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[SOLVED] Possessed Computer!

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February 24, 2006 11:16:22 AM

Solved? Kindof. I know what the problem is, now.
________________________

I'm sorry for having such a ridiculous Topic Title, but ridicule seemed to be the only way to attract peoples attention fairly well. I'm actually having problems with my RAM.

A month (or something like that) ago I ordered a new computer from a French/Belgian company and shipped it to Switzerland, where I live.

Upon receival I tore the packaging away, and saw all of the parts sitting in nice little boxes. I put everything together and everything worked perfectly, except for that my CPU cooler (XP-120) was too big for my mainboard (A8N-SLi Premium) and blocked up one of my RAM slots, which left me with 3 other ram slots.

My configuration looked somewhat like this:

Mainboard: A8N-SLi Premium
CPU: AMD 64 3500+
Graphic Card: XFX 7800GT
Sound Card: Sound Blaster Audigy 2 (Which I recovered from my old computer)
Memory: Corsair 3500LL Pro (PC3500, 2-3-2-6-1T)
and 2x300Gb hard drives, a dvd burner, etc..

My dvd burner never worked on this computer from the start, so I used my old dvd drives, and put my new dvd drives in my old computer, which was quite happy to have a new dvd drive.

Mandriva 2005, Mandriva 2006 and SUSE 10.2 would not work on this computer either. Mandriva 2005 completed the installation but crashed upon startup, Mandriva 2006 always hanged during the installation and SUSE 10.2 would stop functioning during the installation too.

Thus, slightly aggrevated that I would not have both Linux and Windows on that computer, I chose to install only Windows XP Pro SP2 on that computer.

Two days ago, however, I tried installing Windows Longhorn (Or Vista, whichever you prefer), build 5270, which.... slightly messed something up. During the installation, everything ran really slowly, and it took me about an hour and 20 minutes to finish the installation. It being an Operating System made my Microsoft, I didn't question it, and waited until my computer rebooted. When my computer tried to boot Windows Longhorn, it crashed.

From my boot menu, I saw, Windows XP was not an option. So I tried, in millions of ways, to get my boot menu back without having to put the Windows XP cd in my dvd drive, but eventually I had to give in, and repair my previous Windows XP installation.

During the second part of the installation, after the installation files had been put on the hard drive, and I rebooted, my computer always hung at 34 minutes, during the "Installing Devices". I took out my sound card, I took out my second dvd drive, I took out one of the two memory sticks, and thats where the trouble began.

Ever since I took out 1Gb of RAM, even if I put it back, when I pressed the power button, my computer would turn on, but the screen would not turn on, and nothing would work. I switched my RAM around 15 times, resetted my BIOS, took apart and rebuilt my computer, and with the help of one bar of 256Mb RAM, I got it working again. (after long long time) However, in my BIOS only 512Mb of available ram was displayed, instead of the 2048Mb + 256Nb. I took out the 256Mb stick, which left the 2 x 1Gb ram sticks, i started up, went to my BIOS, and saw only 1024Mb this time.

In the meanwhile, after having the same problem three times, and every time following the same procedure, I got back to installing Windows XP, and actually finished the installation, but now the ever lasting question:

- Where did 1 Gb of my ram go to?

On my ram there are leds, showing the percentage usage of my ram sticks, and they are both used about equally, and are both powered on all right.

I'm feeling very annoyed at the fact that I need to completely redo computer, since my drive got formatted (I couldnt repair it, and had to format my C drive), so I need to reinstall ALL of my programs, and when my computer was working before, I had organized every single file and program, sorted out my program files, my documents, etc.
But what annoys me most is that half of my RAM is missing.

Now, I have absolutely no idea what to do, and fairly desperate. Which also means I'm pretty naïve and take up everything I'm told right now. I know throwing my computer out of the window would not help, as previously suggested by one of my friends...

Thanks.
February 24, 2006 11:56:06 AM

Note: If you cant beat them, join them! Thats why I have such a silly topic title. Lol.
February 24, 2006 12:34:12 PM

need a little more info
what brand and wattage of hard drive?
are you or were you o'cing?
what type of case and how many and whats size fans?

it sounds like you problems atleast started with a ps problem making your system unstable
Related resources
February 24, 2006 12:45:30 PM

First of all, thanks for reading the long post, taking the time for it and such.

I have absolutely no idea what wattage my hard drives are, but I have 2 "Maxtor DiamondMax 10 300 Go 7200 RPM 16 Mb Serial ATA"- hard drives.
On my case, Thermaltake Tsunami Dream, there used to be two 120mm fans and one 92mm fan, and I have one 120mm fan attached to my CPU cooler.

Because my computer was making way too much noise, I took out one of the fans which were supposed to cool my hard drives, but since my computer stands in the 1st floor, which happens to be halfway under the ground, its always fairly cold here, and thought it would not matter much.

I wasn't o'cing at all, although I thought I'd look into that in the near future.

And for my PSU, I have a Levicom X-Alien 450W (http://www.pc-cooling.ch/product_info.php?cPath=159_108... )


Thanks
February 24, 2006 1:26:19 PM

going soley by wattage your ps should be able to handle your system but i'm not familiar with that brand ps. if i converted the price to u.s. correctly you paid about 54 bucks for the ps. imho you ps just isn't good enough for your system or it is defective i would look for a more well known brand (antec. thermaltake, ocz modstream). the reason i believe that is because it would not operate your new dvd drives. you might use the asus utiliy to check voltages to see if they are within tolerances. also if the ps in you old machine is atx 2.0 you might be able to swap them out to test it. i would'nt try the new ps in the old machine until i was positive it was'nt damaged. check the voltages first in the bios and with asus utility first(asus probe i think) you could also disconnect everything but your videocard, ram and processor boot and enter bios and see if all your ram is listed
February 24, 2006 1:33:33 PM

Sadly enough, my old PSU would not fit in my new computer, besides that, it is only a 350W (It's a dell. My mother bought it right before I got in charge, or something like that anyways. Lol)

Yesterday I tried, to make sure, the X-Alien on my old computer, and that, however, seemed to work fine. Hopefully one of my friends are coming over tomorrow to check whether his PSU works with my computer...


Another bit of background info: I've had this PSU for about a year now, I bought it last year together with my Thermaltake Tsunami Dream case, and ever since that moment, I've been using it(Even though putting a Dell into a new case was, I must admit, eventful.)
February 24, 2006 1:38:31 PM

have you tried your new ram in the old computer
February 24, 2006 1:40:04 PM

I could try it, but somehow I doubt that the PC3500 ram would work on my old dell, but ill give it a shot *therefore, I need to shut down my pc.. brb.*
February 24, 2006 1:42:13 PM

it won't read at its rated speed but it should read just try one stick at time as it might not be able to read the full size.
February 24, 2006 1:54:33 PM

Okay.... So I've got two sticks of 1Gb.

If I dont put any RAM in my old computer, my computer turns on instantly when I plug in the power cable and starts beeping.

If I put in one of the bars, it boots normally.

If I put in the other bar, it beeps loudly and proudly as if no RAM at all was found...


So I guess we went through all that trouble, concluding one of my bars is broken :p 

meh, sucks though, my memory bars nearly costed as much as my XFX Geforce 7800GT...

Another problem I have, by the way, is that my boot loader has gone, and I need to insert my windows XP cd, let it read it at boot, but dont press any buttons, to start up in Windows XP, otherwise it gives me an error (NTLDR not found - or something like that)
February 24, 2006 1:59:01 PM

bad stick alright hate to here it
as far as you boot problem boot from the xp cd and when it finds your installation choose repair should be able to fix the boot sector
February 24, 2006 2:21:27 PM

I registered an account just so I could help you out :) 

http://www.memtest86.com/

Run this on your known "good" memory. It could also be defective, except not as noticeable. Knoppix Linux has a memtest kernel ready to go. Boot from a Knoppix CD and at the prompt type memtest. Mandriva or SUSE might have that capability also, but I'm not sure. I'm a Gentoo guy :) 
February 24, 2006 2:44:58 PM

Heh thanks for registering an account just to help me ;) 

Sadly enough, my memory isnt recognized since the boot, so neither knoppix, windows or memtest can see it...

But yeah, I've tried running a memtest in knoppix and running it from the bootable disk

Thanks though!
February 24, 2006 2:48:01 PM

And yea, installing Mandriva or SUSE doesnt work on my computer for some reason, the installation crashes

but hey, I'll give Gentoo a shot ;)  Cheers
February 24, 2006 2:51:14 PM

Quote:
Okay.... So I've got two sticks of 1Gb.

If I dont put any RAM in my old computer, my computer turns on instantly when I plug in the power cable and starts beeping.

If I put in one of the bars, it boots normally.

If I put in the other bar, it beeps loudly and proudly as if no RAM at all was found...


So I guess we went through all that trouble, concluding one of my bars is broken :p 

meh, sucks though, my memory bars nearly costed as much as my XFX Geforce 7800GT...

Another problem I have, by the way, is that my boot loader has gone, and I need to insert my windows XP cd, let it read it at boot, but dont press any buttons, to start up in Windows XP, otherwise it gives me an error (NTLDR not found - or something like that)







That's what happens when you install a newer OS onto an existing OS. What you have to do is find the files ntldr, ntdetect.com on the XP CD. Copy them to your C: drive.

Then go into your boot.ini and change the default to disk(0)partition(1) if original XP is on C: (2) if D: etc.

You should then be able to boot to old XP.


As afr as you boot problem, if using 2 sticks, always insert in the 1st and 3rd sockets. SInce 3500+ is DualChannel the Mobo may not like using the 1st and 2nd.
February 24, 2006 2:56:09 PM

Damn... Well... In the meanwhile I'm installing Windows 64-bit anyways, but I'll keep it in mind, might it happen again...


And for my ram sticks, as I've said before (I'm not blaming you for not reading the top part, I know its a long and tedious process to read all of that :p )
my cpu cooler is over the 1st slot, so I was using the second and fourth slot, until my computer went coo-coo...
February 24, 2006 4:45:20 PM

Hey I have been reading your posts......I can sympathise......here is a resource for you to ask questions about your ram and maybe get it RMA'd corsair has a lifetime warranty so if you have a bad module then they will replace it....have had to have it doen before...but they are very good about it

Corsair Memory Forum

good luck
February 24, 2006 5:00:41 PM

Nice, thanks a lot

I'm just a bit worried about the fact that I ordered it from France/Belgium (Not sure where the hell it came from, the company is in both countries) and that I'll need to ship it around half the world... I can remember I had like... 150USD import taxes and shipping costs when i bought my pc - something they didnt tell me about when i ordered my pc... they told me the shipping costs were like... 20USD, lol

Merci!
February 24, 2006 5:08:32 PM

well the good thing is, or not so good, depending on how you feel about it, is that you would ship it directly back to the manufacturer....and not through your belgian company..
!