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Boot up freeze


reprosser's Avatar
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03-17-02, 09:36 PM   #1  
reprosser
Boot up freeze

I have a Dell 650 Mhz system with 30 G drive running W2K Pro and 128M ram.

Recently, if I power down the system and wait a couple of hours, when I try to boot up the system, the HDrive starts to spin up, but never "kicks in" and starts loading. Seems like it just freezes during the boot process. Nothing shows on monitor. It does not seem to happen if I immediately restart the system after power down.

I took the system out of town last week and had to re-boot about 15 times before it would come up. Even after 15 tries, I had to restart while the drive was still spinning after cutting power. If I rebooted after letting the system settle - I got nowhere.

Could this be related to my battery ? Fragmented files ?

I defragged my disk a couple of days ago, and it seems to be working OK, but I have not had the guts to shut it down for a few hours to really test it....

 
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03-18-02, 06:10 AM   #2  
I had a similar problem with a friend's computer. It looked like the the hard drive was going. Since it was only a 6G drive, I replaced it with a 30G. Still wouldn't boot. Same symptoms as yours. Turned out it was the power supply. If yours is less than 250 watts, consider replacing it.

Try the hard drive in another machine, if you can. If it's OK, try another power supply.

 
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03-18-02, 04:42 PM   #3  
bigmike
New drive time.

I concur with Abnormal, the hard drive has or is failing. Nothing you can do at this point but buy a new HD, set it up as primary, load Windoze and then install the bad drive as a slave. You should be able to get most if not all of your personal stuff off the drive. One of the biggest reasons for drive failure is not defragging and scan disking enough. How much is enough? A minimum of once a week and everyday if you want. Does anyone remember JTS hard drives? They came out with one of the first consumer grade totally sealed drives. They went out of business a couple of years ago as have a lot of .coms. Anyway I have a 3.5 gig drive from them that is now 7 years old and still kickin. I use it for storage and replaced it with a 30 gig Maxtor but my point is I defrag/scandisk daily. System it tight and clean and the only real glitches I have are from the Glide software in gaming. So get ya a new drive, hang it and load it and away we go… By the way after you get the old drive installed as a slave then Through Scan Disk it, see if the failure is in the boot section or front of the drive; or near the end or middle. If it's near the end/middle you can probably get away with using it for storage for quite some time and if it's in the boot section, you will still be able to use it but that expalins the failure.

 
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03-18-02, 07:45 PM   #4  
bluecanary25
Great advice and insights from the previous replies to this thread!!
LOVE this site!!!!

But I am coming in a bit late, so I ask Reprosser.......
is the PC hanging before, during or after POST?

Apologies for what appears dumb question to some people, I just want to be clear as to the particular point the boot process fails.

Anyone 'member Bill Cosby joke about don't embarrass teammates?
If you get hit in a 'personal' area, don't draw attention to it, grab your arm or something and hold on...wait for the pain to subside. So a player goes onto the field and gets caught in the crotch.... remembering not to embarass, grabs his helmet in severe pain..... They bandage his head!!!

Sorry, bad day........ lot of I. D. ten 'T' problems today.

Bluecanary25

 
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03-19-02, 09:36 AM   #5  
reprosser
reply

Not sure what POST is, but I don't see anything on the monitor, and there are no beeps that I remember. It stops very early in the process.

 
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03-19-02, 12:14 PM   #6  
POST is power on self test. displays info about the board, cpu, ide devices, memory test and such. I would look at your pwr supply as well. Depending on the age of the machin and how much time it spends powered down might not be a bad idea to replace the battery aswell

brian

 
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03-19-02, 01:11 PM   #7  
bluecanary25
POST is that text garbage lookin' stuff when first turn on PC.(Jus' to keep it real simple).

??Do not get any beeps,,,,,,,,,, but you should get one,,,,,,,,
Do you get error message that date and time are incorrect? Maybe pictures indicating to set date and time? If so, time to replace CMOS battery. If not, go to next bit....

Have you recently moved the PC's location, even picked it up to clean around it? May have loosened connector....... so............

Dis-connect all cables to PC, and pull box out where you have space to work on it. Open cover and GENTLY press down on CPU, cables that plug into MoBo and drives. Check RAM is seated in slots. Expansion cards in slots as well. (We B lookin' 4 anything that may be unplugged/loose) After checking for loose components, leave the cover off PC. Connect only monitor, keyboard, mouse and lastly power. power on monitor first then try to start PC. (After all this stuff and time, should boot). AS PC starts, look at fans, especially on CPU. All spinning and free from dust? Fans blowing out back of box? If CPU fan not working, may have to replace CPU as it most likely 'crispy-crunchy'. If CPU fan is running ; Run PC ~10 minutes and then shutdown, wait 30 seconds and try to power back on.

Should start........... if not, while you have cover off; read label on power supply and see how 'Big' it is, hope you have more than 145 Watts...................

Let us know.

Bluecanary25

 
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03-19-02, 05:57 PM   #8  
reprosser
Specs

OK - here is more data.

I shut down the PC for an hour. Restarted, and it froze. No POST, no beeps, no monitor(blank screen with amber light-it switches to green light when video is active).

I powered off, and immediatly powered back on. This time it came up, but there was a long pause at the DELL logo before the POST info started coming in - I thought it had stuck at a different place for a few seconds.

Specs:

Dell XPS T650r - W2000 pro
128 RAM
26.56 "Barracuda" STS328040 A HardDisk (maybe a year old)
200 W Power supply
3-V CR2032 Battery

Fans operational and clear.
No error messages
Time is correct (within 2 minutes)
No changes in hardware to explain problem.
Noticed problem after power outage, but since I leave it on all the time, it may have been around before then.
Unit is plugged into protected power strip.
5 computers on the lan - no other problems with them.
I have about 8 G free space.

Everything checks out fine after it (finally) comes back up.

I have not done any time trials :-) to see what amount of time is critical.

I plan to keep using "as-is" with backups of critical data until problem forces new drive. I don't want to have to re-load all my software until I have to.

 
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03-19-02, 07:06 PM   #9  
bigmike
New Drive?

Well to me this sounds like a hard drive failure. Right now do a scan disk, defrag. Do it several times. I would do a standard scan disk first because you probably haven’t done so in a long time. Defrag and then do a Through scan disk. Bring up the details window in scan disk, this slows the process but you will be able to see where/if there are sectors failing. Do you have any antivirus running? Any warnings? If I were you I would go ahead and get a new drive and get it installed as primary. If the time etc did not change do not worry about the CMOS battery. These rarely fail and then usually in older boards. The new Lithium batteries last for years. I am a Ham radio operator and have several hand held devices as well as computers and repair tech for 20 years. In that time I have seen one set of batteries fail in an old 286 and it was an old four battery “AA” setup. So, after the scan disks’ etc I do not think I would re-boot. But, and I don’t recommend this very often but Norton has some software that will do very exacting tests to see if the motherboard etc is failing. Unfortunately I do not know what the software is but I am sure one of the folks here does. It is too late to call a guru friend of mine that does know but I will try to find out and let you know in the next 24 hours. In the mean time, get the dive cleaned up, move critical data to another partition or drive, email etc. Since you are on a network this should be no problem…

 
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03-20-02, 07:00 AM   #10  
reprosser
Good News

I ran scandisk, and it corrected some problems-but I don't know what they were. Maybe there is a report or log file somewhere?

The drive is formatted NTFS - if it makes a difference.

I shut down the system overnight, and it booted up perfectly this morning !

Thanks to all for great assistance (and fast, too). I will keep an eye on the drive and maintenence. If I continue to have problems, I will go for replacement drive.

Oh - 73 to bigmike from AB4MG

PS- Such a great response to this problem, that I will start a new post for a different and (hopefully) unrelated problem I am having with my browser.

 
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03-20-02, 11:51 AM   #11  
bigmike
Pwr supply

Go to scandisk.log and it will tell you what was done. That is if you had log or append to log checked in scandisk. The program is called Trouble Shooter but neither of us can remember the maker. It’s a checker that runs very exhaustive tests on the memory, board etc. I am also leaning more towards the power supply. Check the plug on the board from the pwr supply, look for 5 volts on the yellow wire and 12 volts on the red without the unit powered up. If the 5 volt standby voltage is low +- 1 volt then there is the problem. Remember it only takes 7/10 of a volt to change the status of a transistor. You may even want to swap the supply out. They aren’t expensive, around $15 US.
Finally getting time to get code down over the next few weeks, going for Extra class I guess, start running HF in the truck between here and Texas on a new dedicated route running Bananas. So let me know if you have anymore problems or if you want, what the scandisk log says. 73, KBØOYD. If you didn’t know how to get the Ø, hold the ALT key down and on the Num pad type Ø216 and the Ø shows up. Works everywhere as best I can tell. And away we go Oh yea, check all the IDE cables, pwr cables etc to see that they are secure...


Last edited by bigmike; 03-20-02 at 12:21 PM.
 
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03-21-02, 04:33 AM   #12  
If you start to have the boot freeze again, you might want to look at your memory. Have seen freezes when the memory doesn't register. you can clean it with cotton pad and iso, or take a pencil eraser to the contacts and lightly erase them. this will remove any build up with out damaging the contacts.

Brian

 
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