BIOS won't load

April 13, 2009 at 11:28:50
Specs: Windows XP SP3
First, some background info on my problem (sorry, it's a long read. Skip to the bottom if you want, I made a summary there):

All my problems started a few days ago, the day after I upgraded my video card. I noticed my computer was acting weird... the entire system would just lock up for a second, or maybe a bit less, at random intervals. This would also happen to me when I was playing CoD4 on my new video card: the game would freeze during gameplay, but even when I was still in the menus, the cursor would not move at all sometimes.

The morning after this, I went to turn on my computer. I turned the switch on the power supply to ON, and pressed the power button. The system beeped once (it usually beeps twice at startup. according to the motherboard manual, one beep means it passed POST.) I'd been wanting to upgrade the hard drive for a while, and assuming that my hard drive was causing my problems from the night before, I swapped it out for a new
WD drive, 640GB. (the old one was around 120GB)

After doing this, I get no beeps at all, meaning it doesn't even pass POST now. I disconnected the card reader in the front, which had given me problems before... no change. I took the memory out, and I got beeps every other second when I started up the computer, which means DRAM not detected or missing.

So, I'm guessing the memory is the problem, since I got a beep code when I took it out, but nothing at all when I put it back in.

In summary: Had problems with computer one night, system would freeze for about a second at random intervals. Next morning, the computer did not start up. BIOS did not
load, but it still passed POST. Replaced HDD, doesn't even pass POST now. Still no BIOS. Guessing memory (RAM) might be the problem (see the two paragraphs above this one.)

So, I'm guessing my memory is the problem now, but I'm thinking maybe the motherboard doesn't like the fact that I replaced a 120GB hard drive with a much bigger one (640GB.)

Motherboard model: K8VGA-M made by Biostar. ~3 1/2 years old
BIOS: Award legal BIOS

See More: BIOS wont load

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April 13, 2009 at 12:34:04
Probably not the ram. The beeps when you take it out is normal. The lack of beeps when installed means it's not finding a problem with the ram.

Disconnect your new drive and see if you get a posting screen. If not, put your old video card back in, or any other video card to see if you get a posting screen.

If that still doesn't give a posting screen then remove all the cards except video and disconnect all the drives and see if that does it.

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April 13, 2009 at 13:21:08
Thanks for your quick reply, I'll try that.

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April 13, 2009 at 13:37:39
"The lack of beeps when installed means it's not finding a problem with the ram."

In my experience, when the motherboard doesn't beep, it means that there is something preventing the motherboard from successfully loading the BIOS settings, including RAM problems, video card problems, PCI card problems, and almost anything else. The OP said that it used to beep twice when it was turned on, now it doesn't beep at all, except when the RAM is taken out. If it beeps when the RAM is taken out, but doesn't when the RAM is in, that seems to point to the RAM.

Did you swap your old video card back in? Did you swap your old hard drive back in?

What are the models of both your old and new video cards? What's the brand and wattage of your power supply?

WinSimple Software
CompTIA A+ Certified

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April 13, 2009 at 14:17:10
I decided to take it in to a tech who I trust instead of figuring it out myself,
since I have a lot on my plate right now. If I get a chance I'll try sticking
the old HDD back in, and if that doesn't solve anything I'll try removing
the video card. (The new video card and old HDD both worked fine for a
few hours until I turned my computer off that night, except the random

The max. power output of the PSU is 300W. I was using integrated
graphics before. The new video card is this one:

Both the new and old hard drives were hooked up to the same power
connector. But I'll definitely try taking out the video card... I think I'll do
that first. Maybe the PSU can't handle it. :/

EDIT: Brand of PSU is Sparkle Power Int'l Ltd.

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April 13, 2009 at 15:39:36
Thanks again to whoever suggested checking the PSU, which gave me the
idea that the video card might not have adequate power... I took out the new
video card, and I can see the BIOS, which is a good sign...

however, it's stuck at the first screen, probably doesn't like the new hard

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April 13, 2009 at 16:45:14
Yeah, you might want to check the manual on the highest capacity drive it can accomodate. Also check that the jumpers on the drive are in the correct position.

I guess I should have gone into more detail on the beeping/ram issue. When you remove all the ram it's normal to get ram error beeps. So, if it's doing that then the bios is at least able to query the ram. Then, if you install the ram and get no beeps it's logical to assume (but not with 100% certainty) that the ram is good because you already know the bios is able to beep for ram errors.

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April 13, 2009 at 17:39:57
Well, the computer is now in the hands of a trained professional. Thanks to
everyone who posted. I'll report back in a few days with what the problem

For anyone who's curious, taking out the new video card seemed to fix
something, because the BIOS loaded up... still wouldn't get past "Detecting
IDE Drives..."

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April 13, 2009 at 20:13:29
300W for that graphics card seems a little underpowered. I'd be using atleast a 350W, but 400 would be better.

WinSimple Software
CompTIA A+ Certified

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April 17, 2009 at 22:32:32
Just got the computer back... the PC tech was baffled, had no idea what
was wrong. I still think it was the power supply but I really can't be bothered
to replace it. oh well.

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April 18, 2009 at 00:53:07
What happens if you disconnect the new drive and start it up?

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