RAM,memory management and BIOS
by ClaudiaWalky - 6/21/10 4:31 PM
I have a 5 years-old custom pc with this components:
-MoBo >>>> Giga-byte 8vm533m-rz mini ATX
-processor>>>> Pentium 4 2,26GHz Northwood
-BIOS >>>>>>>>Award (Phoenix) F2 09/17/2004
-chipset>>>>>> Giga-Byte VT8751 ProSavageDDR P4M266 System Controller
-memory>>>>>>>2 184-pin DDR DIMM sockets, supports up to 2GB DRAM (Max)
[I had two memory sticks until my problems began:
NovaTech Solutions 1GB DDR PC3200U DDR-200 (3-3-3-8 2-11-0-0)
Infineon (Siemens) AED660UD00-600C88X 512MB DDR PC2700U DDR-166 (2.5-3-3-7 2-10-0-0)]
-Storage Devices >
+WDC WD800BB-00JHC0 80GB (ATA10:75GB (C:) FAT32
+WDC WD1600AVBB-00SYA0 (160GB, :149GB (D:) (E:) (F:) NTFS
+Toshiba StorE-Alu USB-HD 500.1GB:466GB (H:)
+LG HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-H10A (ATA3:N/A (G:)
-Windows XP SP2
Everything was perfect until the 2nd week of May.One day my security software
went bad.Avast was deactivated and Spybot didn't work either.I think but can't recall for sure that it was when the RAM went wrong.But there's one episode I remember well.That special day I powered on the Voltage Stabilizer as always.The previous night I forgot to power off the power strip (where I plug monitor,modem and power supply) and also forgot to unplug the USB-HD.So when the power went on,WOW!,the USB-HD light flashed as never before.After that nothing seemed wrong.But some days later,when I went on with the routine of power on my pc,the BIOS sent that awful continuous sound of bad RAM.
After 3 intents,it finally got into Windows.Next time I powered on I had to do the 3
intents again.I went on a frenzy search of probable causes before declaring the RAM guilty.
Finally,I checked the sticks one by one,and the 1Gb was the culprit.After trying a parallel
installation with no luck,I sent it to the store and after a check they changed it.But when
I tried to use it,I couldn't.Even though the BIOS didn't sound bad(so the stick was ok) the
computer couldn't enter Windows as normal.
After some intents,and trying safe mode,the system sent a warning:"boot.ini file
corrupt" Ok,let's make a parallel installation...When it was installing files,it warned a file couldn't be copied.Retried and it went through the end.By the time it went into the
configuration steps,a BSOD appear(as with the previous parallel installation with the bad
RAM).But this time I took the time to read it:It sent an error of memory management.
I took the 1Gb memory stick out and left the 512Mb one alone.Sob...Previous new parallel install,I began searching for a cure for the last 15 days with not much luck.I was sure the MoBo was ruined and if I were lucky enough, it could be something that can be fixed by someone good at electronics.One day,trying everything, I run the scan from Crucial and the answered was:
* Maximum Memory Capacity: 524288 MB
* Currently Installed Memory: 512 MB
* Available Memory Slots: 1
* Total Memory Slots: 2
* Dual Channel Support: N.A.
* CPU Manufacturer: GenuineIntel
* CPU Family: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.26GHz Model 2, level 9
* CPU Speed: 2278 MHz
And yesterday I read somewhere someone was advised to reset the BIOS and another one to
upgrade it in cases similar to mine.
So here,finally,my (3) question(s):
1- Is there any possibility that a corrupted BIOS can cause this memory management
problem? Can this be the problem and not the motherboard itself?
If it's so,
2- what are the odds to upgrade or reinstall Award BIOS without any danger? I read
that even an expert can ruin the MoBo by doing that.But then I found a video tutorial in
YouTube using the Q-Flash in Gigabyte MoBos and it seemed so easy!....if the power doesn't
go off.My Gigabyte doesn't have dual BIOS as newer Gigabyte MoBos.
3- Someone knows of a complete tutorial about configuring a BIOS after reinstalling
Thanks in advance!
PS I don't know if this is normal,but now with only 512Mb when I plug
the USB-HD in one of the back 2.0 USB,the mouse in the frontal 1.1 USB freezes and I have to plug and unplug it every 15-30 seconds to use it.And I can't plug the scanner in the other frontal USB because the mouse become equally unresponsive than with the HD.