Just built a new PC to replace my aging laptop. Pertinent specs:
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS3L motherboard
Intel Q6600 Core 2 Quad 2.40 Ghz (266mhz x 9)
mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 RAM
WD Caviar GP WD5000AACS 500GB SATA 3Gb/s hard drive
Sapphire 4850 512MB 100242L ATi Radeon HD 4850 PCI-E video card
LG GH20NS15 dvd burner
Put it all together, turned it on. Got lights, sound and action.
First thing...flashed to BIOS to the latest rev from the Mfg. that went fine (rev 8).
Set what I thought was needed in the BIOS. Set the hard drive to boot first, then the CD/DVD.
A couple times, it went through both (blank hard drive/empty cd drive) and left me with the expected "BOOT FAILURE - NO DISK, etc, etc, etc). Fine.
At this point, I realized that I had the memory in wrong (for single channel, when it is capable for dual channel), so I changed that, nothing else physically.
Now, it hung when trying to load from the hard drive (It GOT through POST, left me hanging at "Verifying DMI Pool Data.........")
I tried to change it up and boot from the CD/DVD first. That worked, I stuck a Window XP Pro (original, no service packs) disc in. Setup started to load (got through loading all the drivers in the DOS-text style screen) but when it go to "Starting Windows," I got the first Blue Screen of Death.
I restarted. It was at this point that i started to worry a bit. I tried a Windows Vista Business (original) disc. it loaded up to the point until the first full-screen wallpaper-type graphic appeared (after the boot screen/"loading windows"/etc.) then hung. Restart.
I have tried everything. Different SATA ports (there are 6 total). Switching my SATA cables between the DVD drive and the hard drive. disconnecting the DVD drive. Switching the memory between all 4 slots, in single and dual channel mode. Different power plugs for the 2 drives.
As far as BIOS settings go, ive tried most things that I recognize...so maybe Im missing something. I've changed the RAM Latency settings per the RAM mfg (5-4-4-12). the RAM voltage is detected correctly too.
Ive found a few similar cases on other forums. It seems like it is not the hard drive (though I am not ruling it out obviously, because it does spin up and does not make any suspect sounds yet), due to other issues being the Motherboard being picky about RAM/etc. My suspiscions are HDD, video card, memory or just a setting(s).
Tried clearing the CMOS w/ the jumper...no change.
BOTTOM LINE: I cant get it past seeing a HDD when it comes time to try to boot from it (even if its blank...it should return the FAILURE error then), or loading an OS from a CD (gives me BSOD).
ok. I got it running. changed some more BIOS settings. i think the most significant was changing the CPU Termination voltage to 1.30 V, where the VCORE voltage is 1.31xxx V.
I installed Windows XP SP2 (note: my video card is PCI-E. Windows XP and XP SP1 will not even boot setup because they do not support PCI-E, which was the source of one problem earlier!). it works pretty well, except that it will hang now sporadically. I really want to ensure that this system is stable before i use it regularly.
It hangs always when I am doing SOMETHING (ie. not sitting idle at a desktop). It has hung when sound or music is playing. It hangs on startup either at the logon screen or while playing the Microsoft startup Sound. It hangs when installing software sometimes. It hangs when downloading files. Its very random, and does not happen all of the time; no commonality except that it is when its doing SOMETHING, not idle.