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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    Can't Boot Up - at all

    My 98 SE won't boot past memory testing. I've tried putting in all the different "boot up" / "start up" disks but to no avail. I've even tried to press the DEL key to get into Setup. What do I do now? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Can't Boot Up - at all

    Then it's not a Windows problem - it's hardware. Either you have faulty RAM, or the motherboard is failing. Can you post any specific error messages?
    -Mark

  3. #3
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    Re: Can't Boot Up - at all

    That's just it. There are no messages. Just the very first screen that appears after you hit the "on" button. This happened once before where I couldn't boot up for a couple of days. I then went on vacation for 10 days, returned and voila - the computer booted pefectly. For the past few days, I've had the computer open - hoping that maybe it was getting too hot. But it's not that, as the fan works.
    Your response said it may be faulty RAM. Can you please tell me what RAM looks like, so I can take one out of another computer and put it in this one.
    Thanks again.

  4. #4
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    Re: Can't Boot Up - at all

    Most RAM looks similar to what you see below. Whether you can swap it from another computer or not depends largely on the motherboard and the cpu. If you go to Crucial you can input your system/mobo to find out what your box requires. As far as I know, most newer motherboards beep several times then shut down with faulty or improper ram. You might check the motherboard manufacturer's web page for more details (if you can get to a connected PC).
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
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    Re: Can't Boot Up - at all

    Mike - Thanks for the pix. I took out the ram and reset it, but to no avail. It still doesn't go past the first boot screen. Also, the only way for me to shut the machine is by unplugging it. There is no "on-off" switch on the back and the push button on the front doesn't work when the machine is screwed up. BTW, the processor is AMD K7)
    Here's the info on this ram:
    USA Dem DP-100-064162E 16x64 PC100 9940-1108902027 128MB (My invoice states: 7/8NS SDRam Dimm (unbuffered Dimms)

    1- In an effort to test your theory, can I swap out this ram (128mg) for a 16mg ram from an Intel (1994-5 era) machine? I just want to see if it will boot up. If yes, I'll go buy a "real" ram.
    2- If I can't do the swap, what else can I try?

    As always, thanks.

  6. #6
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Can't Boot Up - at all

    PC100 is pretty old, but I don't think it is 94-95 era. Cannot remember if 16 megs even meets the minimum requirements for W98. Probably will not hurt to try it though, if it will even fit the slot.

    If you live around Dallas, I have several sticks of PC100 you can have.

  7. #7
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    Re: Can't Boot Up - at all

    Nevermind, I see you're in New York.

  8. #8
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    Re: Can't Boot Up - at all

    Thanks so much for the offer, but I live in NYC and I don't have time to fly down to Dallas right now. Then again, if you have the time, why don't you fly up to NY? <g>.
    Just so you know, the computer with its' guts on the floor is my back-up computer. I'm using my new-ish XP SP1 (w/problems soon to be written to the Word board (Macro problem with documents). So it's not like I"m without a computer, it's just that I want my old 'puter to work again (argh!).

  9. #9
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Can't Boot Up - at all

    If the memory types are the same, you could try the ones from your dead machine in a known working PC. That will tell you if the memory is bad or not. If it is good, use one stick and try booting the computer with the single stick. Change slots if you need to. Eliminate the possibility that you have dead RAM sockets on the board.

    You may also want to check the CMOS battery on the motherboard. They are cheap and easy to replace, and it removes one more doubt from the equation. Typically you will not see a problem like this for a failed battery but it is worth a shot.

    For shutting down, try holding the power switch in for four seconds and see if it shuts down then. ATX power supplies (in nearly all modern PCs) use a four second delay to prevent accidental shutdown.
    -Mark

  10. #10
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    Re: Can't Boot Up - at all

    Debi,

    I have to agree with the other loungers, that RAM seems to be the problem. As Mike said, you can try the other stick in the problem machine. Just take out the original stick and compare it with the other stick. If the length and the slots look the same, then TRY it. Another way might be to see if a friend has some spare RAM lying around, that you can experiment with. I think MOST users that have been around for a while have lots of spare goodies like RAM sitting in a box somewhere. I know I have a box filled with most every size and type ever made. ( so it seems )

    Another method ( the one I like best ) would be to take another vacation and hope for the best? <img src=/S/innocent.gif border=0 alt=innocent width=20 height=20> <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>

    Bob
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  11. #11
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Can't Boot Up - at all

    <hr>I know I have a box filled with most every size and type ever made<hr>
    Just a box, Bob? I have an entire dresser that my son will never get now because it's loaded with so many defunct computer parts that I just cannot seem to throw away. They do work, after all! <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    -Mark

  12. #12
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Can't Boot Up - at all

    Mark,

    The box in question is JUST the "RAM" box. The other miscellaneous stuff seems to be everywhere: under, over, inside, outside, hidden, disguised or what else? I even made a few Christmas ornaments of some RAM sticks.
    I have already donated a SIZEABLE amount of used equipment and complete systems to an organization that sets them up again and sends them to various schools in Africa and other places, to be reborn again. It seems like it is time for another cleanout for me again. ( I keep getting that upgrade urge constantly ) <img src=/S/help.gif border=0 alt=help width=23 height=15> <img src=/S/igiveup.gif border=0 alt=igiveup width=31 height=23>

    Bob
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    Long ago, there was a time when men cursed and beat on the ground with sticks. It was called witchcraft.
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  13. #13
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    Re: Can't Boot Up - at all

    Mark - I put the RAM into a different slot. Didn't work, but thanks for the suggestion. I did try your 4-second hold on shutting down the computer. It worked. You also mentioned the CMOS battery. Where would that be? Is that within the fan component? What would it look like?
    Bob - I thought I had extra RAM sticks but I couldn't find them in my spare computer parts box. I have everything, but. Now to scavenge my friends' spare parts.

    One more thing, there is only one beep. Does that mean anything?

  14. #14
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Can't Boot Up - at all

    Debi,
    The beep code depends on what BIOS you have in your system, For example, in Award BIOS, one long beep means "memory" problem.

    If you want to see what other "beeps" mean and for other BIOS's. go to Beep Codes
    and click on the list of BIOS manufacturers. <img src=/S/cool.gif border=0 alt=cool width=15 height=15>

    Bob
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    Long ago, there was a time when men cursed and beat on the ground with sticks. It was called witchcraft.
    Today it is called golf!

  15. #15
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Can't Boot Up - at all

    The CMOS battery looks like a silver button about the size of a US nickel. They are the same kind found in calculators and other small devices. It will be mounted flat on the motherboard, somewhere near the CMOS chip itself. Look for a chip about an inch long and a battery right next to it. The chip will also likely be labeled Award or similar.

    You mentioned the beep. Is it one long, or one short beep? Short is good. Long is probably an error. You can do some more looking here at PCGuide to see if they have a beep code listed for your BIOS (different BIOS manufacturers use different beep codes).

    Can you describe in detail what you see on the screen before the system halts? Does the BIOS perform the memory check, counting the available RAM? Try not to leave any details out as they may be significant, even if you have to reboot twenty times to get it all written down. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    -Mark

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