OT: PC boot problems

I have an HP I7 based PC that's about 5 years old. ABout a year ago, the hard drive failed and I opted to replace it with a solid state Flash drive. That went fine, really happy with how fast it's made it, especially booting up. All was well until recently. Now sometimes when I turn it on it boots normally. That's probably most of the time. Sometimes it comes up and is apparently trying to boot from a LAN, it spins around doing that for 15 secs or so, then it comes back with some Intel bootloader msg, then proceeds to boot up normally. That happens more rarely. And some of the time it doesn't do anything, just powers up, but I don't even see the Bios type boot, no msgs, just a black screen. I cycle it again, then it always boots normally.
Any ideas what's going on? The MB battery going, maybe? I can see how that would have it confused on where to boot from, but not account for the total black screen. Isn't that boot choice stuff in Flash now anyway? Any ideas?
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On Fri, 8 Dec 2017 12:14:13 -0800 (PST), trader_4

As this is a recent development, I would bring up a command prompt and input the following command:
chkdsk c: /f
This will check your SSD for any file system errors and attempt to repair them.
You will need to reboot the system and the chkdsk will run before the Windows GUI loads.
If the problem persists after running chkdsk, there are a number of other things you can check.
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On Friday, December 8, 2017 at 3:24:15 PM UTC-5, Brian wrote:

How would a disk problem prevent it from displaying the normal MB based startup screen? I've had all kinds of disk problems over the years, never saw one that caused a totally black screen. It's not a bad idea to run the check though, I'll do it when I get a chance.
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On Fri, 8 Dec 2017 12:27:39 -0800 (PST), trader_4

A file system error would not prevent the POST screen from displaying. However, a problem with the boot sector of the drive could cause boot delay issues.
After you run the chkdsk, I would enter the BIOS / UEFI interface to ensure the machine is set to display the POST messages. You can also fully reset the CMOS bringing the BIOS / UEFI settings back to their defaults. You would look up the specific instructions for that machine to see which contacts on the mainboard should be jumpered / shorted out to reset the CMOS memory.
You could also have problems with RAM and other devices in the system that could cause erratic behavior during POST.
The CHKDSK suggestion is one of the easiest things to try first.
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On Friday, December 8, 2017 at 4:00:56 PM UTC-5, Brian wrote:

That was my conclusion as well, which has me stumped.

Agree and I will check the disk.

Seems it must be because I see them when it boots normally. Or when it boots and goes into the mode with a spinning wheel and it looks like it's going out to a network to try to boot.
You can also

That's what has me worried. But once it comes up, which it does most times, it runs just fine, no unusual behavior.

Agree, I will do it.
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On Fri, 8 Dec 2017 13:32:34 -0800 (PST), trader_4

Another trick that frequently works is to shut the computer and monitor off, pull both power plugs for 30 seconds, plug them back in, check the video cable connections and power everything back on.
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< snips >

Sorry to jump the thread when I have nothing to offer - but .. I find it - weirdly quaint ? - in a good way - that the old DOS things still exist ! .. and are useful ! ... the last time I ran chkdsk was ~ 20 years ago. .. just thought of a vanity plate for the car .. C PROMPT John T.
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On Friday, December 8, 2017 at 4:00:56 PM UTC-5, Brian wrote:

I ran the disk check on the SSD drive, no errors, nothing to fix. Also checked that the windows startup sound is enabled. It's probably not making the sound when the non-boot occurs, but it's one more thing I'll watch when it happens again. There were some HP diagnostics and I ran them for the MB, nothing found. I checked the settings and the boot sequence has a network boot as the last thing. So, looks like when it's trying to do that it couldn't find the SSD. But then as I reported, other times it just has a total blank screen when it tries to boot.
I also saw in the bios settings where there is an option to display checks on boot, I enabled that, so maybe I can see what's going on. I'll just keep an eye on it and pay close attention to what happens next time it fails.
Thanks to all for the tips.
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On Sun, 10 Dec 2017 08:46:32 -0800 (PST), trader_4

Is the absence of the POST screen consistent or intermittent?
I would check a few more things. If the computer has a peripheral add-on video card, I would try pulling the card and reseating it.
Next, I would enter the bios and make sure that the default video subsystem is set to the above add-on card and not the on-the-motherboard video system.
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On Sunday, December 10, 2017 at 12:07:30 PM UTC-5, Brian wrote:

It was consistent because the bios was set not to dispay them. Now that I changed that, it does display them. What happens when the problem occurs, IDK, because it happens occasionally and has not happened in the few times I rebooted it while fiddling.

I think I'll wait now until it happens again and see if the POST shows anything. Most interesting will be if it starts the tests at all.
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On Sun, 10 Dec 2017 09:48:10 -0800 (PST), trader_4

Curious, you used to see the post screens but somehow the setting in the bios was changed to not show them? Does anyone else fiddle with your computer?

You can also verify the boot order of your storage devices in the bios. I would probably set it so the SSD is 1st in the boot order unless you find yourself booting from a flash drive or optical disc on a regular basis.
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On Sunday, December 10, 2017 at 2:01:44 PM UTC-5, Brian wrote:

I didn't say I used to see the post screens. I never saw the detailed screen, it only came up with a brief HP msg, then booted. That's when it booted successfully. When having the problem it either went looking for a lan boot or just a black screen. Having changed the bios settings to display the post, it runs through a bunch of stuff, but it's so fast I can't really read what it's doing. When it has it's problem again, maybe it will be sitting there and showing something.

It's set to DVD, SSD, (forget next one), then LAN.
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On Mon, 11 Dec 2017 02:34:50 -0800 (PST), trader_4

In the PC world, POST screens can be either basic or detailed. Any of the screens displayed in the pre-boot sequence are considered to be part of the POST.
Everything up to the point where an operating system boot-loader takes control, is part of the POST.
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I've booted to a blank screen 3-4 times with my current computer. Hasn't happened in maybe 6 months. I took no action. I attribute it to the UEFI bios on my ASUS motherboard. It's shown other minor flakiness.
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On Sun, 10 Dec 2017 08:46:32 -0800 (PST), trader_4

If that SSD is bad and throwing a hot bit on the bus, POST won't even start. There will be a parity check on the first fetch from the BIOS in most MB designs.
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The black screen doesn't sound like a disk problem. Could be motherboard, processor, graphics card (the things required to make an image on the screen). Disks aren't even looked at until after the first display, and memory will usually just become slightly faulty and cause crashes.
--
Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

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On Fri, 8 Dec 2017 12:27:39 -0800 (PST), trader_4

If this connects through an IDE port, a bad SSD could screw up the bus.
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On Sat, 09 Dec 2017 11:49:11 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

It will if it is EUFI
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But if the drive is failing and you do that - you are SCREWED!!!!
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Get it booted up and clone the ssd to a rotating drive NOW. Sounds like the SSD is on it's way out
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