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Argh...Computer problems - need ideas

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by DigMe, Jul 10, 2004.


  1. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    So I was adding another 128 megs of ram to my computer today (Dell PIII 888mhz, about 4 years old) and when I was done I put it back together and plugged it in and turned it on and I apparently was getting no signal to the monitor. It registered that it was plugged in but the little led light next to the monitor power button was flashing like it does when the computer is turned off but the monitor is still on. Hmmmm.. I fiddled around with things and nothing. I removed the extra RAM i had installed and made sure the original RAM was seated properly and nothing. I went and bought a new video card (after making sure Circuit City had a decent return policy!) and put that in and...nothing. Not sure what else to try here and I'm not sure what's happened. Hopefully I didn't fry some part of the motherboard with static but I feel like I was fully discharged before I replaced the RAM. Anyway..anyone have any other ideas?

    brad cook
     
  2. Hmm, does the speed of the RAM chip match your motherboard's speed? My friend had a similar problem, he tried putting a 133MHz chip into a 100MHz motherboard and fried it. Get it checked, hopefully it didn't do that.
     
  3. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    The RAM I bought matches the RAM that was already installed.

    brad cook
     
  4. grovest

    grovest

    Feb 26, 2002
    Oregon
    Make sure the installed module really is the old one and then reseat it.
    Try installing only the new one.
    Make sure it's in slot 0 (or the slot it was in to begin with).
    Verify you haven't accidentally unplugged the power from the MB.
    Maybe remove the battery to reset the BIOS.
    When you say 'it registered that it was plugged in', do you mean the monitor or the PC? Verify the PC really is plugged in if you mean the display.

    Probably not static discharge complications.

    Here are the things it is almost certainly not, to save you trips to CC:
    Your disk or optical drives
    Your power supply (assuming it was working fine before the upgrade)
    Your sound card
    Your video card

    My guess is something physical, like a dirty connection or an unplugged cable.
     
  5. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I did check all the connections that I could reach. I'll probably go check them again. I'm sure the installed module is the old one and that it's in the original slot it was in before. I'll check on the other stuff. I meant the monitor registered that it was plugged in...that doesn't mean much though really. When you unhook it from the computer it says "Check connection" on the monitor. It doesn't say that now. All hardware is plugged in.

    brad cook
     
  6. Pause

    Pause

    Jun 4, 2003
    Miami, FL
    I once put a 133MHz card in a PC66 motherboard... nothing happened. It just wouldn't start until I took it out. It shouldn't have fried it.
     
  7. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    You can run 133 memory in a 100 system with no problem. He fried it with something else.

    Running 100 Mhz RAM @ 133 Mhz can give you trouble (e.g. while overclocking a system).
     
  8. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    you might check for bent pins in the video connector.
     
  9. Does the computer make any beeps when you turn it on? The power supply (not the speakers) can emit a series of long and short beeps that corresponds with troubleshooting codes.
     
  10. Timbo

    Timbo

    Jun 14, 2004
    I would suggest posting on www.computing.net Whenever I have a computer problem I can't fix by fiddling around I post there, usually get a good answer fairly quickly.. And I can't think of anything else that hasn't been mentioned to help ya.. sorry.
     
  11. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Yeah man it was giving me three beeps. I was thinking that was indicating something about the video card but maybe that's just what I wanted it to mean.

    It doesn't matter now though. Thanks for all the suggestions. After messing around with it for too long I finally just took it over here to a local PC repair place. They're nice guys and they know their stuff more than I and I really need it back up so I can print out some resumes for some jobs I'm chasing.

    Turns out that when I attempted to put in that RAM it corrupted the BIOS. Not sure why that happened but they said there's a definite trend of that happening when adding RAM on Dell computers.

    They are giving me a pretty good deal though. Since I don't have the money to upgrade to a good system right now (the Dell was a PIII 866mhz w/ 128megs sdram) they are going to upgrade me to a new motherboard and AMD Duron 1.6ghz processor, new case and 256 megs of DDR for 225 bucks. That includes the 2 hours they spent troubleshooting it as well so I think I'm getting out for not too bad.

    brad cook
     
  12. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    That's not bad, but you really should have gone with an Athlon Processor. They are not too expensive. The Durons are the equivalent to the Celeron, which are kinda medicore processor. They just tend to run slower.
     
  13. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Hmm...I didn't know much about the Durons to be honest. That kinda sucks that it's an equivalent to Celeron but I just can't really afford much else right now. He originally offered me the choice between the Duron and an XP model. I would have said the XP but then I asked him if the $200 dollar price he quoted me for the upgrade included the 2 hours of trouble-shooting. He said he'd include that if I took the Duron over the XP since that one's cheaper for them. I had them throw in 256 megs of DDR Ram and that was the extra $25. Just don't think I can afford anymore than that.

    brad cook
     
  14. grovest

    grovest

    Feb 26, 2002
    Oregon
    Hey, if it's fast enough to browse TB, what else matters?
     
  15. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Exactly...and I'm guessing it's faster than the PIII 866 that was previously powering it.

    brad cook
     
  16. Three beeps sounds like you have, or had, an AMI BIOS on your motherboard, unless one of them is longer than the others.

    Here is what three beeps means following the Power On Self Test.
     
  17. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Got the PC and I'm back online! Seems great once I tweaked a few things that were causing problems. It actually came up a bit cheaper than what the originally told me as well. I'm happy so far.

    brad cook
     
  18. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    for browsing TB, the durons are fine! I think that a duron is a better processor than the celerons. I am an AMD fan all the way. It's nice to get your computer back together, isnt it?
     
  19. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Yeah it is. I think when I get a job and have some more disposable cash I'll upgrade to an Athlon XP...nothing superfast...something on the lower-priced end but still pretty speedy.

    brad cook
     
  20. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I bought a computer off of walmart. It's a compaq presario, and I have had very good luck with it! 500 bucks for monitor, computer, speakers, kbrd, and mouse. Needless to say, I upgraded the ram, and added a few fun peripherals like a dvd-rw and an extra HDD. I also happened across a linksys n.i.c., and I like it better than the motherboards built-in one. The next thing is a bit more ram, and a real video card. Oh, hand it's an athlon xp 2 GHz.