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Computer keeps restarting just after POST

Bat123Man

Member
Nov 14, 2006
189
4
81
Computer has been working fine for years. When Win10 was available, upgraded to it from Win 8.1 just a week or two after Win10 release. Have been regularly updating it since. I was reading mail when I decided to launch a game to kill 20 mins. The game started, but then the computer shut down. No error message, no blue screen. It rebooted, splashed the BIOS screen, put up the Win10 logo with the spinning dots, and then the screen goes black. My monitor has lost the signal, so puts up DVI No Input. Then it does it all over again. It just keeps looping at the same point, just after putting up the Windows logo and the dots have time to spin around twice.

I shut it off with the power switch, but I cannot get it to boot. I pulled all the drives, reattached the cables, same thing. Then I created a new Win10 Boot DVD on my laptop using the MS Media Creation Tool, and used that to boot. I could get into a command prompt, and was very surprised to find that the SSD with Win10 on it is still working. I can see all the DIR structure on the disk. I had assumed it had failed. The other SSD and the HDs are also all there, although the drive letters are all incorrect.

For whatever reason, it now finds the Windows directory on F: (instead of C:). I ran Bootrec /fixMbr and Windows reported the command ran successfully. Removed the DVD, rebooted, same deal. Then I booted again with the boot DVD, command prompt, ran Bootrec /FixBoot. Also ran successfully, but also no change. When I ran Bootrec /ScanOS, it reported it found a valid Windows installation on F:/, so it looks like what I previously thought was an SSD failure was not the case. It looks like the data is there, but Windows just doesn't want to boot.

My next step is going to be the RebuildBCD option I found here :
http://pureinfotech.com/repair-master-boot-record-mbr-windows-10/

But I have never run that before. Anyone have any ideas as to what might have caused this, and if I should follow those instructions?

Gigabyte mobo Z77Z-UD3H
i5-3570K
16GB RAM
120 GM SSD (where Win10 is installed)
80 GB SSD (secondary drive)
500 GB HD
GTX 570

No overclock, system does not overheat.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
52,219
7,048
126
It's normal (I think...) for drive letters when booted from a Windows install/rescue disc to not be the same drive letters as when it's booting normally and properly off of the primary HDD/SSD. I wouldn't worry about that so much.

What about SMART info on your drives? Boot a Linux LiveUSB (Mint is a good distro to use), check the "Disks" tool for SMART info, and maybe run a surface scan on your HDDs too.

It sounds like a boot drive failure, possibly triggered by a PSU issue. (Maybe)

I know it sounds like a pain, but you might consider just saving the files that matter off of the C-colon boot SSD, and then boot the Linux LiveUSB, and do a Secure Erase on the SSD to reset it, and then re-install Win10 fresh, using the boot media that you made using the Media Creation Tool on your laptop.

If it fails to install, or fails to boot in the same way, then you know that you have other problems. (Either the SSD itself is actually bad or going bad, or your PSU is on the fritz.)

You might want to check your BIOS / UEFI for PSU voltages too. (Check "PC Health" section.)

Edit: Also check if perhaps this is a video-driver issue with Windows. If your BIOS primary display shows the Windows boot screen and the circle, and then it suddenly goes black, no display, but seems to boot, then try plugging a monitor into the mobo's onboard video-out port too.

Also, after it "boots", try hitting the Power Switch on your case, "once", and see if it does an orderly shutdown, and eventually turns off. If it does, that strongly suggests a video-driver error, or your video card may be going on the way out, or the PSU may be getting too weak to power your dGPU when booted into full driver mode.
 
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Bat123Man

Member
Nov 14, 2006
189
4
81
Hi,

Thanks for the reply. OK for drive letters. The PSU seems to be OK, I can boot into the BIOS and leave it up for hours. Did that while I was researching the problem on my laptop. Just left the desktop with the BIOS screen up. I think I just need to rebuild the Master Boot Record, but if that fails, I'll try the reinstall of a fresh copy of Win10. Incidentally, how do I know what Win10 activation key to put in? I have my old one for Win8 which is what the computer was originally installed with. I upgraded for free to Win10 during the first 12 months. Will it accept the Win8 key ?

It may be a video issue, my card is a 570 which has been in the machine for at least 4 years. The boot doesn't complete, however. The Windows logo comes up, 2 rounds of spinning dots, then goes black. I leave it, and 30 seconds or so later, the BIOS screen is back up again and the cycle begins again.
 

RLGL

Golden Member
Jan 8, 2013
1,867
226
106
The old 8 key should work. Try a different video card. 10 exposed some crazy issues with my radeon card, sent it to be checked, it was replaced under wty.
 

DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator and Elite Member
Moderator
Aug 22, 2001
23,243
5,086
146
You no longer need an activation key, since you already upgraded to 10 on the system. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10/ Go to that link and follow the directions for creating installation media. I prefer the USB flash drive method, but they all work. During install skip the screen where it asks you to enter a key. It will auto activate and you are good to go.

Another suggestion I have been making of late, is to link a microsoft account i.e. hotmail, live, etc. to the install. You can revert to local account, but having it linked makes it easy to migrate 10 to a new system if you upgrade the mainboard and such. At least until if/when MS changes the policy.
 

Bat123Man

Member
Nov 14, 2006
189
4
81
You no longer need an activation key, since you already upgraded to 10 on the system. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10/ Go to that link and follow the directions for creating installation media. I prefer the USB flash drive method, but they all work. During install skip the screen where it asks you to enter a key. It will auto activate and you are good to go.

Another suggestion I have been making of late, is to link a microsoft account i.e. hotmail, live, etc. to the install. You can revert to local account, but having it linked makes it easy to migrate 10 to a new system if you upgrade the mainboard and such. At least until if/when MS changes the policy.
OK, thanks. I reinstalled Win10. The installation went smoothly, no issues. Then it said, ok, need to reboot, and..... same issue. It boots, puts up the BIOS screen, the Win10 logo with spinning dots, then the screen goes black and it reboots again. If I leave it on, it just cycles like that. I can clearly hear a single BEEP when it passes the POST test, there are no errors, nor any indication something is broken. I had cleared out some room on the SSD by booting via the Win10 DVD and going to Command Line, I had 12.8 GB free (installation was requesting 9.5). It allowed the installation to proceed, but then did the same thing when restarting.

Now I have a Windows and a Windows.old DIR on my SSD taking up all the newly available room. Also, it clearly is still happy with some aspects of Windows because when I go to Command Line, it correctly picks my admin account, and then accepts my admin password. It is reading from the secure files to get that information. It allows me to go to command line and do whatever I like. I can see all drivers and all files. I've left it on for hours, it does not seem to be a PSU issue. It doesn't seem to be a bad SSD either because I can manipulate the files on the SSD without any problems. I had considered it might be the graphics card, but both LCD panels are connected to it and it displays the BIOS and Win10 DVD boot information without difficulty. I could pull it and use the onboard video instead. CAn the motherboard use the onboard Intel graphics chipset, but pass the video out through an Nvidia GTX DVI port, even if the GTX was fried? Any other ideas? I am really stumped.
 
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DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator and Elite Member
Moderator
Aug 22, 2001
23,243
5,086
146
Yeah man, disconnect one of the monitors until if/when you have things sorted out. Set the bios to IGP first, then remove the vid card and try with one monitor connected to the onboard. If that gets you to desktop then the vid card is likely toast. That it works when using the generic driver does not mean it is ok.
 

Bat123Man

Member
Nov 14, 2006
189
4
81
Yeah man, disconnect one of the monitors until if/when you have things sorted out. Set the bios to IGP first, then remove the vid card and try with one monitor connected to the onboard. If that gets you to desktop then the vid card is likely toast. That it works when using the generic driver does not mean it is ok.
Hi, that was it. Holy @#$!@!#$#@, that was a long process. By the time I figured out the BIOS settings to allow for onboard video and removed the GTX 570, my many many attempts to fix the MBR had permanently pooched it. I bought a brand new SSD, installed Win10 on that, and then had exactly the same issue. Only this time, I had already pulled every other hard drive, the WinTV card, and there wasn't much left in the computer which could be causing it. The installation of Win10 went fine, but it was stuck in VGA resolution. I downloaded and attempted to install the Nvidia Geforce drivers, and although the "detect video card" option on the Nvidia site successfully picked my 570, when I tried to install the drivers, it said I had no compatible video card. Device Manager showed a big old X beside the 570 but only on this new Win10 installation (the old one showed all hardware without an issue). So I finally knew! I changed the BIOS to be onboard only, pulled the 570, and voila, it booted. The initial boot was filled with errors as it corrected itself, but eventually with a few more "Startup Repairs", it successfully made it to Win10. So at that point, I rebooted with the Win10 boot disk, reformated my brand new 480 GB SSD, and installed Win10 once again, this time without it ever having to deal with the bad 570. Installation went perfectly. I then added all my old drives back, and am back in business. I'll need to install everything again to fill the Registry, but I can install into the same directory again and not lose any data.

Thanks for your help. I am now researching vid cards, kind of fun, I haven't purchased one in a few years. Looking at the 1060 GTX which seems to give the best bang for the buck.

BM.
 

DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator and Elite Member
Moderator
Aug 22, 2001
23,243
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Stoked to read you are up and running; well done.

The 1060 series and RX 400 series are all great cards. You seem to prefer Nvidia so I suggest the 1060 6GB, it is a little more expensive than the 3GB but will pay for itself as time goes by.

And thank you for posting the solution. It helps out people searching for answers to similar queries.

Take care and happy gaming.
 

Bat123Man

Member
Nov 14, 2006
189
4
81
I just ordered the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 AMP Edition 6GB GDDR5 Video Card. Can't wait until it gets here!
 

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