Can't boot after shutting down for 1 hour+

  Ironman556 13:35 15 Jan 2005

Asus P4P800SE, 3.0GHz Prescott + stock cooler, 2 x 512MB Kingston DDR400 RAM, Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro, 400W PSU, Seagate 200GB SATA. Win XP Pro (when installed)

Hi, I've been helping some friends build their new PC. Initially there was a problem with the formatting of the hard drive, and PC wouldn't alwats boot. I ran chkdsk and told it to recover any bad sectors, and it fixed the problem. They then installed all the programs and updated windows. It was fine until SP2 was put on and then it died.

Since then it has been reformatted several times in both NTFS and FAT32 and each time some files have been missing or corrupt (not always the same ones reported). Thinking it might be an error with the dvd rom, we swapped and installed again from the other, same problem. Tried a different XP disc, same error. Somehow Windows got installed ok, started loading drivers, applications etc. shutdown overnight, booted in the morning and it hit an error loading windows, missing file. Can't boot in safe mode, or use last known good, just gets half way through loading Windows and restarts. Sometimes on shutting down and booting it will give a blue screen, STOP error, and say an application couldn't be loaded, please re-install.

I used the recovery console, used chkdsk /p it found errors and recovered. Shut down PC. Booted, fine. Left it 10 mins, booted, fine. Left it an hour, booted and the errors are back. Once running the PC can be restarted as many times as you want, boots fine and is stable.

The PC has been to bits and completely rebuilt. One thing that happens occasionally when the pc has been on its side is that no graphics siognal is detected. The graphics card is in firmly and has been removed and re-inserted. I've taken the RAM out and tried each stick separately. Temperatures all fine.

I'm about out of ideas now, one thing I havn't tried is updating the bios, am currently cheking asus site on how to do that. Can anyone think of anything else I could try.

Any ideas appreciated. Thanks.

  tenplus1 13:55 15 Jan 2005

I had this problem before and it turned out to be a faulty memory Dimm that was causing XP install and bootup to fail and corrupt the HD...

If you can turn the memory test ON in the bios to check the memory for faults, and if possible boot from a floppy containing a good check program...

Other than that, make sure the HD and CD/DVD are both on their own IDE chains and set to master, as this sometimes solves incompatibility problems and HD failures... (depending on devices used)

  Ironman556 14:14 15 Jan 2005

thanks. Can you recommend any memory checking programs that would be suitable? I have downloaded memtest86 bootable cd image, but if there's anything better out please let me know.

  JonnyTub 14:17 15 Jan 2005

In my opinion memtest86 is about as good as it gets, be patient, let it run and walk away. It takes a VERY long time to complete

  Ironman556 14:30 15 Jan 2005

Should I do one module at a time? And once it's run fully it increments "Pass" and restarts?

  Ironman556 17:15 15 Jan 2005

Ok I think I've worked out how this works. I've let it do all the standard tests on one stick of RAM. It says Pass 10, and Errors 0, so I assume that means it's run the complete test 10 times (?) and has found no errors. Will now switch modules and run standard tests on that.

  Ironman556 19:10 15 Jan 2005

Thanks, found bad ram. 80 errors. 34 on test 1, 44 on test 2 and 2 on test 3. Will get RAM swapped, fix disk errors and post back when successful.

  JonnyTub 21:03 15 Jan 2005

sorry it took so long to reply, hadn't realised you posted back, but it looks as though you found the problem, well done and let us know how you get on.

  Ironman556 02:18 17 Jan 2005

Almost 3 weeks of problems solved by taking a stick of ram out. Seems to have done the trick, took the bad ram out repaired using windows setup recovery console(chkdsk /p) Shutdow for a bit and started up ok. Thanks!

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