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Multiple RAM sticks gives long beep problem

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August 15, 2012 9:38:15 AM

Hey All

Im busy fixing someone's PC and multiple problems have arisen. I'll give the problem then describe in detail how i came to it.
It is a fairly old PC so please bare with me. Its for my gf's mom who uses it to play solitaire and her grandkids who do school projects and so on...

The PC specs:
AMD 64 3000 CPU
Gigabyte GA-k8vm800m MOBO
1GB DDR400 RAM (2X 512mb)
nVidia FX5200 256mb AGP Card
40Gb IDE HDD
OS: Windows XP Professional SP 2(with original MB drivers) - used to have Vista 32bit

So the problem at the moment is that when I boot up the PC, it gives me black screen with a long beep ... pause... long beep. This i know is a memory issue.
Through brute force, i've learnt that that both sticks help boot the PC perfectly when one of them is plugged in, individually, in either slot 1 or 2. That means both RAM sticks are working fine. That also means the DIMM's are both working. However when I plug both sticks in - I get the beep sequence. I've tried the same procedure with other memory modules and they work perfectly...but not together. I've tried changing BIOS settings, removing the CMOS battery for 15min...but nothing happens.

How did I get to this problem?

The PC had been working perfectly untill I opened the box to discover an enormous amount of dust inside.
I took all the components apart, and gently cleant them with an old tooth brush like I normally do with my own PC parts.
Upon putting them back together, I started encountering problems. I am now sitting with two problems left over of the 5 I had managed to fix. Namely:

- The Multiple RAM beep sequence.
- PC freezes at Windows Loading Bar with AGP card plugged in. Boots fine without it.

Any help would be highly appreciated!!
Ryan
a c 229 V Motherboard
August 15, 2012 1:30:21 PM

Inspect the AGP and the memory slots with a magnifier glass. There may be lint in them. Hopefully you didn't use the tooth brush to clean the slots. Did you use a vacuum cleaner (be careful) to pull the dust out the slots and the rest of the motherboard?
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August 15, 2012 5:33:23 PM

GhislainG said:
Inspect the AGP and the memory slots with a magnifier glass. There may be lint in them. Hopefully you didn't use the tooth brush to clean the slots. Did you use a vacuum cleaner (be careful) to pull the dust out the slots and the rest of the motherboard?


I did use the tooth brush to clean out the slots.... And now that I realise it, i feel stupid.
I will inspect the slots now but I dont have a vacuum cleaner.

BTW, remember that the DIMM slots do work. I tested each RAM module on its own in each DIMM slot..
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a c 229 V Motherboard
August 15, 2012 6:38:33 PM

If the DIMM slots work, then what did you change in the CMOS settings? Did you try to reset all settings to their default value?
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a c 466 V Motherboard
August 15, 2012 8:19:18 PM

try running memtest on one dimm at a time. try using cpu-z and gpu-z. with cpu-z use the spd tab to read the ram rated speed and voltage. you may have to bump up the voltage. hopefully with the toothbrush you did not zap the ram or mb with static charge. if you just updated the os dont forget to install newest chipset drivers for the mb. if it a intel chipset download intel chipset update. without the right chipset drivers the agp port wont run right.
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August 16, 2012 8:11:23 AM

Hey Guys - small update. I seem to be getting somewhere:

The AWARD BIOS BEEP CHART states that one long beep is a Memory malfunction.
I've noticed that whenever I plug in a Harddrive or 2nd stick of RAM, I get a beep. Then I have to switch off PC, disconnect PSU and remove RAM for 5min - Then plug everything back on and boot up. Thats the only way to get a successful beepless boot. After that, everything runs normally, boots up, shuts down, switches on and off perfectly.......UNTIL i change something on the motherboard!

I've installed CPU-Z and will check the voltages tonight and upload them. When I installed XP, I did download the original drivers that came with the Mobo from GIGABYTE's website.

As for the AGP port, i tested the FX 5200 again last night and there is no display at all. PC's boots up fine. No beeps. But no display either...

If I cannot get anything else to work, then I think its fair to say that I am happy with the state the PC is in now. Because I know the user wont open the box and mess around inside. It definitely was my worse build/fix ever....but atleast its alive.
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a c 466 V Motherboard
August 16, 2012 9:12:00 AM

ryan sound like you have a power supply that going bad. on those old ps the power supplys were under sized. when they fail they start taking things with them. the video card may still be good just not getting the power it needs to post.
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August 16, 2012 9:23:07 AM

I was thinking that same thing at one stage. And the PSU is an iSONIC. A brand I hate so badly! I posted a clicking hdd issue here about 2 years ago and it turned out to be the PSU aswell(which was also an iSONIC!!!!)...il have to wait till I get a spare one to test
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Best solution

a b V Motherboard
August 16, 2012 3:29:38 PM

Yup. In case of intermittent boot weirdness on a PC that was formerly perfectly stable, the PSU is the first thing I would suspect.
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a c 466 V Motherboard
August 16, 2012 5:59:15 PM

keep an eye out for schools and biz tossing out pc...there great for spare parts. or if there a local computer swap meet.
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August 23, 2012 6:45:40 AM

Best answer selected by ryanj252.
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