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Windows 7 startup woes: bad BIOS, hardware or both?


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#1 scblair

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 03:36 PM

Been having a bit of a downward spiral and just wondering if the motherboard is dead at this point. I'll explain.

 

Was upgrading an ECS GF8200a to a Phenom II x4 945 processor. I flashed the BIOS as required from their site to the latest BIOS to handle the CPU. Ever since then it's been one issue after another. It would hang and crash randomly to a white screen and after rebooting it would report a BCCode 124. It also started dropping the Networking out, going from connected to "no network available", and then crashing to white screen. I checked device manager and there were no errors.

 

I decided to try a clean install of windows 7 and had the same issues. 

 

I started to wonder if the BIOS didn't flash correctly so I tried doing a restore to default from the BIOS with no effect. I also tried clearing the CMOS using the jumper. That turned out to be a really bad idea - I thought the machine was off (it had no power or lights on) but when I reset the CMOS and booted it back up it said that the settings had changed since it was in hibernation mode. I immediately facepalmed my stupidness.

 

Now the machine boots to the "Starting Windows" screen then hangs and the graphics go nuts, looking like an '80's video game. I tried using a Windows 7 repair disk and even booting from that gets a junk screen.

 

So, any ideas? is the BIOS fried? Hardware issue? I can't provide much in the way of crash reports as I can't get much past the POST screen. If the BIOS was bad I'd expect things to be worse.

 

I put the old CPU back in but haven't booted back up. I wasted about 8 hours on this already and right now am looking to throw in a new motherboard if that will fix things easily.



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#2 usasma

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 04:49 PM

Try these bootable diagnostics:  http://www.carrona.org/initdiag.html

I've seen a bad HDD show the same signs in a system also.

You can try this stuff to help rule out things:  http://www.carrona.org/strpdown.html

 

Can you get into the CMOS?  If so, check for any bad settings.  Maybe reset it to fail safe defaults (if it has such a setting).


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#3 scblair

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 05:51 PM

Shouldn't be the drive. It's a brand new SSD and it booted up previously without a hitch before the crashing started. It was crashing on an older drive which was one of the reasons I replaced it.

 

I'll try the diagnostics and see what happens. Thanks! Is the Ultimate Boot Disk about the same?



#4 usasma

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 07:31 AM

My list has a numer of free utilities that I'm used to and comfortable with.

I haven't used the Ultimate Boot Disk in years, so I can't say if they're the same.

 

The tests that I suggest are:
- antimalware (several different scans)

- memory test (MemTest 86+ and MemTest 86 mostly)

- hard drive diagnostic (Crystal Disk Info is the one for SSD's)

- Prime95

- FurMark

- 2 other video tests

- CPU test (depends on the CPU that you have)

 

Also, there's other things associated with the HDD/SSD that can go bad (cabling, storage controller, etc)


Edited by usasma, 03 May 2016 - 07:31 AM.

My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#5 scblair

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 06:53 PM

So I tried to boot the computer today and it wouldn't even POST. Lights came on and it started to spin up the CPU fan but it shut off automatically after about a second. No beeps or other output. I swapped out the power supply with another that I knew worked and it spun up but still no output, beeps or POST screen. I'll try swapping out the graphics card next.



#6 scblair

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 07:08 PM

I put in a newer GPU and nothing. Put in 2 newer sticks of RAM and nothing. 



#7 usasma

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 05:20 AM

I'd suggest asking the experts over in the Internal Hardware forums:    http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/f/7/internal-hardware/ 


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.




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