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Weird boot problem.

By jammo216
Apr 2, 2007
  1. Hi folks. Thanks for reading this post. Any help is very much appreciated.

    When I first switched on my PC (new self-build, less than a week old, the first few days have been fine until now) for the first time today, I discovered that it failed to boot. It got as far as the boot logo, flashed up a BSOD for a split second then attempted to re-boot. It was stuck in this loop.

    I then reset the CMOS to default settings (unplugged PC, cleared CMOS for 1 minute then plugged back in again.) Went into "Safe Mode", re-installed mobo drivers (onboard ethernet, SATA storage, and something else I cant remember atm), GFX drivers. This did not clear the problem.

    I can boot into "Safe Mode" and "Safe Mode with Networking". Would I be right in saying that if I can boot into safe mode that my problem is software/driver based and not hardware based?

    At this stage I wanted to be able to read the BSOD, so I invoked the safe mode menu and selected "disable automatic restart on system failure". Here's the weird part, it then booted normally without problems. It did not present a BSOD, it just booted as if nothing was wrong. When I then shutdown and restart the system, it powers up and hangs before it wakes up the monitor. I don't think it is booting at all when like this.

    The only way I can get it to boot "normally" at the moment is to clear the CMOS and select "disable automatic restart on system failure" from the safe mode menu.

    One other thing I tried (I have 2 memory sticks in the machine) is using each memory stick on its own, this made no difference to the problem also.

    Here's my PC spec, in case its useful.

    OS: Windows XP Pro x64
    CPU: Intel QX6700 Quad-Core (4 x 2.66GHZ)
    Mobo: Abit IN9-32X MAX Wi-Fi
    GFX Card: BFG Geforce 8800GTX
    RAM: 2GB DDR2@1024Mhz
    HD: 250GB SATA300

    Many thanks for any time and help you can spare for my predicament.
     
  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,693   +1,881

    If the CMOS is reset to default

    What mode are the hard drives running in now?
     
  3. Tedster

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

  4. jammo216

    jammo216 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    How do I find out what mode the Hard Drive is running in?
     
  5. jammo216

    jammo216 TS Rookie Topic Starter

  6. jammo216

    jammo216 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Suspected Chipset/BIOS damage

    After some more troubleshooting, I have come to suspect that the CMOS may be corrupt/damaged in some way. When the PC hangs without waking up the monitor, the LED POST error code that displays is A0. Code A0 apparently refers to chipset or BIOS damage. The only way that I know of to clear this (at the moment) is by clearing the CMOS for a minute. I can then boot into windows normally. But once I shutdown, I'm back to square one and have to clear the CMOS again before I can re-boot normally. I've emailed ABIT tech support and await their reply at the moment.
     
  7. jammo216

    jammo216 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Abit Tech support asked me what the memory voltage was set at.
    It's currently set at about 1.85v (or thereabouts. The PC with the problem isn't to hand at time of writing). I have been advised to set it to 2.1v and that memory voltage set to an incorrect level means that "anything can happen". One last thing, I have never at anytime changed the memory voltage, so God knows what has happened there.
     
  8. jammo216

    jammo216 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have now changed the memory voltage to 2.1v. The system now appears to have stabilised. I have booted and re-booted with no problems. Things are hopefully working fine now. :)
     
  9. jammo216

    jammo216 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK, more weirdness. I think I have discovered the culprit responsible for my system instability. None other than a piece of software I was using called "TuneUp Utilities 2006". I innocently thought that this software would do no harm. But as soon as I put back in place the customisations I had chosen (boot screen, welcome screen, etc) and re-booted, my BSOD was back.

    Only after:-
    Resetting the CMOS once again.
    Correcting the Memory voltage from the CMOS default of 1.85 to 2.1.
    Removing TuneUp's customisations in Safe Mode (thank you Safe Mode). Booting into Safe Mode a second time for good measure.
    And finally booting normally was the Blue Screen of Death expunged once again.

    God knows what the How and Whys are here, but I think it has more specifically something to do with the customised boot screen I chose. But that's just a guess/hunch.

    Comments are welcome.
     
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