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Repeating bootup/bios problem.

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(note: I've also posted this on the hardware forum, as I'm not entirely sure if the problem is Windows or Hardware related):

Hi guys. I've seen a few mildly similar problems on here, but nothing quite as annoying as what I'm going through so thought I'd ask for some charity (seeing as it's Christmas and all...)

Back in September I built the following build:
An8 SLi (Fatal1ty) mobo (with Guru)
AMD (Venice) Athlon 64 3200+
XFX Nvidia Geforce 256mb 7800GTX (x1)
2 gigs (2x 1 gig) Corsair value RAM
- which for some reason wouldn't boot in dual mode
Seagate 250GB 7200RPM SATA/150 8MB Cache Hard disks (x2)
LG GSA4163 16x DVD±RW Dual Layer Internal IDE
Pioneer Dvr-109 DVD RW
Floppy drive w/multi-card reader
600w PSU (ebuyer.co.uk)

I have not overclocked or modded anything.

I soon discovered that every time I tinker around inside it (seemingly regardless of whether it's to adjust the SLI switch card or to install the Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS I just got for Xmas) it performs the following symptoms:

* System turns on but doesn't speak to monitor
* I hit CMOS and monitor comes on
* When prompted, I either go into BIOS, load settings, save and exit, and then the monitor goes off again and nothing happens


* I ignore the prompt, hit F1 then F8 and get to the Windows boot option screen.

In the past, I've been able to open in Safe Mode, revert to a system restore point, backup C: then format and reinstall Windows. ((hardly solving the problem, I know. But at least it got my computer working))

Only this time I've removed the on-board audiomax card and inserted the new X-Fi Fatal1ty Card into a PCI slot. Gone to boot up and had the same problem yet again - only this time I can't even open in safe mode! It just gives me a black screen (for windows) and freezes on the list of drivers (for safe mode).

Meaning I'm stuck at the BIOS screen with no idea what to do next!

Incidentally: Something which has never happened before is I'm unable to set the computer clock or year in BIOS. As owners of the AN8-SLI will know, the PCI slots are very close to the BIOS and I was wondering whether this could be affecting it, or a sign that it's damaged or something?

Any thoughts, help or suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated as I don't have a clue what to do or try next.

Also, just for the record, I'm in the UK not the US. Dunno if this would affect anything hardware-wise.

~ Dan
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what bios version

Since version 18 enhanced support for more videocards, I would be leaning that way
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Off topic: corsair ram has a reputation as quality fast ram but internally they default to *standard* (SPD) ram speeds. You need to know the specific speed enhancements they have an manually set this in the bios to gain the 5-10% speed benefit corsair ram usually gives. I discovered this on corsair's website 6 months ago...
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Cheers for the tip. I went on ask-the-ram-guy.com and manually configured the BIOS to the info I got off there, but to no avail. But they've updated the BIOS several times since then, so when it's all up and running again I'll give that a go.

And as for the main problem...

I re-inserted the onboard audiomax card (so my pc now has 2 soundcards in) and I did get a *slight* improvement: I was able to load 'last known good configuration' and get into Windows. However I also managed this this morning and naiively rebooted thinking everything was fine - and the reboot just brought me back to the 'dead' mode so I'm now terrified to turn my PC off!

I'm backing everything on C: up just incase. Then, unless anyone has a better idea, I'll flash the latest BIOS and then delete all the Hardware Profiles, remove audiomax and reinstall Creative X-Fi soundcard. But what's to stop me still having the same problem when I next reboot? :tazz: (help!)

Does anyone have any idea why I can't set the internal clock??? Is a clock that thinks it's the year 2000 potentially going to be a nightmare??

Edited by nogoodreason, 27 December 2005 - 03:12 PM.

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