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Computer won't boot to any media

DJMTEK
DJMTEK asked
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Custom build computer with :
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
MSI 790FX-GD70 DDR3 Motherboard
Mushkin Enhanced Silverline Stiletto 8GB
2x2TB sata drives in RAID 1

Computer worked great for 4 months and suddenly wouldn't boot...hangs on "starting windows".  Can't load "repair computer" or "safe mode".  Tried to boot to DVD but same thing.   i.e. hangs and tried to boot from first and second burner.

Also, won't boot to W7 loaded on USB drive.  

Disconnected hard drives, all external devises, USB media panel, etc (Just RAM, video card, and burner left).   Still won't boot to DVD or USB drive. (Other machines will boot to same media).  

Tried to boot to memtest cd and all I got was a scrolling "8000".   Booted to a Microscope 2005 cd and ran motherboard test - passed.  Running Microscope memory tests now but these take a long time, so in the meantime I thought I would see if any experts have encountered this and what they would suggest.
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Ivano ViolaSystem Administrator
Commented:
It may be your RAM. If you have more than one stick of RAM, try inserting one stick at a time and see if you're able to boot up.

Let me know how it goes.

IV

Commented:
if it won't boot to any device it seems like a motherboard problem. i'm not familiar with Microscope 2005 and don't know hoe it works. the boot responsibility is up to the motherboard. did u choose your proper device by clicking F12 and choosing it ?

Author

Commented:
I did swap out one stick and then the other.  No change but I didn't replace the both sticks with totally different ram.  

I changed the boot order in the bios as well as selected it via F11.  The dvd or cd will spin up and the process will begin but hangs half way.  In the case of the usb stick, the bar graph will get about half way and then stop.  

Microscope:  Diagnostic software.   Here is a link to the current version, though I still use the 2005 version.  http://micro2000pcdiagnostics.com/#/micro-scope-suite-software/4538144903

Note: I'm a certified technician with about 16 years experience and yet never encountered this.   My hunch was it was a motherboard problem too, just not sure I want to admit it as this was one of my favourite boards...solid caps, good reviews, etc.  The strange memtest thing still puzzles me though.
Commented:
have you tried single stick on each of the available DDR slots  ?
I think your DDR is the one that have error. Since you can go into BIOS without problem.
Usually if you cannot go into windows, it has something to do with the DDR RAM.
My advice is just try a new DDR, it should booted without problem.
I have a different point of view.

It could be just a faulty hard drive or Operating System malfunction.

Reasonable doubt:
1) Your computer can still boot to optical drive (when you tried to boot from Microscope 2005 CD).
- So meaning to say, your motherboard and optical drive are somewhat still working.
2) You cannot boot from USB stick.
- But if this is the first time you try to boot from USB on this computer, we can't 100% conclude that it should work as how we expected (although you had changed BIOS boot sequence to boot from USB) since your computer is only 4 months old.

My humble suggestion is:
- If you are running on RAID 1 (mirroring), why not you remove both of your original hard drives and try to get and boot from a known good bootable hard drive, since you mentioned that you also have some other systems that working fine currently?

NOTE: Although not all RAID 1 memory can be rebuild or restore after motherboard or RAID card been replaced or unplugged due to data lost. But for me, it is worth to try - provided that you have backup all your important data.

Thanks and Good Luck!
liranp1IT and .net developer
CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
try reset the bios.
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Distinguished Expert 2019

Commented:
disconnect HDD and try to boot from CD drive
disconnect cd  drive and try to boot from HDD

if none of these work - bad mobo - just to be sure -check the board for bulding or leaking capacitors :
caps.jpg

Author

Commented:
As mentioned in initial post, I had disconnected the hdds and still couldn't boot to the dvd.  I then disconnected BOTH HDDs and DVDs but couldn't boot to a USB drive.  I have tried booting to memtest, UBCD disk, various windows disks, etc.   The ONLY think I have been able to boot to is the Micro 2000 (v. 2005) cd.  

The capacitors are all solid (no fold over flap type  as in your pic), and look good (no bulging or leaking).  And I checked the base of the caps as well.  

I will try clearing the bios and post back.

Thanks for the taking time to respond.
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Distinguished Expert 2019

Commented:
>>  The ONLY think I have been able to boot to is the Micro 2000 (v. 2005) cd.  <<  i see no reason if you can boot from this one - why not from others?
i assume you tested the others to be bootable and working on anothe r  PC?
 

Author

Commented:
While I did remove one stick, and then replaced it with the other, it occurred to me that it is possible that BOTH sticks went bad, so I removed both and replaced them with another set (identical Mushkin 996770) and the machine fired right up.  Subsequently tried booting to DVD, USB, etc. and no problems.  Go figure.

So while I am  closing this, and awarding points, I would still welcome any comments as to why.  Just bad mem, or could it be the 500Watt Antec PSU (which is the weak point on this machine), that might be responsible.  Otherwise, this machine is on a UPS protecting it against surges, etc.

Thanks to all who contributed!

Author

Commented:
Points should have been split between ivan.. and iceblitz.  I will request an administrator to change this.

Author

Commented:
trying one stick at a time didn't work but replacing the ram entirely did.

Commented:
i'm not sure details of your pc wattage when full loaded. try this link PSU Calculator to see if the Antec 500W is near the limit or not.
Rarely two sticks of RAM will be broken at the same time, unless something wrong with the input power that is supplied to them when running on load. Or you could just unlucky to have those 2 defect sticks.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the suggestion.  I did run the PSU calculator and it suggested 370 W.   I know there is much more to a psu than just its wattage (eg. amperage), but the current Antec PSU is 500 watt and should be enough.  However, I agree with you and will look into this further i.e. specs and requiremments and perhaps even swap in another PSU if I can.

Thanks again for you comments!