/black. It froze.

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    0 Votes
    teri732

    After about 5 minutes, I try again. It completed the memory check, reads the Vista Install disk. Message displayed " .... press any key to boot from CD or DVD...."
    Then, the screen goes blank. I noticed the power also shut down. That's why blank.

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    0 Votes
    teri732

    This time, the power supply did NOT shut down. After the msg displayed "boot from DVD", it takes a a minute b4 it goes blank.

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    0 Votes
    Jupiter9

    Reseat everything you can, all boards like the graphic cards.

    +
    0 Votes
    teri732

    Hi Jupiter9,

    Thanks for the input. I reseat evrything I can think on - video cards, CPU fans, power plugs, etc.

    +
    0 Votes
    CG IT

    hopefully each module is same as each other with the exception of size only. If you have different memory modules of different speeds and possibly voltages, your machine will do funny things. you can stick in X # of DDR2 PC6400 or X # of DDR3 10333 or whatever flavor memory but you can't mix and match em together.

    What' the BIOS say ? how much memory, PC Health status etc... could also be power supply.

    +
    0 Votes
    teri732

    @CG IT

    No mismatch - have DDR2-667 PC2- 5300, 2 sticks@2GB and 2 sticks@1GB. Bios say 6 GB memory. I'm begnning to speculate Power supply issue?
    Thanks. Any other ideas?

    +
    0 Votes
    it

    Whenever you go into the BIOS settings, does it read that you do have a hard drive installed? Some BIOS have a hard drive check. If you run any utility from BIOS that tries to access your hard drive, does it still see your hard drive? You might have a component in your motherboard that is starting to fail like the SATA controller. If your DVD drive is also on the SATA controller and it does not have issues (e.g. when you're trying to install, it is able to go through the motions of actually detecting hard drives) then you probably have a problem with your power supply. All signs are pointing towards a motherboard failure, though...or imminent motherboard failure. ASUS makes good motherboards but a bit pricey, I have not had problems with my Gigabyte motherboard at home and those are pretty reasonable.

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    0 Votes
    teri732

    ASUS motherboard. How much it cost? If my motherboard failed, I will look into that.

    Yes, BIOS detect HDD. DVD works fine. If I had to replace motheboard, I just want to get something reasonable, not one that last 5 yrs b/cos the technolog had changed alot by then.
    Thanks.

    +
    0 Votes
    it

    I apologize for not noticing desktop. I had it confused with workstation. Good luck on your system repair!

    +
    0 Votes
    teri732

    No problema. Thanks.

  • +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Do you need to get any Data off the HDD?

    If you do it's more than likely that it's way too late to even consider this option now with what you have done.

    Secondly test the RAM with something like Mem Test on the Ultimate Boot CD which is available free from here

    http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html

    Just make sure to download the ISO on this Web Page and not the Add which is for something different.

    After you download the ISO File and burn to CD boot your faulty computer off the CD and see if it runs. If it falls over try some of the Diagnostics but the main ones to check are CPU, RAM and Video Card, forget the DOS Idea as it's not supported by many newer M'Boards.

    You also need to confirm the correct function of the M'Board as this is a ECS M'Board which have a very poor Reliability reputation it's quite possible that the M'Board has suffered a Failure. As you where not there when the unit fell over it's also possible that the Power Supply has given up the Ghost and unfortunately this doesn't mean that the computer is just dead it can mean that everything sort of works and then the system appears to restart.

    Even if FANS run and the Video Appears on the screen this doesn't mean that the system is actually working correctly just that it's getting enough power to run the system to the stage where things go wrong. So if the the unit doesn't run with a Boot Disc like the Ultimate Boot CD in it you should look at replacing the PS and trying again with a Known Good Power Supply.

    As for the new HDD as this M'Board has SATA HDD Capability and if you are using a SATA HDD you may need the correct SATA Driver for Vista here. This can be got from ECS/Eletegroup Web Site or from your M'Board Disc.

    http://www.ecsusa.com/ECSWebSite/Index.aspx?MenuID=0&LanID=9

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    teri732

    Thanks for the reply. I still can't boot up the computer.

    I burned a copy of Ultimate Boot CD. Test the following:
    1. CPU
    2. RAM
    Each time it completed the test, it went back to memory check and the computer froze. I have to unplug the power outlet, waited a couple of minutes, then rebooted the computer. It went very fast for each test. 2 tests altogether. So, I don't know if sucessful or not.

    To make it simple. This is what I want to do - just boot up on the new Western Digital HDD (WD Caviar Blue - 320 GB) I had connected. I don't want to boot from the old drive anymore. It's a headache! I already have the old data backup on another extrenal drive. I can restore to the new drive later.
    =============================
    So, how do I boot up the new HDD and install Vista Ultimate?

    Each time, I try with Ultimate Boot CD and run a test, it hangs after the test completed. Should a new BIOS be installed?

    Without the Ultimate Boot CD (no CD/DVD in D drive), the message appears:
    "Boot Failure, Insert System Disk and Press Enter". What system disk?

    +
    0 Votes
    teri732

    One more note, each time the computer froze, I cannot reboot any more b/cos it will hang/froze again BEFORE it can even read the D drive. So, I have to turn the power off, waited about 5 minutes at least, then reboot to read the D drive. Why? If I reboot immediately after it hanged, it will hang again!

    +
    0 Votes
    it

    Try turning off the computer, removing the adapter, removing the battery, and waiting one hour. It's actually just around fifteen to thirty minutes but I think one hour for good measure. Plug your computer in without the battery and try starting up your computer. That should tell you that you have a bad date and time in your computer and should set it up. If it does that, you've reset your BIOS. Now, while you're in BIOS, make sure that your computer even sees that you have a hard drive installed in that system.

    +
    0 Votes
    teri732

    It's a desktop. If you go to the top/begining of the question, you'll see it's stated desktop.

    Any other remedies? Thanks.

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    You need to open the case and at the very least clean it out. You can used Canned Air to do this but most defiantly none of those Static Dust Collecting devices that are advertised on TV. Also you shouldn't use a Vacuum Cleaner either as they generate Static in the way that they pump air around.

    When you start the system and get the Insert System Disc Message this is just telling you that there is no OS present it needs a System Disc to load an OS. Here you should be inserting the Vista Install DVD to allow the system to start the Install Process.

    So back tot he Ultimate Boot CD insert this and start the system. When you get the Menu Screen Select the Memory Option then when the next screen opens select the Memtest86+ Option and run that.

    This is a Open Ended Test it will run as long as the computer runs it will not revert to anything else. If the lines stop moving or adding to the page the system has hung up. If there are any entries in Red there is a RAM Error and you need to look at the actual installed RAM.

    As I have never had much joy with ECS M'Boards over the years I tend to expect the M'Board to be damaged and need replacing but maybe that's just me as I have never had any joy with systems using that brand of M'Board and I've spent a lot of time wasted trying to get customers systems to work again, till I just refused to do any work on computers with this brand of M'Board,. For a few $ more you could fit a Gigabyte M'Board which are ultra Reliable will last for years if there is a Part way decent Power Supply involved and just work. ECS M'Boards on the other hand tend to take ages to be replaced while Under Guarantee and then if they last long enough to rebuild the computer that you have to fit them to and they get back tot he owner it's close to a miracle. The last one of those M'Boards that I worked with I got 3 supposedly New M'Boards the first 2 didn't work and the third one died while Windows was being loaded and that was with a New Antec Power Supply fitted.

    Of course it was my fault int he owners eyes that it took 6 weeks to repair and the fact that ECS took so long to supply nonfunctional M'Boards as a replacement didn't count. Hence if I now get a nonworking system with a ECS M'Board I give the Owner the option of dealing with ECS themselves for a replacement or just fit a Suitable Gigabyte M'Board and Antec Power Supply which they pay for.

    Anyway after you have the unit clean you need to look at the M'Board for any signs of Obvious Damage, so any Burn Marks exploded Integrated Circuits and the like mean that the M'Board needs replacing. It also means that the Power Supply is to be suspected and if it's a No Name Brand replaced with a Good Unit that actually filters the Mains Voltage and prevents Spikes entering the case destroying the Electronics.

    You also need to look for Bulging/Leaking Electrolytic Capacitors. These look like little Tin Cans standing on their ends and are mostly around the CPU. If any are leaking or have rounded tops the M'Board needs replacing. If these are leaking Do Not touch the liquid coming out of them as this is Toxic and will not do you any good Handel the M'Boards with great Care and make sure that anything leaking can not run onto anything that you touch. If there is any of this liquid on the bottom of the case you need to clean it off but not touch it with your skin so be careful.

    Now if the M'Board looks OK remove all but 1 RAM Module which is the closest to the CPU and try to test the RAM again. If the test fails remove that 1 RAM Module and fit another of the removed ones to the socket where you removed the Last removed Module from and retest the unit.

    If it passes the test try loading the system with the Vista Disc with only the 1 RAM Module Fitted and see how that goes. If it doesn't load the OS check the connection on the Cables tot eh HDD and make sure that both ends of the Data Lead is connected. Ideally the Data Lead should be connected to Socket 0 or 1 on the SATA Connector whichever is the lowest number.

    Lets see how that goes.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    teri732

    Ok, these are the actions:
    test 1
    I have already vacuumed and cleaned the motherboard before you suggested, including the CPU fan. S, after boot up with UBCD (Ultimate Bood CD), select Memory => Memtest86+
    The computer runs fast, then back to memory check again; and return to Main Menu of UBCD. Is that a good sign? I suppose so, since it does not freeze.
    While trying to figure the next step, about 1 - 2 minutes, the whole screen went blank. I was at the Main Menu when this happened.
    I reboot the desktop. It hanged immediately, even BEFORE reading the UBCD.
    So, I unpluged the power, and have to wait about 5 minutes to reboot later.

    Test 2.
    Meanwhile, I checked for any physical damages you decribed. Everthing looks clean. All cables properly connected. I have only one connector for the SATA HDD in the motherboard. So very straight forward. No leaks or damage to capacitors.

    Test 3.
    I have a total of 4 sticks, 2 memory sticks @2GB and 2 sticks@1GB. Thus, 6 GB total memory. Removed ALL RAM modules, except 1 stick @2GB nearest to the CPU, then reboot. Run Memtest86+ again. It completed the test, then return to memory check and FROZE.
    I repeat the test with 1 stick@1GB, replacing the 1 stick@2GB, run Memtest86+, It return to the Main Menu of UBCD after the memory check. Seems to pass the test, right?
    Retest with 1 stick@2GB, run Memtest86+, it works this time. After the test, it return to Main Menu of UBCD.
    Why is that erratic?
    Why does it not work with 2GB memory initially, then after testing with a 1GB memory, it works. And, replacing the 1GB with 2GB stick, it now works for both. I made sure that the memory stick sits properly in the slot each time I install it, so it couldn't be a bad connection.

    Test 4.
    Installing Vista Ultimate with 1stick@2GB. Put Vista Install disk. It installed about 10%, then it went back to memory check, ask to press any keep to boot from DVD (ie Vista Install disk) and the desktop goes blank/black. It froze.

    +
    0 Votes
    teri732

    After about 5 minutes, I try again. It completed the memory check, reads the Vista Install disk. Message displayed " .... press any key to boot from CD or DVD...."
    Then, the screen goes blank. I noticed the power also shut down. That's why blank.

    +
    0 Votes
    teri732

    This time, the power supply did NOT shut down. After the msg displayed "boot from DVD", it takes a a minute b4 it goes blank.

    +
    0 Votes
    Jupiter9

    Reseat everything you can, all boards like the graphic cards.

    +
    0 Votes
    teri732

    Hi Jupiter9,

    Thanks for the input. I reseat evrything I can think on - video cards, CPU fans, power plugs, etc.

    +
    0 Votes
    CG IT

    hopefully each module is same as each other with the exception of size only. If you have different memory modules of different speeds and possibly voltages, your machine will do funny things. you can stick in X # of DDR2 PC6400 or X # of DDR3 10333 or whatever flavor memory but you can't mix and match em together.

    What' the BIOS say ? how much memory, PC Health status etc... could also be power supply.

    +
    0 Votes
    teri732

    @CG IT

    No mismatch - have DDR2-667 PC2- 5300, 2 sticks@2GB and 2 sticks@1GB. Bios say 6 GB memory. I'm begnning to speculate Power supply issue?
    Thanks. Any other ideas?

    +
    0 Votes
    it

    Whenever you go into the BIOS settings, does it read that you do have a hard drive installed? Some BIOS have a hard drive check. If you run any utility from BIOS that tries to access your hard drive, does it still see your hard drive? You might have a component in your motherboard that is starting to fail like the SATA controller. If your DVD drive is also on the SATA controller and it does not have issues (e.g. when you're trying to install, it is able to go through the motions of actually detecting hard drives) then you probably have a problem with your power supply. All signs are pointing towards a motherboard failure, though...or imminent motherboard failure. ASUS makes good motherboards but a bit pricey, I have not had problems with my Gigabyte motherboard at home and those are pretty reasonable.

    +
    0 Votes
    teri732

    ASUS motherboard. How much it cost? If my motherboard failed, I will look into that.

    Yes, BIOS detect HDD. DVD works fine. If I had to replace motheboard, I just want to get something reasonable, not one that last 5 yrs b/cos the technolog had changed alot by then.
    Thanks.

    +
    0 Votes
    it

    I apologize for not noticing desktop. I had it confused with workstation. Good luck on your system repair!

    +
    0 Votes
    teri732

    No problema. Thanks.