[SOLVED] Failed POST Test and White Vertical Stripes

Jun 16, 2022
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Over the last few days, I have been troubleshooting a boot and display issue with no luck so far. Whenever I start my computer, two stationary vertical white stripes appear on my screen and when it gets through booting to try to load the OS, it gets into an error diagnosing mode before ending in a blank screen. I built the PC sometime in 2014 and have not replaced any components since. Below is the build configuration:

Motherboard - MSI Z97 Gaming 5
CPU - i5-4690k
CPU fan - Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
RAM - G.Skill Ares 4 x 4 GB DDR3-1866
SSD - Samsung 840 EV0 250GB
GPU - XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB
PSU - Corsair HX 750

The white stripes are not a monitor issue as I tried a different monitor and got the same result (I initially thought my cat damaged the monitor).
I am able get into the BIOS during boot up and the white stripes persist here, partly obstructing navigation. I updated my motherboard using the latest firmware from MSI but nothing changed.
As the motherboard never issues a beep noise, it fails to exit the POST test. The motherboard lights up so my guess is that the PSU and motherboard are not the issue. As such, my current thoughts are that the CPU is the most likely culprit. My next step is probably going to be removing the CPU to check for damage but I am open to other troubleshooting suggestions if anyone can glean any better clues from the above.

It may simply be that my equipment has reached EOL at this point (MSI's latest update for the motherboard was dated 2017) and needs replacement but if that is the case, I would like to retain as many working components as possible.
 
Jun 16, 2022
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So, I played around a little more with the components and have been able to get the computer to boot and load Windows.

I removed the CMOS battery to trying booting without it. Did not fix the boot loop issue. I also measured the battery voltage to be 3.26 V which seems plenty healthy but the battery does have some green residue that might be corrosion of some sort.

I then remove the RAM again (did this when troubleshooting originally), dusted with air can, and reinserted two of the 4 RAM sticks. I then powered back on without connecting any peripherals just to see if it would get stuck in the boot loop. The MOBO turned on and stayed on so I powered down and repeated the test with the other two RAM sticks also inserted and found no boot loop issue. I powered down, reconnected key peripherals (display, mouse, keyboard) and was able to boot into BIOS, reset time and date, and load the OS. Have not reinserted the CMOS battery yet but I may just replace it as it is 8 years old.

At this point, I am going to let the PC run for a bit, back everything up in case this happens again, and see if any issues resurface. If it remains stable, I can do a thorough cleaning, change the thermal paste on the CPU, and generally decide whether I want to upgrade this build moving forward or plan for a new build as a replacement.
 
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Jun 16, 2022
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BTW if your computer was built from 2014, it deserves a complete "teardown" and cleaning session.
I have regularly opened it up to clean it out with an air can and a vacuum but it may be a good idea to take components out to give them a good "wipe down" where dust clusters have persisted.
 
Jun 16, 2022
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Try another GPU to see if the problem persists.
Thanks for the suggestion. It actually occurred to me yesterday to try removing the GPU as my CPU has an iGPU. After that, the computer booted up without a hitch and I was able to log into the OS.

I might have pushed my luck a little too far, however. I reinserted the GPU after giving it a good cleaning to see if I could still use the GPU. It did not help but while removing the card a second time, my screwdriver slipped while putting pressure on the PCI lock and hit the motherboard below it. It left it a sub-mm mark exposing silver colored metal below the coating. The mark only spans a quarter of a circuit trace it landed on but now the computer won't fully power the motherboard before shutting off a second or two after powering on, and repeat.

Is this MOBO toast?
 
Go back to the iGPU and see if it works. If so, just put some nail polish on the exposed trace. I also question whethrr your PSU is the issue, and can power integrated graphics but not the more power hungry card
 
Jun 16, 2022
5
0
20
1
So, I played around a little more with the components and have been able to get the computer to boot and load Windows.

I removed the CMOS battery to trying booting without it. Did not fix the boot loop issue. I also measured the battery voltage to be 3.26 V which seems plenty healthy but the battery does have some green residue that might be corrosion of some sort.

I then remove the RAM again (did this when troubleshooting originally), dusted with air can, and reinserted two of the 4 RAM sticks. I then powered back on without connecting any peripherals just to see if it would get stuck in the boot loop. The MOBO turned on and stayed on so I powered down and repeated the test with the other two RAM sticks also inserted and found no boot loop issue. I powered down, reconnected key peripherals (display, mouse, keyboard) and was able to boot into BIOS, reset time and date, and load the OS. Have not reinserted the CMOS battery yet but I may just replace it as it is 8 years old.

At this point, I am going to let the PC run for a bit, back everything up in case this happens again, and see if any issues resurface. If it remains stable, I can do a thorough cleaning, change the thermal paste on the CPU, and generally decide whether I want to upgrade this build moving forward or plan for a new build as a replacement.
 
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Jun 16, 2022
5
0
20
1
Go back to the iGPU and see if it works.
The 2-3 second boot loop occurred when the GPU card was already removed.

If so, just put some nail polish on the exposed trace.
Thanks for the suggestion on the nail polish. I am still unsure of whether the screwdriver did any real damage but I have since gotten the OS to load (sans GPU, CMOS battery, and webcam) and stay on.

I also question whethrr your PSU is the issue, and can power integrated graphics but not the more power hungry card
When new, the PSU was rate for 750 W with an 80+ Gold rating so it would have put out a minimum of 600W. Summing up the max power of all the build components came out to 377W when new (the GPU made up 130W of that total). Is it likely that the PSU would reduce output and consumers increased demand with age (8 years) to the point of closing the 37% power margin I originally had?
 
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