View Full Version : Apparently the third time wasn't the charm
09-30-2007, 05:42 AM
I was able to build my first two media PCs with minimal problems. There were a few fine-tuning issues with the first, but I didn't have any trouble getting Windows installed. The third and final one, however, is giving me trouble.
I go into the BIOS, and set up my boot options. DVD drive, hard drive, then LAN. No floppy drive in this setup, so I disable that one. Same as with the other two.
My 1 gig of RAM is detected correctly, and then it goes to set up XP. I see it loading the files needed for setup, and then when it gets to "Starting Windows", the whole thing simply hangs.
I didn't have this problem with the other two machines, and they have identical hardware.
At this point, I'm thinking they sent me a bad hard drive. To test this theory, I tried my Ultimate Boot CD, and no matter which tool I try to load, it also hangs. I tried my Killdisk, and it hangs as soon as it tries to wipe out the first sector. I even tried a Linux disc, and it also hangs for a few minutes before displaying a "disk error."
Anyone think it might be something else, or does it appear that I've nailed it?
09-30-2007, 05:47 AM
Other possibility: Bad CD-ROM drive. Maybe try that drive in another machine, and see if any of those boot CDs will run from that CD-ROM drive in another machine, and try out that same CD in a known working one, just to verify?
09-30-2007, 05:54 AM
Test the RAM....Me thinks that could be a problem too. Power supply also ;)
As Pedersen said, swap out some parts....Narrow it down to the guilty bit.
09-30-2007, 05:56 AM
Thanks. I might try that, although I doubt that's it. Everything runs just fine, until it tries to do something with the hard drive. But I'm not messing around with it anymore tonight. I got frustrated and dove into the beer, so now I'm frustrated and a bit buzzed. :drink:
I think what I might do is pick up a new drive somewhere tomorrow. Even if that doesn't turn out to be the problem, I'll probably keep it anyway. I've been wanting to replace the drive in my main computer. It's only 250GB and getting full, and it's also 1.5 SATA drive, and my motherboard can handle 3.0.
And if that does turn out to be the problem, I figure I can have Newegg send a replacement and use that one in the main computer.
09-30-2007, 10:31 PM
Went out and bought a new drive, same thing happened. Tried a different DVD drive, still no go. My son messed around with it and tried different cables, and that didn't help either.
It now appears to be bad RAM. I pulled one of the sticks out, and it's installing as I type this. Looking back now, I seem to remember having trouble with this RAM before, in the first media PC. It was only showing 512MB, even though there was twice that. I had accidentally ordered an extra set, so I tried the other set, and then put that one aside and sort of forgot about it. When I put it in this one about a month and a half later, it showed the whole 1 GB, so I figured I must have just done something wrong when I put it in the first machine.
So it looks like I have a nice new 500GB drive for my main computer, and I need to pick up another pack of RAM tomorrow.
10-01-2007, 03:24 AM
It now appears to be bad RAM.
Yeah, I ran into the same problem recently. My computer started doing the 'Bad BIOS Checksum' error on startup, and got to a point where it would do it every time. Thought it was the motherboard, until their tech support said to test the RAM first. :doh:
Wouldn't boot with one stick, booted fine with the other. Lifetime warranty, but it'd be at least a 2-week exchange, and they said I had to send in both sticks (I bought the RAM as a dual-channel set)...which turned out to be a bonus.
My wife does her work (church bulletin sent to a publisher) on this computer also, so being without it for 2 weeks could be doable, but a little bit of a pain, I'd just have to set up my laptop. I mentioned the situation to the priest, and he said that since she needs the computer for work, to go ahead and get some more memory and that the church would cover it. :D
So, I've just got the new RAM in, and just have to wait for the warranty replacement RAM to be sent.
10-01-2007, 04:55 AM
OK, I feel like an idiot now. I didn't see Mr. Rude's reply, which apparently was correct. I'm guessing he posted it while I was typing up my reply, and I didn't see it until now.
Everything's up and running now, with the single 512MB stick. Unfortunately, I can't return the set because I stupidly threw away the packaging before I was sure everything worked. I know better than that, and the one time I forgot and did it anyway is the one time it bit me in the ass. Oh well, it was about $40 or so. I've pissed away a lot more than that before.
10-02-2007, 09:18 PM
Unfortunately, I can't return the set because I stupidly threw away the packaging before I was sure everything worked.
I didn't have the original packaging either, and I was able to get a replacement set.
Just contact the maker of the memory, and see if they offer a lifetime warranty. I knew mine did (Crucial) & contacted their online support. They requested some numbers off of the defective stick and the purchase date, and I was good to go on the RMA. Just had the trouble of what to do because they wanted me to send both sticks back, but that was solved.
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