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XP freeze on logo screen

By mrtraver
Feb 20, 2012
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  1. A family member's PC started freezing up when she turned it on. At first it would restart itself several times, then eventually work OK, but finally it started locking on the Windows XP splash screen. I can see and use the BIOS screens just fine. But when we saw green and orange bands on the Windows splash screen, I thought the video card had failed, so I put in a new Radeon HD5450. It still locked up in the same place, so I tried a few Live CDs I had, and they all seemed to boot up ok. At first. But then I tried my UBCD4. The selection screen came up, but when I tried to boot into windows using it, it locked up in the same place - the Windows splash screen. So now I have ruled out the hard drive as well as the video card. I tried loading a stock XP SP3 CD, and repairing the installation (not the recovery console - i don't know enough about how to use that), but yet again it locked up in the same place. I never get a BSOD or error message.

    I tried switching around RAM modules (normally runs 2 x 512 MB Patriot PC3200 DDR), and threw in a few sticks of 256MB that I had lying around (5 sticks total). As long as the slot further from the CPU was populated, I saw the same issue, whether or not there was anything in the other slot. But if the slot closer to the CPU was filled and the other slot was empty, there was no output to the monitor at all.

    According to the system info tab in the BIOS, the voltages are all within 5% of nominal, but I have not ruled out the PSU entirely. It's a 4 year old Antec Basiq 350 watt PSU, but i don't have a spare lying around (unless I cannibalize a working computer! :) )

    Any ideas on what could be causing it to stop in the same place, no matter how I try to load Windows (HDD, Live CD, installation CD)? The most recent change to the system was replacing the original PATA DVD-ROM with a DVD burner a few weeks before the issues cropped up. The motherboard is about 3 years old, and the PSU and RAM about 4. The CPU is about 7 years old. (I think the hard drive and case are the only original parts left!) The case is clean, the fans are running normally, and the temps are fine.

    System Specs
    VGA: onboard, and Radeon HD5450
    MoBo:Asus A8V-VM SE
    OS:XP Home SP3
    CPU:Athlon 64 3200+ (socket 939)
    Memory:2 x 512 MB Patriot PC3200 DDR
    PSU:Antec Basiq 350w
    HDD:Barracuda 7200.7 160GB
     
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

  3. mrtraver

    mrtraver TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 343   +43

    Thanks! But that was what I meant when I said "I tried loading a stock XP SP3 CD, and repairing the installation..." It still froze in the same place - the Windows loading splash screen.

    I do have some extra hard drives lying around, I could try to install on one of those, but since I had the same issue when using a Live CD i think it is some other hardware.
     
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Remove one of the 512 memory modules. Usually you must populate the memory slot closest to the CPU in order for the computer to boot properly...
     
  5. mrtraver

    mrtraver TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 343   +43

    I tried each of five RAM sticks in each memory slot. When there was something only in the slot closer to the CPU, it would not even get to the POST screen. But as long as there was something in the further slot, I saw this behavior, whether the first slot was empty or not.

    My best guesses are PSU, CPU (don't 939s have the memory controller on the CPU?), or bad motherboard, but I hope to narrow it down more before replacing parts. :) I found an identical CPU for $8.00, and I don't mind replacing a PSU again if needed, but if it is the motherboard I'm going to tell her it's time for a new PC since she could probably buy a new machine with a warranty for less than I could replace her motherboard, processor, and RAM. (And that will probably will be the only way to migrate her away from XP!)
     
  6. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Those 939 CPU's and motherboards are very obsolete now, and because of this "I saw this behavior, whether the first slot was empty or not" I suspect that the motherboard is bad
     
  7. mrtraver

    mrtraver TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 343   +43

    Thanks for the replies! That is what I am afraid of. It seemed like the 939s got phased out pretty fast, but then again that particular CPU was in my first build, in 2005! I might still have her old Socket 754 Sempron mobo and CPU downstairs somewhere...
     
  8. mrtraver

    mrtraver TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 343   +43

    UPDATE: Bad motherboard confirmed. I took the PSU out of another working PC and tried it, with the same result. I was still hoping for it to be the CPU since I found one for $8.00, but as I looked more closely at the mobo I saw at least three blown capacitors. So looking at about $35 for a refurb AS Rock mobo, or more likely convincing her it is time for a new PC.

    Thank you again for the responses!
     

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