Hello there for all of you guys reading this-- I have quite the problem on my hands. I've been building computers for a few years now and I've never had a problem like this before.
PS: Alliance 450W Power Supply
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3700+ (Socket 939)
MB: ASUS A8V Deluxe (AGP8x) (Socket 939)
RAM: Corsair TWIN-X 2x512MB PC3200
GFX: GeForce 6200 256MB
HD1: Maxtor 7200RPM 120GB IDE (8mbit Cache)
HD2: Seagate 7200RPM 160GB IDE (8mbit Cache)
CD1: Lite-On 16x DVD/CD-rom
CD2: Plextor 42x/24/48 CD-R/RW
OS: Windows XP Professional
So as you can tell from the above specs, that even though I can't afford top of the line equipment, I have a pretty good gaming setup (aside from the video card
). Before I get to the problem, I must tell a story on how I began to build this computer, please bare with me, for it does sort of relate to the current assessment that can be done.
About 6 months ago my friend purchased the motherboard that I was using, and he also was using around the same specs that I have. After about 6 months he wanted to upgrade his video card and noticed that the best cards out there are no longer AGP8x and instead PCI-e, so he was forced to buy a new motherboard. He had absolutely no troubles with this motherboard, and I was the one who both built his computer and took it apart and swapped the motherboards. After he got his new one, he told me that I could have this motherboard for he had no more use of it, and he would only eBay it.
My computer at the time was on an ABIT NF7-S nForce2 mobo with AMD XP2500+ Barton. I had 2x256 Twin-X PC3200 in it. So I really thought this was a great opportunity upgrade my computer since I was low on money yet had enough for new memory and CPU.
About a week ago I ordered my new parts and received the motherboard (ASUS A8V Deluxe) from my friend. After stripping my old computer of it's parts I proceeded by putting in the motherboard, cpu, and RAM in DIMM-1 and DIMM-3.
--Now I will begin to explain my troubleshooting, and will need your help to narrow down the problem at hand--
I plugged my newly assembled computer in and powered it up. No beeps from the motherboard but there was no display on the monitor, the light stayed orange. My first thought was that I had a bad video card or maybe it wasn't completely inserted into the mobo. So after double checking it's connection and trying another video card (GeForce FX5900), the problem wasn't solved yet. After some trial and error (including taking my computer all apart and rechecking to make sure everything was plugged in correctly) I started to try booting with just 1 stick of RAM. Placed it into DIMM-1--failed. DIMM-2--failed. DIMM-3--success. DIMM-4--success. So it turned out that both DIMM-1 and DIMM-2 weren't working with my RAM. I proceeded by plugging both sticks in both DIMM-3 and DIMM-4. The computer showed display and booted up Windows with no problem (after installing the drivers). Though not confirmed, I do believe that running the RAM in DIMM-3 and DIMM-4 (according to the manual, DIMM-1 and DIMM-3 for dual channel [if you look at a picture of the motherboard, it shows it's color coordinated, B=Blue Blk=Black, [B][Blk][B][Blk]) was resulting in no dual channel.
After playing a few games on this setup that I had, and no problems, I proceeded by turning my computer off. I had a very long shutdown and was actually forced to do a soft-power off by holding down the Power button. The next day I tried to boot up my computer, and after Bios POST, the computer would stall on a black screen before Windows XP splash. Unsure of what this meant, I restarted my computer and tried to boot into Safe Mode. Selecting Safe Mode from the menu, it loaded about 5-6 dlls (while still in dos prompt) and then stalled. I didn't know what was causing this problem. I first started by using compressed air on everything in the computer to make sure there was no problem with dust. Then I started to troubleshoot my problems and hopefully come to a conclusion.
1) I started off the troubleshooting by first clearing the CMOS. Boot- failed.
2) I swapped between both harddrives to see if it was harddrive problem. Boot- failed.
3) I switched to 1x512MB RAM in DIMM-3. Boot-failed.
After these all failed, I had no idea what the problem was. I was beginning to think maybe the files to load Windows somehow became corrupted. So I went ahead and threw in my Windows XP CD and booted off it. It started loading the setup files, and then when it got to the part where it said "Setup is now starting Windows" it stalled. I was flabbergasted! I wasn't sure if this was CD related or computer related! I went ahead and switched CD-Roms, even unplugged the unneccessary, stalled every time I tried, sometimes it stalled before even getting to the "Setup is now starting Windows" at the bottom.
I was lost for words, I didn't know where to go next, but I was determined to get to the solution.
On a last ditch effort, I thought to myself 'Even if the computer was running fine last night, maybe there is a chance that the memory is bad'. I swapped the memory I had in there and put in 1x256MB Corsair TWINXPC3200 into DIMM-3. It booted. I thought 'Wow this is very strange, why did it boot??'. I went ahead and booted into Safe Mode (this was the first mode I tried) and switched the drivers to the ones that I was positive to have worked, to make sure that the stalling and failure of loading was not a driver conflict (especially video can sometimes cause this problem). Then I continued to boot into Windows normally. It loaded (laggy, but no problems). I began to think, was the reason that DIMM-1 and DIMM-2 didn't work was all the cause of just bad RAM? To troubleshoot this I went ahead and put the 1x256MB into DIMM-1. Boot-- failure. DIMM-2-- failed. Then I tried to run DIMM-1 and DIMM-3 with 2x256MB, boot failed.
I then wanted to see if this was a driver problem, I went ahead and put my new RAM back in, first 1x512 and then 2x512. Both boots- failed. I put the 1x256 back in and computer rebooted itself after getting past Windows Splash Screen. (in DIMM-1 and DIMM-2 the computer did not display BIOS on the monitor, monitor light remained orange, and when in DIMM-3 and DIMM-4 the computer freezes before loading Windows).
At no point did the motherboard beep to me to tell me what was causing this problem. I have double-checked all connections and wires to make sure it was no simple mistakes.
This ends my troubleshooting. After turning my computer on and off maybe over 50 times, I felt that it was getting nowhere, wasn't healthy for my new computer parts, and should turn this problem over to the forums. I sure hope you guys can help me.
I have a hunch that the problem is somewhere down the line the motherboard went bad. I'm not sure how this could have happened since it was taken well care of, but the DIMM-1 and DIMM-2 not working with either RAM could be a good indication.
If you have any feedback at all, please leave me your post, I will be checking the forums hourly as I find time to answer any questions you may have.
Your help is appreciated and thank you for reading this.
(I apologize for my post in the wrong thread before, mods please delete post at this location.