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Computer does not boot after memory installation


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#46
The Skeptic

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To me it looks odd that the other computer failed when you installed the slave drive. Excuse me for asking, but are you sure that you jumpered the drives correctly? Try to jumper both as cable select. make sure that the "good" drive is connected to the end of the flat cable and the "bad" one to the middle connector. If this doesn't help, connect the "bad" disk as a master on the other IDE connector. make sure to use a 80 lead flat cable. Leave it as the only device connected to this cable.
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#47
pera00

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Thanks for your input y.a. Yes, I did jumper the drives as you described with CS and using the middle connector for the extra drive. I went back and tried connecting the bad drive by itself with a separate cable. Even then the good system would not boot. More recently, I removed the bad hdd from the troubled computer and booted on the UBCD. Didn't know if that could help at all but anyways, I managed to boot from the cd and tried running memtest. It came back with a message saying that only 55MB (?) could be tested and I should run two occasions of the test simultaneously, whatever that meant. However, I still could not get it to test the memory. That's where we are at the moment...

Edited by pera00, 30 November 2005 - 04:12 PM.

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#48
Doby

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Your going to have to test the ram, to do this you are going to have to install a floppy

Download memtest 86 follow the instructions and make a bootable floppy.

Disconnect both cd and hdd from the mobo and psu then insert the floppy and it should boot from it and test the ram.

let memtest run for at least 3 passes at its defaults.

One other thing, does the computer get into bios if so see if the bios reports the temps and voltages and list them here for us.

If the bios has anything about vdimm list what it is set at.
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#49
pera00

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See my previous, edited post. BIOS does not report any temps, voltages, or VDIMMs, it is just regular Dell BIOS.
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#50
pera00

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Doby,
I disconnect both the cd and hdd and ran memtest for 5 passes at its defaults.
It found 0 errors. Is it safe to assume that the memory is in good shape and the hdd might be the culprit?
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#51
Doby

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yea it sounds like the ram is ok and its the hdd but try this test,,,,

connect the cdrom but leave the hdd disconnected and put in your windows cd and try and boot from it.

Of course windows won't find a drive to install on but I want to see if it will boot from cd
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#52
dsenette

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also...just...as a test...try the ubcd without the hdd as well
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#53
pera00

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Yes, the computer boots fine to UBCD and Windows XP installation CD, without the hdd connected.
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#54
dsenette

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it very well could be the hd...though that should have absolutley no bearing on the ubcd...
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#55
The Skeptic

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I wonder what would happen if you tried to boot the computer with a DOS diskette run from a floppy disk drive (you mentioned that you could probably get one). As I see the problem at this moment it is either caused by a seriously corrupted windows, probably due to some interruption during the Avast restart process, or the disk is electromechanically finished. I would try to install a floppy drive, change boot sequence in the bios to make the floppy first booting device and start the computer with the HD connected normally, as primary master. If you manage to boot the computer this way you can use fdisk command to delete the partitions and then format to FAT32. After cleaning the disk you will be able (so I hope) to install XP, reformating to NTFS in the process.

If this doesn't work I would try to get another HD, even a small and old one, connect it and try to install XP. If it works then it shows the system in general is operable and the HD must be replaced even if we do not know exactly what caused the problem.
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#56
pera00

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y.a,

I have installed a floppy drive and used it to run memtest from it. I do not have a DOS disk, can you point me to a good source? I also went and bought a new hdd last night, ripped the bad #(@#^%*!@ Maxtor out and installed XP on the new WD hdd without a problem. I am currently downloading the last batch of XP updates.

I'd still like to get the files from the Maxtor though (or even get it back to operational) if possible, it was only used for 4 days... However, I have tried to connect it to three other computers in various configurations and not one single computer boots up when this monster is connected, even as a slave. What could be so nasty and scary that could cause the computer to shut down in mere presence of this drive??? Is there any way to get to this drive short of dynamite?
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#57
Doby

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Well I am glad you are up and running and we finally found out what the problem was. I sorta thought it was the drive all along but the error code did point to ram thats why we had to go to extremes to test the ram to be sure that wasn't it

give up on the drive something internal is messed up bad maybe a short or something.

Rick
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#58
pera00

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Thank you for your help, dsenette, doby and y.a. I had hoped that we could've saved the bad drive. However, better this way than losing the whole computer. Thanks again.

One final question, are there any potential problems mixing two different manufacturers' memory sticks? I have one Kingston and one Micron module. Both are 256Mb and memtest reports them at operating at the same speed and same latencies (2.5-3-3-7).
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#59
Doby

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Your welcome,

About mixing the ram, most of the time you can, sometimes different ram don't get along so good and can cause problems like a no boot and when you remove one then everthing is ok.

The installation of the ram did not cause the problem with the hdd it was just bad.

Rick
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#60
The Skeptic

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I am glad that the problem is solved. This Maxtor, I wouldn't even try to install it in another computer for fear of damage to the other computer. It has to be disarded. By the way, don't you have some gurantee period? You did nothing wrong that caused it to fail, and where I live you would definitely get a new HD in place of the defective one.

If you are still interested about a bootable DOS disk, the easyiest way to create one is if you have someone who run a windows 98 computer. You go to control panel > add/remove program, and there you find an option for creating a recovery diskette.


Regards

Ami Yogev
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