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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Case: CoolerMaster Centurion 590
Power Supply: Thermaltake TR2-430W
Motherboard: Biostar TP35D2-A7
Processor: Intel P35 E2180
Cooler: ArcticCooler Freezer 7 Pro
Memory: OCZ PC2 8400 2x2GB (4GB)
Video card: ASUS EN8400GS Silent 512MB
Monitor: ViewSonic 19" widescreen LCD
System: Windows XP Pro SP3 ..... updated


This system is my newest build.

It was working extremely well following the build and a couple of weeks after finishing the build.

Awhile back I rebooted the system and it failed to complete the loading of the system. I could only see a "shadow" of the Microsoft logo on the monitor. First thought was that the video card, while being new, had gone sour. RMA'd the card to ASUS and got it back today. Same serial number as what I sent to them. Installed the card, booted the PC and got the same response as before. Windows would not finish loading and all I could see again was a "shadow" of the logo. Had to force a shutdown. At boot-up, I can enter the BIOS without there being a problem to view any part of the configure modes. Accordingly, everything 'seems' to be functioning as it should. At least from the BIOS point of view.

I'm uncertain as to where to go from here and would appreciate some guidance here. With a limited income, taking the PC to have it checked out is not a condition I can readily afford. A logical place for a "fix" to resolve the problem will significantly reduce my cost for a fix. If it is a hardware issue, which item do I look into as the problem and for an RMA?

Thank you for your recommendation.
 

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I would start off by trying another video card. If the video card is good, run Memtest 86+ on each stick of RAM I stick at a time. Let Memtest make a minimum of 4 full passes on each stick of RAM.

If the RAM tests good run the manufacturers diagnostic on your hard drive which you left out of your specifications.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Didn't consider there being an issue with a new hard drive, but that is always a possibility, I guess. I've had the drive tested at BestBuy by the Computer Geeks locally prior to installing the drive. It tested out to be just fine. No issues, which is why I went with a Western Digital SATA drive. I have several IDE drives to work with, if need be, but would much rather stick with the SATA drive. If I could afford it, I'd do a Raptor drive.

Hard Drive: Western Digital 80 GB SATA

I have dealt with Western Digital for over a decade and had nothing but good luck with their drives. Had a Samsung drive once that failed after two weeks. That ended my dealing with any other mfg other than WD.

I may now pull the two sticks of OCZ memory and see what Computer Geeks can tell me about them.

Yeah, I did download and extract the Memtest86+ software application. I'll check it out on this or one of my other PC's.
 

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In troubleshooting you have to test each component individually until you locate the component that is causing the problem.

I would also test the power supply to see if the voltage is where it should be on all the rails.
 

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I would stay clear of Best Buys Geek Squad. They really do not have a dynamite reputation.

It may be possible that the power supply just isn't up to the power requirements.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yup, win2kpro, that is an option to consider.

Actually, I was wondering if this issue had befallen one of the members and they discovered where their problem originated. My attempt at 'shortcutting' the "elimination'' process or taking the PC to a shop to sort out the possibilities and cost me funds I don't have to spare.

dustyjay, I would, for the most part, have to agree with you on that score. In my situation I have spent several visits to my local Geek Squad making inquiries about issues and listened while they dealt with others who had placed their PC's in their care to repair. Its been quite informative and provided me with a confidence in their skills. Again, that's only at my local BestBuy store.

I do have another SATA capable power supply. I'll swap them out and see if that does any good.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Swapped the power supply. Rebooted and the system loaded. Been ''operational" ....... for the most part. Still, either a shutdown or a restart gets the "shadow logo" from time to time. I've even replaced the power cord with the thought that it wasn't making a good connection to the PSU. Didn't resolve the problem. Fact is, nothing I have done seems to lead to a solution.

The only thing left I can think of is that the motherboard is faulty in some manner. If all of the attached hardware is at 100% functional, that leaves the Biostar motherboard. I've considered flashing the BIOS, but not convinced that would offer a resolution to the problem. When I started this build, I spent a long time inspecting the 'board for possible failures. Didn't find any obvious faults.

An RMA of the motherboard seems to be the next step here. Frustration with this mess is getting to be tiresome, but sometimes computers are bound to be just that.... frustrating.

Unfortunately, all the above suggestions and recommendations proved unsatisfactory for a solution. Regardless, I appreciate them. However, I have narrowed the "window" to finding the problem and its not been as costly as it might have been. At this point I'm contemplating replacing the motherboard or RMAing the motherboard. Cost is the guiding factor. We'll see! :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Don't try to flash a BIOS on an unstable system. You chance of success is about zero.
Hmmmmm, yup, you're correct. I would not even a remotely consider the option to flash..... ever.

A Biostar RMA is the ONLY option I've considered at this point.

As I've indicated above, I have, at some point, verified that the build hardware is not at issue. Which leaves the motherboard and the CPU to be 'qualified' as fully functional. It could very possibly be the CPU that is not willing to "play nice". The temperature of the CPU has remained at a constant 27C. Since I'll have to completely disassemble the whole computer now, I'll see to checking the processor. Sadly, this is the only Intel computer I've ever built and its turning out to be a PITA!

Having dealt with electronics for 60 years, I'm fully aware that even the best manufacturers can produce faulty products from time to time. Not all the versed on computers, but that "rule" still applies. Quality control can be poorly maintain when dealing with mass production. Unfortunately I don't possess any of the testing equipment I once utilized.

Thanks for the reminder though.
 
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