Boot falure - Hangs at video card (?)

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by mokwit, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. mokwit


    On booting some mornings I get as far as the initial backlight of the primary monitor and then it just stays there.

    It does not get as far as the XP splashscreen which normally follows around 10 or so seconds later. Followed another 10 or so seconds later by the other 3 monitors and the Windows log in.

    This to me suggest that it is not the Win XP video driver and also although it may be hanging at the first screen, the video cards/drivers may be fine, rather it could be stopping at the backlight of the monitor because it is the NEXT thing to load that is actually the thing that is hanging, but how would I isolate what that is?

    One thing I have thought of doing is switching the video card around. the problem seems solved for at least one boot by disconnecting totally from the power supply and then switching back on. have checked all video card + monitor connections. Re- installing the driver seems irrelevant if this is happening pre Win XP load

    On switching off and restarting after the failed boot I am presented with the option of amongst other things "last known good menu" which so far has worked when selected (does this indicate that it actually IS Win XP driver). One day that happy sate of affairs may not occur..............

    Seems to me it is a hardware recognition issue or a piece of hardware is failing and I somehow hae to isolate which piece of hardware its.

    Cards are 2x twin ATI FireMV 2200 installed for 1+ years, Win XP SP1, 2x Samsung 191T + 2 misc.

    Any suggestion as to other forums to post this on are appreciated.
  2. dchang0


    You've described exactly the problem I saw happen on another trader's system when he added a fourth PCI video card to his system.

    Basically, the power draw of the additional video card was just beyond the capabilities of the stock power supply in his machine, so while the monitor would turn on on its own power (black screen with backlight), no signal was being sent to the monitor.

    Now, your setup's a bit different, because you're not adding a card, but it may be that your power supply is slowly failing. And it may be that in your case, Windows really isn't booting but is getting stuck. In this other trader's case, Windows appears to have booted fine--we just couldn't see it because the login was on the monitor that wouldn't work.

    If that's the case, you'll want to use the F8 boot menu (press F8 quickly just after the BIOS screen and just before Windows XP's startup screen) and do a step-by-step or logged boot-up to see exactly where it fails in the boot process.

  3. mokwit


    dchang0 Thanks for your reply.

    I have noticed that the problem only occurs when I boot after a switch off. If I restart windows without switching off the PC the problem does not seem to occur. Does this further support your suggestion of a failing power supply?

    If I get the screen with "last good menu" as an option following the failed boot would this confirm that Windows is booting as you suggest?

    It always works on the second attempt (so far, not trying to tempt fate here!)

    I have to be a bit pedantic on isolating the issue here as I am in Thailand and real expertise is thin on the ground here so I have to be sure of the problem rather than immediately accepting any explanation I get..
  4. bgboy13


  5. bgboy13


    Oops, did not read your original post .
    Two possible causes:
    1.every motherboard has a small lithium battery to keep the custom settings when it is turned off. If the battery is gone you will experience the symptoms with the "last good menu". If you restart the computer it will work OK, but if you leave it off overnight, the custom settings will be lost and the BIOS will be at its default state.
    So buy a new battery and see if this will cure it.

    2. your hard drive may have some bad sectors or you've got some unwanted nasty stuff. The cure here is to remove the drive, connect it to another good computer (fully patched Windows, latest antivirus, spyware removal etc.. and to scan it !)
  6. Catoosa


    I agree with the post on replacing the motherboard battery.

    When booting, go into your BIOS and look at the voltages of the power supply (3.3V, 5V, and 12V). If any of these are off by more than 5%, replace the power supply. The PC hardware is designed to work with voltages within the 5% tolerance. Check these voltages when booting after the PC is cold from being off overnight. An out of tolerance voltage can cause symptoms when booting that start much as you describe. The voltage problem can start causing file corruption that will slowly lead to the failure of the operating system much like you would get with some viruses. Once the corruption starts, it feeds on itself and spreads. I had this happen with one of the high dollar Antec True Power power supplies and it took me more than a year of killing my operating systems before I read about this problem in a QUE PC Repair book. I knew what my voltages were; However, I did not know this was a problem until I read the QUE book.
  7. mokwit


    Thanks to all for help