system crashing and cannot find out why..

My pc is a home build

mobo-gigabyte 965p-s3
core duo allen dale 1.8ghz
patriot memory 4 1 gig sticks
1 ide 320 gig western digital
1 sata 250 gig western digital
320mb 8800 gts geforce

I recently started getting the blue screen through xp. I have had this build working for about 4 months until now. This started when I installed a couple programs I got off the internet. I did full avg scans on all programs before installing them, but realize this still could be the culprit. During the install of one of these programs it would blue screen then reboot before I could read the what the blue screen said. I was using a image drive(iso) to install these progs. I am thinking it is either my mobo or ide hd that is failing. Now whenever I virus scan my ide drive, which I only use for back up purposes, it stalls and blue screens. After a couple of tests to see what files on my ide drive that was stalling on I figured out it never stops at a particular file it just will stall and blue screen.It does not blue screen when I scan my sata(system) drive. When it reboots, it stalls at the bios start up screen where it checks your memory so I have to turn the cpu off and on to get it to boot. Now, my memory moduals are not working if I have all 4 of them in. I get a bunch of repeated beaps from the mobo when all 4 are in. I have tested all 4 and they all work if they are in the last two slots. It seems the 2 slots next to the ones that work are bad. I really do not know what to do at this point. It can't be the memory because they all work if 2 of them are plugged into the 2 slots that work. I am going to test out my ide drive on my buddies cpu to scan it and see if I get the same result. If it doesn't blue screen on his cpu can I assume its a MOBO issue? I suppose it still could be a windows xp problem, but thgat wouldn't have any effect on my memory slots not working woud it? Anyone have any other suggestions???
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  1. Well, the RAM problem that you are having is due to the fact that Windows XP does not support more than 3 gigs of RAM. If you want to use more than 3 and still use windows, you will have to go to Windows Vista, which theoretically has no limit. You were kinda vague here however, but is there also a problem with some of your RAM slots???

    As for the IDE drive, deffiniatly test it on a different computer. If it works on the other comp then its most likely a Motherboard issue. If it doesn't work on the other comp then its a dead drive of course. Either way, if your SATA is working, then just use the one SATA drive you have or upgrade your 2nd drive to a SATA.

    Good luck!
  2. Aslong as the motherboard supports 4gb or more - 4x1gb dimms should be fine - 32 bit Win XP/Vista will only report 3.3gb max... (still worth having thou - for the dual channel factor)

    As for the HDD - you didnt say whether the ide/SATA is the bootdrive. I prefer not to mix ide/SATA...

    This started when I installed a couple programs I got off the internet.

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