Solved

Bizarre Boot behaviour

Posted on 2001-06-04
14
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I have a perplexing problem with my pc. Whenever Istart it up it refuses to boot, I get the fans coming on and occasionally some noise from the floppy drive but no beep from the motherboard and no signal to the monitor. However if I switch off power  at the back, switch it on again and press the on button the pc boots normally and windows loads without problem. I have tried booting from a floppy with exactly the same results. Also if I get a system hang while in windows and then press reset to reboot the machine windows shuts down but the pc will not reboot unless I switch power on and off  and press the on button! This problem occurs every time I switch on the pc. However if I'm in windows and go START, SHUTDOWN, SHUTDOWN the machine shuts down and reboots normally. My pc has been operating normally for some time and has only recently  developed this problem. The only clue I might have is that prior to this problem occurring I had downloaded a copy of X-teq X-setup and I may have inadvertantly changed a setting while perusing this program, altho' this is a bit of a long shot! Any ideas?
 
I have a second question: Every so often when I have started up my pc, windows appears to have loaded normally and I am able to connect to the net with dial up connection but when I try to use to use any program requiring internet access (eg. IE5.5, Outlook express, Zonealarm, Realplayer etc,etc. the program is unable to find it's required server and eventually crashes or shuts down. If I persist in trying to use any of these programs my pc locks up completely. However if I reboot the pc this problem goes away ! When the problem occurs I have checked all the settings in INTERNET OPTIONS but cannot find any explanation for the inability to find servers. This is definitely a problem with my machine and not the servers as it is always cured instantly by a reboot. I cannot understand why the problem is intermittant unless my pc is booting erratically !!!!! Could this be connected with my first question?
 
I'm a pc rookie  so please don't be too technical in your reply,
Thanks for your time
 
DOC G
 
My system is:
 
Duron700
Abit KT7-RAID Award Modular BIOS v6.00PG
128Mb PC133 RAM
Maxtor Diamondmax Plus45 HDD
Pioneer 105s DVD
Creative GeForce2GTS32Mb Graphics adaptor
Creative SBLive1024 Sound card
Creative Supra Express 56i Pro modem
Allied Telesyn Fast Ethernet Adaptor
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Question by:DOCG
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14 Comments
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:pbessman
ID: 6154520
Check your power supply.  AMD systems require certain wattages for their systems to operate correctly.  Is this a new issue, or has it been happening ever since you built the system?  Sounds like a faulty power supply to me.
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Expert Comment

by:pbessman
ID: 6154523
Windows will shut down not only programs, but also devices if your resources are not available to support them.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:kneea
ID: 6154548
Q1.

Maybe your powerbutton on the front is actualy the suspend or sleep button.   (The setting can be changed from the bios)

Q2

If you use explorer a lot then copy the resource meter into your start up folder - it will warn you of impending doom.

I expect that you have a software modem.  These can and do go wrong.  Sometimes they need resetting to work and the only way to reset them properly is to turn off the PC
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Expert Comment

by:jlauster
ID: 6154961
<However if I'm in windows and go START, SHUTDOWN,
SHUTDOWN the machine shuts down and reboots normally.>

What other way(s) are you turning your computer off?
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Expert Comment

by:pbessman
ID: 6155275
Maybe with a keyboard.  I can do that with some of mine.  Could just be shutting off at the power strip.
jlauster <However if I'm in windows and go START, SHUTDOWN, SHUTDOWN the machine shuts down and reboots normally.>

What other way(s) are you turning your computer off?  
I think he was referring to the boot up, not the shutdown.  OOOPS!
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Expert Comment

by:Matt_Houben
ID: 6155308
I would also suspect a faulty power supply.
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Expert Comment

by:harleybriscoe
ID: 6155389
First of all,it sounds like it could be a lose connection somewhere.  Tighten plugs on back of hard drive.

If your system hangs up, don't power down by hitting the on/off switch on the hard drive or by hitting the reset.  Instead use Ctrl-Alt-Delete, use only once per task command.  When you use the Ctrl-alt-Delete it will take you into a task command box and ask you if you want to end a task.  Locate when program or task is causing you the problems, highlight and click end task.  Everytime you power off wrong you're causing the files to jump around.  

It's advisable to go into System Tools, go into Start, Programs, Accessories, and run Scan Disk. Do a thorough scan and correct any problems that are there.

What is X-teq X-setup?  If you think it's causing problems, uninstall it and see what happens.  You can always re-install if that's not the problem.

Last but not least, try reinstalling Windows from the Dos Command.  This should correct alot of problems that are due from incorrect installation.  Turn any virus programs off.  

If you have problems with your internet connections, call your provider and ask them for the correct TCP/IP  numbers.  This could cause conflicts if you're using the same TCP/IC setting somewhere else.

Hope it helps.
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Author Comment

by:DOCG
ID: 6156255
Dear all , thanks for your replies I'll answer your further questions in the order in which they were asked:

pbeessman:I have a 300W power supply, could be that it is faulty, I'll check it.

kneea: The power button may be set up incorrectly (I'll check the BIOS) but if that's the case why does the pc boot up after I've switched on and off at the back? and why does the reset button put the pc to sleep rather than rebooting it? I'll try the resource meter trick altho' the problem seems to occur much earlier in the boot process.
As far as I know my modem is a hardware one.

ilauster:If the pc hangs I use CTRL,ALT,DEL/END TASK and if this doesn't work I use the reset button. When I use the reset button it puts the pc to sleep instead of rebooting it.

pbessman: I mentioned shutdown to illustrate that the machine would not restart lol.

Matt Houben:Power supply seems a possability .In that case why does it boot up normally after I switch off and on again at the back?

harleybriscoe;Could be a loose connection but in that case why does it follow exactly the same pattern everytime I start up? I would have expected a loose connection to cause an erratic and unpredictable fault.
If a normal power off fails I always follow the procedure you suggest and only use reset as a last resort.I have run scandisk but no disc errors to be found!
X-setup is a 3rd party settings tool ,it allows you to access all the hidden settings and utilities in windows and adjust them to your preferences, it warns you if this could cause problems for your system but I may have accidently changed a crucial setting without realising it. I have uninstalled it already as it seemed prone to crashes.
I've reinstalled windows twice already but no improvement, I'm prepared to do it again but I'd like to look for another solution before I do so!
Regarding internet connection; if my TCP/IP settings are causing conflicts why does a reboot sort the problem out?

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LVL 2

Accepted Solution

by:
kneea earned 50 total points
ID: 6157992
An atx power supply will often power up when switched on at the back.  The easiest way to cause this is to switch off at the back, switch on at the front, switch on at the back.  There is just enough power sometimes for the power supply to remember your switch on request.

With atx power supplies, the switch is not really a switch.  It is a digital signal which is sent through a controller which then switches on the power supply.   When windows crashes, the power switch does not funtion.  This is because the acpi or whatever takes control of the switch.  Come to think of it, there could be a problem with your drivers....

Have you used all your interrupts?
If you have, disable a com port or two in your bios and restart your computer. I don't know anyone who uses ther serial ports nowadays and you can gain another two interrupts. You might find that acpi or something gets detected.  If you have a via chipset you will need the latest 4in1 drivers.
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Author Comment

by:DOCG
ID: 6158114
Hi, Many thanks kneeas my pc is now starting with one push of the button every time!!!
It was the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs of your last comment which sorted it I believe. Before ripping out the guts of my machine and having read your last words about ACPI, interrupts etc while not quite understanding how it all works I surmised that your logic was good and maybe the software controlling the functions of the power switches was not initialising correctly . So I went into the BIOS and disabled serial ports 1&2. I also noticed that plug and play detection was set to BIOS so I set that to OS as I have WINME. So I don't actually know which of these did the trick!(I suppose I'll have to play with them again to find out!!) I am now happily switching my machine on and off all night!
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Author Comment

by:DOCG
ID: 6158143
I emailed this question to the manufacturer of my motherboard(Abit) on two occasions. It should have been an easy one for them to answer as it involved the BIOS settings for one of their boards. As yet, after two months they have not responded!
You might be interested to know that I have contacted about 20 providers of free pc support and with the exception of yourselves they have either been completely baffled or have advised me to replace my power supply! so you can award youselves a pat on the back.

Ta very much

PG
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:kneea
ID: 6158214
PC manufacturers are not very good!  I know this because I often have to sort out the mess.  At work we no longer buy brand name computers we buy brand name parts.  It has reduced our support costs enormously and gives us the opportunity to upgrade and reuse anything we want.  It is the parts that have the warranty not the computer.

If you have a look at my computer, right click, properties, devices,properties you should get a list of IRQs.

Scroll up and down the list and see if there are any missing numbers.  If 3 and 4 have now got something listed against them (insted of com1 or com2) then you have just put back some missing drivers.

Motherboards now have internal usb ports so I am looking forward to a seing usb modems, usb sound cards and usb mice as standard.  Those interrupts are really needed!
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Expert Comment

by:jlauster
ID: 6158215
Chalk another one up for EE. You'll find this site to be a wealth of great info for just about any troubles. Glad your up and running AOK.

John
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Author Comment

by:DOCG
ID: 6160355
Hi All,
 
Yes, I checked my IRQ list and all settings are in use. I have remembered some other vital info. Doh!! A short while ago I compiled a system report using SiSoft Sandra and it talked about resource problems concerning game controllers and acpi and mentioned that the "pci latency of my ethernet card and modem are too high and that they are likely to hog the ports". This meant nothing to me at the time but now it's all starting to make sense. What can I do about these problems? I've copied the report below  as the exact words will be more use to you than my garbled explanations.

Cheers DOC G
PS. What are host controllers?

***** SiSoft Sandra Standard Version 2001.3.7.50 *****
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Unregistered Shareware Evaluation Copy. FREE for personal use.
See Ordering Document for information on the Professional version.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Evaluation Licence to FAMILYGEE at Q
Report done by FAMILYGEE
System-Run ID: 1230-11423
Report done on 22 May 2001 at 22:04:37
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

<<< System Summary >>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Analysis Result:                      No other tips.

<<< Mainboard Information >>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Warning W2533:                        Disabled host controllers are present. Check BIOS
                                          settings.
    Notice N224:                          SMBIOS/DMI information may be inaccurate.
    Warning W2528:                        System monitor device implementation is known to
                                          vary.

<<< CPU & BIOS Information >>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Notice N224:                          System BIOS : SMBIOS/DMI information may be
                                          inaccurate.
    Tip T212:                             System BIOS : BIOS can be shadowed so check whether
                                          it is.
    Tip T211:                             System BIOS : BIOS is flash-able and socketed so it
                                          can be upgraded when needed.
    Warning W2533:                        Processor 1 : Disabled host controllers are present.
                                          Check BIOS settings.
    Notice N224:                          Processor 1 : SMBIOS/DMI information may be
                                          inaccurate.
    Warning W2528:                        Processor 1 : System monitor device implementation is
                                          known to vary.

<<< PCI & AGP Buses Information >>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Tip T1202:                            VIA Technologies Inc VT82C686A ACPI Power Management
                                          Controller : Device does not support bus mastering.
    Warning W1206:                        Allied Telesyn International AT-2500TX Fast Ethernet
                                          Adapter : PCI latency too high. Device could hog the
                                          bus for too long.
    Warning W1206:                        Diamond Multimedia Systems 56K Winmodem : PCI latency
                                          too high. Device could hog the bus for too long.
    Analysis Result:                      No other tips.

<<< Video System Information >>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Tip T306:                             Creative GB0010 : Use a Plug & Play/DDC compliant
                                          video driver. Check for a driver update.
    Tip T325:                             Creative GB0010 : Turn off window animation to reduce
                                          delays.

<<< Windows Memory Information >>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Tip T2005:                            Use a fixed-size swap file. This is faster than a
                                          variable-size swap file.

<<< DOS Memory Information >>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Analysis Result:                      No other tips.

<<< Drives Information >>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Warning:                              1.44MB 3.5" (A:) : Cannot obtain drive information;
                                          check that a disk is in the drive and it is correctly
                                          formatted.
    Tip T1821:                            Hard Disk (D:) : Label (name) drive.
    Analysis Result:                      No other tips.

<<< Ports Information >>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Analysis Result:                      No other tips.

<<< Keyboard Information >>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Analysis Result:                      No other tips.

<<< Mouse Information >>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Analysis Result:                      No other tips.

<<< Game Controllers Information >>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Analysis Result:                      No other tips.

<<< Sound Card Information >>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Warning W710:                         Creative S/W Synth : Driver may be obsolete. Check
                                          that it is the latest version.

<<< Printer and Fax Information >>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Tip T403:                             EPSON Stylus COLOR 480SXU : Print to an EMF data type
                                          to improve printing speed.

<<< MCI Devices Information >>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    mpegvideocd - Error:                  MMSYSTEM275 Cannot find the specified file. Make sure
                                          the path and filename are correct.
    cdaudio - Error:                      MMSYSTEM266 The device could not be loaded. Verify
                                          that the driver is installed correctly.
    Analysis Result:                      No other tips.

<<< Windows Information >>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Tip T1313:                            Consider upgrading to Windows 2000.
    Tip T1308:                            Boot without the Windows logo to reduce boot delay.
    Tip T1302:                            Double-Buffering is only needed for real mode SCSI
                                          devices.

<<< WinSock Information >>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Analysis Result:                      No other tips.

<<< Processes Information >>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Analysis Result:                      No other tips.

<<< DirectX Information >>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Tip T2221:                            Primary Display Driver (display) : Driver is not
                                          certified.
    Error:                                Game Compatible Device (emulated) (WaveOut 1) :
                                          Resources Already Allocated
    Error:                                Voice Modem Wave #00 Line (emulated) (WaveOut 2) :
                                          Resources Already Allocated
    Error:                                Voice Modem Wave #00 Handset (emulated) (WaveOut 3) :
                                          Resources Already Allocated
    Error:                                Game Compatible Device (emulated) (WaveIn 1) :
                                          Resources Already Allocated
    Analysis Result:                      No other tips.

<<< Font Information >>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Analysis Result:                      No other tips.

<<< OpenGL Video Information >>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Analysis Result:                      No other tips.

<<< CMOS Dump >>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Analysis Result:                      No other tips.

<<< Hardware IRQ Settings >>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Analysis Result:                      No other tips.

<<< Real Mode Int Handlers >>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Analysis Result:                      No other tips.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*****  End of Report - Report created successfully  *****


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