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Why is my PC stuck in a bootloop?

I built a new mini itx computer around a week ago, and all was working fine until I tried to boot it up this morning. The motherboard has 4 indicator lights for error, VGA, CPU, DRAM, and boot. Upon boot, it is regular for them to all go on through a sequence then the boot light will go on and stay on. However now it will go through the regular sequence, boot for a second (something WILL show up on the screen) But then it will promptly restart the sequence on the motherboard lights and the screen will go black. It will keep going as long as the PC is on. I have tried reseating RAM and GPU, removing reset switch, all ram configurations, resetting CMOS, booting off USB, still having the same issue. Any suggestions are appreciated, thanks in advance.

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Hi,

What is the make and model number of the motherboard?

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Presumably you've fixed this by now. Care to comment on the solution?

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Go back to basics as all old techs do. Combine and run the 5 things needs: PSU, motherboard, CPU, RAM, and video (if onboard use onboard).

  • If it makes no beep code, usually CPU has an issue.
  • If it doesn’t boot up, but beeps, remove the RAM, and boot it with NO RAM. If it gives you the correct RAM error code, CPU and mobo are working as expected. Also, if you are using more than 1 stick, test EACH stick in the same slot, and then test each stick in a different slot. Sometimes RAM gets borked, sometimes, the slots get borked (bad trace, damaged pins, etc). Repeat this step for each ram stick and slot. You want to basically boot each ram stick in each slot so that you know if there is a bad ram stick or slot.
  • IF it boots up and asks for a drive, get into the BIOS and wait there for a bit (want to see if the CPU is overheating… sometime implies a very bad fan installation but not always). If it works after a few minutes, then attach a USB drive or HDD (your preference) and figure out if it’s an OS issue.
  • If you go through all these steps, try changing the PSU. I have seen PSUs “working” but not providing full power on a rail or two (either in voltage or amperage).
  • Make sure you are plugging into a reliable power outlet (sometimes I HAVE seen a bad outlet that has had some char marks on them and the user still used it, <facepalm>)
  • If all is good, then you possibly have a bad mobo…

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Hi @dunc ,

As an "old tech" ;-) maybe a couple of points that have caught me out in the past and some ideas:

"If it makes no beep code, usually CPU has an issue." - a lot of prebuilt PCs and PC cases for custom build don't have a system speaker any more even though there usually is provision for them to be connected to the appropriate header pins on the motherboard. In this case the LEDs are indicating no problems but perhaps beep error codes (if any) may be better as long as there is a speaker connected that is.

"You want to basically boot each ram stick in each slot so that you know if there is a bad ram stick or slot." - some motherboards are finicky about which slot a single ram module is inserted into as it may be configured for dual channel operation. It will work with 1 module but maybe not in every slot, perhaps only every 2nd slot, depending on the number of slots of course. Check the motherboard's user manual re memory configuration to avoid misdiagnosis.

The paperclip test for a PSU is a quick way to test if it is OK or not.

Also since it seems to be passing POST and booting I would try starting in safe mode just in case it is an OS problem or at least getting into BIOS and see if it stays on without restarting which would indicate an OS problem or perhaps a HDD/SSD problem if it does

Cheers

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@jayeff great points. I am an “old tech” too and error codes regardless of piezo speakers or led displays are still a viable resource of info. I was actually too lazy to cover all the variations as it was late and I wanted to get my old bones to bed. ?

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