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Could my monitor problem be the motherboard?

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March 14, 2010 10:39:39 PM

My acer P191w monitor isnt working. I finally build my computer and I turned it on for the very first time, I got the monitor from my brother who never had any problems with the monitor before. Here is my build:
Thermaltake V9 case
Gigabyte 890gx mobo
Gskill 1600 cas 7 ripjaws ram
Antec truepower 750w PSU
ATI (xfx) 5850 (stock not overclocked)
Seagate barracuda hard drive
LG cd dvd writer
AMD 955 BE CPU

My monitor turns on fine, it says "ACER" then it says "no signal" about 4 seconds later. Both the mobo and monitor have a DVI cables/ports. My computer turns on fine, all the fans and PSU works too. I looked all over the internet and have tried the power cool down with the monitor (unplugging monitor and holding down the power button), I've tried unplugging and blowing in the cables and making sure theres not bend wires or anything and plugged them back in and still nothing. I have read that it could be the motherboard. Any ideas as to whats wrong and how I can fix it would help greatly. Thanks.

More about : monitor problem motherboard

a b C Monitor
a c 177 V Motherboard
March 14, 2010 11:05:14 PM

You probably should have assembled the 'bare bones' out of the case, just to test, before whacking it all together... Sounds like time for a 'strip-down'...

Mind you, there are two ways to do this: you can do it either in or out of the case. The advantages and drawbacks:in the case is easier and faster, but will not find case-related problems, like shorts from extra, mispositioned standoffs, or ground plane problems; out of the case takes longer, and you may run into 'reach' problems - power supply cables and front panel power switch headers may not be long enough; for the power supply, it's usually just a matter of removing four screws to temorarily relocate it; for the power switch, you can just do this (carefully):

You only need to short the pins momentarily - that's all the power switch does...Out of the case also affords you an easy opportunity to 'flip' the board to check your heatsink/fan attachment setup, to be sure all the pins are fully seated, locked, and not cracked... If you do the out of the case, you need to lay the board on a non-conductive surface: the box the MOBO came in is ideal; but - the foam pad it came with, and the bag it was in are not - being 'antistat', they are somewhat conductive, and may induce problems...

Another item worth mention at this point is case speakers: if you haven't got one - get one!
http://www.cwc-group.com/casp.html
A lot of people operate under the misaprehension that the 'diagnostic beeps' should come through the speakers attached to their sound-card/chip - not so! Your three hundred dollar Altec-Lansings won't do you any good here - you have to have a case speaker attached to the front panel header, and, often by this point, it's the only diagnostic info you'll have to go on...

The standard 'strip-down':

Power down at PSU switch
remove everything except
CPU and heatsink/fan (check carefully that the fan retaining pins are fully inserted, completely locked, and not cracked)
one stick of RAM, in slot closest to CPU
video card and monitor connector (if more than one PCIe slot, again, in slot closest to CPU)
all power plugs - 20+4 or 24, 2x2 or 2x4 ATX power, graphics card power
case speaker and power switch connectors
keyboard (don't need a mouse at this point)
place jumper on RST_CMOS pins
remove jumper from RST_CMOS pins
power up at PSU switch
power up by depressing case power switch (or shorting the 'power' pins...)
If you get video, enter BIOS with <DEL> (may need a <TAB> to get to POST screen, if 'splash' screen is enabled)
Select and execute "Load Optimized Defaults" - save and exit, reboot
power down
reinsert other components, one at a time, testing each time after addition...
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March 14, 2010 11:15:04 PM

Ill give it a try! Thanks for the help. I know its not the monitor now because I hooked it up to a friends laptop and it works. But I'll unplug the things you told me and follow the instructions. I should comment back soon. Thanks again.
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March 14, 2010 11:33:37 PM

Im sorry, what do you mean by "short the pins"? And do I NEED a case speaker to do this stuff?
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March 14, 2010 11:35:04 PM

It's best to have a speaker in it, that way you can listen for any POST beeps.
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March 14, 2010 11:39:42 PM

What do the beeps tell you?
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a b C Monitor
a c 177 V Motherboard
March 14, 2010 11:42:35 PM

I'm a little confused, as the only GB 890 based MOBO I'm aware of is the GA-890GPA-UD3H; anyway, this is from its manual (page 108):

Q: What do the beeps emitted during the POST mean?
A: The following Award BIOS beep code descriptions may help you identify possible computer problems.
(For reference only.)
1 short: System boots successfully
2 short: CMOS setting error
1 long, 1 short: Memory or motherboard error
1 long, 2 short: Monitor or graphics card error
1 long, 3 short: Keyboard error
1 long, 9 short: BIOS ROM error
Continuous long beeps: Graphics card not inserted properly
Continuous short beeps: Power error

You can do the strip-down first - it may work with just the MOBO, one stick of RAM, video, and power supply; if it still doesn't, the 'beep codes' are pretty much all you've got to work with - at that point, the speaker is really good to have! (The shipping is likely more than the speaker - might be a good idea to order it anyway - that way, if you need it, it'll be on its way! ;) 
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March 15, 2010 12:04:27 AM

I tried it without the beep tones and it did not work with just the Mobo, 1 stick of ram, the video card and the power supply. I need to get a case speaker I guess. Any other suggestions I can do without the case speaker for now?
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a b C Monitor
a c 177 V Motherboard
March 15, 2010 1:20:40 AM

Well, son, you got one problem here that I see, and don't know what to tell you about... (Hope you don't mind me callin' you 'son' - I hadn't ought to be so familiar, but I 've got myself into the habit and I can't seem to shake it - anybody that don't have a long white beard and arthritis is 'son' to me [:bilbat:6] ) You seem to have gotten yourself the fastest, newest, hottest, well - everything! Along with that comes a bunch 'o 'new-tech grief' [:bilbat:3] ! Far as I know, that's the very first board sporting the brand-spankin'-new 890 chipset, and no one has any experience with it (yet - but we're, I bet, gonna get some now! [:bilbat:5] !) The BIOS is new - written, I'm betting, according to AMD 'pseudo-code' examples in the release docs - and nobody (to grab the biggest piece of that 'new-stuff' market share they could bite off) had time to 'diddle around' for a month or two with it, to see how and with what it works [:bilbat:1]

The very first thing we're going to do, once we get it booting stably with one DIMM, is to flash the latest BIOS release (I was surprised there already is one! :ouch:  ), as it was released a mere twenty-four days after the 'shipped' BIOS; and you're going to want to bookmark the BIOS release page for the board, and get good at flashing, 'cause I'll bet there's a new BIOS every month 'till, say, August...

The procedure I listed is 'from the can' - it's pretty generic. I hadn't had a chance to read the 890 manual, and I have a couple suggestions:

First, try it without the vidcard first, while it's out in the open (I'm assuming you took it out of the case - if you haven't - do so now - it will eliminate, as I mentioned, the possibility of shorts in the mounting hardware); by default, the on-board video is enabled, set up in a 'minimally intrusive' mode, and should be configured to work either VGA or DVI connectors...

If you still have trouble, try shifting the single DIMM from slot DDR3_1 (the blue one, closest to the CPU), to slot DDR3_3 (the white one, also closest to the CPU); the reason I suggest this is that there is some confusion here between documents; Gigabyte says to use the channels closest to the CPU if not populating all four; AMD, on the other hand, in their 'Unleash the Dragon' tuning guide,
http://game.amd.com/us-en/content/pdf/AMD_Dragon_AM3_AM...
says to use the farthest channels :??:  probably worth a try both ways. Again, be sure to complete the 'unpowered' CMOS reset each time, before testing each time... You should also, if no results, try the other DIMM, in case you just happened to get a bad one...

And, I have a few questions:

You say your fans are powering on... Do they stay on, or do they sort of cycle, on, and then off, and then on again? What about the front panel power LED? Is it staying on, or is it, too, cycling? Power supply fan(s)? Are they coming up, and staying up? Are you sure your DVI cable ends are 'seating' properly when you plug 'em in? If they aren't going in fully, or seem to 'rock' in place - there are a few different 'flavors' of DVI cable end...

Don't worry too much, and don't be in a hurry - we'll get this puppy working, it sounds like she'll scream, and you'll have a long, enjoyable time with her - just gotta hang in there through the 'teething' period :sol: 
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March 15, 2010 1:57:24 AM

Thanks, I guess I dont mind you calling me son. lol When the fans are plugged in they stay on and the all the fan leds work. I'm pretty sure the psu fan stays on, its hard to feel because the case has a dust filter but its definitely not turning off and on. And the cable to the monitor isnt a DVI (sorry) its a VGA. The front panel lights work too (power and some red light that flashes too).

I'm just getting worked up because I researched and waited for a long time and earned the money and now it doesnt work! I ordered everything through newegg or ewiz and I hope I dont have to RMA anything because my roommates through out a lot of the boxes and stuff. :/ 

I do appreciate the help bilbat and I will try the things you told me.
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March 15, 2010 2:08:56 AM

I tried it once and no luck. I clicked on your link but it didnt work. And what do you mean by 'unpowered CMOS'? Do you mean taking out the little round battery? I'm gonna try the other ram now and try different slots.
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a b C Monitor
a c 177 V Motherboard
March 15, 2010 3:15:43 AM

Quote:
'unpowered CMOS'

Nah - you don't have to pull the battery - just make sure the PSU switch is off when you jumper the CMOS_RST pins (and you only have to do that momentarily) - if there's no switch on the PSU, pull the plug... Yeah - I know it's frustrating - but I often think computers were put on the earth simply to test our patience! (But then I realize - they're actually here as solid proof of Murphy's Laws!! :kaola:  )

Oh - and shoot the roommate! (...well, maybe not - read this one:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/271719-30-advice
..at least he didn't dump bong water in your rig!! [:bilbat:5] )
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March 15, 2010 3:26:48 AM

It works! It asked for the OS but Im afraid to go any farther without any advice.
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a b C Monitor
a c 177 V Motherboard
March 15, 2010 3:50:48 AM

Boot it again; 'peck' at the <DEL> key like a little woodpecker during the boot to get into the BIOS; on the top right (second item) of the menus, you'll see an item called "Load Optimized Defaults"; select this, do the load, when it's complete (it'll sort of 'flash' the screen); then do an <F10> 'save & exit'; on the reboot, power down; power off once again; If your DIMM worked in the blue slot, add you other DIMM to the other blue slot - if it worked in the white slot, add your other DIMM to the other white slot; power back up & see if it's 'still cookin'? If it is - pop a beer, and congratulate yourself... :bounce: 

I now we're getting to the 'exciting part', but if it's OK on your end, I'm pretty much at the end of my day, here... (I'm a manic deoressive, and if I don't sleep on a solid, predictable schedule, in a day or two I'm walking on the ceiling, wearing a tin-foil hat! :pt1cable:  ) Don't know what time zone you're in, but if you're not ready to quit yet, here's a project to get a jump on tomorrow:

Download this:
http://www.memtest.org/download/4.00/memtest86+-4.00.is...
it'll 'unzip' to an ISO file; 'burn' the .iso to a CD, using Roxio, or Nero, or whatever you've got (if your at a seven machine the 'burner' is built-in; just right click on the iso, do 'open with', and select 'windoze disk image burner'); if you don't have anything to do the 'burn', this is free:
http://www.freeisoburner.com/
What this will give you is a bootable, comprehensive memory tester, that will allow us to check your memory (and, more importantly, your memory set-up) to make sure it's all solid, and we aren't going to get any unpleasant surprises, either burning the latest BIOS, or installing the OS (BTW - what OS are you intending to use?)
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March 15, 2010 4:02:13 AM

The OS is installing now. I got a little ahead of myself. I'm using windows 7 64 bit. Can I still turn it off and reboot and get into the BIOS like you said?
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March 15, 2010 5:20:41 AM

Great, I downloaded the OS before going into the BIOS, I did go into the BIOS and did what you said but there was no 'flash' but I still save and exited. I was able to go on the internet on my computer and everything, the resolution looked a little weird but it can be fixed. I shut it down then tried to add the extra ram and the video card but now it wont even turn on. I tried unplugging everything and replugging and just having the motherboard, psu, and ram in and it still wont work.

This is DEFINITELY testing my patience. :) 
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a b C Monitor
a c 177 V Motherboard
March 15, 2010 3:02:42 PM

Quote:
This is DEFINITELY testing my patience.

...and finding it lacking :lol:  ...

I likely should have explained better...

The thing we did with the single DIMM, and nothing else attached, was to simply get it running, at all, any way possible, so we'd have a 'chance' to make it 'smarter'... If you can't get into the BIOS, you have your hands tied. Once you can - the purpose of the "Load Optimized" is to run a block of BIOS code that 'finds' what's connected to the system, 'reads' what it is, and how it's connected, and then tries to make adjustments to itself based on these findings. In your RAM, on each DIMM, there is a little 'bank' of tables called an SPD (it stands for 'serial presence detect' - which, of course, makes no sense that I've ever been able to figure out!); this 'table' contains the 'settings' for running the RAM; and it contains several entries, for various speeds it is capable of... In addition to these 'primary' entries, most hi-performance RAM has another table, that contains the settings for 'full blast'; hopefully, if these tables are set up correctly for your processor/BIOS, it 'reads' that first DIMM we put in, optimizes itself, and then we should be able to add the second DIMM, and it should 'just work'!

Here's where the patience comes in: you 'threw' some pieces at it, and it quit working... Why? Well, we don't really know (and can't know, doing it that way); is one of the DIMMs simply bad? Is it not setting up for the DIMMs correctly? Is the vidcard bad? Does it maybe simply require some BIOS adjustments, to get the 'external' vidcard working? Maybe the vidcard just doesn't 'like' that particular slot? We can't answer any of those questions without adding, and testing, one single thing at a time! I realize you've got a pile of money sitting there; I realize you've been 'tracking shipments', twice a day for a week, I realize you're excited - but you gotta calm down! [:bilbat:7] I blame the computer media for a lot of this problem - they often illustrate a 'build' in a couple pages, and make it seem like you can just 'dump' your pile of parts into a heap, and it will magically 'transform' itself into a hi-po computer - but, IT AIN'T SO!! The higher the performance level of the parts you select, the 'newer to the market' they are - the more difficult and painstaking you can expect the 'integration' to be - and that's exactly what we're trying to do here - integrate! Every sub-system (RAM, PCIe, Video, drives, OS) wants to be fine-tuned to each other; if you don't take the time to do this properly, now, you've pretty much wasted your money on that monster pile of parts :cry:  Then, there's another thing. Electronics suffer from a problem known as 'infant mortality'; not only is it possible to get a bad part 'out of the box' (which means you will need to identify that bad part...), even from very good suppliers/manufacturers; but, if something electronic is going to fail, most often it's going to fail in either the first few hours, or the first few weeks - and the more 'stuff' you have, the more likely you will face one of these problems. The skillset you learn integrating the system, will serve you well for its entire life, as you'll understand the process/procedure for troubleshooting - for isolating a symptom down to a cause...

OK - lecture done - I hope I didn't offend ;)  Post when you're ready to continue, and I'll try to walk you through this in the most direct, but also thorough manner I know how - and I've been doing this for roughly twenty-seven years [:bilbat:6]
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March 15, 2010 3:15:43 PM

Haha, I'm ready. The funny thing is when I threw everything together for the first time, everything worked but the monitor didnt. Thats probably why I got worked up because it wont even turn on now. But yes, I'm ready to start as your young apprentice.....Master lol (little starwars for ya.)
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a b C Monitor
a c 177 V Motherboard
March 15, 2010 3:29:05 PM

OK - thing we want to do now, is get back to the state it was in when you did get a decent start-up; disconnect the drives, one DIMM, no vidcard, and 'fiddle' with DIMMs/slots 'till you get a successfull POST (power on self test...) Is it still 'out of the case'?
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March 15, 2010 3:33:08 PM

No, I'm testing everything in the case.
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March 15, 2010 3:38:35 PM

Ok, I got it to work. It says "Disk boot failure" which means I need to hook up the cd driver right?
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a b C Monitor
a c 177 V Motherboard
March 15, 2010 3:39:31 PM

Well, it's ever so much easier to 'twiddle' with sticks of RAM when it's 'out', but - if it was 'in' when you got the good boots, it pretty much eliminates the possibility of a 'case short' problem... So, can you get it back to the 'successful POST' state by moving RAM around, or have you tried both sticks in the slot one of them was working in, and still get no POST?
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March 15, 2010 3:40:59 PM

Well its working now. I have one DIMM in right now in the DDR3_3 slot. And it says "Disk boot failure."
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March 15, 2010 4:05:44 PM

I'm in the BIOS right now. What do i do now?
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a b C Monitor
a c 177 V Motherboard
March 15, 2010 4:08:52 PM

OK, now pull that DIMM (powered down, of course :pt1cable:  ), and substitute the other, in the same slot - what we want to discover is whether each DIMM will work at all - maybe a bad one...
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March 15, 2010 4:11:38 PM

Ok. So i just turn off the computer even though its in the BIOS right now?
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March 15, 2010 4:14:42 PM

OK the other stick works too, and I'm in the BIOS now.
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March 15, 2010 4:25:08 PM

Do I just choose the "Load Optimized Defaults"? Theres also a 'Q-Flash' option (F8) is that different than flashing the bios? Once I do select something do I choose "Load CMOS to BIOS" after?
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a b C Monitor
a c 177 V Motherboard
March 15, 2010 4:25:30 PM

So - both DIMMs work, individually; likelyhood of a 'bad' one is low; now, without changing anything else, power down and add the second DIMM to the other same colored slot that the working one is in; boot, and see if it's OK...
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March 15, 2010 4:30:46 PM

Alright they both work! I'm in the bios now. Now what master? lol
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March 15, 2010 4:38:53 PM

Do I continue with the BIOS like you said before all of this mess happened? lol
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a b C Monitor
a c 177 V Motherboard
March 15, 2010 4:50:23 PM

... feeeel the force, Luke... :pt1cable: 

At this point, we want to do a thorough test of the memory subsystem - did you do the project I posted at the end of last night? (burning the MemTest CD?)

Also, at this point we want to make it simpler to get into the BIOS, and find out which BIOS your board shipped with...

Once again, boot and enter the BIOS; go to the "Advanced BIOS Features" page and disable the "Full Screen LOGO Show" item; while you're there, set the "First Boot Device" item to "CD-ROM", and the "Second/Third Boot Devices" (temporarily) to "Disabled"; once again, an <F10> to save and exit...

Now, on the reboot, you should see something similar to this:

What we are interested in is the BIOS version; if it's "F4" we're in good shape, and can skip some steps; if it's "F3", we'll need to fix that, after the RAM testing...
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March 15, 2010 4:54:25 PM

Well I dont have a CD to burn the MemTest on. Can I still do all the stuff without the memtest? I dont have a CD to burn it on. I'm also going to start rapid firing this. I have class in an hour. lol
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March 15, 2010 5:10:48 PM

Ok, my friend has a CD I can burn it on. Just to let you know last night I was able to use the computer and I already loaded the OS and everything and I was even able to get on the internet and download he memtest but I didnt have a CD to burn to, Did I go too far? Was I supposed to do all of this BIOS stuff before I even loaded the OS?
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a b C Monitor
a c 177 V Motherboard
March 15, 2010 5:17:01 PM

" I'm also going to start rapid firing this" = "shoots self in foot, complains about having to change the bandage twice a week..."

RELAX! Go to class - put the thing out of your mind while there! On the way home, stop at gas station, pick up: six pack (Sedatives!), and blank CDs (never thought I'd live to see the day when the average gas station would carry CDs! :lol:  ); the machine (or, at this point, the 'pile of parts') isn't going anywhere... It will be waiting for you when you return! Like I said, that's an impressive 'pile of parts'; you want it to turn into an impressive machine - you don't shortcut anything [:bilbat:8]
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March 15, 2010 5:27:14 PM

Alright sure thing! Do I still need to run the memtest even though the ram runs fine now? It seems like the problem is the graphics card.
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a b C Monitor
a c 177 V Motherboard
March 15, 2010 5:37:00 PM

Sorry it took me a bit, I'm baking brownies and had to linger a while to lick the bowl... :sol: 

Quote:
Was I supposed to do all of this BIOS stuff before I even loaded the OS?

That's the basic idea :D  There are two reasons:

The windoze installer is, in and of itself, an excellent 'stress test'; if anything in the whole system is unstable, any which way, you'll usually wind up with an abrupt problem during the install...

Windoze is happiest when it's installed with all the hardware in (and working correctly!) - you can add the stuff later, or reconfigure it, but it gets, often, to be a bigger and 'trickier' job - and the OS is the 'brains' of your new machine - you want it as absolutely and positively 'well-installed' as humanly possible!

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March 15, 2010 5:51:55 PM

So its not too late to make the changes in the BIOS? I consulted with my friend's dad whos pretty savy with computers said that I should try the video card since everything else works and I did and the monitor couldnt recognize the computer, no signal. But he said it could be a faulty video card or that I neeed to disable the onboard graphics. But before I disable the onboard I need to make sure I can reset the defaults in some way so I'm not stuck with the settings at disabled onboard ad the video card doesnt work then im up a creek fro sure.
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a b C Monitor
a c 177 V Motherboard
March 15, 2010 6:09:21 PM

We'll get to the video - the memory is the first thing, as every other thing in the whole system is depedent upon the CPU and memory working together - perfectly!

Yes, you can get a 'reset' of the video subsystem once we've configured it to 'depend' on the external card - just doing the 'CMOS reset' procedure will return it to default settings which enable the 'on-board'...

Back to memory, we have yet to:
test, to make sure it's working;
examine the settings, to make sure its 'automatic' configuration, by the "Load Optimized", is the correct setting, and uses the memory at it's rated settings;
if 'problems' with either of those two - hand configure the RAM, and test - again! [:bilbat:8]

Just to give you an idea of patience, when I did my current workstation, I bought six sticks of RAM, to select and use the four fastest/most stable; I 'labelled and loaded' each stick, individually, and ran MemTest four times on each stick, overnight for each 'try', at four different speeds - to 'qualify it', and find the best sticks!! Now, we aren't going to do anything even nearly that extreme, but we do want to confirm that it's working, and working correctly...
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March 15, 2010 7:12:56 PM

Ok, so how do i examine the settings? Do I need to have the memtest burned and in the cd driver to do this?
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March 15, 2010 8:16:50 PM

I looked at the settings in the BIOS and it said the "memory core clock" is on "auto" but the clock is at 1333 not 1600 like it is when I ordered it. The case latency is at 9 too I think but its supposed t be 7. I think the volts are at 1.5 which is correct. How do I change/fix this? I burned the memtest and put the cd in my computer but it doesnt recognize it at all.
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a b C Monitor
a c 177 V Motherboard
March 15, 2010 9:02:27 PM

That's precisely what I was talking about - it may be working, but not at rated clocking - we'll see if it can be done... Please post the actual part number of the RAM - and, oh, that BIOS rev # too, please...
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a b C Monitor
a c 177 V Motherboard
March 15, 2010 9:03:13 PM

Umm, and is it a SATA or IDE DVD?
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March 15, 2010 9:57:15 PM

I dont know exactly what BIOS it is, it comes up and goes away so fast. It might be F4, im not completely sure. What is the actual part number? How do I find it?
And what are you talking about when you ask for sata or ide dvd?
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March 15, 2010 10:12:35 PM

Also how do I find out if its an F4 or F3?
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a b C Monitor
a c 177 V Motherboard
March 15, 2010 10:15:21 PM

Should be a sticker in this general format, on the box (that the roommate threw away?), as well as on the DIMMs themselves (or at least - one of 'em:
F3-12800CL7D-4GB or something near it...

Quote:
it comes up and goes away so fast

:sol:  :lol:  ...use the 'pause' key when it appears... :whistle: 
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March 15, 2010 10:34:09 PM

Yep, its an F3, SHOOT! and the ram is F3-12800CL7D-4BGRM
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March 15, 2010 10:45:08 PM

So now what do we do?
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Best solution

a b C Monitor
a c 177 V Motherboard
March 15, 2010 10:51:22 PM

OK - gimme a little bit to look into the G.Skill p/n, and I'll get back with some procedure; do you have a USB 'thumb drive' handy? (I'm sure you didn't bother with something so archaic as a floppy drive ;)  - they're damned handy for flashing BIOS...)

I'm a bit slow, here, had a 'plumbing disaster - ten gallons on water on the bathroom floor, replaced a supply line, water behind the shower enclosure, in the basement, and now it's threatening to drip into the power supply for my water-cooling setup built into the basement ceiling :o 

Couple things - the DVD connection 'type', and - do me a favor, pick any damn thing as 'best answer' (so I don't accidentally dig into it) and start a new thread - this is wearing out my scroll wheel :??: 
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March 16, 2010 12:14:01 AM

Best answer selected by squirrel15.
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!