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Hardware issue impeding OS boot?

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September 23, 2009 11:04:19 PM

Hello, I am having issues installing Vista, but I think that it is a result of bad parts. The first hardware fault detected was bad RAM. I ordered the OCZ Platinum 6GB DDR3 set and one either came DOA or the motherboard just won't detect it. I've been trying since last night to install and have been getting a plethora of BSoDs. The bugcheck messages I have recorded are, but not limited to:

IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL
MEMORY_MANAGEMENT
PNF_LIST_CORRUPT

We figured it was a RAM issue, so we've been working with one stick of RAM at a time. Our latest attempt was to siphon through the BIOs and we switched the SATAII settings from enhanced to compatible because we also though we had an issue with the SATA drivers. Now my computer just won't boot up anymore and we received a DMA-1 error while trying to enter the BIOs setup. So could this also be an issue with my motherboard as well?

My apologies if this should have gone into the Vista forum.
September 24, 2009 6:10:26 AM

I'm unsure about the voltage, but now I can't even get into the BIOs. It just freezes at the initial ASRock screen. The debug code that appears on the motherboard is 38 which I believe has to do with memory.
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September 24, 2009 6:39:23 AM

Sounds like you hit the nail on the head. Issue is almost certainly RAM. If the motherboard has no onboard speaker, try connecting some speakers. Some of the newer boards (my P4C800-E does this) will actually give a verbal indication of bad ram, overheating, etc. Those with speakers (just a tiny high-frequency speaker) on the MB will usually issue a series of beeps indicating bad RAM, corrupted BIOS, etc. Your ears will lead you to the answer.

If you do hook up speakers and get nothing, and there are no series of beeps, I'd do two things. First, try the RAM one stick at a time, one slot at a time. I'd also make sure all necessary power connections are in place (standard ATX 20pin+ 4 or 8 pin 12v power, whatever your particular board needs. You'll see the power connectors on the board and likely already have them connected.), and make sure that if you are running a video card that requires an additional power connector (4pin molex, 6 or 8 pin PCIe) that power is being provided to the card.

If you still cannot even access the bios to address the issue, you certainly do have a hardware issue and it is either the board or the memory. If checking the memory a stick a time a slot at a time produces the same results (hang during POST), then the issue is almost certainly the RAM. The best way to check this is to attempt to use the RAM in another machine. If it works flawlessly in another box, your issue is the board. If it does not, it is the RAM.

Hope this helps!

PS - here is a link to a thorough and free software memory checking tool. It isn't guaranteed to diagnose faulty RAM, but I've never had it fail and trust it. Memtest 86+
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September 24, 2009 11:33:13 PM

I'm able to get back into my BIOs again and now I'm thinking the issue is the RAM timing. I am unsure if my friends who are helping me with this build are too familiar with how to deal with this. I think I should be rifling through the OCZ memory support forums now.
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October 6, 2009 3:04:56 PM

Zipzoomflyhigh is right. Start with the basics. Check the RAM in the way I suggested. Try it in another machine if possible.

Diagnosing and resolving issues with PC's and all types of computers requires patience.

Doesn't look like you've responded in a while. Going to assume you've figured it out.

If not, hit up the forum for more help.

Good luck man
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