Computer Boot-Up Problems

  Electronic_Eric 21:47 08 Jan 2009

Im having trouble with my computer starting.
Its keeps getting to a certain stage in the boot-up sequence and then it freezes. Its at the very start of the boot-up sequence that it freezes. It freezes at the stage ive just below.

Momory Frequency For DDR400 Specifications
HOST/DRAM Frequency is 200/200Mhz
AGP/PCI Frequency is 66/33Mhz

It takes a long while (2 or 3 minutes) for it to do what ever it does at the "AGP/PCI Frequency is 66/33Mhz" stage. Usually it only takes a couple of seconds. After a couple of minutes it quickly displays "Detecting IDE Channels..." and then carries on like normal at the usual speed that it does it.

First couple of times i managed to get it to start Windows, it didnt load the usual installion of Windows. It loaded up an old installion of Windows. Ive removed all of my other harddrives and now it loads the correct installion of Windows (obviously).

When i logged into Windows, it said that there were two new devices attached and it recognized it to be Primary and Secondary IDE ATA/ATAPI Channel Contollers. It also said i had new programs installed. Which is a load of rubbish. Ive had the hardware setup for a good year or so and the last time i installed anything about about 2 months ago.

What the hell could be wrong? I thought it might of been the bios battery but that was fine and i thought it might of been the SATA cables into the back of the harddrives. They were connected properly too.

My system is a Abit IC7 Max-3 motherboard with a 2.8Ghz HT P4. 1Gb of DDR400

  Technotiger 23:29 08 Jan 2009

Have you tried a System Restore back to before this happened?

  brundle 23:42 08 Jan 2009

Can you try another PSU? Tried the machine for a while with all but essentials connected (mouse, monitor, keyboard)?

  Jim_F 23:43 08 Jan 2009

The answer may be in the 'loaded an old install of windows'

Possible scenario is:

Master drive starts late-old windows detected-this messes with bios settings-hence 'new' devices.

I'd never have have multiple versions without a boot manager but also add that unexpected boot problems when running multiple drives generally point to a PSU issue first then a faulty drive.

  Electronic_Eric 03:23 09 Jan 2009

I just use the bios settings as a boot-up manager. Hmmmmm......Thinking about it, the old version of Windows booting up might be because i took the bios battery out to check to see if it was ok. After i put it back in and was able to get to my bios settings. I went through it all to change all of my settings back. I must of forgot about this.

It is still taking way too long to boot-up suggesting that there is a definite problem.

Which sort drives usually start to fail? Harddrives or CD/DVD drives?

  Electronic_Eric 03:50 09 Jan 2009

When looking at the voltages in my bios. How accurate do they need to be? Within 0.5 volts or what?

  Jim_F 14:10 09 Jan 2009

In my experience a hard drive drive failing can be slow to spin up due to locked bearings or failing motor - locked bearings were a fairly common problem in the days when drives were sized Mb rather than Gb.

I have known XP get really grumpy and take an age to start when its sees 2 candidate boot disks even though the boot order is set in bios. If the other disks are disabled it should be OK.

But it maybe the bios is corrupt so it might be worth a CMOS result and set to safe defaults before applying your deferred settings.

I believe the ATX spec is + or - 5% for voltages - I would double check these under load with a DVM.

  Jim_F 14:22 09 Jan 2009

Sorry "preferred settings" :)

  Electronic_Eric 17:37 09 Jan 2009

I removed the bios battery when it first started to do it this time. When i put the bios battery back in after checking it, it told me the CMOS Checksum was incorrect. It loaded the default bios settings and then i altered it to my preferred settings.
It still had problems loading.

  Jim_F 12:25 10 Jan 2009

I would try this again to see if the checksum is still incorrect and also short the link to make sure there is no residual voltage. (Just to check - you are physically removing the power not just switching off at the PSU ?).

I note some manuafacturers recommend saving factory defaults first after a reset or reflash - to be on the safe side I always do this, test the machine and then apply my preferred settings.

On one nerve racking occasion (cause by a power supply short) I had to do this twice before the machine would play ball.

  Electronic_Eric 00:50 17 Feb 2009

This problem is happening again. The first few times it wouldn't get pass what i have copied below.

Memory Frequency For DDR400 Specifications
HOST/DRAM Frequency is 200/200Mhz
AGP/PCI Frequency is 66/33Mhz

Then it started to tell me that the "CPU is unworkable or has been changed". It keeps telling me this every time i boot up now.

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