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*sigh*.....what can i try next?

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December 2, 2006 1:20:46 PM

hello all,

i apologize for posting in the middle of the forum's finnickey behavior, but i would really like to be working on this problem

a few months ago my friends scrounged up some junk and built me the computer i now sit at. its specs are as follow:

Soc. A Sempron 2500+ (1.75ghz)
Gigabyte 7nf-rz mobo
768 megs of mismatched ram (heh)
1 hdd
1 cd drive
1 floppy
radeon 9550 agp (256 meg, i believe?)
AWFUL stock dell psu from god knows where
win xp home sp2

so the deal is, when i'm computing and randomly going about my business, the computer exhibits these symptoms:

- short, stutter-like hangs at random, lasting about a second or 3

- longer system freezes, in which it seems time has stopped (task man doesn't register spikes in ram or cpu usage, or odd processes)

- catastrophic system freezes, where an odd noise can be heard first, some sort of error in like the onboard sound or something, and then a restart-worth system freeze that to my knowledge will not work itself out (i can't walk away, come back, and get on)

these symptoms are very annoying, i just want my computer to WORK, is that so much to ask?? :cry: 

the larger freezes seem to accompany taxing computing, like when i'm on youtube or google video, or when i'm opening cs:s or hl2. a week or so ago, i could do either just fine.

i've tested my ram multiple times, the most recent of which was a 10h 34m memtestx86 run (in dos or w/e), 23 passes, 0 errors. i've also run...uh.... whatsitcalled.... prime95. and another memtest, that i ran in windows. ram seems to check out.

i believe it is the 175 watt psu. i think that, although it can squeeze out enough juice to support the system, it fluxuates, causing all the freezes. i have no evidence to support this theory, but what is the significance of the freezes accompanying vid watching and gaming? usage of graphics card?

i've ordered a new psu, and some fans. temps are also not a problem. i've reinstalled windows, still have hangs. is there anything else that i can try? flashing bios? will that have any effect?

i'm getting desperate.....


sorry for such a long post, thank you very much for your help, and i hope you can make some more sense out of this than i can.

More about : sigh

December 2, 2006 1:37:44 PM

A good PSU won't harm your system at all so no worries there when the new one arrives slip it in and rest easy, the mismatched RAM is what I would wonder about, how are they mismatched?, different brands?, speeds?, sizes or what?
December 2, 2006 1:42:37 PM

Yeah, I'm thinking it could be the RAM or the PSU. A PSU problem can cause problems in every aspect of the PC, so it's good you've gotten a new one... But yeah, like mousemonkey asked, how are the RAM sticks mismatched?
Related resources
December 2, 2006 2:09:57 PM

You could try not posting the same thread three times next time! :trophy:
December 2, 2006 2:17:43 PM

Quote:
You could try not posting the same thread three times next time! :trophy:


It's the forums, goofball. Not the poster.
December 2, 2006 2:30:12 PM

Quote:
You could try not posting the same thread three times next time! Trophy


yeah, yeah, i hear yah... i heard that the forums were being glitchy, but i was like, "oh, i am far superior, i never make mistakes!" and then BAM there are like 50 of my threads.... felt pretty stupid, and i'm trying to take care of it. sorry.

Quote:
Yeah, I'm thinking it could be the RAM or the PSU. A PSU problem can cause problems in every aspect of the PC, so its good you've gotten one... But yeah, like mousemonkey asked, how are the RAM sticks mismatched?


yeah, i'm really thinking its the PSU now, and i'm really looking forward to getting the new one. i just hope that this current one isn't dying, as i've heard they can take out other components with them.... 8O

below you will find my response to mousemonkey.

Quote:
A good PSU won't harm your system at all so no worries there when the new one arrives slip it in and rest easy, the mismatched RAM is what I would wonder about, how are they mismatched?, different brands?, speeds?, sizes or what?


alright, i have 3 256 sticks. two are a pair, they match, and a third is uh.... well... not. heh. anyway, in cpu-z, it sez i have 1280 mb of ram, which unfortunately isn't true. it reports the two matched sticks as 512s, pc2700 (166 mhz) and manufactured by 0000000000. yeah, when i saw the manu, i got kinda worried, but idk. then the third stick is by micron, reported corrrectly as 256, and operating at pc2100 (133mhz).

so, that being said, they are mismatched by brand and speed. their actual sizes are the same, b/c stickers on them all say 256, however the fact that those two are misreported still throws up red flags for me.....

the thing is, tho, that i've tested the crap out of these sticks. i'm gunna run another prime95 here in a bit, but i've done 2 memtests and even trial-and error. i booted with each stick individually and there were no atleast boot errors, like with the beeping and the not booting and stuff.

so what else should i try to isolate the problem, if it is my ram?
December 2, 2006 2:37:22 PM

What does your mobo run at? If it's 166, yank the 2100 ram. You're slowing down your 2700 sticks. If it's 133, it's not hurting anything slowing you down. Might yank it anyway to see if it solves anything. Losing that 256 isn't going to hurt you much.

Your pc can only run as fast as it's slowest part.
December 2, 2006 2:49:00 PM

Quote:
Your pc can only run as fast as it's slowest part.


lol i can relate as an athlete... never been directed at me fortunately, but its hurt our team before... :lol: 

anyway, when you mean my mobo, do you mean my main fsb? as in what the cpu is set to? b/c i actually underclocked the proc a bit, i have no clue what its meant to be b/c i got it as a handmedown so god knows what it was stock, but currently the cpu is 133 mhz. so, i've got a synchronous fsb between ram and cpu of 1:1. i actually tried running without a 256, and i think it may have helped, i'm not sure, i know i could get some rounds of cs:s in with my friends, this was back at thanksgiving. but i memtested them...! oh well, i'm taking it out, b/c i think it worked better w/out the extra one in, and although i can totally tell the diff between 768 and 512, i'll tough it out or something.

actually i think i'm gonna start that prime95 first, and then take it out after that.

thank you though for the posting and the helping.... would you still say ditch the sore-thumb stick?
December 2, 2006 3:52:42 PM

Quote:
What does your mobo run at? If it's 166, yank the 2100 ram. You're slowing down your 2700 sticks. If it's 133, it's not hurting anything slowing you down. Might yank it anyway to see if it solves anything. Losing that 256 isn't going to hurt you much.

Your pc can only run as fast as it's slowest part.


I don't agree with you, aardvark doesn't have very much ram to begin with, losing 256M may cause a significant increase in virtual memory usage.

I don't believe that your RAM is causing the instability, but everyone else here does so maybe i'm missing something.


My advice: go ahead and take out your 2100 RAM, if it doesn't help and your hard drive starts thrashing then put it back in. I think it's the PSU, but sometimes my computer starts to hang when the hard drive is going bad. You may want to try an OS on a bootable CDROM like knoppix in order to rule out the hard drive. Good luck!
December 2, 2006 4:01:28 PM

I would start by pulling the micron pc2100 stick and then checking in BIOS to see if the system is seeing the pc2700 and running it at 166mhz, then check cpu-z again (ver 1.38 is the latest but that shouldn't make any difference with the age of your system) I have had similar issues with my Sck A rig and two sticks one pc2700 512mb and one pc2100 256mb that really did not play well together.
December 2, 2006 4:05:49 PM

Quote:


I don't agree with you, aardvark doesn't have very much ram to begin with, losing 256M may cause a significant increase in virtual memory usage.

I don't believe that your RAM is causing the instability, but everyone else here does so maybe i'm missing something.


My advice: go ahead and take out your 2100 RAM, if it doesn't help and your hard drive starts thrashing then put it back in. I think it's the PSU, but sometimes my computer starts to hang when the hard drive is going bad. You may want to try an OS on a bootable CDROM like knoppix in order to rule out the hard drive. Good luck!


arright, i suppose i'll whip out that other stick of ram then, and give that a whirl. prime95 is still running fine, and i've even TRIED to crash my computer, by running a whole bunch of stupid things together (defrag, adaware, virus scan all while prime 95ing, speedfan, taskman, firefox) but no stutters, oddly enough. its been going for about an hour i suppose.

i was wondering about the hdd, but i told myself that it wasn't that, because its a new hdd, still under waranty... i mean it better not be the hdd... idk about any disk-booting OSes, but i'll try to put in my aincient 2gig and see if that is any different... only problem with 2gigs is that i can't really test much with that size, lol.

thanks again to all of you! (still crossing fingers for psu)

and mousemonkey, i'll be sure to check the bios when i take it out. only thing is i've been messing with my timings and such... i'll put it AT 166, hows that? heh. then maybe i'll clock my cpu back up. idk. i just want it to f'ing work right! it'll probably be a while till i take it out, though, because of my current testing. how long do you think i should run prime95? i mean i've heard that some crazies run it for weeks, but i'd rather be able to do some tweaking later in the day....
December 2, 2006 9:06:10 PM

okay, after 5h 42m of prime95, there were no errors. i flipped teh compy off and took off the slower stick. i checked the bios, and the ram was set to "by spd" which made a resulting frequency of 333 (?!). so i boot in, i...oh wait, i clocked my proc up too, from 133 to 166. anyway, i boot in, come here, and i have a hang. sux. bad. i checked cpu-z, and it sez that my ram is 166. sigh. idk. this is so weird. i'm gonna try switching around the ram, playing musical DIMMs. dammit. i'll try to open a game or something, to know if this is still a bad setup.
December 2, 2006 9:21:15 PM

/bump

i switched around the sticks some, and turned down the speed in the bios, from "by spd" which set them to 333 to "50%" which set them to 166 like they *should* be. so i boot up, no hangs yet, but cpu-z now reports the frequency to be 83.7 mhz. BALLS! still workin on it.

in this test, i had both of the matched dimms in. however, the ram was in single-channel mode. how significant is this? i suppose one of my matched ones is dying/dead, which sucks, b/c that means i have to slow down the good one by sticking in the slower 256... i CANNOT have less than 512 megs... that is bad enough.....
December 2, 2006 10:15:37 PM

Youve probably got DDR ram so 166 equates to 333 "effctive" speed and this is why cpu-z is showing it as 83 when you manually set it to 166, so you can and should return it to the spd setting (333).
Also socket A doesnt even support dual channel (its a motherboatd feature not a ram feature).
December 2, 2006 10:21:40 PM

Quote:
Youve probably got DDR ram so 166 equates to 333 "effctive" speed and this is why cpu-z is showing it as 83 when you manually set it to 166, so you can and should return it to the spd setting (333).
Also socket A doesnt even support dual channel (its a motherboatd feature not a ram feature).


really, y'don't say? wow. thats the first i've heard that. thanks alot. hmmh. thats very interesting. but still would you say that dual-channel being non-effective in some combinations is any kind of hint? idk what the hell its significance is. i've been trying all possible ram combinations, b/c i'm THAT desperate, and i've gone through 5 failed attempts, this being my 6th. we'll see how it goes!

thank you very much for the info. i really did not know that.
December 2, 2006 11:11:06 PM

Yeah, that is true about ddr, but also, you can try setting pagefile to only start being used once your actual ram is used up, because ram is a lot faster than page file




shoez........
Ahh, the pointless days
December 3, 2006 2:55:10 PM

alright, i'm about out of ram stick combinations, and so far they've all still been glitchy. so how would i go about doing the PF thing? its worth a try....
December 3, 2006 3:35:07 PM

Ok, I will find pcworld's link to do that, but since you have less than a gig of ram, it might not make too much of a difference, and also considering yu are running below 400mhz might be another reason why it could be so slow if you do the pf thing
December 3, 2006 3:48:35 PM

shoez........

Ok, since I have the Jan issue, the link isn't online yet, but I will give you the code:

start.run
regedit
Then in the system files on the left pane, go to:
Hkey_Local_machine
Systen
Currentcontrolset
control
session manager
memorymanagement
then double click on disablepagingexecutive
change the 0 value to a 1, and page file will only be used once your ram is up
If you don't like it, simply change the value from 1 back to 0
December 3, 2006 3:57:25 PM

If this doesn't work, maybe time to upgrade?........... :?
December 3, 2006 7:29:42 PM

Quote:

Ok, I will find pcworld's link to do that, but since you have less than a gig of ram, it might not make too much of a difference, and also considering yu are running below 400mhz might be another reason why it could be so slow if you do the pf thing


shoez........

Ok, since I have the Jan issue, the link isn't online yet, but I will give you the code:

start.run
regedit
Then in the system files on the left pane, go to:
Hkey_Local_machine
Systen
Currentcontrolset
control
session manager
memorymanagement
then double click on disablepagingexecutive
change the 0 value to a 1, and page file will only be used once your ram is up
If you don't like it, simply change the value from 1 back to 0


If this doesn't work, maybe time to upgrade?........... Confused


hey, man, thank you very much. i'll definitely give that a whirl. as previously stated, i'm gettin kinda desperate...

its totally time for an upgrade... but then again, isn't it always? the thing is, this IS an upgrade... i'm coming out of the dark ages of an AMD k-6 (i believe) operating at a BEASTLY 300mhz, with a WHOPPING 120 megs of ram. oh, and i had dial up. yeah. so i spent my childhood on that sucker, unfortunately. i mean, it wasn't bad. we had our ups and downs. but then i started to feel my growing pains as the 4 gig hdd began to seem too small.

needless to say, i've been wanting to build all my life. so i start outlining a build on soc 939 last year, when it was the BIG thing. i learned a ton, knew what i was doing (for the most part) and all i needed were the parts. well, then i got a particularly expensive girlfriend and some other stuff went down, and i never quite had enough money.

so, long story short, my friends ALL end up building before me, after i tell them how easy it is to build, and teach them some stuff. good thing is, they outgrew some of their systems and ended up giving me this bucket. so, although i'm having to do major patch work to keep it afloat, i love it every minute.

so, the end. i do need to upgrade, b/c i still haven't technically popped my computer building cherry. i'm not quite sure why i'm telling you my life story, but i've already typed all this out, so SOMEONE is going to read it, i'm not just gonna delete it. heh.
December 3, 2006 11:29:48 PM

I had dial up too, that is until my modem fried
Now I just use my neighbor's wifi :roll:
Quite fun, trying to get it to work, yet it is annoying when I can't get online, which is why I was taking so long to reply


shoez....
funny thread, quite strange though
December 4, 2006 12:30:45 AM

First of all, have you checked device manager to see if any of your drivers are FUBAR? Have you ran any anti spyware programs or virus scans lately? It sounds more like a software issue than a hardware problem.


Other things to check are the mobo for any bulging capacitors and the accessory components. I had a Gigabyte board of that era and it blew two caps. Funny thing was the damn board would still boot and load windows, but it was glitchy to say the least. If those are good, try removing your PCI cards and unplugging all you peripheral accessories (printer, scanner, game controller, etc) next and see if conditions improve.
December 4, 2006 12:39:14 AM

no, I don't think it is spyware/virus, his system is just kinda crap (no hard feelings? :wink: ), 300 mhz ram, and socket a sempron, that explains it all

All I can say at this point is uninstall all programs that are fairly new and you don't use much, that is what is lagging your system, because they are designed to run smoothly on a basic dell that is up to date, not a 5 year old computer
December 4, 2006 12:54:55 AM

no no no, my system is still crap by many standards, but thats what i was COMING from. i've got a 2 ghz sempron, i really can't complain, with a 9550, does steam games on all high (real happy with that).

yeah, it could still be software, but i'm on a relatively fresh install (of windows), and that didn't help. i use nod32 and adaware quite often b/c my mom gets on here, and not to be mean, but i don't really trust her computer-savviness. anyway, i'll try pulling out peripherals. i'm not exactly sure what i'm looking for on the mobo, but i'll give it a look over.

thanks guys.
December 4, 2006 12:59:51 AM

make sure she hasn't got you any spyware or random im programs, that would kill your system
December 4, 2006 1:34:10 AM

I'd guess its the power supply. Idk if you've received the new power supply yet, but you can get this one. Its definitely in your budget. If its not the PSU or ram, something in your system is busted, so you might be struggling for a lot longer. Maybe try booting up with just the 1 stick of 256 since you already tried the other stick alone. Anyways, heres the PSU.

http://shop1.outpost.com/product/4587977?site=sr:SEARCH...
December 4, 2006 2:32:54 AM

Quote:
/bump

i switched around the sticks some, and turned down the speed in the bios, from "by spd" which set them to 333 to "50%" which set them to 166 like they *should* be. so i boot up, no hangs yet, but cpu-z now reports the frequency to be 83.7 mhz. BALLS! still workin on it.

in this test, i had both of the matched dimms in. however, the ram was in single-channel mode. how significant is this? i suppose one of my matched ones is dying/dead, which sucks, b/c that means i have to slow down the good one by sticking in the slower 256... i CANNOT have less than 512 megs... that is bad enough.....


Try go up from 133Mhz to 166Mhz fsb. I have a stick of 256MB "Panram" 2100 working fine at 2700. :roll:
Brand name ram should handle a little more speed, maybe putting higher timings, like 3 3 3 7. :roll:

Also 170W psu, 8O I think it really isn't enough. :cry:  :oops:  :x :!:
December 4, 2006 2:36:34 AM

:arrow: Have you done the standard set of tests of memtest+? You should do the "all tests" set. I had 1600 errors in tests #5 and #6. :idea:
December 4, 2006 2:50:46 AM

Quote:
no, I don't think it is spyware/virus, his system is just kinda crap (no hard feelings? :wink: ), 300 mhz ram, and socket a sempron, that explains it all

All I can say at this point is uninstall all programs that are fairly new and you don't use much, that is what is lagging your system, because they are designed to run smoothly on a basic dell that is up to date, not a 5 year old computer


What do you mean? :?: :evil:  :x I'm writing this from an amd cpu(thoroughbread b) 1.8Ghz @ 166Mhz, (almost the same than his), but with a 4200-8x and 768 ram and I can run Oblivion quite well. :roll:
December 4, 2006 2:56:24 AM

RAM Is Cheap, You Can Get A Gig For Less Than $100.00 Get Some More (And Matching) DIMMs
December 4, 2006 5:24:46 PM

Quote:
but i memtested them...!

I suppose it's more than a little sacrilegious to disrespect the memtest, but I'm not so sure how effect a test it actually is. It's not that I doubt the efficacy of the basic test algorithms themselves. I don't.

What I wonder about is how well memtest86 is able to stress the memory subsystem. I believe it relies completely on memory accesses generated from the CPU. During actual system usage though, wouldn't the memory be dealing with requests from the CPU, PCI bus (DMA), and whatever interface the video card uses, all more or less simultaneously?

IMO, a memory test that hit the memory from all possible directions would be the way to go. I'm not sure if memtest86 does this ... or if, in fact, any memory test routine does.

Just speculating out loud. But, of course, if I'm wrong about any of the above, I'm sure I'll hear about it shortly. :wink: That would be a good thing too.

-john
December 4, 2006 7:20:34 PM

Quote:
but i memtested them...!

I suppose it's more than a little sacrilegious to disrespect the memtest, but I'm not so sure how effect a test it actually is. It's not that I doubt the efficacy of the basic test algorithms themselves. I don't.

What I wonder about is how well memtest86 is able to stress the memory subsystem. I believe it relies completely on memory accesses generated from the CPU. During actual system usage though, wouldn't the memory be dealing with requests from the CPU, PCI bus (DMA), and whatever interface the video card uses, all more or less simultaneously?

IMO, a memory test that hit the memory from all possible directions would be the way to go. I'm not sure if memtest86 does this ... or if, in fact, any memory test routine does.

Just speculating out loud. But, of course, if I'm wrong about any of the above, I'm sure I'll hear about it shortly. :wink: That would be a good thing too.

-john

:arrow: With "memtest+" you boot from a floppy to have all the ram free to test, so it test ALL memory. :wink:
December 4, 2006 8:42:46 PM

fuck. i typed out a massive response, and then the computer crashed. i mean, it was gold, man. ugh. okay, well, i'll try to recreate it. sorry.
December 4, 2006 8:54:43 PM

Quote:
make sure she hasn't got you any spyware or random im programs, that would kill your system


i run a pretty tight ship. i scan regularly with adaware and nod32, as well as keep the baddies out with zonealarm. the most recent prob with spyware was back when i was trying to get that free vista, i had to use IE, man i forgot how sucky that browser is. 4 bugs in like 10 minutes of being on the intarweb. on MICROSOFT sites, too. sheesh.

Quote:
I'd guess its the power supply. Idk if you've received the new power supply yet, but you can get this one. Its definitely in your budget. If its not the PSU or ram, something in your system is busted, so you might be struggling for a lot longer. Maybe try booting up with just the 1 stick of 256 since you already tried the other stick alone. Anyways, heres the PSU.

http://shop1.outpost.com/product/4587977?site=sr:SEARCH...


i sure wish you woulda posted this link earlier! i already ordered my other psu, and am patiently waiting for it to arrive. i may get that one, also, b/c its FREE. idk. thanks for teh post!

Quote:
Try go up from 133Mhz to 166Mhz fsb. I have a stick of 256MB "Panram" 2100 working fine at 2700.
Brand name ram should handle a little more speed, maybe putting higher timings, like 3 3 3 7.

Also 170W psu, I think it really isn't enough.


yeah, i'm really hoping its the psu. i'm not sure what my speeds are currently, b/c i've been worried more about singling out BAD sticks than slightly ocing them. i'll do that, though, definately after i fix the current issue. i don't really wanna compromise any sticks while i can avoid it.

Quote:
Have you done the standard set of tests of memtest+? You should do the "all tests" set. I had 1600 errors in tests #5 and #6.


y'know, i really couldn't tell you. all i did was boot into it and run it. i think i was doing a full or complete or "all" test, but i don't really know. i'll definately check over that, especially considering you got like 1600000 errors and i got 0.

Quote:
I suppose it's more than a little sacrilegious to disrespect the memtest, but I'm not so sure how effect a test it actually is. It's not that I doubt the efficacy of the basic test algorithms themselves. I don't.


yeah, i don't like to put all my eggs in one basket, so i've been trying as many things as possible... hence the name of the thread. i posted that b/c i did try that, and memtest is held in high regards among these forumites. i think it is rather nice as far as tests go, especially because it gets significantly more of your ram b/c your not in windows... i think it was testing all but like 85 kb of mine.

so, yeah. update. i'm on one stick of ram, thats a whopping 256 total system ram, and it seems to be running okay. which sucks. you may ask why this sucks... and i'll tell you. it sucks because if this single 256 works, and all the other 256s work alone, then it must be my board, which is a much larger replacement.... so that sucks. i'll try to stress the ram and let everyone know.
December 4, 2006 9:03:43 PM

Just know that ad-aware se kinda sucks on its own, it does not detect half the spyware that spy sweeper and spyware doctor do (I can tell you this from experience, I ran ad-aware a billion times and it found nothing, then I used the spyware doctor trial and it found 11 critical spyware)

At least download spybot s/d (search and destroy) as a back, it detects and disinfects much better, but keep ad-aware as a back up

Always take spyware into consideration, I know that simply going on tomshardware gave me a bunch of crap until I got a better firewall (kasperesky, I like it far more than zone alarm free)
December 4, 2006 9:19:42 PM

Yeah sorry i didn't post that earlier, i didn't see this thread until yesterday :( . And yeah, i can validate that power supply being good. I have one and its been running great. I wouldn't try running a 8800gtx or anything on it, but for your needs and mine, its great.
December 4, 2006 9:25:13 PM

8O 8O 8O

:cry:  :cry:  :cry: 

way to make me paranoid!

8O 8O 8O

okay i'll get on those programs... damn... i like having minimal things installed... oh well... its for the better.

by the way, i've got one 256 in currently, only one, and unfortunately its working, as i said in the last post. i can stream video again! i forgot how funny "cant stop" by RHCP is.... anyway, i'll test the other 2 sticks in sequence, but man, 256 sucks. it makes my internet slower, if thats possible!

Quote:
Yeah sorry i didn't post that earlier, i didn't see this thread until yesterday Sad. And yeah, i can validate that power supply being good. I have one and its been running great. I wouldn't try running a 8800gtx or anything on it, but for your needs and mine, its great.


well thanks anyway, i really appreciate it... i think i may go through with that other psu, it seems so nice... more wattage... more expensive to begin with..... thanks again. and,have no fear. i won't have an 8series for a WHILE. heh. in a sad way. :lol:  / :cry: 
December 4, 2006 10:31:40 PM

Ok, just a thought, ad aware sucks is all I'm saying

But since you said you have reinstalled windows, I wouldn't really worry about getting spybot
December 4, 2006 10:44:00 PM

Quote:
i think i may go through with that other psu, it seems so nice... more wattage... more expensive to begin with.....

The PSUs from Ultra will cause some of the posters on this board to reach for their crosses and holy water to keep the evil at bay. They have their point.

OTOH, my personal opinion is that if it works at all when you get it, it's likely to work well enough. Especially in your situation where the PSU will not be stressed in any way. When you go for a "free" PSU, you're always taking a gamble. But it could work out for you.

If your system works with one stick of memory but not with two or more, that could be another finger of blame pointing at your current PSU. When you add another stick of memory, you increase the total power your motherboard draws, no?

Frankly, I find it rather hard to buy into believing that the extra power demand of just one more stick of SDRAM would push a system over the edge. But since the PSU is an older and rather wimpy Dell PSU, who knows ... ???

-john
December 4, 2006 10:52:32 PM

i hope that something ends up becoming fixed magically, perhaps the psu, that will allow me to use all 768 megs. i haven't tried to game yet, because i've been doing all the other things i've been missing for a few weeks, like streaming video and animating in flash.

i highly doubt that the voltage of one stick would throw off the psu, also... but i have to hope thats the truth, because if the mobo or another component is at fault, i really can't replace it, and i just basically am screwed over. so that sux.

i'm still meaning to filter through the other sticks and test them in this manner, one at a time, but i've just been missing this stuff that i can now do with a stable system, i dont wanna turn it off!



so would the verdict on the spybot be nay, then?
December 4, 2006 10:53:13 PM

Oh, I forgot to mention this, make sure the holes for your current psu line up with those of a new non-dell psu

I am saying this because my neighboor owns and hp and asked me to install a new psu they bought for them, but the big companies have costume sized cases, motherboars and psus. So make sure that yours is not curstome made too, you can buy a dell sized psu from some sites if that is the case (google the product number) and they are a bit more expensive

Just letting you know before you make a purchase that may be completely useless
December 4, 2006 10:56:01 PM

hell i'll duct tape the sucker in if need be. that psu is GOING in my system.

nah, i'm not really worried. although the PSU is a dell hunk of crap, the case is... well jeeze.... i have no idea... but its a hunk of crap too. i suppose the fact that the possibly smaller dell psu fits is a bad sign, meaning yes, the case may be too small. but i'm not going to worry about that, as the order is placed, and the force tells me it'll work out. plus i have an antique full-ish-tower case that i could throw everything in at last resort. who knows. IT WILL WORK. heh. see how crazy this is making me?
December 4, 2006 11:03:24 PM

I feel your pane, I used to have a celeron 600 mhz (yes not even a ghz) processor with 32mb of ram running windows 98

I was about to throw the thing out the window until I got an athlon 3000 and now I am receiving my x2 4000 and asus crosshair mobo tomorrow

At this point, I would consider ebay, anything is worth it to atleast get you up to a gig of ram
http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?cgiurl=http%3A...
and this doesn't seem too bad for the price
http://cgi.ebay.com/1-NEW-512MB-PC2700-DDR-DDR333-512-M...

Oh, and did the page file thing work at all, because I don't see much of a difference myself after doing that
December 4, 2006 11:16:22 PM

Quote:
I feel your pane, I used to have a celeron 600 mhz (yes not even a ghz) processor with 32mb of ram running windows 98


yeah, man, i'm glad those days are over for me, too. jeeze. i had a very similar setup earlier this year... my parents old computer. 2 ghz is so crazy for me now, i'm loving every minute, i'm so appreciative.

i've been very close to buying scratch-and-dent off newegg, or ebay also, but just as my instincts tell me not to use a celeron processor, they also tell me not to buy second-hand tech. but i'm just gonna do it... i figure if only one of my slots work on this mobo, i may buy a 1gig stick and be more happy than i am now! er, was, with 768.

i actually was going to try the PF dealie yesterday, when my computer was feigning stability.... y'see, i want to fix out my physical RAM before i do the virtual stuff, b/c once the physical is fixed, i will be able to accomplish the task of the virtual. you say you can't tell much difference? thats odd. i still wanna give it a go. speaking of 'go'-s, here goes, i'm gonna test the other two sticks. *wishes self luck*
December 4, 2006 11:21:27 PM

Quote:
*wishes self luck*

ha, very funny
I think my reason is that my processor is running at only 1.8 ghz (athlon 3000) and that my mobo is about dead, that is why I recently bought the crosshair and x2 4000

I would give the pf a go though, since you are starting to get desparate
And since you can't dual channel your ram, buying a single 1gig stick isn't a bad idea, but try for ddr400 instead of 333 (or 433 if you have an odd multiplier)

I would buy the ram from ebay unless if you can afford a newer system, because you are better off saving the money considering this is a crap dell build (excuse me if you still like it), but if you can afford a newer build, then buy new ram, as you want a fresh start, and you don't[/quote] want parts worn out

Edit: what the hell? how did that [/quote] in the middle of there? dang stinky elbows getting in my way.....
December 4, 2006 11:58:35 PM

Quote:

ha, very funny
I think my reason is that my processor is running at only 1.8 ghz (athlon 3000) and that my mobo is about dead, that is why I recently bought the crosshair and x2 4000

I would give the pf a go though, since you are starting to get desparate
And since you can't dual channel your ram, buying a single 1gig stick isn't a bad idea, but try for ddr400 instead of 333 (or 433 if you have an odd multiplier)

I would buy the ram from ebay unless if you can afford a newer system, because you are better off saving the money considering this is a crap dell build (excuse me if you still like it), but if you can afford a newer build, then buy new ram, as you want a fresh start, and you don't want parts worn out

Edit: what the hell? how did that in the middle of there? dang stinky elbows getting in my way.....


:lol:  :lol:  :lol: 

rofl. dude you got it wrong again! my computer is a hodge-podge, neither a 300 mhz computer nor a dell build. its kinda teh frankenstein-chimera-bastard child of like 5 other computers. lol. thats so funny. don't worry about "playing nice" with me, there is honestly no way you can make me feel bad or hurt my self-esteem. so don't worry about it. i trash-talk my computer all the time. lol.

yeah, i think i'll go dell before i go full system as i NEVER have ANY money. :'( 
but i'm too young to work so its okay... i keep telling myself it'll all get better.

so, about the ram again. it turns out that apparently, and laughably, 2 sticks are bad. yeah. big surprise there. very unlikely, too. the first stick of the matched pair that i tried worked flawlessly. the second stick worked relatively well, it was a tad glitchy, but did freeze. i threw it over my shoulder. its probably under the bed now. so that stick is gone. anyway, just trying out the third stick. i'm posting before i stress it, but i think that it may be glitchy also. well, i suppose i'll find out, here goes.....

*wishes self luck again*
December 5, 2006 12:10:33 AM

you've gotta be fuckin kidding me.

tested first stick=worked perfectly!
tested second stick= hung horribly!
tested third stick= hung horribly!

returned to first stick= hung horribly!

:evil: 

okay. this sux. i'm still hoping its my psu, but thats unlikely.... damn.... must be the mobo or something. ugh. they can't all be bad. i guess i'll have to try and borrow some ram. damn. i thought i had it figured out. ugh. this is so frustrating.

it worked flawlessly the last time it was in. what gives? ugh.

-----------------
EDIT:

eh-heh... touché, word filters..... i have met my match.
December 5, 2006 12:18:02 AM

Man now that I think about it, it really has to be the PSU. Systems built with parts like that new have at least 300W PSUs, even brands like Dell or eMachines. If you calculate in the approximate 65% (just guessing) efficiency of that PSU, it is very unlikely that its giving you enough power.

And also, your symptoms are exactly what happens when you overload a PSU. If i were you, i'd just forget about tweaking stuff until your new PSU comes in, because that will probably solve it.
December 5, 2006 12:18:53 AM

Another possibility could be your mouse. Are you using a USB one? I had a dodgy mouse once that would cause the machine to periodically re-load the drivers (causing it to hang for a little bit), and occassionally crash the machine.
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