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Haunted Desktop

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I am an avid user of Desktop computers, and I hate using laptops. The problem is, my desktop seems to be haunted.

 

Two nights ago, while doing nothing in particular (I believe I was loading up a game, either Sims 3 or League of Legends) my computer suddenly started freaking out. Graphics crashed, so I ended explorer and dwm and they wouldn't restore. I shrugged and rebooted.

 

The computer did not boot back up.

 

I went to sleep, since opening the computer and poking around did not reveal anything notable, and the machine was not POSTing even though all of the components appeared to work.

 

After some thought the next morning (yesterday) I realized that I could reset the CMOS at the cost of my BIOS settings. So I did, and the computer boot up. However.. i was met with a screen that instructed me to either configure BIOS or load default values and continue boot sequence.

 

Can boot if CMOS is reset.

Will not post, prompts to either configure bios or load default settings

-> Default settings:

first boot device: removable media

second boot device: SSD

third boot device: disabled

-> Select this with Windows 7 CD in

-> Begins to boot into CD

- Stops

Black screen

Reset button no longer works

requires you to hold down power button until it is powered down

will no longer boot unless you reset CMOS again

-> Select this without Windows 7 CD:

Black screen

Reset button no longer works

requires you to hold down power button until it is powered down

will no longer boot unless you reset CMOS again

-> Configure BIOS:

configure in any way

-> restart to apply BIOS changes

-> black screen

requires you to hold down power button until it is powered down

will no longer boot unless you reset CMOS again

 

-> Maybe the RAM is bad

- All RAM showing itself in BIOS

 

-> Maybe the CPU is fried

- CPU showing itself in BIOS

 

Edit: Also, it will not reset the CMOS by pulling the battery and putting it back in, I need to put in a different battery (which I pulled from my older desktops.) Alternating between the four I have, I can sometimes find one that will let me boot in. I think it is unlikely that the batteries are all dead, given that two of them are less than 3 years old, and CR2032 batteries as far as motherboards go, typically last about a decade. I have ordered a new set nonetheless, though I do not think this is the problem .

 

Conclusion: My computer is haunted.

 

 

But really, any thoughts? My friend said maybe the FSB was fried, but the computer starts to boot sometimes with the CD in it, the reset button not always working is also incredibly weird. We're at a loss, and I loathe bringing my desktop to a "professional."

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Bit early here WinApp2 so here are a few thread and troubleshooting to be going on with

 

This thread someone found some sort of answer at bottom.

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/286558-12-boot-clear-cmos-time-battery

 

Something to consider in second page here

http://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/964698-computer-wont-boot-unless-cmos-cleared-help/

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Resetting the CMOS with the Jumper and removing the 16 pin PCI power cable did nothing to help.

 

Doesn't seem to be a powerbutton issue, since it works fine. I'm leaning towards a problem with the CPU and/or mobo, im hoping to avoid having to replace parts though.

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I tried pulling my GPU (completely removing it and one of my fans from the system, to test if the PSU maybe didn't have enough juice without a voltameter) but the machine didn't make a peep.

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I know this sounds elementary, but what happens if you apply the following steps?

 

- Blow the dust from your PC. Whilst forgotten by many, this is/can cause many computers to lockup from heat related problems. Be sure to do this with the computer off & unplugged. Q-tip the blades of the fans in the PSU/CPU/GPU/Case before you blow them out, to ensure they do not over-RPM or become damaged. An electric leaf blower is quite a bit less expensive than canned air without being so cold & blowing moisture onto your computer components. Be careful to do the blowing outdoors, perhaps on a porch away from other objects or dusty areas. This works quite well in removing dust.

 

- While the computer is off, take the time to take out any cards you never use. If your on DSL, remove your dialup 56K modem. I have seen cases that a 56K modem became damaged. Just enough so, that it caused Windows to detect that it was there, but not know what it was. The computer endlessly rebooted because it had a short in it. You could feel the heat coming off one of the chips on the card. After removal, it worked quite well. Any cards or devices you do not use, try removing them. Also, take this time to reseat the Memory/GPU/PCI/PCIe/AGP/etc, cards. Be careful to discharge the static beforehand by touching the case. And only handle them by the edges, as static from your body can discharge into the components and kill them dead. Finger oils can shorten the life of components.

 

- When your computer boots, uninstall or disable your antivirus. Then, download the latest BIOS update for your PC. It does happen that the BIOS can get corrupted. Once it is totally corrupted, it is very difficult to fix except physically removing it & replacing it. Prior to that, if Windows still boots, you can download the latest BIOS flash from your vendor. If you are running an Antivirus, disable it. Otherwise, it can cause the flash to fail & leave your system unusable. I recently had a laptop that had a 1,500 mhz processor in it. It always ran at 238 mhz. Even with a clean Windows install & changing the power settings in the control panel & bios. The only thing that fixed it, was a Bios update. Afterwards, the flip chip went back to working at a normal 589 mhz on low speed, & 1,500 mhz speed on full power. Additionally, I have had an older HP machine that used Win ME that would blue screen while experimenting with installing XP on it. Bios flash fixed it & caused it to run great with it. Try a BIOS flash. Just be sure to disable and uninstall your A/V & any anti-malware prior to this. You can always re-install those after your done with your update.

 

- While the computer is off & unplugged, pull your battery from your MOBO & cycle the power button 3 or 4 times to discharge all the residual power left on the board. Let it sit for a minute, then pop the battery back in & plug it back in. If your MOBO was over-clocked or contained invalid settings, this can sometimes resolve the issue. You will need to reset the clock once back in Windows, but that is a minor issue.

 

- If you haven't already, try backing up all your data (pictures/music/games/videos/etc) to another drive, then reset Windows. Try your system out after you have downloaded & installed the graphics/audio/ethernet & any other drivers that may be missing. Then, run CCleaner wipe free space to clear the drive completely (if you have a non SSD drive). If the drive is sticking/hanging/looping on any area while wiping, it may be the drive going out on you.

 

- If Windows is still acting strange, check how much RAM you have installed vs what you are running. If your constantly running out of MEM, you need to update. Also, check each RAM stick individually, to see whether this may be the problem.

- Check your startup processes. Generally, the fewer the better. Leave your A/V, but most else can be disabled.

- If still having erratic problems, try getting a battery power surge protector, such as APC. They filter out spikes, supplement brownouts with battery power, etc. Also, test a different power supply if you can.

 

 

If, after attempting the following steps that you still encounter problems, I conclude that your MOBO/CPU/other is bad, & it may be beyond hope that you will be able to successfully resurrect this machine from the dead without lots of problems. You may have to get a new system.

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- the case is quite clean, i use a hand held air compressor tp clean it every two weeks or so, and it has four 120mm fans and a 240mm fan, so quite cool as well.

 

- i have tried unplugging all the components, and resetting the power (going so far as to pull the sixteen pin PCI power cable)

 

- cant access the drives but they all show up as O.K

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by unplugging all of my other drives, I forced it to boot into my SSD, and I saw the vista loading splash screen (green Microsoft Corporation bar) for a second, then a black screen.

 

Not sure what the Vista screen was doing there, but various posts online suggest something wrong with the boot sector?

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new progress: I heard Windows start up, but I can only see a black screen. Perhaps a GPU issue? But I can see everything prior to loading windows.. weird..

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Final post, mod can close this thread.

 

I fixed the problem by replacing my GPU with an older one I had that was still compatible, logging into windows, updating my GPU drivers for the "broken" card, downloading the most recent BIOS for my board, flashing the bios, resetting the CMOS one last time, then finally configuring my BIOS the way I need it to boot.

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Whew! Glad you got it fixed! Not sure what helped the most, the BIOS flash, or using a compatible older card with updated drivers, but so glad you got it fixed!

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Nice work Winapp2, my money was always on graphics related issues or power supply

 

Thread closed as requested by original poster. :)

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