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Newly built system won't boot

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Anonymous
March 16, 2005 8:28:51 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Hi all,
I'm inquiring about a problem a friend of mine is having. He built his own
system piece by piece. He bought all top rated peripherals: Asus
motherboard, 1 gb Kingston Ram (2 X 512), AMD 64 processor, Nvidia graphics
board, Soundblaster Audigy, etc. It was a rather ambitious undertaking for
someone who has never done this before. Anyway, he completed the setup and
turned the system on. He gets black screen, then "memory test failed" error
message. That's it. No bios screens, nothing. He can't even get into the
bios. He has tried rearranging the dimms in every possible combination with
the 4 slots. He tried using just one dimm. Same error every time. My
first thought was that he was shipped a bad memory chip, but even
individually, it doesn't work. I find it unlikely that he got 2 bad memory
dimms. My next thought is that the memory slots on the motherboard are bad
or perhaps, the bus. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Jim
jimlud@sbcglobal.net
Anonymous
March 16, 2005 9:31:09 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Certaninly sounds like a hardware issue.

1) Update the BIOS via floopy

2) Get a hold of RAM that you know works and try it

3) Read the manual to see if your ram is support (in terms of CAS Latency
and size)

4) Read the manual to see if there are jumpers that need to be changed on
the motherboard itself.

5) Unplug everything except the power, mother board, and RAM (to check to
make sure its nothing else.) You should atleast get through the memory check
before it beeps at you.

6) ....?


Xrandom

"Jim Ludwig" wrote:

> Hi all,
> I'm inquiring about a problem a friend of mine is having. He built his own
> system piece by piece. He bought all top rated peripherals: Asus
> motherboard, 1 gb Kingston Ram (2 X 512), AMD 64 processor, Nvidia graphics
> board, Soundblaster Audigy, etc. It was a rather ambitious undertaking for
> someone who has never done this before. Anyway, he completed the setup and
> turned the system on. He gets black screen, then "memory test failed" error
> message. That's it. No bios screens, nothing. He can't even get into the
> bios. He has tried rearranging the dimms in every possible combination with
> the 4 slots. He tried using just one dimm. Same error every time. My
> first thought was that he was shipped a bad memory chip, but even
> individually, it doesn't work. I find it unlikely that he got 2 bad memory
> dimms. My next thought is that the memory slots on the motherboard are bad
> or perhaps, the bus. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
>
> Jim
> jimlud@sbcglobal.net
>
>
>
March 16, 2005 1:55:36 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

> "Jim Ludwig" wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>> I'm inquiring about a problem a friend of mine is having. He built his
>> own
>> system piece by piece. He bought all top rated peripherals: Asus
>> motherboard, 1 gb Kingston Ram (2 X 512), AMD 64 processor, Nvidia
>> graphics
>> board, Soundblaster Audigy, etc. It was a rather ambitious undertaking
>> for
>> someone who has never done this before. Anyway, he completed the setup
>> and
>> turned the system on. He gets black screen, then "memory test failed"
>> error
>> message. That's it. No bios screens, nothing. He can't even get into
>> the
>> bios. He has tried rearranging the dimms in every possible combination
>> with
>> the 4 slots. He tried using just one dimm. Same error every time. My
>> first thought was that he was shipped a bad memory chip, but even
>> individually, it doesn't work. I find it unlikely that he got 2 bad
>> memory
>> dimms. My next thought is that the memory slots on the motherboard are
>> bad
>> or perhaps, the bus. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
>>
>> Jim
>> jimlud@sbcglobal.net


"Xrandom" <Xrandom@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:45460409-5802-46B4-B333-DEA4B5985569@microsoft.com...
> Certaninly sounds like a hardware issue.
>
> 1) Update the BIOS via floopy
>
> 2) Get a hold of RAM that you know works and try it
>
> 3) Read the manual to see if your ram is support (in terms of CAS Latency
> and size)
>
> 4) Read the manual to see if there are jumpers that need to be changed on
> the motherboard itself.
>
> 5) Unplug everything except the power, mother board, and RAM (to check to
> make sure its nothing else.) You should atleast get through the memory
> check
> before it beeps at you.
>
> 6) ....?

> Xrandom


Jim:
The best advice you're going to get is the one from Xrandom. Unfortunately
he reversed the steps to take in diagnosing your friend's problem and
correcting it. And one of his recommendations is not appropriate in my
estimation.

The crucial thing is to start with step #5. In my experience the most
significant mistake make by first-time or inexperienced builders is that
they assemble and install all the computer's components before testing them
step-by-step. Then when they turn on the power and get that black screen
it's a much more tortuous & frustrating process to learn why this happened,
and more importantly, to correct the situation.

You start with the assumption that all the components to be installed are
functional and without defect. In the cases that I've come across where the
computer was built by an inexperienced builder and he or she is experiencing
problems of one sort or another, in virtually every case the problem lay
with builder error and *not* a defective component. Sure, we will encounter
a defective component now & then, but in the main that's not the problem.

Ideally, your friend should assemble his or her computer on a step-by-step
basis, installing the minimal number of components necessary at any given
time during the construction process. That means he or she first installs
the power supply (should the case not come with one built-in), the
processor, heat sink, RAM modules, and video card. Nothing else. Then
connect the power lead, connect the monitor, and power up. You *must* get a
screen display at this point. Please have your friend read that last
sentence again. If you don't get a screen display at this point, you go no
further. You must find the problem and correct it. Is the motherboard
shorting out because it wasn't fastened to the case correctly? Are there any
jumpers on the MB that need setting? Are all connections that have been made
secure? Has the CPU been installed correctly as well as its heatsink? Is the
CPU fan turning? Is the video card seated properly? Ditto the RAM modules.

And so it goes. You install one component at a time and test each out to
make sure it's functional and without defect. There's no magic to this
process. You must approach it methodically and systematically.

Neither I, nor anyone else can give you a definitive answer at this time as
to the specific reason for your friend's problem and what corrective action
to take. There are so many reasons for his or her dilemma that it's
impossible to say at this juncture.

One final point. "Xrandom" mentioned is his item #1 (shudder!) that your
friend should install a BIOS update. Absolutely not. At this point don't
even consider such an action. It's fraught with danger at this juncture and
surely totally unnecessary to correct your friend's problem. If your friend
is even considering such an action he should forthwith get in touch with
ASUS and seek their advice and recommendations before attempting to update
the BIOS.
Anna
Related resources
Anonymous
March 16, 2005 1:55:37 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Thanks Anna.

After reading Anna's post it makes sense to hold off on a BIOS update. You
already have problems and if something goes wrong (possibly because of the
existing problem) you'll have a door stop. Thanks Anna!

Xrandom

"Anna" wrote:

> > "Jim Ludwig" wrote:
> >
> >> Hi all,
> >> I'm inquiring about a problem a friend of mine is having. He built his
> >> own
> >> system piece by piece. He bought all top rated peripherals: Asus
> >> motherboard, 1 gb Kingston Ram (2 X 512), AMD 64 processor, Nvidia
> >> graphics
> >> board, Soundblaster Audigy, etc. It was a rather ambitious undertaking
> >> for
> >> someone who has never done this before. Anyway, he completed the setup
> >> and
> >> turned the system on. He gets black screen, then "memory test failed"
> >> error
> >> message. That's it. No bios screens, nothing. He can't even get into
> >> the
> >> bios. He has tried rearranging the dimms in every possible combination
> >> with
> >> the 4 slots. He tried using just one dimm. Same error every time. My
> >> first thought was that he was shipped a bad memory chip, but even
> >> individually, it doesn't work. I find it unlikely that he got 2 bad
> >> memory
> >> dimms. My next thought is that the memory slots on the motherboard are
> >> bad
> >> or perhaps, the bus. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
> >>
> >> Jim
> >> jimlud@sbcglobal.net
>
>
> "Xrandom" <Xrandom@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
> news:45460409-5802-46B4-B333-DEA4B5985569@microsoft.com...
> > Certaninly sounds like a hardware issue.
> >
> > 1) Update the BIOS via floopy
> >
> > 2) Get a hold of RAM that you know works and try it
> >
> > 3) Read the manual to see if your ram is support (in terms of CAS Latency
> > and size)
> >
> > 4) Read the manual to see if there are jumpers that need to be changed on
> > the motherboard itself.
> >
> > 5) Unplug everything except the power, mother board, and RAM (to check to
> > make sure its nothing else.) You should atleast get through the memory
> > check
> > before it beeps at you.
> >
> > 6) ....?
>
> > Xrandom
>
>
> Jim:
> The best advice you're going to get is the one from Xrandom. Unfortunately
> he reversed the steps to take in diagnosing your friend's problem and
> correcting it. And one of his recommendations is not appropriate in my
> estimation.
>
> The crucial thing is to start with step #5. In my experience the most
> significant mistake make by first-time or inexperienced builders is that
> they assemble and install all the computer's components before testing them
> step-by-step. Then when they turn on the power and get that black screen
> it's a much more tortuous & frustrating process to learn why this happened,
> and more importantly, to correct the situation.
>
> You start with the assumption that all the components to be installed are
> functional and without defect. In the cases that I've come across where the
> computer was built by an inexperienced builder and he or she is experiencing
> problems of one sort or another, in virtually every case the problem lay
> with builder error and *not* a defective component. Sure, we will encounter
> a defective component now & then, but in the main that's not the problem.
>
> Ideally, your friend should assemble his or her computer on a step-by-step
> basis, installing the minimal number of components necessary at any given
> time during the construction process. That means he or she first installs
> the power supply (should the case not come with one built-in), the
> processor, heat sink, RAM modules, and video card. Nothing else. Then
> connect the power lead, connect the monitor, and power up. You *must* get a
> screen display at this point. Please have your friend read that last
> sentence again. If you don't get a screen display at this point, you go no
> further. You must find the problem and correct it. Is the motherboard
> shorting out because it wasn't fastened to the case correctly? Are there any
> jumpers on the MB that need setting? Are all connections that have been made
> secure? Has the CPU been installed correctly as well as its heatsink? Is the
> CPU fan turning? Is the video card seated properly? Ditto the RAM modules.
>
> And so it goes. You install one component at a time and test each out to
> make sure it's functional and without defect. There's no magic to this
> process. You must approach it methodically and systematically.
>
> Neither I, nor anyone else can give you a definitive answer at this time as
> to the specific reason for your friend's problem and what corrective action
> to take. There are so many reasons for his or her dilemma that it's
> impossible to say at this juncture.
>
> One final point. "Xrandom" mentioned is his item #1 (shudder!) that your
> friend should install a BIOS update. Absolutely not. At this point don't
> even consider such an action. It's fraught with danger at this juncture and
> surely totally unnecessary to correct your friend's problem. If your friend
> is even considering such an action he should forthwith get in touch with
> ASUS and seek their advice and recommendations before attempting to update
> the BIOS.
> Anna
>
>
>
Anonymous
March 16, 2005 3:28:31 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Jim

In all probability, the memory is not of the correct type.. go to

www.crucial.com

OR

www.kingston.com

and check that the correct memory strips are being used..

--
Mike Hall
MVP - Windows Shell/user

http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm





"Jim Ludwig" <jimlud@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
news:nuPZd.12584$WK2.1486@newssvr30.news.prodigy.com...
> Hi all,
> I'm inquiring about a problem a friend of mine is having. He built his
> own system piece by piece. He bought all top rated peripherals: Asus
> motherboard, 1 gb Kingston Ram (2 X 512), AMD 64 processor, Nvidia
> graphics board, Soundblaster Audigy, etc. It was a rather ambitious
> undertaking for someone who has never done this before. Anyway, he
> completed the setup and turned the system on. He gets black screen, then
> "memory test failed" error message. That's it. No bios screens, nothing.
> He can't even get into the bios. He has tried rearranging the dimms in
> every possible combination with the 4 slots. He tried using just one
> dimm. Same error every time. My first thought was that he was shipped a
> bad memory chip, but even individually, it doesn't work. I find it
> unlikely that he got 2 bad memory dimms. My next thought is that the
> memory slots on the motherboard are bad or perhaps, the bus. Any thoughts
> on this would be appreciated.
>
> Jim
> jimlud@sbcglobal.net
>
>
March 17, 2005 2:03:02 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

A few things have got lost in the chain of posts. Have you verified that you
have the correct specification for the memory modules? Look in the mobo
userguide.

The key hint that you have given is that 'the memory test failed'. If
memory isn't accessible the system will not boot: plain and simple.



"Jim Ludwig" wrote:

> Hi all,
> I'm inquiring about a problem a friend of mine is having. He built his own
> system piece by piece. He bought all top rated peripherals: Asus
> motherboard, 1 gb Kingston Ram (2 X 512), AMD 64 processor, Nvidia graphics
> board, Soundblaster Audigy, etc. It was a rather ambitious undertaking for
> someone who has never done this before. Anyway, he completed the setup and
> turned the system on. He gets black screen, then "memory test failed" error
> message. That's it. No bios screens, nothing. He can't even get into the
> bios. He has tried rearranging the dimms in every possible combination with
> the 4 slots. He tried using just one dimm. Same error every time. My
> first thought was that he was shipped a bad memory chip, but even
> individually, it doesn't work. I find it unlikely that he got 2 bad memory
> dimms. My next thought is that the memory slots on the motherboard are bad
> or perhaps, the bus. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
>
> Jim
> jimlud@sbcglobal.net
>
>
>
Anonymous
March 17, 2005 2:03:17 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

BAR

There has been no feedback from the OP, and I doubt there will be so we will
never know if the "memory test failed" was down to the wrong type of memory
stick being used or not..

As you and I both know, the first thing that you do when receiving that
message is to consider that there may be a problem with the video card
maybe.. especially as nothing else showed up on the screen after it.. :) 

--
Mike Hall
MVP - Windows Shell/user

http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm





"BAR" <BAR@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:7C99C43A-C712-4428-B64E-843D0AC7EED7@microsoft.com...
>A few things have got lost in the chain of posts. Have you verified that
>you
> have the correct specification for the memory modules? Look in the mobo
> userguide.
>
> The key hint that you have given is that 'the memory test failed'. If
> memory isn't accessible the system will not boot: plain and simple.
>
>
>
> "Jim Ludwig" wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>> I'm inquiring about a problem a friend of mine is having. He built his
>> own
>> system piece by piece. He bought all top rated peripherals: Asus
>> motherboard, 1 gb Kingston Ram (2 X 512), AMD 64 processor, Nvidia
>> graphics
>> board, Soundblaster Audigy, etc. It was a rather ambitious undertaking
>> for
>> someone who has never done this before. Anyway, he completed the setup
>> and
>> turned the system on. He gets black screen, then "memory test failed"
>> error
>> message. That's it. No bios screens, nothing. He can't even get into
>> the
>> bios. He has tried rearranging the dimms in every possible combination
>> with
>> the 4 slots. He tried using just one dimm. Same error every time. My
>> first thought was that he was shipped a bad memory chip, but even
>> individually, it doesn't work. I find it unlikely that he got 2 bad
>> memory
>> dimms. My next thought is that the memory slots on the motherboard are
>> bad
>> or perhaps, the bus. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
>>
>> Jim
>> jimlud@sbcglobal.net
>>
>>
>>
March 17, 2005 2:31:06 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Hi,

I will also suggest you to first check if every major components have been
installed correctly and firmly to its intended position.

In this case, pay special attentions to RAM as if they have been firmly
installed at the right slots and in the order of those listed in the MB's
manual.

It's not uncommon even for experienced technicians to have similar mistakes.

Good luck.


"Mike Hall (MS-MVP)" <mike.hall.mail@sympatico.ca>
???????:u8jgK2kKFHA.656@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
> Jim
>
> In all probability, the memory is not of the correct type.. go to
>
> www.crucial.com
>
> OR
>
> www.kingston.com
>
> and check that the correct memory strips are being used..
>
> --
> Mike Hall
> MVP - Windows Shell/user
>
> http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm
>
>
>
>
>
> "Jim Ludwig" <jimlud@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
> news:nuPZd.12584$WK2.1486@newssvr30.news.prodigy.com...
>> Hi all,
>> I'm inquiring about a problem a friend of mine is having. He built his
>> own system piece by piece. He bought all top rated peripherals: Asus
>> motherboard, 1 gb Kingston Ram (2 X 512), AMD 64 processor, Nvidia
>> graphics board, Soundblaster Audigy, etc. It was a rather ambitious
>> undertaking for someone who has never done this before. Anyway, he
>> completed the setup and turned the system on. He gets black screen, then
>> "memory test failed" error message. That's it. No bios screens,
>> nothing. He can't even get into the bios. He has tried rearranging the
>> dimms in every possible combination with the 4 slots. He tried using
>> just one dimm. Same error every time. My first thought was that he was
>> shipped a bad memory chip, but even individually, it doesn't work. I
>> find it unlikely that he got 2 bad memory dimms. My next thought is that
>> the memory slots on the motherboard are bad or perhaps, the bus. Any
>> thoughts on this would be appreciated.
>>
>> Jim
>> jimlud@sbcglobal.net
>>
>>
>
>
Anonymous
March 17, 2005 2:31:07 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

xfile

You have replied to the wrong person in the thread..

--
Mike Hall
MVP - Windows Shell/user

http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm





"xfile" <cou-cou@remove.nospam.com> wrote in message
news:%23W2kCBqKFHA.904@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...
> Hi,
>
> I will also suggest you to first check if every major components have been
> installed correctly and firmly to its intended position.
>
> In this case, pay special attentions to RAM as if they have been firmly
> installed at the right slots and in the order of those listed in the MB's
> manual.
>
> It's not uncommon even for experienced technicians to have similar
> mistakes.
>
> Good luck.
>
>
> "Mike Hall (MS-MVP)" <mike.hall.mail@sympatico.ca>
> ???????:u8jgK2kKFHA.656@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
>> Jim
>>
>> In all probability, the memory is not of the correct type.. go to
>>
>> www.crucial.com
>>
>> OR
>>
>> www.kingston.com
>>
>> and check that the correct memory strips are being used..
>>
>> --
>> Mike Hall
>> MVP - Windows Shell/user
>>
>> http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> "Jim Ludwig" <jimlud@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
>> news:nuPZd.12584$WK2.1486@newssvr30.news.prodigy.com...
>>> Hi all,
>>> I'm inquiring about a problem a friend of mine is having. He built his
>>> own system piece by piece. He bought all top rated peripherals: Asus
>>> motherboard, 1 gb Kingston Ram (2 X 512), AMD 64 processor, Nvidia
>>> graphics board, Soundblaster Audigy, etc. It was a rather ambitious
>>> undertaking for someone who has never done this before. Anyway, he
>>> completed the setup and turned the system on. He gets black screen,
>>> then "memory test failed" error message. That's it. No bios screens,
>>> nothing. He can't even get into the bios. He has tried rearranging the
>>> dimms in every possible combination with the 4 slots. He tried using
>>> just one dimm. Same error every time. My first thought was that he was
>>> shipped a bad memory chip, but even individually, it doesn't work. I
>>> find it unlikely that he got 2 bad memory dimms. My next thought is
>>> that the memory slots on the motherboard are bad or perhaps, the bus.
>>> Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
>>>
>>> Jim
>>> jimlud@sbcglobal.net
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>
>
March 17, 2005 7:38:01 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

I guess that's pretty much my point.

:) 

"BAR" <BAR@discussions.microsoft.com> ¼¶¼g©ó¶l¥ó·s»D:7C99C43A-C712-4428-B64E-843D0AC7EED7@microsoft.com...
>A few things have got lost in the chain of posts. Have you verified that
>you
> have the correct specification for the memory modules? Look in the mobo
> userguide.
>
> The key hint that you have given is that 'the memory test failed'. If
> memory isn't accessible the system will not boot: plain and simple.
>
>
>
> "Jim Ludwig" wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>> I'm inquiring about a problem a friend of mine is having. He built his
>> own
>> system piece by piece. He bought all top rated peripherals: Asus
>> motherboard, 1 gb Kingston Ram (2 X 512), AMD 64 processor, Nvidia
>> graphics
>> board, Soundblaster Audigy, etc. It was a rather ambitious undertaking
>> for
>> someone who has never done this before. Anyway, he completed the setup
>> and
>> turned the system on. He gets black screen, then "memory test failed"
>> error
>> message. That's it. No bios screens, nothing. He can't even get into
>> the
>> bios. He has tried rearranging the dimms in every possible combination
>> with
>> the 4 slots. He tried using just one dimm. Same error every time. My
>> first thought was that he was shipped a bad memory chip, but even
>> individually, it doesn't work. I find it unlikely that he got 2 bad
>> memory
>> dimms. My next thought is that the memory slots on the motherboard are
>> bad
>> or perhaps, the bus. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
>>
>> Jim
>> jimlud@sbcglobal.net
>>
>>
>>
March 17, 2005 7:38:02 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

>> "Jim Ludwig" wrote:
>>
>>> Hi all,
>>> I'm inquiring about a problem a friend of mine is having. He built his
>>> own
>>> system piece by piece. He bought all top rated peripherals: Asus
>>> motherboard, 1 gb Kingston Ram (2 X 512), AMD 64 processor, Nvidia
>>> graphics
>>> board, Soundblaster Audigy, etc. It was a rather ambitious undertaking
>>> for
>>> someone who has never done this before. Anyway, he completed the setup
>>> and
>>> turned the system on. He gets black screen, then "memory test failed"
>>> error
>>> message. That's it. No bios screens, nothing. He can't even get into
>>> the
>>> bios. He has tried rearranging the dimms in every possible combination
>>> with
>>> the 4 slots. He tried using just one dimm. Same error every time. My
>>> first thought was that he was shipped a bad memory chip, but even
>>> individually, it doesn't work. I find it unlikely that he got 2 bad
>>> memory
>>> dimms. My next thought is that the memory slots on the motherboard are
>>> bad
>>> or perhaps, the bus. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
>>>
>>> Jim
>>> jimlud@sbcglobal.net


> "BAR" <BAR@discussions.microsoft.com>
> ¼¶¼g©ó¶l¥ó·s»D:7C99C43A-C712-4428-B64E-843D0AC7EED7@microsoft.com...
>>A few things have got lost in the chain of posts. Have you verified that
>>you
>> have the correct specification for the memory modules? Look in the mobo
>> userguide.
>>
>> The key hint that you have given is that 'the memory test failed'. If
>> memory isn't accessible the system will not boot: plain and simple.


"xfile" <cou-cou@remove.nospam.com> wrote in message
news:%23hfNissKFHA.732@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
>I guess that's pretty much my point.

Jim:
I'm resending my previous response (slightly edited) to you with an
addendum...

In my experience the most significant mistake make by first-time or
inexperienced builders is that they assemble and install all the computer's
components before testing them step-by-step. Then when they turn on the
power and get that black screen it's a much more tortuous & frustrating
process to learn why this happened, and more importantly, to correct the
situation.

You start with the assumption that all the components to be installed are
functional and without defect. In the cases that I've come across where the
computer was built by an inexperienced builder and he or she is experiencing
problems of one sort or another, in virtually every case the problem lay
with builder error and *not* a defective component. Sure, we will encounter
a defective component now & then, but in the main that's not the problem.

Ideally, your friend should assemble his or her computer on a step-by-step
basis, installing the minimal number of components necessary at any given
time during the construction process. That means he or she first installs
the power supply (should the case not come with one built-in), the
processor, heat sink, RAM modules, and video card. Nothing else. Then
connect the power lead, connect the monitor, and power up. You *must* get a
screen display at this point. Please have your friend read that last
sentence again. If you don't get a screen display at this point, you go no
further. You must find the problem and correct it. Is the motherboard
shorting out because it wasn't fastened to the case correctly? Are there any
jumpers on the MB that need setting? Are all connections that have been made
secure? Has the CPU been installed correctly as well as its heatsink? Is the
CPU fan turning? Is the video card seated properly? Ditto the RAM modules.

And so it goes. You install one component at a time and test each out to
make sure it's functional and without defect. There's no magic to this
process. You must approach it methodically and systematically.

Neither I, nor anyone else can give you a definitive answer at this time as
to the specific reason for your friend's problem and what corrective action
to take. There are so many reasons for his or her dilemma that it's
impossible to say at this juncture.

Addendum...
The fact that your friend got a "memory test failed" message upon his first
boot is not a definitive conclusion that there's a problem with his RAM
modules in that they're defective. A multitude of different problems could
trigger (and usually do in my experience) this type of message, e.g.,
modules incorrectly installed and/or not seated properly, motherboard
shorting out or a defective motherboard, CPU not seated properly or bad CPU.
The list goes on & on. The fact is, as I noted above, that many
inexperienced builders (and even experienced builders!)automatically assume
a component is defective when a problem arises, though the real reason for
the problem is faulty installation. Again, I reiterate. Have your friend
start fresh and build his computer on a step-by-step basis as I've indicated
above.
Anna
Anonymous
March 17, 2005 10:11:10 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Thanks for all the responses so far. Unfortunately, nothing he has tried
has worked so far. He has completely taken everything apart and started
over, even using Anna's recommendations. Also, the ram he is using is
exactly specified in the mobo's manual. I really am inclined to think it's
a bad mobo. At least, I see no harm in him exchanging it for another. If
he runs into the same problem after that, then I guess we'll look for
something else to return :) 
Thanks,
Jim Ludwig
jimlud@sbcglobal.net


"Jim Ludwig" <jimlud@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
news:nuPZd.12584$WK2.1486@newssvr30.news.prodigy.com...
> Hi all,
> I'm inquiring about a problem a friend of mine is having. He built his
> own system piece by piece. He bought all top rated peripherals: Asus
> motherboard, 1 gb Kingston Ram (2 X 512), AMD 64 processor, Nvidia
> graphics board, Soundblaster Audigy, etc. It was a rather ambitious
> undertaking for someone who has never done this before. Anyway, he
> completed the setup and turned the system on. He gets black screen, then
> "memory test failed" error message. That's it. No bios screens, nothing.
> He can't even get into the bios. He has tried rearranging the dimms in
> every possible combination with the 4 slots. He tried using just one
> dimm. Same error every time. My first thought was that he was shipped a
> bad memory chip, but even individually, it doesn't work. I find it
> unlikely that he got 2 bad memory dimms. My next thought is that the
> memory slots on the motherboard are bad or perhaps, the bus. Any thoughts
> on this would be appreciated.
>
> Jim
> jimlud@sbcglobal.net
>
>
March 17, 2005 10:11:11 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

> "Jim Ludwig" <jimlud@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
> news:nuPZd.12584$WK2.1486@newssvr30.news.prodigy.com...
>> Hi all,
>> I'm inquiring about a problem a friend of mine is having. He built his
>> own system piece by piece. He bought all top rated peripherals: Asus
>> motherboard, 1 gb Kingston Ram (2 X 512), AMD 64 processor, Nvidia
>> graphics board, Soundblaster Audigy, etc. It was a rather ambitious
>> undertaking for someone who has never done this before. Anyway, he
>> completed the setup and turned the system on. He gets black screen, then
>> "memory test failed" error message. That's it. No bios screens,
>> nothing. He can't even get into the bios. He has tried rearranging the
>> dimms in every possible combination with the 4 slots. He tried using
>> just one dimm. Same error every time. My first thought was that he was
>> shipped a bad memory chip, but even individually, it doesn't work. I
>> find it unlikely that he got 2 bad memory dimms. My next thought is that
>> the memory slots on the motherboard are bad or perhaps, the bus. Any
>> thoughts on this would be appreciated.
>>
>> Jim
>> jimlud@sbcglobal.net


Jim:
Just one other thing before we close this out and which I forgot to mention
in my previous posting...

Have your friend install the CPU, heatsink, RAM modules, video card on the
motherboard while the motherboard is OUTSIDE the case (sitting on the
workbench or other non-conductive hard surface). Connect the power supply
and turn on the power. See if he gets a screen display. If so, his problem
may be the motherboard is shorting out after it's installed in the case.
It's a rather common occurrence in my experience and usually (but not
always) due to improper installation of the MB.
Anna
March 17, 2005 10:11:12 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

I like to add one more detail that is often overlooked. The CPU. There are
number of things one should pay attention to with the CPU.
1) may not be locked in place.
2) may be locked in place but there is a gap between the heatsink and CPU
thus the CPU gets hot real fast
3) a bend pin on the CPU.

2 and 3 ore more common then 1

All three situations may cause bad memory error.

--
Pavel


"Anna" <myname@myisp.net> wrote in message
news:%23hGQwpyKFHA.3640@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
>> "Jim Ludwig" <jimlud@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
>> news:nuPZd.12584$WK2.1486@newssvr30.news.prodigy.com...
>>> Hi all,
>>> I'm inquiring about a problem a friend of mine is having. He built his
>>> own system piece by piece. He bought all top rated peripherals: Asus
>>> motherboard, 1 gb Kingston Ram (2 X 512), AMD 64 processor, Nvidia
>>> graphics board, Soundblaster Audigy, etc. It was a rather ambitious
>>> undertaking for someone who has never done this before. Anyway, he
>>> completed the setup and turned the system on. He gets black screen,
>>> then "memory test failed" error message. That's it. No bios screens,
>>> nothing. He can't even get into the bios. He has tried rearranging the
>>> dimms in every possible combination with the 4 slots. He tried using
>>> just one dimm. Same error every time. My first thought was that he was
>>> shipped a bad memory chip, but even individually, it doesn't work. I
>>> find it unlikely that he got 2 bad memory dimms. My next thought is
>>> that the memory slots on the motherboard are bad or perhaps, the bus.
>>> Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
>>>
>>> Jim
>>> jimlud@sbcglobal.net
>
>
> Jim:
> Just one other thing before we close this out and which I forgot to
> mention in my previous posting...
>
> Have your friend install the CPU, heatsink, RAM modules, video card on the
> motherboard while the motherboard is OUTSIDE the case (sitting on the
> workbench or other non-conductive hard surface). Connect the power supply
> and turn on the power. See if he gets a screen display. If so, his problem
> may be the motherboard is shorting out after it's installed in the case.
> It's a rather common occurrence in my experience and usually (but not
> always) due to improper installation of the MB.
> Anna
>
>
>
March 17, 2005 10:11:13 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention one small detail that sometimes does
wanders.......reset your bios...the hard way. This is not the same as
"Loading default settings" you may find in your CMOS setup screen. I mean
using a method described in the Motherboards manual which, depending on the
mother board could be as simple as removing the battery on the motherboard
for few minutes or shorting couple of pins on the motherboard.

--
Pavel


"Pavel" <Atin90@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:%23xitCM2KFHA.2132@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
>I like to add one more detail that is often overlooked. The CPU. There are
>number of things one should pay attention to with the CPU.
> 1) may not be locked in place.
> 2) may be locked in place but there is a gap between the heatsink and CPU
> thus the CPU gets hot real fast
> 3) a bend pin on the CPU.
>
> 2 and 3 ore more common then 1
>
> All three situations may cause bad memory error.
>
> --
> Pavel
>
>
> "Anna" <myname@myisp.net> wrote in message
> news:%23hGQwpyKFHA.3640@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
>>> "Jim Ludwig" <jimlud@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
>>> news:nuPZd.12584$WK2.1486@newssvr30.news.prodigy.com...
>>>> Hi all,
>>>> I'm inquiring about a problem a friend of mine is having. He built his
>>>> own system piece by piece. He bought all top rated peripherals: Asus
>>>> motherboard, 1 gb Kingston Ram (2 X 512), AMD 64 processor, Nvidia
>>>> graphics board, Soundblaster Audigy, etc. It was a rather ambitious
>>>> undertaking for someone who has never done this before. Anyway, he
>>>> completed the setup and turned the system on. He gets black screen,
>>>> then "memory test failed" error message. That's it. No bios screens,
>>>> nothing. He can't even get into the bios. He has tried rearranging the
>>>> dimms in every possible combination with the 4 slots. He tried using
>>>> just one dimm. Same error every time. My first thought was that he
>>>> was shipped a bad memory chip, but even individually, it doesn't work.
>>>> I find it unlikely that he got 2 bad memory dimms. My next thought is
>>>> that the memory slots on the motherboard are bad or perhaps, the bus.
>>>> Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
>>>>
>>>> Jim
>>>> jimlud@sbcglobal.net
>>
>>
>> Jim:
>> Just one other thing before we close this out and which I forgot to
>> mention in my previous posting...
>>
>> Have your friend install the CPU, heatsink, RAM modules, video card on
>> the motherboard while the motherboard is OUTSIDE the case (sitting on the
>> workbench or other non-conductive hard surface). Connect the power supply
>> and turn on the power. See if he gets a screen display. If so, his
>> problem may be the motherboard is shorting out after it's installed in
>> the case. It's a rather common occurrence in my experience and usually
>> (but not always) due to improper installation of the MB.
>> Anna
>>
>>
>>
>
>
Anonymous
March 18, 2005 6:44:43 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

just a lil quick question my computer isnt booting sometimes and hangs
where the memory test is suppose to take place but it hasnt checked
anything and has the del for bios and esc for not checking the memory,
so my question is could a dead cmos battery cause this? im running
memtest86 now to see if theres anything wrong with my ram


--
themafia.69
------------------------------------------------------------------------
themafia.69's Profile: http://forum.osnn.net/member.php?userid=633
View this thread: http://forum.osnn.net/showthread.php?t=62705
March 18, 2005 11:09:10 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Dead battery should normally not cause any problem except that you may have
to change settings everytime you boot. Now there may be a motherboard that
with dead battery, it may just stop but I have used many brands before and
have not experienced such situation even with dead (or removed) battery.

--
Pavel


"themafia.69" <themafia.69.1m33iu@no-mx.forum.osnn.net> wrote in message
news:themafia.69.1m33iu@no-mx.forum.osnn.net...
>
> just a lil quick question my computer isnt booting sometimes and hangs
> where the memory test is suppose to take place but it hasnt checked
> anything and has the del for bios and esc for not checking the memory,
> so my question is could a dead cmos battery cause this? im running
> memtest86 now to see if theres anything wrong with my ram
>
>
> --
> themafia.69
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> themafia.69's Profile: http://forum.osnn.net/member.php?userid=633
> View this thread: http://forum.osnn.net/showthread.php?t=62705
>
March 18, 2005 11:14:39 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Hi,

At this point, I guess you and your friend are both frustrated and
exhausted.

Further testing might not help much and could damage components that were
working fine.

I sincerely suggest you go to the nearest shop and pay a small fee and ask
them to check up for you. You could also be there and learn it while they do
the test and/or assembly for you.

Goof luck.


"Jim Ludwig" <jimlud@sbcglobal.net>
???????:iDk_d.19813$yp.18908@newssvr11.news.prodigy.com...
> Thanks for all the responses so far. Unfortunately, nothing he has tried
> has worked so far. He has completely taken everything apart and started
> over, even using Anna's recommendations. Also, the ram he is using is
> exactly specified in the mobo's manual. I really am inclined to think
> it's a bad mobo. At least, I see no harm in him exchanging it for
> another. If he runs into the same problem after that, then I guess we'll
> look for something else to return :) 
> Thanks,
> Jim Ludwig
> jimlud@sbcglobal.net
>
>
> "Jim Ludwig" <jimlud@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
> news:nuPZd.12584$WK2.1486@newssvr30.news.prodigy.com...
>> Hi all,
>> I'm inquiring about a problem a friend of mine is having. He built his
>> own system piece by piece. He bought all top rated peripherals: Asus
>> motherboard, 1 gb Kingston Ram (2 X 512), AMD 64 processor, Nvidia
>> graphics board, Soundblaster Audigy, etc. It was a rather ambitious
>> undertaking for someone who has never done this before. Anyway, he
>> completed the setup and turned the system on. He gets black screen, then
>> "memory test failed" error message. That's it. No bios screens,
>> nothing. He can't even get into the bios. He has tried rearranging the
>> dimms in every possible combination with the 4 slots. He tried using
>> just one dimm. Same error every time. My first thought was that he was
>> shipped a bad memory chip, but even individually, it doesn't work. I
>> find it unlikely that he got 2 bad memory dimms. My next thought is that
>> the memory slots on the motherboard are bad or perhaps, the bus. Any
>> thoughts on this would be appreciated.
>>
>> Jim
>> jimlud@sbcglobal.net
>>
>>
>
>
Anonymous
March 18, 2005 11:14:40 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Joining mid thread, when you screwed motherboard to the case did you make sure to use some
stand-offs, not screw MB directly to case. May be a short situation if stand-offs were not used.
--
Dave Vair
CNE, CNA, MCP, A+, N+
Computer Education Services Corp. (CESC)

"xfile" <cou-cou@remove.nospam.com> wrote in message news:eDzv630KFHA.644@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...
> Hi,
>
> At this point, I guess you and your friend are both frustrated and exhausted.
>
> Further testing might not help much and could damage components that were working fine.
>
> I sincerely suggest you go to the nearest shop and pay a small fee and ask them to check up for
> you. You could also be there and learn it while they do the test and/or assembly for you.
>
> Goof luck.
>
>
> "Jim Ludwig" <jimlud@sbcglobal.net> ???????:iDk_d.19813$yp.18908@newssvr11.news.prodigy.com...
>> Thanks for all the responses so far. Unfortunately, nothing he has tried has worked so far. He
>> has completely taken everything apart and started over, even using Anna's recommendations. Also,
>> the ram he is using is exactly specified in the mobo's manual. I really am inclined to think
>> it's a bad mobo. At least, I see no harm in him exchanging it for another. If he runs into the
>> same problem after that, then I guess we'll look for something else to return :) 
>> Thanks,
>> Jim Ludwig
>> jimlud@sbcglobal.net
>>
>>
>> "Jim Ludwig" <jimlud@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
>> news:nuPZd.12584$WK2.1486@newssvr30.news.prodigy.com...
>>> Hi all,
>>> I'm inquiring about a problem a friend of mine is having. He built his own system piece by
>>> piece. He bought all top rated peripherals: Asus motherboard, 1 gb Kingston Ram (2 X 512), AMD
>>> 64 processor, Nvidia graphics board, Soundblaster Audigy, etc. It was a rather ambitious
>>> undertaking for someone who has never done this before. Anyway, he completed the setup and
>>> turned the system on. He gets black screen, then "memory test failed" error message. That's
>>> it. No bios screens, nothing. He can't even get into the bios. He has tried rearranging the
>>> dimms in every possible combination with the 4 slots. He tried using just one dimm. Same error
>>> every time. My first thought was that he was shipped a bad memory chip, but even individually,
>>> it doesn't work. I find it unlikely that he got 2 bad memory dimms. My next thought is that
>>> the memory slots on the motherboard are bad or perhaps, the bus. Any thoughts on this would be
>>> appreciated.
>>>
>>> Jim
>>> jimlud@sbcglobal.net
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>
>
Anonymous
March 18, 2005 1:41:14 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

"themafia.69" <themafia.69.1m33iu@no-mx.forum.osnn.net> wrote in message
news:themafia.69.1m33iu@no-mx.forum.osnn.net...
>
> just a lil quick question my computer isnt booting sometimes and hangs
> where the memory test is suppose to take place but it hasnt checked
> anything and has the del for bios and esc for not checking the memory,
> so my question is could a dead cmos battery cause this? im running
> memtest86 now to see if theres anything wrong with my ram
>
>
> --
> themafia.69
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> themafia.69's Profile: http://forum.osnn.net/member.php?userid=633
> View this thread: http://forum.osnn.net/showthread.php?t=62705
>

My PC does the same thing while "Checking NVRAM" at reboot. This only
happens when I have a certain USB device connected, if the device is removed
all is normal.

FYI the device is an ADS Tech USBAV-701 and is used for capturing VHS,
analogue camcorder, etc. to MPEG files suitable for DVD creation. I have
not queried the manufacturer yet or the mobo maker. Any suggestion other
than that from the audience?!?

WinXP Home SP2 + all updates, P4 2.53 MHz, USB 2.0, MSI MS-6566E mobo, 1 GB
Ram.

r.
!