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help! ,system restarting,ASRock mobo

Posted on 2003-02-27
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Last Modified: 2010-05-18
i'm trying to install an operating system on my friends Desktop PC. (winxp pro, then win98SE). basic specs are...
P4 2.4GHz,ASRock PE Pro Motherboard socket 478,inno3D GEForce2MX400,maxtor 30GB 5400RPM, 256MB DDR RAM PC266 128MB each DIMM).the system keeps on getting errors, faults(protection),and sometimes restarting on it's own. there are some things i notice. pls comment if there's something wrong with these:

1. the bios version on the bios setup main menu reads "AMI BIOS Version 3.31a. but then when i looked up the ASRock website their lates bios update is PE Pro 1.30, as opposed to 3.3a

2. when i tried going thru the bootstrap sequence(pressing any key in rebooting) the ID reads all zeros. (e.g. 0000-000-00000-00000 (#digits not exact)).
also i saw something like..."sis900 pentium...".
the mobo specs in manual reads sis645 chipset.

the most common problem is with errors in explorer.exe,
general protection fault/invalid page fault,etc.

errors came some minutes after the first log-in
on fresh installation. no drivers yet aside those from the OS Setup CD. kept getting errors, kept restarting,
some blue screens....especially as we try to install the other drivers.

first tried to install winxp(NTFS),didn't work.thought maybe win98 might work so tried installing that instead after so many attempts. but didn't work either.i didn't get exactly the same errors but very similar.

also the mobo specs on memory is DDR 333, but we have a 266 DDR RAM.is this ok?

we really need your help.thanx in advance!
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Question by:ShenBeatnik
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tanjnt earned 160 total points
ID: 8035195
Are you trying to install both OS to the same partition? 98 can't install to NTFS. Use FAT32. NEVER put two OS in the same partition. Fdisk and reformat to one FAT32 (first partition) and one NTFS partition if you want both OS. Install the 98 first (to FAT32), then choose the full install option in XP to be able to dual boot, and install XP to NTFS partition. I think the NTFS partition will have to be non-bootable unless the FAT32 is only around 5 GB. There is a limitation on the number of cylinders before the start of the partition.  
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by:tanjnt
ID: 8035256
Some other things that may be useful: go to
http://www.aida32.hu/aida32.php , download and installAida32. It is free and will give you more info on what is in the PC.

The slower RAM shouldn't be a problem, but you may very well have some defective RAM, and overheating problem, or other hardware problems. At least pop out the RAM and reseat it. http://www.memtest86.com/ has a free memory diagnostic. Run it from a fresh boot to a DOS prompt.
Run the drive manufacturer's diags on the HDD. Reseat all cables. Be sure you ground yourself before touching anything inside the case.
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by:ShenBeatnik
ID: 8036674
i not dual booting. what i meant was i tried installing xp first. didn't work so i thought perhaps it's not xp ready. so to rule out OS problems i tried to clean install win98 SE then. but still to no avail.

also i was wrong when i said the bios was 3.3a. version 3.3a was the bios setup software version. the bios version was actually p1.10. i've downloaded version 1.30, so perhaps i should upgrade to 1.30? or that's not really the problem?

the ram was also my number one suspect. it was just upgraded a day ago: added another 128 MB to the other slot.(it was originally just one 128MB nodule). but they don't have the same make of ram as the original so they change the original ram also to the one they have.
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Expert Comment

by:tanjnt
ID: 8036936
If the new RAM and the problems coincide, remove the new DIMM and see if that helps. http://www.memtest86.com/ has a free memory test program you can download. Try reversing the two sticks, and see if that makes a difference. RAM problems can certainly cause these symptoms.

http://www.windowsreinstall.com/ is a good web site that explains most windows install/reinstall issues. Read up on it there.
Forget about trying to install Win98 to an NTFS partition. It won't work.

You could check the BIOS compatibility at their web site. It is probably a good idea to update the BIOS anyway, but be aware that when doing this, there is a small possibility of damaging the chip permanently. Be sure you follow the directions, and back up the old configuration first.
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by:ShenBeatnik
ID: 8037186
i'm not trying to install win98 to a NTFS partition coz it definitely won't work. xp--NTFS,win98--FAT32.
i don't think the installers are the problem. i configured my own machine to multi-boot dos,win98 and winxp + SP1 + SP2 and it's great. i don't have any problem at all. tried the same installers/setup CDs on my friend's machine but didn't work either.
thanks for the memtest link. i'll definitely try that.
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Author Comment

by:ShenBeatnik
ID: 8037422
i'm not trying to install win98 to a NTFS partition coz it definitely won't work. xp--NTFS,win98--FAT32.
i don't think the installers are the problem. i configured my own machine to multi-boot dos,win98 and winxp + SP1 + SP2 and it's great. i don't have any problem at all. tried the same installers/setup CDs on my friend's machine but didn't work either.
thanks for the memtest link. i'll definitely try that.
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by:tanjnt
ID: 8038487
Definitely try the system without the newly installed RAM, because that is the most likely source of the problem. Another fairly quick thing to try is Start > Run > sfc /scannow  (system file checker) to check for corrupted system files. Bad RAM could easily corrupt files, but so could other things, even a fingerprint on the CD.

There is also an option to boot from the XP CD and choose to repair the installation, but try the sfc /scannow first.
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Author Comment

by:ShenBeatnik
ID: 8065595
to tanjnt

the memtest was great.found a lot of errors in the ram.found out that the second module was defective without having to detach it.had it replace.it's running swell now. thanx a lot.
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Author Comment

by:ShenBeatnik
ID: 8065683
by the way, do you have a diagnostic for cd/dvd rom drives and hard disks?
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