Okay, so... yesterday I cleaned the internals of my PC with moist free compressed air. Also upgraded my RAM. Anyhoo, the computer will not get past the initial start-up screen where I can opt to go to BIOS or the settings. It beeps, the keyboard lights-up and it just stays there. I've tried the original RAM and it doesn't even load up. Just a black screen. I haven't yet tried what SuicidalShizuru mentioned which was try a single stick of RAM. I will though.
So I've been talking to technical support for the mobo and have a PDF user manual. Going to tinker with it after I get done with my three-day stint at work.
I've been running different possibilities through my mind and worst case scenario figured I could get a new mobo and RAM for that one. If I had to do this, would I have to reformat my primary HDD and reinstall windows? Or could I simply plug it all up and rock out?
Single stick of ram won't work, your mobo requires three DIMMs simply to boot. Older mobos require two DIMMs (yours is a triple clock, the older stuff is double-clock).
Actually, this was true even back in the 286 days when I was building computers back then and trying a single stick of like 2mb ram and it wouldn't work :P
IIRC, you said your mobo was old, right? Or did you get a new one?
At first I thought that you had bad new ram, but if the old ram doesn't work either you've got really two possibilities--both related.
Either you've fried the mobo, or fried both of your ram triplets. Or both :S
My question is this, what sort of anti-static strategy do you have going on? I was maniacal about static when I built my system. My bud brought over his anti-static mat that clips onto the case, and we made sure to "wash" our hands on bare metal religiously before doing anything. You also can't use magnetic screw-drivers.
I remember I was messing with the fan and somehow we tested the strength of it, pulled on the fan, and the damn CPU popped off with the fan! Then, removing the CPU from the fan, some arctic silver dripped onto the CPU pins! Bridged a few of them!!! O_O
I had to clean that religiously (99% alcohol), as bridged pins would be disastrous. But, more than that, static can fry a chip, invisibly, with just a single accidental touch.
Have you tried moving the ram from 1,3,5 to 2,4,6?
I suppose another possibility is that it's not finding your harddrive to load anything from. Trying popping an install copy of Windows in the CD tray and make sure your boot order is correct. Once my boot order was jacked up and it randomly was looking at the wrong thing and wouldn't find my hdd to boot at all.
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I also thought I may have fried something. I just grounded myself with a hand on the case. I'm going to get a wrist clip or something here for anti-static. The mobo itself is two years old. My case supports ATX, my mobo is a micro ATX. found a good x58 mobo that is also an ATX so I'm hoping that if I had to do that I could keep the case and everything else. Hopefully the processor is fine. I ran the original memory in 1,3,5 the other night. Didn't do 2,4,6. I was considering that too. Only other option is getting a new keyboard as well. Just a cheapie for trouble shooting. I doubt that's the issue though. I'll run through what you recommended.
The screw driver I used was not magnetized. Think that's about it!
So if I had to get a new mobo, could I just plug in my hard drives and run from there? Or would I have to re-format them?
What. All PC's should be able to work with only one stick of ram. It may not run dual or triple channel, but it should work.
If the PC posts and then dies after that, i'd reset the POST to factory defaults, and then try one stick of ram at a time until you find a bad stick. If that's still not the problem it could very well be chipset, CPU or power supply related. How to test the first two requires a bit of bios fiddling.
In complete honesty this just sounds like you have the wrong voltages set in your BIOS. Have you ever tried to overclock? I can't give you specific instructions because I don't know the exact model of motherboard you have, but go into the bios and up the voltages a tiny bit for the ram (first) then if that doesn't work try upping the voltage on the Chipset or the CPU. VERY SMALL INCREMENTS.
I have saved MANY a computer from all sorts of bizarre issues by upping the ram voltage a tiny bit.
Hi though I would offer my suggestions. Often I have found that in a case such as this with no warning bios beeps etc and it just seems to be dead that something is shorting or not quite correctly connected.
Try removing all cards and memory from the mobo (don't remove the cpu and cooler). Disconnect all cables (front usb, buttons, power, fans, drives etc..) from the mobo. Then remove the mobo from the case. Check all the mounting points and for loose screws etc that could have got between the mobo and case or possible shorting point.
Then re-assemble with the minimum possible attached and connected. You should be able to get away with psu connections to mobo, case buttons (power, reset) and a gfx card connected to a monitor.
Try and power on. Should still get to bios but no further with all that attached. If not first try another gfx card (if you have one). If not then it will be the mobo or cpu. I usually replace both at the same time but you could try swapping around to find out which is knackered.
If it did display the bios (with various errors as there is no memory, drives etc) Start adding things one or two at a time. E.g a stick of memory - then the keyboard - then a hard drive. Until it is all working or it fails after adding something and you know what is wrong.
If you are having a difficult time, strip it down to minimum, and build it back up til it wont boot. However, memory does have an annoying tendency to go bad. I would have skipped crucial and gone with GSkill (personal preference =p)
It should be noted, though, that those beeps mean something. They are error codes. Might want to check up on your bios and find what each beep sequence means.
I've had 8 DoA mobos ranging between gigabyte, asus, and MSI over the last 5 years alone. They are the weakest link of any computer, and replacing them has always fixed otherwise anomalous issues and crashing.
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Lock is untouchable though, he's too cool to be targeted, like ever. He's Detroit's Heisenberg!
Sai, I found a cool new RPG L4D2 server for you when you get this comp patched up :>
16 player coop, experience points and buying of skills and abilities. Like, I've bought 1/2/3% faster running speed, 30% more ammo and hp, and a couple other cool things and I'm lvl 12 now >_> at lvl 50 I can buy fire immunity. That will be nice as running through fire is practically a necessity.
On top of that, it's permanent horde rush most of the time, waaaay too many special infected all the time, and certain crazy things. Like, a smoker seems to have a practically infinite range on his tongue. Jockeys are INVISIBLE when not riding someone, which is actually fairly unfair (well you can see their shadow), and there's so many normal infected that your literally -only- chance at survival is to carry a melee weapon and beat them off in droves.
Oh, and did I mention that it's 16 player coop? And if you have less than, say, 10 players no one's going to beat the level.
Surviving a level on this server is a true achievement :P