PC Troubleshooting Procedure List

Harper

NEEDS MORE DAKKA!!!
Messages
6,922
Location
Australia
Having Troubles with your PC? heres a procedure list
Lets make a list of Common problems and the most likely reasons, and how to fix.

WHENEVER INSTALLING NEW HARDWARE MAKE SURE POWER CABLE TO POWERSUPPLY IS DISCONNECTED, EVEN WHEN ATX POWERSUPPLY IS OFF THE 5V STANDBY RAIL IS STILL ACTIVE.

CAN'T INSTALL WINDOWS
Problem: various errors during windows installation

1. Check for faulty ram.
2. Check for damaged installtion media.
3. Check for faulty power supply.
4. Check for faulty optical drive.

HARD DRIVE NOT DETECTED
Problem: hard drive cannot be detected

1. PCI bus out of specification, can cause problems
2. Power cable faulty or not plugged in
3. IDC cable in incorrectly or faulty CHECK BOTH ENDS
4. Master/Secondary conflict, disconnect all other devices on chain.
5. Check jumper settings. Some drives have a "single drive" setting, and won't work properly as a "slave" or "master" if they are the only drive in the chain.
6. As a last resort, ie.won't work at all after everything has been tried and warranty is no longer valid (not if it's a new HDD), try the freezer method (freeze the hdd in freezer then try again)


NEW CPU NOT WORKING
Problem: Cpu does not work.

1. Cpu incompatible with board
2. Chipped core(only for coppermine/athlon/durons)
3. Socket arm not down
4. BIOS may need reset
5. Fan failier protection may cause motherboard to shut down if there's no power draw on the cpu fan socket, make sure fan is plugged in if this applies to your board.


NEW MOTHERBOARD WONT POWER UP
Problem: mobo wont post.

1. Check if grounded properly and there's no shorts
2. Remove all unrequired hardware(soundcard, ide cables etc)
3. Make sure ATX cable is plugged in
4. Make sure your ram and CPU is compatible with this board
5. Dont forget to plug in the atx power button
6. Check bios reset pins
7. Check keyboard wakeup jumper(serious)
8. Check for correct CPU jumper settings. (If Applicable)


CONSTANT CRASHES IN WINDOWS
Problem: BSODS etc
1. Check VIA 4in1 drivers(if applic.)
2. Set cpu back to stock
3. Set ram back to stock
4. Apply SB live+via patch(if applic.)
5. Remove all hardware one at a time until problem disapears.


CONSTANT RESETS WHILE UNDER LOAD
Problem: resets under load

1. Check powersupply handling capability, test rails with a multimetre NOT ONBOARD VOLTAGE MONITORING
2. Not enough voltage for overclock
3. Overclocked too far
4. videocard,cpu overheating
5. faulty wiring or possible shorting
6. Check All capacitors around the mosFETs supplying power to the cpu, especially if you have an abit/epox board

Burns failing
Problem: burning errors

1. Check power(SERIOUS) possible faulty molex plug
2. Enable burn proof
3. remove burner drivers from control panel
4. update your burner software(nero imho causes least problems)
5. Has it happened since installing windows XP? check compatibility.
6. Update firmware
7. make sure DMA is ENABLED IN CONTROL PANEL
8. Put device on seperate chain
9. Make sure PCI bus is relatively in spec(no more than 37mhz)
10. Buy a CD-ROM Lens cleaner, the laser maybe dirty


CPU @ XX DEGREES. TOO HOT?

1. Check the fan is functioning
2. Have you applied thermal paste?
3. Apply thermal paste only VERY thinly (almost translucent)
4. Heatsink seated properly?
4a. Socket arm down all the way?
4b. Heatsink collar correct way?
4c. Heatsink not tilted?
5. CPU voltage and speed correct
6. System cooling?

If you system is not unstable, there really is no problem unless you wish to start tweaking
Remember - too hot is a variable thing: What's hot for an Intel CPU may be normal operating temp for an AMD.


LAN NOT COMMUNICATING

1. Both computers on same subnet (eg. 192.168.0.X)
2. Using straight-through cables on switch/hub?
3. using cross-over cables for direct?
4. Cable broken?
5. Network hardware functioning (hub, switch, NIC)
6. Ping each other?
6a. Ping but don't see - do you have access permissions
7. you are using a non-internet IP address (192.168.0.x, 10.x.x.x)
8. Plug and play operating systems set to yes in the bios can cause lan failures


SKIPPING MUSIC WHILE PLAYING GAMES/OTHER ACTIVITIES
Problem: mp3s are skipping while im playing games

1. Switch to Waveout in winamp
2. Increase buffer length
3. Increase priority of mp3 playback
4. Increase block size


SYSTEM RANDOMLY REBOOTS
1. if using XP or 2K, check to see if the automatically reboot on error function is turned off. (right click on my computer-->properties-->advanced-->start up and recovery[settings]-->system failure-->untick automatically restart)
also appropriate for XP and 2K restarting instead of shutting down.
2. check for faulty ram (You can use GoldMemory to test it)
3. check for faulty power supply.
4. Scan for viruses.
5. if your keyboard has them, physically remove the "Power", "Sleep" and "Wake" Up buttons as you might be bumping the,


ERROR MESSAGE: "There was a problem installing this hardware :Hardware Name.
An error occurred during the installation of this device.
The data is invalid."

Problem: Blue Screen When Trying To Install Hardware And/Or Drivers:
FIX:
To fix this problem, go to Start, Run... and type "regedit" without the quotes, to run the Registry Editor. Navigate your way down to:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\ENUM\PCI
and you will see a number of keys in the form of "VEN_xxxx", where xxxx are strings like "1102&DEV_0004&SUBSYS_00011103&REV_04". Under each of these folders will be another folder with a long numerical name. Open each folder and look for the "DeviceDesc" which matches the hardware you are trying to install.

Right Click on the "VEN_xxxx" for that device and select 'Permissions' and then tick "Allow" for "Full Control". Close Regedit and then continue with the installation of your device. You should not need to reboot after you close regedit but some people have found that they do.


RECOVERING FROM A BAD BIOS FLASH
Problem: System will not boot following a bios flash:

Firstly, only flash your bios when it abosolutely necessary. If you are not sure what you are doing, then take your computer to some one who does.

With AMI BIOS you can use the "Quick Flash" Method that is described in a file in AMIFLASH.ZIP. If you use this method, hold the magic keys DOWN with one hand and switch the PC ON with the other hand - just don't release the keys). Continue holding the keys DOWN until the FDD starts reading the floppy (you can give up after 5 minutes if nothing happens). This method won't work if the boot block is erased. Find AMIFLASH.ZIP at:
AMI | American Megatrends Inc.

Other Options:
Modern motherboards have a boot-block BIOS. This is small area of the BIOS that doesn't get overwritten when you flash a BIOS. The boot-block BIOS only has support for the floppy drive. If you have a PCI video card you won't see anything on the screen because the boot-block BIOS only supports an ISA videocard, although the procedure will still run.

Award: At boot-up, the boot-block BIOS will look for and execute an AUTOEXEC.BAT file on a bootable diskette. Copy an Award flasher & the correct BIOS *.bin file onto a floppy and execute it automaticly by putting awdflash *.bin in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file.

AMI: The AMI boot-block BIOS will look for a AMIBOOT.ROM file on a diskette. Copy and rename the correct BIOS file on the floppy and power up the PC. The floppy doesn't need to be bootable. You will see the PC read the floppy, after about 4 minutes you will hear 4 beeps, this means the transfer is done. Reboot the PC and modify the CMOS for your configuration.


If you feel that you can add to this list, pleases post below.
 

Luke

Golden Master
Messages
5,602
Location
Vancouver, Canada
Failure to boot:
1.) Remove all but one ram stick
2.) cycle one ram stick between dimms
3.) Reset Cmos
4.)check cpu power cable


Can't really think of anything else at the moment (something might need to be added to this one as well)
 

oldskool

Oldie but a goodie
Messages
1,762
Location
Maine, USA
Failure to boot:
1.) Remove all but one ram stick
2.) cycle one ram stick between dimms
3.) Reset Cmos
4.)check cpu power cable


Can't really think of anything else at the moment (something might need to be added to this one as well)
Failure to boot (continued):

5) Make sure everything is securely connected, RAM, PSU, all cables, etc. I would actually put this at position "1" myself.
 

Hefemeister

Lord Techie,
Messages
9,093
Location
Sweden
NEW MOTHERBOARD WONT POWER UP
Problem: mobo wont post.
Make sure 4 or 8 pin 12v psu cable is attached as well as the 20 or 24 pin.

NEW CPU NOT WORKING
Problem: Cpu does not work.
4. BIOS may need reset (bios may need to be flashed to a newer version that supports the new cpu)
 

CrazeD

Fully Optimized
Messages
3,736
Location
Maine
It's sort of covered in others, but it's not listed specifically.

PC POWERS UP BUT MONITOR HAS NO SIGNAL
1. Unplug all non-essential components (this includes hard drives, extra case fans (NOT YOUR CPU FAN!!!), optical drives, lights, etc).
2. If you are using a dedicated graphics card, reseat it and make sure any external power cables (molex or PCI-e) are connected securely.
3. Cycle your RAM (move the sticks around, try single sticks in each slot, etc) or try a different set or RAM.
4. Ensure all power cables are in place securely. Specifically, check the 4/8pin CPU power connector (you may or may not have this on your system) and check the 20+4 pin ATX connector.
5. Ensure the CPU is seated properly and that the heatsink is attached securely (and that the fan is spinning).
6. Reset CMOS.
7. Test a different, known working power supply (note: just because yours works in a different system doesn't necessarily mean it will work in yours).

That's all I can think of off the top of my head. It's kind of the same as motherboard not POSTing I guess, but slightly different. Meh, add it if you want.

Also, this thread is a good idea. I've always wanted to do something like this, but never got around to it.
 

Runfox

In Runtime
Messages
194
I have one to add:

PC POWERS UP BUT MONITOR HAS NO SIGNAL

Cycle power supply switch off then back on. I had that happen to me and all it took was to cycle the power supply switch, not just unplug the cord.
 

Ainnop

Beta member
Messages
3
Location
Uganda
PC problem:

I had a problem with my laptop, when i started it, it showed a blue screen and then could not start normally except through safe mode. It is slow and has lost volume. What could be the problem and how do i solve it?
 

w7rzw

Beta member
Messages
4
Location
United States
I've done all the repair routines suggested by microsoft, et al, for external drives. It is recognized, but I can't access the files on the external hard drive. Any suggestions?
 

pcer66

Beta member
Messages
1
Location
Bulgaria
Re: PC Troubleshooting Procedure List(need help to troubleshool a strange behavior of my pc)

I have a hardware problem that i cannot figure out on my own, i have a ryzen 3 1200(4core:4threads 3.1Ghz) and a 1060 6 gb but that GPU is a special GP106-A1
version or atleast that the code name. For some reason its underperforming compared to a 3Gb version. Thermals are in the range of normal but in video games like Rainbow Six Siege I am having 100% ot high 90is percent usage while the CPU is going between 60 and 80 even though it should be the opposite CPU=100% and GPU=70ish or something similar. Please help to addres the problem.
 
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