Computer won't boot


A

Antares 531

I have an older computer with a Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L motherboard that
I home-built a few years back. I recently built a new computer and
have been keeping the old one alive until I get the new one all
checked out and settled in.

Yesterday the old computer wouldn't boot. It makes a BEEP about one
second long during the boot process but won't go any farther. The
drive lights flash and the monitor goes through its first sign of
lighting up, after I turn the computer on, but this is as far as it
goes. The monitor goes black and the activity lights on the front of
the computer flash a few times, then everything stops.

I've tried using the original Windows XP Pro installation disk, and
also a second boot disk that I slipstreamed with SP3 on it. Neither
boot disk will initiate a start-up process. The CD drive light flashes
a few times then quits and nothing more happens after the BEEP.

Any ideas as to what I might try next?

Thanks, Gordon
 
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S

Shenan Stanley

Antares said:
I have an older computer with a Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L motherboard
that I home-built a few years back. I recently built a new computer
and have been keeping the old one alive until I get the new one all
checked out and settled in.

Yesterday the old computer wouldn't boot. It makes a BEEP about one
second long during the boot process but won't go any farther. The
drive lights flash and the monitor goes through its first sign of
lighting up, after I turn the computer on, but this is as far as it
goes. The monitor goes black and the activity lights on the front of
the computer flash a few times, then everything stops.

I've tried using the original Windows XP Pro installation disk, and
also a second boot disk that I slipstreamed with SP3 on it. Neither
boot disk will initiate a start-up process. The CD drive light
flashes a few times then quits and nothing more happens after the
BEEP.

Any ideas as to what I might try next?

Your problem is *not* software. It is hardware.

Unhook everything from power, open the case and clean it out of dust with
compressed (canned) air. Remove/unhook all parts (one at a time) that can
be disconnected/removed and put them back ion place (just unhook them,
immediately hook them back up, move on to the next part.) Do this for the
hard disk drive cables (power included), CD cables (power included),
motherboard power, memory, even the processor if you feel comfortable doing
so. Then put the case cover back on, secure all the external connections
and turn it back on.

If that fails - chances are some hardware you just touched has died - it
happens.

How's your backups? ;-)
 
A

Antares 531

Your problem is *not* software. It is hardware.

Unhook everything from power, open the case and clean it out of dust with
compressed (canned) air. Remove/unhook all parts (one at a time) that can
be disconnected/removed and put them back ion place (just unhook them,
immediately hook them back up, move on to the next part.) Do this for the
hard disk drive cables (power included), CD cables (power included),
motherboard power, memory, even the processor if you feel comfortable doing
so. Then put the case cover back on, secure all the external connections
and turn it back on.

If that fails - chances are some hardware you just touched has died - it
happens.

How's your backups? ;-)
Thanks, Stanley, I'll do this and see if I can resolve the problem. I
already did a dust bunny clean-up and pressed the RAM, add-in cards
and other connections to make sure they were in place. Maybe removing
and re-inserting these will resolve the problem.

Fortunately, I got my new computer up and running and all my important
stuff moved over to it before this happened. I'm out in the clear as
far as backups are concerned.

Gordon
 
G

glee

Antares 531 said:
I have an older computer with a Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L motherboard that
I home-built a few years back. I recently built a new computer and
have been keeping the old one alive until I get the new one all
checked out and settled in.

Yesterday the old computer wouldn't boot. It makes a BEEP about one
second long during the boot process but won't go any farther. The
drive lights flash and the monitor goes through its first sign of
lighting up, after I turn the computer on, but this is as far as it
goes. The monitor goes black and the activity lights on the front of
the computer flash a few times, then everything stops.

I've tried using the original Windows XP Pro installation disk, and
also a second boot disk that I slipstreamed with SP3 on it. Neither
boot disk will initiate a start-up process. The CD drive light flashes
a few times then quits and nothing more happens after the BEEP.

Any ideas as to what I might try next?

That model mobo apparently has an Award BIOS. One LONG beep from an
Award BIOS often indicates a memory error. I would start by re-seating
the RAM. If there is more than on stick of RAM try using just one, then
the other (in the first RAM slot).
If no improvement, try reseating the PCI cards and other items connected
to the motherboard (power connectors, etc).

It could be other things, but that's where to start.
 
A

Antares 531

That model mobo apparently has an Award BIOS. One LONG beep from an
Award BIOS often indicates a memory error. I would start by re-seating
the RAM. If there is more than on stick of RAM try using just one, then
the other (in the first RAM slot).
If no improvement, try reseating the PCI cards and other items connected
to the motherboard (power connectors, etc).

It could be other things, but that's where to start.
Thanks, Glee, I followed your suggestion but didn't get any favorable
results.

I powered down, pulled the power cord then removed the RAM stick out
of the DDRII 2 slot then booted and still got the beep.

I then powered down pulled the power cord and removed the RAM stick
from the DDRII 1 slot and replaced it with the one I had removed from
the other slot. Still beeped at me.

I powered down again, pulled the power cord, then put the second RAM
stick into the DDRII 2 slot. This had the two RAM sticks switched
around from their original positions. Still got the beep.

Something I noticed...the CPU cooling fan seems to be erratic. That is
it will start running as soon as I click the switch to boot up, but it
stops then jiggles intermittently when the beep sound occurs. After
the beep sound, this fan starts running normally without further
interruption. Could this mean that the CPU has failed?

Gordon
 
G

glee

Antares 531 said:
Thanks, Glee, I followed your suggestion but didn't get any favorable
results.

I powered down, pulled the power cord then removed the RAM stick out
of the DDRII 2 slot then booted and still got the beep.

I then powered down pulled the power cord and removed the RAM stick
from the DDRII 1 slot and replaced it with the one I had removed from
the other slot. Still beeped at me.

I powered down again, pulled the power cord, then put the second RAM
stick into the DDRII 2 slot. This had the two RAM sticks switched
around from their original positions. Still got the beep.

Something I noticed...the CPU cooling fan seems to be erratic. That is
it will start running as soon as I click the switch to boot up, but it
stops then jiggles intermittently when the beep sound occurs. After
the beep sound, this fan starts running normally without further
interruption. Could this mean that the CPU has failed?

It's hard to say, Gordon....it could be the power supply, or the mobo or
the CPU too.

Have you removed all the peripherals and cards except video, re-seated
absolutely everything, and tried again?

Try with the optical drives disconnected and only the hard drive
connected (and floppy drive if you have one).
Try with only the floppy drives connected if one is installed.
Try with NO drives connected.

A single long beep *usually* does not indicate a display problem.
This is a long beep, not the short beep one often hears during a normal
start-up, yes?

It's a slow process of re-seating, and disconnecting/reconnecting
everything to see if you get different behaviour...namely, if you can
get anything on the screen.

Does this have integrated video, or a separate video card?

If I had to make a total guess, I'd bet on a power supply problem. Do
you have a simple power supply tester, or a spare PSU you can try?

ATX PSU Tester
http://www.buy.com/prod/startech-co...ster-atx-motherboard/q/loc/101/202973591.html
and
http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-PSUTEST20-Power-Supply-Tester/dp/B000HVFBX8
 
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A

Antares 531

It's hard to say, Gordon....it could be the power supply, or the mobo or
the CPU too.

Have you removed all the peripherals and cards except video, re-seated
absolutely everything, and tried again?

Try with the optical drives disconnected and only the hard drive
connected (and floppy drive if you have one).
Try with only the floppy drives connected if one is installed.
Try with NO drives connected.

A single long beep *usually* does not indicate a display problem.
This is a long beep, not the short beep one often hears during a normal
start-up, yes?

It's a slow process of re-seating, and disconnecting/reconnecting
everything to see if you get different behaviour...namely, if you can
get anything on the screen.

Does this have integrated video, or a separate video card?

If I had to make a total guess, I'd bet on a power supply problem. Do
you have a simple power supply tester, or a spare PSU you can try?

ATX PSU Tester
http://www.buy.com/prod/startech-co...ster-atx-motherboard/q/loc/101/202973591.html
and
http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-PSUTEST20-Power-Supply-Tester/dp/B000HVFBX8
I've gone through the process of removing and re-installing all the
add-in cards and interconnection cables. This didn't produce any
noticeable changes other than the CPU fan now runs in short bursts of
about 2 or 3 seconds whereas it was just jiggling like it was starting
to run but never actually rotated the fan.

To answer another question...I do have an nVidia e-GeForce 7600 GS
graphics card installed. This is a 512 MB PCI-E video card. I'm not
using the motherboard's graphics output.

I've not yet tested the power supply (PC Power & Cooling Silencer 470
ATX 12V, Ver 2.2), but it seems to be working okay in that all the
drive activity lights blink on and I can hear the drives spin up and
the read/write arms move.

I'm wondering if maybe the BIOS memory chip or battery has gone bad. I
built this computer in October, 2007. It shouldn't be near the point
of battery failure, I wouldn't think. Also, even if the BIOS battery
is dead, wouldn't the boot CD still work? Should I buy a fresh battery
and do a change-out?

Gordon
 
J

John John - MVP

Antares said:
I've gone through the process of removing and re-installing all the
add-in cards and interconnection cables. This didn't produce any
noticeable changes other than the CPU fan now runs in short bursts of
about 2 or 3 seconds whereas it was just jiggling like it was starting
to run but never actually rotated the fan.

To answer another question...I do have an nVidia e-GeForce 7600 GS
graphics card installed. This is a 512 MB PCI-E video card. I'm not
using the motherboard's graphics output.

I've not yet tested the power supply (PC Power & Cooling Silencer 470
ATX 12V, Ver 2.2), but it seems to be working okay in that all the
drive activity lights blink on and I can hear the drives spin up and
the read/write arms move.

I'm wondering if maybe the BIOS memory chip or battery has gone bad. I
built this computer in October, 2007. It shouldn't be near the point
of battery failure, I wouldn't think. Also, even if the BIOS battery
is dead, wouldn't the boot CD still work? Should I buy a fresh battery
and do a change-out?

Find the beep codes for your BIOS and your questions will be answered.
Glee says that the board has an Award BIOS so possible starting points:

http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt...award+bios+beep+codes&fr2=sb-top&fr=yfp-t-501
http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt...p=gigabyte+beep+codes&fr2=sb-top&fr=yfp-t-501
http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt...s+gigabyte+beep+codes&fr2=sb-top&fr=yfp-t-501

John
 
A

Antares 531

Thanks, John. I checked these out but didn't find any information on
one long beep from a Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L motherboard with an Award
BIOS.

I have always gotten a short beep (half second, approximately) on
booting and the above sites indicate that this is a "System Normal"
signal. But this beep is very brief.

The beep I'm now getting is a single beep that lasts about two seconds
then nothing more. It definitely isn't a series of long - short beeps.

This computer has been in service for more than two years, and has
always been very reliable and stable. I've done nothing in the way of
hardware modifications or new software, recently.

When booting, the drive indicator lights all flash and act like the
system is going through the normal boot process. I can hear the hard
drives running and the CD drive will accept a boot CD and act like it
is trying to read it for a while but never makes any progress with
this.

Even after the computer quits trying to complete the boot process, I
can still open the CD tray and put a CD in then close it, but it won't
show any signs of trying to read the CD after the boot process has
quit.

I plan to go tomorrow and buy a new BIOS CMOS battery, then replace
the old one. It is more than two years old, and may be exhausted.

Thanks for your support. I'll keep you posted on any new developments.

Gordon
 
U

Unknown

Try the process of elimination if you don't know the beep codes. I.E. Remove
a memory module and try to boot.
Then remove another item and try to boot.
 
A

Antares 531

Try the process of elimination if you don't know the beep codes. I.E. Remove
a memory module and try to boot.
Then remove another item and try to boot.
I tried that earlier today but didn't get any positive results. I
removed the #2 memory stick and tried booting...same long beep.

Next I removed both memory sticks and tried to boot but still got the
beep.

Then I removed the #1 memory stick and replaced it with what had
previously been the #2 memory stick and again it beeped at me.

Then I replaced both memory sticks in reverse position from their
original positions. This also got the beep sound.

I disconnected all the hard drives, CD and floppy then booted but
still got the beep.

I just noticed that the keyboard and mouse are not showing any life.
Earlier, the keyboard lights flashed when I booted but now they don't.

The hard drives, CD and floppy drive all seem to be working to the
point that I can hear the hard drives humming and if I put a CD in the
drive the activity light will blink and it seems to be trying to read
the CD. Same for the floppy drive.

I'm thinking that since I got the new computer up and running I've
left this old computer turned off for extended times and this may have
depleted what was left of the BIOS CMOS battery. If this battery went
completely dead the BIOS may not be working at all. I'll buy a new
battery tomorrow and see if that makes any difference. Start with the
little things and work my way up, I guess.

Gordon
 
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H

Hot-text

BEEP about one second long during the boot process
Pull all the RAM stick out Restart Computer with out RAM stick if the long
BEEP go away it a Bad RAM stick!
 
B

Brian A.

Antares 531 said:
I tried that earlier today but didn't get any positive results. I
removed the #2 memory stick and tried booting...same long beep.

Next I removed both memory sticks and tried to boot but still got the
beep.

Then I removed the #1 memory stick and replaced it with what had
previously been the #2 memory stick and again it beeped at me.

Then I replaced both memory sticks in reverse position from their
original positions. This also got the beep sound.

I disconnected all the hard drives, CD and floppy then booted but
still got the beep.

I just noticed that the keyboard and mouse are not showing any life.
Earlier, the keyboard lights flashed when I booted but now they don't.

The hard drives, CD and floppy drive all seem to be working to the
point that I can hear the hard drives humming and if I put a CD in the
drive the activity light will blink and it seems to be trying to read
the CD. Same for the floppy drive.

I'm thinking that since I got the new computer up and running I've
left this old computer turned off for extended times and this may have
depleted what was left of the BIOS CMOS battery. If this battery went
completely dead the BIOS may not be working at all. I'll buy a new
battery tomorrow and see if that makes any difference. Start with the
little things and work my way up, I guess.

Gordon

If the CMOS battery is failing you should get an error during boot prompting you
to enter setup or continue, doubtful it's the CMOS battery although stranger
things do happen.

A simple way to check if the PS is the cause without purchasing another, simply
place your two PCs side by side, disconnect all of the power connectors from the
new machine and connect the ones needed in the old. If the issue isn't resolved
you can rule out the PS as the cause.

--

Brian A. Sesko
Conflicts start where information lacks.
http://basconotw.mvps.org/

Suggested posting do's/don'ts: http://members.shaw.ca/dts-l/goodpost.htm
How to ask a question: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555375
 
G

glee

Antares 531 said:
I've gone through the process of removing and re-installing all the
add-in cards and interconnection cables. This didn't produce any
noticeable changes other than the CPU fan now runs in short bursts of
about 2 or 3 seconds whereas it was just jiggling like it was starting
to run but never actually rotated the fan.

To answer another question...I do have an nVidia e-GeForce 7600 GS
graphics card installed. This is a 512 MB PCI-E video card. I'm not
using the motherboard's graphics output.

I've not yet tested the power supply (PC Power & Cooling Silencer 470
ATX 12V, Ver 2.2), but it seems to be working okay in that all the
drive activity lights blink on and I can hear the drives spin up and
the read/write arms move.

I'm wondering if maybe the BIOS memory chip or battery has gone bad. I
built this computer in October, 2007. It shouldn't be near the point
of battery failure, I wouldn't think. Also, even if the BIOS battery
is dead, wouldn't the boot CD still work? Should I buy a fresh battery
and do a change-out?

Gordon

What happens if you connect your monitor to the onboard video outlet
instead of the video card?

If the CMOS battery was dead, you would still get video, directing you
to BIOS setup to reset everything.

The fact that your drives spin doesn't necessarily mean your PSU is OK.
 
B

Brian A.

Antares 531 said:
I tried that earlier today but didn't get any positive results. I
removed the #2 memory stick and tried booting...same long beep.

Next I removed both memory sticks and tried to boot but still got the
beep.

Then I removed the #1 memory stick and replaced it with what had
previously been the #2 memory stick and again it beeped at me.

Then I replaced both memory sticks in reverse position from their
original positions. This also got the beep sound.

I disconnected all the hard drives, CD and floppy then booted but
still got the beep.

I just noticed that the keyboard and mouse are not showing any life.
Earlier, the keyboard lights flashed when I booted but now they don't.

The hard drives, CD and floppy drive all seem to be working to the
point that I can hear the hard drives humming and if I put a CD in the
drive the activity light will blink and it seems to be trying to read
the CD. Same for the floppy drive.

I'm thinking that since I got the new computer up and running I've
left this old computer turned off for extended times and this may have
depleted what was left of the BIOS CMOS battery. If this battery went
completely dead the BIOS may not be working at all. I'll buy a new
battery tomorrow and see if that makes any difference. Start with the
little things and work my way up, I guess.

Gordon

If the CMOS battery is failing you should get an error during boot prompting you
to enter setup or continue, doubtful it's the CMOS battery although stranger
things do happen.

A simple way to check if the PS is the cause without purchasing another, simply
place your two PCs side by side, disconnect all of the power connectors from the
new machine and connect the ones needed in the old. If the issue isn't resolved
you can rule out the PS as the cause.

--

Brian A. Sesko
Conflicts start where information lacks.
http://basconotw.mvps.org/

Suggested posting do's/don'ts: http://members.shaw.ca/dts-l/goodpost.htm
How to ask a question: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555375
 
A

Antares 531

If the CMOS battery is failing you should get an error during boot prompting you
to enter setup or continue, doubtful it's the CMOS battery although stranger
things do happen.

A simple way to check if the PS is the cause without purchasing another, simply
place your two PCs side by side, disconnect all of the power connectors from the
new machine and connect the ones needed in the old. If the issue isn't resolved
you can rule out the PS as the cause.
I see what you mean, Brian, but I'm a bit reticent to mess with the
new computer and risk causing some serious problems with it.

How long should the CMOS battery last. This one was installed in the
motherboard when I bought it in November 2007. It may have been
installed quite a while before I bought the motherboard, if this item
laid on the shelf somewhere.

I'm thinking it would be prudent to start with the small things like
the CMOS battery and if that doesn't produce any improvement, move on
to something else.

Gordon
 
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A

Antares 531

What happens if you connect your monitor to the onboard video outlet
instead of the video card?

If the CMOS battery was dead, you would still get video, directing you
to BIOS setup to reset everything.

The fact that your drives spin doesn't necessarily mean your PSU is OK.
I haven't tried the on-board video outlet but it does sound like
something worth checking out. If I can get my head on straight later
this morning I'll do this. I'm down with a severe cold and not feeling
up to much in the way of stress.

Gordon
 
A

Antares 531

What happens if you connect your monitor to the onboard video outlet
instead of the video card?
I just checked this out. My monitor has a DVI-I male plug that
connects with the video card. The on-board video output has a
conventional VGA female socket. I will need an adapter before I can
try this out.

I'm down with a cold and don't want to spread it around by going to a
store, so I'll just let this problem wait another day or two.

Gordon
 
G

glee

Antares 531 said:
I just checked this out. My monitor has a DVI-I male plug that
connects with the video card. The on-board video output has a
conventional VGA female socket. I will need an adapter before I can
try this out.

I'm down with a cold and don't want to spread it around by going to a
store, so I'll just let this problem wait another day or two.

Most monitors with a DVI connector ALSO have a VGA connector, usually
nearby on the monitor. You would need a VGA cable in order to connect
to it. My monitor came with both types of cable.

Take a look when you feel better....meanwhile, chicken soup!
 
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A

Antares 531

I have an older computer with a Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L motherboard that
I home-built a few years back. I recently built a new computer and
have been keeping the old one alive until I get the new one all
checked out and settled in.

Yesterday the old computer wouldn't boot. It makes a BEEP about one
second long during the boot process but won't go any farther. The
drive lights flash and the monitor goes through its first sign of
lighting up, after I turn the computer on, but this is as far as it
goes. The monitor goes black and the activity lights on the front of
the computer flash a few times, then everything stops.

I've tried using the original Windows XP Pro installation disk, and
also a second boot disk that I slipstreamed with SP3 on it. Neither
boot disk will initiate a start-up process. The CD drive light flashes
a few times then quits and nothing more happens after the BEEP.

Any ideas as to what I might try next?
Reporting back to all of you who chipped in and helped me with this.
The problem is resolved. At least it seems to be. I discovered that
five of the capacitors on the e-GeForce 7600 GS video card had
ruptured. These capacitors were on the under side of the video card,
and weren't conspicuous. The ruptures were minimal, but once I got the
video card out in full light they were obvious. These capacitors have
a letter K scratched into the top surface. These letters K had
ruptured along the scratch marks and a tiny bit of brown electrolyte
had oozed out onto the surface of the capacitors. Some of the
capacitors had swollen up quite a bit.

I bought a new ASUS EN9500GT 1GB video card and installed it. This
seems to have fixed all the problems. No more long beep...just the
normal short beep when I boot up. I still need to re-set some values
like screen resolution, but that won't be a problem.

Now, the question is, what made these capacitors rupture? There must
have been some very serious surge or power fluctuation, but both my
computers are powered through IBM UPS power supplies. I would think
this would have protected the video card. Also, I wonder why nothing
else was damaged. This may have just been a fluke on that specific
motherboard, but it has been in service since November 2007 and I
haven't made any recent hardware or software changes. Nothing that I
can think of should have overloaded this video card.

Thanks to all of you for your information inputs. This was really a
stumper for me.

Oh, and by the way, my cold seems MUCH better and I will probably be
back in the harness by tomorrow morning.

Thanks, Gordon
 

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