Computer will not boot!!

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Computer will not boot!!
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Jim Hillier
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April 13, 2009 - 10:01 pm
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Hey Guys - I'm attempting to fix a good friend's computer (so far, I don't like my chances). 99 times out of 100 the machine will not boot to the OS. The one time I did manage to get it to boot, it would not accept any input from PS2 mouse or keyboard so I could not actually log on. After about 2 minutes of trying some little black lines started to appear horizontally across the log-on screen....they grew and grew until the screen was a mass of checkered squares, predominantly mauve/purple. I haven't been able to get it to boot again since.

Everything seems to be getting power okay,; fans, rom drive, lights, etc all working so doubt it is anything to do with the PSU. I checked all internal connections, everything seems to be seated properly. There was just one extra card (modem) so I removed that.......still the same.

Tried booting to CD...no go! So software diagnostics is a non starter.

I think this may be a job for an expert with the necessary testing hardware/equipment? Any thoughts?

cheers.....JIM

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Chad Johnson
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April 15, 2009 - 12:03 am
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wow.

ouch.

is the video on board or is it a separate card (sounded like it was on board)?

Do you get an error message trying to load to CD, or does it just crap out?

Based on the symptoms, my gut is saying something in the motherboard/RAM area. The key here is that the Live CD isn't booting. How much RAM is in the system? How many chips? Try running from just one chip.

Also, if you can dust off an old Win98 floppy disk, see if that will boot you to a command prompt. At the very least you can run a memtest and scandisk (or is it chkdsk, can't remember anymore). The floppy boot disks didn't necessarily load to RAM (depends on which one you had).

--zig

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Jim Hillier
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April 15, 2009 - 5:25 am
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Hey Zig - Thanks for the reply mate. This problem is actually now fixed....sorry, I've been out all day and haven't had time to update.

The video was onboard. No error message when trying to boot from CD or anything else for that matter...just a black screen. 2 sticks of RAM installed (2 x 512mb each). No floppy drive in the tower.

I couldn't get any display on the monitor at all, no matter what I tried....just a black screen. Didn't even get any BIOS messages.

The good news is you were pretty much on the mark....actually, you were right on the mark. Turned out to be bad RAM. Swapped the RAM for new sticks and ......voila, all good!

Man, that RAM can cause some strange issues.

thanks again mate and apologies for not reporting back earlier,
JIM

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Chad Johnson
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April 15, 2009 - 9:40 am
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Well...everyone considers the processor to be the brain of the modern computer, but even a brain can't function without lungs (RAM).

Of course, I always look at the computer with the CPU being the heart, and the RAM being the brain. The Hard drive is umm...more brain. LoL

So the analogy isn't perfect, but it gets the point across: Bad RAM = Very little occurring on the computer.

Glad you're up and running.

--zig

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