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November 10, 2008, 7:22 am
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also have problem in P.O.S.T u have to restart the unit several times
before it boots to operating system. im a computer tech and i already
did the basic pc troubleshooting such as swapping, reinstalling
hardware 1 by 1 etc.., but has no effect, the problem remains the
AMD Sempron 3000+
512 mb ram
256 video card
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Re: installation problem
Have you run memtest86+ (memtest.org) from a floppy or CDROM ?
If you passed that, have you tried the hard drive
diagnostic from the hard drive manufacturer. That would
do a couple things for you, since it also boots a little
bit, it might demonstrate the general stability of the
If the computer is "accidentally" overclocked, it might
demonstrate the same symptoms you're currently seeing.
Another test I use, is I boot my Knoppix LiveCD disc and
watch the boot sequence. For really unstable hardware, it
falls on its face pretty rapidly. If it is mostly
stable, the Linux desktop will appear. Then, I go to
mersenne.org and get a copy of Prime95. (There are versions
of Prime95 for Linux and Windows, so you can test in either
OS.) Prime95 has a "torture test" option, and the program stops
execution if even one error is found. (Orthos is another
version of Prime95, which some people like.) Reasons for errors
include bad or marginal RAM, or a bad or overclocked CPU.
Both the CPU and RAM are voltage sensitive. If either is
being pushed past its normal operating spec, then more
voltage may be needed to make it stable. For example, my
mobile AthlonXP will run at stock 1.57V initially, but
to run it under the same conditions as a 3200+, it needs
the standard 1.65V setting to work. So a little extra
"Vcore" voltage can help if the thing is slightly unstable.
For my particular processor, if I use too much voltage,
I'm greeted with a black screen and no POST (like 1.75V
prevents mine from POSTing - some processor take more than
that without a problem).
You should also verify the cooling is OK. If in the BIOS
hardware monitor page, the CPU is over 65C, I might
take it apart and put some fresh paste on the CPU. Then
reinstall the heatsink. Be careful not to get paste
all over the place (some pastes are capacitive, so should
be kept off sensitive high frequency signals).
The RAM may also have an option in the BIOS, to bump up
the voltage (Vdimm). If memtest throws just a few random errors
in a couple complete test passes, it is possible a little
extra voltage will fix it. Or, you could try relaxing
CAS (change CAS from 2.5 to 3.0 say), or relax tRCD (
change from 3 to 4). But really, that shouldn't be
necessary, if the RAM is good quality. I do stuff like
that more out of curiosity than anything else (like,
how bad is this stuff...).
So do a few tests, and record the symptoms you see with
each one. Then post back for suggestions. Maybe someone
here can make sense of it all.
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