PC Hangs while attmpting to boot -- even in Safe Mode or BIOS



Byl
07-10-2005, 12:57 AM
My PC has been working fine for nearly a year. Recently, it started not
booting at all. This is what happens:

I start it up, it POSTs OK, it goes through its inventory OK and then XP Pro
splash screen comes up and it just STAYS there forever!

I have a KVM switch which I use to switch back and forth between 4 PCs, and
when this happens, the KVM switch will take several minutes to switch from
this PC to another one (it is usually a 1-2 second affair). At first I
thought it was the XP HDD, so I shut it off (no keyboard entries affect the
"hang" state, not "ctrl-alt-del'" or anything else, so I just have to turn it
off). I set the W2K Pro HDD to start up with the same result. W98 SE HDD
won't start either and neither does the SCSI Win ME -- all of these hang
after a while as well. The same happens when attempting to go into Safe Mode
(it hangs and never gets there) as well as "Last Known Good Configuration";
all of these just hang up and don't go any further.

Here are the PC's specs: Dual P3 700 MHz with 1 GB RAM, ATI All-In-Wonder
Radeon 32 MB Video Card, Panda AV 6.0 Platinum, ASUS P2B-DS MoBo Rev 1.06,
LS-120 USB Drive, ZIP 100 USB Drive, "Mini-View" 4 port KVM switch, A-Open
DVD Dual layer, dual format (+/-) DVD Burner, Microtek Slim Scan 6 Paralell
port scanner, RomTec Trios HDD selector box with 3 bootable Hard Drives (1 20
GB HDD with Win 2000 PRO, 1 30 GB HDD with Win XP PRO, one 6 GB HDD with Win
98 SE -- can boot up to any one of these three depending on what switch is
selected), 1 SCSI 4 GB HDD with Win ME on it (can be bootable if selected as
boot device over IDE in BIOS), 120 GB HDD Back up drive accessible from
either of the boot drives, networked via NIC to an AMD Athlon 2600 XP running
Win XP PRO.

Here is what I have tried so far:

1. I tried to restore the image I created recently using Ghost 9.0. I
started the PC using the Ghost CD, but it too simply hangs after about 30
seconds or so -- it never gets to a point where I can do anything.

2. I tried going into BIOS to see if anything had changed. I have to hurry
to make one change at a time, save it and get out as after 30 seconds or so
it will ALSO hang in BIOS! So far everything looks OK in BIOS, but it seems
VERY weird that it should hang up in BIOS as well.

3. Next I suspected a virus, so I used the Panda "SafeDisk32" CD to check it
out (I had to boot using the CD), but it too simply hangs and doesn't go
anywhere. I tried this several times with no luck. I found an old McAfee
Virus Scan emergency floppy and tried it (this one actually ran through on
one occasion to report no virus found but would not do it on subsequent
attempts).

4. ONCE I got a BSOD (thank god for at least SOME feedback!!) that stated:

DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

Technical information:
STOP:OXOOOOOOD1, AIC78U2.SYS -- address F78619E2, base at F785EOOO, Date
Stamp 3afaf8CD or something like that.

I went to the MS Knowledge base, but found little except for one that
referenced possibly a bad driver. The "solution" was to remove the driver
(which in this case AIC... refers to the on board SCSI adapter -- this
device was updated when I flashed the BIOS nearly a year ago with the latest
version from ASUS -- BIOS "bxds1013.awd"), but it didn't say HOW to remove
the driver if you can't get into Windows. Jsut the same, I booted into BIOS
and quickly disbaled the SCSI adapter and its deivses, but no joy.

5. I then disconnected all the peripheral deives but no joy.

6. I removed all the expansion cards except the video card (removed SB Live
sound card, NIC, Modem, USB 2.0) and attempted to re-boot but no joy -- still
hanging! (incidentally, I decided to remove the USB Card as several days
before this incident, I was attempting to connect the front panel USB
connectors to the connectors on the card. I tried the configuration
indicated by the card's documentation but no luck. I then tried all other
possible combos but none worked, so I tied u the leads and decided on no
front access USB ports).

7. I also removed all 4 of the 256 MB RAM Sticks and tried each one
individually by itself, but no luck.

8. I bypassed the RomTec Trios selector and hooked up the XP HDD directly
but you guessed it, no joy!!

9. I then tried the W2K HDD and the W98 SE HDD by themselves but no luck
either!

10. I then decided to re-flash the BIOS, but was concerned that if it hung
while it was re-flashing I might really be in a tight place, so I booted up
to the Flash program to see if it would stay on or hang. Lo and behold, it
hung after 30 or 40 seconds, so I didn't attempt it.

11. I contemplated simply re-installing XP, but again the system hung after
booting up with the XP CD (it gets up to the point where it says it is
loading windows and just stays there. As an aside, I let this puppy hang for
several hours just to see if maybe it was just botting up really S-L-O-W-L-Y,
but it didn't move past the point where it usually hangs up.

12. I attempted going into the recovery console (not that I would know what
to do with it: it was more of an experiment to see if THAT would load, but it
didn't.

13. I again went into BIOS and selected "LOAD BIOS DEFAULTS" but all that
happened is that the PC didn't recognize ANY of the HDDs or the DVD drive at
all and then it hung again.

14. I then selected "LOAD SETUP DEFAULTS" and it again hung.

15. I haven't tried clearing the CMOS, mainly because I really don't know
WHEN one would do that or even if there is reason to expect that it would
make a difference. I downloaded the manual for this MoBo and it shows you HOW
to do this, but it doesn't say WHY you would do it and what you can expect it
will fix.

I don't really know what else to do. I have some knowledge of PCs and I am
very gutsy and able to follow directions, so if you have an idea what may be
up and how I can fix it, please tell me in step-by-step instructions (assume
I am totally clueless).

I have in the past sucessfully edited the registry from DOS with guidence,
so I am willing to try anything and any help would be greatly appreciated!!

Please let me know what is up with this PC!!!

Thanks,

Byl

PS: There have not been any hardware or software changes immediately
preceeding this incident. About 2 weeks prior to this, I did remove a 45 GB
HDD and replaced it with athe 120 GB back up HDD. That went smoothly and it
booted up with no problem (actually I started it with both HDDs in the PC and
transferred the files from the 45 GB to the 120 GB HDD and then re-formatted
the 45 GB one all with no problems).

Several days before this incident, I exchanged the existing 250 Watt A-Open
PS with a 400 Watt "Hercules" PS as I thought it would be better. I have
since replaced the 250 Watt one (thinking maybe that may have somehow caused
this, but it did no good).

GreenieLeBrun
07-10-2005, 12:57 AM
With all the things you have tried you would have to suspect that the
motherboard or one or both of the CPUs are faulty.

You could try clearing the CMOS (this removes stored data such as date,
type and number of HDDs etc.) though I doubt this will help.

If there are any chips mounted in holders on the board make sure they
are firmly seated, clean any dust off the CPU/s heatsink.

Can the board be run with just one CPU? If so try removing one of the
CPUs and rebooting. Then try with the other CPU. It may be that one of
the CPUs has been fried or it could be that one of the sockets is
faulty.

NotMe
07-10-2005, 12:57 AM
Good suggestions, also...
I would check the RAM sticks, make sure firmly seated.
Check all add in cards to be sure firmly seated.
Make sure EIDE/SCSI?Power cables in hdd and cd drives are seated fimly at
both ends.
I have seen the times that removing a card (or a DIMM/SIMM) and reseating it
will break up the oxidation that sometimes forms on the contacts and allows
a good connection to be reestablished.
If multiple sticks of RAM, pull one at a time and try to boot...a bad stick
can cause that.
A weak or bad power supply can mimic MB problems.
Is the CMOS battery maybe getting weak?
Many boards take the same battery as my keyless entry fob for my car; now
available even at Wal-Mart jewelry counter...

--
For evil to prosper requires only that good men remain silent!
"GreenieLeBrun" <GreenieLeBrun@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1117774943.135995.82890@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> With all the things you have tried you would have to suspect that the
> motherboard or one or both of the CPUs are faulty.
>
> You could try clearing the CMOS (this removes stored data such as date,
> type and number of HDDs etc.) though I doubt this will help.
>
> If there are any chips mounted in holders on the board make sure they
> are firmly seated, clean any dust off the CPU/s heatsink.
>
> Can the board be run with just one CPU? If so try removing one of the
> CPUs and rebooting. Then try with the other CPU. It may be that one of
> the CPUs has been fried or it could be that one of the sockets is
> faulty.
>

Yves Leclerc
07-10-2005, 12:57 AM
If the PC hangs in the BIOS, this is a hardware problem and NOT a Windows
problem only! BIOS is accessed before any operating system has a chance to
load.

Problems like this are usually "hard" to find.

You need to check:

RAM
Motherboard
Power supply

Also, you may have to check on the motherboard manufacturer's web site so as
to see if they have a "revised" BIOS file update.



"GreenieLeBrun" <GreenieLeBrun@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1117774943.135995.82890@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> With all the things you have tried you would have to suspect that the
> motherboard or one or both of the CPUs are faulty.
>
> You could try clearing the CMOS (this removes stored data such as date,
> type and number of HDDs etc.) though I doubt this will help.
>
> If there are any chips mounted in holders on the board make sure they
> are firmly seated, clean any dust off the CPU/s heatsink.
>
> Can the board be run with just one CPU? If so try removing one of the
> CPUs and rebooting. Then try with the other CPU. It may be that one of
> the CPUs has been fried or it could be that one of the sockets is
> faulty.
>


PC Hangs while attmpting to boot -- even in Safe Mode or BIOS