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Is this a hardware or software issue?


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#31
edge2022

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Mixing RAM is ok, but infrequently it can cause problems.

If your Patriot stick came with a lifetime warranty, then you could try to get a replacement. Otherwise, you should buy another stick of Ultra RAM.

I don't know what that is or how to do that. What does that do? And how do I do it?

Overclocking is a process of making a system component (CPU, RAM, or GPU (Video card)) run at a higher than stock clock speed (basically make it run faster)
Here is something you should read if you are interested: http://www.pcstats.c...?articleID=1804
But, if you are not comfortable with overclocking, leave it alone.
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#32
vroni357

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Hi,
I've already ordered another stick of Ultra RAM and Ultra coolers for both from TigerDirect, I should get it on the 10th.

I'm not comfortable with the overclocking, especially after all this, with my luck something will end up screwed up.

And I'm thinking maybe the Patriot RAM stick had been overclocked before I got it even though the seller's listing on eBay, at the time, said their RAM sticks were not overclocked. And I think that partially because of the Memtest86 test results, "Patriot brand RAM stick: Memory: 1024M 1085MB/s" // "Ultra brand (but the chips say Liberty) RAM stick: Memory: 1024M 982MB/s". The numbers aren't that far off and maybe I'm looking at it all wrong. But why else would something that's supposed to be at 1024M be at 1085M? Thank you.
:)
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#33
edge2022

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Hope that the new stick of RAM will work well with your computer.

But why else would something that's supposed to be at 1024M be at 1085M? Thank you.

Are you talking about the size of speed of the RAM.

Speed Size
Patriot 1085 mb/s 1024 mb
Ultra 982 mb/s 1024 mb

The Patriot stick is just a faster stick of RAM in this case. Some RAM is just faster than other RAM.

If you are not comfortable overclocking, then leave it alone. :)
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#34
vroni357

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Hi,
Yeah, I was talking about the speed but I did say "and maybe I'm looking at it all wrong".

While I was waiting for the new RAM I downloaded the PowerMax utility, burned a bootable CD and tested my hard drive, it passed, no errors. I was going to test my SATA drive too but I found that the SATA power adapter had a broken wire so I ordered a new SATA power adapter.

I got the new RAM stick, put it in, put the new coolers on, tested the 2 RAM sticks together, they passed, no errors. So why am I back where I started from with the rebooting? I tried to reinstall Windows again, I couldn't get all the way through it. I got rebooted so much that I didn't finish, I just gave up. It worked fine with 1 RAM stick but it goes crazy with 2 RAM sticks. Is this the motherboard?
:)
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#35
edge2022

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Test the 2 sticks separately for 7 passes of Memtest.
We need to make sure that your new stick and the old one are in working condition.

Try reseating the RAM, and clean the RAM slots on your motherboard with a can of compressed air.

When does your computer reboot now? Does a BSOD popup when your computer reboots?
Follow the instructions here:
http://www.cakewalk....er/minidump.asp
http://www.tweakxp.c...ticle36976.aspx
Then recreate your problem, and give me the BSOD error code, if one pops up.
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#36
vroni357

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Hi,
I tested the new RAM stick alone, at 10 passes has no errors. I blew out both slots with air, I put the new stick in slot 0 (where it hadn't been before) to test it and it's completely seated.

I figured why not reinstall Windows while I only have the 1 stick in. I couldn't do that either. With just 1 stick in it doesn't reboot as much but it is either locking up or reboot enough that I can't get Windows installed anymore and I've tried at least 4 times just today.

There is no one single point for it to lock up or reboot. But it usually does it at some point after installing devices during setup. Sometimes before getting to the network, sometimes after. Usually with between 39 minutes and 18 minutes left to go. But that's as far as I can get. I am not getting a BSOD and I can't get far enough to get to the point to be able to follow the directions on those 2 sites. The more I try to fix it the worse it gets. Is this the motherboard dying? That's the conclusion I keep coming up with.
:) :)
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#37
edge2022

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Download GParted Live from here: http://gparted.sourc...et/download.php
Burn the .iso file to a CD using BurnCDCC: http://www.terabyteu...ee-software.htm
Then boot from the disc. Format the partition that you are going to reinstall Windows on with the NTFS filesystem. This will delete all files residing on that partition, but not on other partitions.
Once the partition has been formatted, then reinstall Windows.
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#38
vroni357

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Catch 22, that's the computer I could burn CDs on. So I can't burn the CD to get Windows installed until I install Windows.
:)
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#39
edge2022

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Can you burn a CD from the computer you are typing on?
If not, then ask a friend to do it for you.

Does the broken computer boot into Windows?
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#40
vroni357

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Can you burn a CD from the computer you are typing on?

Nope, this is a laptop with a non-rewritable DVD drive.

I disabled the SATA port in the BIOS, since I'm not using it anyway, I thought one less thing for Windows to get stuck on. Then I tried reinstalling Windows again, with 1 RAM stick in. I figured anything different would be an improvement unless it was worse. I tried twice and both times I did not get rebooted and made it to about 10 minutes from completion, while registering components, then got a BSOD.

The BSOD said in part:
"DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR EQUAL
Technical information:
***STOP: 0x000000D1 (0xD89F5F38,0x00000005,0x00000001,0xF7790C52)
***atapi.sys - Address F7790C52 base at F7788000, DateStamp 3d6ddb04"

So then I removed the Promise controller that I had in for a zip drive that is now disconnected and tried again from the beginning. During the reinstall I got rebooted once, after that at about the same point I got another BSOD.

This BSOD said in part:
"DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR EQUAL
Technical information:
***STOP: 0x000000D1 (0x00000129,0x00000005,0x00000000,0xF778CFD2)
***atapi.sys - Address F778CFD2 base at F7788000, DateStamp 3d6ddb04"

What does this mean? Is Windows not liking the drives or the IRQs the drives are using? Or is this the controller on the motherboard?
:)

Edited by vroni357, 16 June 2009 - 07:33 AM.

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#41
edge2022

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Try this here:

Method 1: Specify the Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL)
Use this method first to try to resolve the Stop error message.

1. During the installation startup, press F5 when the "Setup is inspecting your computer's hardware configuration" message is displayed.
2. When you are prompted, make sure that you specify the correct computer type and Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL). For example, if you have a single processor, specify the "Standard PC" HAL.
3. Try to reinstall Windows XP.
* If this resolves the Stop error message and you successfully install Windows XP, you are finished.
* If this does not resolve the Stop error message, go to method 2.

Method 2: Turn off features in CMOS settings
Use this method when method 1 does not resolve the Stop error message.

1. Turn off all the following features in the CMOS settings of your computer. For instructions, see the hardware documentation or contact the manufacturer.
* All caching, including L2, BIOS, internal/external, and writeback caching on disk controllers
* All shadowing
* Plug and Play
* Any BIOS-based virus protection feature
2. Try to reinstall Windows XP.
* If this resolves the Stop error message, go to step c.
* If this does not resolve the Stop error message, go to method 3.
3. Try to isolate which feature is causing the error. To do this, re-enable each of these features one at a time, and then restart your computer after you re-enable each feature.
4. If you identify a problem feature, disable or remove it and contact the manufacturer to try to resolve the issue.

If this does not isolate a problem with a CMOS setting, but this does resolve the Stop error message and you can start your computer normally, it may be that a setting was preventing the installation. If this is the case, turn on the setting after you install Windows XP, you are finished.

This is from: http://support.micro....com/kb/314063/
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#42
vroni357

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Hi,
With the same 1 RAM stick:
"Method 1: Specify the Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL)", when Windows got to the point where it is suppose to reboot the system and then go back into setup but on a different screen, at about 39 minutes left, it wouldn't stop rebooting and could never get back into the setup. Right when it tried to get back into setup a message box would popup and Windows would reboot as soon as it did, it was rebooting so fast that I couldn't tell what the box said.

"Method 2: Turn off features in CMOS settings", this was ridiculously slow, OMG, grass grows faster than this method installed Windows. It went so slow that at one point I thought it had locked up and I was getting ready to reboot it when I noticed that the mouse would still move. What should have taken less than 1 hour took 15 hours to install this way. It was going so slow that I just let it run and checked on it every few hours. At about 6 hours 30 minutes with what was supposed to be 10 minutes left I checked on it and saw a message box which might have been saying the same thing as the message box from method 1. The box said "Advanced INF Installer" at the top with "INF Install failure. Reason: The handle is invalid." in the box and an OK button. But the setup was still running so I let it run. I checked on it at 2 minutes left to completion, while it was saving settings. When I came back the screen was black so I rebooted and it started loading Windows but it was just way too slow for me.

So, trying to isolate the problem, one by one, I first enabled caching system BIOS, then tried it, still too slow. So then I enabled CPU L1 & L2 caching, finally some speed. Everything is very small though, hard for me to see and hurts my eyes but I can't change the display properties because none of the tabs are there, I can't pick a theme or screen saver or anything. How do I change that? So last I enabled Video BIOS Shadow. Everything seemed ok, so far.

Next I took out that single RAM stick, I believe it was the new one, put the old one in slot 1 and tested it alone for 10 passes, no errors. Then I put the new one back in slot 0. So both RAM sticks are in at this point. I booted into Windows, tried to right click on the desktop and got rebooted. And kept getting rebooted several times until I went into Safe Mode and that's where I am now. And oddly enough all the display properties tabs are there in Safe Mode, I don't know if that means anything though. Is this a problem with my CPU chip? Is there something I can download to test my CPU chip? Thank you.
:)

Edited by vroni357, 18 June 2009 - 04:40 AM.

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#43
edge2022

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Ok.. so now Windows is installed and you can boot into Safe Mode without any problems, right?

Re-enable anything you disabled in your BIOS.
Follow the steps here: http://www.cakewalk....er/minidump.asp
And here: http://www.tweakxp.c...ticle36976.aspx
Boot into normal mode and recreate the reboot by right-clicking. A BSOD should pop up and tell me the error code.

This has many CPU stress tests: http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
I prefer this test:
Mersenne Prime Test
You can also try the other ones. Download the .iso and burn the disc with BurnCDCC. Boot from disc and run the CPU stress test for about 24-32 hours. Look for any errors, there should not be any.
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#44
vroni357

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Ok.. so now Windows is installed and you can boot into Safe Mode without any problems, right?


Yes, Windows is installed. No, I can not boot into Safe Mode without any problems, with both sticks of RAM in. With 1 RAM stick I can boot into Normal Mode without any problems. But with both sticks in sometimes I can boot into Normal Mode, sometimes I can't, sometimes I can boot into Safe Mode, sometimes I can't. But even if I manage to boot in to either mode I don't manage to stay in there long without getting the BSOD with both RAM sticks in.

I was re-enabling what I disabled in the BIOS when I was talking about trying to isolate the problem and going one by one to enable BIOS settings.

I followed the instructions exactly, with both RAM sticks in I recreated the BSOD several times just by booting into Windows and waiting a minute. 3 times in Safe Mode and 3 or 4 times in Normal Mode, the BSOD said the mini dump was complete. But it did not create the file, even though I had everything set exactly the way the instructions said. I even double checked it.

Mersenne Prime Test said it takes a month to run a single test, I'm not that patient so I tried CPU Burn-in v1.01. The only other one I saw was StressCPU but there was no download on the page it was linked to. But they all said they worked with Windows and I couldn't figure out how it would run from a bootable disk. So rather than burn a bootable disk I ran CPU Burn-in from within Windows with just 1 RAM stick in. I ran it for 12 hours at 1st, it never said I had any errors and it said it completed successfully. I tried to run it for 24 hours but a storm knocked out the electric so it only ran for 10 hours. Then when the electric was back on I immediately ran it for 24 more hours. All together 46 hours all with the same results, completed successfully.

Could it be my video card since I don't have display property tabs in Normal Mode as I should? Or possibly a problem with the bus on the motherboard since it acts crazy when I put the 2nd RAM stick in? Is there something else I can download to test anything else on this system?
:)

Edited by vroni357, 22 June 2009 - 10:11 AM.

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#45
edge2022

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I have one question. When you have 1 RAM stick inside your computer, does it matter which stick of the 2 you insert? Ex. Does the old Ultra work fine alone but the new Ultra causes problems when used alone?

Your video card appears to be ok. Give me an Everest Report; click on Everest Instructions in my sig and follow the directions.

I suggest you try running Prime95's torture test and see if it comes up with any errors.
http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft/
Once you download Prime95, install it and start it up.
Read through this: http://www.playtool....95/prime95.html and choose a couple of tests to run. Run each one for about 24-30 hours.
What is the BSOD error code you get when you run your computer with 2 sicks of RAM?
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