So, I've got this frustrating problem where my PC refuses to boot properly most of the time. Power goes on, HDD light goes on, stays on, no image to monitor and system is unresponsive.
It happened suddenly when I was rebooting, and then happened every time after that. I figured it was my mobo, possibly my processor, so I bought a new one of each. Installed the new mobo, old processor. Same problem as before, though now it would occasionally boot properly. When in the Task Manager, however, I noticed my CPU was reading 30-35% usage even though I had nothing open and no processes seemed to be using anything. I replaced the processor, and everything seemed hunky dory when the system would actually start, but I'm still getting those startup hangs. These hangs occur whether it's a cold boot or a reset.
Any ideas? I guess at this point I can only check my RAM. It passes memtest, but it isn't Asus-approved for this mobo (Mushkin 2x1gb in a p5e, now p5k deluxe, same problem). I ordered some cheap Crucial memory that is on the approved list, so hopefully that will fix it.
If so, have you checked their jumper settings? Incorrectly set jumpers on an IDE channel can create anomalies like the one you describe.
Tofu wrote: Here be Littleboots, destroyer of threads and master of drunkposting.
I have a single IDE DVD drive, and I believe its jumper settings are correct. It's been unchanged for 6 months and I've had no problems until now.
Did you replace the motherboard with the same make and model?
Another thing it might be is either a cable that's splittig somewhere or a piece of hardware that's dying and causing IRQ abnormalities.
No, I replaced my existing p5e-vm DO with a p5k Deluxe (one of the new ones w/built in wifi). I hadn't changed anything recently. I should be more specific about how this occurred: it was not an ordinary reboot, it was a hard reset (no shutdown, just power off/on). My AV software had locked up, and the on-access scanning won't let me shut down if it's frozen, so I had to hard reset. On reboot, the symptoms manifested.
I suppose the cable thing is a possibility, but the parts in this machine are no more than a year old.
Have you tried clearing it?
EDIT: Well, completely forgot about the 2 different kinds of motherboards. Sorry.... Couldn't hurt to try though.
I have not, and that may be a solution. However, note that this problem was present on both motherboards, one of which was in its factory default configuration. The only thing in common, now, is the RAM and the video card. And the hard drives, but those are all SATA and work perfectly when the system actually starts.
Next time I need to reboot, I will shut down the machine and remove the video card. I don't think it will POST without one, but it should still be responsive (numlock/capslock light should toggle). If it still doesn't work then at least I know it's not that.
When it's one of those ill-fated boots (most of them), it doesn't even get to POST. It just hangs. Fans go on, power light goes on, HDD goes on (and stays on for a while). No response to any keys, num/capslock doesn't toggle. I've ruled out the video card, however, as it hangs this way even when there's no card installed. I've got new RAM on the way, so I'll give that a whirl. At that point, I will have basically rebuilt this computer.
On an unrelated note, this mobo/bios seems to support a bunch of funky processor options that make my new q6600 (at stock 2.4ghz) even faster than my old q6700 (at stock 2.6, maybe even when oc'd to 3.0 as it was). Enabling all the options took my SuperPI 1m time from 27.953 seconds to less than 21 without raising clocks.
Thanks for your help folks, it's helped me eliminate some possibilities.
Regarding the PSU, I know that's not it. That's the first thing I tried, actually. If the new RAM doesn't solve the problem, then I'll really be stuck. At that point the only things I won't have replaced (or ruled out) would be the HDDs and the DVD drive.
its definitly the DVD drive
I am having a rather odd problem with the power button not working properly on my case, but I don't see how that would be causing this issue, since that particular problem didn't appear until I swapped motherboards. Pushing the power button after the machine has locked up results in nothing, but if I open the case and nudge the connector it powers up. What's odd is that if it locks up, I can hold the power button down for a few seconds to turn it off, but pushing the button again immediately afterwards does nothing, and then I have to nudge the connector again (even though the button worked just 2 seconds earlier).
It would appear my problem is not fixed. I decided to pull the motherboard out and look things over, and discovered that I had accidentally left a standoff screwed in that was for the old mobo and unused for the new one. I removed it, and now my (new) problem with the power button not working is fixed, but the PC still refuses to boot most of the time.
I have found a 100% effective work-around to this as well. If I turn off the PC and switch off the PSU until the mobo light goes off, then restore power, it boots correctly every single time. This reinforces my theory that the RAM is to blame, as the system seems to start after all power has been discharged, and the RAM is the only part that hasn't been removed / replaced yet.
Yup. I tried reseating, no dice. I've actually got some more RAM coming within the next couple of hours. You're right though, RAM is cheap. Even the good stuff.
Edit: It was, indeed, the RAM. Or at least that's what it appears to be. Four non-power-off reboots with no problem, and I'm even able to overclock again (q6600 @ 2.7ghz and rising, old RAM was throwing OC error at any overclock).