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Error on Windows 2K Startup installing PC2700 RAM on A7N8X mobo

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March 3, 2011 2:03:17 PM

I have an older ASUS A7N8X that is using an AMD Athlon XP 2400+ processor and 2 512MB DIMMs of PC2700 333MHz DDR. I am using a fully updated version of Windows 2000 OS.
I am trying to upgrade it so that it will limp along for a while longer.
I am trying to install 2 1GB DIMMs of PC2700MHz DDR RAM.
I am reasonably sure that the memory is not faulty. It is used memory and works just fine in 2 other machines.

The system "appears" to boot normally until the Windows 2000 "splash screen".
It pauses there and then the image "fractures", the display goes to a black screen and it hangs until it is shutdown.

I have tried using 1 1GB DIMM in slot 1, but I get the same results.
Does anyone have any idea what is happening and how to fix it?
[Buy a new machine really isn't in the budget right now.]
Any information would be appreciated.
a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 110 V Motherboard
March 3, 2011 3:13:37 PM

Welcome, Newcomer. Have you manually set your RAM configurations in your BIOS (Voltage, Frequency, and Timing)?
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March 3, 2011 11:07:27 PM

I was hoping for information about that.
The old memory (also PC2700 333MHz DDR) booted at 166Mhz
Booting with the old memory and the new memory caused the original problem.
Booting with ONLY the new memory caused the ASUS A8N8X motherboard to attempt to boot at 200MHz, force me into BIOS setup and then save and quit to a black screen no matter what I pick in Advanced Chipset Features: CPU External Freq.
(Toms Hardware has yet to send me my user authentication email so i cannot login as me)
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 110 V Motherboard
March 4, 2011 4:48:01 PM

Changing your CPU frequency isn't the same as changing the RAM frequency. If this is what you were changing, that could certainly explain the black screen. You see, when you overclock your CPU, you are also increasing the heat because the CPU is 'moving' faster. With the excess heat, your CPU could be shutting down. Unfortunately, not all BIOS are written with that warning.

I can't find an online manual for this mobo, so if you need some help finding the correct settings, you'll have to post the options you see on each screen.
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March 16, 2011 3:50:42 PM

I am still stymied at getting the system to work. Earlier, I had already put an email into both ASUS and AMD technical support. So far, neither has replied. If i get a reply, I will post it here.
I am really stuck on this one, because my last attempt failed and resetting to BIOS defaults caused the motherboard to stop recognizing my 2.4GHz processor and now sees it as an 1.8GHz processor.
[This has also caused several applications to stop working since the processor is now below their "operating threshold"
To recap:
Motherboard: ASUS A7N8X
CPU: AMD Athlon XP 2400 Thoroughbred. Socket 462: AXDA2400DKV3C
Memory: (orig) Generic DDR2 2x512MB PC2700
(new) Generic DDR2 2x1GB PC2700
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 110 V Motherboard
March 16, 2011 9:16:30 PM

Remove your heatsink from the CPU. Clean off the surface of top of the CPU and the surface of the bottom of the heatsink. Use 90% or higher alcohol, but be careful not to spill any alcohol on the motherboard. After you've cleaned both surfaces, reapply a fresh application of thermal paste. I recommend Artic Silver 5; it's kind of pricey, but well worth it. See if that helps the BIOS recognize the CPU better.

As for the display issue, use the Advanced Boot Options menu. You access this by repeatedly pressing the F8 key after POST. Once in the ABO menu, select either safe mode or VGA mode. Let me know what happens.
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March 17, 2011 1:45:11 PM

T_T said:
Remove your heatsink from the CPU. Clean off the surface of top of the CPU and the surface of the bottom of the heatsink. Use 90% or higher alcohol, but be careful not to spill any alcohol on the motherboard. After you've cleaned both surfaces, reapply a fresh application of thermal paste. I recommend Artic Silver 5; it's kind of pricey, but well worth it. See if that helps the BIOS recognize the CPU better.

As for the display issue, use the Advanced Boot Options menu. You access this by repeatedly pressing the F8 key after POST. Once in the ABO menu, select either safe mode or VGA mode. Let me know what happens.


Thanks for the reply.
This one might be a lost cause.
I have cleaned off the processor and heatsink and then reapplied the thermal paste, etc. I had to do that to find the processor model and serial numbers.
I have tried booting Windows 2000 in safe mode. It goes directly to the black screen without showing the "Safe Mode" splash screen.
On side note, the ASUS tech support person assigned to my problem was not a natural English speaker and not very proficient with his(?) use of the language.
The reply that I received gave me no advice about what to do and asked questions about details that were listed TWICE in the email. (First in the embedded form details and again in the description of the problem).
DO NOT BOTHER WITH ASUS TECH SUPPORT. They do not seem to know anything about their product and even less about speaking English.

Quote:
Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for contacting ASUS Customer Service.

My name is Jany and it's my pleasure to help you with your problem.

If you use back your original memory modules, could the PC work smoothly?
And if you just connect one 1GB memory module to the motherboard, could the PC work well?
Also, what is the speed of the 1GB memory module?

Welcome to refer Troubleshooting & FAQ for ASUS products in ASUS website:
Troubleshooting - http://support.asus.com/troubleshooting/troubleshooting...
FAQ - http://support.asus.com/faq/faq.aspx?SLanguage=en-us

If you continue to experience issues in the future, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Best Regards,

Jany

ASUS Customer Service


It should not be THAT hard, but it is.
All I need are the correct BIOS Settings for:
an ASUS A7N8X (Rev: A7N8X-UAY BIOS: 1003) Motherboard
with an AMD Athlon XP 2400GHz Socket 462 Model: AXDA2400DKV3C CPU
and 2 1GB PC2700 DDR2-333 SDRAM (All Components AC333X64/1024/16C).

My advice: be wary of ASUS products.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 110 V Motherboard
March 17, 2011 4:54:45 PM

I agree with you on the tech support not being very supportive. Sending you links to an FAQ is pretty scary. If your concern was actually on the FAQ list, that would be even scarier. Meaning that if your problem was experienced identically by so many others that the resolve would be in an FAQ, that would only mean that the mobo was released with known defect.

I'm sorry if I'm suggesting steps you've already tried, but since I don't know what you've already tried, here is another suggestion:

http://support.asus.com/download/download.aspx?SLanguag...

This link will take you to the ASUS download page, where you can try to find the most recent BIOS update. Considering that you've hit a wall with component placement, perhaps it is time to try a BIOS update. If the BIOS fails to install, you'll be no worse off than you already are. But, should it work, you may find that the computer "limps" along.

Good luck
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March 24, 2011 2:22:49 PM

Just to put closure on this issue. I do not have a tested list of settings that I can post here.
My ASUS A7N8X motherboard called it quits and packed it in.
I am not sure what happened, but it stopped posting and could not be revived.
The difficulty that I had with the motherboard may or may not have been an early indication of the motherboard failing.

Thanks to everyone for their time and attention.
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