PC not Rebooting - pointers required

  spencer boy 10:08 16 Apr 2004

Hi all,

My pc (XP P4) is failing to reboot when i start it. It doesn't even get to boot from any drives (can use any boot/recover disks). All it does is the pc starts and thats it - the screen remains a blank. I have had varoius issues with it freezing/crashing but normally can re-boot. But not now. Had a few weird 'blue' error screens before it crashed (i,.e trying writing to ROM memory).

As it probably a hardware problem now - has anyone any suggestion what i can do or point me in the right direction as i will probably have to take the back of or get someone to do it and have a look. So that i don't look like a complete novice can anyone point me in the right direction or suggest some good easy reading material that i can look at.


  Gongoozler 10:40 16 Apr 2004

Hi spencer boy. If the computer isn't booting at all, that is it doesn't give the usual POST (power on self test) beep, or show the usual black and white boot screens, then the problem is nothing to do with Windows, the hard drive hasn't been accessed at that stage. Diagnosis is mostly by substitution. First check that all connectors are seated properly, if that doesn't work try resetting the CMOS. Next I usually remove or disconnect everything from the motherboard except the processor with heatsink, a stick of memory, the power supply connectors (two of them for the P4), the graphics card, the power-on switch and the case speaker. If the computer still doesn't give the POST beep or boot graphics, then it is possible that the motherboard is shorting to the case, so I unscrew it and lay it on a sheet of card. Finally only substition can tell which of the few remaining components is faulty. The most common are the memory, the motherboard and the power supply.

  spencer boy 10:44 19 Apr 2004

Thanks for the reply...

I took the plunged and decided to have a look inside.

The first thing i did was remove the left memory stick (i have 2 slots) and it managed to boot up with no problem. Great I thought that's the problem. Then i tested to make sure the connecter works by putting the right memory stick on the left slot. It started to boot but it just beeped at me (without anything being shown on the moniter). I then put the memory stick back on teh right slot and this rebooted and worked thing. It loaded windows and displayed the windows login screen (i have two users on my pc). I then left this alone for a while and after a bit the screen froze. When i tried re-booting the mobo just beeps at me regardles of the memory slot i use.

So then i brought a new memory stick and put that on the right slot - this worked fine and logged in ok . I then left this for a while with nothing runing but after a hour it the screen again froze with multi mini square dots flashing all over. When i tried to re-boot i had the usual beep from the mobo and nothing else. The boot process kicks off and it access the drives but then it beeps and does nothing else.

I tried disconnecting other things but the same problem exists.

I have read that the graphic card could be the cause or i have a knacked mobo, not too sure why the power supply could be the problem.

Think i will get someone to look at it who i know who plays around with the hardware side.

At least i am getting to know a lot more about the workings inside of a pc after this.


  Gongoozler 11:08 19 Apr 2004

Hi spencer boy. The power supply often causes boot up and other problems. At boot up when everything is working hard being initiallised the supply voltage can dip momentarily, causing problems, and even after boot up if one of the voltages is low this can have unpredictable effects. Also if the supply is generating an excessive level of noise the results can be unpredictable.

Some motherboards are excessively fussy about memory, but it is just as possible that your one has a problem with memory management. From your description I think you're right to suspect the graphics card. If your friend can try a different graphics card, this will tell you if your suspicions are right. You won't need to load drivers for the different graphics card, just boot into Safe Mode and leave the computer to see if it remains stable.

  spencer boy 11:58 19 Apr 2004

Cheers Gongoozler. This gives me a couple of areas to look into. Shall try the graphics card option first. Then look into the power supply area.


  spencer boy 23:29 20 Apr 2004

Well - i have just switch the pc on and guess what - it is working.... Not done anything to it since friday (absolutely nothing whats so ever)and it is now working. So i am waiting now until if freezes. Gob-smacked why it wasn't working full stop a few days but now is working... I have only the new memory stick it at the moment.

  spencer boy 13:21 21 Apr 2004

The screen stilll froze after a while but this time it gave a blue error screen. error was the TMPPFLT.SYS file. The message was - ' PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGE_AREA'.

Does this mean anything?

  Gongoozler 16:33 21 Apr 2004

Hi spencer boy. The PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGE_AREA message usually indicates a problem with either RAM or video memory (the latter correlates with your previous problem or the picture breaking up), but sometimes is caused by a software compatibility problem. If the TMPPFLT.SYS error is consistent then this would suggest a software problem. I can't find any reference to TMPPFLT, but if the spelling is TMPFLT, it could refer to a floating point process. If the error is consistent, then it could be worth disabling the programs that load at startup until you can identify the guilty one. I would put my money on a graphics card problem.

  spencer boy 22:05 21 Apr 2004


Mis-spelt the file it was TMXPFLT - asking around it might also have something to do with pc-cillin that i have recently installed (badly looks like). I am happy that i can log on - the current rebooting problem does seem to suggest grahics card / drivers- -i have tried updating the driver so i will see if that works. But i am going to get a new graphics card (there is a current thread from someone regarding grahic cards). Think now that the main problem of not booting up then i will close this one.

Thanks for your help and time. Much appreciated.

  Gongoozler 22:12 21 Apr 2004

Hi spencer boy. I'm pleased to see that you've sorted most of your problem, and hope that a new graphics card resolves the remainder. Your information is right, TMXPFLT is part of PC-cillin. You'll find it listed here click here.

  spencer boy 18:56 22 Apr 2004


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