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Old September 6th, 2004, 12:50 PM   #1
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Oh boy! computer problems...

I've just installed an extra memory into the computer and now when I restarted it, it didn't start windows xp. Strange. Why not, I asked. The system seemed to just continused to restart itself until black screen with writings came on telling me the computer encountered a problem and presents me with choices, either go into save mode, start windows normally or at the point in time when everything worked fine.
Well, I've tried all and nothing works. The computer just restarts and restarts and then finally enters the same screen with the choices.

Nothing is happening here. What's wrong? Then I decide to remove the new memory to see if that is the culprit. Did that help- hell no. The computer restarted itself twice then a blue screen comes up with writings that say, windows is starting up!

I'm still waiting for windows to finishing starting up and it's been more than 20 mins. Simply put, nothing is happening.
please, any advice? I really don't want to re-install from scratch again.

I'm inclined to blame Microsoft - I know, I blame them for every little problem. :-?
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Old September 6th, 2004, 01:13 PM   #2
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It probably isn't a software problem as it doesn't look like you changed anything. Also, BSODs (blue screen of death) are usually caused by hardware problems (although faulty drivers can be a cause too).

1- Maybe you knocked something loose? Check all the physical connections.

Check that you haven't knocked the CPU heatsink loose.

2- Check that all fans are spinning. Check that there are no loose screws in your computer that is shorting out your motherboard.

3- Sure-fire way to diagnose hardware problems:

Take your motherboard out of the case and lie it on something non-conductive.

Strip everything off it (except for things like the CMOS battery and BIOS chip) and re-install the bare minimum parts it needs to POST:
speaker LED
CPU heatsink + fan LED plugged in (IMPORTANT!!!)
CPU
1 stick of RAM
power connector(s) from power supply
power switch header (the thing that connects to your power switch)

When you power it on, it should start beeping. The beep code should correspond to the one telling you need a video card.

Add the video card and all your other parts on.

4- If you ever have to switch motherboards, try to get the same model motherboard. This way you don't have to reinstall Windows.

see http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/...4&m=1400925745
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Old September 6th, 2004, 01:29 PM   #3
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Thanks. I'll try your methods. The funny thing this all happened after I installed the new 256MB memory.

One more thing though. When the computer tells me to switch off the computer it restarts immediately when I push the off button. I quickly have to push and hold the button in for a while until it finally cuts off.

I even looked in the bios to see if there is a command that will allow me to choose a better function than this. None. It's a pain in the a** when I always to keep pushing and holding in the button for the second time around. I would have thought one push would be enough.

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Old September 6th, 2004, 02:22 PM   #4
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That's really bizarre. Possible your BIOS settings are corrupt??? (just a wild guess)

You can clear the CMOS to reset your BIOS settings. Refer to your motherboard's manual.

Copy down BIOS settings if you have changed them.
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Old September 6th, 2004, 03:53 PM   #5
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Okay Glenn. I've just switched over the jumper switch while everything is off according to the manual. But it doesn't say I have to start the system with the jumer in it's discharge mode.

I'm assuming that by just removing the jumper cable while the computer and cable is off, it automatically discharges. Is it the same withn your motherboard?
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Old September 6th, 2004, 05:24 PM   #6
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An Abit IS7 motherboard manual I looked at said not to boot with the jumper in its CMOS clearing position. It says it may cause strange behaviour.

2- Reading your motherboard's manual is most likely the best idea. What works for one motherboard may not work for another. You can get the manual off your motherboard manufacturer's website.
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Old September 6th, 2004, 05:43 PM   #7
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Thanks Glenn, I have already done so. I just have to re-install. It's a shame because I'm force to eliminate some important files. Oh well. That's life.
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Old September 6th, 2004, 06:06 PM   #8
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1- You could try a repair install of XP. This will keep your important files around. Sometimes a repair install will give you a messed up version of Windows, but hopefully you can copy important files off and redo the installation (remember to reformat the partition when re-reinstalling).

If you might have bad hardware, the repair install has a good chance of messing up and you may not get a bootable version of Windows.

2- You can get another hard drive and copy the partition off. The hard drive manufacturers give out free utilities which will let you clone a partition.

It's also good to have extra hard drive space, so now you have a good excuse to buy a new hard drive :P

3- I'm not too sure what exactly your problem is. You might want to nail your problem down first before doing anything drastic like wiping over important files.
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Old September 6th, 2004, 11:22 PM   #9
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If your PC is freally screwed up, you could download Knoppix from another computer. It's a bootable disc version of Linux that gives you HDD read write capabilites. Put your PC back together, boot like you have, but with Knoppix in the drive and get your important files off of there, then reinstall...who knows it could work...good luck
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Old September 7th, 2004, 03:00 AM   #10
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Thanks guys. I'm already in the process of re-installing. I have given up on trying. I've been trying for 8 hours to no avail. Oh well. I think there is a problem with my motherboard or something. It's freezes on install at times.

Now what's all that about? It has been behaving strangely for sometime. I guess I'll have to go for the new P4. It's about time any way.
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Old September 7th, 2004, 05:40 AM   #11
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Glenn or Jesse, I was wondering how often are you suppose to change the small lithium battery on the motherboard that keeps the cmos memory? 'Cos I can honestly tell you, I havn't replaced it since I bought it and we talking something like 7 years ago.

Could that be the problem or one of the problems? I was just curious. My installment didn't go well. I was force to remove the BX6 motherboard and replace it with another motherboard I had from another computer. It's an Asus p3b-F. Now I'm trying to firgure out how to discaharge the memory, mmmmmmmm!
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Old September 7th, 2004, 06:37 AM   #12
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Charles,

Now would be a great time to switch to a Mac and say farewell to those kind of problems.
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Old September 7th, 2004, 06:39 AM   #13
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I may just consider it. The only thing stopping me is that windows is so fllexible.
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Old September 7th, 2004, 06:45 AM   #14
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Just been having the same problem with my 2001 Epox 8KHA+ motherboard. I put 2 new 512Meg DDR400 dimms in and the machine cant boot into XP, just keeps rebooting.

Pulled them out and put the old 256Meg dimms in and its all happy again. Looks like the old board cant handle the newer modules - drat! looks like I'm stuck at 512Megs for awhile!
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Old September 7th, 2004, 09:03 AM   #15
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Quote:
Glenn or Jesse, I was wondering how often are you suppose to change the small lithium battery on the motherboard that keeps the cmos memory? 'Cos I can honestly tell you, I havn't replaced it since I bought it and we talking something like 7 years ago.
On new motherboards, the battery will stay charged (forever) if the power cord is plugged in and the power switch on your PSU is on.

Otherwise it lasts a few years or something like that.

Quote:
Now would be a great time to switch to a Mac and say farewell to those kind of problems.
This looks like it was a hardware problem, which Macs suffer from too. And they have had unreliable lines such as the first iBooks. Apple now has an iBook Repair Extension Program
http://www.apple.com/support/ibook/faq/

On a Mac you also don't have as wide a range of diagnostic utilities to check for bad hardware.

2- You should be fine if you replace the motherboard, CPU, and RAM. You might need to get a more powerful power supply, although you can use motherboard monitor + prime95 to check if you do.

If you get a new hard drive, you can install windows on that and still access your old files. Or you can try the old windows and do a repair install over it in case you cant boot into Windows.
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