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Computer System Fails to Boot or Freezes During Boot

Learn how to resolve the issue when the computer system fails to boot or freezes during boot.

The symptom when the system fails to boot or freezes during boot is the classic sign of the hardware conflict. A PC is designed with a limited number of resources (i.e., memory, I/O, addresses, IRQ lines, DMA channels, etc.). For the PC to function correctly, each device added to the system must use its own unique resources.

For example, no two devices can use the same IRQ, DMA, or I/O resources. When such an overlap of resources occurs, the PC can easily malfunction and freeze.

Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible to predict when the malfunction will occur, so a conflict can manifest itself early (any time during the boot process) or later on (after the OS loaded) while an application is running.

Resolving a conflict is not difficult, but it requires patience and attention to detail.

Examine the upgrade and its adapter board, and check the IRQ, DMA, and I/O address settings of the other boards of the systems. Make sure that the upgraded hardware is set to use resources that are not in use by other devices already in the system.

For example, some motherboards offer built-in video-controller circuits. Before another video adapter can be added to the system, the motherboard video adapter must be disabled; usually with a single motherboard jumper.

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