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Author Topic: Computer Killed by new RAM  (Read 3643 times)

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S Wilde

  • Guest
Computer Killed by new RAM
« on: July 15, 2004, 12:43:40 PM »
Hi, I could use a little help with a problem Iíve had Ė sorry if itís a bit long but the devilís in the details, right? Hereís my system:

AMD Athlon 2700+
PC-Chips 8348LU SIS 746 MB
256MB PC2700 DDR Ė some generic brand that came with PC
80 GB samsung Hd 7200rpm
nVidia GF FX5600 128MB DDR
300W ATX
Windows XP

So I finally decided I had time to upgrade my RAM because itís simple right? I snapped in a new 512 stick of Azenram DDR PC2700 (2.5V, spd) just to see if the two together might possibly get along. I turned on the PC, the new memory was recognized and XP started. Partway through loading, windows flashes a blue screen and spontaneously reboots ďto avoid damaging my computer.Ē This happens a few times, so I take out the old RAM, and try with just the 512 stick. Same thing. Windows wonít start normally, in safe mode, or with ďlast known successful configuration.Ē I tried playing with CAS Latency, CPU frequency and disabled BIOS caching to no avail. So I gave up and put the old 256MB stick back in, but the same thing keeps happening and the computerís locked into an endless cycle of rebooting. I tried using the XP disk to repair the windows installation, but that crashed too.
     Needing to retrieve some data I put the HD as a slave in another system running XP. As soon as it started up CHKDSK went nuts on the slave drive, and started deleting all sorts of errors (things like page faults, invalid registry addresses, etc). Once it was ďrepairedĒ (and accessible as a slave) I was hopeful and put it back in the previous system with the 512 stick. This time windows loaded long enough to automatically run chkdsk itself, and started correcting more errors. It wasnít running long before it destabilized and I had to restart. This happened several times. Curious, I switched back to the old 256 mem stick, and this time the system at least seemed stable. It ran chkdsk automatically and deleted errors for about 20min. When it was done, the system rebooted and then went back to itís cycle of crashing and rebooting every time windows started to load.
     Iím pretty sure I need to reformat the HD at this point, but before I do Iíd like to know what went wrong, and so that is my question if anyone has an idea. Is it my HD thatís bad, and if so why did the new memory set it off? Is the new RAM bad, and if so why did it screw my PC up so much I couldnít put the old RAM back in? If I reformat and start over is it all just going to happen again? I played with the BIOS a lot (and had to reset it several times) but couldnít find much help there. Iím pretty careful about ESD, and as near as I can tell Iíve been running XP fully updated, free of viruses, adware and spyware. My systemís not overclocked (runs at 166MHz), and is running at 1:1 Cpu/DRAM. Thanks for any help and suggestions.

C. Wag

  • Guest
Re: Computer Killed by new RAM
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2004, 08:43:22 PM »
Holy crap, the same thing basically happened to my comp when I tried to install new memory.

Granted, I'm not the smartest "average user" out there, so here's my story.

1.8gHz P4
AOpen Motherboard XXXXX...whatever
512mb PC (2100??)
40 GB HD
ATI Radeon 9500 Pro 64mb DDR
250 watt Aopen
Win XP

After watching game after game choke and chug along at crappy fps, I finally decided to shell out for more ram, thinking it would fix the problem.  So I go down to my local Circuit City and pick up a 512 stick of 3200.  My first mistake.  3200 won't exactly work with my 2100.  So after I figure that much out, I take it back and exchange for a nice stick of, and I quote, "backwards compatible 2700".  

So I put the 2700 in, windows starts up fine.  I check the system under control panel, and it reads like 728 mb RAM.  What the *censored*?  So I turn the comp off, switch the Ram's order around, then restart and check it again.  816mb this time.  After I restarted again, I got a nice little message which informed me that, yes, my windows/system32/config/system file had been corrupted.  I go into the repair console, and after running chkdsk a few times and trying to figure out exactly what to do, I decide to try to overwrite the entire windows directory.  So I do that, hoping that I won't loose everything.

30 minutes later, windows is back up, but of course, all my drivers are dead.  I go to reinstall the display drivers first, then DirectX.  Somewhere in the middle of installing directX, the computer automatically restarts...again with the 816 ram.  Finally I take the ram out, swap the chips back to their original places, and everything *seems* to be working fine.

God...all I wanted was an upgrade, and instead, it looks like I'm going to have to format now.

Raptor

  • Guest
Re: Computer Killed by new RAM
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2004, 02:37:45 AM »
Perhaps your mainboard is not compatible with the amount or type of RAM you are using.

I trust you first refered to the guide before buying and installing RAM?

Wilde

  • Guest
Re: Computer Killed by new RAM
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2004, 12:26:51 PM »
Raptor - yes my mobo is supposed to support up to 3Gigs of RAM

Wag - I've actually been getting some better input on my problem at another forum. Some of what they're suggesting might apply to your troubles as well. Check out the link to my posting:

http://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=19261&sid=ae6cd4dcf1b432cc24cf9939c2d2e0ed