So for the last couple of weeks, my computer has been having startup issues. The behavior I see is that when I click the power button it appears to boot, but no video is displayed. No bios splash screen, no windows startup, nothing. The fans start up, the keyboard lights stay on, but no video. This continues as long as I leave it on (I've left it up to 10 minutes and no change.) Using the integrated video doesn't help. This happens one out of about every 3-4 start-ups, and seems to be getting more common. Usually just turning it off and then back on will fix the issue and get it to boot normally, but sometimes it doesn't. I've also seen this randomly occur while the computer is running once or twice (the video just dies), but never while the CPU was doing anything especially intensive.
I built this computer a little over a month ago, and these issues started after a basic overclock, so they may be related. I hadn't done an overclock before this so I followed a guide, very gradually raising the CPU speed and voltage. I didn't get very good results from the overclock, and I was able to get up to about 4.1ghz while staying within safe temperatures. However, this is also the first time that I saw the startup issue. When it began happening I tried a few things based on internet suggestions, manually lowering the CPU base clock and setting the DRAM speed to 1600. The BLCK change seemed to fix it for a while, but then it started again. I reset the motherboard to the "Optimized Defaults" in the motherboard settings to see if that would resolve the instability - nope. Still happens. I'm going to try the reset jumper in the CMOS when I get home and see if that makes any difference.
I'm a little stuck on how to diagnose this issue better. My current guess is that some core piece of hardware (motherboard, CPU, memory, video card, power supply) was either damaged by the OC, or didn't work well to begin with. The problem is, I'm not sure how to track down which hardware it might be. I don't have a lot of parts laying around the house so I can't just swap things out to trace the issue. I'm totally okay with replacing a part if that's what is needed to resolve this, but I use this computer often (for work and other things) so I'd like to avoid prolonged downtime if at all possible.
Anyone have any thoughts? Anything I might not have tried which would help me diagnose the issue better? I'd like to find a resolution before this issue gets too much worse, or the computer becomes unusable.
If it did and it's not reaching the beep stage you might have a dead mobo, CPU or PSU.
With your OCing it's possible theres a voltage issue or heat issue that's making the mobo cut out. Reset your BIOS completely. If it helps your OC messed up somewhere. If your PSU isn't up to the OCing task the motherboard might think it's not getting enough power.
It's as possible there was a mistake made when you were putting things together that went unnoticed. You can try reseating your motherboard and CPU. check there's no spots where it's loose and might be brushing up against the case or wires or anything. That can cause a short that stops the computer from booting.
I tried it again last night and couldn't boot at all, at one point it got to the windows loading screen, and then blue screened and switched off about a second after. I used the jumper to reset the CMOS completely, and after that I got a successful boot, so the problem may be fixed now. It's possible that it was entirely in the BIOS, some setting that didn't get switched back when I loaded the defaults through the software. If it happens agani though it's almost certainly hardware related, so we'll see.
I do want to run a memory test while I'm able to boot, it seems like bad memory could easily cause something like this. Is Memtest86 still the gold standard for memory testing?
I'll look over the cables and make sure nothing is touching too, that's a good idea. My cables are a mess.
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Be careful with the OCing. Software issues can easily become hardware damage if you give something too much voltage or cooling isn't adequate
It seems to have gone out of vogue but it is quite useful for troubleshooting. Generally they'd give different beep codes for GPU issues or RAM and whatnot.