Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Computer Startup/RAM problems


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 JBud

JBud

  • Members
  • 5 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:57 AM

Posted 25 June 2010 - 06:03 PM

Hey BleepingComputer, just as my title suggests I've been having some computer troubles..

For the past 2-3 months my computer has been locking up and restarting fairly often. It started doing this once every few days, but after a while it became a ~3-5 times a day. I had no idea what the problem might be, I'm really more of a Software kinda guy. So I started looking into some diagnostic software, and everything ran fine except for the memory tests. Everytime I ran a memory test the computer would lock up again. I'm thinking this must mean that there's either a problem with my RAM or the RAM slots.

My computer has 4 ram slots, all of which are filled. So my idea was to take 1 RAM out (the very first one), then perform the diagnostic test; if it still locked-up, take out the next RAM piece and test again. Everytime I performed the diagnostic test (using Windows Memory Diagnostic) BEFORE this, it would lockup at EXACTLY Pass 3 Test 3 . However after removing the first 2 pieces of RAM it was able to pass that, and ended up locking-up at around Pass 4. When I removed the 3rd RAM piece (only 1 RAM in my system now), the test went as far as Pass 6! It still locked-up, but it was the furthest I was able to get. My next idea was to test the RAM slots, so I removed that single RAM piece, placed it in another slot, and retested. I'm pretty sure (I think) that I was able to test it, but it locked up fairly easily, and so I tried placing it in yet another slot. After this, however, the computer stopped working! I would click to turn on the computer, and I could hear it turning on, the lights on the system would glow, but the screen stayed blank. I shut off and tried putting the RAM piece into another slot, and then another, and then back into its original placement..I even tried putting all the other RAM pieces back in, in the EXACT order in which I took them out too. But alas, the computer still won't work. What have I done to my computer? I know that I was very careful in handling each of the RAM pieces, gave it plenty of time to cooldown once I shut it off, held the metal in the case before touching anything on the inside.. I'm not sure whats going on here, and much worse I won't have the money to buy new RAM for quite a while. Any ideas? Suggestions? Luckily I still have my laptop, but I'd really like to know whats going on with my computer, and what I can do to fix it. Thanks guys,


- JB

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 MrBruce1959

MrBruce1959

    My cat Oreo


  • BC Advisor
  • 6,378 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Norwich, Connecticut. in the USA
  • Local time:12:57 PM

Posted 25 June 2010 - 08:11 PM

Hello and welcome to Bleepingcomputer! :thumbsup:

I read your entire post with interest because you gave a very discriptive explaination.

I see that you have been working on a RAM situation, but the real question is...is it really a RAM problem?

You should investiagte your video card as a possible suspect, if it is an expansion card you should try reseating it in its slot, it could be causing issues.

You could be having problems with your power supply as well, it might not be putting out the power it used to and this could be causing your computer to crash.

Make sure your processor is not over heating, this will cause crashes as well, you may need to clean the heat sink fins out and add new thermal paste in between the heat sink and processor.

Once you have done this try running the diagnostic software below if you can get windows to boot properly again.

Try speed fan at http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php or HWMonitor at http://www.cpuid.com/hwmonitor.php

Both of those programs monitor both voltages and temps from your motherboard monitors.

Make sure the RAM you are using is the correct RAM for your system, just because it fits does not mean it's the correct type.

I am not saying this is the case, but your motherboards capacitors could be drying up and causing problems, check those for leakage on their top and on the motherboard.

Please post back what you were able to try and what the results were and keep us informed.

Good luck and kind regards.

Welcome to Bleeping Computer! :welcome:
New Members: Please click here for the Bleeping Computer Forum Board Rules
 
My Career Involves 45 Years as an Electronics Repair Technician, to Which I am Currently Retired From.

I Am Currently Using Windows 10 Home Edition.

As a Volunteer Staff Member of Bleeping Computer, the Help That I Proudly Provide Here To Our BC Forum Board Membership is Free of Charge. :wink:


#3 JBud

JBud
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 5 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:57 AM

Posted 26 June 2010 - 05:43 PM

Thanks for the tips MrBruce =]

I tried unscrewing the video card from its slot, and pulling it out, but this proved unsuccessful. I didn't want to pull too hard (worrying that I might break it), so I just left it in its slot and put the screws back in. But I remember performing some diagnostic tests, including a video test, and that seemed to work just fine. In fact, everything I tried testing performed just fine except for the memory tests.. I can't remember which software I used though. As far as the power supply, I can hear the computer turning on and see the lights turn on on the system..Would this be enough to show that the power supply is working? I'm not sure, I admit I'm pretty n00bish in the world of hardware. But I assume the problem is related to RAM since the computer was working fine (as far as being able to turn on and perform regular functions, run applications, etc.) until I started moving the RAM around. Even then it worked fine, up until I moved that last RAM piece to the other slot.

Any ideas? Anything else I can try out? I looked around on the inside, and I don't see anything leaking, or any liquid of any form. I also made sure to clean out the dust from the computer. I can get the computer to physically turn on (click the power-on button and all the fans startup, on-light glows in the front, and the monitor's on-light glows). I don't know whats going on or what I did wrong here =[

#4 MrBruce1959

MrBruce1959

    My cat Oreo


  • BC Advisor
  • 6,378 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Norwich, Connecticut. in the USA
  • Local time:12:57 PM

Posted 26 June 2010 - 05:53 PM

The program you tired for testing RAM was it memtest? If not here is the link to Memtest86 4.00 http://majorgeeks.com/Memtest86_d4226.html

If you've used this program before then let me know please.

Welcome to Bleeping Computer! :welcome:
New Members: Please click here for the Bleeping Computer Forum Board Rules
 
My Career Involves 45 Years as an Electronics Repair Technician, to Which I am Currently Retired From.

I Am Currently Using Windows 10 Home Edition.

As a Volunteer Staff Member of Bleeping Computer, the Help That I Proudly Provide Here To Our BC Forum Board Membership is Free of Charge. :wink:


#5 JBud

JBud
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 5 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:57 AM

Posted 26 June 2010 - 11:10 PM

Darn =[ I gave a look around, but I totally can't remember what the software was. Its possible that it was PCMark or Everest maybe ?? Basically the test ran a whole bunch of tests at once, testing everything from my memory, CPU, video, etc. There must have been 10 tests running simultaneously, and all of them ran 100% successful, except for the memory test which had ~75 errors.

After that I grabbed my Ultimate Boot CD and booted up with that, using Windows Memory Diagnostic : http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp .. which failed multiple times, at exactly Pass 3 Test 3. It wasn't until I removed the first 2 RAMs from their slots (2 remaining) that it was able to reach Pass 4. I don't recall using Memtest86, or any other diagnostic test utilities other than those 2 though

#6 MrBruce1959

MrBruce1959

    My cat Oreo


  • BC Advisor
  • 6,378 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Norwich, Connecticut. in the USA
  • Local time:12:57 PM

Posted 26 June 2010 - 11:56 PM

OK you should try running memtest and see what the results are, this program should be booted to and ran directly from the disk, whether its a cdrom or floppy disk, do not run memtest from the windows operating system, it is not intended to be ran that way, I say this because I have heard people trying to run it while windows is running, memtest is a stand-alone program, that runs off of a boot disk.

Try that and let me know the results.

Welcome to Bleeping Computer! :welcome:
New Members: Please click here for the Bleeping Computer Forum Board Rules
 
My Career Involves 45 Years as an Electronics Repair Technician, to Which I am Currently Retired From.

I Am Currently Using Windows 10 Home Edition.

As a Volunteer Staff Member of Bleeping Computer, the Help That I Proudly Provide Here To Our BC Forum Board Membership is Free of Charge. :wink:


#7 JBud

JBud
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 5 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:57 AM

Posted 27 June 2010 - 02:54 AM

Aw, but see I can't do any testing =[ the computer physically turns on, in the sense that my fans start running and the lights on the computer-system glow. But the screen shows up completely blank the whole time. Maybe its actually on, but there's something wrong with the video card ?? Or maybe there's something stopping me from being able to see the screen ?

#8 MrBruce1959

MrBruce1959

    My cat Oreo


  • BC Advisor
  • 6,378 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Norwich, Connecticut. in the USA
  • Local time:12:57 PM

Posted 27 June 2010 - 09:47 PM

Okay is there any way you get your hands on another video card to try in the computer to see if your present card is defective?

Welcome to Bleeping Computer! :welcome:
New Members: Please click here for the Bleeping Computer Forum Board Rules
 
My Career Involves 45 Years as an Electronics Repair Technician, to Which I am Currently Retired From.

I Am Currently Using Windows 10 Home Edition.

As a Volunteer Staff Member of Bleeping Computer, the Help That I Proudly Provide Here To Our BC Forum Board Membership is Free of Charge. :wink:


#9 JBud

JBud
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 5 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:57 AM

Posted 28 June 2010 - 10:30 AM

I have an old broken down spare computer, which doesn't work at all; I took the video card out of that, but the slots look very different on that than my main computer. So I don't think I can plug it in. I did however take my video card out, and gave it a thorough dust-cleaning, then seated it back in. When I turn on the computer the video card's fan seems to work just fine, but again the screen stays black. I also tried reseating the RAM, but same thing. You seem pretty convinced that its the video card; does it mean anything if its fan is working okay ? Also, I tried turning on the computer and clicking the Power button repeatedly; since, as far as I remember, if you click to power the computer off WHILE its booting up, it should instantly power off. It didn't do that this time, instead I have to hold the power button down to get it to shut off. Does this mean anything at all ?? Thanks =]




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users