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PC Stalls on Boot: After BIOS post message, BEFORE windows boot screen

By matthew.morgan
Jun 20, 2006
  1. Hi,
    Sorry first time poster. I wasn't too sure whether to post to the Windows forums or hardware forums. From what I can see, this seems like a hardware issue of some sort.

    The problem I have is that during bootup my PC goes through all the normal things. It detects my CPU, detects RAM etc. gives me nice BIOS Post messages that appear normal and then goes to a black screen. It will then sit there for 50 seconds (i've timed this twice) and then proceed to go to the windows XP startup screen (which takes about another 10-20 seconds to load up windows).

    I've attempted to log the bootups by using the Windows Boot logger (by pressing F8 before windows boots). The ntbtlog.txt file isn't very descriptive, and only lists that a whole lot of drivers have been loaded, and some that haven't (it doesn't list any errors).

    I've also tried using BootVis to analyse the bootup. I found this a little hard to decode the information it gave me, but there doesn't seem to be anything untoward happening.
    The last boot logger I tried was bootLog XP (by greatis software). According to bootlog XP, windows is only taking 19 seconds to load up.

    Can anyone suggest any other ways to analyse the boot sequence and discover where my computer is stalling?

    (specs are below.)

    Thanks in advance,

    Matt


    CPU: AMD Sempron 3000+ Socket 754 (unsure whether it is Paris or Palermo core)
    MBoard: Foxconn NF4K8AB-RS
    HD: WD 80Gb
    Graphics: Innovision 7300GS
    RAM: 512Mb Hyundai Hynix
    DVD: LG GSA-4167B
     
  2. swker98

    swker98 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,077

    check the boot order in bios

    make sure fast boot is on and make sure that your first or second boot option is your hard drive
     
  3. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    Are you running the latest available bios for your board? how about after windows loads, are there any devices in device manager that have a yellow question mark or yellow triangle with an exclamation point beside them?
     
  4. matthew.morgan

    matthew.morgan TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Wow, thanks for the quick replies. You guys are really something.

    swker98: I accessed the BIOS unfortunately it doesn't have any settings relating to "quick boot". There is an option associated with the Foxconn motherboards called "Super boot" (it's the super prefix that makes ALL the difference). When enabled, it causes my computer to boot through the BIOS Post messages quicker, however it will still stall before the XP loading screen (I'm beginning to think that this problem is caused by XP).

    iss: Sorry I should've provided a bit more background info. I'd been having troubles with this motherboard and drivers since I got it, and after conferring with the manufacturer, they recommended I flash the BIOS. So I loaded the flash utilities and the latest BIOS file provided by Foxconn onto a USB Stick and booted onto there. I proceeded to flash the BIOS, which has resolved the previous issues I've been having (which are related to the CPU clock speed), so I know that the BIOS is up to date.
    After windows loads, it appears that all the devices are working normally. However it always loads the Installing new hardware wizard for 3 things. These are:
    1) Generic IDE Controller.
    2) NVidia PATA controller.
    3) Nvidia CK840 ADMA Controller.

    I've downloaded and installed the latest drivers from the nVidia site (not foxconn, because the zip file they provide is corrupt - another sign of a quality manufacturer), however this does not seem to fix windows always wanting to install drivers for the controllers on every boot.

    Oh! and I am also running a WD 160GB external HD as storage, which if it is turned on will be detected in the BIOS and listed in the Hard drive boot sequence, but always after the internal drive.

    Thanks again,

    Matt
     
  5. swker98

    swker98 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,077

    maybe you should concider a repair install of xp
     
  6. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    So you do have the motherboard drivers installed? the items you list as casuing the new hardware wizard to pop up every boot would be affected by the motherboard drivers. I dont think it is a windows issue iit sounds more like a hardware issue. if you have installed hte mobo drivers and the system is throwing them everytime you boot. then I would say you have a defective mobo.
     
  7. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

  8. matthew.morgan

    matthew.morgan TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks again for the helpful pointers. I decided to go with swker98's advice first, and attempted a repair install of XP. After running through that, XP seemed happy and booted perfectly to the loading screen. It then flickered what looked like a BSOD and restarted. So no go there. I bit the bullet and did a reformat and reinstall of Windows, and everything seems to be working fine now. A bit frustrating really, but at least it's fixed.

    iss: Yes I did have the motherboard drivers installed, in fact I attempted doing that a number of times but windows still had problems with it and attempted to find and install the drivers itself on every boot. I have had a suspicion that the motherboard is defective (from the list of errors I am encountering), but I guess if it's running okay now, i'll leave it as it is.

    Thanks again for all your help

    Matt
     
  9. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    Hardware problems can and do cause corruption in the OS. so yes reinstalling widows will make it run better...until the hardware problems start causing corruption again. if your problem starts reoccuring you know its defective hardware that is the root of the problem. in the mean time make sure your backing up any valuable data regularly. and it would not hurt to try running some diagnostics on your ram, (download memtest) and hard drive. ( download your hard drive makers diagnostic software from their website.)
     
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