Computer is a Powespec 5500 running XP Home.
AMD Sempron 3100+
ECS RS482-M754 motherboard
currently has 2x512 MB memory sticks, both DDR400 I think. I could be wrong, the old one might be DDR333
ATI Radeon Xpress 200 video
Not sure what else to list here.
I've been in here several times over the last year, thanks to my husband's computer. I don't know what he does to them, but they are always screwed up. This time I don't think it's a virus, I'm afraid it's something more serious.
Last week he ordered a new stick of memory, bumping him from 768MB to 1GB. It's been working great for him, no problems. Last night before we went to bed his weather.com desktop weather thingy was saying it had an error and had to shut down, so he told it to go ahead and send info about the error to Microsoft or whoever, and then it rebooted. After it had booted up, he shut it down and we went to bed.
This morning he went to boot up and got stuck in a restart loop. At one point he was able to try starting in safe mode, so he tried that and then shut it down. When he powered back up he was still in the loop, Windows would almost start up and then it would shut down and start over again. Then he tried the "Last known good configuration", but that didn't work either. So, he shut down the computer and unplugged it for a few minutes. Then when he plugged it back in and hit the power button, it was even worse. No video signal to the monitor, the HD seems to run for a few seconds, and the light on the front of the box that corresponds to the HD comes on for a few seconds, and we get a single beep repeated over and over and over, and that's it. It never boots, never goes anywhere. And I'm not even sure it's a POST beep, the tone sounds a little different, but I could be wrong.
He's been having trouble since he got the computer with the screen blinking. It appears to be something with the video driver, cuz my computer at work, with similar integrated ATI video (his is an integrated ATI Radeon Xpress 200), used to do the same thing on startup. But his will do it randomly, so he was getting fed up and trying to fix it.
So he went looking for solutions, and although I told him not to, he decided to start trying new drivers and software for his CPU. The following are his words from an IM log this morning:
That was the page
Now I know I tried the cool and quiet but it didn't even install
along with the catalys thing, which isn't on this page
catalyst - never installed, remember I told you it wanted a standard vga driver so I didn't do it?
It may have been the Processor driver towards the bottom
I know I'm not being much help but I can tell you this. I dl 3, maybe four things - Catalyst, cool and quiet and maybe that processor driver
I know catalyst didn't work as well as the cool and quiet, so process of elimination leaves that driver
OK, so first step is to try taking the new memory out and see if it will boot, right? Any other suggestions? Can you point me to a troubleshooting guide I can reference? He's working all day on my computer (works from home) so we won't be able to do anything about this until at least 3PM, but I want to make sure we have as many tools at our disposal as possible. It should still be under warranty, so if it's something serious, like a power supply or motherboard problem, we should be able to get it fixed (crosses fingers). Hopefully it's nothing that serious and we just need to re-seat the memory.
Thanks in advance. Please tell me he didn't do something that would completely fry his computer.