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New Computer Build with MSI Mobo, Having troubld loading Operating System

Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I am doing a New Build and Am Having a problem i havent experienced before

Here is what i have
Mobo: MSI pm8pm-v
Processor: Pentium D 830
Memory: Ultra 1 GB DDR2 PC 4200
Hard Drive: Maxtor IDE 100 GB

Here is the Problem
I built everything without a problem
went to boot up with my XP Home disc in and it started to scanning hardware config
then went to screen to load setup files
an error screen then comes up with a bunch of number all over it, and at the top it says EXCEPTION
so i restart and try again
this time it gives to about the same place and it comes up with a blue screen saying there is a fatal error and it needs to be shut down, if the problem consist try this and that.

it does this a few times, one time it even restarted without any error message
i have tried multiple xp disc's. home & pro

well finally after more attempts i got windows to load and i can get to my desktop.
once im there everything is okay
but if i restart it will get to the windows splash screen and just come up with a blank screen and nothing happens until i hit and hold the power button.

Any Idea's
Watch Question

Sounds like possible bad RAM or that the RAM timings are too aggressive.  Get Memtest from: http://www.memtest.org/ and create a boot disk.  Boot off this disk and let the process run for a while (few hours, or until errors start showing up).

If you get errors try backing off on the RAM's timings in the BIOS.  If that still doesn't work try replacing the RAM.


i am going to try that now.

i meant to mention that the MSI website shows compatible ram and ultra is not one of them.


okay, as soon as i started the mem test it came up with about 10000 errors.

given that MSI says ultra is not on the compatible memory list, should i go with something that is, such as kingston?

You could try some more relaxed timings first, this may save you from having to buy new RAM.

Also, if you have 2 sticks of RAM try running the memtest on one at a time.  It is possible that only one of them is bad.


how do i adjust the timings?

The manual for your motherboard isn't the most detailed so I can't be exact, but --

First go into the BIOS, usually by hitting the DEL key when first booting.

Look through the menus for things related to RAM timing, things such as CAS and tRCD.  The RAM may currently be set to SPD, you will want to change that to manual then you will be able to change settings.

Make sure to write down anything you change so you can change it back if it has no affect, I would try making the ram timings more relaxed (higher numbers) or decreasing the frequency (MHz) the RAM runs at.

You should be aware you could change something and the PC would no longer boot and you would be forced to reset the BIOS.  Also setting anything to numbers that are too fast/agressive for the piece of hardware and are out of spec could possibly void any warranties; so if you are not comfortable with messing around with the BIOS I would suggest replacing the RAM or talking to MSI to find out exactly how to change the timings.


when i change settings should i use the mem test program to make sure the changes are successful, or just wait to see if it boots up?

When you change them, Save them and re-run memtest to see if they had any affect.  If not try to make them slightly more relaxed.

If that doesn't help then the RAM is bad and needs to be replaced.  Keep in mind that relaxing the timings is in essence lowering the performance, so reducing them a little to make the system stable is okay in my mind.  However, if you need to reduce them too much to make the system stable you should just get it replaced because it should be able to run at the settings advertised.


i tried raising everything up on notch and its still doing the same thing.
im going to go with the memory MSI recommends and i will let you know what happens.
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