PC has started hanging at BIOS boot screen

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going
Staff member
#1
The only change recently has been a new video card (Sapphire Radeon X1650 Pro AGP 512mb DDR2 8x) 3 days ago. Also added 2 more gb of memory about 3 weeks ago.
Everything worked fine since then until this morning and the machine now hangs for about 1-2 minutes at the Intel BIOS boot screen, then it boots normally.
Nothing in particular in the event viewer to worry about. No red warnings, or even yellow ones.
Don't tell me I now have to unplug everything and try plugging things back one by one????!!
The last time this happened it was a burned out Bluetooth Dongle, which in order to replace I had to purchase a keyboard along with it.
I've run memtest and hard drive health checks...all OK. The only odd happening since the new video card is some minor flashes shoot across the screen before the log on screen appears, after that fine.
What kind of warnings would I get if the power supply was having a problem?
CG you have the same motherboard as me, have I over-extended myself?

M/Board Intel D865GBF P4 HT @ 3.0ghz.

4 X 1gb memory sticks (Windows reports only 3.5...normal)
4 X CD/DVD Burners using both PATA channels.
2 X HDD occupying the 2 SATA sockets
1 X PCI Asus TV-FM Card
1 X PCI Soundblaster Audigy 4 Soundcard
1 X AGP Radeon X1650 Pro Video Card. (this also has a power connector for the fan.
1 PS/2 Keyboard & 1 USB Mouse (in case my Bluetooth ones fail to work)
All 6 USB2.0 ports are occupied - 1 with an externally powered hub with 2 extra gadgets and room for 4 more.

Just took the tower apart to ensure everything was seated and connecting. Checked out the power supply and it is 350W. Should be sufficient.
Perhaps I need my own power station, not just supply?
Depending on whose power supply calculator you use I need between 338 and 680w of power...so it's anyone's guess, but I have a feeling that I'm about to replace my power supply.
Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

:sick:
 

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going
Staff member
#2
In an answer to my own problem...it's the darn Microsoft Bluetooth Dongle (use it for my KB & mouse) - darn it!! That's the 3rd time one of those has given me problems. I keep having to buy new ones on eBay (haven't found them anywhere else unless with other hardware) at $20-odd a pop incl. postage.
They obviously don't like me, or rather, my constant booting between OS's as they seem to be rather delicate and burn out very easily.
My Motorola dongle, by comparison, works like a charm. Unfortunately it wont work MSFT hardware.
I still am concerned about overload, wattage-wise, so if anyone has a comment, feel free!
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#3
I have a similar setup on a 350 myself, but I tried down-switching to a 300, and that worked well enough too.

I only have 2 CD/DVD and 2 HD, but i have a 3.2GHz HT processor and a lower GPU.

I recommend you get yourself a decent 500W PSU. Northwood CPUs are great for power consumption, and memory and optical drives don't take much (unless your burning on 4 drives at once), but 350 might not be enough with that vid card.

Anyway, 500w is more than enough, 800 is overkill. I recommend a 5 or 6 hundred PSU from a big name with all the nifty features - much more useful and lasts longer than a mid-range 800W.
 

Ex_Brit

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Staff member
#4
Thanks for the advice. I'll do some online "window shopping". The graphics card specifically states minimum 350w power supply.
 

Sarge

Active Member
#5
Ex_Brit said:
Thanks for the advice. I'll do some online "window shopping". The graphics card specifically states minimum 350w power supply.
Are you trying to make a monster??? :openmouth: I mean, look at your computer... 4gigs of ram, damn, thats a lot... and that hdd is crasy...

Sorry for the offtopic :smile:
 

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going
Staff member
#6
Well it's like the monster that spawned.....basically some of these bits and pieces are going to be installed on another machine...if and when that happens.
I suppose the way it looks right now it's a bit of overkill.
I originally had 4 OS's installed, now it's three.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#7
OMG, I was the same thing!
Now they're in 3 different PCs, but I know what you mean :smile:
 

Ex_Brit

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#8
Well, I decided to err on the side of caution and go for an 800w, plus this one was the only one I found with a lifetime warranty, something you don't see too often these days, plus it comes with all the bits necessary, unlike ULTRA and similar makes, PLUS it was cheaper by far (which initially made me suspicious, but I got over that quickly) than others in its class.
Take a look: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2597970&CatId=2534
There's a misprint in the Product Information, they mention 650w, but only there, it's def. 800w everywhere else.

What do you think of the flashes across the screen I mentioned in the first post here? They only occur between the BIOS screen and the log-on screen and never when anything is on display (Windows XP progress bar, for instance or Vista's WOW Logo)
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#9
You don't overclock, do you?
 

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going
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#10

Ex_Brit

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Staff member
#11
Hey CG, almost strangled/killed myself changing the power supply. The old one was so light (about 1½ lbs as against 8lbs for the new one), I have a suspicion it was el-cheapo (iCi...??) so no wonder I was getting flashes across the screen and hanging. They say the heavier they are the better made they are.
Everything appears to work. Actually had to take the sides off the tower 3 times.
1st time forgot to plug in the floppy. 2nd time forgot to plug in one of my HDD's. 3rd time...well, I was afraid everything would go up in smoke so I made doubly sure that everything was correct and no sockets were forced etc.
This hopefully will see me way into the future. It has at least 10 connectors that I have no use for....yet. They are carefully folded away in a spare corner where they wont obstruct air flow.
This also gave me a great opportunity to blast the dust out using a can of compressed air.

The only oddity is something that was evident before as well. Intel Active Monitor tells me that the 12v supply is running at a steady 12.375v. I think that must be a motherboard quirk, because it has always said that.
One great thing is that the entire machine is running a lot cooler than before.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#12
That's great news Peter.

My Intel mobo does the same thing - not a mistake though, it really does modify the output. I say your next upgrade should be the mobo - and don't get an Intel OEM! :wink:
 

Ex_Brit

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Staff member
#13
That will be a difficult choice with all the different ones available these days.