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System freezing during POST and at BIOS splash screen

seggaeman

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Aug 8, 2012
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I'm getting an annoying problem right now with a computer I recently assembled (or rather re-assembled, because not all parts are new). I need to press the power and/or reset button multiple times to get it working. So here's the stages roughly laid out:

- I press power button, I'm greeted by black screen and then computer goes off after some 3 seconds.
- Computer goes on again on it's own and then off once more. it does this three or four more times. Each time it goes on again it manages to progress further. At some point it reaches BIOS screen where it freezes.
- I reset/turn off/restart the pc a few more times until it finally gets past bios screen and enters operating system. At this point the computer is working ok. No freezes or hangs in operating system.
- If I shutdown the computer and reboot it shortly afterwards (let's say a minute or two), it will boot without any issues. The issue arises again if I wait too long before next boot.

Here are the system specifications: ASUS P8-H67M PRO motherboard, Intel Xeon E3-1240 processor, GTX 780 graphics card, Toshiba 2GB hard disk drive, 16 GB DDR3 RAM, Seasonic power supply. I really don't think it is an overheating issue. Right now the processor is idling at 32-33 degrees Celsius and the graphics card is at 37 degrees Celsius.

What could be the problem?
 
If you do this:
1. Power off your computer.
2. Flip the switch on the power supply off.
3. Push the power button., to drain residual power from the psu.
4. Flip the switch back on for the power supply.
When you turn the computer back on, do those symptoms replicate?
 

cin19

Titan
Moderator
Do you try any troubleshooting step(s) yet?
You may try to use only one stick RAM, other GPU instead the gtx780, clear the CMOS by the jumper, reboot the PC. Also check the BIOS version to make sure the MB has newer version, 3904.
In the BIOS make sure use the intel XMP for the memory.
Last one make sure the boot device is connected to the 1st SATA port.
 

seggaeman

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Aug 8, 2012
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@SgtScream
Ok I tried what you told me. I am using the computer right now had to reboot twice before I managed to get into the operating system (windows 10). So problem is not solved but it's a bit of an improvement let's say.

@cin19 Clearing CMOS and swapping out RAM was something I tried yesterday. Didn't make any difference. Unfortunately I don't have any other spare graphics card. But there is no artifacting, just freezing and shutdowns at post or just before booting into operating system. I have also bought myself a cheap Pentium processor on ebay that's officially supported by the motherboard. I'll use it to verify whether there's a compatibility problem with the Xeon E3 1240.
 
I didn't suggest my post would solve your issue. I wanted to know if doing those steps would CAUSE the issue. If it did by exacting those steps, you need a replacement power supply. Your power supply isn't holding enough charge to effectively start your computer.
 

cin19

Titan
Moderator


Do you change the MB? or change the CPU? because if you switch the MB, like from AMD to the intel, and if you don't do reinstall the OS, sometime you will get this kind the problem, becuase the chipsets are totally different.
Also the PC frozen or during the PSOT, it will shutdown and reboot, that means the hardware/software has problem, that doesn't pass the POST.

And what is your seasonic PSU?
 

seggaeman

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Aug 8, 2012
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Thanks for your help everyone.
@cin19 I will be changing the CPU. I will swap the Xeon for the Pentium once it arrives. It will take a few weeks though. I will also connect an internal speaker to see if there are any beeps when post fails. I have one lying around somewhere.

It is a Seasonic M12II-620 EVO power supply. It should be just about sufficient for a GTX 780.

@SgtScream: Yes you have a point regarding the power supply. It is much newer than the motherboard though (which was purchased in 2012). When I lookup failing capacitor symptoms they kind of match the problem I am getting.
I also had an almost two hour long gaming session just now (GTA 4 on maximum settings). Everything was very smooth. Zero freezes, high framerates and cpu never went over 55 degrees. A power supply will have greater load during gaming as compared to startup I guess?
 

There's definitely large voltage spikes when computers are first turned on. Just save yourself some time and frustration, go out to staples/best buy, get a power supply and use it for testing. If it doesn't work out, just utilize the return policy. The only sure fire way to test a power supply is to replace it.
 

cin19

Titan
Moderator
You don't need to buy other PSU, the seasonic is good one even it is 4 yrs old.

Seggaeman, you can boot into the BIOS hardware monitor section, if there is one in the BIOS, to check the +3.3V, +5V, and +12V, you want to see those voltages are within +/-5%, if they are not the PSU has problem, then you will need other PSU.
If you can not find that section in the BIOS, then you need to install the software like HWiNFO64 to check those voltages.
 

seggaeman

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Aug 8, 2012
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No, it's the motherboard that's 4 years old. The Seasonic PSU is less than 6 months old. I took some photos of the voltages in BIOS:




As you see, I also tested a Pentium G2010 which is in the list of supported CPUs. All voltages seem to be within the +- 5% range. But I still get the same problem (abrupt shutdowns during post or just after it, and everything works fine once I get into the operating system).
 

cin19

Titan
Moderator
The PSU looks good, and bios is up-to-date.

Do you have one one 2TB HDD? or do you have other hard drive with other OS? Or other add-on hardware? Do you test the PC with other GPU yet?

Also when you re-assembled the PC, do you just replace the cpu or replace both MB or cpu? If you did replace both, how about the OS, do you do the clean install or just plug in the HDD with OS?

Because I think some of hardware is not compatible, or the software.
 

seggaeman

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Aug 8, 2012
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It is a single 2TB hard drive with multiple operating systems installed. No, no other add-on hardware apart from the GPU but I unfortunately don't have another one to test. However Pentium G2010 has integrated graphics so I will try that. I only replaced the CPU and didn't swap the motherboard for another. I didn't reinstall operating system either.
Just now I booted in one go without encountering any issues.

I will wait till Monday to see if the stability improves.
 

cin19

Titan
Moderator
If the PC runs fine with the onboard iGPU, so the gtx780 may have problem, you may try use the software, like MSI afterburner or the software comes with the gtx780, to increase the voltage little bit or underclock the gtx780 little bit, that will help.

What other OS are in the 2TB HDD? maybe those OS are not compatible each other.
 

@ Seggaeman If the psu is faulty, it doesn't matter what age it is. You can look at voltage readings in the bios "until the cows come home". The power issue you are having is presenting itself BEFORE the bios (Hence no post), so your rebooting your pc until it boots normally so you can get into the bios. Of course when you FINALLY get your computer to boot properly the voltage readings are going to look normal in the bios. I think it's a valid test to swap out the psu, to test due to how easy it is to install. Even if the issue does replicate with the replacement power supply at least you know 100% that's not causing the issue and you can return it for a refund. If you followed those four steps listed above, and the issue happens because of those steps, then you most likely have a problem with the power supply. This means on cold boot, the power supply doesn't have enough "juice" to start the system.
 

seggaeman

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@SgtScream
Ok I did that. I got myself an alternative power supply and also switched to the integrated HD graphics on the Pentium G2010. It is not an expensive PSU but it works fine on the system I pulled it from. Computer goes on and off maybe 10 times and then decides to start working. I'm writing this reply from it.

So I'm pretty positive it's the motherboard. It may be only a matter of time before it never POSTs again.
 
At this point you've swapped out:
CPU - Issue still replicates with a supported CPU.
GPU - I doubt it's the 780 because you tried running off igpu.
PSU - Running on the igpu only is less load on the psu and the problem still replicates.
RAM
HDD? - I doubt this will make a difference
SSD? - I doubt this will make a difference
At this point, I think it's the motherboard. Especially due to the fact that your OP states you can eventually get it to post with a bunch of restarts.
 

seggaeman

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Aug 8, 2012
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Interesting, I didn't try checking youtube videos of the Asus P8H67M Pro. I did try unplugging usb devices at one point before I swapped out CPU and power supply. I still got freezes and reboots. Unfortunately I won't be able to try again because I have already returned the pentium processor. And I don't feel like reinserting the Xeon E3 1240. I've also gotten myself another motherboard which will arrive in a few weeks.