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Boot process hangs at ACPI Controller

Hello,

I have purchased all new parts to construct a computer.  I have an ASUS A8N5X mobo (PCI-E), MSI GeForce NX7600 video card, Athlon 64 3200+ proc, 1 GB Kingston memory in a single DIMM (installed to proper slot), a Seagate SATA HDD, an ASUS DVD-RW, and an Enermax EG425P power supply.  

I put everything together using my anti-static wrist strap and plugged in a friend's wireless keyboard and mouse.  The box booted up and mentioned that there was no bootable disk available, so I popped in the WinXP Pro CD and pressed the hardware reset button.  Everything went great - the box booted and loaded all of the files from the CD into memory.  But when I got to the prompt to "hit Enter to install Windows XP," I found that the keyboard wasn't working.  So I went and got another keyboard (PS2) and plugged it in instead.  Hitting the Enter key still didn't work, so I used the hardware reset button again.

Now, every time the machine boots, it hangs at the ACPI Controller section of the PCI device listing.  I have tried pretty much everything I can think of to fix this issue:  I have reconnected all of the hardware components, I have reset the BIOS to defaults, I have used the mobo jumper to clear and reset the BIOS completely, I have toggled the ACPI APIC setting off and on, I have changed the IRQ assignment from auto to manual (I also tried reserving IRQ 9, since that was what the BIOS kept assigning to the ACPI Controller), I have tried toggling PnP OS off and on, and I have even tried booting with no keyboard attached at all.  Nothing works.  

At this point I am thinking that maybe I have a bad mobo that I need to return.  I really don't want to do this, as this PC is a birthday gift for a kid and I want to give it to him on his birthday (tomorrow - Sunday May 28th).  

Does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks,

Justin
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JustinJMartin
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JustinJMartin
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1 Solution
 
JustinJMartinAuthor Commented:
Oh, yeah - I also tried disabling all of the USB controllers through the BIOS as well.  No luck there either.
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JustinJMartinAuthor Commented:
And I tried unplugging the floppy drive.  Also no luck.
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maramomCommented:
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mjcoyneCommented:
I would also try flashing the BIOS.  How far does the boot get?  Can you boot off a CD?

As far as the wireless keyboard goes, assuming the wireless receiver is connected to a USB port, make sure that USB Legacy Support is enabled in the Advanced -> USB configuration section of your BIOS.

Have you tried removing the battery for several minutes, with the computer off and unplugged from the wall?  I know this is supposed to be the same as jumpering the CMOS pins, but I'd try it anyway.

But, I'm unclear on when this hang occurs.  If you can boot from a CD, can you reinstall Windows?  If you can, when the setup program says "Setup is inspecting your computer's hardware configuration", press F5 to manually select the hardware abstraction layer (HAL).  Choose the entry entitled "Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI).PC".

Again, if you can boot from a CD, you might also try a Linux Live CD (like Knoppix -- see http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html).

But, I'm not convinced this is an ACPI issue -- if the ACPI driver is printing to the screen, you're problem is not there -- it is with the *next* driver that loads.  The driver name only gets printed to the screen *after* it loads...
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maramomCommented:
There have been issues with this board with the system hanging at post that are linked to installing the PCIex device. A BIOS update addresses this issue.
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JustinJMartinAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your responses.

Unfortunately, I can't get far enough to boot the system from any source - the boot process is stopping during the initial BIOS boot phase.  When I start the computer, I see the ASUS splash screen, then I see the list of detected hardware.  This is followed by the PCI device listing, which lists each detected device and the corresponding IRQ.  It lists several things, such as the IDE Controller, but when it gets to the ACPI Controller it hangs.  

Flashing the BIOS requires booting from a floppy or getting all the way into an OS, and because I am not able to actually complete the initial boot phase, I am not able to get far enough to actually use any flash utility.
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maramomCommented:
Do you have a pci video card to use to try to post in order to flash the BIOS? This could also help determine if the PCI-express card is the issue.
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JustinJMartinAuthor Commented:
I'll see if I can find a PCI video card to test with - let me look through my old stuff for a bit.
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maramomCommented:
Another option...if the video card is not the problem...is to remove your hard drive and any extra devices, (optical drives) go into BIOS setup and disable onboard sound, parallel and com ports, etc. (keep the floppy connected) and see if you can finish post. If so, flash the BIOS, clear CMOS, then, one by one, add the devices...optical, hard drives, etc. and hope for a good result.
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nobusCommented:
>>   So I went and got another keyboard (PS2) and plugged it in instead.  <<  while the power was on? you may have ruined the SP2 port. - then you'll need another board.
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JustinJMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi,

As maramom suggested, I disconnected every item in the box except for a PCI video card and the floppy drive.  I was able to boot from the floppy and flash the BIOS to the latest version from ASUS specifically for this board (0902).  I then cleared the CMOS and reconnected the other devices (HDD, DVD-RW, and PCI-E video card). Unfortunately, I ended up with the same result - the boot process halted during the BIOS phase at the ACPI Controller.  

It may be possible to boot from a CD using the PCI video card instead of the PCI-E card, but even if I could I would never be able to put the PCI-E card in there because it would then halt the boot process again.  That will not work, as this is supposed to be a gaming box.  

I will see if there is anything else I can do short of replacing the entire board.
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JustinJMartinAuthor Commented:
Oops - I was just reading over my post and I realized that I left something out - after I flashed the BIOS and reinstalled the components I tried to boot and got the same failure.  THEN I cleared the CMOS and tried to boot again... again with the same result.  Anyway, I wanted to make sure that was clear.
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maramomCommented:
Just curious...if you used the PCI-express card with the floppy does it boot?
Perhaps the problem lies within the boot device..the DVD-RW or the hard drive. The system first locked up when trying to install windows with the dvd drive. Trying to boot with another optical drive (or testing the drive on another system) can rule that possibility in or out.
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maramomCommented:
To clarify >Just curious...if you used the PCI-express card with the floppy does it boot?
To establish that the video card is not at fault, try to boot with the PCI-ex card and floppy alone (no optical drive attached). The PCI-ex issue (if it existed) should have been fixed with the BIOS update...which is why I now suspect perhaps the problem wasn't there to begin with.

As well as checking the boot devices, you could also try Knoppix (as suggested by mjcoyne) or any other bootable cd as an alternate booting method to be sure it's not your install cd that is at fault. (Testing the install cd on another system is also an option).
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nobusCommented:
try to install xp with the standard ACPI - hit F5 during the first install phase, instead of hitting F6 :
http://forums.techguy.org/windows-nt-2000-xp/449111-bad_pool_header-windows-xp-install-without.html
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JustinJMartinAuthor Commented:
Good idea, maramom.  I didn't think about trying different componets other than the video card because ASUS's Website mentions issues with that board and PCI-E video cards.  I'll try that tonight and see if it helps.
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JustinJMartinAuthor Commented:
It turns out that this problem all came down to the HDD.  

I was able to boot with the PCI-E card and the floppy drive attached, and I was able to boot with the PCI-E card and the DVD-RW together, but as soon as I plugged in the HDD it started to hang again.  I have built many systems, but I have never received a DOA HDD until now; so I tried replacing the mobo first.  I got a new mobo, an MSI, and had the same issue that I did with the ASUS - it hung at the ACPI Controller part of the BIOS boot phase.  So I got a new HDD, and voila!  Clean boot, full install of Windows, and all is well.

Thank you!
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maramomCommented:
Glad you got it running!
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