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Continuous reboot then ...can't reboot (no beep)


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#1 Flammarion

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 02:47 PM

Hi,

I apologize in advance, for the long winded thread but I just couldn't explain it properly any other way.
(computer specs at the bottom)


First off, it's not my computer, so I'm going to go with owner's explanation of how problem started.

It started a few months ago when computer needed to be restarted as it would freeze during video
playback (not sure if it's related but I figured too much information is better than not enough)

Then, on restart, computer would lose time and date (dead battery - I changed it)
Problem solved ...so I thought

Recently (a few weeks ago) owner started experiencing the same issues as stated above BUT combined
with computer's unwillingness to reboot or even reset by pressing the On/Off or Reset buttons.
After repeated pressing the start button it would occasionally restart but would also ask the owner to press F1 to continue or DEL to access BIOS (both Start and Reset buttons and connections are OK).
Eventually owner was able to restart computer with no noticeable changes in computer functionality or behavior.
(Apart from a few audio/video issue that would be resolved with a standard restart). (No issues on reboot in these cases)

Then yesterday things started to get really bad.
Owner would notice that computer would reboot repeatedly on its own (computer inactive, display turned off and no antivirus or Disk Defrags scheduled).
Eventually it restarted on its own during the night.

Then, this morning, I decided to do a few tests.

Computer was running so I decided to reboot and see if it would reboot correctly.
First thing I got after pressing restart (Inside Windows) was an immediate multiple beeps (8+ approx)

After looking up on different forums for identical issues, I came upon a thread that recommend a memory test (memtest86)
I downloaded the bootable ISO and proceeded to test it.
Not only did the computer not reboot but I didn't even get the initial beep, and the computer just hung there in this state.
I could hear the HDD running. I could also hear the DVD and CD reader being accessed (lights flashing) but never finishing the cycle.

So, being unable to test the memory in this fashion, I had no choice but to remove the case and start cleaning it manually.
First thing I did was clean out the small amount of dust that was on the CPU fan.

I then proceeded to remove the DIMMs to clean them and the slots, with pressured air.
Then I put them back and removed them approximately ten times to make sure there wasn't any oxidation.

Tried to reboot and see if it fixed the problem (no luck and still no initial beep)
Then I tried using only one (tried with both) but still no luck.
So, unless they happen to both fail at the same time I doubt the DIMMs are the issue.

Next thing I did, was disconnect both, the DVD and the CD readers from the motherboard and disconnect power from the readers. (no luck)
Then I disconnected the Maxtor HDD (Storage) and reboot with just the OS HDD (no luck)

Then I tried installing my spare, and working (tested), power supply (Enermax 485w) to make sure the power supply was supplying enough power (again, no luck).

At this point I removed my video card and proceeded to clean it out the same was I cleaned my DIMMs (air and oxidation) (still no luck).
Unfortunately I don't have extra DIMMS or video card to do more tests.

Then I figured I was pretty much screwed and had no other option but to post here and/or bring it to the store and have them test it.
I figured I would leave the computer running in the reboot process and see if it ever rebooted.
As I started writing this thread I heard a BEEP and the computer started to boot up (approx 5-7 minutes after I started doing more research)

I've never come across such a long frigging reboot.

My guess, at this point, is the motherboard is damaged, but I would still like to hear what some of you have to say and If you have ever encountered anything like this before.


Thanks for your time!


Computer specs:
OS: Windows XP Pro SP3
Motherboard: Gigabyte - GA-8S648-FX
Video Card: Gigabyte - GV-R96P128DE
Memory: 512mb PC3200 x 2
Power Supply: Standard 450w
Hard Drives:
  • 1- Seagate 7200 - 40gb (OS)
  • 1- Maxtor- Diamond Max Plus 9 - 160gb (Storage)
DVD Reader/Burner (Master)
CD Reader/Burner (Slave)

Edited by Flammarion, 23 September 2010 - 09:38 PM.


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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 03:26 PM

Sounds to me like a piece of hardware is dying. I would do the following:

How to Test your RAM



Guide Overview

The purpose of this guide is to teach you how to check whether your system's RAM (Ramdom Access Memory) is working properly. Bad RAM can lead to a whole host of problems, often which do not appear to have a single cause -- appearing as systemwide glitches, blue screens, and other system trouble. MemTest86+ provides a very good detection mechanism for failed RAM, and is about as good a test you get short of actually replacing the module itself.

Tools Needed
Please perform these steps from a separate, working, machine.Perform these steps on the problem machine.
  • Put your CD in the drive and configure your machine to boot to the CD. This is different on all machines, but it's usually by pressing F12 or F10 as your system boots, and selecting either "CDROM" or your cdrom drive. If you are unable to force a CDRom boot, reply with the make and model of your machine and I should be able to get you exact instructions.
  • If you've done it correctly, MemTest86+ will start to run automaticly, as shown below:
    Posted Image
  • If you want to be reasonably your RAM is OK, then allow MemTest to run until you see this message:
    Posted Image

    On the other hand, if you want to be completely sure your RAM is OK, allow MemTest to run overnight. Memtest will run forever until power is pulled on the machine.
  • Check the MemTest screen for any reported errors. Errors will appear as RED warnings at the bottom of the screen, similar to the following screenshot:
    Posted Image
  • Hard-Reset the machine, removing the MemTest disk in the process.
If you didn't get an error screen, Congratulations! :thumbsup:


Edited by cryptodan, 23 September 2010 - 03:26 PM.


#3 Flammarion

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 05:38 PM

Hi cryptodan,

I already tried that, but I can't even get it to load the BIOS.
That's why I'm thinking it's probably the motherboard or the BIOS chip, but I'm not certain.

Original post:
"After looking up on different forums for identical issues, I came upon a thread that recommend a memory test (memtest86)
I downloaded the bootable ISO and proceeded to test it.
Not only did the computer not reboot but I didn't even get the initial beep, and the computer just hung there in this state.
I could hear the HDD running. I could also hear the DVD and CD reader being accessed (lights flashing) but never finishing the cycle."


Thanks for your help!

Edited by Flammarion, 23 September 2010 - 09:44 PM.





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