Windows 10: System won't boot to W10 (even USB, WinPE, WinRE)

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  1. Posts : 97
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, Build 16299
    Thread Starter
       27 Jan 2018 #31

    How do I check the rails, specifically? I have a Thermaltake Power II PSU Tester. I plugged in the P1 connecter and the ATX12V connector and both checked out. I also reinstalled old RAM and old CPU. Same results. Fast, loud fans and nothing else. I don't even think it is POSTing. I don't have the old PSU, so can't test it. I'm starting to think the MOBO is KIA. #dead

    My current PSU has 4 rails it looks like: combined 5 and 3.3v at 110W, 12v at 549v, -12v at 6w, and 5vsb at 15w. The available amps for 5v is 22a, for 3.3v is 22a, for 12v is 45.8a, for -12v is 0.5a and 5vsb is 3a. Since I don't know what the old PSU had, I'm unsure if there is a problem here. Anything look fishy here?

    There's no beep codes, so wouldn't that indicated a bad PSU or MOBO? And my PSU checks out fine with my PSU tester. So does that leave me with a bad MOBO?

    Either way, I am about at the point of buying a new board to find out!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    28 Jan 2018 #32

    Checking the rails is covered in a number of online guides. My personal fave is from TechPowerUp and it's called, prosaically enough, "The PSU 'rail' checking guide." If that doesn't do it for you, run this Google search, wherein you'll also spot a nice youtube video, plus guides from the Extreme Overclocking Forums and OC3D Forums, too. Lots of good stuff, with step-by-step instructions out there.
    HTH,
    --Ed--
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 97
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, Build 16299
    Thread Starter
       18 Feb 2018 #33

    So I ended up purchasing a new MOBO. Installed it yesterday and everything worked just fine. Come back today to do a clean install of Windows, and the same problem shows up again! Computer starts but no output on the screen, and the fans are just spinning. I noticed that the LED light on the front is amber instead of green, which evidently indicates some sort of fault according to Dell documentation (it's a Dell chassis). Frustrated, I go find another old PC to do some testing/retesting. I take out the EVGA PSU I have and use the one from the older system instead. Same problem. I take the EVGA PSU and hook it up to the older system, and it boots up just fine. Okay, it's not the PSU. 100% certain. Totally clueless, I decide to take everything out of the case to see if it will boot with just PSU, MOBO and RAM connected. Guess what? It boots normally!

    I'm not sure what the issue is, but I've been using the computer for the better part of 1.5 hours. Granted, the guts of the thing are all sitting on an ESD mat, but it works. I did a clean install of Windows 10 Prox64 and successfully moved the Users folder to my separate storage drive. I installed the appropriate MOBO drivers. I installed all Windows updates. Everything is working just beautifully.

    So now why doesn't the silly thing work when it's inside the case? I didn't connect the HD Audio wire, USB1 Header, USB2 Header, the Power Switch/LED Light Switch, or the Optical Drive. I obviously didn't connect the chassis fan either since, well, the MOBO isn't in the chassis right now. Could one of those six things cause some sort of short/boot error? Any ideas?

    I guess I can go ahead and connect the optical drive with everything out of the case to see if all works well after it has been connected. Maybe rule that out.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    19 Feb 2018 #34

    Sounds almost like it HAS to be a short between the motherboard and the case somehow. The only time I've run into problems like this has been when leads from the motherboard itself, or plugged-in devices have started shorting. Something about the case itself seems to be the only possible culprit. Bizarre!
    --Ed--
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    19 Feb 2018 #35

    Assume you would have noticed but in my experience a stray screw rolling around under the motherboard can cause this. Could possibly be a fan or one of the leads chafed and shorting out, I'd trace all the internal cables and make sure they are intact and not jammed against the metalwork in the case anywhere or pinched by a screw, it does happen even on Dells!
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    19 Feb 2018 #36

    Amen to your recommendations, Clam1952. Well-advised and well stated!
    --Ed--
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 97
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, Build 16299
    Thread Starter
       19 Feb 2018 #37

    Thanks for the feedback. I am going to take the both of your suggestions and see if I can isolate the problem. Have never run into this before, so it has definitely been a learning experience! I think I am getting close to figuring this out though...
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 97
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, Build 16299
    Thread Starter
       19 Feb 2018 #38

    I think I may have found the issue and it's an odd one. I checked before putting anything back in the case that it would still boot. It did just fine. I then double-checked that nothing was loose in the case. I did notice that one of the little card slot covers appeared to be slightly touching the board when I installed it, so I adjusted it appropriately. However, I don't think that was the ultimate issue. After adding the board, PSU, RAM back into the case, I shorted the power switch pins on the MOBO to see if it booted okay. Everything sounded good, so I went ahead and installed the graphics card. I plugged in my monitor via HDMI and then booted the system. Everything seemed okay at first and then the screen just goes dark. Nothing. Zip. Nada. But the system is still running and HDD activity is indicated by noise. I go and get a DVI cable and plug in the monitor with it and what do you know it works. So I switch back to HDMI and still get a black screen. I restart the computer with HDMI selected as the output mode and still nothing. I do the same with the DVI and everything works perfectly. So it's something with the HDMI connection...

    I start looking at the HDMI connection on the back of the system and realize just how close the HDMI port is to the edge of the card slot (pic below).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I notice a small piece of metal sticking out and overlapping the HDMI port and realize that the small piece of metal is making contact with the metal portion of the HDMI connector. I turn off the system and use a screwdriver to bend that small piece of metal back, plug in my HDM cable, boot the system, and, well, it works! I have absolutely no idea why that makes a difference, so maybe one of y'all have some idea. Could that small piece of metal (it was some part of the case) have been shorting out the HDMI connection?

    (Note: I do think my previous MOBO was bad as the symptoms were a bit different than this particular issue. Also, I had integrated graphics with my previous setup, so the HDMI was a part of the MOBO's integrated ports.)
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  9. Posts : 97
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, Build 16299
    Thread Starter
       19 Feb 2018 #39

    Of course, I will wait until tomorrow to mark this as solved just to be safe :)
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    20 Feb 2018 #40

    Yes, absolutely that could have done it. Nice bit of detective work on your part, in fact. Fewer things are harder to find that something like this -- especially for older forum members like yours truly whose vision (never great to start with) has NOT improved with age. Glad you finally sussed it out! Hope the fix is really in (but my guess is that you've found the culprit). Do keep us posted to see if it is finally solved, though...
    Back when I was writing reviews for Tom's Hardware I converted a build from a mobo stand to a case, and went through something similar. In my case, though, an extra long motherboard lead got bent, made contact with a brass mobo standoff, and caused shorting that way. It was a real PITA to find and took the better part of 2 days to isolate and fix.
    --Ed--
    --Ed--
      My ComputersSystem Spec


 
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