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Windows will not Load

Posted on 2005-02-26
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My computer just recently froze, so I restarted it manually. Well after I did that my computer will not load Windows XP Home. Before it starts to load the OS the computer restarts automaticly. Doesn't matter how I boot up (Last Known Configuration Settings, Safe Mode, Safe Mode w\ Networking, etc.) each option will result in the same outcome. Well I got angry and decided to reinstall windows xp. Well whenever the startup gets to the point of starting windows, it will restart. I tried a Windows 2000 install Cd and everything is fine, until it starts to load Windows. Then it restarts. I have two Seagate hard drives that have both been written to zeros. I tryed each Hard drive independant and together. I even tryed each of my memory sticks independantly. I have a Soyo SY-K7VTA-B motherboard. One Seagate Barracuda ATA IV 20GB ST320011A, and One Seagate U Series 5 20GB ST320413A. Any Help is very much appreciated.
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Question by:foxdesignz
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37 Comments
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:CHurst5841
ID: 13412147
Try looking at the following:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Q_20898287.html

Especially the comment and accepted answer submitted by kronostm.

If you have any other questions please feel free to ask!

-Good Luck!
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:WhitePhantom
ID: 13412261
Try the basics, different stick of ram (never used in the current system), different power supply, pull all the cards and devices that you don't absolutely need, and go from there.  Also, set your BIOS settings to something like safe or optimized defaults. Maybe even different CD-Rom, maybe your rom is not allowing some bit of data to copy correctly from your CD.
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by:WhitePhantom
ID: 13412267
Whoops, forgot!  Try changing your IDE cables too.
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by:foxdesignz
ID: 13412298
I was able to install Windows 98 on my computer. But still, right when windows starts to load, the computer will restart. It doesn't restart anywhere else.
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by:WhitePhantom
ID: 13412314
Windows 98 also restarts when first booting?
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Author Comment

by:foxdesignz
ID: 13412391
yes
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by:foxdesignz
ID: 13412393
Now I can load up Windows 98 in safe mode, and seems to work ok. But it will still restart but in long intervals. I haven't been able to boot up in normal mode yet, keeps restarting before it does.
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by:foxdesignz
ID: 13412584
?
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Expert Comment

by:mortar
ID: 13412728
Definately stounds like RAM or Powersupply as WhitePhantom suggested.  Have you swapped either of those over yet?
If you have no spare ram try memtest - http://www.memtest86.com/
It will test your RAM for errors and would definately explain why none of the operating systems you've tried load properly.

Also if you don't have a spare power supply, try take a few things out to reduce the load, i.e. try with one of the harddrives out, and if you're feeling adventurous, get yourself a copy of bartPE - http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/#download
That would isolate any problems that you're having as it boots a cut-down copy of Windows XP on cd, this may give you a few ideas if you determine whether that boots successfully or not
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by:foxdesignz
ID: 13412751
I have been able to install Windows 98 and run windows for various amounts of time. Sometimes it will restart after 20 minutes and sometimes it will restart after it completely boots windows. I don't have a backup power supply, and I have tried a memory combination. I have three sticks of RAM and I would try to boot on just one for each of them, and then boot with all of them in.
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Expert Comment

by:mortar
ID: 13412783
You would like to try a different combination of memory or have tried it already?

Have you got a hardware monitor in the BIOS, Do you think that your CPU could be overheating?

Personally if it's just after a reinstall, and if you've tried different memory combination's, I would strip the system bare i.e  pull the data and power out of all floppy drives, cdroms and also pull out any soundcards or other add-on cards, anything that isn't necessary, and see if it reboots then.

Is there a pattern that you can follow for how long it restarts? Anything you notice in particular?
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Expert Comment

by:CHurst5841
ID: 13412792
I think this could be a CPU overheat problem.  Ensure that your CPU is seated in the slot properly and the heatsink is making proper contact with the CPU die.  Also, ensure that you have a high quality thermal interface in place between the CPU die and heat sink.  If you enter BIOS and go to "PC Health Status" it should tell you the temperature of your CPU in C.  Continue to watch it and wait until it resets.  Record whatever the temperature it.  If the temperature is high at the point it resets - this could be the issue (i.e. > ~65 C).
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Expert Comment

by:Gary Gordon
ID: 13412793
Try recreating your Master Boot Record.  Boot of the Windows XP CD as if you were going to reinstall windows and follow the prompts but select the repair option.  Once you have reached a prompt in the Recovery Console, type FIXMBR, and when the FIXMBR job completes, FIXBOOT.

When the CMOS battery is going, errors during installation result in unworkable boot sectors.  Is your PC loosing the date and time alot?  Try replacing the CMOS battery and the above.
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Expert Comment

by:Leandro Iacono
ID: 13413023
Grab your w98 installation HD and plug into another PC.

If you can boot it up properly and work on the PC without a reboot, than your problem is your motherboard.

It can't be your RaM becuase you would have other problems.

The sudden Reboot are most probably problems with your Motherboard.

If you can properly install any OS on the hard drive, but you are unable to boot into the OS, you could have a Motherboard problem.

Try the installation on another PC. Its the only way you'll know.
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:Leandro Iacono
ID: 13413034
This could also be your Power Supply Unit (PSU)

Verify you have enough Watts for the whole system. Or your PSU could just be failing. Try replacing your Current PSU with one you know works properly. And try booting up.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 13413337
What graphics card is installed?

Have you tried the installation with a standard PCI card instead?

There are issues with some GeForce cards that won't allow installation, but will work perfectly if introduced after a successful installation.
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Expert Comment

by:WhitePhantom
ID: 13413478
To me, sounds like motherboard or power supply.  Just run to your local PC shop and see if they have a loaner power supply you could borrow to test with, or ask a buddy, someone is bound to have one.
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Author Comment

by:foxdesignz
ID: 13415478
This is the update. I switched the motherboard AND the power supply and now instead of the computer restarting it freezes. Every single time. I'm now running a slower Soyo board. I have a GeForce MX440 64MB card for video.
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Expert Comment

by:WhitePhantom
ID: 13415643
Is this after a fresh load of windows, or are you going off of the previous load from the old motherboard?  If this is not fresh, fdisk and format your drive all over again, then try and load windows.  If it is a fresh load, did you transfer all sticks of ram? Try booting with just one, or maybe even try a stick that you haven't used in either motherboard before.
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Expert Comment

by:WhitePhantom
ID: 13415647
Also, try booting with only necessary hardware.  Motherboard, processor, ram, hdd.  Pull out any cards, unplug unneeded devices such as floppy drive, cd-rom, or anything else you may have in it.  Maybe even disable things such as onboard sound, just to see what's causing the hang.
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Author Comment

by:foxdesignz
ID: 13416143
I've already performed these tasks. I would even boot the computer with one memory stick in a different slot each boot. With all three sticks. I've also already tryed starting clean. I download a ultility from Seagate called Disc Wizard. I tested my hard drives and system memory, and said it was ok. I then wrote 0's to both hard drives. I think I did that yesterday.
Right Now I'm back with the orginal board, one stick on memory, and Windows 98. Seems to be able to boot up fine in Safe Mode.
I've also been watching the CPU temps and Case temps through BIOS. On average my CPU is running 114 degrees Fahrenhiet. And my case averages 80 Degrees Fahrenhiet.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:WhitePhantom
ID: 13416960
Different Video card??
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:myderrick
ID: 13420119
A DISK CHECK!!

Try a disk diagnostic on your hard disk. If you have win Xp Bootable use the CHKDSK /r/p at the recovery console for the disk check Or Perhaps any diagnostic software....

MD
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LVL 1

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by:foxdesignz
ID: 13425859
Cant run Recovery console, already tried. I downloaded DiscWizard from Seagate and Booted the computer off of it. Ran hard drive and system memory tests and everything was fine. I was able to boot off a Windows 98 to get the command prompt.  Here I ran chkdsk without those attributes.
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Expert Comment

by:mortar
ID: 13425875
what happens when you try and run a recovery console?
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 13427208
foxdesignz

Do you have another video card, preferably a PCI one, available to try out?
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by:foxdesignz
ID: 13429404
When i tried Recovery Console it reboots. Just like Windows. I dont have a another video card, but I will put it on my list. You think that could make a difference? AGP Video vs. PCI Video? I'm already in the process of getting a new computer so fixing this problem in not urgent but I still want to try to fix it. I'm increasing point value to keep readers around :)
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 13430423
I wouldn't go out and specifically purchase an older PCI video card for this, it was just a way of completely eliminating it as a factor if you had one available.  Even a borrowed AGP one temporarily swapped into the troubled PC might help to isolate this as a cause if it is one.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:WhitePhantom
ID: 13436297
Yes, just a different card, doesn't matter what slot it plugs into, as long as it plugs in somewhere (and is supposed to go there, of course!), I should have indulged a little more on my previous post.
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:Leandro Iacono
ID: 13454671
So if you tried different memory sticks and motherboards and PSU's with your same Hard drive, and your are sure other HardDrivers work perfectly on the other boards. Then you know its your HardDrive.

If however you test another hard drive on your current system and it works ok, then its not the Hard Drive.

I have been studying in my personal life about Hardware, and I came acroos a text explaining pretty much how the BIOS and CMOS interact and start up your computer.

I could be just you know guessing here, but perhaps you have a problem with your BIOS.

Try flashing your BIOS to the most recent by visiting Soyo's website. Drivers could be loading up incorrectly to memory and could be cuasing trouble.

I think someone mentioned replacing your CMOS battery. This could also be a good idea if your CMOS battery hasn't been replaced.

After flashing your BIOS, restore system defualts in your BIOS configuration. If your computer then keeps on rebooting maybe its due to processor temp.

46 ° is pretty hot.

Extracted from Intel Website Under the Title "Intel Pentium 4 Processor Thermal Specifications" ( http://support.intel.com/support/processors/pentium4/sb/CS-007999.htm ):

Systems based on Pentium 4 processors 2.80 GHz (and below) should have a maximum expected temperature of 40°C in the maximum expected external ambient (which is typically 35°C). Systems based on Pentium 4 processors 3 GHz (and above) should have a maximum expected temperature of 38°C in the maximum expected external ambient (which is typically 35°C).

So maybe this is your trouble. After all you did say 46°C is an average. I imagine you have had your processor go through higher temp...

So in conclusion:

Bios Update
Cmos Battery Replace
BIOS Config
Processor Temp Look Out

I really don't think your VideoCard would cuase reboots. You could try out chagning it though.

You said:

"  This is the update. I switched the motherboard AND the power supply and now instead of the computer restarting it freezes. Every single time. I'm now running a slower Soyo board. I have a GeForce MX440 64MB card for video.  "

But you didn't change processor or processor fan ...

It could be Temp Trouble ...

I dunno .. what do you think?
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Author Comment

by:foxdesignz
ID: 13455422
The processor was changed whenever I switched motherboards. It was still on the motherboard. I believe a Celeron 700mhz (something simular).
When it comes to temperature status, I now have an average around 107°F. I replaced the processor fan with the orginal fan. Made a huge difference. I believe that rules out an overheating problem. Unless, of course, the damage is already done.
I cleared CMOS, never replaced the battery though. I had a thought about the BIOS being the problem but wasn't sure. I've been able to boot up the computer in Safe Mode now with little trouble. And once or twice boot up in Normal Mode. If I do boot up seems like it won't restart unless I click on My Computer or Internet Explorer.
The only operating system I can install is 98. 2000 likes to tease me when it installs, but drops out 3/4 of the way. Same with XP.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:foxdesignz
ID: 13455581
I think my computer is demonized. Has a mind of it own and doesn't want to cooperate. Need to hire a priest to fix the probem :) If any body has any ideas submit them. The longer this is open the more points will be added.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 13456970
107° Fareinheit (41° celcius) is very close to the acceptable temperature range.  It COULD have caused some damage, even if it only rose above that temp for a short time.

I don't ever advise flashing the BIOS unless the release notes on the motherboard manufacturer's site indicate that a particular update was written to correct a specific problem that is significant to your scenario.  You can usually only flash a BIOS chip a certain number of times and, although the number is quite high, reserve the update for another time if the current release notes indicate the fixes to be unrelated.

What wattage is your power supply rated at?
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Author Comment

by:foxdesignz
ID: 13462328
I've haven't found any release notes about the BIOS update, except for AMD low power support. I doubt that the update would even work. But it's really the only thing left I can do.
I have a 350W power supply.
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Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 13464558
There's one way that you could eliminate the possibility of a fluctuating power output from the PSU.  Boot into the CMOS Setup screen and look under the "Power" section.  There is usually an option to choose what the computer should do after a power cut.  On most setups, this usually set to restart the computer.  There should be options to have it go into suspend mode, and stay off, as well as the restart setting.  Change it to "stay off" and then boot to Windows.

My theory is that, if the PSU output is dipping marginally, then this could be just enough to be detected as a power cut, and the computer restarts as instructed.  If it just powers off instead, then you have probably isolated the reason.
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Accepted Solution

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BillDL earned 1400 total points
ID: 13465010
It's definitely not overclocked??

K7VTA-B Quick Settings Guide rev: 1.1
------------------------------------------------
http://www.soyo.com.tw/downloads/count.php?id=1736&next=%2Fmanuals%2Fquick-sg%2Fqk7vtab11.PDF

Pages 8, 10, and 11 of the manual refers to BIOS settings in relation to this.

Quite intriguing, that motherboard.  (See Page 11 of the manual):

"If the system does not boot-up properly, the Voice Doctor will inform the user by voice through internal/external speaker at what point in boot-up sequence the problem arises. Below are the possible errors the user may encounter:
1. The Processor might be damage or not installed properly
2. The memory module might be damage or not installed properly
3. VGA card might be damage or not inserted properly
4. No Keyboard connected
5. Defective HD-Driver (IDE)
6. Floppy might error.
Jumper JP7 1 & 2 = English, 2 & 3 = Chinese".

Did you install the Hardware background Monitoring software from the motherboard CD?  (Page 16 of the manual).  This SHOULD provide temperature, fan, and power warnings.  Perhaps you should install it and see what happens after Windows 98 has been running for a while.  You did say that you can get into Windows for limited sessions.  I seriously doubt that the monitoring software would work in Safe Mode.

There is probably an updated release of this utility, and most certainly of the 4-in-1 drivers, on the Soyo support pages.

http://www.soyo.com.tw/downloads/selectresults.php?language=&col1=Motherboard&col2=39&col3=All

Correct identification of the BIOS Revision is discussed on page 19 of the downloaded manual, to ensure that you download the applicable version for a BIOS Update.  The downloads from the Soyo site come as .BIN files.

To flash upgrade the BIOS from the .bin downloads, you need the Award Flash Utility:
http://www.soyo.com.tw/dl/bios/Awdflash.exe.

1. Download "Awdflash.exe".
2. Copy the .bin file and the Awdflash.exe to a boot floppy.
3. Follow the instructions in KB Article 35 (link below)
4. Or follow instructions in KB Article 36 (link below)

KB Article 35 -- How do I flash my AWARD BIOS?
http://www.soyousa.com/kb/kbdesc.php?id=35

KB Article 36 -- Where can I download a boot disk for flashing my BIOS?
http://www.soyousa.com/kb/kbdesc.php?id=36

I have to say that those instruction pages are the best I've ever seen on a motherboard support site.  Some don't even have instructions apart from an ambiguous Koreo-Chinglish "Readme.txt" file in the download ;-)

It's impossible to know whether the BIOS updates address specific problems related to yours, because they don't detail previous fixes in the previous versions up to the most current one for download.

FULL Manual for your motherboard:
http://www.soyo.com.tw/downloads/count.php?id=1635&next=%2Fmanuals%2Fk7%2Fmk7vtab11.pdf

One thing comes to mind here.  Have you perhaps added a Sound Card and not disabled the onboard one?  In Safe Mode or normal Windows, set the sound events to "None" and see whether that cures the problem.  Any sound events, even the standard Windows startup jingle, could cause a conflict sufficient to force a reboot or freeze the system.

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Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 13518389
Thank you, foxdesignz
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