Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

CPU or motherboard? Issue has very strange workaround...

  1. #1

    CPU or motherboard? Issue has very strange workaround...

    Motherboard: Gigabyte.....................GA H81-D3 (1150)
    CPU: Intel Dual Pentium......................G3420
    SSD: Kingston.................................SV300S37A/120G
    RAM: Gskill Ripjaws X series
    4GB (2x2) DDR3
    1600 PC#12800..................................F3-12800CL9D-4GBXL
    : Thermaltake...............................TR2 430W

    This is a system I use in my office for various duties including checking HDs, IP cams, etc. I hot swap sata drives regularly. I built this machine just under a year ago and have had no issues with it. I've run win 7 Pro, win 8 & 8.1 Pro and Win 10 pro. No issues at all until recently.

    One day, when I booted the system, nothing. Black screen and a clicking noise. I tried everything to get it to boot, including removing the bios battery. The only thing that works (every time!) is pulling the RAM...more on that below) Some other things I tried are:

    1. I pulled the system apart and put it on a test bench (with PC speaker). isolating it from the standoffs and the metal test bench platform by placing it on a phonebook.

    2. I removed all components from the system except RAM and cpu (booting from partedmagic flash drive, Acronis DD12 and TI2014 flash drive rather than ssd).

    3. I installed a PCIe card instead of using the onboard Intel video (changing settings in bios)

    4. Reset the SSD using partition magic, restored disk image.

    5. Booted from various USB boot utilities

    6. I tried booting from one of 3 other SSDs that I swap in and out of this machine (all different OS's).

    7. ordered and replaced both RAM sticks (same brand and model that had worked for a year)

    Along the way, I discovered that pulling the slot 2 RAM stick would allow the system to boot into windows. Until I shut down the system and then rebooted (restarting windows has been no problem). If I reinsert the stick I removed (which caused the system to successfully boot), it would again boot.

    That's right.
    In order to get this machine running after a shutdown, I alternatively remove or reinsert the RAM stick in slot 2. It works every time. Shut down, will not boot, remove RAM stick, system boots into windows. Shut down, will not boot, insert previously removed RAM stick, system boots into windows.

    Switching sticks/slots makes no difference. It seems to be the removal (or inversely, the reinsertion).

    The symptoms on the failed boot vary at times. Sometimes it just displays a black screen and makes a clicking noise (hard to tell where it's coming from). Other times, it will power off, power back on and click, or beep once, or get to a screen with a white, constant cursor (underscore).

    It has to be the motherboard or the cpu. If I had to guess, I'd say the motherboard.

    Has anyone ever heard of this type issue & weird resolution (remove and replace RAM stick)? If not, I suppose I'll try a new motherboard
    first. If that doesn't do it, I'll try another 1150 cpu, getting an RTA for whichever it turns out to be.

    Thanks for any ideas!
    Last edited by msalton1; 23 Nov 2015 at 19:16.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    And the answer is...bad motherboard. I finally ordered and replaced it with a z97 mainboard. I guess I'll RMA the Gigabyte board and order a cpu for the replacement. I can always use another system.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

CPU or motherboard? Issue has very strange workaround...
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