system pausing at bootup

Heres an odd little problem. When i boot the pc, the screen shows the first few messages, counts up the ram and then displays the message "wait...". At this point it just sits there doing nothing. If i hit any key it will resume the bootup process and all is well. But if i dont hit a key it will not resume (i have waited). Any clue?
chukroxAsked:
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doebuckCommented:
hi chukrox,

when windows reaches the "wait..." part, hit ESC key to see what is running on the background.
You will see what is causing the pause.
Usually at this point, windows will be loading up config.sys and autoexec.bat. So you can try to edit the necessary parts.
 
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chukroxAuthor Commented:
You dont understand. I get the "wait..." LONG before Windows loads.
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doebuckCommented:
hi chukrox,

you get the "Wait While Windows95 Starts Up..." for a very long time, right?

If it is, hit the ESC key as soon as you get this screen and take a look at the DOS process running behind.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
As I read the question, my understanding is that you get the Wait BEFORE you see the line "Starting Windows 95..."  

Enter the BIOS and disable Hard Drive autodection for each drive NOT present  (Odds are, you have 1 hard disk and one CD-ROM drive.  Disable the other two devices).  Also, look for a setting, I believe called "Hard Disk Pre Delay" and change the setting to something low (my guess is it's set to 30 seconds now.  Also, if you can, post the BIOS version and manufacturer (Phoenix, AMI, Award, etc)

These may not solve your problem, but they do often slow the initial boot down.
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LermitteCommented:
It's something in your BIOS that's wrong but from here I can not see what.

Check your BIOS settings.

Mario
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chukroxAuthor Commented:
Doebuck-As i've said before, the "wait..." comes long before Windows begins to start. Its not the "wait while windows starts..." message. The memory counts up, i get the "wait..." message and when i press a key, the next thing that happens is that the drives are detected and the boot continues. At this point Win hasnt even had a chance to load.

Lew-I did as you suggested and disabled autodetect on the secondary master and slave with no change. I also disabled autodetect on all but the primary master with no change. I cant find any "hard disk predelay" in the bios settings. The closest thing i have is a "prefetch" for all four IDE devices with enable and disable options for each. I have tried all combinations for this settings with no change in the problem. I've also tried disableing the secondary IDE totally with no change.

Heres some more information. The bios is an AMI and the date is listed as "4/21/1999s" which was updated just last night from "3/5/1999s". The problem existed in both versions. I have loaded the default bios settings for both versions with no change in the problem. Power management is disabled in the bios. I've let the bios autodetect the HD as well as manually inputing the CHS info, no change. After i press a key and the boot continues, the next message is:

Pri Master: A0F.0800 Quantum Fireball ST2100A
Ultra DMA Mode-2
Pri Slave: 8.4D   685a

The primary master is (of course) a Quantum Fireball 2.1 gig and the pri. slave is an older 8x CD-ROM. The system is a 233mmx pentium running at 200 with 32 megs on a Amptron 9100 motherboard (also called an M571). The MB has built-in sound and video (which "shares" 4megs of the system ram). Their are NO cards plugged into any of the PCI slots (modem, sound, video). The MB is capable of using ATX or AT power supply, i've got it in an older AT case using the AT power connectors. If more info is needed just let me know. Its really a low-power, low-quality system that i put together as a christmas gift and the 25th will be here soon. Any help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
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tk36Commented:
Just curious, when it pauses, what is the last line displayed? I came across similar thing and it turned out to be a Crystal sound card having problem. I reinstalled the sound card driver, or might even have to change the sound card, that was a while ago.
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chukroxAuthor Commented:
It pauses immediately after displaying "wait...". The system doesnt have a sound card, instead it has SoundPro circuitry on the MB. I did reinstall the driver for it though, no change. Thanks for the suggestion.
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chukroxAuthor Commented:
Heres some more info. For the hell of it, i disabled the onboard sound and installed a spare sound card. The problem was still there so i changed it back. The system also has another problem but i am almost positive that it isnt related. Start>ShutDown>Restart reboots the machine normally but Start>ShutDown>ShutDown brings up the "Windows is now closing" screen and then it just sits there. The "You may now turn off the machine" never comes up. I've read the other questions on the E-E site concerning this problem but i have yet to try to solve it. The "Wait..." problem is the stickier of the two so i'm working on that one first.
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liewymCommented:
hi chukrox,
i face this kind of problem b4, i can give u few options.
i believe this is hardware prob, u can start checking or change your power supply whether the power is stable or sufficient, as i face this prob and i have this kind of weird things happens ... keep on booting if u press a key.
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liewymCommented:
hi chukrox,
i face this kind of problem b4, i can give u few options.
i believe this is hardware prob, u can start checking or change your power supply whether the power is stable or sufficient, as i face this prob and i have this kind of weird things happens ... keep on booting if u press a key.
liewym
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biardCommented:
chukrox:  For your first issue, try removing the case and using the jumper on the motherboard to clear the cmos.  also, if this does not work, while the case is still off, unplug the ide cables and power up.  see if you still get the problem.  if not, bad cable or drive (cd or hdd - narrow down by process of elimination).  

For your second problem:  Do you have Norton Antivirus on this machine?  If so, go to www.symantec.com for an update.  There is an issue with the system hanging at shutdown exactly as you say.
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CalvinThomasCommented:
Good idea...  This is exactly the time when a virus would load in from the boot sector of your hard disk.  Get the antivirus, and quadruple check.  (Get the free boot up antivirus test disk to help with really sneaky types).
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chukroxAuthor Commented:
Liewym- I dont have a spare power supply to swap out, know of any other way to test it? As a last resort i'll go pick one up and install it but i'd like to know for sure that thats the problem before i spend $.

Biard- I cleared the cmos as you suggested then rebooted, i still have the problem. Then i disconnected the IDE cable and booted, no change. Thanks for your tip on the other problem. I do have NAV installed and i'm heading over to Nortons site now.

At this point i'm out of ideas, anyone?
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chukroxAuthor Commented:
Adjusted points to 250
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liewymCommented:
dear chukrox

this is what i could tell, if u have tried so many advices from others, then it is obvious that it is not software or cmos prob.

anyway hope u have the answers

liew
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biardCommented:
Let us have the exact model # and brand of mother board in your system.  also, list all devices attached, i.e. all pci and isa cards, all hard disks, cdrom type, etc.
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CalvinThomasCommented:
  This is a new MB right?  I am pretty sure your two problems are the same.  If it is an ATX / AT MB then it has powerdown circuitry  built in.  When it doesn't powerdown, it is unable to talk to the circuitry.  During boot up, it initializes this same circuitry.  If it can't talk to it then, it could cause your pause problem.
   Get in touch (if you can) with the MB manufactures, and report this problem.  I use ASUS MB's and while I have not had this problem personally, I have read the bios update's from Asus.  Two of my MB's reportedly had the same shutdown problem, and one of the two had the pause problem.  Both of the MB's were apparently fixed by a bios upgrade.  Note, this bios was the 4th or 5th upgrade for these MB's so Asus didn't find this problem right off the bat either.  Does your MB have Setup bios settings, and Default settings?  If so, try both.  Failing that, turn on your Bios setting for the power saving / Shutdown in the bios.  
   Remember, if it is AT / ATX compatible, it may be trying to use the ATX circuitry when you are using an AT power supply, or vice/versa.  This would cause your problems.
    Good Luck
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chukroxAuthor Commented:
I have stumbled onto the solution quite by accident. Please bear with me while i explain. The MB that is in this system (an Amptron 9100 aka M571) is the same kind that i used a few months ago when i built a friends PC. He was having problems with his and brought it over today. I connected it to the same monitor, mouse and KB that i had hooked up to my problematic system. When i booted his system i noticed that it had the same "wait..." pause and i asked him how long it had been doing that. He said that this was the first time it had happened. Later he pointed out the fact that the keyboard i had connected to his PC had APM keys (power, sleep and wakeup) and his KB didnt. On a hunch, i pulled out a spare KB that i had that didnt have APM keys either and i connected it. After rebooting, the system DID NOT PAUSE after "wait...". I reconnected the original KB with the APM keys, booted and the problem was back! A few minutes worth of trial and error later and i found that both systems boot fine with standard KB's but pause when connected to KB's with APM keys. The spare keyboard is connected to my system now and the problem has totally disapeared.  I would have never guessed that a keyboard could cause problems with a system and i still dont understand why this happens. Can anyone explain?

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CalvinThomasCommented:
Well, you said it yourself.  The keyboard has sleep, and wakup.  One of the bios options on most modern MB's is the ability to wakeup on a keypress.  Part of the circuitry that I was talking about before is the ATX powersupply.  It will supply a small amount of power to the keyboard and MB, even when the unit is off.  This is how the "Wake on Keypress" option works.  When the keyboard controller detects a keypress, it send a serial data message to the MB saying "Wake Up".  Since parts of the MB also keep power (to supply a fax/modem/voice, network card, and the keyboard at all times) the circuitry starts the system up.  With your new keyboard, the added keys in the keyboard for the Sleep, and Wakeup keys may not be compatible with the current Bios level of your MB.
Let me put in my 2 cents worth right here...

Microsoft, and Intel really need to get there s$$$ together on these power-saving features.  I want instant on, instant off, Wake on Lan, Wake on Modem to all work.  If you are lucky, you (currently) may get half of these features to work.  The problem with my Voice modem, is the computer must run 24 hours a day to act as an answering machine.  Wake on Modem, combined with instant on, would allow my PC to shut down, save me electricity, and use the Voice modem for my answering machine.  

One final thought to check...  Did you say that you have this in an AT case? If so, then that is the rest of the problem.  The AT cases came with AT (not ATX ) power supplys.  If you are using one of them then the part of the MB and the keyboard that is supposed to get power all the time is off.  When you turn the computer on, the keyboard goes right from "off" to "sleep" mode, and you must hit a key to tell it to tell the computer to continue to "wake" up.  Same for shutdown.  The MB is busy signaling the ATX PS to shutdown, and the AT powersupply ignores it (not having that capability).
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chukroxAuthor Commented:
Well CT, you explained that very well and it makes a lot of sense. Thank you for your time and effort, you have educated me and its well worth the points. I'd also like to thank Biard and the others for their suggestions. Happy Holidays everyone!
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