Intermittent boot failure

Discussion in 'Asus' started by KenV, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. KenV

    KenV Guest

    As stated in another, unrelated, post, I recently replaced my P4B533 with a
    P4P800E-Deluxe.

    Prior to replacement, one of the problems I was having was that the computer
    didn't cold boot about 20% of the time. This happened especially if I had
    just turned it off recently, but could happen after several hours of being
    off, as well. There was no obvious correlation with anything else I was
    doing. I simply had to turn it off and turn it back on again, and always
    booted eventually.

    Now that I have the new board, it is doing the same thing on cold boot,
    again, about 20% of the time. Everything, including the P4 CPU was
    transferred to the new board, including the 2 hard drives, ATI Radeon 7500
    AGP video card, Audigy 1 card, WinTV PVR card, an old Lucent faxmodem card,
    and the memory chips, 2 500mb Crucial DDRs. All of these appear to be
    working well once the computer is running.

    I assume, therefore, that the problem lies either in the memory or in one of
    the cards, not in the seating of the cards or chips, per se.

    How do I go about troubleshooting this problem easily? Do I have to take one
    card at a time out? Is one of these components a frequent cause of this type
    of intermittent boot failure? I know it isn't Windows, because not even the
    BIOS screen appears when this happens.

    Thanks.

    Ken
     
    KenV, Dec 18, 2005
    #1
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  2. KenV

    Paul Guest

    I notice the power supply is not on your list of suspects.

    In the past, some of the Vcore regulators had "hiccup" mode
    current limiting. That means, if the Vcore regulator detects
    a fault, it will try once a second, to restore operation.
    That was a good feature, capable of hiding bad transient
    behavior in a power supply.

    More modern regulator designs, are one-shot designs. If
    a failure is detected, they latch off. The symptoms would
    be, the computer switches on, but the BIOS will not POST.
    All the fans will be spinning, the drive will spin up.
    But, what has happened, is if the power supply is slow to
    deliver the +12V at startup, the Vcore regulator will latch
    off during the startup interval. The fact that it won't
    retry, is why it fails to run. It can only be recovered by
    switching off the power, only to repeat the symptoms again.

    If you have an Antec supply, try another brand. Sometimes,
    even a much older 250W power supply can be used for debugging,
    as many of them will allow a system to start, when a modern,
    more powerful one will not.

    If changing the power supply doesn't help, the next step is
    to remove as much optional hardware as possible. Then, add
    components back one at a time.

    You also have the luxury of the Vocal POST feature. Connect
    amplified speakers to the Lineout audio connector on the
    motherboard (even if you have added a sound card, the motherboard
    connector is where you connect, to listen to Vocal POST).
    If the error you hear on failures, is "System Failed CPU test",
    then it could be the power supply that is doing it. Since your
    system eventually runs, the processor is not defective.

    HTH,
    Paul
     
    Paul, Dec 18, 2005
    #2
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  3. KenV

    KenV Guest

    Paul,

    Thanks, that does help me to get started.

    I have a Raidmax 350W power supply--always gives good voltage readings,
    although obviously on startup I don't know.

    Anyway, I've connected the MB line-out jack to my stereo system line-in and
    will listen for the error message on POST. Naturally, my last two cold boots
    have worked so I don't know yet.

    Ken
     
    KenV, Dec 18, 2005
    #3
  4. KenV

    KenV Guest

    Paul,

    I just got the answer---it failed to boot and the voice said, "System failed
    CPU test". So, I guess it is the power supply, as you said.

    I have the Raidmax 350W as noted below. Do you have any suggestions as to
    what I should get to replace it for the P4P800E Deluxe pretty much fully
    loaded, and soon a P4 2.8c processor with hyperthreading? A quiet power
    supply fan would be nice...I don't think this one is particularly quiet.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Ken
     
    KenV, Dec 21, 2005
    #4
  5. KenV

    BC Guest

    Note: I is not as smart as Paul, but, there are good reviews here:

    http://www.silentpcreview.com/article28-page6.html

    Start of article:

    http://www.silentpcreview.com/article28-page1.html

    Seasonic does really well in all these tests. (I have a Seasonic 430
    that was not quite powerful enough for an Asus p5WD2 with a 3.2G P4, 2G
    of Ram, and three hard drives....had to get a PC Power and Cooling 510.)

    PC Power and Cooling has a "configurator":

    http://www.pcpowercooling.com/products/power_supplies/selector/

    Their "quiet" power supplies are not priced too terribly high,
    considering they have a three year warranty:

    http://www.pcpowercooling.com/products/power_supplies/ultra-quiet/

    HTH,

    BC
     
    BC, Dec 21, 2005
    #5
  6. KenV

    BC Guest

    Dear Ken,


    I are not as smart as Paul, but, there are good reviews here of quiet
    power supplies:

    http://www.silentpcreview.com/article28-page6.html

    Start of article:

    http://www.silentpcreview.com/article28-page1.html

    Seasonic does really well in all these tests. (I have a Seasonic 430
    that was not quite powerful enough for an Asus p5WD2 with a 3.2G P4, 2G
    of Ram, and three hard drives....had to get a PC Power and Cooling 510.)

    PC Power and Cooling has a "configurator":

    http://www.pcpowercooling.com/products/power_supplies/selector/

    Their "quiet" power supplies are not priced too terribly high,
    considering they have a three year warranty.

    http://www.pcpowercooling.com/products/power_supplies/ultra-quiet/

    HTH,

    BC
     
    BC, Dec 21, 2005
    #6
  7. KenV

    KenV Guest

    Hi BC,

    Thanks, that helps quite a bit.

    I may have to see what the local retailer has because my PS is acting up and
    I need to replace it soon.

    Your comment about Paul reminds me of my college days when they used to say,
    "It used to be I couldn't even spell engineer, and now I are one." Well, my
    own daughter are an engineer now and she write in the tech journals. :)

    Ken
     
    KenV, Dec 21, 2005
    #7
  8. KenV

    BC Guest

    Dear Ken,

    congrats! Sounds like you are perhaps a bit proud of her.... ;)

    BC
     
    BC, Dec 23, 2005
    #8
  9. KenV

    KenV Guest

    Indeed!


     
    KenV, Dec 24, 2005
    #9
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