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Boot issue - boot hangs at "detect dram"

I rebuilt my PC - installed Asus Extreme Striker mobo, Q6600 Core 2 Quad, dual nVidia 8800GT in sli-configuration, 950W power supply, Vista x64 Home Premium (BTW - great way to get high-end rig.  used previous case, Raptor 74x2 HD, CD-R and DVD RW, Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro. total cost about $1700).  Have installed latest NVidia graphics, nForce mobo drivers and all Vista updates.

Having boot problems: Striker mobo has LCD at back that shows boot sequence.  First is "chipinit."  Next is "DET DRAM."  Boot sequence gets hung up on DET DRAM sometimes but not always.  Sometimes simple rebooting works.  sometimes I have to unplug the PC for a few minutes and then restart.  No overclocking.  CPU runs at about 38 deg. C.  Any thoughts on what might be the problem?
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gbesq1
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gbesq1
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1 Solution
 
rindiCommented:
Run memtest86+ which you'll find on the UBCD.

http://ultimatebootcd.com

If that test is OK, test the system with another PSU. If that doesn't help, then it's most likely a bad mainboard.
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gbesq1Author Commented:
can't test memory if i can't even boot into bios
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_Commented:
Random hangs are such a pain.   : /

You can try booting with only 1 stick of ram, and see if one of them is causing the problem.
Try it with different slots, to see if a slot is the problem.

Have you tried Clearing the CMOS with the power supply unplugged from the wall?
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_Commented:
BTW:
you do not need to let the system boot into Windows every time. Either disconnect the HDs, or set the CD Rom as first device to give you a chance to use the power switch to turn off the system, in a good bios boot.
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lauchangkwangCommented:
Try go into Safe Mode (keep pressing F8) and see whether it able to load ......

Is this just occur recently ?? And If success to load in Safe mode, try to use the System Restore to restore back to specific date before having the problems .......  So far I saw Vista will having problems after downloaded the latest update from microsoft (sometimes) ......
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gbesq1Author Commented:
since original post, I can now not boot up at all.  I have tried every possible combination of memory sticks - no joy.  This morning I got as far as the Asus screen (Republic of Gamers) but PC hung trying to enter bios setup with "test mem" in the LCD.  I am going to try other memory sticks and see what happens.  As far as trying to boot with a cd, bios is currently set to boot from the HD - if I remove the HDs, will PC boot from CD?  As for Safe Mode, I cannot get far enough into the boot sequence to access this.  In any case, this problem existed (in less virulent form) before I installed the OS

Here is what LCD says 90% of the time when I power on:

chipinit - det dram - hang
or
chipinit - det dram - VGA bios - hang (I have no idea what VGA bios means here)

Keep in mind that PC originally worked.  Never perfectly - I had to boot up a few times to get past the hang, but I managed to install Vista x64 and Crysis.  One thing that never worked was restart - the PC shut down (never fully powered off) but then would hang.  I had to power off and then start again.  I am starting to think I have a mobo problem.
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rindiCommented:
Could have to do with the nvidia Grafic card. Have you tried another vga card? Whether it'll boot to CD or not depends whether Booting to CD has been set at all in the BIOS.
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gbesq1Author Commented:
I have two nvidia cards.  I will try one at a time
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gbesq1Author Commented:
rindl is a genius - try the simple stuff.  One of my cards is defective.  My PC works fine with the other one by itself.  Points to rindl.  The defective card goes back and I will have soon dual 8800 GT SLI and see if that works.

I am going to post a new question.  Here is the preview - I have a Gateway FPD2185W monitor with native resolution 1680x1050, Vista x64, and cannot find a driver for the 8800 GT (not GTX or whatever) that supports this resolution.  Has nVidia really not provided a driver?  If not, is there a way to create one?
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rindiCommented:
your welcome
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gbesq1Author Commented:
rindl: now can you help me with my video driver question?
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