Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

A Problem to Chew On: PC shutdown during boot

  1. Nov 15, 2011 #1
    Ok, I have a media server here with an interesting problem.

    Here are some specs:
    AMD dual core
    600 watt power supply, bought new 2 years old.
    Older server motherboard no problems before, but who knows.
    Nvidia 9500 graphics card
    4 gb of ram installed, only addresses 3.5 gb
    Windows 7 pro 32bit

    The computer is totally powering down while leaving the bios and before the OS begins its own start-up.

    Yesterday some friends were watching a dvd and the pc blue screened. That was the first time we have had a blue screen since the computer was assembled over a year ago.

    At first I thought perhaps we had a bad hard disk, but that would not explain the total powering down of the pc. At worst, it should just fail to start the OS.

    I used a linux boot disk to run a memtest and that turned out fine. The real trouble came when I instructed linux to boot from the disk but not install. The computer shut down at the exact same moment as the W7 OS when I tried to boot using the Linux OS.

    To me, this rules out the bad hard disk theory and only leaves possible
    1. Bad power supply- I find this unlikely as it has no problem running while in bios and while running the memtest. The PC is also failing at the exact same moment when operating from two different boot sources.

    2. Bad motherboard - At the moment this is the only I can't rule out although the bios operated fine when I checked its settings.

    3. Something is shorting out. Its possible that this is the cause and I will try removing the peripherals and reinstalling them to see if this avoids the issue. That will probably be my next course of action.

    Does anyone have any input? Ever had this problem before?

    Remember the PC is shutting down at the moment that the OS (both linux and W7) attempts to start up from two different boot locations, a hard disk and a DVD drive.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 15, 2011 #2
    An update: The blue-screen error was 0x00000124. This appears to be a audio driver issue. Couldn't imagine how that could contribute to start-up problems.
  4. Nov 16, 2011 #3
    disconnect any peripherals connected to the system, leave only keyboard, mouse, monitor and power plugged in. then try to boot to DVD
    if still nogo, disconnect any PCI cards that are still in use and try again (if possible, remove PCI-e video card and use onboard video)
    if still nogo, enter bios and disable your onboard sound and try again
    if still nogo, enter bios and disable your hard drive and try again
    if still nogo, i would suspect that you have a mobo problem, this can be painful to confirm. you basically have to test with a different mobo unless you have diagnostic software but if the system cant boot, you're SOL and have to do it the hard way.

    if system boots to dvd drive after you disable hard drive, we maybe looking at a failing/failed hard drive. confirm by going back to bios, enabling the HDD and try again to see if it fails to boot. if possible, remove current drive and test with a different HDD before buying a new drive

    if the system boots to dvd drive after you disable the audio (onboard audio) confirm it by enabling it back and checking if the no boot occurs again, if it does, invest 20-30 bucks on a PCI audio card

    if the system boots to dvd drive after you remove pci cards, then one of them is the problem, try booting with 1 card at a time to isolate with one is the issue. once you know which one, remove it, boot to windows, blow out the drivers for that card. reboot, get the latest drivers from the internet, reinstall drivers and then reinstall card. test to see if it works. try it in different PCI slots. if it still fails, you may be looking at a failed card

    same process as PCI cards for any 3rd party peripherals you are using if the system boots after removing peripherals.

    hope this helps.
  5. Nov 18, 2011 #4
    Thanks for the input, I'll try so see what I can get tested over the next week and post the results. I'm really crossing my fingers for this to not be a motherboard/PS issue.
  6. Nov 19, 2011 #5
    It would appear that the motherboard was bad. Fortunately I have another that I can use to replace it. Its a pin in the butt, but I can get it working for the time being. I wish I knew exactly what went wrong.
  7. Nov 19, 2011 #6
    examine the capacitors on the mobo. they are the most common cause of failures. check to see if any of them look swollen (burst)
  8. Nov 20, 2011 #7
    I'll check it out. I've never tried fixing a motherboard before, could be interesting.
  9. Nov 20, 2011 #8
    it may not be worth the time and effort to repair these types of problems anymore. if it is caps that have blown, it will involve cutting them off, finding the same capacitors and then soddering them on in place. unless you have specific experience in this type of work, you are much better off spending 60-80 bucks buying a new mobo.
  10. Nov 20, 2011 #9
    It would be more for the novelty of it. I've already supplemented another mother board that appears to have fixed the problem. We are having to do some data recovery from the OS drive in the first so we can configure the new OS to the new motherboard.
  11. Nov 20, 2011 #10
    well in that case, its always a good thing to learn a new skill! have at her!

    p.s. please dont catch on fire while trying this :tongue:
  12. Nov 21, 2011 #11
    Can someone give me a reason why the capacitors on MOBO , swells up ??
    Is that because of inadequate power supply ??

    I have noticed this problem on lots of MOBO, but most of them were old.
  13. Nov 21, 2011 #12
  14. Nov 21, 2011 #13
    Thanks for the information Routaran. :)
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook