Intel® Xeon® Processor
Operating System Starts but Does Not Finish Boot

Important Note Only a computer professional should perform assembling, disassembling, upgrading and troubleshooting computers since the electronic devices may cause serious damage to the installer, the system, or its components if it is done improperly. Before attempting to disassemble or assemble computers, install components in a computer or troubleshoot computers, carefully review the documentation specific for the computer and its related components. Lastly, make sure to follow Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) procedures.
  • Determine if it started to load the OS. Either it will load a Windows startup logo (splash) screen or it will display one of the following messages: Starting MS-DOS, Starting Windows 9X, Starting OS Loader. If it does not, the computer is having trouble finding or loading the OS.

  • Determine if the system worked before. Determine if there have been any recent changes. Often if a recent change is been made, the recent change is the cause of the problem.

  • Determine if the machine always stops in the same place every time or it seems random. If it seems to stop in different places, it may be a hardware problem.

  • Update the system BIOS to the newest version. In addition, check to see if your system has a firmware that could also be updated to the newest version. Refer to your motherboard documentation.

  • Check the BIOS using the BIOS/CMOS setup utility, particularly the boot order. Make sure that your system is detecting all of the drives and make sure that the drive you are trying to boot is listed.

  • Check the BIOS using the BIOS/CMOS setup utility.

  • Try booting the operating system in Safe mode/VGA mode. If it works fine in safe mode, it is mostly likely a driver or software that is not loaded during Safe mode.

  • If the operating system supports, try a step-by-step boot.

  • Look at the boot log to find out what the last driver that it loaded. To access the advanced boot menu, press F8 as soon as Windows starts to load. For Windows 9X, the boot log is located at the C:\bootlog.txt. For Windows 2000, the boot log is NTBTLOG.TXT file located in the C:\WINNT directory.

  • If the processor can boot to safe mode, try a Selective Startup using MSCONFIG (Windows 98, Windows Me or Windows XP only) program to isolate the offending driver or program.

  • For Windows NT, Windows 2000 or Windows XP, start the installing program for Windows from the installation CD and choose the R to start the Repair option. This will check the master boot record and the boot files. Refer to the Troubleshooting for the IA Platform PDF document for more information.

  • Suggest running ScanDisk to see if your hard drive has a lot of lost clusters and other anomalies. If you don?t properly shutdown your computer using the Start button shutdown option, you may see some lost clusters and possible bad clusters.

  • Suggest running an updated virus checker to see if your system is affected by a virus.

  • Suggest reloading the OS, drivers or program.

  • Suggest reformatting the hard drive and reinstalling everything.

  • Make sure that your system has enough ventilation around the fan outlet and that the fan is operating correctly.

  • Make sure that the thermal solution for the processor is installed correctly and make sure that processor fan is operating correctly.

  • Check for foreign objects such as screws that may ground the motherboard and make sure the screws that hold the motherboard are not too tight.

  • Use a voltmeter to verify that each output from the power supply is correct. If any output is very low (especially the +5 volt output) replace the power supply.

  • Use a voltmeter to verify the PowerGood signal is +5 volts. If the signal is below 1.0 volts, there may be a short or overload. Consider replacing the power supply.

  • Remove the processor and RAM and reinstall them to make sure that they are installed correctly.

  • Make sure that you have mounted the motherboard correctly with the spacers/stand-offs. In addition, make sure that when you insert the screws to tighten the motherboard into place, make sure not to tighten the screws too much.

  • If the problem still persists, swap the RAM with known good RAM. In addition, test the suspected RAM in another known working system.

  • If the problem still persists, swap the processor with a known good processor. In addition, test the suspected processor in another known working system.

  • If the problem still persists, swap the motherboard with a known good motherboard. In addition, test the suspected motherboard in another known working system.

For more information about troubleshooting IA platform systems, refer to the Troubleshooting for the IA Platform PDF document.

This applies to:

Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor Extreme Edition
Intel® Xeon® Processor

Solution ID: CS-007762
Last Modified: 23-Nov-2014
Date Created: 15-Dec-2003
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