Boot up Failure from cold

  Stroller 17:00 19 Jul 2003

I have XP pro, with a PC Chips 810 LMR Mobo, Athlon 1800 processor, 256 Ram. A 40 gig HDD with six partititions (C-H).
I also have a CD writer.

On a cold boot, (first of the day) the PC has to make several attempts to fully boot.

It goes through the Bios, and gets as far as the Splash screen, beeps, and starts again. This can go on for up to 20 minutes.

If I close down and reboot, there is no problem.

I have looked at the error log, and this tells me

?(Date) Disk The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Harddisk0\D? .

Is this a hard driver fail on its way, or Mobo problem or something else?

Software is kept to a minimum with Office 2000, Autoroute, and PSP 7.
I use AVG anti virus, and Sygate personal firewall.

I had the problem prior to Sygate being installed.

Any help appreciated.


  keith-236785 19:39 19 Jul 2003

Has this always happened,

if not it could be a windows file that is not correctly installed (re-install of windows for that one.

I had a similar experience with a ECS K7S5A m/b, first boot of the day, it would not even goto post, cdrom lights flashed, fans spun up but nothing else.

in my case i got round it by trying to start up, then pressing the start button for five seconds to force a power off, then power on again and everything worked ok till the next morning.

I got a Trojan/Virus which corrupted my bios, so i flashed the bios and it also solved the startup problem.

so, my advice if nothing else works Flash your Bios, but only as a last resort, wait and see what others suggest.

good luck with whatever you decide

  keith-236785 19:41 19 Jul 2003

ps. ECS & PC Chips are one and the same company so its possible the boards have the same fault, having said that my nephew has exactly the same setup as me (both built by me) and he has had no problems.

  Stroller 22:40 19 Jul 2003


Good suggestion, I have had a virus sent to me by a friend (innocently) a few months ago, about same time problem appeared.

But I have never 'flashed' the Bios. It is one area of the PC I try to avoid, apart from checking that HDD and basic settings are OK.

I will see if it is 'do-able', if not I will get one of the 'Techies' at work to sort for me.

Many Thanks,

  DieSse 00:44 20 Jul 2003

Think - how can it be a BIOS error, or a software error? - if it will start up eventually, the BIOS and software must be functioning correctly - if they weren't, it would never start up.

The obvious is the cause 99% or the time - if the failed boots refer to "disk controller" problems - then the cause is almost certainly the Hard Drive, Motherboard, or just possibly the power supply or drive cables.

The only way to prove which is by substitution. Do the easy things first (take off and refit the cable - try another power supply) - and the harder things next - borrow a hard drive if you can, or boot up with a floppy and use it to test the hard drive to see if it's working OK.

  Stroller 07:07 20 Jul 2003

Paperman27 & DieSse,

looks like Mobo has died.
I am using PC #2 this morning, the faulty one is eventually booting, but with VERY low graphics quality, and if I try to adjust them it crashes. looks as if I am heading for the local computer fair this morning.
Can anyone recommend a Mobo that will go with a Athlon XP 1800 processor?

Cheers, Stroller

  Stroller 09:26 20 Jul 2003


I used system restore and just got the original fault now. I had been given a copy of Norton utilities to see if that would ID the problem, but it may have caused more after installing yesterday evening.
So no more Norton utilities, and I will keep looking for fault. I may reformat and reinstall XP in a week or two when I have more time.

Many thanks for your suggestions.


  DieSse 10:03 20 Jul 2003

It could even be, then, the graphics card, which is stopping the boot up - maybe there's a fan on it which has jammed and is drawing too much power until it gets going - worth a look?

  Stroller 15:27 20 Jul 2003

Possible, but the Mobo has VGA and Sound built in.
I do have an extra couple of fans blowing air in across the motherboard, and the IDE ribbons are well clear of the processor fan.

The more I look at this it may well be the MB, the HDD seemed OK when I set it as slave on the other PC.
The power supply is fairly new, last November, 400watt.


  Stroller 19:51 21 Jul 2003


I took the cover off, and found a good layer of dust over the internals.
So using a small paint brush (1/2 inch), a vacuum with a fine plastic extension tube, (Available from 'Betterware', 'Kleeneze' etc)I cleaned the interior, took all removable bits out, and cleaned those, reset all the connecting cables in securely, and took care as to the way they shaped around the processor fan.

It booted up with no problem just now, so I will wait and see how I get on over the next few days.

Many thanks for all your suggestions and tips,



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