Posted 06 July 2010 - 11:04 PM
Sorry! This is a long story for a short question, but I thought it needed a setup ...
I bought a barebones system last year:
CPU Type/Speed: AMD Phenom II X3 720
Computer/Motherboard Model: Biostar A760G AM+
Operating System: Windows XP 32-bit SP3
Memory: Patriot DDR2 PC3500 1gb(x2), part #PSD21G667ECS
Power Supply: Corsair 400 watt
I contracted a something nasty that attacked mainly my "explorer.exe" file on Windows XP SP3. After doing a little work, I got the system stable again. It was about this time that I noticed that my computer would unexpectedly crash. The fans would be running but the monitor would lose its signal and the computer was non-responsive. After a re-start, everything would work okay. This did this for the third time on 6/6. I thought maybe it needed cleaning so I gave the inside of the case a light dusting. Once everything was clean, I restarted the computer and it booted. On the night of 6/7, the same thing happened again, only this time it would not reboot. The power and hard drive light would come on, the DVD player would cycle, the fans would come on, but there was no hard drive action and no signal to the monitor. Just as I was about to believe that the motherboard and/or processor had died, I tried swapping out the memory sticks. With just one stick in the computer, the system booted. I can use either one of my 1gb sticks in either slot and the system will boot. But using both, I get nothing.
I contacted the Biostar and Patriot about the problem, and after a number of emails, they suggested I contact AMD because, in their words, "Sounds like the CPU's on die memory controller has failed."
AMD RMA'ed the processor and I got a new one. With a new processor, my two sticks of memory, and a new Corsair 400 PSU installed I started the system. It passed the BIOS screen, got to the Windows xp screen, acted like it was going to set up, hit an XP boot cleaning stage then promptly got hung up. Every time I started the computer it would do the same thing: BIOS, Windows XP, blink, a few little hard drive blips, and then NOTHING.
I thought that maybe the boot.ini might have gotten corrupted when the clean screen froze. But every time I tried to boot the XP installation CD to get to Windows recovery, the system would load everything and then freeze on "Starting Windows".
Then I again tried to pulling one of the sticks of memory and, lo and behold, the computer booted and Windows came up. I tried both sticks of memory in each slot and each time the computer booted. I tested the memory w/ MEMTEST and neither one produced problems. I even flashed the BIOS. Once I got the system to re-discover its graphics driver (don't know how that happened), the system is still experiencing the same problem!!!!
I would like Biostar to RMA the board, but they said that they would need to have the processor and the memory sent with the board in order to test it. Now to my question ... is this common practice in returning a motherboard to its company? I am kinda nervous sending basically my whole system in to them so that they could possibly find (or create) fault in a product other than theirs.