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I press the power switch; the fans start whirring; then precisely nothing happens. The monitor lights (I have two monitors) blink to indicate that they aren't receiving any signal - no BIOS splash screen, nothing. This scenario occurs about 80 percent of the time, the other 20 percent being normal starts.

Noticing that the computer has not started properly, I press the power switch for four seconds to turn the computer off, and then I press it again to start the computer for the second time. It always starts normally the second time. Always.

The power supply is a 750W from SilverStone. The motherboard is a Gigabyte P55A-UD3P. The video card is an Asus EN9800GT. There's 8 GB of RAM. I don't know what other information might be pertinent. Help!

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Do you get any of the Power On Self Test (POST) beeps when it first starts? –  Bish Mar 30 '12 at 8:50
    
No. No beeps at all, although I don't think I get beeps in any case. –  user10604 Mar 30 '12 at 8:53
    
There is probably no case speaker or it's not wired up. My suggestion to help diagnose the problem would be to wire in a speaker (refer to motherboard manual for connections) or buy a POST diagnostics card. Or try @Toms suggested by-elimination type approach described in his answer. These intermittent hardware problems can be a nightmare. –  Bish Mar 30 '12 at 9:34

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I had more or less the exact same problem on an older AMD MB, I believe from MSI (which led me on a frustrating error searching process with several graphic cards before I noticed that they had nothing to do with it). A friend with a POST card (which he had bought for $4) checked it, and it turned out that the BIOS simply hanged at a certain stage every second boot (he claimed it was exactly every second boot when he tested it with his reader. My notes from the error searching process indicated that it was more irregular, but then I switched graphic cards lots of times as well, and other factors might have influenced it). This was also something that suddenly started to happen to the machine after several years of running (and some crashes, due to a failing hard drive. Can't know if it was related).

My "solution" for my specific case was that the hardware was obsolete anyway and needed to be replaced. I don't know if it is fixable directly in hardware. The only thing I'd test is to update/reflash the BIOS drivers and hope for the best. Otherwise, my bet is on a new MB.


I can note that I had tried, in order, to change PSU and graphics card without any long-term benifit (it was very annoying to find that "yay, new PSU made it work!" to see that it failed on the next reboot, and so on. Not the best spent hours of my life).

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Yes, a refresh of the bios might be in order. Since that's the least invasive measure I know to take, I'll try that before launching into Tom's list. –  user10604 Mar 30 '12 at 9:28
    
I've updated the BIOS, and the problem seems to have gone. I've left the computer off overnight twice and it has started properly the next morning. I'm calling it fixed. –  user10604 Apr 2 '12 at 22:04

..., and then I press it again to start the computer for the second time. It always starts normally the second time. Always.

This really feels like there is either a power issue or something that loses its initialization when the computer is left powered off for a long time.

Here is what I would do in order:

  1. Disconnect anything that you don't need for the computer to show something on the screen.

  2. Plug out the power and take the CMOS battery out, this will reset the BIOS.

  3. Check the CMOS battery to see if it still provides power, maybe it is depleted.

  4. Plug the CMOS battery an the power back in.

  5. Check to see if the power is also connected to the graphical card, if it requires extra power.

  6. Test your computer to see if it's resolved.

  7. If you have on-board graphics too, disconnect the graphics card and try those.

  8. Test your computer to see if it's resolved.

  9. Replace your power supply / memory.

  10. Test your computer to see if it's resolved.

  11. Replace the motherboard / graphics card. Perhaps try a cheap graphics card?

  12. Test your computer to see if it's resolved.

  13. Start replacing random things until you found the component.

  14. Test your computer to see if it's resolved.

  15. Or... perhaps your monitor hates you?

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Thanks Tom. I'll start working through your list tomorrow. –  user10604 Mar 30 '12 at 9:26
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Tom, don't forget to tell them to set the date and time in the bios after removing the cmos battery, or windows may puke on startup. –  Moab Mar 30 '12 at 16:12

Same thing with my new PC. Motherboard: MSI Z87G41 PC Mate I use 1 module RAM ( 1x 8GB). I noticed that the module placed in Slot 1 ( The blue one near the processor ) was causing the problem.

Placing the module in the other blue slot solved it for me. I guess that for some reason during the first startup the system is checking memory and is getting a failure. During the second startup the bios adjust settings a little and it succeeds.

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