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Old 11-08-2008, 04:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Unexplainable pc issue

Behold; a problem that has baffled everyone:

I posted about this a while back, but I have more information now, and I desperately need to get to the bottom of this, so I'll try once more.

In a nutshell, my computer won't boot into BIOS, and does not POST.

I've ruled out RAM, put the stick in another pc and it booted up fine; ran memtest for 8 hours, no errors.(I did get BSODs referring to RAM problem before I wasn't able to boot up at all though) But yet it seems to some kind of RAM issue though... because if I put in a brand new stick the pc will boot up just fine, but will only run for about 30 mins to an hour before it does what I have deemed the "semi-shut down", and will not reboot. When IO push the power button, the fans spin, the printer and speakers come on(they do not beep) but I can't POST. The only thing that comes up on screen is the generic monitor message it gives when it's not plugged into the mobo but is turned on.

I bought a new cpu thinking it could be a problem- no change.

Tried a different PSU of equal voltage- no change.

Ran mobo outside of case to check for grounding- no change.

Tried booting with no peripherals, opticals, or HDD- no change.

This actually happened on two consecutive boards, and I RMA'd both, but MSI can find nothing wrong with either board.. my guess is that they didn't read my note I sent with the mobos and simply didn't let it run long enough.

At this point, MSI volunteered to replace both boards, but I'm afraid the problem will happen again unless I find the source of the problem. It just HAS to be hardware related, and yet I can't find out what is doing this. It's possible that whatever did this just messed it permanently so now it can't be corrected at all.

So, what is the likely hardware candidate here?

My specs:

-MSI 845GCM478 mobo
Pentium 4 3ghz 800fsb HT(also have a Celeron D 3.06 ghz 533fsb that was in there, the pentium is the new one I just got. Whether it's the problem, I don't know... doesn't seem to be though.)
-Antec 350W Smartpower 2.0 PSU.(maybe I need more juice?)
-320 GB WD Caviar HDD
-32X CD/DVD drives
-16x DVD drive
-1 gb Crucial 667 Ram(but runs at only 177 according to memetest...)

Built in graphics card and video card(but I do want to upgrade as soon as I can get the thing working right).

One thing else I can think that might be a clue is that the light around the power button in tower face is yellow instead of green, and that little light below it stays yellow. My mobo has no LEDs so I couldn't tell you about that.

Help is appreciated. Chime in with anything you have please; nothing is a stupid answer at this point... I have online classes I need to do an no working pc- this needs to be wrapped up before I go insane.
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Old 11-08-2008, 04:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Unexplainable pc issue

First the model number you listed doesn't come up while the MSI 845G Max and Max L models run DDR166 PC1600 and DDR266 PC2100 memory if that sounds familiar for the Socket 478 board. MSI 845G Max-Maximize Your Connection to the DIGITAL WORLD

Two memory speeds higher being DDR400 PC3200 memory won't run if that is the memory you have there and the specifications on your board match what is seen at the link there. That would be one thing to look at since the specifications are usually seen after the contents in the board's user manual if you still have that onhand.
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Old 11-10-2008, 03:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Unexplainable pc issue

My board is listed on MSI site.

The ram is DDR2533-667 according to the manual. I'm running 1GB of 667.
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Unexplainable pc issue

Okay, I had the same problem on my Asus. It was my ram. Despite my ram being listed on the Crucial site as working, It wouldn't boot.
Got a cheap ram stick out of the suggested ram part of the MB manual, and posted first try.
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Unexplainable pc issue

Does this look more like your board? MSI Computer Corp. - Product You posted 845 when that's a 945GCM478 with the 478 still being the socket type. The 945GCM478-L shown there supports upto 4gb of 667/533 DDR2 memory being a newer Socket 478 model they came out with.

Bad ram not likely! Most boards will usually sound off immediately with a set of beeps when bad memory or a failed cpu is present. Plus Chromos1048 already tried the memory on another system.

One thought is unsupported hardware simply put where the voltage requirements are different then what the board supports. You simply bought the wrong memory for that particular model going by the correct speed of memory but not the voltage range.
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Old 11-11-2008, 02:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Unexplainable pc issue

Yes, it is indeed the 945... I missed that typo..

Yeah, I was thinking it might be a voltage problem somewhere... only question is where?

I don't think it's the RAM though... CPU would be more likely... when I get RMA'd board back, I'll check to see if this new one does better.

I guess it could be my PS... maybe it did something to the board that's keeping it from working now? Wasn't exactly a cheap PS though, so if that's the case, Antec owes me a new one, plus what I've paid to fix this comp, I think.
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Old 11-11-2008, 02:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Unexplainable pc issue

Are you positive it's not RAM? I had the same thing and a budget ram stick, spec'd out of the manual got me booted 1st try.
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Unexplainable pc issue

I would run MemTest86. Download the ISO and burn it to a CD with ImgBurn.
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Unexplainable pc issue

That would be a good idea too to try in case a small defect effects one but not the other system with the memory in. There are two locations for downloads as well as one seeing a premade cd you can order for the cost of the disk plus S&H.

The latest release is available at Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool The alternate also seeing the premade cd is seen at Memtest86.com - Memory Diagnostic
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Unexplainable pc issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by patonb View Post
Are you positive it's not RAM? I had the same thing and a budget ram stick, spec'd out of the manual got me booted 1st try.
Yeah. The stick is functional, and before the system got as bad as it is now, I ran memtest for 5 1/2 hours with no errors. I was going to run it for 8(not sure why that makes a difference, but I tried to) but my system did a "semi-shutdown" before it would complete. I was watching it when it happened to... all of a sudden, restart, but without the restart.. no POST, fans still spinning, printer still on... That was the last time it worked with that RAM.

So I went a bought new sticks. Stuck them in, they worked for a while... but as soon as I streamed a video online, it happened again. Further testing proved that those sticks are good to. And they are the right ones to, I checked...

Aren't computers hair-pulling, good fun?
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