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Strange issues with new build; black screen after bios

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hey, I know overclock.net doesn't have the same focus on troubleshooting as other hw-related sites, so if this topic is unwelcome here, feel free to tell me so and I'll try my luck elsewhere. If not, I'd be really grateful for any help with my issue, as it's really confusing and google has been less than helpful.

I finished my new build recently, and after some initial head-scratching related to installing Win 7 with a USB 3 MOBO and some harddrive format issues, it had been running well for 10 days or so. I've been overclocking my 6600k to 4.4ghz with a core voltage of 1.325, and it's been stable, though I had a couple of annoying crashes in WoW last night (one of them a hard crash), and HWmonitor gives me a max voltage that is higher than what I've set in bios (like 1.36-1.38), but I've read that this last issue is normal, and it usually stays below 1.325 most of the time.

Because of those crashes, I ran prime95, the blend test iirc, for about 15 min this morning, and there were no issues - as usual the temps were below 70C, and all threads ran. When I first installed Windows, I also ran Valley and memtest, and there were no issues. The only 'problem' I had prior to the one I'm posting about is windows update failing to install 170 updates at once, so I've been installing them 5-10 at a time instead.

A few hours later, while doing light browsing/writing, my PC slowed down a lot in a weird way. VLC got unresponsive, Adobe Reader crashed etc, never really seen anything like it. In retrospect I suspect I may have closed prime95 without stopping the test so that it ran as a hidden process, but if so I didn't notice it for hours, and in my task manager my browser used the most memory.

Anyhow, I tried restarting, but when I got to the 'logging off' screen, it took forever so I shut down using the power button. Since then, I've only ever had a black screen after BIOS, at most I get a few '-' characters flashing in the upper left corner of the screen for a few seconds. BIOS works just like normal, and resetting to defaults, resetting CMOS, changing settings, underclocking etc. hasn't changed anything (if I overclock too much I get the 'overclocking failed' screen though).

I don't think it can be an issue with my Win installation, as I get a black screen with an immobile cursor if I boot from my Win 7 USB (after the 'windows is loading files' screen), and I get a FreeDOS language selection screen that is replaced in seconds by a screen saying freecom 'something' XMS setup, bad command or file name if I boot from my memtest USB EDIT: turns out I replaced memtest with a BIOS update file, gonna try with memtest instead. EDIT2: same message with memtest.

So far I've tried running with only one of my two ram sticks, and using my on-board video instead of the gpu. Neither did anything, leading me to believe the issue must be with the cpu or the psu. I've also taken off and on most cables, and left the PC off for about 40 min.

Does this sound like a PSU, or a CPU issue? As said, the CPU didn't have high temps, and besides I don't think even BIOS should work with a ruined CPU, but it's hard to imagine that the dramatic slowdown I experienced isn't related to the problem. Any thoughts would be great!

My build:
Case: Phantek Enthoo Evolv ATX
PSU: Evga Supernova G2 750W
Mobo: Asus Z170 Pro Gaming
CPU: Intel i5 6600k
Cooler: BeQuiet Dark Rock Pro 3
GPU: Asus 970 G1 Gaming
RAM: Kingston HyperX Fury Black DDR4 PC21300/2666MHz CL15 16GB
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 2TB
SSD: Samsung Evo 840 500GB
Edited by Drome - 8/8/16 at 6:48am
post #2 of 6
I think it is a bit to early to point the finger at any particular part.

I would first try and do a bios update.

If that does not work, then I would be looking at the hard drive, ram, and mobo in that order.

If you have done the bios update, I would download linux mint and install it to a flash drive using a program called rufus.

This will give you a live USB OS. In other words, it will give you an operating system that you can run off a flash drive.

When you boot in to the flash drive, try seeing if you can not access your files in the windows drive. Try copying and pasting some files.

If the drive is responsive, then I would suck it up and install windows again. It is possible some important file was corrupted due to overclocking.


If none of that works, replace the ram.


if that doesn't work, replace the mobo.
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Yin&Yang
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Soon
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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Adata SP900  Seagate 2TB hard drive (the power of 1 edition)  Custom WC Loop Linux (various versions) 
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel View Post

I think it is a bit to early to point the finger at any particular part.

I would first try and do a bios update.

If that does not work, then I would be looking at the hard drive, ram, and mobo in that order.

If you have done the bios update, I would download linux mint and install it to a flash drive using a program called rufus.

This will give you a live USB OS. In other words, it will give you an operating system that you can run off a flash drive.

When you boot in to the flash drive, try seeing if you can not access your files in the windows drive. Try copying and pasting some files.

If the drive is responsive, then I would suck it up and install windows again. It is possible some important file was corrupted due to overclocking.
.

Hey, thanks for the quick reply. I did switch BIOS versions, twice, although the second version I've tried is a bit weird in that it doesn't allow me to switch to another version again (apparently this is a common Asus issue, and probably unrelated to my big problem). No changes.

I took your advice and installed Linux Mint, and to my surprise it actually boots (memtest after all has nothing to do with my windows installation, and it didn't boot... actually I may have had a brain fart, I'm gonna try memtest again... EDIT: tried another version, and memtest works). It took a long time due to some mentioned unsafe closing in windows (even though I did eject the USB safely), and opening my Windows drive took a while, but it works and I can modify files on that drive.

Anyhow, I can't reinstall Windows when I can't boot properly from my Windows 7 installation USB.
Quote:


If none of that works, replace the ram.


if that doesn't work, replace the mobo

Well, since memtest apparently discovers 90% of ram errors in 10 seconds, and I tested mine for an entire pass only a week ago, and most of all, running with only 1 of my 2 sticks didn't change anything, can't ram be discounted as a possible culprit? Anyhow, if I need to RMA something, I'd like to know for sure which component is faulty.
Edited by Drome - 8/8/16 at 8:44am
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Did some more testing, and it appears that the problem is indeed the Windows 7 installation/my Samsung 840 SSD, which I eliminated as a possibility early on since both my Win 7 USB and memtest wouldn't boot at that point... now I know I had simply gotten an incompatible version of memtest and, most likely, the Win 7 USB wouldn't boot because it tried to access the existing installation for repair/update functions etc... Hopefully my SSD can be fixed via Samsung Magician (it's an 840 and I haven't downloaded a fix for that issue it had, perhaps that's the problem), if not I'll just get a new one. I guess in the mean time I should install Windows on my HDD, however, I have a lot of stuff on it I'd like to keep (almost a terrabyte worth, so I can't back it all up).

Anyone know if Windows let's you keep old files on the harddrive these days, when there is no previous OS installation on it? I know you get a Windows.old folder if you install over a previous installation.
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drome View Post

Did some more testing, and it appears that the problem is indeed the Windows 7 installation/my Samsung 840 SSD, which I eliminated as a possibility early on since both my Win 7 USB and memtest wouldn't boot at that point... now I know I had simply gotten an incompatible version of memtest and, most likely, the Win 7 USB wouldn't boot because it tried to access the existing installation for repair/update functions etc... Hopefully my SSD can be fixed via Samsung Magician (it's an 840 and I haven't downloaded a fix for that issue it had, perhaps that's the problem), if not I'll just get a new one. I guess in the mean time I should install Windows on my HDD, however, I have a lot of stuff on it I'd like to keep (almost a terrabyte worth, so I can't back it all up).

Anyone know if Windows let's you keep old files on the harddrive these days, when there is no previous OS installation on it? I know you get a Windows.old folder if you install over a previous installation.

You could partition the hard drive and leave the old windows install as is in one partition, and then install on a new partition.
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Blue540
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post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by inedenimadam View Post

You could partition the hard drive and leave the old windows install as is in one partition, and then install on a new partition.

That is indeed what I ended up doing. I've had some poor results with using diskpart for formatting in the past, so I opted to do it in Linux Mint. Worked quite nicely, and it was interesting using Linux for the first time.

Anyhow, I've got Windows running on my SSD now, after performing a factory reset and updating the firmware, and I'm hoping that it's stable. Had to jump through some extra hoops of course (gotta say installing WIndows 7 is a ton more pain than it used to be, now with UEFI and USB 3 and clunky third party utilities), but at least it seems pretty certain the only faulty part was the SSD (probably due to a hard crash after Windows update requested a restart), and I can replace it if my Windows installation gets corrupted yet again.

Thanks again, I would probably never figured out that the SSD was the culprit without trying Linux.
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