Far-Away 10:52 14 May 2003

On my P3 Win98 SE PC,there is some confusion. When I started the machine this morning it went as far as the single beep, then the BIOS information, then restarted up to the single beep again, BIOS information again, restarted ........ The bios process just keeps repeating itself over and over without starting Win 98, ever!
What could be the problem and how can it be solved? Thanks in advance, folks.

  Tog 10:58 14 May 2003

Put a system floppy in and see if wil finish booting using that.

If not, see if you can get into the BIOS, in amongst the POST options you should find an option to "Halt on error". Select it an see if it halts.

  Far-Away 11:55 15 May 2003

Thanx, Tog. I appreciate your contribution. But, I will be very grateful if you could be more elaborate. Thanx a million.

  tell 01:45 16 May 2003

hi , as your pc starts the boot sequence hold the delete key, this should bring up your bios screen, then highlight 'standard cmos setup', press 'enter', on the new pagw look for 'halt on' set this to 'all errors', this is usually done using the page up or page down key, having done this simply press the escape key and save and exit, your pc will then reboot and hopefully will stop giving you the opportunity to find out what the fault is.
My guess is you have a duff memory chip

  Tog 07:24 16 May 2003

Thanks, tell.

As for the floppy, power up with the Windows start-up floppy inserted. If the PC will boot into DOS from that without showing symptoms of your original fault, then the computer is getting past all the BIOS actions/checks and we can rule them out. It's just a way of splitting the system up to help find out where the problem lies.

Please post back with the results

  BBez 07:32 16 May 2003

as the PC is passing the power on self test (POST) it is possible that you may have developed a faulty power supply which is reseting itself once it goes under load after POST is complete.
You could also try, for debugging, disabling all power management features in the BIOS to see if it's a power management error

  Far-Away 12:41 19 May 2003

Hi Tog and tell, thanks a lot.
When this Win98 bootup problem started I suspected the UPS so it was removed for bench test and the results were that when the commercial power source of 220vac was removed the UPS output fell to 160. So now I am running the PC straight off the wall socket, but the bootup story is the same. But one thing I have realised is that the problem comes up when it is put on for the first time in the morning. After several attempts to start Win98 it does finally, but then it refuses to boot the next morning! Like now it is running and in use. When I got Win98 running today I went into bios, 'standard cmos setup', 'enter' and found that 'Halt on is already set to 'All Errors'. Earlier on I started the PC with the startup disk in the A drive. It went as far as to a message;
'Preparing to start your computer'........
'The diagnosis tools were successfully loaded...............' Then at the end of it all it said
To get help, type HELP and press ENTER, then an A prompt. I did that and what appeared on screen is a README.TXT file.
What do you get out of all this information?
I am anxious to hear from you again, folks. Thanks.

  Tog 16:31 19 May 2003

The fact it booted from the floppy would mean an awful lot more if it wasn't an intermittent fault. The successful floppy boot may have been just luck!

Because it happens in the morning and continues to work once it has booted successfuly, try a different PSU. If that makes no odds, download the memory diagnostic from click here and see if that comes up with a result, use the burn-in test if you can.

  Far-Away 11:43 20 May 2003

Thanks again, Tog.
Yes, the same problem happened this morning too when I turned on the PC. I noticed that it wouldn't even boot from the startup floppy. POST repeated itself many times, then I just turned it off and on again. But this time bootup was successful. Earlier on, while POST was just going in circles, I attempted getting into safe mode but it failed. Now that the PC is up and running,I have just donloaded the memory diagnostic program you linked me to yesterday. I shall run it and get back to you.

  Far-Away 11:03 27 May 2003

Hello folks. Sorry I have failed to come back to you until now. I have been held up by some problems on my ISP's proxy server.
Yes Tog, I downloaded the memory diagnostics program, DocMemory, and run it on my PC. Memory is fine. To confirm, I replaced the module with another working one and the problem was still there. By the way, how do you use the startup floppy to start Win98? Ok, I put it in and start the PC and it goes up to the the A:\ prompt. But how do I get into Win98 from there? What next?
I have noticed that Win98 boots up at long last, after POST has run many times, but this is very inconvinient. I need Win to start immediately.
What will happen if I get into BIOS and load the BIOS defaults? And again, what do you think will happen if I disabled all power management features in BIOS to see if the problem is a power management error? Please give me more ideas.
Thanks in advance.

  Tog 11:23 27 May 2003

You don't get into Win98 from the floppy. Booting from the floppy drive using the start-up disk puts you into DOS. It's just a quick way of narrowing down, or excluding possible causes.

Prime suspect at the moment would be your Power Supply, especially as the PC works once it has had a chance to warm up.

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