Very Strange Boot Method?

June 13, 2009 at 12:17:22
Specs: Windows XP
Hello, To all. I'm new to tring to work on computers. An electrican by trade, so I'll try & be as descriptive as possible. I have a HP desktop that has given me years of great performance & I can't afford to by a new one right now. It has an ASUS P4SD-LA MoBo,487 socket. Pentium 4/3.0 GHz processor. 848P chipset. 2 x 1 GB DDR SDRAM.
Through a long process of elimination, the only way I can get my machine to boot is to unplug the power cord from the back, take out the battery, plug the cord back into the back & press Esc. on the keyboard to get into my Boot Menu, & proceed from there with no further problems other than resetting the date&time. As the bios check at startup runs, I get the message Bios Defaults have been reset due to checksum issue. I've tried Flashing the bios, etc.. but it's probably due to the fact that I keep removing the battery & it has to start with the default settings?
My Question would be, most importantly, "How do I go about fixing this crazy way to start my computer?"
This has been going on for months, but is getting to be a pain in the butt, everytime I have to "Restart" I have to go through this!
I'm using Windows XP Pro, sp3 with all the up to date updates. When it's running, it runs fine with no errors, BSoD's, or any problems at all.
Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Johnny.

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#1
June 13, 2009 at 13:16:32
What happens when you simply restart or turn on the PC?

Does it not power on at all or does it have some strange POST or Windows boot issue?

It sounds like you have a hardware issue somewhere. I'd put my money on the motherboard.

If it's a power up issue you could try stripping the PC to the bare essential components then power it on. I.e disconnect all devices except for the processor, one stick of RAM, graphics then hit the power button.

IT Services Manager


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#2
June 13, 2009 at 13:26:49
Your power supply may be going bad. The following won't fix the power supply but may make it easier to boot. Try just unplugging the computer (or switching off power strip) and then depress the power on button a few times. Reconnect power and see if it then will start. If that works the permanent solution would be to replace the power supply (PSU).

The CMOS battery is there to store the user adjustable settings when the power is off. Your battery may be dead. Simple way to find out ifthe battery is dead is to unplug the computer and then replug and boot to the BIOS settings. If the date is wrong then the battery is bad. Computer shop or Radio shack should carry them. Pay attention to the polarity when inserting. Upside down and it won't work even is the battery is good.


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#3
June 13, 2009 at 16:20:48
Thanks for responding so fast. When I power up without going thru all I described before, I just get the blue HP logo screen with the menu at the bottom, Press Esc, boot seqence- F1, set up- F10, system recovery. Pressing any key does nothing. That's when I have to disconnect the power cord, etc..
The battery is good I replaced it with a new one, even after I tested the old one & it was still good. 3.8, 3.6 volts. If I restart with the battery in, & after the date/time has been set to correct date/time, I get nothing but blue HP screen. If I restart by unpluging the power cord but leaving the battery in with current date/time, same thing. I take battery out, unplug, & restart, ok. I get Bios screen, boot seqence menu, etc...good to go.
As for the power supply, It's pluged into a UPS/ SURGE supply. I've unpluged it from that, & hooked it up to a dedicated 20 amp line for my window a/c (with the a/c unit unpluged) disconnected everything but the MoBo & H.D. still the same thing! It may be the power supply in the computer?
Still, I don't know too much about them, & i don't have any one to "borrow" one from to check it out for sure.
As for the MoBo, I've got a bid on an exact replacement on Ebay. New, not a pull. For $20.50, so I'm going to try that eventually. Hopefully there's just something "qwerky" with that & a swap will fix? Like I said before, I'm just starting out learning about the "guts" of computers so all this is a learning experiance! Thanks alot for your replies & knowledge. If you need any more info. let me know. John.

Oh yeah, if I restart with battery in & present date/time NOT set, it still doesn't work. J.


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Related Solutions

#4
June 13, 2009 at 20:01:28
The power supply is more likely than the motherboard.

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#5
June 14, 2009 at 02:28:16
Use a multi meter to test the voltages to the motherboard power header molex pins while the PC is running.

Put one prong into the black pins (ground) then systematically test the orange (3.3v), red (5v), white (-5v) and yellow (12v) pins. The won't be exact, plus or minus 0.2/3v is normal. If the readings are way out your PSU is faulty.

If they read normal, your motherboard is faulty.
I'll eat my hat if your isue is not related to a faulty mortherboard. :o)

IT Services Manager


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#6
June 14, 2009 at 11:03:05
Hello, True quiksilver & OtheHill.
I tested molex leads on MoBo while running:

orange- 3.38
red- 5.14, 5.13, 5.14, 5.13
yellow- 12.11
gray- 4.60
purple- 5.18
green- 4.42
blue- -0.00
no white wire. Tested while jumping green to blue, which makes the psu power on, in order to get accurate reading.
psu won't run while disconnected from board.
So, what do you think guys? psu or mobo?
hp says the psu is a 250 watt, regulated zinfandel if that's of any help. I am running 2 hd's. have been for a while. But this problem was going on way before added the 2nd hd.
I tried unpluging unit pressing power button a few times & then pluging back in. Hit power button, wait, blue hp screen, keyboard inopperative, etc... still the same.
The only way to power off machine after this happens is to press & hold power button for 10-15 seconds. or unplug it. I don't like just unpluging it, so I just hold in the power off but. untill it shuts down.
The crazy thing is that it won't boot if there is a battery in the holder on the mobo. No matter what I do. If I unplug it with a battery in, same thing. Won't boot. Take the battery out, unplug it, plug back in, bingo. will boot. I just have been leaving the battery out so it's easier to restart.
The ONLY way to restart is to unplug the cord. When I plug it back in, it seems to run faster, like the fan speed is increased. It just sounds louder, like everything is rev'ing. Then it lets me veiw the boot order screen where I can choose dvd, floppy drive, or what hd to boot from. The key factor to consider is that it won't boot unless I unplug the power cord. Battery in, that won't even work. Battery out, will work.
Thank you for your help. I really appreciate it.


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#7
June 14, 2009 at 11:45:05
I missed the part about not booting with the battery in. Are you sure you are inserting the battery with the correct polarity? Also, check the clrcmos jumper to make sure that it is not in the clear position. Normally pins 1 & 2 are run but it may be marked on the board.

HP will have limited BIOS options but look for an option that allows the BIOS to configure the hardware and enable it.


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#8
June 14, 2009 at 12:35:58
Yes, the battery is in correcty (when i have it in!) & the jumper is on 1&2. It won't run with the jumpers on 2&3.
I couldn't find anything in BIOS that would let me change
any hardware configurations.

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#9
June 14, 2009 at 14:23:29
Take the plug out and then press the power button a few times and see if it boots.

If so then either bleed down cap in ps bad or ps bad or esd damage to motherboard.

Could be the cmos battery is so dead it is stopping the board. Check in place with vom.

"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10


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#10
June 14, 2009 at 15:12:47
I've allready tried the power button with the cord unpluged. Didn't change anything. Battery reads 3.02v on the board. Thanks, John.

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#11
June 14, 2009 at 16:04:06
Check to see if you have any of these entries in the BIOS.

PnP/PCI Configurations-Resources controlled by Auto (ESCD).

APIC mode - Enabled

ACPI function - auto or enabled


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#12
June 14, 2009 at 19:12:34
Hello OtheHill, Under the advanced tab in BIOS, this is what I get:

Plug and Play OS (yes)
Primary Video Adapter (PCI)
PS/2 Mouse (Auto Detect)
Primary bus IDE Adapter (both)
VSB Legacy Mode Support (auto)
Onboard LAN (enabled)
Onboard lan boot ROM (disabled)
Onboard Audio (auto)
Onboard 1394 (enabled)
supervisor password :Disabled
change sup. pass.
User Password :Disabled
>I/O Device Configuration
Serial Port A Address (3F8/IRQ4)
Parallel Port Address (378)
Par. Port Mode (ECP)
Par. Port IRQ (IRQ7)
>Hardware Monitor
CPU Temp 38C/100F
CPU Fan Sreed 4349 RPM
System Fan Speed 1935 RPM
I don't know if you can use that info or not, but it's all I've got.

Thanks, J.


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#13
June 14, 2009 at 19:19:54
PnP/PCI is Plug and Play.

The other two options may be found in Power settings.


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#14
June 14, 2009 at 19:33:24
under the power tab I get:
After AC Power Failure (stay off)
options are, stay off, power on, auto.

under boot tab:
boot-time diagnostic screen (disabled)
options are disable or enable

Boot device priority: and that lists the boot order for all my drives. J.


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#15
June 14, 2009 at 19:34:16
Did you replace the cmos battery?

WinXp Amd 64 3000 Msi Neo2 Platinuim 1 gig ddr 400. When we cast a pebble into a pond we should look past the first ripple.


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#16
June 14, 2009 at 19:54:31
Yep, been thru all that. J.

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#17
June 14, 2009 at 20:43:53
Opps my bad sorry missed it in post. Just a shot but have you tried another keyboard? Most systems won't post past a keyboard error and by booting sans battery and power might be allowing it past. Just a thought.

WinXp Amd 64 3000 Msi Neo2 Platinuim 1 gig ddr 400. When we cast a pebble into a pond we should look past the first ripple.


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#18
June 14, 2009 at 20:53:49
If you now have a usb keyboard try a ps2 unit. Also see if your bios has the stop on keyboard errors enabled. If it is try to disable it for now.

WinXp Amd 64 3000 Msi Neo2 Platinuim 1 gig ddr 400. When we cast a pebble into a pond we should look past the first ripple.


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#19
June 15, 2009 at 03:44:09
I never asked before but do you ever hear a single beep at start up?

About all you have left to try is to strip the set up down to bare minimum. MBoard, processor/HSF, 1 stick of RAM, video card or onboard video, monitor, keyboard, PSU.

Disconnect all other wiring from the motherboard. Remove all drive cables, speakers, printers, external or flash drives, card readers, etc. No case wiring. Start the board by temporarily touching the two pins for the power switch with a screwdriver.

You should then expect the computer to boot to the point of a message stating something about no boot drive or invalid boot device. If you get that far

BTW, you stated you tried flashing the BIOS. How did that go? Have you visually inspected the motherboard? Look for any bulging or leaking capacitors or any burn marks.


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#20
June 15, 2009 at 08:48:06
OK, I'll start by saying this, A long time ago, so long that I never would have put the two together, A friend gave me this brand new really cool looking Apple Keyboard. It was small sleek and clear, really cool, right? Well that cool keyboard seems to have been the cause of this very perplexing problem. I tried restarting with the battery in & correct time/date set & it works just fine now. Just to be sure, I did it a couple more time with no problems! Like I said, it's been going on for so long I never put the two together, I usually just leave the computer run 24/7 so the first time this happend was probably the next time an update needed to restart, or I installed something new, what ever. All I can say is many brains working together are way better than one. Thank you, SuperTrucker, OtheHill, & Everyone else who gave me their valuable time. Sincerely, Johnny.

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#21
June 15, 2009 at 09:47:06
glad you finally got it sorted out. Thanks for getting back to us.

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#22
June 15, 2009 at 14:58:54
G/l and have fun ;).

WinXp Amd 64 3000 Msi Neo2 Platinuim 1 gig ddr 400. When we cast a pebble into a pond we should look past the first ripple.


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#23
June 15, 2009 at 15:32:57
thanks again guys i REALLY apreciate it. Peace, J.

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