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Computer Hangs After POST


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#1 workdammit!

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 12:54 PM

First, some info on my computer (or the last working setup):

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600
Gigabyte ma78gm-us2h mobo
Hitachi 320GB IDE HDD
HP DVD Burner
Radeon HD 4670 1GB DDR3
OCZ 500w PSU

Windows XP 32-bit SP3
Avast! Antivirus
------------------------------------------------

About a week ago I started getting notifications from my antivirus that it was blocking attempts to open a webpage. After doing some searching it seemed that the website was related to some trojan (don't remember which one). I glanced over some info on how to remove it, didn't really follow the directions in order, deleted some registry entries (I know, I know), and ran a quick system scan with Avast. It came back negative, but I noticed Avast had a scanner that runs before Windows starts up; so I enabled that and shut down the computer.

The next day I turned it on and it hung at "Verifying DMI Pool Data". I looked in the BIOS and my hard drive wasn't detected. Tried different cables, still nothing. My DVD burner still showed up. Eventually my hard drive showed up on the list, not sure what changed though. Still was hanging at the same place. I cleared the CMOS in BIOS and with the jumper- this had no effect. Updated the BIOS - no effect.

At this point I took it to Best Buy and had them look at it. They played around in the BIOS, tried different cables, but couldn't locate the issue- I'd have to pay $70 for them to diagnose it or $200 to fix it. The guy suggested the hard drive was probably going out, and mine was old and low capacity, so I bought a 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black.

Installed that (and it was recognized in BIOS), and put my Windows XP disk in, but it just said something like "Insert Boot Disk and Press Any Key". I tried a few other XP disks that I've...found over the years. Same thing. Put in an old CD-ROM drive (lol) and it booted from the first XP disk. When I went to install it though, it said that no hard drive was installed (though the WD was still showing up in BIOS and the POST screen).

At this point, I said screw it and bought a new motherboard- an MSI 785gtm-e45. Installed that last night. I'm still getting a similar issue- The BIOS screen shows up (and my drives are recognized) and then I just get a black screen with a blinking _. Since then I've tried clearing the CMOS, every combination of drives and cables, different RAM, different PSU, but I can't get past this screen.

The only constant throughout this whole thing has been the CPU. Could this be the problem? Is there something blatantly obvious that I'm missing? What should I do from here?
-------------------------------------------

Cliffs:
Getting notifications of blocked activity from antivirus.
Delete some registry entries.
System hangs at "Verifying DMI Pool Data"
Not recognizing hard drive.
Replace everything but CPU.
Still hangs after POST.

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#2 Sneakycyber

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 12:29 AM

Is the new drive SATA?

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#3 Suicide King

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 08:21 AM

The only constant throughout this whole thing has been the CPU. Could this be the problem? Is there something blatantly obvious that I'm missing? What should I do from here?
-------------------------------------------

Cliffs:
Getting notifications of blocked activity from antivirus.
Delete some registry entries.
System hangs at "Verifying DMI Pool Data"
Not recognizing hard drive.
Replace everything but CPU.
Still hangs after POST.


A few things:

1) On the new hard drive that you installed, did you do a reinstall of your operating system, or did you do a clone? The VMI Data Pool is something that happens during the transition from the BIOS to the operating system. If you did not do a fresh install, I'd try first by repairing your Master Boot Record (MBR) through your windows installation disk. You can do this by entering the recovery console through the disk, and entering the command "fixmbr" for the correct hard disk.

2) If you did try a fresh install, I'd say that your CPU is pretty much the only culprit remaining. Everything has been swapped out, so there are no other factors, hardware wise, that could be causing it.

#4 workdammit!

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 08:51 PM

Sneakycyber- yes, the new drive is SATA.


So, I solved the current issue- I've had the first boot device set as the new (empty, unformatted) hard drive...I feel stupid now. My DVD burner does seem to be out of commission, so I can only install XP, but that's fine for the time being.

I'll post back here if I have any more problems.

#5 Suicide King

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 09:16 PM

Sounds good. Keep us updated if you have any more problems.

#6 workdammit!

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 11:25 PM

Thought I was all done when the XP disk was working and my hard drive was being recognized...nope. After three bleep hours of formatting, it gets to 100% and then tells me that it couldn't be formatted and to check that it was not plugged in or damaged. And then goes on to tell me to insert the Windows XP Service Pack 3 disk. This is the same disk I used on my last hard drive that worked for over a year up until now.

Did I get a bad hard drive? Or is this related to the other problems I've been having? I'm about to give up on technology and go live in the woods.

lol, got bleeped out.

Edited by workdammit!, 31 March 2011 - 11:25 PM.


#7 Suicide King

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 09:24 AM

Hmmm, so just to recap:

1) You purchased a new hard drive.
2) You purchased a new motherboard.
3) Everything is the same otherwise.

The only possibilities left, that I can imagine, are the CPU, power supply, the SATA cable of the drive/The cable to the DVD/CD drive, or the installation disk. I'd say 1) Clean your install disk, and see if you can test it in another computer, if possible, to verify the media is intact, and 2) Change the SATA cable to the hard drive and DVD/CD drives to one of the new cables that came with the motherboard -- if you haven't done so already. This will eliminate the media and cables.

The only thing that would be left, at this point, would be the PSU and the CPU and (if you can't test the install disk on another comp) the DVD/CD drive. My instincts want to say the CPU, but I can't be 100% sure on that. Try to test the PSU with a power supply tester, just to eliminate it.

If everything else checks out, then I'd unfortunately have to say it is looking increasingly like your CPU is the culprit.




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