My PC takes from 3 to 15 times to boot properly



I am looking for help with some issues. Weeks before I tested some ram in one the two banks on my mb. After that the computer blocked and I thought I have just fried the mobo in the ram changing operation. Consulting with knowledgeable people I was told of taking out the battery and reseting the bios to regain access to my, seemingly, dead computer.

After one day of blank screen. I regained access to the computer but it was for the price of losing all the settings in the bios. I searched for bios configuring guides on the net and found that they contradicted each other very much. Then I had to fight for about two months with the infamous “the video driver stopped responding” error message, and with constant blue screens of death that told that the problem was the ati2vga driver. I surfed the net everyday with constant crashes and hangs; I was suffering these and also the most weird video corruptions I have seen in eighteen years of computing…

At first I felt helped, since I saw many persons having the same issues than me with the ati2vga file and other video errors…

I tried everything, even the last resort of downgrading the version of Ati Catalyst… to no avail. Afer two months of torturputing I cracked the enigma of why my PC was working so deeply bad, they were the CPU cooler and heatsink that were in a terrible state of uncleanliness :a. Since I couldn’t separate one of the other I put the whole thing under the tap, let it there for about 3 minutes until all the ashes, hairs, soot, dust and other entropy drained and then rinsed it and let it dry. After this, all the hangs and crashes stopped and my system was fully up again. But not for long…
in the two to three months that I was fighting with this forgtefulness of cleaning the CPU’s fan, I installed and uninstalled my GPU and Catalyst several times, the registry was messed up and I decided to make a complete new installation of XP. I did it.

Now I am not having crashes nor hangs, but something very, very annoying is crossing me anyway. The PC works normally but when it boots, when it comes the the desktop after the welcome screen, it starts loading the startup programs like the firewall and the antivirus and then, suddenly it resets itself. It never hangs, it just resets and starts the booting up sequence again. It takes sometimes 3 or 4 boots, or sometimes more than a dozen boots to boot properly… once it boots, it does not reset nor hang or crash again, happily. But is annoying having to wait for fifty minutes to it for being operational…

I searched the net and could not find a single page with this problem treated on it, do you have any solution, please?

Thanking you in advanced,


ps: I have seventy megs of reports, because many times the occasion when it finally booted the message “the system has saved itself of a grave error” appeared and mini dumps were saved in the \local settings emp directory…


Sounds like you fixed the dust bunnies but word of advice use a vacum or dust bottle to clean the dust out-sounds like you put it under water which is a big NO to shortening your hardware life. The next sounds like your PS is going south on you and you need to replace it. Take it out and put in another and see if that doesn’t fix it also put that PS in a working computer and see if the same problem doesn’t occur.


[QUOTE=coolcolors;2168374]Sounds like you fixed the dust bunnies but word of advice use a vacum or dust bottle to clean the dust out-sounds like you put it under water which is a big NO to shortening your hardware life. The next sounds like your PS is going south on you and you need to replace it. Take it out and put in another and see if that doesn’t fix it also put that PS in a working computer and see if the same problem doesn’t occur.[/QUOTE]
coolcolors is all over it.
Putting a CPU under a faucet is new one on me :disagree:
Use a hair dryer to heat the heatsink, which will heat the thermal paste, which will allow separation from the CPU :iagree:
And of course one would do all this while the CPU is still locked into the mobo and preferably the mobo was out of the case on anti-static membrane.

Random shutdowns/reboots will errors all over the map is a classic failing power supply symptom.
It could also be a borked/corrupt file.
I would look into trying a known good power supply on this system first.
If that doesn’t help, I would then move on to file repair.


You guys a being too kind. You fried you CPU. It is the classic symptoms. It gets frazzled when it reaches operating temperature. By taking out the CPU and rinsing it is also possible that you shorted the CPU. Based on your statements and the erratic behavior before you cleaned the fan I still the the CPU is fried, from overheating. I repair electronics down to component level. You may want to get a 10X magnifying glass and check for cracked solders especially at cable header pins. This would be another indication of an overheating issue. If you can still find the CPU and motherboard you won’t have to buy Windows again, otherwise, you mine as well get a new computer. You can slave your present hard drive and loose nothing as far as information goes.


Thank you for your recomendations, yet, I think you don’t get the point. The PC does not hang, freezes or crashes while it is being used. It only resets when is about to finish the boot sequence, and it does not hang nor crashes anywhere else. I mean, I can use the computer normally as long as I don’t reset. If I reset it, I have to take a break of about 15 minutes until the PC sobers itself up and decides to complete the boot-up sequence successfully… that’s all.

I know the behavior of a PC that is dead, specially when some capacitors are broken and about to explode (one can notice a swelling in the top of the capacitors) but by now no capacitors show signs of being about to break, and, what’s more important, I can use the computer with no problems and no hangs, crashes or freezes at all, except when I boot it up…


Still sounds like either a power supply or possibly mother board issue provided the cpu is ok, which it probably is as long as it was completely dry before you re powered everything. I hope you redid the thermal paste though as getting it wet may have ruined it, and that may make the CPU unstable becuase now it’s overheating.
If that’s not the issue then your back to a board or PSU problem. I hade one machine d similar thing and one of the main ground pads on the PSU’s circuit board had cracked so it wouldn’t power part of the machine then not boot, the fans and things continued to work I guess becuase they were powered from the 12 volt part and I think the 5 volt/cpu rails were down. once I redid the bad solder joint it worked great agin. By the way, once that thing did boot it was fine till I shut it down and let it cool off for a while…
Another board started doing similar things I never could track it down, so it was time to upgrade anyways and I replaced it with a faster board/cpu.
I’d say Zathrows is on the right track, just depends on how far you want to go to figure this one out
Everytime I buy a bigger hard drive I leave the old one alone including it’s OS install, then if the new one borks I boot to the older one and see if I can recover the new one. You can always delete things you dont need, just leave the OS boot and folders intact and if it’s the same or very similar box it will probably boot well enough to trouble shoot things.


Typically when a CPU ‘goes bad’ the computer will not even POST.

I would recommend changing the ‘automatically restart’ option under Startup and Recovery by trying to enter Safe mode. To do this hit F8 during POST to bring up the boot options and select ‘Safe mode’

Once the computer boots, click the Start button, right-click My Computer, click Properties, click the Advanced tab, and then click Settings under Startup and Recovery.
Under System Failure, uncheck the Automatically restart check box.

If you can not get into the OS with Safe mode, after several dirty boots Windows will display an option to disable the automatic reboot in the same boot option screen that Safe mode is in.

If you get a Blue screen up, copy down the error code so you can research the cause.

Even if you can not get into the OS at all, if you are able to eliminate all the hardware by running bootable diagnostic software, then a repair install might do the trick.

Good luck.


Once your PC runs fine, I would download a software called occt to stress test your system. It’s a free software and it’s what overclockers use to see if their systems are stable. I’m putting my finger on the rest of the guys who suggest power supply. If your CPU heatsink is in that bad of shape, imagine what the inside of your PSU looks like. If you have a failing power supply, when running OCCT, pay close attention to the temps (it will be displayed) and if it stays 65c or lower you’re fine. Once occt runs the test you will want to do is the “RAM” test. It would be helpful if you give us your specs also.


It seems all your problems started with the Ram. Make sure the Ram matches, If you have 1G of Ram make sure it says so under Control Panel/System, If it shows less, then the Ram is fried. Ram can make a computer act really funny if it only works partially.


Thank you very much for your advice. I unchecked the ‘automatically restart’ option in ‘system failure’ and now the only difference is that when it boots with a crash, instead of rebooting, it allows to read the BSO that tells that it stoped the system to prevent it from damage, with the error either of ati2dvag or some other unspecified one. Now I upgraded only the device
driver (keeping the old version of the ati apps, like catalyst) from the 1.2 to the 8.5. I just post this because I am troubled by something I don’t figure out why…

When I check for the display driver in the device manager, there are two, one primary (pci bus 1, device 0, function 1) and one secondary (pci bus 1, device 0, function 1)… why? And do you know why they appear like pci bus if the video card is an AGP one? The settings in the bios are correct, it is set to agp video… please help me, save me of pulling more hairs from my beard.