Question Older system, no POST.

Sweet_3

Reputable
Apr 29, 2017
174
2
4,715
22
I’m trying to fix troubleshoot a pc for my friend. The system had not been used for weeks/months, and on the first boot up after the period of not being used the pc would not boot into windows and showed a blue recovery screen. ‘The Boot Configuration Data file doesn’t contain valid information for an operating system.’

‘File: \BDC
Error code 0xc0000098’

I leant him a bootable windows usb to try to repair his windows. He was unsuccessful, said there was an error at some point, he could give me any specifics.
I said I would take a look if he liked.

Once I started working on it, I was met with the same recovery screen. I tried to repair the system through the windows without the boot drive, it was unable to do so. I restarted and used the boot drive to attempt to repair from the usb boot drive. It froze after the first prompt after selecting repair from windows files on the usb boot drive. After letting it sit for awhile I hard reset and entered bios to check the temperature of the cpu. 37c. Quit without saving. This time on boot up I was met with a BSOD, I thought I had recorded the error code for the BSOD, but I can’t find it. The pc rebooted and showed the same error. The third time it booted, it did not post. USBs did not power any peripheral.
I have not been able to get it to post since.
I have since done the following;
Tried all ram slots with each dimm in all combinations, at one point with both ram sticks installed I got four debug beeps from the MB speaker, but could not recreate.
I have breadborded the system with the original psu and a different psu, one i know to be working properly.
I have removed all components aside from the cpu and cooler, it was making a continuous beep from the mb while it was powered up.
I have reset cmos.
I have re seated the cpu and re installed cooler.
I have tried removing the gpu and plugging a monitor into the mb vga out.
I have tested the Ram and GpU in another system to confirm they are working.
Each boot up, cpu and gpu fans will spin, no post. Occasionally it will shut itself down and cycle back on.
The components are as follows

Cpu i5 3350P
MB acer IPIMB-AR
RAM F3X12800CL9D-8GBXL
GPU MSI RX580 8G OC
HDD ST1000DM003
PSU OCZ-520ADJ
DEEPCOOL DA-500


I assume that the motherboard is the culprit here. Looking for any ideas before I tell him he needs to replace. Any help would be appreciated.
 
Last edited:
My first assumption would be the HDD is failing and the Boot Configuration Data file has become corrupted. It probably can not be repaired because the drive is bad.
4 BIOS beep codes likely just indicates the system timing out because it can't boot.
Also keep in mind the i5 3350P has no integrated graphics, that is what the "P" indicates.
 
Reactions: Sweet_3

Sweet_3

Reputable
Apr 29, 2017
174
2
4,715
22
Ok, thank you. Good to know, P indicates no integrated graphics.
So, I could be dealing with multiple issues, as I can’t get a post with the drive connected or not.
 

Sweet_3

Reputable
Apr 29, 2017
174
2
4,715
22
It wasn’t hard to change the boot order and have the windows installation media start up initially. I haven’t been trying to boot from any drive currently. I’m simply trying to get it to POST at this point.
 
It wasn’t hard to change the boot order and have the windows installation media start up initially. I haven’t been trying to boot from any drive currently. I’m simply trying to get it to POST at this point.
Is this your motherboard? If the PC has been sitting unused and unplugged for months, it is possible the motherboards coin battery (CR 2032 3V) has run flat. It can be replaced for just a few dollars.

 

Sweet_3

Reputable
Apr 29, 2017
174
2
4,715
22
Correct. I have tried with the ram in in each combination, 1 or 2 sticks. Drive connected and not. To keep it simple I am now troubleshooting as you say, CPU, GPU, and 1 stick of RAM.
 

Sweet_3

Reputable
Apr 29, 2017
174
2
4,715
22
Power on, cpu cooler and gpu fans spin. No debug beeps, unless I remove both ram sticks, in which case I get a continuous beep. Screen displays nothing, no signal, monitor doesn’t react in any way. I have tried all the outputs from the gpu on a couple different monitors. The usb peripherals do not receive power. Occasionally it will stop and restart, but not in a cycle. Just once, and not all times I boot up, roughly 30 seconds to a minute after powering on. Sometimes it will power down and stay off. I have yet to recognize any pattern with this.
 
Power on, cpu cooler and gpu fans spin. No debug beeps, unless I remove both ram sticks, in which case I get a continuous beep. Screen displays nothing, no signal, monitor doesn’t react in any way. I have tried all the outputs from the gpu on a couple different monitors. The usb peripherals do not receive power. Occasionally it will stop and restart, but not in a cycle. Just once, and not all times I boot up, roughly 30 seconds to a minute after powering on. Sometimes it will power down and stay off. I have yet to recognize any pattern with this.
I am not sure what else to suggest. Was the PC very dusty or dirty? Have you checked for any dirt in the x16 slot, memory slots or 24pin and CPU power socket?
 

Sweet_3

Reputable
Apr 29, 2017
174
2
4,715
22
I worked on this pc several months ago, where I replaced the cpu cooler and thermal paste application, cleaned and dusted thoroughly, and moved the components into a new case. Before that it was somewhat dusty, this time it was not.
I appreciate your help, I am willing to work on my friend‘s pc for free as I take any troubleshooting experience I can get. I have spare parts to replace any part he might need, but was hoping I could repair. Doesn’t look like that’s the case this time.
Is there any conclusion you would consider with the lack of results?
 
I worked on this pc several months ago, where I replaced the cpu cooler and thermal paste application, cleaned and dusted thoroughly, and moved the components into a new case. Before that it was somewhat dusty, this time it was not.
I appreciate your help, I am willing to work on my friend‘s pc for free as I take any troubleshooting experience I can get. I have spare parts to replace any part he might need, but was hoping I could repair. Doesn’t look like that’s the case this time.
Is there any conclusion you would consider with the lack of results?
If you can not recognize any clear pattern when you boot, i don't know what to think. A failing power supply can cause strange behavior in a PC but if you have tried a different PSU, the problem must be elsewhere. You can try doing a close visual inspection of the motherboard for any signs of damage.
 

Sweet_3

Reputable
Apr 29, 2017
174
2
4,715
22
I didn’t see anything initially, but I will take a better look.



I can’t see any evidence of damage, (arcs or puffed capacitors)
 
Last edited:

Sweet_3

Reputable
Apr 29, 2017
174
2
4,715
22
I was able to get it to POST once this morning.
The steps leading up to this:

-clear cmos (remove battery, move jumper, hold power button to dissipate capacitors 15-20 second)
-boot with no ram installed, constant beeping, no post
-boot with ram in dimm 1 and 3 no post, no beep
-boot with ram in dimm 1, 4 short beeps (possible indication of failure of Real Time Clock IC?)
-swap out the ram stick in dimm 1 for the other ram stick in the pair, this results in a single beep and a post. I press F1 to continue. There is no drive installed, it requests a restart with boot drive installed.

I power down, install drive, power up, no beep, no post, i try a different drive, no beep no post.
I cant recreate the post. 🙃
I thought I had it for a moment.
 
Reactions: rocktalkrock

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
Occasional random restarts and shutdowns eventually followed by increasingly unreliable boot is usually an early sign of bad PSU and prolonged exposure to a bad PSU will start frying components sooner or later.

Since you have tried swapping just about everything other than the CPU and motherboard, the motherboard may very well be shot.

BTW, there hasn't been an "RTC IC" in PCs in a very long time: the function has been integrated into chipsets for ~20 years.
 
Reactions: Sweet_3

Sweet_3

Reputable
Apr 29, 2017
174
2
4,715
22
Thank you for time in taking a look at this post, and for giving some advice on the issue. I came up with RTC from looking into what 4 beeps could mean. This motherboard was made around 2012, so that eliminates the possibiltiy of it being a Real Time Clock issue.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY