Question PC suddenly won't boot (A3 in bottom right corner)

Sep 29, 2021
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I have no idea what in the world is going on. The last 3 weeks my pc has kept randomly restarting. I've wiped the hard drive and reinstalled windows on it several times.

Today out of the blue I powered on the PC, it shut down immediately after logging in. Now I'm unable to boot into the OS.

What's weird is I can't access the BIOS at all. It just comes up with an "A3" message in the bottom right corner with a black screen.
If I disconnect the SSD however, I can enter the BIOS. What is this about??

My OS is on that SSD and suddenly it can't boot or enter the BIOS. I have no clue what is going on.

Does anyone know how to fix this? I replaced the CMOS battery and jumped JBAT1 earlier, also reset the BIOS settings to default.

I also can only enter BIOS through integrated graphics. Had to disconnect my GPU in order to access it for some reason.

I'm getting frustrated. In the 7 years of owning my mac, it has never randomly ------ this hard as a desktop does.

Thanks.

<<MOD EDIT: Fixed your title, watch the language>>
 
Hi idontknowagoodusername (y) and Welcome to the Forum :)

At this phase of POST, Qcode A3 is (IDE enable) so your Bios is looking at enabling your HDD which is IDE.
Check your Bios configuration for priority of boot devices. You have not listed your SSD or HDDs and what your OS is on, so can't comment further on that aspect.

Go into your Bios>Boot menu>SATA Support. Ensure all Sata devices are detected during POST.
Check configurations for priority and disable fast boot at this time. You can change back later for faster boot times.
Check that CSM (Compatibility Support Module) is enabled to allow you to configure devices that you want to boot.

Check all cabling and connections to the HDD and GPU or disconnect it and see if the SSD boots. These devices you will need to troubleshoot separately.
 
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Sep 29, 2021
13
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Hi idontknowagoodusername (y) and Welcome to the Forum :)

At this phase of POST, Qcode A3 is (IDE enable) so your Bios is looking at enabling your HDD which is IDE.
Check your Bios configuration for priority of boot devices. You have not listed your SSD or HDDs and what your OS is on, so can't comment further on that aspect.

Go into your Bios>Boot menu>SATA Support. Ensure all Sata devices are detected during POST.
Check configurations for priority and disable fast boot at this time. You can change back later for faster boot times.
Check that CSM (Compatibility Support Module) is enabled to allow you to configure devices that you want to boot.

Check all cabling and connections to the HDD and GPU or disconnect it and see if the SSD boots. These devices you will need to troubleshoot separately.
My OS is Windows 10. I can't change the boot sequence when my SSD is connected. I have 3 drives. Two SSD (128gb kingston) (256gb samsung) and one WD 1tb HDD. When I connect my samsung 256gb SSD, I cannot enter BIOS. This samsung SSD holds my windows 10 OS.
However, when I disconnect the samsung SSD, I can enter BIOS, but the samsung drive is not there, only the other two, so I'm unable to check or change the boot sequence to ensure samsung has first priority.
 
Sep 29, 2021
13
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10
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Hi idontknowagoodusername (y) and Welcome to the Forum :)

At this phase of POST, Qcode A3 is (IDE enable) so your Bios is looking at enabling your HDD which is IDE.
Check your Bios configuration for priority of boot devices. You have not listed your SSD or HDDs and what your OS is on, so can't comment further on that aspect.

Go into your Bios>Boot menu>SATA Support. Ensure all Sata devices are detected during POST.
Check configurations for priority and disable fast boot at this time. You can change back later for faster boot times.
Check that CSM (Compatibility Support Module) is enabled to allow you to configure devices that you want to boot.

Check all cabling and connections to the HDD and GPU or disconnect it and see if the SSD boots. These devices you will need to troubleshoot separately.
I'm using an MSI motherboard btw. I disabled fast memory boot, changed SATA mode from IDE to AHCI. Still gives an A3 screen when I connect my samsung SSD with my OS on it.
 
My OS is Windows 10. I can't change the boot sequence when my SSD is connected. I have 3 drives. Two SSD (128gb kingston) (256gb samsung) and one WD 1tb HDD. When I connect my samsung 256gb SSD, I cannot enter BIOS. This samsung SSD holds my windows 10 OS.
However, when I disconnect the samsung SSD, I can enter BIOS, but the samsung drive is not there, only the other two, so I'm unable to check or change the boot sequence to ensure samsung has first priority.
I'm suspecting the Samsung SSD with the OS.
You need to determine if indeed it has failed or has a bad connection via power or data cable.

Can you use the other SSD and do a clean OS install? If so then
Clear your CMOS and disconnect the other drives. If that works then your issue is the Samsung SSD.

As with all issues of this kind, make sure to backup all important files.
 
Sep 29, 2021
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I'm suspecting the Samsung SSD with the OS.
You need to determine if indeed it has failed or has a bad connection via power or data cable.

Can you use the other SSD and do a clean OS install? If so then
Clear your CMOS and disconnect the other drives. If that works then your issue is the Samsung SSD.

As with all issues of this kind, make sure to backup all important files.
Hey thanks for the help, appreciate it.
How can I do a clean install? If I disconnect the samsung SSD and leave the kingston SSD connected, it asks me to "Reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key_"
 
Sep 29, 2021
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I'm suspecting the Samsung SSD with the OS.
You need to determine if indeed it has failed or has a bad connection via power or data cable.

Can you use the other SSD and do a clean OS install? If so then
Clear your CMOS and disconnect the other drives. If that works then your issue is the Samsung SSD.

As with all issues of this kind, make sure to backup all important files.
I ruled out faulty wiring, changed both power and data cables but still gives an A3. So definitely could be the samsung SSD itself
 
Sep 29, 2021
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Ok go here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-au/software-download/windows10
Download the Media creation tool to a USB.

Just have the Kingston SSD connected. You can add the other drives later and then do a CHKDSK to check the Samsung for errors.
Insert the USB and you should be able to use your F2 function key to bring up a menu upon startup and choose the USB to boot from.
Yeah I've installed the OS on the kingston. I had an activated windows on the samsung SSD. Is there any way to restore it, because right now it says it's not activated.

I'll scan the samsung one, thanks.
 
Sep 29, 2021
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Ah okay.

I have a new problem now. I assume the reason why my computer kept turning off was because of my GPU.

It was working fine after the OS install yesterday. However, this morning I turned it on and have a GPU issue.

My GPU is XFX Radeon RX 470.

Right now the computer is able to start, all fans and lights run, the bios splash screen shows but then the gpu lights turn off.

The computer still stays on though, the GPU light comes back on like 10 seconds later and turns off 5 seconds later. It does this until I turn the computer off. I've reseated it and unplugged the cables to plug them back in again.

I'm assuming the card is just dead. Do you think this could be the case?

If I take the GPU out, I'm able to start the PC and log into windows using the integrated graphics. So it definitely could be the GPU. I don't have a spare one lying around to check, so I might have to just buy another one.
 
Test the GPU in another system or take it to a technician to test for you. If it tests OK then check for contamination in the PCIe slot and clean the terminals with Isopropyl Alcohol. Also clean install the graphics driver.
I think that card came with a two year Warranty and first released in 2016. Check your date of purchase?
 
Sep 29, 2021
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Test the GPU in another system or take it to a technician to test for you. If it tests OK then check for contamination in the PCIe slot and clean the terminals with Isopropyl Alcohol. Also clean install the graphics driver.
I think that card came with a two year Warranty and first released in 2016. Check your date of purchase?
I plugged it into another pcie slot and it still intermittently turns off and on. I bought this computer second hand 2 years ago.

As for clean installing the driver, do I just login to windows using the integrated graphics and download the driver? Because it won't start with the gpu plugged in.
 
Sep 29, 2021
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Ah okay. I tried to install this but it just says no amd graphics hardware was detected.
I can't install it without plugging the rx 470 but I also can't plug the gpu in because it intermittently powers off and on every 5 or so seconds.

Damn.
 
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Yes it's a bit of Catch22 however determine if the card or MB have the fault. If the card will work in the 2nd PCIe slot then use that to get the driver or use another known working AMD card.

If you don't have resources or spares then take it to a technician to do it for you.
 
Sep 29, 2021
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Yes it's a bit of Catch22 however determine if the card or MB have the fault. If the card will work in the 2nd PCIe slot then use that to get the driver or use another known working AMD card.

If you don't have resources or spares then take it to a technician to do it for you.
Ah yeah I've already tried that before. Same result in the other pcie.

I decided to try again, plugged in the gpu and after some cycles it somehow came up with a windows screen with an error message and was able to select advanced options. I'm able to reset the computer once again.

The weird thing is, right now it's on 86% completion rate, and the gpu hasn't flickered once during this time.

Could have been a corrupted driver perhaps since it's no longer flickering on and off during reset, not sure.

Very weird..

As soon as the reset is complete, I'll install the 470 driver and see how it goes..
 
Sep 29, 2021
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Yes it's a bit of Catch22 however determine if the card or MB have the fault. If the card will work in the 2nd PCIe slot then use that to get the driver or use another known working AMD card.

If you don't have resources or spares then take it to a technician to do it for you.
Weird, right after the reset, and before the installation of windows, the OS did a chkdsk I assume.

The message was like "Fixing (C): Stage 2 87% (198962 of 226932); Total 79%; ETA: 0:00:04"

Did something happen to my SSD?
 
Yes something has happened to your SSD however files should be recoverable.

chkdsk has two extensions /f and /r and the system has automatically done /f to fix any disk errors.

chkdsk /r checks for bad sectors and used on a HDD. This command is not recommended nor necessary on an SSD.
Also it takes significantly longer as it scans the entire disk surface, sector by sector, to make sure every sector can be read properly.
 
Sep 29, 2021
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Yes something has happened to your SSD however files should be recoverable.

chkdsk has two extensions /f and /r and the system has automatically done /f to fix any disk errors.

chkdsk /r checks for bad sectors and used on a HDD. This command is not recommended nor necessary on an SSD.
Also it takes significantly longer as it scans the entire disk surface, sector by sector, to make sure every sector can be read properly.
I read that the OS runs a chkdsk after several repeated reboot cycles.

I think it's the GPU since it's not even recognised by device manager anymore.

I can't even start pc with gpu plugged in because POST fails each time and boot cycles. I'll just buy another gpu then.

RIP
 

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