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Total failure - black screen


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#1 Morph3ous

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 04:05 PM

Hi, I've joined this forum in the hope someone can help me with my problem as I need my PC back up as running ASAP for business use.

I built my system 2 or 3 years ago and haven't had any problems with it, other than the odd blue screen crash. Last time I had a blue screen Stop error it was a couple of weeks ago. Today I turned on the PC, inserted an SD card in my external reader to download some pictures to Adobe Lightroom, and plugged in my iPhone to sync. iTunes was sync'ing and Lightroom was finishing off the upload when suddenly both monitors went black. There was a small multicoloured pixelated line on the left side of both screens, about a cm wide, but everything else was black. I turned off the PC by holding down the power switch. Turning on the machine shows the Asus screen with Bios option, then it says "Windows failed to start due to recent hardware/software changes". It gives me the option of repairing which I do. I get the loading Windows file for a few seconds then it goes to black and nothing happens before the machine turns off. If I choose not to repair windows I just get a black screen and nothing, until again, it turns off.

System is:

Asus P8H67-m evo
Intel i5-2500k
16GB corsair xms3 Ram across 4 sticks (2 extra added 6months ago)
Corsair 128GB SSD added 6 months ago to replace old 60gb SSD
Corsair vx450w psu
3 x hdd - I media 2 backup
I'm running two monitors, the 2nd added 3 months ago.

Only recent software change is the addition of Sony media studio for video editing etc.

I've tried removing two of the RAM sticks and unplugging two of the HDDs too in case it helped the PSU (I'm clutching at straws a little) this had no effect.

The CPU isn't overclocked, but I did engage Asus' GPU boost feature some time ago.
When I go into Bios and click GPU boost, the PC instantly shuts down and restarts itself. When it comes back to life, straight into a black screen.

I'm at a loss. I'm thinking maybe a hardware failure rather than software due to the sudden black screen, but I don't know. Being unable to get anywhere near Windows limits my options. I don't have my Windows 7 disc with me at the moment to try loading from the CD. Please help.

Regards

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#2 Netghost56

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 04:38 PM

Have you tried booting into Safe Mode?



#3 dc3

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 04:41 PM

Try doing a repair installation.

 

Instructions for a Windows 7 Repair installation.
 
A Windows 7 Repair Installation will require a installation disc.
 
If you do not have a Windows 7 installation disc you can download a free legal ISO image of Windows 7 SP1 at  Windows 7 Forums.  This image is hosted by the Digital River store which is an official distribution partner of Microsoft.  This is a genuine untouched image which is safe to download. 
 
 
Attention:  If you do have a Windows installation disc skip Part A and go to Part B, Step 1b.
 
 
Part A, Steps 1a - 6a
 
The ISO image will need to be burned to a DVD in order to create a bootable installation disc.
 
1a)  To burn a ISO file to a DVD please download ImgBurn and install it.
 
2a)  Insert a blank DVD into your CD/DVD drive tray, and then close the tray.
 
3a)  Open ImgBurn, and click on Write image file to disc.
 
ImgBurn1_zps715cb1c2.png
 
4a)  Click on the Browse for a file icon:
 
ImgBurn2_zpsaea72ba9.png
 
5a)  Locate the ISO file you want to burn, and click on the Open button.
 
6a)  Click on the blue arrow to start burning the bootable DVD.
 
imageburn11_zpse44f577b.png
 
 
Please note:  In order to boot from this DVD you may need to change the boot order in the BIOS so that the CD/DVD-ROM is the first device in the boot order, and the hdd is the second device.
 
 
Part B, Steps 1b - 10b
 
1b)  Place the installation disc in the tray of the CD/DVD drive, close the tray and restart the computer.
 
2b)  You will be prompted to press any key to start the installation, I find the space bar handy.
 
At this point the setup process will load files, this will take several minutes.
 
3b)  You will now need to choose the  Language, Time, currency format, and Keyboard or input method that you'd like to use.
 
After this is done click on Next.
 
w71_zps6dbda47e.png
 
4b)  Click on the Repair your computer link at the bottom-left of the Install Windows window.
 
This link will begin the Windows 7 System Recovery Options.
 
w72_zps2a656a0c.png
 
5b)  System Recovery Options will now search your hard drive(s) for any Windows 7 installations.  This will take several minutes.
 
No participation is required on your part at this time, wait till it has finished and the next window opens.
 
w73_zpsd5483f05.png
 
6b)  Choose the Windows 7 installation that you'd like to perform the Startup Repair on, then click on Next
 
w74_zps490f9a17.png
 
7b)  Click on the Startup Repair link from list of recovery tools in System Recovery Options.
 
w75_zps9941e858.png
 
For a future reference, there are several other diagnostic and recovery tools available in the Windows 7 System Recovery Options including System Restore, System Image Recovery, Windows Memory Diagnostic, and Command Prompt.
 
8b)  The Startup Repair tool will now search for problems in the system files.
 
If Startup Repair finds a problem with any system files the tool may suggest a solution which you will need to confirm, or may solve the problem automatically.
 
w76_zps3dd75d83.png
 
9b)  Startup Repair will now attempt to repair whatever problems it found with system files.  
 
Note:  If Startup Repair did not find any problems with system files you won't see this step.
 
w77_zpsd8be95eb.png
 
Important: Your computer may or may not restart several times during this repair process.  This is normal, you should allow it to continue until you see the Restart your computer to complete the repairs window. 
 
10b)  Click on Finish, this will restart your computer.
 
w78_zpsd49257fb.png
 
It is possible that the Startup Repair will not be able to fix the problem.  If the Startup Repair tool determines this, it may automaticially run the the repair after your computer restarts.  If it does not automatically run the repair but you are still having problems with Windows 7 repeat these steps to run Startup Repair again manually.

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#4 Morph3ous

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 05:04 PM

Here's a video of the POST sequence

http://youtu.be/Rnagn4y9doU

#5 Morph3ous

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 02:08 PM

I've removed the CMOS battery for 10mins, but it's not made any difference. POST sequence and then black screen as before.

I've got hold of my Windows 7 disc. When booting from the DVD It goes through the loading files bar at the bottom, I then get the windows sign, the the black screen again. After a minute or so, the machine switched itself off. Damn.

Any more ideas?

Edited by Morph3ous, 03 October 2013 - 02:08 PM.


#6 Netghost56

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 05:04 PM

What about booting to Safe Mode?

 

Also, do you have a videocard you can test with?



#7 Morph3ous

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 05:50 PM

I can't get a safe mode option. Only a boot menu or Bios.

I've brought the machine to my parents and put my SSD in their rig. After a repair it booted fine. I then tried their SSD in my rig, nothing. Said I needed to enter a bootable drive. It works fine in their machine. When I tried to run off the windows disc with their SSD, I got the black screen again.

This suggests to me it isn't software but the hardware. No?

Edited by Morph3ous, 03 October 2013 - 05:50 PM.


#8 dc3

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 06:32 PM

First, is this disc the installation disc?

 

Second, you may need to enter the BIOS and change the boot order so that the computer can boot from the disc, the CD/DVD-ROM will need to be the first device, and the SSD the second device.

 

If I understand this correctly, you put your SSD in the parents computer and booted into Windows with it?  If this is the case you may eventually have problems.

 

The article was written before SSDs came into prominence, but the information is applicable to both HHDs and SSDs.

 

When you take a hdd with a Windows operating system installed from the computer it was originally installed on and install it in another computer you are asking for major problems. The excerpt below is from a Intel article which describes in detail what happens. The article also mentions a reference to an article by Microsoft, it can be seen here.
 
Moving a hard drive with Windows already installed to a new motherboard without reinstalling the operating system is not recommended.
 
If a hard drive is moved to a new computer, the registry entries and drivers for the mass storage controller hardware on the new motherboard are not installed in Windows for the new computer you may not be able to start Windows. This is true even if you move the hard drive to a motherboard with the same chipset, as different hardware revisions can cause this issue as well.
 
Are you using the integrated graphics on the motherboard, or do you have a dedicated graphics card?
 
Let's do this and see what happens from there.
 
Additionally, moving a hard drive to a new motherboard may not exhibit any errors until you install new IDE drivers. This is because each chipset uses a different Plug-n-Play (PNP) ID to identify it. If you change your motherboard, your registry will have multiple PNP IDs (for the old hardware as well as the new hardware). If there are multiple entries in the registry, Windows cannot determine which hardware to initialize and therefore fails with a STOP error.

Edited by dc3, 03 October 2013 - 06:40 PM.

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#9 Netghost56

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 06:49 PM

Tried changing the cables? This is a SATA drive, correct?

#10 slgrieb

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 08:16 PM

If you can get your SSD to boot in another computer, I'd say you can safely rule out a failed drive. So, yeah, you are looking at other hardware issues. I'd suggest making a bootable CD for Memtest 86+ and letting it run overnight. Just for the sake of argument, let's assume the memory passes, the next thing I would do is cough up the cash to buy a power supply tester and use it. If that looks OK, I'd have to assume that the motherboard is bad. Unfortunately, there's no way to test the board that doesn't cost way more than the board. POST cards aren't cheap. So, if I just had to make a guess, a flaky power supply would be my first suspect, followed by bad RAM, with the motherboard in  third place.


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#11 Morph3ous

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 04:08 AM

Thanks for the replies. I should have pulled the PSU out of my parents machine and tried it in mine to see whether it made any difference but I didn't.

I'm not sure it's the RAM, Before taking the machine to my parents I tried cycling through all 4 sticks in a single slot, restarting each time. Made no difference.

#12 myopinion

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 05:26 AM

You left out one very importanat piece of information and that is a description of your graphics arrangement. Are you using a discreet card or integrated? Also, by moving your SSD to your parents rig could only tend to compound your issues as previously advised by Arachibutyrophobia:

 

f I understand this correctly, you put your SSD in the parents computer and booted into Windows with it?  If this is the case you may eventually have problems.

I would cease and desist on this hardware swapping because you may end up with both systems not working unless you really understand the potential consequences.

 

 

There was a small multicoloured pixelated line on the left side of both screens

This is pointing towards a graphics hardware issue (IMHO) and your boot video supports a possible hardware issue as well.

 

So, if you are using a disceet graphics card, and you have integrated graphics capabilities as well, try switching to integrated to see if there is any improvement. However, be advised that you may have already compounded your issue by installing your SSD in another computer and doing a repair install there. Good luck.


Edited by myopinion, 04 October 2013 - 05:28 AM.


#13 Morph3ous

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 06:24 AM

Thanks for the reply. I don't have a discreet card, I was using the graphics of the i5-2500k.

#14 myopinion

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 06:50 AM

OK, thanks for that clarification. Now, please answer the following questions as my personal recommendation may change depending on your answers:

 

Previously asked by Arachibutyrophobia;

Do you have an installation disc?

If not can you download the ISO?

 

My questions:

What level of reinitialization are you willing to attempt (with the understanding there will be a loss of data, images, and videos that you may consider to be important)?

 

Repair install?

Clean install?

 

Now, if you are OK with a clean install, I would go for that right off the bat; however, to each their own. Anyway, it appears that your PSU should be adequate (if not damaged) to support your current configuration. Also, the absense of a discreet graphics' card has me leaning back towards a software corruption issue (but I could be wrong). Good luck.



#15 dc3

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 02:13 PM

This is pointing more toward a problem with your integrated graphics.

 

Do you have a friend of family member who has a dedicated graphics card you could use to determine if this the issue.

 

If you are interested in purchasing one, Newegg has two refurbished EVGA cards that are marked down from $49.99 to $24.99, there is a promo code which will get you another 20% off.

 

Newegg.com - Computer Hardware, Video Cards & Video Devices, Desktop Graphics Cards, $10 - $25


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