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Flashing cursor after POST. Appears to be related to motherboard

This is a discussion on Flashing cursor after POST. Appears to be related to motherboard within the Motherboards, Bios & CPU forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi, Recently I got a blues screen crash and on reboot I get a flashing cursor in a black screen


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Old 05-17-2018, 12:35 PM   #1
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Hi,

Recently I got a blues screen crash and on reboot I get a flashing cursor in a black screen at top left corner of screen. Prior to that I got a couple of other BSDs which I couldnt attribute to anything. Unfortunately no crash dump file was saved for unknown reasons (dumps are enabled).

It appears to be something to do with the motherboard, as even with nothing attached except a bootable usb flash drive which works on other PCs, I still get the cursor.

Before testing with a usb drive I tried a bunch of stuff:
-tested power supply to hard drive by powering up hard drives using power supply then connecting them via sata adapter to other PCs. The drives can then be read on the other PC.
-changed ram sticks and slots
-tried different sata ports and 6g sata ports on motherboard
-cleared CMOS, reset BIOS, remove and put back battery, switched to other BIOS (the motherboard has option of switching between two onboard bios).
-disabled all onboard devices and tried with BIOS configures for IDE.
-Tried on board j-micron sata port.
-tried with other video card and other video card slots

At boot the motherboard LEDs light up as normal and then go off as they should. They do stall a little longer on the 'boot device' LED though, and 4 very faint beeps coming from the board (not the drives) which dont sound like the normal loud POST beep which indicates no CPU fan is connected (I'm using a fanless heatsink)

Any drives attached are detected in BIOS in the 'sata configuration' section and in the 'boot devices section', but regardless, after POST I get the flashing cursor.

I recently switched to an SSD from mechanical. Perhaps the sata controller got fried by the traffic? Would that also cause boot from USB to fail as well? Thanks for any suggestions. Will try anything.

Rampage 3 Extreme Motherboard
Intel 980 Extreme CPU
Various drives tried
EVGA 750 p2 power supply.
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Old 05-20-2018, 01:46 AM   #2
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If anyone else agrees with my suspicion this is a southbridge/sata controller hardware issue please confirm and I will look at sending it to an Asus repair centre
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Old 05-20-2018, 02:39 AM   #3
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What happens when you manually select the usb flash disk at the boot menu? Does it boot from the disk?
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Old 05-20-2018, 12:34 PM   #4
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What happens when you manually select the usb flash disk at the boot menu? Does it boot from the disk?
Same result. Flashing cursor.
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Old 05-21-2018, 02:52 AM   #5
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Have just tried booting with a drive attached to a new pci-e card. Also just tried a different power supply.
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Old 05-21-2018, 03:48 AM   #6
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Sounds to me like the motherboard is a goner. Apart from a barebones benchtest, I can't think of anything else to try. From all you've described and tried, it seems the system just won't boot from ANY media, as if the firmware/bios just won't initiate the boot process after POST. I don't think it's a SATA controller problem since the drives are detected in BIOS, nor do I think it's a southbridge problem. I'm leaning towards firmware corruption of some kind, so a bios reflash or recovery is worth a try. If the damage is in the ROM chip(s), Asus repair center may be able to replace the defective ones.
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Old 05-21-2018, 04:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stancestans View Post
Sounds to me like the motherboard is a goner. Apart from a barebones benchtest, I can't think of anything else to try. From all you've described and tried, it seems the system just won't boot from ANY media, as if the firmware/bios just won't initiate the boot process after POST. I don't think it's a SATA controller problem since the drives are detected in BIOS, nor do I think it's a southbridge problem. I'm leaning towards firmware corruption of some kind, so a bios reflash or recovery is worth a try. If the damage is in the ROM chip(s), Asus repair center may be able to replace the defective ones.
I did try reflashing the BIOS using the BIOS flashabck faciity on the board. That worked OK but no change.

Would you rule out CPU? If there's any chance it could be a CPU problem I could get another one and try. Would be a bit of time before I could get one though.

A couple of the pins on the socket are a little bent. I didnt mention because once you get the CPU in right and tighten up the heaatsink it works fine, and has been like that for a couple of years.
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Old 05-21-2018, 05:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnewton View Post
I did try reflashing the BIOS using the BIOS flashabck faciity on the board. That worked OK but no change.

Would you rule out CPU? If there's any chance it could be a CPU problem I could get another one and try. Would be a bit of time before I could get one though.

A couple of the pins on the socket are a little bent. I didnt mention because once you get the CPU in right and tighten up the heaatsink it works fine, and has been like that for a couple of years.
I ruled out the cpu because the system does POST and you're able to enter Setup and configure it. However, there's no harm in testing with another cpu if it's no hassle.
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Old 05-25-2018, 03:03 AM   #9
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I have confirmed that there are three separate chips controlling the SATA ports on this board.

i) Intel ICH10R Southbridge: - 6 x SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports

ii) Micron 363 controller: - 1 x SATA 3.0 Gb/s port - 1 x External SATA 3.0 Gb/s port (SATA On-the-Go)

iii) Marvell PCIe SATA 6Gb/s controller: - 2 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports.

Im getting the same result using the ports for all of these controllers. Does this mean I can rule out the southbridge with 100% certainty, or is there a part of the southbridge which likely controls part of the operations of all these three controllers?
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Old 05-25-2018, 03:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnewton View Post
I have confirmed that there are three separate chips controlling the SATA ports on this board.

i) Intel ICH10R Southbridge: - 6 x SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports

ii) Micron 363 controller: - 1 x SATA 3.0 Gb/s port - 1 x External SATA 3.0 Gb/s port (SATA On-the-Go)

iii) Marvell PCIe SATA 6Gb/s controller: - 2 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports.

Im getting the same result using the ports for all of these controllers. Does this mean I can rule out the southbridge with 100% certainty, or is there a part of the southbridge which likely controls part of the operations of all these three controllers?
I don't see the point in suspecting the southbridge because, even if it was the only ascertained faulty component, there is no feasible way of replacing or repairing it.
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Old 05-25-2018, 04:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stancestans View Post
I don't see the point in suspecting the southbridge because, even if it was the only ascertained faulty component, there is no feasible way of replacing or repairing it.
I need to diagnose the problem, so I have to suspect everything for the moment. If it turns out to be a problem I cant fix ASUS spain have said they will take a look at the board and if parts are needed they will look at which ones they can source. Wouldnt be a warranty repair though so I'm looking to fix it if possible.
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Old 05-25-2018, 05:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnewton View Post
I need to diagnose the problem, so I have to suspect everything for the moment. If it turns out to be a problem I cant fix ASUS spain have said they will take a look at the board and if parts are needed they will look at which ones they can source. Wouldnt be a warranty repair though so I'm looking to fix it if possible.
The motherboard is defective. That, IMO, is all the diagnosis you need. Let the experts (ASUS) handle it from there. Unless you've got access to some high-tech equipment that will further diagnose the motherboard, it's not practically feasible to identify and isolate the culprit(s) among the sheer number of components of varying complexity. I stand corrected though. I don't suppose the repair is gonna be cheap. Perhaps it's best to just write it off and buy a replacement motherboard. Good luck.
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Old 05-27-2018, 09:37 AM   #13
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It sounds like the board is toast and I for one would not be spending money repairing a motherboard when replacement has to cost less.
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:58 PM   #14
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The PC is now working. For posterity sake and any others who may have these symptoms, yesterday I put another CPU which I bought cheap into the PC and it worked and since then no problems so far. So I'm assuming something went bad with the CPU and this was the cause of all the above.

Would nevertheless be interested to hear any speculations on what fault with a CPU could cause such a strange set of symptoms , where it POSTs OK and passes the MB CPU test, and gets into BIOS, but cant find any bootable devices.
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Old 05-30-2018, 01:50 PM   #15
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There is no way the system would post or boot to bios if the cpu was bad. Something else has to explain this.
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Old 05-31-2018, 04:43 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich-M View Post
There is no way the system would post or boot to bios if the cpu was bad. Something else has to explain this.
After testing with the new CPU (XEon 5502) which worked , I then put the old one (i7 980x) back in again, which again didn't work.

Xeon 5502 is back in and working fine again now.

NO oher compenents or configurations were changed while testing the chips.

Whether its entirely down to the CPU or something to do with the interaction of the CPU and some other component I don't know, but whatever it is, I can say for sure that it's something to do with the CPU, becasue this is the only thing being changed.

A thought - perhaps one or more of the cores are bad but one or more of the cores are still good, and POSTing and BIOS relies a different set of cores to the bootstrap process?
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Old 05-31-2018, 06:13 AM   #17
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Well that could be one for the books as a failed cpu should not even post or show any signs of life.
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