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Failure to boot

Posted on 1998-11-09
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I have just tried swapping the 2x4Mb simms in an old AST advantage 613e (cyrix 586 100mhz) for 2x8mb simms and now the system will not boot at all with either the old or new memory in place.  When I power up the system, all I hear is the hard disk access for a couple of seconds and then a series of beeps, two long and three short (i have been unable to find out what bios the system is running so any pointers would be appreciated)the keyboard lights flash a couple of times and thats it, nothing on the monitor at all (i've tried another monitor).

Is it possible to cause this to happen just by swapping the memory out and then back in again? surely I should get something on the screen saying that there is a memory error for example.

Over to you.....
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Question by:ianfoster
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by:esr0k
ID: 1128709
Re-check all you connections.
HDD, power cables, everything.
Sometimes things get knocked loose when you're moving around in the case.
It's happened to me FAR too many times.

Ü
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by:arunm
ID: 1128710
The beeps indicate that the machine can not talk to the ram / cpu successfully. First, reinsert your old ram to as this more likely to work. If its already there, verify it's seated correctly, This is best done be removing it and then reinserting it. The most probable cause of your problem is that you have loosened one of the cards, when inserting the ram. Check these cards and confirm they too are seated correctly. Secondly, check that you have not loosened or removed any cables, push them all in place. Thirdly, check you have shorted out the motherboard to the side of case, accidently (check for any missing screws!). Lets us know how you get on.  


With your new ram did you check that the ram is compatable with your motherboard? Some older motherboards only accept parity ram.


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by:esr0k
ID: 1128711
Ya, what I said.
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1128712
ianfoster,
It is important on some motherboards for RAM to be installed in a particular bank.
Be certain you have re-installed the old RAM in the same sockets they came out of.
In other words, (if you have extra RAM sockets on the board) don't leave those that were originally used empty.
Regards,
Ralph
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by:ianfoster
ID: 1128713
Still having no luck with this one.... I have tried using a different power supply just in case it was that, no difference.  If I unplug the hard disk power cable and ide cable I still get the same results, would that confirm that it isnt the hard disk drive? ive also done the same with the floppy and cd rom drives.
The system only has two slots for memory and ive tried all combinations that I can think of, one simm, both simms, switching between slots etc they are both well seated and this is all with the original memory by the way.  Is it possible that I could have killed the memory by not using an anti static strap? how far would the system get into the boot sequence without working memory?
i still get the same sequence of beeps and still have no idea what the beeps mean!

Still looking for the answer :o)
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1128714
There are all kinds of beep codes.  Manufacturers just seem to pick what they want, and it will be difficult to determine what they mean without your motherboard's manual.
I have seen many combinations of 8 beeps to indicate a video problem.
What is the sequence of long/short beeps that you hear?
Ralph
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1128715
Are you still having problems with this?
Ralph
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by:ianfoster
ID: 1128716
yes, its two long beeps followed by three short beeps.
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Expert Comment

by:z9bep50
ID: 1128717
if you take everything out of your pc (only mainboard and cpu left) and it still beeps, then your mainboard is dead...
if you have the manual of your mainboard, you can look up what the beeps mean
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Author Comment

by:ianfoster
ID: 1128718
im thinking the same :o) is it feasable that i've killed the mainboard just by touching it without wearing an antistatic strap? that must be what ive done seeing as im sure it was ok before......
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1128719
Static electricity can ruin electronic devices, but it isn't too common for it to damage installed computer components.
You probably would have touched some metal part of the case before touching the inner components, thereby discharging any static charge in you.
Double-check carefully for anything that may be lodged in the SIMM sockets on the motherboard. (Those contacts can sometimes be bent out of position too.)
Can you test the memory in another computer?
Ralph
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Expert Comment

by:z9bep50
ID: 1128720
remove everything and see if it's your mb... it's very unlikely that you ruin a mb just by touching it, but it is possible
let's hope you only ruined your ram (can you check those in an other machine?)
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Author Comment

by:ianfoster
ID: 1128721
i get a different series of beeps when i take the ram out altogether and try to boot so it is that a sign that the ram is recognised and there isnt anything wrong with it? how far would a pc get into the boot process without any ram whatsoever? i take it that the beeps and no output on the screen is what i should expect with no ram at all :o)
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1128722
Try pressing firmly on the BIOS chip in it's socket to ensure good pin contact.

What is the beep code when booting with RAM removed?

Ralph
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by:Otta
ID: 1128723
Have you tried the "old" and the "new" SIMMs in some other computer?
Pre-Pentium computers usually hated 'EDO' SIMMs,
and would beep furiously.
See if the other computer detects the SIMMs as EDO.
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by:rbr
ID: 1128724
Have you checked that all your components (ram,cpu,..) have a good connected to your board. I had a problem when I replaced a HD. Nothing worked since the CPU has gone out of its socket
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1128725
rbr,
Didn't you bother to read the very FIRST comment in this thread?
Note also that it was suggested in a comment, not an "answer", as you have proposed.
Please read the prior posts before jumping into a thread.

ianfoster,
We need some feedback from you.
Please reject that answer if you find it hasn't solved your problem.

Ralph

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Author Comment

by:ianfoster
ID: 1128726
these things have already been suggested.......
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Author Comment

by:ianfoster
ID: 1128727
I'm going to get hold of some more ram and try that, if not, the manufacturer is suggesting that it is a fault with the mainboard and that I might need a replacement..... i'll keep you posted.
I'm 200% sure that all of the components are securely inserted/attached/connected.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Otta earned 100 total points
ID: 1128728
According to the web-paget at:
http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Lakes/3553/beeps.htm
TWO beeps followed by some more indicate bad RAM.

To verify, at zero-cost, try the RAM in some other computer,
or use some other RAM in your computer.
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