PC freezing on Startup

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PC freezing on Startup

Postposted on Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:24 pm

My daughter has a Packard bell I Razor PC and has been working fine until today. When she went to start up the PC freezes on the Packard bell screen and i can not get into the CMOS or do anything other than restart the PC which then takes me back to the PB screen again, feel like a goldfish going round and round. Anyway I am not a PC tech but would welcome any advice before going to the local PC shop. It has an I7 processor, 6 gb of Ram, Geforce 560 card, i think, and is nearly 3 years old.
Thanks for any help and Happy new Year,
phil.
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Re: PC freezing on Startup

Postposted on Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:48 pm

Try replacing CMOS battery on the motherboard with new one. Dead/dying battery is often culprit of startup problem with bios for old computers.
It's cheap thing you can replace, so even if that isn't problem, it would have cost you little.
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Re: PC freezing on Startup

Postposted on Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:43 pm

Unfortunately "freeze on startup" can be caused by a lot of different things.

It could also be hanging when it tries to detect the hard drive(s), or your RAM may be going south, or it could be something else entirely (motherboard or PSU).

Temporarily disconnecting the hard drives will tell you whether it is a hard drive related hang. If you can get it to boot from a CD, you can run Memtest86+ to check the RAM.
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Re: PC freezing on Startup

Postposted on Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:34 pm

Other seemingly obvious or trivial things that are easy to overlook and free to try:
  • Pull and re-seat all cables (data and power) and the DIMMs (taking the usual grounding precautions). These things can work themselves loose over time thanks to vibrations, thermal stress, and everyday bumps (worse, they can be partially-loose, which certainly can produce lockups).
  • Check the CPU heatsink and fan -- is the fan spinning, and is there any indication that the heatsink might be loose (hint: a cool heatsink is often a bad sign, indicating it is no longer doing its job); the thermal compound between the heatsink and CPU can get cooked (especially if the machine was full of dustbunnies or had a failing fan) also. In either case you'll generally see the machine freeze or power off right after startup due to overheating.
If JBI's suggestion about the HD works (ie the machine gets through POST without the HD connected) note that it might be the cable rather than the drive itself, especially if it's the old ATA "ribbon" style cable, which were notorious for getting heat-hardened in one position and then breaking internally (with no external indication) at the slightest opportunity. Fortunately they're cheap to replace.
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Re: PC freezing on Startup

Postposted on Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:16 pm

Thanks for the replys, I have changed the battery, no joy. Have disconected the HD and made no difference and also checked all the cables, all seem fine. I can not get the PC to read from the cd so cannot run the memtest program. I have noticed that there is no beep when the pc starts up and im sure it used to.
Looks like i am going to have to book it in for someone to take a look at it!
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Re: PC freezing on Startup

Postposted on Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:44 pm

Has there been a power outage in your area recently, do you have a good surge protector bar for this computer.

If you don't and even if you do and have had some sudden shutdowns with your power recently, it can cause lots of different problems.

I imagine its not all that great of a PS in that unit to begin with.

There is also the obvious as well, viruses, if your daughter frequents "free" sites for music and movies, you can get alot of good stuff that will stop you from booting.
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Re: PC freezing on Startup

Postposted on Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:00 pm

Update on the problem, took it to the local tech and they discovered that it was the USB connections causing the problem for some reason. Once they were disconnected the PC started up fine. Not heard of this problem before and thought i would share,
best Wishes,
phil.
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Re: PC freezing on Startup

Postposted on Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:51 pm

Weird.

I do have a vague recollection of encountering something like that on a system I worked on years ago, where a defective front USB connector (or maybe it was that someone had jammed something into the jack, shorting it out?) was causing boot failures.
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