Computer starts up but then turns off, but boots up as last safe configuration

By korrupt ยท 22 replies
Sep 2, 2009
  1. Hi people, hope everyone is well...

    I just noticed a strange buzzing noise coming from my computer a few days ago in the middle of the night so I pulled the power cable out and that fixed it, or so I thought.
    Now when i start it up, it powers up, goes through post etc, but doesn't even start booting windows, then a sort of like dull click is heard and it turns off. Then when I turn it on again, it asks if I want to boot using last know safe config etc, and using the last known config is the only way I can get it to boot. Works absolutely fine other than that.

    This leads me to believe its probably not a hardware problem but I have no idea what it could possible be...

    Any Ideas?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    buzzing noise? Was it a bios beep? Was it an overheating alarm? Is your PSU failing? have you done any hardware diagnostics?
  3. syzygy

    syzygy TS Rookie Posts: 21

    A buzzing noise suggests either a stuck fan or a power supply failing. Check that all of the fans -- including the one in the PS -- are running. SpeedFan is a free bit of software that will show you fan speeds, temperatures and voltages. I would download that first thing and see what it shows.

    Pulling the plug could have screwed up your stored info in CMOS. There is a puzzling aspect to that though since if you boot using last known good configuration and then turn off normally, the good settings should be stored. I would clear CMOS myselt, but if you are not comfortable doing that, don't. Can you restore to a previous good configuration. That is usually an easy step and with little or no risk, since you can undo a restore if it doesn't help.
  4. korrupt

    korrupt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 716

    Hello, thanks for your replies. Yeah I thought it would have been a software related issue since it worked using last known good config... But perhaps it is the psu... Yesterday I unplugged all the cables and plugged them all back in, and it wouldn' even start using last known config... So I tried booting with safe mode but it just hung on "loading crcdisk" for 10 minutes so I reset and it did the automatic checkdisk on my hdd, and it actually booted this time! I haven't dared turning it off since then but I will do some diagnosis...

    Tedster: It wasnt a bios beep, as far as I know not an overheating alarm as it works perfect when its on... Have not done any hardware diag but will run SpeedFan and see what that comes up with...

    syzygy: I didnt think it could do much damage as the computer was switched off when i pulled it out... Would you still suggest clearing the CMOS?

    Thanks again for your replies.
  5. korrupt

    korrupt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 716

    Ok I've tried using SpeedFan but its not reading any voltages or fan speeds, just the temps which seem to be in normal range (both cpu's 54deg, GPU 79deg)...

    So no closer to the solution:(
  6. syzygy

    syzygy TS Rookie Posts: 21


    SpeedFan should show fan speeds, temperatures and voltages all on the first tab


    The current version is 4.39, but even an older version should show all of this information.

    I thought you had pulled the plug with the machine on because it was making a noise. If the machine was turned off that shouldn't have done anything to the CMOS.

    Let me know if you can see the image. I am new to this site and still have a lot to learn about linking etc.
  7. syzygy

    syzygy TS Rookie Posts: 21

    There is another possibility. Besides fans, the only other mechanical devices in a computer are drives. You mention a dull click which could be the sound of a hard drive head being moved. It is possible you have a hard drive that is going bad. I will look for a piece of freeware to check your hardrive. You mentioned that the system ran chkdsk. Did it report any bad sectors?
  8. syzygy

    syzygy TS Rookie Posts: 21

    Major Geeks

    Has several diagnostic packages. I assume you probably have a S.M.A.R.T. drive so the Active Smart package they have would be a good start. You can run it as freeware to see if it finds a problem with the drive.
  9. korrupt

    korrupt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 716

    Thanks, have run active smart and it says everything is good, except it does say "bad blocks reallocated: 1"... It doesnt show any warnings or anything though... SpeedFan does not show me the psu voltages or fan speeds, only temps... not sure why...

    And yes it was making a strange high pitched buzzing noise, but as far as I know it was off...

  10. syzygy

    syzygy TS Rookie Posts: 21

    The "bad blocks reallocated: 1" is not a good sign. I would have expected chkdsk to have located any bad blocks and marked them out so my guess is this is just the latest one to go bad.

    A computer that is "off" should not make any sounds. By off do you mean "hibernate" or "suspend" -- or really off. In both suspend and hibernate the power supply is supplying a very low level of current so the system can wake up when called, so in that case the noise could have come from the power supply. I am not inclined to think the PS is the source of your problem but it is the easiest to eliminate. I don't know what kind of machine we are talking about, nor what your level of experience or resources (spare parts etc.) but a swap of power supplies would be a logical next step. I have a fully equipped lab, so it is easy for me to say just swap out the power supply since that would only involve a few minutes work for me.

    Having the bad block reallocated may fix the problem for a time, but if a hard drive is going, it is always a case of going, going, gone with hard disks. If you have valuable info on the drive I would get that backed up as soon as I could. Gone is gone unless you want to pay an arm and a leg to get a speciality place to recover stuff from the platters. businesses sometimes have no choice but to do that. No individual would.

    Sorry I can't be more help. Hope you get the problem fixed.
  11. korrupt

    korrupt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 716

    Thanks heaps, you've been a huge help... Yeah I dont have any spare PSU's:( But I will back up my data and see how we go... Thanks again for your help, will keep you updated...



    EDIT: I just ran chkdisk and no errors were found... Very weird...
  12. syzygy

    syzygy TS Rookie Posts: 21

    I can't imagine why SpeedFan isn't returning the information on your machine, but here is a link to another program that does pretty much the same thing.

    I still think you need to know more about what is going on in your machine -- voltages, fan speeds, temperatures etc. The software has a trial period during which it is fully functional so you can get the information without having to buy the software
  13. korrupt

    korrupt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 716

    Thanks for your reply.

    Sorry for the late reply, have been swamped with work so my pc has been on for the last 2 weeks without turning off.
    Just tried to restart and it does exactly the same thing, it actually starts booting, and it starts loading windows but then it just has a bit of a click and switches off.

    I have tried the windows repair through the Vista disk, but it loads that and then just comes up with the blank blue/green vista screen.

    Have reset the bios to no avail, and now it wont even boot up at all, even using last known good configuration...

    One thing I have noticed is that the main fan inside the case does not spin, its quite a good Antec case with separate fan controller (which is set to high) so i'm not sure if thats a problem or if it only comes on after it gets hot. Please note the CPU fan does work fine, it is just the rear fan inside the actual case.

    Also, as mentioned before, if trying to boot using safe mode, it gets stuck on loaded: \windows\system32\drivers\crcdisk.sys. I initially thought this would suggest a harddrive problem but then noticed it says "LOADED", not "LOADING", suggesting CRCDISK isnt the problem, but rather what gets loaded after. Really stuck now as I cant even get it to work at all!

    Please help!

    EDIT: Just noticed outside PSU fan does not turn on at all when starting up, is this normal? The fan on the inside does turn on.
  14. syzygy

    syzygy TS Rookie Posts: 21


    The fan in almost all power supplies runs any time the PSU is on. Many vary the speed depending on the temperature, but run all the time. There are some that are temperature controlled to turn on only when the temperature reaches a preset level but I suspect you have a bad PSU from all of the info you have given. At least that is where I would start troubleshooting if it were my computer.
  15. korrupt

    korrupt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 716

    thanks, yeah I'm planning to trouble shoot but I'm not sure where to start with PSU's, especially since the PSU wont turn on at all now! I have a multimeter but not sure if this will be of much use... What do you think?

  16. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    It's very important that you get all those fans that are not working replaced. It would be good if you had another PSU to check with. See if putting in a different PSU enables you to boot into Windows.
  17. korrupt

    korrupt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 716

    I just checked, and apparently the rear fan on my psu only powers on if the temperature reaches a certain temperature, but have also tried to put it into the "front fan" connector on my motherboard and it still does not work... The other rear fan, im assuming, should spin up at all times considering its connected only and directly to a IDE power cable...

    Just noticed, there is a very faint whining noise coming from the PSU. is this normal?

    Might have to go and get a new psu tomorrow... Thanks...
  18. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    A whining noise from the PSU isn't desired. Hopefully getting a new PSU will be the end to the problem. However, ensure that you fix your rear fan on the case.
  19. korrupt

    korrupt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 716

    Yeah going to get a new one tomorrow. What would you recommend? I'm considering another antec but a few people have recommended against this... What should I look out for in terms of features? I do need something that is fairly quiet too...

    Thanks for your help.

  20. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    What are your system specs? That will help me in suggesting something.
  21. korrupt

    korrupt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 716


    specs as below. Also thinking of adding another sata harddrive.

    CPU:Intel Core 2 Duo Conroe E6300
    Motherboard:Intel P965LTCK
    Graphics Card
    : Gigabyte 7600GT Silent Pipe II
    RAM: 2 x 1GB Corsair pc5300
    Case: Antec Sonata II
    PSU: Antec Smartpower 450Watt
    HDD: Western Digital Caviar 250GB Sata
    Dvd Burner: LG 16x Super Multi
    Dvd reader/cd writer: Lg CD/DVD Rom Drive
    Floppy: Panasonic Floppy Drive
    Operating System: Windows XP Professional 32Bit
    Monitor: 2 x Samsung Syncmaster 940N
    Keyboard/mouse: Standard Microsoft Keyboard and Mouse
  22. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

  23. korrupt

    korrupt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 716

    Thanks for your help:)

    Ended up getting the HX520W with triple 12v rails and its working perfect:)

    Never thought a PSU could cause such a range of issues.... Thanks again.

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