*sigh* I just finished building my FIRST PC after some confusing and tiring 3hrs or so. I was lost in the beginning and end, but I did it! I finished it. Specs are as follows: Athlon 64 2800+, Abit NF8 mobo, Leadtek GeForce 6800LE 128MB AGP, 2x512 Corsair PC3200 DDR RAM, HDD/DVD-RW & Antec SP2.0 450W PSU. Well, after I thought I completed my task, I encountered some weird problems. Randomly, when I'm opening or messing around (usually using) Internet Explorer, my new computer will just crash, popping out a BSOD what appears to be a dump of some kind. I couldn't read the specific details as it just showed the BSOD for about 1-2 seconds, and the whole computer resetted itself.
Now, I remember when I installed Windows XP Pro w/ SP2, there was an error in the installation saying something like "file cannot be found? skip/continue?" I remember I pressed continued a few times and I think it either skipped it or did something weird, but installation resumed. I was wondering if a bad installation such as the one I described above could cause such a memory dump-type associated with a BSOD?
I have everything up to date including the most recent BIOS, drivers (audio/video/cpu). Giving that it usually happens if I'm doing something with IE, I tried updating all Windows updates through the MS windowsupdate site--however, no luck.
BUT, here's the STRANGE and PECULIAR thing... the first crash/dump/BSOD happened when I FIRST tried updating the updates through IE. The updates were installing, and bam, it crashes. The SECOND time I opened lots of IEs, and one IE window happened to freeze up. Then I tried CTRL+ALT+DEL and manually shutting down it, & the whole computer crashes again. Weird, huh? I'm beginning to think maybe it has something to do with IE, maybe not. My other computers use IE fine and certainly don't have this problem. I don't think its my RAM as it's new, but could be defective or damaged.
I tried reinstalling Windows XP. Again came with the errors during installation (I think it's my old Windows XP CD)... but anyways, I press "retry" and it seemed to copy the files okay. I tried to manipulate the crash by opening a lot of IEs and randomly clicking links/downloading stuff. And wala, the crash comes. This time I disabled the restart and jotted down the technical information as stated:
The BSOD with the damned physical memory dump appeared once again. Now I don't know what to do except to run Memtest. Maybe it's the RAM, maybe not... I just bought these NEW parts, man! Damnit, oh well... so many hassles through a new comp.
Ok, here's an update. Bad news, very bad news. Well, before I decided to run MemTest to determine if it was bad RAM or not, I tried to take both sticks out and try testing it again by opening lots of IEs/doing a lot of weird activity to imitate the crash. I remove slot dimm #2 and only have one 512MB RAM stick in there. This time, it didn't seem to crash (or at least maybe I didn't trigger it). So then I thought maybe it was the 2nd RAM stick I took out. Then I swapped the second with the first... now my 2nd stick which I originally thought was the main culprit and the defective RAM is now in 1st slot DIMM, and there's nothing in the 2nd slot. It didn't crash too again... which left me thinking maybe it's only slot dimm #2 problem.
Anyways, I was pretty confused after that. Thus I tried sticking both sticks back in. However, when I tried sticking the 2nd stick back in, I pushed it down on the dimm and I heard a small clicking noise. At first maybe I damaged the RAM/dimm slot #2, then I thought nothing of it and proceeded. Now here comes the bad news.
Right before Windows XP loads, comes a BSOD! This time it's different. It states something about:
I just realized that I might have completely destroyed my mobo/RAM/whatever. At this point, I don't know what happened. I don't know what to do next. I'm pissed, tired, and depressed because I can't build a new system that actually works. I'm about to give up right now as I don't know whats going on with my computer. IF anything's broken, I don't feel like RMAing/returning anything because I have done so, and it's just too much work. Oh well, I guess my journey to building computers ends here...
I think I found out the problem. I ran Memtest86 and I found out it was one bad stick of RAM.
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by StridingCloud on 09/19/05 05:16 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
It does sound like you have a faulty stick of memory. Being electronics, these components are made to a very high standard. But like everything else, sometimes they do fail.
However, when I tried sticking the 2nd stick back in, I pushed it down on the dimm and I heard a small clicking noise.
That's normal. You should hear some kind of click so you know the memory is seated all the way in the slot. If you look at the slots on the motherboard, the clamps at the end of each slot catch the groove in the side of the memory stick.
I didn't read the whole thread, but people will experience your problem with memory when:
If you have a Dual Channel motherboard - Memory. You need to purchase Kits and not just individual memory. It'll lock up, crash, be unstable if you don't buy the kit in most cases.
You should have 1 stick in Channel A, one stick in Channel B. Don't put both sticks in Channel A (otherwise you won't be running Dual Channel.) BUT if the memory wasn't purchased as a kit, put both in either channel A or B, but don't mix. This won't run Dual Channel, but it should be stable.