Motherboard hangs at beginning of POST

Asus M2N4 motherboard displays the first few lines with the Phoenix AwardBIOS info, motherboard name and BIOS rev number and processor.

It *used to * go right on and display memory amount (or tick upwards if I had quick boot disabled), then PCI etc. information and boot up.

It still kind of does that, except now it takes about five minutes between the first line and the rest of POST.
Other symptoms on this machine was a failing (?) HDD. I put a PSU tester on and got low 12v2s, but I don’t think the Corsair HX 750 has them. Didn’t look too deeply, as Corsair’s pages say their PSUs don’t play nicely with testers and I need to dig out my multimeter. Anyway, that’s kind of background.

Any set of reasons why the board woudl hang for a while during POST?

Do you have a speaker/buzzer connected? I might give some beeps.

But a hanging POST could be a failing HDD, RAM issue (they do go bad), or a resource conflict. The best way to test is to swap components, I’d start with the HDD. If the HDD is the culprit just disconnecting it will have it pass POST and then ask for bootable media.

I had this very thing happening on my MSI motherboarded system last week. After a lot of logical reasoning none of which helped i took out the secondary hard disk (just as i’d run out of things to do.) And it now boots up fine… seems it was seeking and trying to read the HD before i expected it to and retrying over and over again…so i’d suggest that as an avenue of investigation as electronbee sugested.

Unplug everything possible from the board - no drives, no RAM, extra USB ports, LAN, etc. Just a keyboard and monitor for now.

Hopefully, it will POST and quickly say “Yo, there’s no RAM here!” with a long beep and two shorts. If it does, put the RAM back in and reboot. Good POST? Start adding things back on one at a time. When the board goes back to slow/no POST, you found the problem child.

If you get any beep codes, they’re explained in something resembling English here.

Welllllll …. shit

Did everything from clearing CMOS (and even replacing the battery) to pulling it down to as bare bones as possible. Still hangs before the memory test. It did give me the 1 long/2 short ‘hey, I have no RAM’ error and the 1l/3s no graphics card error. But it’s still stalling for a long time between first drawing the basic information screen and testing memory/the rest of POST.

Anything else or is it time for a new motherboard?

If it’s time to rebuild, will any current i5 outclass this Athlon 64x2 machine build way back in 2008? Since it’s not my primary machine, as long as I get similar performance I’ll be happy. Well, I’d be really happy if I could just replace one component, but that’s looking less likely.

I had the same problem as the OP in an old computer I’m trying to resurrect. Having disconnected the PC speaker a while ago, I wasn’t able to diagnose anything by the number or length of beeps.

I did notice that the completion of POST was greatly sped up after plugging in another hard drive as the master, even though the old hard drive still remained as a slave. That made me suspect a failing hard drive as the culprit.

Unfortunately there’s probably a RAM issue as well. The on-board video card shares memory with the motherboard, and I noticed several times during an attempted OS installation that the display would go fuzzy with copies of the last good screen repeated at random offsets across the monitor.

Well, shit[sup]2[/sup].

So I thought it was down to as bare bones as I could get it. Then in staring at it I noticed a connection I hadn’t seen, obscured by the main power cable. A year or so I put in a USB card reader that plugged into one of the board’s USB pin connectors and never really used it.

Pull it? The card reader itself was empty, how could that have an effect? Ach, leave no stone unturned…

…and that was it. WTF?, said I. So I plugged it back in and tried again. POST hung up as it did before, no memory check. So I pulled it again, and poof, it booted without a problem. HDD booted up fine (no having to boot to CD first), but still failed WD’s extended test so I’m swapping it out too (it won’t clone, but I had an Acronis image to use).

I assume plugging a different USB connector into that port on the board would tell me if it was the card reader or the port that is wonky. If it turns out to be the port, would that suggest a wider failure is more likely than were there no problems?

Now that this seems to be settled, any thoughts on the technical side of what could have been going on?