Doc, I just built a new system with a 2.66GHz Core i7-920, Asus P6X58D Premium, 3GB of Corsair DDR3/1600, two GeForce 8800 GTs in SLI, two 250GB Barracudas, and an 850W Corsair PSU in an Antec 1200 case. It’s all stock-clocked and the GPUs, HDDs, and PSU were from an older machine and functioned fine.
My problem is that my new rig doesn’t work. I power on, but no boot. No POST, nothing on the screen, no beeps. The MEM_OK LED is on and it is red. The manual says that means the RAM is not properly installed.
So, I check to see if they are all in the correct slots, and they are. I pull them all out and put them in, one at a time, and none of them work. I took a stick from a working computer and it doesn’t work. I try it on every slot, same. I take my Corsair RAM and try it in the working computer, and it all works. I power on the system with no RAM installed, and same thing; no boot, no POST, nothing on screen.
After all that, I put the Corsair RAM in and took out the videocards. I then put a 9800 GT from a working computer in and the problem is the same.
So, any thoughts? Aside from assuming that the board is defective, I don’t know what else to try troubleshooting. I have heard that Asus has had some problems recently with RAM slots not working. I may have fallen victim to that. Maybe a jumper I don’t know about? As far as I can see, the only jumpers on the board are related to OC’ing, and I didn’t change any of them. Let me know what you think.
Can we use Windows 7's new fast-boot capability and BIOS optimizations to get to the desktop in less than 30 seconds?
If you’re the kind of person who fumes at the microwave because it takes so long to nuke popcorn, you probably can’t stand the plodding boot of your PC, either.
And who can blame you? Time spent waiting for first the BIOS and then Windows to come to life is time that could have been spent working, gaming, or surfing the web.
Microsoft’s claim that Windows 7 could boot (from the BIOS) in 11 seconds first gave us the hope that such idle time might be lessened dramatically, but being Maximum PC we wanted to take the idea even further. We sought to not only replicate Microsoft’s claim, but to see how much time we could shave prior to the OS loading, with a combination of hardware and BIOS tweaks. Our ultimate goal: to have a machine up and running within 30 seconds of hitting the power switch.
So if your attention deficit disorder hasn’t already caused you to click to the next story, find out how we were able to achieve the shortest boot possible.
Every new version of Windows promises faster booting, but PCs still take too long to boot. Despite faster processors, hard drives, memory, graphics, etc., we still waste a few minutes watching the machine come to life.
Indeed, many PCs seem to never stop booting. Years ago, we measured boot times by clicking a stopwatch while pressing the power button and waiting until the disk activity light stopped flickering. Nowadays, background tasks (antivirus scanners, software updaters, incremental defraggers, application preloaders, and various other daemons) awaken at startup and can stay busy for hours.
We might say the system has finished booting when the Windows desktop appears and we can launch apps and start working. But performance can be sluggish as the machine struggles to finish its startup chores.
A bootable USB key is a convenient way to install operating systems on netbooks without optical drives, or carrying around a Live OS with you at all times. It especially makes sense if you're installing software on a machine that otherwise has no need for an optical drive, such as a Windows Home Server. Here’s a definitive guide to making a bootable USB key with either Vista or Windows 7 in just 9 steps.
Uh oh, Windows 7 might not trump Vista across the board after all. According to PC tune-up software company Iolo Technologies, the OS of the hour takes longer to boot than Vista in most cases, no matter what you might have heard.
Iolo claims its lab unit found that a new machine installed with Windows 7 takes a minute and 34 seconds to fully load. Vista, on the other hand, takes a minute and 6 seconds, the company said. This isn't a straight boot time into Windows, says Iolo, who records how long it takes each OS to boot into a usable state where "CPU cycles are no longer significantly high and a true idle state is achieved."
Further crashing the Windows 7 party, Iolo says the situation becomes more dramatic over time. On a three-month old machine, Windows 7 took 2 minutes and 34 seconds to boot in Iolo's lab, or a minute longer than when first installed.
Have you noticed any boot-up sluggishness with Windows 7? Hit the jump and let us know!
If this were the Old West, Lenovo would be the gritty cowboy boasting the fastest draw in town. Challengers, both new and old, would step up and challenge the gunslinger to a shoot out, and at some point, Lenovo would likely fall.
In the modern era, Lenovo doesn't have to worry about catching a bullet between its eyes, but it will have to back up its claim of having the fastest Windows 7 boot-up and shutdown times. According to Lenovo, its ThinkPad notebooks and ThinkCentre desktop PCs for businesses load Windows 7 up to 56 percent faster compared to booting XP or Vista.
The company also said its IdeaPad and IdeaCentre consumer PCs certified for "Windows 7 Lenovo Enhanced Experience" will load 33 percent faster and shutdown 50 percent faster than hardware that's not certified, even if using identical components. How is this possible? Through BIOS tweaks, Windows 7optimizations, special onboard hardware drives, and a rewritten power manager, Lenovo says.
The beauty of a Live CD is that it gives you a chance to access your computer or a batch of alternate applications without actually having to load up your operating system. You only need to pop the CD into your optical drive and boot it up from your BIOS -- this self-contained environment runs independent of anything that's located on your drive partitions, even though you can still perform a variety of tasks that manipulate the data on your drives.
For example, you can test our new Linux distributions using a Live CD, saving you the time and hassle of blanking an entire partition just to see if it's the right distribution for you. You can also manipulate the partitions of your drives using a Live CD, expanding and creating volumes to create alternate locations for new operating systems, files, or whatever it is you'd use a separate volume for. Live CDs are great for troubleshooting your system (or saving your data) when your primary operating system won't boot, and they can also be used to break through Windows installations that you've lost the password for.
All that functionality... and you don't even have to install a single program on your machine! Click the link to check out some of the best Live CDs that you should have sitting on your desk.
More likely than not, you’ve been asked in the past to help fix one of your friend’s or relative’s computers. Most of the time, the problems you’ve been brought in to remedy are basic malware or virus infections that you can address by grabbing the appropriate diagnostic and software removal tools stored in your trusty USB toolkit. But once in a while, you’ll be faced with a novice struck with the most basic and frustrating of problems: forgetting their Windows administrator login password. With no way to get into the system, you can’t even perform basic maintenance, let alone a thorough tune-up. Formatting is always an option, but we consider that a last resort. (Plus, guess who’s going to have to help reinstall all the programs lost after a wipe?) But all hope is not lost. There are a few ways to actually retrieve a lost Windows account password. Read on and we’ll show you the light.
So your computer is taking too long to boot, after being bogged down by dozens of startup applications you’ve downloaded over the years. You might want to just format, but that’s the coward’s way out. If you spend a little time tuning up your boot applications you may avoid the time it takes to wipe and restore your system altogether. Don’t give in to clutterware -- follow our guide to the essential methods of troubleshooting your PC’s start up sequence and freeing Windows of unnecessary resource hogs.