Asus k8v-se mobo problem, cant boot XP (memory issue?)

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Asus k8v-se deluxe
AMD64 3200+
2 x 512MB PC3200+ 400 MhZ RAM

I have an asus k8v-se mobo that will not boot correctly.  I've been attempting to do a fresh install of Windows XP, on to both SATA and IDE drives without success.  Everytime I try to install the OS from CD at some point in the process the install just hangs.

Now this computer was up and running until last Wednesday, although not the most stable system I've built, I was able to get it to work for my needs.   If you didn't read the thread above then the short story is I lost my OS on a SP2 Windows Update, due to a registry hack (at least thats what I'm guessing).  I've since given up on restoring the old install, and am simply trying to start with a clean install.  I have a brand new Windows XP CDR with absolutely no scratches.  Every time I attempt to install the OS as some point in the setup process the computer just hangs, and the CD-Rom stops spinning.  Initially, I was attempting to install on to SATA drives connected to the VIA Raid Controller, after repeated failures, I moved on to trying to install to and IDE drive and the Primary IDE channel, again same problems.

There is one strange fact that I've noticed.  The longer that the computer has been off, the farther along into the setup process the computer lets me get.  If I try repeatedly over and over eventually the computer will hang in POST, before even booting the CD-ROM.

Now I'm pretty sure that this is a memory issue, and I've seen several threads on other discussion boards relating to memory problems with this Mobo.  What I can't understand is why I was able to get an OS to work on the board for several months, and now I'm not able to get there?

I'm about ready to give up on this board, it's actually the third one I've had problems with.  

Does anyone have recommendations on my course of action should be?

Should I kick down the cash and just get some expensive non generic memory like Corsair, and try the board again?
Should I just buy a new board?  If so what's available with similar feature sets?  I need at least one RAID controller. 5 PCI Slots, GB LAN, Firewire, USB 2.0, and of course  AMD® Socket 754
Are there any adjustments I can make in BIOS to make the board run correctly with the memory I have?

I'm hurting here as my main workstation is down, everyday is time lost in work.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you might offer.

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CallandorConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If the install goes further, depending on how close to a cold boot you were, I suspect either a heat problem or power supply problem.  Swap the power supply to see if it's the power supply; for a heat problem you may need to reseat the cpu and heatsink.  Make sure the heatsink is not on backwards, and has a small drop of thermal paste betweeen the cpu and the heatsink.
jb1013Author Commented:
I don't think it's a problem with either the powersupply or overheating.  

I finally got it to install Windows XP Pro without hanging but unfortunately I can't boot into the operating system.  It hangs on a black screen after the Windows Splash Screen.  I definately think it's a memory issue, does anyone have experience tuning the memory for one of these boards?

Thanks in advance,

Memory problems usually result in random crashes, and your problems don't sound like they are totally random (correlated with time from cold boot) nor are they crashes.  But if you want to test your memory, run the memory tester at - if it fails, you have bad memory, but if it passes, it could be a false positive.
Hmm, that sounds like basically the same system I'm running (AMD 64 3200+, 2x512MB PC3200, K8 mobo) and I've had no problems with XP (running a SATA HD). I also think that the origional problems you listed sounded a lot like a heat issue. It's it way to exact of timing to be memory. Have you made sure that all the fans (CPU, Power Supply, Video Card etc.) are running and that there is at least decent airflow?

Also, this sounds vaguely similar to a problem I had with an old P100 a few years ago. It would run DOS, and Win 3.1 fine, Windows 95, 98, or 2k however wouldn't run on it. (They would either hang during the install, or when put the HD in a different machine and installed from that PC the OS wouldn't boot correctly when I put it back in the P100.) My final conclusion was that it was most likely a problem with either the CPU or the Motherboard itself. (I ran a RAM test and it checked out) I wonder if you could have a similar problem, although if the PC was running fine before you tried to reinstall windows that seems unlikely (as well as most of the other possibilities)

If the PC worked fine just a week ago, and you haven't opened the case up for anything, it seems odd that you'd be having a hardware issue, but at this stage a software problem really doesn't seem to fit. After the system stopped cooperatingthe firts time did you by any chance beat on the computer out of anger? :P Because other than that, or some severe jarring the timing seems rather odd for a hardware failure.

Also, were both these drives freshly formatted before you tried to start the install? (I know the install proccess will do the formatting but I've always had better luck manualy running fdisk & format from an old fashion Win98 boot disk even if the installer will just run it again.) For some reason OS's just seem to install more reliably if the HD is already completely blank when you run the install, although again that seems like an odd way for the problems to manifest.

The only other thing I can think of is there could be a problem with the CD. It may not be a physical scratch, but an error with the data itself that has corrupted one of the install files. Maybe try a fresh install disk and see if that helps.
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