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After boot problems, now boots OK, but screen won't work properly

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The Skeptic

The Skeptic

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The problem is becoming very confusing and must be diagnosed systematically for hardware failure. The problem is that the average user do not have replacement parts to pinpoint the problem by trial and error, a process that takes less then 20 minutes in a commercial lab.

The only part-free test that you can do at the moment is to make sure that all the cables that connect to the motherboard, especially the large one that connects the power supply unit, are tight in place. Please pull it out, re-seat firmly and boot. If the computer is still dead, or if the fans speen but nothing else work, the power supply unit must be replaced either by one taken from another computer or by a new one.
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Hey Skeptic...

What a joke.... just as I was about to throw the towel and take my computer to a shop for a proper checkup, I decided to follow your advice and go over all the plugs and connectors in my computer. I didn't want to completely detach connectors since I didn't really know too much about what I was doing, but I kind of fiddled with 'em and made sure the were securely in place. Didn't seem like anything was disconnected, nothing budged or suddenly snapped into place, but never-the-less I decided to try booting up once again. I removed the CMOS battery, waited, placed it back into place and re-booted. Happily I could hear the hard disk spin and work, which is nothing super exciting, but at least an improvement from the previous complications where nothing was working at all except for my fans. Eventually, I got to the BIOS setup page. This time I decided to put in my Windows XP disk and set boot priority to start with my CD/DVD drive. So I did that, then set time/date and rebooted...

The installation disk started spinning...

and up came the Windows XP splash screen!

After a few moments I was in the Windows installation process! I never thought I'd be so happy to format my drive and start a clean install of Windows.

To cut it short... I am now typing this post from my fully functional desktop, on a fresh OS, all three hard drives inside and working, drivers installed. :)

So it looks like you were right on the money! I assume that while removing hard drives, disconnecting cables, snapping out CMOS batteries, etc, I must have slightly jarred a cable or something which led to the strange no-display phenomenon and maybe later caused my system drive to stop working altogether. As for the problems before that, I guess that 64bit driver was culprit. So the two things together made the situation really confusing and aggravating.


First of all, thanks SO much for your great help and your patience for seeing this problem through!! :)

Secondly, I just have a few left-over questions...

1. I have not yet installed any of the SATA drivers. I noticed that there are no yellow question marks in the "disk drives" section of Device Manager and all three of my SATA drives seem to be working fine... so I started thinking 'why try to fix something that ain't broken'? Am I correct to think this way, or is there a reason I'm not aware of for installing that SATA driver?

2. I am getting that Express Gate error when starting up my system. I know that I can just disable Express Gate from the BIOS and this message goes away... but I was just so relieved about having everything working again, I avoided making any sort of changes in the BIOS. Do you think there is any harm in just leaving it enabled? Do you think I should go into the BIOS setup and disable it?

3. I'm also getting that "Marvel... initiating... disk not found!" message just before Windows starts up. I'm guessing this maybe has to do with not installing the SATA driver. As long as everything is working fine... I can live with that message. But maybe there are some other consequences I don't know of.

4. Lastly, when I asked you about which SATA driver I should install (and posted the list off of the ASUS download page) you said I should install the first on the list. Yet looking closely it seems the first on the list and the second on the list are two completely different things:

>> Intel® Matrix Storage Manager Driver V8.9.0.1023
- vs. -
>> Marvell 6121 SATA Driver V1.2.0.68 for Windows XP

Judging by their version numbers - it doesn't look like one is the successor of the other. Which if any should I install (if at all)?

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The Skeptic

The Skeptic

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I am glad that your computer is working. In regard to your questions:

1: There is no need to install any SATA drivers. Since SP-2 (as far as I remember), XP takes care of SATA drives. Leave it as it is.

2: I understand your relief but please do not let it get you terrified of the computer. If you can cancel the Express Gate error message in the BIOS, do it.

3: I am not sure what the Marvel error message is. Leave it as is.

4: The answer to question 4 is the same as for question 1.
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