Computer hangs on cold boot, ok on other cases..

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Hi !

I'm working on an old P-III computer.  Mobo:  Intel D815EEA, 512Mb RAM,
20 Gb HDD.  OS:  Win98se or WinXP (problem occurs with both - two
differend HDD).

I noticed the following problem :  if I power on the system, chances
are that it will freeze or report a bad disk (corrupted boot files)
right after the POST.  If I press the "reset" button, everything goes

If I shut down (power off) the system and restart it in the following
few minutes (less that 5), the problem never occurs.  Idem if I only
restart the system (warm boot).

The problem only occurs if I power on the system after a 5 min (or
more) period with the system off.

Any clue on where to look to fix that problem ?


Re: Computer hangs on cold boot, ok on other cases..


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What power supply?  It's a primary suspect.

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PSU is first, and after that, check and re-seat all cards,
cables, memory, etc... the mechanical connections that would
be subject to temp changes, resultant contact issues.  If
the motherboard had been out or subject to stress, it might
be a cold or broken solder joint, but if the system has
remained static and running "as-is", it is not likely a
solder joint would now go bad, more likely the PSU.

If all else fails strip system down to bare essentials:
CPU, heatsink/fan, 1 memory module, video.  Make sure it
ALWAYS POSTs and finishes until it can't find the boot
drive.  Next, add back the OS boot drive.  Don't even have
keyboard or mouse connected if you want the ideal - to
isolate everything possible.  If you have a multimeter, take
PSU voltage readings at the motherboard connector (at the
primary load).  It is done by inserting thin (needle) probes
into the back of the ATX connector block.

Check the battery voltage too, and enter the bios menus to
see the system health page (the name of which may vary), to
note any parameters outside of expected bounds.

What on this system has changed since it last worked

Re: Computer hangs on cold boot, ok on other cases..

Thanks for your suggestions.

The power supply is an Antec SL-350 installed 2 years ago.  I don't
have a multimeter at hand to test it and that motherboard doesn't have
any sensor to probe the temps, fan speeds or voltages.  :'(

I did remove and reseat all cards, cables, memory sticks, etc..  With
no change.

The battery seems good because the BIOS gives a message if the battery
is getting low or is missing.

The main changes I did were to upgrade the RAM to 512Mb (from 128) and
update the BIOS to the latest availiable version.

Following your last suggestion, I did roll back to the original BIOS
version and removed the added memory to put the system in the same
state it was the last time I know it worked properly.

And guess what ?  So far I tried a cold start 5 times (with different
power off periods) without a single false start.  I keep my fingers
crossed for the moment.

I can tell that the BIOS update doesn't seeem to be in cause because I
tried with the rolled back version and 512 Mb of memory and the problem
was still occuring.

On the other hand, I tested the full 512Mb RAM with Memtest32 for more
than 48 hours without a single error.

This is very odd - don't you find ?

And since the final goal is to install XP on that machine, I'm not sure
leaving only 128Mb is a good idea !  :-(

Après mûre réflexion, kony a écrit :
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Re: Computer hangs on cold boot, ok on other cases..


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So it seems the system simply isn't really stable with all
the memory.  You should try to exchange it, preferribly for
a different model, even a different make of memory if
possible.  If impossible, you might try manually changing
bios memory timings, Google for hints about that.

I would install windows while only 128MB was in, if you must
install it now.  Installing the OS while there are possibly
memory errors can bring a lot of headaches later, if some
files are corrupted then it can take much work and failure
to just end up reinstalling whole OS again to resolve such

Re: Computer hangs on cold boot, ok on other cases..

JG wrote:
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How is the 512 Mb configued? Does it use the original 128, and add
sticks, or is this all new memory?

Does the new memory have the same clockings, and EVERYTHING as the
original 128?

Can we get a quick inventory of the exact name of the motherboard, and
all the ram sticks in it. Both configurations.

Re: Computer hangs on cold boot, ok on other cases..

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check the MoBo caps!

                  Regards ,  SPAJKY ®
   mail addr. @ my site @
    "Tualatin OC-ed / BX-Slot1 / inaudible setup!"

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