Won't POST unless I switch off at wall and then back on

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by DerekS, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. DerekS

    DerekS Guest

    Hi,
    I am trying to fix a friend's computer. When first switched on it doesn't
    POST, just the fans and the HDD whirring.
    If I switch off at the wall or the PSU, leave it a few seconds and then
    switch it back on it does POST normally and begins loading Windows.
    Then I get a BSOD. It is a STOP 0x00000007F (Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap).
    The next parameter is 0x00000008. (Double fault).
    According to Microsoft article 137539 the most likely cause is hardware
    failure, but it could be a software problem.
    It won't reboot unless I switch the power off and then back on again.
    My main concern is to get it boot and reboot so I can try formatting the
    drive and reinstall Windows, in the hope that this will cure the BSOD which
    happened just after he'd installed a new program.
    Any ideas why it won't boot up normally please? All words of wisdom will be
    gratefully received.

    Abit KT7A mobo (I think)
    AMD Athlon 1GHz
    768 MB RAM (3x 256 sticks)
    Windows 2000 Pro

    TIA, Derek.
    DerekS, Nov 8, 2008
    #1
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  2. "DerekS" <> wrote in message
    news:WimRk.21217$2...
    > Hi,
    > I am trying to fix a friend's computer. When first switched on it doesn't
    > POST, just the fans and the HDD whirring.
    > If I switch off at the wall or the PSU, leave it a few seconds and then
    > switch it back on it does POST normally and begins loading Windows.
    > Then I get a BSOD. It is a STOP 0x00000007F (Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap).
    > The next parameter is 0x00000008. (Double fault).
    > According to Microsoft article 137539 the most likely cause is hardware
    > failure, but it could be a software problem.
    > It won't reboot unless I switch the power off and then back on again.
    > My main concern is to get it boot and reboot so I can try formatting the
    > drive and reinstall Windows, in the hope that this will cure the BSOD
    > which happened just after he'd installed a new program.
    > Any ideas why it won't boot up normally please? All words of wisdom will
    > be gratefully received.
    >



    I am guessing a power supply fault or a memory fault.

    The memory fault is easy to isolate. Pull all memory (RAM) and boot. If
    successful, then install one memory board at a time until boot fails. If one
    memory module allows the machine to boot, then install one in the first
    slot, and install one in the next slot until you find a combination of
    modules that prevent booting.

    My wife recently had a boot-up problem that turned out to be the CPU Fan.
    The fan was stuck from dirt getting inside the motor. The CPU overheated. It
    was not damaged, but it would not come up properly. While you are
    investigating the memory modules, take a look at the fan ...
    Jeff Strickland, Nov 8, 2008
    #2
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  3. DerekS

    Neil Green Guest

    "DerekS" <> wrote in
    message news:WimRk.21217$2...
    > Hi,
    > I am trying to fix a friend's computer. When first
    > switched on it doesn't POST, just the fans and the
    > HDD whirring.
    > If I switch off at the wall or the PSU, leave it a
    > few seconds and then switch it back on it does POST
    > normally and begins loading Windows.
    > Then I get a BSOD. It is a STOP 0x00000007F
    > (Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap). The next parameter is
    > 0x00000008. (Double fault).
    > According to Microsoft article 137539 the most
    > likely cause is hardware failure, but it could be a
    > software problem.
    > It won't reboot unless I switch the power off and
    > then back on again.
    > My main concern is to get it boot and reboot so I
    > can try formatting the drive and reinstall Windows,
    > in the hope that this will cure the BSOD which
    > happened just after he'd installed a new program.
    > Any ideas why it won't boot up normally please? All
    > words of wisdom will be gratefully received.
    >
    > Abit KT7A mobo (I think)
    > AMD Athlon 1GHz
    > 768 MB RAM (3x 256 sticks)
    > Windows 2000 Pro
    >
    > TIA, Derek.


    Try replacing the motherboard battery.
    Neil Green, Nov 8, 2008
    #3
  4. "Neil Green" <> wrote in message
    news:491603a5$0$31801$...
    > Try replacing the motherboard battery.


    I'm not saying you are right or wrong, but can you give some background on
    that?

    Wouldn't such a problem manifest itself differently -- inability to keep
    date and time, for instance?
    Jeff Strickland, Nov 8, 2008
    #4
  5. DerekS

    Neil Green Guest

    "Jeff Strickland" <> wrote in message
    news:gf52e1$fh5$...
    >
    > "Neil Green" <> wrote in
    > message
    > news:491603a5$0$31801$...
    >> Try replacing the motherboard battery.

    >
    > I'm not saying you are right or wrong, but can you
    > give some background on that?
    >
    > Wouldn't such a problem manifest itself
    > differently -- inability to keep date and time, for
    > instance?


    Not always.
    A 1 Ghz Athlon is at least seven years old, possibly
    older, and the battery would be reaching the end of
    it's service life even assuming that it's been
    replaced at least once before, and it may not have
    been.
    As the battery loses charge the RTC can still function
    but there can be other intermittent problems such as
    those described here.
    It's not definitive, but at a couple of dollars and
    five minutes work it's easy enough, and I replace my
    CMOS batteries every three years or so as a matter of
    course anyway.
    Neil Green, Nov 8, 2008
    #5
  6. "Neil Green" <> wrote in message
    news:4916149d$0$4454$...
    >
    > "Jeff Strickland" <> wrote in message
    > news:gf52e1$fh5$...
    >>
    >> "Neil Green" <> wrote in message
    >> news:491603a5$0$31801$...
    >>> Try replacing the motherboard battery.

    >>
    >> I'm not saying you are right or wrong, but can you give some background
    >> on that?
    >>
    >> Wouldn't such a problem manifest itself differently -- inability to keep
    >> date and time, for instance?

    >
    > Not always.
    > A 1 Ghz Athlon is at least seven years old, possibly older, and the
    > battery would be reaching the end of it's service life even assuming that
    > it's been replaced at least once before, and it may not have been.
    > As the battery loses charge the RTC can still function but there can be
    > other intermittent problems such as those described here.
    > It's not definitive, but at a couple of dollars and five minutes work it's
    > easy enough, and I replace my CMOS batteries every three years or so as a
    > matter of course anyway.
    >
    >


    I'm the complete opposite extreme, I have never ever replaced a CMOS
    battery. I'm using Celeron that I've had since 2001 or 2002, and still have
    the original battery. I have several other computers, at least one of them a
    similar vintage as this one, and I've owned many computers over the past 20
    years, and never had a CMOS battery fail. I had one machine that could not
    keep time, but my boss replaced it instead of getting a new battery. I agree
    that the battery would have fixed it, but I worked for Toshiba, and we could
    get computers for free if we went to lunch with the right people.
    Jeff Strickland, Nov 8, 2008
    #6
  7. DerekS

    Neil Green Guest

    "Jeff Strickland" <> wrote in message
    news:gf555f$8qe$...
    >
    > "Neil Green" <> wrote in
    > message
    > news:4916149d$0$4454$...
    >>
    >> "Jeff Strickland" <> wrote in
    >> message
    >> news:gf52e1$fh5$...
    >>>
    >>> "Neil Green" <> wrote in
    >>> message
    >>> news:491603a5$0$31801$...
    >>>> Try replacing the motherboard battery.
    >>>
    >>> I'm not saying you are right or wrong, but can you
    >>> give some background on that?
    >>>
    >>> Wouldn't such a problem manifest itself
    >>> differently -- inability to keep date and time,
    >>> for instance?

    >>
    >> Not always.
    >> A 1 Ghz Athlon is at least seven years old,
    >> possibly older, and the battery would be reaching
    >> the end of it's service life even assuming that
    >> it's been replaced at least once before, and it may
    >> not have been.
    >> As the battery loses charge the RTC can still
    >> function but there can be other intermittent
    >> problems such as those described here.
    >> It's not definitive, but at a couple of dollars and
    >> five minutes work it's easy enough, and I replace
    >> my CMOS batteries every three years or so as a
    >> matter of course anyway.
    >>
    >>

    >
    > I'm the complete opposite extreme, I have never ever
    > replaced a CMOS battery. I'm using Celeron that I've
    > had since 2001 or 2002, and still have the original
    > battery. I have several other computers, at least
    > one of them a similar vintage as this one, and I've
    > owned many computers over the past 20 years, and
    > never had a CMOS battery fail. I had one machine
    > that could not keep time, but my boss replaced it
    > instead of getting a new battery. I agree that the
    > battery would have fixed it, but I worked for
    > Toshiba, and we could get computers for free if we
    > went to lunch with the right people.


    The batteries used nowdays are far more serviceable
    than those in the past, but they can and still do
    fail.
    I can remember soldering a new barrel shaped battery
    into a 286 motherboad, in those days the batteries
    were about $25, but the boards were $5 - 600, so it
    was worthwhile.
    There are several possible causes for the symptoms
    described here, and I would primarily suspect a faulty
    PSU, but a dying battery is also a possibility and the
    cheapest and easiest fix.
    His blue screens are probably a software issue,
    possibly a device driver.
    Neil Green, Nov 9, 2008
    #7
  8. DerekS

    DerekS Guest

    "DerekS" <> wrote in message
    news:WimRk.21217$2...
    > Hi,
    > I am trying to fix a friend's computer. When first switched on it doesn't
    > POST, just the fans and the HDD whirring.
    > If I switch off at the wall or the PSU, leave it a few seconds and then
    > switch it back on it does POST normally and begins loading Windows.
    > Then I get a BSOD. It is a STOP 0x00000007F (Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap).
    > The next parameter is 0x00000008. (Double fault).
    > According to Microsoft article 137539 the most likely cause is hardware
    > failure, but it could be a software problem.
    > It won't reboot unless I switch the power off and then back on again.
    > My main concern is to get it boot and reboot so I can try formatting the
    > drive and reinstall Windows, in the hope that this will cure the BSOD
    > which happened just after he'd installed a new program.
    > Any ideas why it won't boot up normally please? All words of wisdom will
    > be gratefully received.
    >
    > Abit KT7A mobo (I think)
    > AMD Athlon 1GHz
    > 768 MB RAM (3x 256 sticks)
    > Windows 2000 Pro
    >
    > TIA, Derek.



    Hi,

    Many thanks for the info. I tested the memory, but no joy. I too wondered
    about the PSU, but I didn't think the mobo battery would cause those
    problems.
    However before trying a PSU from another machine I did try using the battery
    from that machine (shops not open yet for a new battery). I loaded the
    default BIOS settings and guess what? It started up straight away. I've
    repeated this several times now and I will get a new battery as soon as
    Maplins opens. Then I can format the disk and reinstall Windows which should
    cure the BSODs.
    I'm still not sure whether it was the newer battery that fixed it or
    clearing the BIOS and then laoding the default settings, but either way it
    seems to be fixed.
    So, fingers crossed everything will now be OK and my friend can buy me a
    couple of beers. He should really be buying you guys a few beers,
    but..........
    Anyway, once again, many thanks,

    Derek.
    DerekS, Nov 9, 2008
    #8
  9. DerekS

    bmoag Guest

    Battery failure does not erase the BIOS, which is flashed onto an EPROM.
    Battery failure will prevent the BIOS from retaining new settings. The mobo
    will boot to the last retained settings or the default settings.
    The BIOS can be scrambled if you boot up with massively defective RAM but
    your scenario makes this unlikely.
    Installing a program should not scramble the BIOS, unless you installed some
    f***ing powerful malware and have absolutely no anti-malware software
    running.
    The most likely source of your problems on your ancient machine is a failing
    mobo, failing power supply or failing hard drive.
    I doubt it is the motherboard battery.
    If you can boot your machine back up your hard drive before you even think
    of doing anything else. I would not trust your hard drive.
    bmoag, Nov 9, 2008
    #9
  10. DerekS

    Neil Green Guest

    "bmoag" <> wrote in message
    news:rNJRk.7343$...
    > Battery failure does not erase the BIOS, which is
    > flashed onto an EPROM.
    > Battery failure will prevent the BIOS from retaining
    > new settings. The mobo will boot to the last
    > retained settings or the default settings.


    Dying CMOS batteries cause all sorts of weird
    behaviour before they actually lose enough charge to
    cause the BIOS settings and RTC to misbehave.
    Don't ask me how or why, but I've seen it happen on
    many occasions.

    > The BIOS can be scrambled if you boot up with
    > massively defective RAM but your scenario makes this
    > unlikely.
    > Installing a program should not scramble the BIOS,
    > unless you installed some f***ing powerful malware
    > and have absolutely no anti-malware software
    > running.
    > The most likely source of your problems on your
    > ancient machine is a failing mobo, failing power
    > supply or failing hard drive.
    > I doubt it is the motherboard battery.
    > If you can boot your machine back up your hard drive
    > before you even think of doing anything else. I
    > would not trust your hard drive.
    Neil Green, Nov 10, 2008
    #10
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