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System hangs before POST

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April 4, 2011 11:48:19 PM

My system is a 3ghz Pentium 4 with 2 gigs of ram a 500 gig HD and a DVD DRIVE. My problem is that my system starts with the fan turning and CPU Fan turning, lights all on, but the monitor is blank like there is no signal. I put a PCI POSTCARD in a slot and it shows that it stops on D3. Yesterday it was D4. After turning on and off about every 10 times, it boots and works perfectly in Windows 7. If I turn it off and then boot again, it will be another 10 boots before it works again. I have reseated my RAM every which way possible to no effect. If it boots up, I can restart without having to go through the multiple tries but if it looses power then I start over. Yikes! Please help me stop booting my PC over and over in order to use it. :ouch: 

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a b V Motherboard
April 5, 2011 11:03:01 AM

The symptoms you describe can be caused by practically anything; bad RAM, CPU, PSU, MB, wiring, etc.

What is the make and model of the system?
Did you do anything to the system prior to it's malfunction?
D3, D4 points to bad memory. But that is by no means certain, the motherboard interface with the RAM could be bad.
April 5, 2011 12:37:46 PM

Thanks for your message. To answer your questions: This system is home built. I purchased all the parts and put it together as I have 2 other systems just like it. I am trying to remember what the last thing that I did with the system before the problem started and I have to say the problem started at the beginning. I purchased the motherboard and Pentium 4 processor used but tested good at the time. At first the system did this behavior when I purchased and installed an LCD monitor but after a few failures and restarts, it started working consistently. The problem went from working to it's present condition gradually.
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a b V Motherboard
April 5, 2011 2:02:10 PM

I wonder how you "tested" the CPU and MB. Did you clear the CMOS prior to assembly? Before I sell a MB I clear it so the buyer won't have it set to my configuration.
Download the latest BIOS, power down, clear the CMOS, update the BIOS.
If that doesn't work, I still need the exact RAM, CPU, and MB models.
April 5, 2011 2:15:34 PM

Will do, and Thanks!
April 6, 2011 4:38:23 PM

I booted up the PC in question successfully and I received a message on the monitor while booting:

"Serial Presence Detect - device data missing or inconclusive. Properly programmed SPD device data is required for reliable operation DDR2 400mhz memory assumed at slowest timing.

The motherboard is an intel Desktop D915GAG - my ram is 1gb pc400 but it has no brand name on it. The processor is a Pentium 4 3.2ghz with 800 mhz bus. I'm not sure the exact name of it because the fan covers the chip and I don't feel comfortable messing with the cpu fan. The Bios version is EV91510A.86A.0401.

I didn't flash the Bios yet but I thought that I would give you the information that you requested first.

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a b V Motherboard
April 6, 2011 6:13:52 PM
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It appears to not like your RAM, or where it is placed. Maybe you could try one of the other three slots and boot each one.
Sorry, but other than that, I can not determine what the problem is specifically. However, other than that, the possibiltiy should be considered that it may be the PSU. If you can temporarily get a replacement to test with, it might help.
April 6, 2011 6:53:58 PM

I looked up the suggested memory for this processor and it said the you should use DDR PC2700 or DDR PC3200 since I am using PC400 could that be the problem? It looks like I selected the wrong ram. I could purchases one gb of ram to verify because I already moved the ram around in every possible configuration to no avail. Thanks.
a b V Motherboard
April 6, 2011 8:32:40 PM

I foolishly assumed you had meant to write 400MHz RAM. As your board specs DDR400 or DDR333 RAM, up to 4 GB.
yup, that's your problem.
April 6, 2011 11:59:29 PM

I trusted the guy at the store where I bought all of the parts. I know I should have checked the specs and will in the future. Thank you for your efforts.
April 7, 2011 12:00:13 AM

Best answer selected by equinox828.
a b V Motherboard
April 7, 2011 1:10:54 AM

Thank you!
!