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My computer won't start


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#1
justenhansen

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I was only going to load some files off of another hard drive, but my computer hasn't started since. Even now that I've unhooked that hard drive, my computer pulls up the safe mode menu, rolls that white bar across the bottom of the screen, and then it beeps and restarts. It won't let me boot from the windows disk or even run try to restore or reinstall windows, and it won't boot to a dos floppy disk. Whats the deal?
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#2
Samm

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Hi justenhansen

When the safe mode menu appears, have you tried selecting 'last known good config'? If so, does the same happen? Can you boot up ok in safe mode?

Also, you said you couldn't boot from the Windows XP or bootable floppy. Can you tell me what happens why you try to boot from each of these?

It would also be helpful if you could give us your system specs i.e motherboard, cpu, hard drive etc
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#3
justenhansen

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When I try safe mode or last good config the same thing happens. I've tried two dos disks (both made from Windows XP). With one the computer pretends it's not even there and just tries to boot from the hard drive again. With the other, it says there is an I/O error and that I need a new disk. I tried another disk that is bootable that checks hard drives and it works fine.
When I try the xp cd, it loads all of those initial files, and then freezes on a screen that says "starting windows" or something like that. I think its the screen right before it should ask me if I want to repair or set up windows xp. It freezes on that screen for hours until I turn it off.

I have an ASUS A7n8x-x with an Athlon 2600xp. Western Digital Caviar Hard Drive (120gb). 1gig ram.

Thanks for your inquiry. Another thing that might help is a suggestion as to how I can wipe the drive with out taking it out of the case (since I can't boot to anything that I can even type a command in).
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#4
Samm

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Before we go any further, I want you to check/try a couple of things please :

1. Go into the bios & open the Hardware Monitor Menu page. Leave the system running with this page open for about 5 -10 minutes (too let it warm up) then make a note of the following readings :
CPU temperature
Motherboard or system temperature
CPU Fan speed
PSU Fan speed
Vcore voltage
+3.3V, 5V & 12V voltages
Obviously if in those 5-10 minutes, you notice the cpu temp getting dangerously high, shut the system down immediately.
Let me know what those readings are.

2. Go into the bios
Go to the Exit menu & select 'Load setup defaults' & select YES.
If you have a USB keyboard, then go to the Advanced menu->Integrated peripherals->USB Legacy Keyboard support->Set this to Enabled
Next, go to the Advanced menu->Advanced Bios Features and check that the First Boot Device is set to Floppy. Change the Second Boot Device to CDROM, then change the Third Boot Device to HDD-0.
Go back to the Exit menu & save the changes


3. Disconnect any external devices you have except for the monitor, keyboard & mouse.

4. Insert the WinXP CDROM & attempt to boot from it again & see if it lets you perform a recovery installation.

Can you also tell me :
when you connected the second hard drive, did you connect it to the secondary IDE controller & if so, did you disconnect or move the CDROM to a different connector on the cable? (Assuming that the CDROM is on the secondary controller obviously).
Do you know whether your main hard drive is formatted using FAT32 or NTFS and do you have more than one partition on the drive?
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#5
justenhansen

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Ok I did exactly as you asked. Here is the hardware info

CPU temperature 61 C
Motherboard or system temperature 21 C
CPU Fan speed 2163
PSU Fan speed n/a
Vcore voltage 1.66V
+3.3V 3.3V
5V 4.8V
12V 12.5V


Just so you know, the cpu temp at startup is 39 C, which is obviously not right. I’ve always wondered about that. If I run a monitoring software it is always about 10 degrees cooler than what the bios says. I quit worrying about it after I added a fan and put silver compound between the chip and heatsink and nothing changed.

All the settings are as you specified and it does the same things as before.
When I connected that other hard drive I connected it to the slave connection on the primary ribbon, but I forgot to switch the jumper to slave or cs. It was still set to master. Do you think that messed things up?
I didn't touch the secondary cable, my hard drive is partitioned into two drives, and they're both NTFS.
Thank you for your time, Justen
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#6
Samm

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Hi justen

The reason the cpu temp in the bios is higher than the temp reported by monitoring software in Windows, is because Windows is able to put the cpu into a low power state, whereas the bios can't. This doesn't mean the bios reading is inaccurate, it's simply the temperature without power managment. And 61C is too high for a bios cpu reading.


The fact that the PSU fan reading is not available probably just means that there is no fan sensor for the psu. However, just to be on the safe side, place your hand over the back of the PSU when the system is powered up, and make sure you can feel air flow there.

Did you attempt to boot from CD again after resetting the bios? If sso, what happened?

Attaching the second hard drive as a slave without configuring it as a slave, would obviously cause problems at the time but now the drives been removed, assuming everything is as it was beforehand, there shouldn't be a problem.
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#7
justenhansen

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When I run the xp cd the same thing happens. It freezes on a screen that says "starting windows." It never makes it to the repair or setup windows screen. I tried two other xp cds and they both start downloading files and then run into an error. Both of their errors had to do with a service pack file. (My disk has no servicde packs on it.) I also tried two different dos startup floppys. They had the same errors described in my initial post.

Don't you think that the cpu wouldn't be 39 C right on startup? Thats within 10 seconds of pushing the power button, and it doesn't seem to be increasing very fast when I get to tnat screen. It just seems inaccurate to me. The power supply fan works as does three other fans in my case. Plus I live in a cold climate. I put a lot of effort into the heat thing a while back and then gave up when I realized everything is working ok and I was out of cooling ideas.

Is there another way to boot to dos without making a dos boot disk from the format disk option in XP?
Thanks, Justen
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#8
Doby

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Hi Samm and justen,

Sorry to butt in but I would just like to add something,

If the computer is off several hours the cpu temp on bootup would be about 5C or so higher then the room temp, the 5C acounts for the time it takes you to get to the bios screen that reads temp, so it should not be 39C unless your room is that hot.

This tells me the sensor on the mobo is reading high at idle about 18C

Now I will let you guy's and gal's continue but I don't think its a temp issue, maybe ram

Rick
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#9
MikeFromNY

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I'd also like to add that 61c in the BIOS as a cpu fan reading after ten or so minutes is unusually high for your processor. (Athlon 2600xp) I also noted that your CPU fan speed is only ~2150 rpm... Do you have an adjustable speed fan? If so, turn it up to ~4000rpm and see if it helps... The problem could also lie within how much thermal compound you applied. If you can find it for me, what is your HSF (Heatsink/Fan) Brand and model?

Edited by MikeFromNY, 31 October 2005 - 01:09 AM.

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#10
justenhansen

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It's just the heatsink that came with the processor in the AMD packaging. There is no writing on it that I can see.

But here's the scoop. It was one of my sticks of ram. It was some cheap stuff that I got from Mwave. Tested it on another computer and same thing.
Thanks for all of your suggestions everybody!
Justen
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#11
MikeFromNY

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Before you head out, I honestly reccomend you stick around and we'll see if we can help you get your processor temps down. What you're running at can be harmful over an extended period of time...
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#12
justenhansen

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I would like it to have lower readings, but I kind of agree with Doby in that my mobo reads temperature about 18deg off. Unless its 35 deg C in my room, which I don't think it is. I'm not a Celsius expert, I use the F. But I've tried different thermal compounds and am supposedly using the best one (arctic silver or something). I've got a bunch of extra fans in my case.
The fan on the processor isn't controllable as far as I know. There's no switch on it nor can I find one in the bios.
I'm willing to assume that the mobo is not calibrated though. Unless anybody has any other ideas. I'm always willing to try new things.
Thanks for your concern, Justen
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#13
Doby

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35C = 95F, I don't think its that hot in your room, I was basing my calculations on your room being 70F with your computer at idle such as in bios.



Here is a handy link to convert, most computer geeks use celcius when talking computer temps so keep the link it comes in handy.

I to think its a calibration issue with the sensor on the board you can check this by using a digital thermometer and placing its probe at the base of the HS to get a more accurate reading on what the cpu temp is.

You could also use this unscientific but common sense approach, after the computer has been at idle for 15 minutes place your finger at the base of the HS if it comfortably warm then your temps are most likely in the low 40'sC.

If its running in the mid 60'sC then you would have to pull your finger away after 1 second because it would hurt.

Rick
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#14
rod9669

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i've had some success in similar scenariod by removing the bios battery for about 10 minutes (good excuse for a coffee). this seems to clear everything, even things that load defaults won't.

Slightly off-topic, but a customer brought in a win 98 machine earlier that i can't get to boot at all, from h/d, floppy or cdrom. machine just sits there flashing the curser at me. any ideas?
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#15
justenhansen

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I tried the battery trick and it still reads 39C on startup. I don't know about your computer. Maybe a baseball bat? I'd start a new string and get better help. Thanks for the suggestion. Justen
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