Computer freezes in BIOS.

edited August 2011 in Hardware
So, earlier today, I figured it was time to reformat my computer. It was running quite slowly, and there was a lot of background apps I didn't particularly like sorting through, so I thought it was time for a cleanup. At this point, after my backups were done, the computer started freezing randomly. That is, the screen completely froze and the keyboard and mouse were unresponsive.

I figured, yet another reason for a wipe. So, I wipe the harddrive from the Windows 7 boot setup, and start installing, but just after the first restart, it freezes again during windows load. I give it an hour, but it doesn't resume, so I restart. Problem is, it still freezes after a minute or so, whether I'm in the windows setup or in BIOS. Since starting, I have recieved three kinds of POST signals. Firstly, a short, high-frequency beep. After a few more tries, it stopped being short and continued beeping until I shut the computer off. These, I'm told, supposedly say that my RAM is no good. In response, I took out and tested the memory sticks individually, and while there were no more beeps, neither did it fix the freezing problem.

After I added both RAM sticks once more, there was a brief couple of tries where I recieved the POST signal for missing GPU, though it is likely that I had only bumped it while placing the ram, since it stopped once I pressed it properly in place. I tried running memtest, but that freezes after a few minutes as well. Latest thing that happened was a continous repeating letter combination across the screen, like so:

"@X:3112
AX:0212
BX:8200
CX:0501
DX:0100"


So, here I stand, at a loss of what I should do next to isolate the problem. My specs are:

Asus M2N68 plus
AMD Athlon 64x2 dual core 5600+, 2800MHz.
2048MB RAM
51 degrees C CPU temp
NVidia 8800 GT

Comments

  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    edited August 2011
    Your mobo may be dying, but I would do the following:
    Replace mobo BIOS battery (take it with you to the store, which will have the additional effect of fully clearing BIOS settings to default)
    Have only one memory stick in one channel
    Try to boot to BIOS

    If successful, burn a CD/USB with memtest and test your one stick. If it passes, add the other stick, test again. If it fails, switch your sticks and see if the failure is related to the stick (the one you moved from second slot to first slot) or slot (the error stays on the same "memory location" in Memtest

    If you aren't successful still, you could have a bad mobo or bad CPU. Not many ways to test that beyond getting a compatible CPU and using it in your mobo (borrow from a friend, hopefully) and doing the same with your CPU in another system.
  • edited August 2011
    Once I replaced the battery, the problems ceased, or at least so it seems. I suppose I needed to clear my BIOS settings.
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL
    edited August 2011
    Hainen wrote:
    I suppose I needed to clear my BIOS settings.

    That is a good truth to remember
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    edited August 2011
    Wee for simple solutions
  • FrenchieFrenchie Maryland
    edited August 2011
    Hey, I have an old old IBM Thinkpad 600 series that I have been trying to revive, and at first it was telling me that there was a motherboard error, so I got a new CMOS battery, and now almost every time it will say that there is configuration errors, and make me reset the date and time and then reset, and it will repeat this until about 1/10 times where it will go to the boot screen and boot off a disk.

    Any thoughts?
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    edited August 2011
    Reset all settings to default, then only change what you "need" to for normal use.
  • edited August 2011
    On second thought. Problem persists, but now it takes around two hours before the crash occurs, rather than two minutes, as it was before. Memtest is gives passes aplenty with both sticks in. Mobo or CPU, I suppose?
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL
    edited August 2011
    Overheating?
  • edited August 2011
    I'd run a disk diagnostic at that point.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    edited August 2011
    Disk diagnostic (pull the drive out [when it is shut down] and check the manufacturer) via UBCD

    Stressing CPU is simple enough from Windows. Just download Prime95 and set it on torture test, small or medium for memory setting.
  • edited August 2011
    CPU stress test, CPU temperatures and disk diagnostic all checks out. I suppose it ought to be the motherboard? I just replaced it last year, though.

    Problem also seems to grow worse from a warm boot. Perhaps it could be the GPU? It is considerably hotter than the rest of my specs. Though I suppose that would make no difference in BIOS. Anyways, GPU stresstest yielded nothing.
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL
    edited August 2011
    Possible PSU, possible GPU.

    Also, Windows 7 Preview um, crashes every two hours currently. This was coded in by Microsoft.
  • edited August 2011
    I don't run preview. Plus, it's not so much a crash as a freeze, and it happens randomly between 1 and 120-some minutes. Happens in BIOS, too, so I'd like to think even microsoft can't reach that far. Anyways, some forum said it might be a memory/voltage timing problem, so I'm trying to look into that. If only I could access my bios setup, that is.
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL
    edited August 2011
    Yes, memory voltage issues can do a gradual destruction of RAM. Reset CMOS.

    Further, a weak PSU or undercapacity PSU can create the illusion of all sorts of hardware problems, or if damaged kill things other than the PSU by surging them.
  • edited August 2011
    I think I may have found the problem, but it confuses me slightly. I run two kvr667d2n5/1g kingston RAM pins with my mobo, which are DDR2-667 mems. Their recommended clocktime and voltage are at 166MHz and 1.8V respectively, both of which are values beneath the minimum settings I can achieve in BIOS (being 200MHz and 1.85V). Meaning, I've accidently overclocked my RAM. However, these very same memory pins are in the QVL for my mobo, so they should be fully compatible.

    Edit: Turns out my "Auto" settings gives me a memclock value of 312 MHz. I'm starting to get slightly confused.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    edited August 2011
    The Memory Clock mode should be set to either auto or 333MHz, as the clock is half of the "speed" (333*2=667 in the memory world). The DRAM timing mode should be left on Auto.

    Your ram supports " +1.8V (+/- .1V)" (from their specs), so 1.85v should be fine, if that is the minimum possible. You should hard set that instead of auto to make sure.
  • edited August 2011
    Well, it's certainly not the memory settings, problem persists. Oddly enough, CPU-Z gives a memclock value of 312MHz even when it's on a manual 333. I suppose it's normal for some of it to go lost somewhere? Anyways, I'll get ahold of a PSU tester tomorrow.

    Noteworthy, however, is that it hasn't frozen in BIOS once since I changed the CMOS battery. I do, however, have difficulties entering the BIOS setup; every time I try to do it, I recieve an eternal black screen instead. So far, I've continued to reset the BIOS settings every time I wanted to access it, since that seemed to give me access, but outside this, all freezes have been windows-related since the battery change, and they certainly seem to grow more frequent when I run any heavy programs.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    edited August 2011
    Sounds like you have a dying mobo.
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL
    edited August 2011
    Probably mobo, but try this before you give up:

    Turn off computer.
    Physically swap the RAM sticks.
    Try booting again.
    See what happens.
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