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What could be causing intermittent no boot situation on my computer?

Posted on 2008-10-06
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Last Modified: 2013-12-10
For some strange reason my computer will randomly and intermittently refuse to start up into Windows after I turn the power switch on.  The computer always turns on and goes past the POST test and even comes close to booting into Windows by going past that screen with the little green squares that go back and forth but after that if it doesn't boot the screen just stays black.  If I kill the power and make repeated attempts to start the computer it will finally boot up normally.  Other times this computer will boot up the first time with no problems at all.  In all cases, once running, this computer works great and illustrates no errors.  Can anyone offer any solutions about the intermittent startup problems?
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Question by:VictoriousWON
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by:mren08
ID: 22656233
I once had a similar problem and it was due to the POST occurring so quickly.. my SATA drives hadn't had time to completely initialize.. you could test this by increasing the POST diagnostics in your BIOS and seeing if you get the same behavior...
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by:PUNKY
ID: 22656259
First, check the bad cap: http://www.badcaps.net/
Then, test memory: http://www.memtest.org/
Also, while open the case to inspect the bad cap, check dust, reseat memory, etc.
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by:kind4me
ID: 22656490
I agree with Punky to check the memory, but you would most likly see issues while in Windows if it was a memory issue.  There are three things you need to do:

First check the APCI in the bios and disable it.  See if that resolves the issue.  If it does then it is a conflict between the APCI and the Windows APCI setting.

The second is to check the boot order, make sure that the harddrive is the first boot device.  If it is not then set it as the first and test.  

Finally I would flash the bios if you haven't already.
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by:nobus
ID: 22657064
i would suggest removing all extra devices, not needed for booting, to test the issue : extra disks, all dvd drives, PCI cards
it can also be your system has a video problem; try a lower resolution, or try the boot  with vga mode ( from safe mode boot menu) - or another video card
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by:Callandor
ID: 22658851
Intermittent power up problems can usually be traced to a faulty power supply or a bad motherboard, and as the others have mentioned, bad caps are a prime suspect.  Try a different power supply and see if that makes a difference.
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Author Comment

by:VictoriousWON
ID: 22660533
Could someone please elaborate on how to do the memtest.  Although I don't think memory is the problem because the computer runs flawlessly after it boots up even in memory intensive games like flight simulator but it can't hurt to check.
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by:nobus
ID: 22661098
you make a bootable floppy or cd
then boot from it - it runs
let it run for at least 3 full passes
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by:VictoriousWON
ID: 22661419
Thanks I'm going to tear into all the possible solutions today.
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VictoriousWON earned 0 total points
ID: 22671167
Got together with Microsoft late last night and now the problem is fully resolved.  Turns out that all it was was an overloaded start menu.  The tech went into the registry and pulled a number of programs out of the start menu and now it jumps to life everytime.  Thanks for your input everyone.
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by:nobus
ID: 22676045
don't forget to close the question...
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by:VictoriousWON
ID: 22679227
Thanks, but how do I close the question?
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by:VictoriousWON
ID: 22680447
Sorry, I'm new here and not familier with correct protocol.  I will get the hang of it eventually.
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