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Hardware (motherboard) or Software Problem?

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#1 todamax15


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Posted 22 June 2009 - 12:49 AM

My old computer has been having some booting problems. Here is the situation...

Sometimes, when i turn on my computer, it would freeze during bootup before going into windows or freeze right after I started up onto the windows desktop. Then I would have to restart everytime, but my computer will then do nothing after I hit restart and I'll have to do the force manual shutdown. Sometimes it'll usually take me a handful of tries before I can turn on my computer successfully without it freezing half way. While other times, it'll take me days. This would happen probably 50-70% of the times I turn on my computer.

Also, every time I disconnect the power to my computer and reconnect it again, or turning off the psu and turning it on again, my computer would go right into the BIOS setup copule seconds after turning it on. From there, I'll save/discard my settings and exit the bios setup. But usually after this, my computer would freeze right after exiting BIOS. I'll then have to restart and it would do nothing and I'll have to force manual shutdown the computer same as mentioned above. Then I'll turn on my computer again and it'll again go right into the BIOS setup and the cycle continues. Usually when this happens, it'll usually take me days of trying before my computer will actually not freeze after exiting the BIOS setup and boot right into Windows successfully.

Thus when I'm finally able to successfully turn on my computer, I would leave it on for days to a week fearing I wouldn't be able to turn it on the next time.

And then eventually, I wouldn've even be able to boot into windows at all overtime. After turning on my computer for a short time, my computer would also seem to make a clicking/loading sound from the motherboard every like 20-30 seconds, the sound it makes right when you first power on your computer as it sounds like the computer would turn off and then turn on itself in intervals. But the screen itself wouldn't restart, just the sound the computer makes it makes it sound like it is restarting. After a short while, my computer will then freeze again.

Anyone got any idea what is wrong with my computer and suggestions to how to fix this? I was thinking it might be something wrong with my motherboard or my hard drive. But i've done numerous HD diagnoses and disk checks and they'll come back negative. I've tried unplugging and replugging the IDE cables and power plugs and all, but didn't seem to fix the issue. I've also checked for any bad bulging or leaking capacitors on my mobo and they all seem to look fine. I've also tried replacing the CMOS battery and didn't fix the issue after I did.

To what it seems to me, it's likely a hardware problem, though I have no idea where. I've also tried to reformat windows for the possibly it might be a software problem, but now couldn't since I couldn't even boot my computer past the BIOS or into windows. It would also freeze during the installation process when I tried booting from my DVD drive to reformat my windows. Thanks in advance for any ideas.

Windows XP Sp3
Asus a7v8x-x mobo
AMD Anthlon 2600
ATI X1600 pro

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#2 fairjoeblue


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  • Local time:04:44 AM

Posted 22 June 2009 - 08:56 AM

Open the computer & visually inspect the motherboard.
What you are looking for is bad capacitors.
The capacitors look like little tin cans sticking up on the motherboard.
If any have a domed or bulging top they are bad
If any appear to be oozing or leaking something they are bad.

Go here for more info.


If you click on the pictures to the right they get bigger.
Here is a good example of bad capacitors,


Notice the tops are domed.
They should be flat.

If your motherboard has bad caps the simplrst way to fix it is to replace the motherboard.

If it passes the visual inspection try replacing the CMOS battery on the motherboard.
Be careful not to break the little plastic battery retainers on the battery socket.
Opposite the 2 retainers there is a small metal retainer .
If you take something like a small flatblade screw diver & compress the retainer toward the outside of the socket the battery should pop up slightly & you can remove it from the socket.

If that doesn't fix it I suggest trying a different power supply.
It will probably be suggested that you can test the power supply by jumping 2 of the wires on the main connector with a paper clip & use a multimeter.
Ignore that suggestion.
All you will learn is ,
A. it comes on
B. What the readings are at a "idle" .
A power supply is at it's heaviest load during startup.
The only way to test it properly is under a load with a actual power supply tester.
A power supply can appear to work properly at a idle but fail to put out enough power on all leads under a load.

If none of that fixes it I suggest the motherboard is failing.
A motherboard can fail with no visible signs .
OCZ StealthXstream 700W,Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R , E8500, Arctic Freezer Pro 7, 3GB G.Skill PC8500,Gigabyte Radeon HD 4850 OC [1GB ], Seagate 250GB SATA II X2 in RAID 0, Samsung SATA DVD burner.

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