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- Intermittent Failure to POST
February 21, 2008, 10:25 pm
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power-up with no video and three beeps. Descriptions of the beep code
identify it as a video, memory, or some other critical failure. (duh)
Here's the weird part. The system will fire up fine, but it will fail
on a restart. If you shutdown the machine, wait 40 seconds or so
(sometimes a few minutes) it will again start up without difficulty.
1) Stripping the system down to minimum components--video card, hard
drive, processor and memory.
2) Cleaned (with contact cleaner) and inspected all card/module edges
and their corresponding sockets.
3) Swapped out the power supply with a known good unit.
4) Swapped out the video card with a known good unit of a different slot
type. (Used an antediluvian PCI card instead of the preferred AGP one.)
5) Popped the processor to look for pin or socket damage. Checked
thermal compound, reseated and regooped the heatsink.
6) Removed the motherboard from the chassis to check for chaff or points
7) Ran MemTest86+ for 24 hours without producing a single memory error.
Prime95 also has ran for 24 hours without an error.
8) Profuse swearing and the illustrative destruction of an adjacent
I've been unable to try different memory, as they are RIMM type, and I
don't have any spare modules.
While the system has been under load, the processor/board temperatures
(as reported by Everest) never exceeds 50C. Putting a box fan on high,
aimed at the motherboard, affects temperatures a bit, but does not alter
the pattern of pre-POST failures.
At times, it seems as if unplugging the power supply from the mains can
reduce the "refactory period," but that might just be coincidence.
Any ideas as to what might be going on here?
February 23, 2008, 10:15 pm
February 24, 2008, 1:21 am
Re: Intermittent Failure to POST
Sounds like a bad video card, but I'm not certain. RAM can be sporadic when
it fails. In order to interpret the beep codes properly you need to know the
exact BIOS your board contains. Once you find that out, here's a helpful
resource for interpreting the message. (I've given the Award BIOS page
because that's often used with Intel boards - there are many others
available from this page)
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