Random boot failures

By gfields14
Mar 24, 2011
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  1. Hi all, Im new here although Im pretty familiar with computers.
    The issue I'm having is like nothing ive seen before so Im pretty confident it is a hardware issue. To sum it up, the computer starts but fails at random points in the startup. Here is the breakdown of the common errors in percentages of times ive tried to start it up.
    • 30% nothing happens, no visual or audio responds although the computer is clearly on
    • 40% computer freezes on motherboard start up screen (with function options on it)
    • 15% computer chirps an inconsistant number of times (i counted, although every time was different)
    • 1 time computer started, running normally, i quickly backed up a few school items on a flash drive and than started browsing reddit :) , upon watching a video on youtube it froze.
    • 1 time the computer went into an endless loop of beeps
    • 1 time it went to boot and i received an error message regarding the boot proces.
    • currently i started it until i was able to access the bios and booted linux from an external hard drive, although this isnt helping with the error checking.
    *Note: the computer failed while i was home over spring break, crazy thing is im extra cautious and had unplugged it so that weeds out surges. My current suspension lies in the power supply, although thats just a guess and i dont want to start randomly replacing parts as that gets expensive on the budget of a college student.
    Thanks for any advice and all recommendations are welcome!
  2. gfields14

    gfields14 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    UPDATE: The linux boot isnt seeing the harddrive connected in my computer. Any ideas on ways to scan(?) for it or error check the harddrive with windows installed on it through the linux boot? Or does this mean its fried and im up the creek? (which would suck considering all my school software and only copy of office is on there)
    Edit: Im also thinking this may implie a motherboard error, as memory, cpu and all else can run linux rather stable..

    UPDATE 2: What my computer science major roommate suggested was to switch which SATA port the hard drive was plugged into. After doing this the computer booted up much faster and even began to load windows, but BSODed and reset. Next time it booted with the option to go into startup repair but this failed to find any solutions. Strangely enough, the computer booted properly the next time. I'll report back soon

    FINAL SOLUTION: The plug that my surge protector was hooked up to was not consistent, upon changing to another outlet everything works perfectly. Thanks for all the advice.
  3. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,966   +70

    I would also check the SATA cable itself. We've seen a number of issues with defective SATA cables.

    Use a digital multimeter to test your power supply.

    As for your BSODs...

    How to find and post your Minidump Files:

    My Computer > C Drive > Windows Folder > Minidump Folder > Minidump Files.

    It is these files that we need (not the folder). Attach to your next post the five most recent dumps. Notice the Manage Attachments button at the bottom when you go to post the next time. You can Zip up to five files per Zip; if you only have one or two you don’t need to zip them, just attach as is. Please do us a favor and don’t Zip each one individually.

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