Home Theater PC not booting - help required - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 04-08-2014, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi forum,

 

I have a major issue with my HTPC; it won't boot.  It was working fine until I tried to add a second TV tuner card.  Windows 7 recognized the Pinnacle TV card and the signal, but when I reinstalled the second TV card the HTPC suddenly refused to show anything on the screen (both HDMI and VGA) when booting, even though the fans started up and the HDD could be heard to start up.  I then managed to knock out the power button connector which I have now replaced but now the machine gets into a boot cycle when I turn it on; the fans start up for about 15 seconds, the machine powers off and then starts up again repeatedly

 

The mobo is an ASRock H77 Pro4-M.  I have re-seated all the RAM, checked all the cables, removed the TV tuner cards (BGT3620 and Pinnacle PCTV 7010iX), tried a standard VGA monitor (which reports no signal), but still no luck.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  At the moment my HTPC is just a really expensive door stop!

 

Thanks for your help.

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post #2 of 17 Old 04-08-2014, 03:17 PM
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Make a start-up repair disk read this http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/how-to-make-a-windows-vista-repair-disk-if-you-dont-have-one/ use the computer you are on now to make it if it is a win 7 or Vista box and your HTPC is one of those OS also.

It's a boot able disc if it does not load you should go into the bios by repeatedly pressing F9,F10 or ,Delete (or whatever key gets your motherboard to bios during start up) and set your ODD (CD drive as primary (first) boot device ) then put the CD in and re -start the PC and try to load the Startup repair disc . If it works it will repair windows system files it basically runs chkdsk/r if it doesn't work you will be looking at a new install (syst. image or clean install) Also make sure your RAM is seated well .


You may have to run start up repair several times ( usually at least 3 I've even had to do it many more times ) before it loads as long as your original OS recovery partition is not hosed and can be found it should work fine if your HDWE is OK. If the system self tests and posts but only does not load the OS your HDWE is probably OK .
You might have to remove the 2nd tuner card?

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post #3 of 17 Old 04-08-2014, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubetwister View Post

Make a start-up repair disk read this http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/how-to-make-a-windows-vista-repair-disk-if-you-dont-have-one/ use the computer you are on now to make it if it is a win 7 or Vista box and your HTPC is one of those OS also.

It's a boot able disc if it does not load you should go into the bios by repeatedly pressing F9,F10 or ,Delete (or whatever key gets your motherboard to bios during start up) and set your ODD (CD drive as primary (first) boot device ) then put the CD in and re -start the PC and try to load the Startup repair disc . If it works it will repair windows system files it basically runs chkdsk/r if it doesn't work you will be looking at a new install (syst. image or clean install) Also make sure your RAM is seated well .


You may have to run start up repair several times ( usually at least 3 I've even had to do it many more times ) before it loads as long as your original OS recovery partition is not hosed and can be found it should work fine if your HDWE is OK. If the system self tests and posts but only does not load the OS your HDWE is probably OK .
You might have to remove the 2nd tuner card?

He doesn't get video of any kind a boot disc isn't going to help him. First thing is to take it down to the lowest possible components to run. Have just 1 hard drive, 1 stick of ram, motherboard, and video card if you do not have onboard video. If it boots keep adding 1 at a time until you find the problem hardware. if not swap the ram to another stick, then video card and see if it boots.

If not then you're looking at bad power supply, motherboard, cpu, and or video card. You would need more parts to test if you have any.
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post #4 of 17 Old 04-08-2014, 08:19 PM
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I suggest you test your power supply first. You can jump two pins together with a paperclip (can't remember which two at the moment) to see if the Power Supply fan runs. If it does, then you know it is good to go. Double check your power switch wiring that you said you fixed. Make sure you have the correct wires going to that board, I have the same board and remember those little wires had positive (+) and negative (-) signs on them for specific spots. Also, if you RAM or Video card (if using one) were faulty, pretty sure you would here some sort of beep(s) to let you know a trouble code.

My bet is the power switch......

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post #5 of 17 Old 04-10-2014, 09:36 AM
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Remove all of hardware, and start adding back, one at a time. And see which piece causes problems. It is called process of elimination.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #6 of 17 Old 04-10-2014, 11:56 AM
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It seems I was mistaken in my orig post . I mis read it and thought the PC was re booting while attempting to load windows. After re reading it it seems you have a
Power on Self Test Failure ) fail to P.O.S.T. As mentioned above that *may* point to the Power switch ,Power supply CPU or motherboard or other hardware . unfortunately these types of things can corrupt OS files and sometimes damage a HDD also . If you otherwise get it working but it doesn't load windows the start up repair disc may repair any corrupted windows system files .



I would absolutely do what the previous 3 posters here said and definitely try eliminating things
It's possible the tuner card re install may have shorted something out on the board and damaged the PSU or main board ( It may have taken out a PCI power rail from the PSU causing the post fail ) and hopefully not the mainboard .

Hires Music formats ..............."Why does it sound like a CD ?" ............. can we make it louder "?
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post #7 of 17 Old 04-11-2014, 05:24 PM
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Like others have said remove any unnecessary components then clear the bios. If it doesn't boot then you've got more serious issues.
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post #8 of 17 Old 04-11-2014, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhrocket View Post

 

 I then managed to knock out the power button connector which I have now replaced

Power button connector at the toggle switch? Are you stating you replaced the wires back on the switch, replaced the button, re-placed the wires back onto MB?

Just checking. I've had people bring in computers where they replaced the button with the wrong type of switch and it caused bios to keep rebooting. To see if switch/wire is of any problem, I disconnect the power button from MB and than use a screwdriver to start PC. Just need to short (connect) the two pins together for half a second to boot PC. I always do this directly on the MB pins to make sure the power button wires are also not defective. I've seen someone pinch the wires in the case somehow and the two wires frayed and stayed connected on the inside without the outer shield showing damage. *Only saw it once in decades of building PCs.

Still always best to test with switches disconnected and connect MB pins manually. Just be sure you only connect touch the two pins. You can damage the MB touching anything else.

Also make sure to disconnect reset switch. If either of these buttons are in a stuck position it will cause PC to keep rebooting.

 

That's just a simple test for rebooting. But should not be associated with no graphics. I only mentioned that test because you stated you knocked out power connector.

Can you test your video card in a buddies computer?

 

The normal problem of a PC rebooting constantly after added additional hardware is excessive power draw (PSU not strong enough) or new hardware is defective.

The sad part. Low voltage from insufficient PSU (and brownouts) have damaged more hardware than anything. If you added another tuner and the PSU was already taxed.. it is possible to have damaged other hardware. Like others have stated. After testing power/reset buttons. I would remove excess hardware. 4 sticks of ram? Take out 3 of them. 2 HDDs? Unplug power from extra HDDs. Remove extra PCI cards. Sound cards, network cards.. Only leave video card in.

Sometimes damaged ram will constantly reboot and cause no graphics.

Are you using onboard (MB) graphics? CPU graphics?

Try one stick of ram at a time.

If you're using MB or CPU graphics. Know anyone with a lower power video card you can borrow to test?

Size of PSU? How old is PSU?

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post #9 of 17 Old 04-11-2014, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Power button connector at the toggle switch? Are you stating you replaced the wires back on the switch, replaced the button, re-placed the wires back onto MB?
Just checking. I've had people bring in computers where they replaced the button with the wrong type of switch and it caused bios to keep rebooting.

Absolutely the correct power switch is of the " momentary contact type "like a doorbell button ........... IOW it only closes while the button is depressed momentarily and then opens again when the button is released it can held closed momentarily (longer ) then released for a reset even though some of them may have detent / clickers they are still momentary switches . Like J P says if the switch is stuck closed or wrong kind it will continually re boot old style spdt type (old style ) switches have gone the way of the dodo bird with modern switching power supplies .

Some of the older HP and Compac's were like that with detents sh**ty switches now they use proper soft (but cheap ) switches without detent/clickers I have 3 HP's . So like J.M says just momentarily close the contacts for maybe 1 - 3 seconds with a screwdriver (longer for a re set )
maybe you will at least get the bios to post . if not clear and re set the bios per your motherboard or owners manual if it allows that then we can go from there if it boots but otherwise does not load windows .

When you turn your PC or TV on you are just awakening a logic controller and/or a switching transistor with about ~3 Volts for a second or so to actually tell the PSU to exit standby and turn on the power .

Hires Music formats ..............."Why does it sound like a CD ?" ............. can we make it louder "?
"The wireless music box has no commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?"
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post #10 of 17 Old 04-13-2014, 02:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow - thanks everyone for such a great response, I really appreciate it.  I will try each of the suggestions and let you know how I get on.  I'll try to strip the mobo down first as the system is not booting.  Thanks again - I'll post back in the next couple of days.

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post #11 of 17 Old 05-11-2014, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wraslor View Post


He doesn't get video of any kind a boot disc isn't going to help him. First thing is to take it down to the lowest possible components to run. Have just 1 hard drive, 1 stick of ram, motherboard, and video card if you do not have onboard video. If it boots keep adding 1 at a time until you find the problem hardware. if not swap the ram to another stick, then video card and see if it boots.

If not then you're looking at bad power supply, motherboard, cpu, and or video card. You would need more parts to test if you have any.

Hi everyone,

 

Finally had time to try all your suggestions (thank you!) and I have managed to stop the machine from rebooting - I re-seated the reboot cables which seemed to do it.  I still don't have any video output (not even the splash screen), but the machine does now sound like it is starting up correctly.

 

I removed all the PCI cards, all but one stick of RAM and connected a single HDD - still no video.  I tried adding a different graphics card (dual DVI) - again nothing.  I reset the CMOS using the jumpers and by removing the RTM battery (at different times), but still nothing.  I have been through the manual and checked all the cables on the mobo, but didn't find anything to help.  I have emailed ASRock, but judging by some other posts I have found I don't hold out much hope.  My monitor just displays "check signal cable" which makes me think the VGA port may not be getting any power/signal.  Do any of you have any more suggestions?

 

Thanks.

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post #12 of 17 Old 05-11-2014, 11:41 AM
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Asrock motherboards have this weird issue (a lot of times) with polarity on the power switch and power LED connectors on the motherboard. (usually labeled the front-panel connector or similar. This is where you plugin in your Power switch/reset switch/power LED/HDD LED cables etc).

Make sure you're matching the polarity on those pins as specified in the manual.
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post #13 of 17 Old 05-11-2014, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Kapone - thanks for the quick reply.

 

Unfortunately the manual doesn't set out the polarity of the cables.  I have tried all the combinations but still no video I am afraid.

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post #14 of 17 Old 05-11-2014, 12:11 PM
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Polarity on a power switch is completely irrelevant. The switch just closes the contacts momentarily to provide a completed circuit (i.e., short the two wires together). There is no polarity involved. You're confusing the LED wiring with the switch wiring. The Reset button is exactly the same.
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post #15 of 17 Old 05-11-2014, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

Polarity on a power switch is completely irrelevant. The switch just closes the contacts momentarily to provide a completed circuit (i.e., short the two wires together). There is no polarity involved. You're confusing the LED wiring with the switch wiring. The Reset button is exactly the same.

That's exactly why I said "weird". I have had a number of Asrock board that wouldn't even boot unless the power switch polarity was correct. Most recent one was an Asrock z77extreme 4
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post #16 of 17 Old 05-11-2014, 12:50 PM
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At this point I'd lean towards your motherboard being toast. I've had a couple asrock boards give me trouble and didn't have a good experience with their warranty support so I steer clear of them now.

Just to verify you did try swapping that 1 stick of ram for another just to verify nothing is bad with that stick? Also disconnect the hard drive and try to boot see if you get any bios screen. I recently had a bad hdd cause a computer not to boot but it was giving a beep error when the drive was plugged in, worked fine after unplugged.
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post #17 of 17 Old 05-11-2014, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks wraslor, I tried unplugging the HDD but still no splash screen.  I also tried every one of the four memory sticks but no joy I'm afraid.  I will contact ebuyer and see if they will look at it under warranty.

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