PC not booting until left turned on for over an hour

Hodsocks

TS Guru
I have just been to have a look at a pc with a strange issue, when you turn it on, the fans come on, lights flash, but nothing on the screen, whatever you try it wont boot up. If you walk away and leave it for maybe 1 - 2 hours and go back it will have booted into windows, it does this every time you turn it on. I have re-seated all the cables and the memory with no improvement, I did notice that the tower won't turn off if you hold the On/Off switch in, you have to use the switch on the psu. I checked the psu and it seems to be OK but I will change it next week. Once it does eventually boot up it works normally and shuts down normally. I am suspecting an issue with the psu or the mobo but would welcome any suggestions from you guys.

The basic spec is as follows:- Athlon 5350 procesor, ASUS AM1M-A mobo, 8GB DDR3 Ballistix memory and was built almost 4 years ago/
 

Cycloid Torus

Stone age computing - click on the rock below..
Wow, what a problem...'slooooow booot'....never seen one so extreme before. Similar, but much less (5-10 minutes), were an overfilled HDD and an issue with prefetch and fastboot (aka fast start) - which did neither since a corruption had them reconfigure for a long time at every start.

In your shoes, I would consider: check prefetch and fastboot, then test & possibly replace power switch and HDD (maker's test utility and CHKDSK) and coin battery AND after all that doing a clean install of the operating system.

I'ld like to know how it goes.
 

Hodsocks

TS Guru
Thanks for the reply, its not just slow to boot into windows, it just sits there with a blank screen, no BIOS or anything for ages, which suggests a hardware issue to me, but I dont quite understand why it eventually boots up and runs fine when it does.
 

gollum21

TS Enthusiast
It seems like it has to do with windows taking over the bios, which 8 and 10 do iirc, and then windows having an issue for whatever reason (which could still be a drive issue)

So you've tried going to the bios before waiting an hour to boot with no success. But from within Windows, have you tried choosing the "UEFI Firmware Settings" before rebooting?

Also, did you run CHKDSK like Cycloid suggested?

If not, run CHKDSK next time you get windows booted. (Dont forget to backup important files ASAP in case the drive is failing). If there are no issues there then try the UEFI Firmware settings and reboot. If CHKDSK does show issues, post them here before you reboot with the UEFI firmware settings.
 
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Hodsocks

TS Guru
I had another look at the pc yesterday, it was working at the time so I ran some diagnostics on the hard drive which came back as fine, checked for malware but only found a few pup's. Tried to restart the pc but again it wouldn't start, lights and fans are working but a blank screen. I reset the BIOS but again no improvement, I changed the PSU but again no improvement. My customer tells me the time to boot is getting longer, it was originally about 30 minutes but it has been as long as 4 hours, once it starts working it performs as normal.
 

Cycloid Torus

Stone age computing - click on the rock below..
Definitely strange.
Review & confirm:
- when system actually boots, it properly completes POST and has splash screen, etc
- when power button is first pushed, all fans spin and lights (?which) come on (? flicker, ?flash on/off, ?steady on)
- whether cold or warm, system reboot is delayed on start/re-start

Does this happen if you boot from other media like a Win10 install disk or a Rescue Disk?

If it doesn't delay boot, I would look at removing pre-fetch and sleep/hibernation and 'fastboot'. CHKDSK may assure you that file structure is 'ok', but it doesn't mean that there isn't any corruption at all.
 
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Hodsocks

TS Guru
As a further update, after I reset the BIOS yesterday by removing the battery the pc still wasn't booting up normally, however once it did start it went into the BIOS screen as you might expect to confirm settings. Once confirmed the pc restarted but again took a long time to boot into Windows. It seems its taking a long time to boot past the BIOS, quite what can be slowing the BIOS checks down for so long is confusing especially as it does eventually boot.
 

Hodsocks

TS Guru
I had another look at the pc today and it seems that after resetting the BIOS it booted to the BIOS screen, reset settings, it rebooted and then after another 6 hours the BIOS screen came up again. So it does look as though the issue is getting pat the BIOS. I think there is a BIOS update for the motherboard so I might try that.
 

gollum21

TS Enthusiast
I had another look at the pc today and it seems that after resetting the BIOS it booted to the BIOS screen, reset settings, it rebooted and then after another 6 hours the BIOS screen came up again. So it does look as though the issue is getting pat the BIOS. I think there is a BIOS update for the motherboard so I might try that.
Wait, so when you first reset the BIOS in this comment and it "booted to the BIOS screen", did it boot the bios normally just that time?

Either way try updating the chipset drivers after the bios update. And next time you're in Windows look for any 3rd party or manufacture "driver" "installation" software.


Also if that doesn't work, you have tried booting just to the BIOS with no hard drive in it all correct? Try taking out/detaching anything else non-essential for a basic hardware boot like a wifi antenna.. The PSU might not have issues, but that doesn't mean everything is getting power like it's supposed to.

And lastly, you've also checked the capacitors correct? They can cause localized power issues. If the driver updates don't fix things, I'd check those next.


And if you do narrow down the issue at all please continue to let us know what you find! It is a rather interesting issue
 
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Cycloid Torus

Stone age computing - click on the rock below..
Sorry, but I am having some trouble understanding. I think you are saying:
- reset BIOS by removing coin battery
- booted and went to BIOS
- reviewed and set BIOS settings
- saved and continued BIOS to initiate POST
- had POST in normal fashion
- waited 6 hours for OS to load but it didn't
- BIOS screen returned

OR
- reset BIOS by removing coin battery
- booted and went to BIOS
- reviewed and set BIOS settings
- saved and continued BIOS to initiate POST
- did NOT have POST in normal fashion
- waited 6 hours for POST but it didn't
- BIOS screen returned
 

gollum21

TS Enthusiast
It could also be this:


Basically a chip might have a "dry joint" in its mobo connection. I'd check north and south bridge (or whatever your client's mobo has for this). After everything else like the drivers and capacitors and the minimal hardware boot of course. But if this is the issue it will require soldering.

Also as you can see from our questions, every detail you can give helps even more. This might not even be the issue.
 
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Hodsocks

TS Guru
After initial reset of BIOS it took a long time to boot to BIOS screen, not sure how long as I left it to get on with it overnight, next morning BIOS screen showing and set to default. It then took another 6 hours after reboot to come back to BIOS screen, I checked settings and noticed no hard drive listed which I found to be due to a loose cable, I must have knocked it when I was working inside the case, So it doesn't boot any quicker with the hard drive removed.I am hoping it will have finally booted back to windows this morning.
Sorry for slow feedback but computer is not with me but at customers office so I am waiting for his feedback,
 

Cycloid Torus

Stone age computing - click on the rock below..
"it doesn't boot any quicker with the hard drive removed "

Boiling this down: system will start and run, but takes long time to boot. It is not the HDD (removed and reboot still long).

Since it is 4 years old, did you change the coin battery?

This motherboard has some unique ideas - apparently including a special 'fast boot' and 'multiple start up options' (whatever that is). It is a Windows 8 machine, but has been upgraded to 10? Do you have the manual? Can you review and reset the various 'multiple start up options'?

If nothing else and if you are satisfied that BIOS is 'good', you could remove all peripherals and accessories - get down to one stick RAM and the CPU or even go further and reseat CPU and renew TIM - to see if you can get it to POST in less than 2 minutes.

If it won't POST or boot quickly when stripped down, I would say it has something terminally flaky - yes, it could be one of the bridges or voltage regulation or a cold solder joint or a bad capacitor .... but finding it might be nearly impossible.
 

Hodsocks

TS Guru
Hi Guys, thanks for all your inputs, customer decided to rebuild pc with new mobo, processor and memory to cure the issue.
 
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