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- RAM problem?
July 7, 2008, 6:45 pm
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MOTHERBOARD: ECS, model M848A
CPU: AMD (1.5GHz) SEMPRON, SOCKET A (socket 462)
RAM: 256MB DDR PC2700 (1 stick)
Two IDE hard disks
I use win98se as my main operating system but also have windows xp pro installed
on the 2nd drive to dual boot.
The problem is that i booted up to use win98se & was using it for about 30
minutes with no problems then i decided to shut down & boot up in windows xp.
The computer shut down ok, then i switched it on again & the menu with the two
o/s's came up with no problems but when i selected to start the win xp o/s the
Nothing will work, the POST check wont run so i cant even boot using a floppy
There is power going to the mobo & the hard disks, & the CMOS battery is ok. The
light that shows hard disk activity is on continuously but doesn't flicker.
I was wondering if the RAM stick might cause this problem if it has failed. I
haven't got another stick of RAM to swap so i can test it & before i buy more
RAM i thought i'd ask in the newsgroup for some advice.
Any advice will be appreciated.
Re: RAM problem?
Try to simplify the setup. Disconnect the hard drive ribbon cable, and see
if the BIOS will start that way. If some removable hardware is holding things
up, disconnecting it may allow the computer to start.
And if you are going to manipulate the RAM, don't forget to remove all
power from the computer first. The RAM socket is powered, as long as
+5VSB is present.
Also, have a look for bulging capacitors on the motherboard.
Re: RAM problem?
How many hours of use are on that board? Is the case
cooling good? Had it worked for a fair amount of time in
the present configuration without any changes? By time I
mean days/weeks/years/etc, not the session of use that day.
I'd suspect a PSU failure. What brand, model, capacity is
it? If not PSU, motherboard. Unplug everything
nonessential towards getting it to POST, leaving only 1
memory module, video, CPU and heatsink/fan. Unplug both
drives and while you still have power disconnected, clear
If disconnecting the drive allows system to post, try with
only one drive at a time as one may have failed.
I can't say that memory failure is impossible but without
manually changing something in the timings or clockspeeds
just prior to the onset of the problem, and going only on
the evidence presented, it does not seem very likely to be
If it won't post in the above described minimal
configuration, check that all cards and cables are in place,
fully seated, and examine for failed capacitors. Lastly
unplug PSU, let it sit disconnected from AC for a few
minutes then open and inspect it as well if all else fails.
Re: RAM problem?
Thanks a lot guys for the advice.
It turned out to be the PSU that i was using, it was a (X-Power, ATX-400TD) &
was only about 12 months old. I swapped it for a PSU which is lower in power &
about 10 years old.
Now i know the answer to the problem i'll buy a new PSU (of a different make).
Thanks again for your help.
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