asrock h77m pro4-m
intel i5 2400
nvidia geforce gtx 960
gskill ripjaws ddr3 8gb x2
Problem started early morning yesterday after system did windows updates, which was also shortly after I uninstalled Avast.
I have tried many things, I ask that you please read them all, and it's been nearly 20 hours now so they aren't going to be listed in perfect order but I'll try to recall everything I have done...the symptoms just seem so random that I've about given up. Just thought I'd throw it up here before I threw in the towel and ordered new components for sanity.
I uninstalled Avast, and the system needed to reboot to finish uninstall. I said yes, and during this time windows started an update. I believe it reached something like 60%, before saying there was an error and attempting to restart. And that was the last time I was able to get into that system. NOTE HOWEVER, I *am* back on, but with a new hard drive/OS - but still having beep errors and have to attempt restarting 6-8 times before getting in each time.
First problem, after the failed update restart, I got a beep code from my MB. It was (short) beep beep beep - pause - beep beep beep. I assume this is 3 beeps and not 6 beeps due to the pause. It was not repeating, after that. Just the 2 sets of 3.
I attempted restart, and never got past this point after a few tries. So I opened the case and dusted everything, then removed my ram sticks in various ways and switched them around. Tried booting with only one at a time. Tried booting with only one in each slot. Tried booting when them side by side. With them apart. With them... etc. I then tried 2 old sticks that I know still worked fine. Again, different positions and combinations including both vs just one. Nothing ever got past the beep beep beep pause beep beep beep.
When trying to boot with no ram in at all, instead of the above beep it is different - a longer beep that doesn't repeat. beeeeeep, beeeeeep, beeeeeeep. I'm aware a system won't boot without ram, but I wanted to hear the difference in the beep.
After being unsuccessful with this for hours, next I took out my graphics card and plugged into the onboard video. This was exciting for a second, because when I booted up again (I had my ram back in the original positions), it took about 15 seconds for the original beep codes to come, when they usually would happen instantly. However, after this, they resumed happening instantly.
Next I tried popping out the cmos battery and let it sit out for about 5 minutes. No changes.
Then I unplugged all external inputs, keyboard mouse cd rom external HDs AND my boot drive/storage drives. No changes.
Next I... this is where things start getting fuzzy, so may not be in order...
I pulled out an older graphics card I know works. This actually got me somewhere. I had a short non repeating beep beep beep, then posted to a black screen with text asking me to connect a boot device (no HDDs were connected).
I plugged in my boot drive (solid state), this seemed to step backwards and I never could get to that screen again instead returning to the beep beep beep pause beep beep beep code.
Changed the cmos battery to a brand new one because I noticed the time in the bios said 2017 but the time on the post screen said 2012.
I don't know when or after what steps, but throughout all this I got varying beep codes:
5 short beeps
3 short beeps pause 5 short beeps
Decided to try to put in just my storage drive. This is the drive I had before I switched my OS to solid state. It still technically had windows 7 on it, but it's not operational. However I knew my PC would still detect windows 7 on it. When I plugged this in, we have movement! I got the usual beep beep beep pause beep beep beep, I powered down and tried again, this time I only got 3 beeps - short beep beep beep - then a post screen into a windows repair screen. Obviously I couldn't actually repair this old drive so after this I powered back down.
I reconnected my solid state, which is my boot drive, and tried again. I was still able to get to the repair screen, but it was only trying to repair D (the storage drive), like it couldn't even see the SSD.
I plugged in a USB that had windows repair, and tried asking it to repair my OS. I first tried system restore, which it proceeded for a little while before it says it failed. This said
"System restore did not complete successfully. Files were not changed.
Details: System Restore failed while restoring directory from the restore point.
Source : AppxStaging Destination: %programfiles%\windowsapps an unspecified error occured during system restore. (0x80070091)"
After this, I tried accessing the command prompt located in the recovery thingy and followed directions to rename the windowsapps to windowsappsold. this said "successful". but system restore would not work, still.
from this command prompt I also asked it to preform chkdsk on the ssd. it said no errors.
from this command prompt I also asked it to restore the master boot record ("successful")
from this command prompt I also confirmed it was seeing the drive, and the proper size was listed
Finally, I got a friends unused solid state drive and I was able to install windows 10 onto it via the usb. after this, I actually booted into windows for the first time since everything started. I let the system sit for a while to see what would happen, which was nothing. It didn't reboot itself or have any errors. I shut down and plugged in my original ssd, and booted back up. I got the usual beep beep beep pause beep beep beep. Rebooted. Got 3 short beeps only then booted into windows. I was able to see the old SSD. All files seem fine & working.
So... I have windows working again, but problems are far from over. When I'm doing stuff, I feel the cpu usage is unusually high. The system isn't sluggish but I'm watching it and it often jumps to 99-100%, or hovers around 70%, when doing simple things, whereas before it would be 15%. However no errors or forced restarts.
Also I cannot just reboot, it's very random. Sometimes I ask it to reboot and it does so within 15 seconds. Other times I get stuck in the beep beep beep pause beep beep beep loop. I tend to have to hold the power button for 30 seconds, at least 5 times, before the system will boot. And then it will just beep 3 short beeps before booting.
This happens even if I disconnect the old SSD (including the entire sata cable)
So... that's it. I don't know where to really go from here. Once I get on windows, besides the CPU usage suspicious, it's fine. Obviously 3 beeps is the common ram issue beep. But this usually cause a blank screen with no post? I am booting into windows, even if I have 3 beeps...
There is also the issue of all the other beeps I heard, which for my MB were processor related, keyboard controller related or video adapter related.
The only thing I didn't test because I don't have an extra, is the PSU. I did read that failing PSU can cause random symptoms and masquerade as memory issues.
Any thoughts? I don't suspect the actual ram sticks at this point because it's done it with several different ones. If anything, maybe the ram slots themselves. But I feel I would have never gotten past the original issue in that case...
I also know that, technically, MB beeps don't have any relation to OS errors... but it all seems related.