Pending OP Response PC doesn´t boot into windows properly

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hahabra

PCHF Member
PCHF Member
Jan 5, 2021
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Hi everyone,

first of all, thanks for helping people with their issues :) As stated, my PC doesn´t boot properly.
My PC doesn´t boot into windows; Upon starting my PC, the gigabyte logo of my mainboard appears for a few seconds, after which I get a black screen and the PC reboots; I hear a physical click in my computer, I guess from the PSU turning off/on. After this, the computer tries to boot again, repeating this procedure several times. HOWEVER, at some point, the PC does boot into windows and the PC works perfectly. Interestingly, when this happens, instead of just showing the gigabyte logo, the little cirlce appears as well, indicating that something is successfully loading. I dont think that the hardware is broken (or anything missseated) as it works just fine (when it loads) and I didnt move the PC/ change anything on the PC in the last few weeks.
-The PC did ocasianally reboot like this once, but then work fine, so I didnt bother doing anything about it until now, when it is becoming annyoing :D
-The PC is ~3,5 years old, I built it with a friend.

Here are the specs of my PC:
Windows 10 Pro
Intel i7-7700k (no overclock, ever) with MachoRev B cooler (overheating should not be an issue)
16 GB (2x 8GB) corsair 3000Mhz - alltough apparently confirgured to 2133 Mhz DDR4
Mainboard: Gigabyte Z270-HD3P; BIOS version: F8, 08.11.2017
Zotac GTX 1080 AMP Extreme (no overclock or anything)
PSU: bequite 700W straight power

Bootdrive: 250GB Samsung 960 Evo
Additional drives (idk if that plays a role...):
500GB Smasung 850 Evo
500GB Samsung 860 Evo
1 TB Crucial MX500
2 TB Samsung 860 QVC
Samsung Blue Ray player (empty, not booting from it ;))

Here is what I already did or did not do:
-Took out RAM sticks, changed them (they are installed in position 1 and 2), or tried booting with only 1 (I tried both) - didnt do anything. Furthermore, RAM is identified by system (full 16GB)
-Checked if SSDs are damaged - According to Samsung magician, everything is in good shape.
-took out USB devices other than mouse and keyboard - no issues.
-I did not reinstall windows yet, however, its a fairly fresh install from ~october 2020. Problems did NOT start directly after this.
-I did not update to the (very) latest BIOS-update, as I am a bit scared to do it now with such an ustable system.
-Powersupply is rated 100-240V, I didnt find anywhere to change between european/ US voltage. However, as I said, it worked flawlessly before.
-Turn off the PC by myself during this boot-process to get into any "Windows-Repair mode" - but it didnt work.
-I did not reseat the graphics-card, but it does appear to work as I can play games normaly.

Thats about it, a bit longer then I hoped :D Does anyone have a suggestion on what to do or what might be the problem? :)

Thank you very much for any help,
all the best,
Johannes
 

phillpower2

PCHF Administrator
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Support Team
Sep 9, 2016
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Hello hahabra,

Good info in your OP but we could do with a bit more on the set up, see below

One thing that I noticed from your OP, your RAM is in the wrong slots, it should be in slots one and two which are the second and fourth slots away from the CPU, while the full 16GB of RAM is being detected it will only be working in single channel, also concerning the RAM, the maximum speed of RAM for your CPU without the processor being OCd is 2400MHz, to achieve this XMP needs to be enabled in the BIOS or the RAM will only clock at its stock speed of 2133MHz.

Download then run Speccy (free) and post the resultant url for us, details here, this will provide us with information about your computer hardware + any software that you have installed that may explain the present issue/s.

To publish a Speccy profile to the Web:

In Speccy, click File, and then click Publish Snapshot.

In the Publish Snapshot dialog box, click Yes to enable Speccy to proceed.

Speccy publishes the profile and displays a second Publish Snapshot. You can open the URL in your default browser, copy it to the clipboard, or close the dialog box.
 

phillpower2

PCHF Administrator
Administrator
Support Team
Sep 9, 2016
8,576
751
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Can you post a link to the exact model of PSU that you have wo we can check the specs, if it is not at least Gold efficiency rated it may go some way to explaining your issue/s.

GTX 1080 (ZOTAC International): 55 ° C

Your GPU is way too hot for a system that is not under any load.

Power Profile
Active power scheme: High performance

Change the Windows Power Plan to Balanced, Ultra and High Performance are a form of overclocking that is known to cause stability and overheating issues and the setting should only be used for gaming type notebooks that have a discrete GPU that needs the extra power.

Windows is many months out of date and while it is you are wasting your time troubleshooting tbh, you need to get version 20H2 installed asap.

R.A.M.
Memory
Size: 16340 Mbytes
Physical memory
Memory Usage: 48%

Memory use is also very high for a PC that is not under any load, 16GB of RAM when idle should register around 15 to 20% of usage.

Partition 2
Partition ID: Disk # 4, partition # 2
Disk Letter: C:
File System: NTFS
Volume Serial Number: 6EED0C50
Size: 230 GB
Used space: 187 GB (81%)
Free Space: 43 GB (19%


Partition 0
Partition ID: Disk # 3, partition # 0
Disk Letter: E:
File System: NTFS
Volume Serial Number: F840A3F0
Size: 465 GB
Used space: 460 GB (98%)
Free Space: 5.29 GB (2%)


For Windows to be able to run efficiently and to be able to update, on a mechanical HDD you need to have between 20 and 25% of the partition or drive available as free storage space at all times and on an SSD between 10 and 20%, if you don`t you risk Windows becoming corrupt or not being able to update which also puts you at risk of malware attack.

Data only storage devices should not be allowed to get any lower than 10% of free storage space of the full capacity of the drive/partition on the drive, this also to avoid data corruption.

Please note that storage devices can physically fail if the amount of free storage space is allowed to drop below the required 10 or 20/25% minimum.

Uninstall as many unused programs, games, videos and music files as you can until you have at least 30% of free storage space on the C: partition then go here and download the latest version of Windows 10 which should be 20H2.
 

hahabra

PCHF Member
PCHF Member
Jan 5, 2021
8
0
27
Hello phillpower2,

once again, thank you very much for your response! I am very grateful for the time you spend helping random people on the internet.
I was not aware that my system was in such a bad shape, thanks for letting me know!

Long story short - I will update windows, this seems to be the obvious next step. I didn´t realize the update wasn´t applied autmatically!

Regarding your suggestions, as I am - once again - very thankful!:

These are links to my power supply, it is indeed Gold certified.

As for the GPU, apparently it clocks as ~1200 Mhz in idle when setting the refresh rate to 144Hz, it now idles at 139 Mhz at 60 Hz, decreasing the temperature (currently at 43 °C, falling, GPU fan @0%). I didn´t know that was a thing until you drew my attention to it, thanks!

As for the RAM usage, I had some programms running in the background (inclduing chrome :D), I think that caused the issue.

I only just recently changed the power plan to high performance to prevent sleep mode during a backup, as I was afraid I couldn´t get into windows at some point due to the problem.

I tried removing some programs and data from the drives as you suggested, that helped a little - it now only takes 2-3 reboot cycles (instead of 20+ as it did before). Thanks for that tip!

I am currently trying to update windows, but that appears to be a problem, it allways gets stuck at 99%, even when letting it install over night.
I tried some tricks I found online, but so far, nothing worked. I will try a few more things and if that doesen´t work, Ill completely re-install windows, even though I tried to avoid that. That might also have the benefit of re-organizing my data, never gave it much thought until you pointed out that it might cause issues.

I´ll update this post as soon as possible, hopefully I´ll find the time to re-install windows on the weekend. Thanks again for your help!
 

phillpower2

PCHF Administrator
Administrator
Support Team
Sep 9, 2016
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Hello hahabra,

Good PSU when new six years ago but if it is as old as that it is out of warranty so you should look to replace it in the near future, if it was a bad brand you would have ben advised to swap it now.

Regarding Windows.

Faced with the trouble that you are having I wouldn`t mess around but would instead go straight for a clean install of Windows 10, then install the chipset drivers for the MB, the SATA drivers and then the GPU drivers, you can download the latest Windows 10 ISO from here, use the second option.

You are welcome btw :)
 

hahabra

PCHF Member
PCHF Member
Jan 5, 2021
8
0
27
Hello Phillpower2,

once again thanks for the quick response!
I bought the PSU ~3 years ago (May 2017) and it is, as far as I know, a fairly reliable brand, so it should be ok.
May I ask what you mean by SATA drivers? I can only find something for the untel SATA raid controller from 2016 (https://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=sata), or is there anything newer?
 

phillpower2

PCHF Administrator
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Support Team
Sep 9, 2016
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No problem :)

PSU is fine for another couple of years warranty wise then, only any good if you have the sales invoice or warranty card in any event.

You do not get drivers for your hardware from Microsoft, you get them from the manufacturer of the device, in this instance you get all your MB drivers from here

Many MBs have a driver package that installs everything in one go for you but then again a lot of boards don`t, in this instance I suggest that the chipset drivers get installed and you then see how things go, the generic Windows 10 drivers are good with many devices nowadays but the chipset are the one exception.
 

hahabra

PCHF Member
PCHF Member
Jan 5, 2021
8
0
27
Allright, thanks! I´ll re-install windows on the weekend and post the results afterwards.
 

hahabra

PCHF Member
PCHF Member
Jan 5, 2021
8
0
27
Hi again!

I re-installed windows and updated it to the latest version, along with the other drivers (I hope correctly).
Unfortunately, the problem persists, though it is not as bad as previously (instead of rebooting ~20 times before loading windows, it now reboots 0-~3 times).
Do you have any suggestion that I could try/ what I could do to check certain components?
Attached is the link to the speccy Summary in case you find anything there thats unusual:

Once again, I realy appreciate the help!
 

phillpower2

PCHF Administrator
Administrator
Support Team
Sep 9, 2016
8,576
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Hello hahabra,

Were the chipset drivers the first ones that you installed and did you install them before you allowed Windows to check for updates, if not, Windows may have downloaded other third party drivers when it updated.

Two things we can see in Speccy, your RAM is not running at the 2400MHz that the CPU could do with and you are using a BIOS that is well out of date with a couple of the updates intended to fix stability issues.

What I suggest and why;

Manually set the RAM to 2400MHz in the BIOS to allow the CPU to work at its best.

Leave the BIOS version as it is.

Remove the add on GPU from the computer altogether and only connect the one screen to the appropriate video port on the MB, reassemble, power up and test, reason for this is because the behaviour is typical of overheating and due to the amount of additional storage devices you have + the second monitor you have hooked up overheating is a strong possibility, this test will lighten the load and reduce the heat in the process, depending on the outcome we may have a better idea if heat is the cause or not.
 

hahabra

PCHF Member
PCHF Member
Jan 5, 2021
8
0
27
Hi again,

please excuse the long delay, I did not get around sooner.
I did update windows first and also just now re-installed the third party drivers, no change. Changing the RAM spead also didn´t change anything.
Lastly, I did remove the GPU, that also dind´t help. Of course, it is possible that something is overheating - but I can´t imagine this being the case since
a) This happens when I first start the PC, so the components did not have time to heat up, yet.
b) I can play games without any stability issues for long hours
c) The cooler of both GPU and CPU are fairly big and the PC has been running fine for years with the same setup (Built Mai 2017). I did not replace the thermal compound on either CPU or GPU, yet, but when running CineBench R23 for 10 minutes, the CPU ran at full speed and only reached 71°C.
Attached are some picutes of the PC (with and without the graphics card), I think airflow/ cooling shouldn´t be the problem.


The only hardware change I did over the years was to add more SSDs. I did exchange my old 2TB HDD for a 2 TB SSD a few months ago, but this did not (at least at the time?) induce the errors.

What also baffles me is that the problem is still there, but it isn´t as bad as before I applied your tips (Clearing disk space, reseting windows, new drivers).
I don´t have an exact count how often the PC rebooted beforehand, afterwards, but it is definitly down from 15+ min boot time (due to countless reboots before windws started) to just 0-3 reboots now (most of the time <1min). This makes the PC much more usable (Thanks A LOT for that!), but it seems the underlying problem still isn´t completly fixed.
Once again, I am very thankful for you support in this matter!
 

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phillpower2

PCHF Administrator
Administrator
Support Team
Sep 9, 2016
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No problem as we only ask for an update after three days when a thread goes without any reply.

Based on all that we have done hardware wise if it is not PSU related the only other thing I can think of is checking the capacitors on the MB to see if any are showing signs if bulges or leaks, see info here to help with this, there are some example pics to the right at the link.

Check the caps for us then post back with a new Speccy url and we will go from there.
 

hahabra

PCHF Member
PCHF Member
Jan 5, 2021
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Hi again, thanks for the tip! I will have to take off the CPU cooler to look at all capacitors. I´ll do that probably on tuesday or wednes as I am waiting for some thermal compound to mount the CPU cooler again if I don´t see any problems with the caps.
Is there any way to check the PSU (unfortunately, I don´t have a spare one)?
Thanks again for all the help.
All the best!
 

phillpower2

PCHF Administrator
Administrator
Support Team
Sep 9, 2016
8,576
751
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Hello hahabra,

I would not remove the CPU cooler unless it is absolutely necessary and atm it is not.

Check the capacitors on the MB that you can see.

Check the boot order in the BIOS to make sure that the Samsung SSD 960 EVO 250GB (SSD) that has Windows on is #1 in the boot priority.

Post back with an update for us when you have checked the above.