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 Post subject: Installed new RAM, now my monitor won't turn on, please help
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:33 pm 
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Hey all. I decided to upgrade my computer by purchasing 2 512mb RAM cards. I was previously working with 1 256mb Card.
I unplugged my old RAM card and took it with me to buy my new RAM.
I got home and tried to install the 2 new cards.
When I went to boot my computer, my screens wouldn't turn on. I turned off my computer then back on again, my computer started beeping. it would beep for a second, then silent for a second, over and over again. I looked in the booklet that came with my motherboard and it confirmed that it didn't detect any RAM.
I plugged my old card back in and now the same thing is happening.
So I have no display, and these annoying beeps.
Everything looks to be plugged in fine. only the power to my fan was unplugged.
My mother board is an Asus A7S333.
The 512mb cards I got are ME5120

Can anyone shed some light on my situation and let me know what I may be doing wrong?
(I'm not that tech savy, so please be gentle with your words of help.)
Thanks so much.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:40 pm 
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Will your PC boot with only the old RAM module in it's original slot?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:47 pm 
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drainbread wrote:
Will your PC boot with only the old RAM module in it's original slot?


no, it won't. I just tried it again with the old card. No beeps this time, but my monitor is still not turning on.
I checked my video card, that still seems to be working. the monitor detects when its plugged into the card.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:25 pm 
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Reset the BIOS?

There should be a jumper near the battery, just move the jumper over to the reset position for about 15 seconds then move it back...

Then try and reboot.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:41 pm 
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Judging from the symptoms you've described, especially the beeping noise you've heard, the RAM is not being seated properly. I gave away my Asus A7S333 a few years ago, but I recall that it uses DDR memory, and it was a reliable board.

Try this: Shut the system down, and touch the power supply unit itself; this will help you to ground yourself before you begin touching any of the static-sensitive components on the motherboard. After you've grounded yourself on the PSU (as I've just described) unplug the power supply, so there is no chance of power being applied to the board while you're working on the system.

I must admit, I'm concerned that you might have been working with the PSU plugged in, which isn't a good idea, because unless the PSU has an ON/OFF switch, there is always power to the motherboard; many bad things can happen if you're switching components on a live board.

With the PSU unplugged, push the ON switch a few times; this will help the capacitors on the motherboard, and within the PSU, to drain any charges they might be holding. You might even notice the HSF (heatsink/fan) on top of the CPU spin briefly as the caps discharge, but that brings me to my other concern, because you wrote:

"Everything looks to be plugged in fine. only the power to my fan was unplugged."

WHICH fan was unplugged? I hope you're not referring to the HSF on top of the CPU, because that would be a very bad thing to do. Running the system without the CPU fan working can smoke the CPU core within seconds, and if that happens, you're dead in the water. You'd need to buy a new CPU, and install it properly, before you could boot the system again, which is an expensive lesson to learn.

If you've unplugged ANYTHING other than the power supply itself, please plug it back in before you continue. ONLY the PSU should be unplugged; be careful to make sure the plugs are properly aligned and fully seated. I've seen people destroy good hardware because they were careless about something as simple as plugging in a fan, a floppy drive, a PSU connector; the list is endless...

Once you're sure everything else is reconnected properly, take a good look at the ORIGINAL RAM stick you removed from the computer. You'll see that it has a notch in the bottom where it jacks into the RAM slot. That notch insures that the RAM is keyed to only fit one way. Take a GOOD look at the RAM slot, and make sure that you know which way the RAM stick (AKA the DIMM) is supposed to fit into the DIMM slot.

You'll also notice the guides at the ends of the DIMM slot; there are two little plastic (usually white) tabs at the end of each DIMM slot, and those tabs should fold up as you install the DIMM. When the DIMM is fully seated, the tabs will help to lock the DIMM into the slot, and that will help you determine if the DIMM is properly seated.

Also, check to be sure that the videocard is fully seated in the slot; a loose videocard can cause the system to not show anything on the monitor, and you want to be able to see signs of life on the monitor so you can watch the RAM countup, and see if the POST finishes properly.

Once you're POSITIVE you have everything connected properly, go ahead amd plug the PSU into the wall again. Be sure nothing is causing an obstruction; for example, make sure that none of the cables are going to interfere with the fan on top of the CPU. Be vigilant; this is your best chance to get everything back together WITHOUT causing any damage to the system, so pay attentiom to what you're doing, and it will help you to avoid problems.

When you're ready, turn on the power, or push the power button, or do whatever you normally do to boot the system. Be ready to KILL the power if you notice any problems, such as smoke coming from the motherboard, or arcing and sparking anywhere, or if you smell something burning. If you DO notice a problem, kill the power and do NOT turn the system back on without posting here first and waiting for further advice.

If all goes well, you'll hear the high-voltage being applied to the monitor (it makes a slight "whoosh" sound when the high-voltage kicks in). One way to test for that is to put the BACK of your hand near the screen on the monitor; if you have a good high-voltage signal, you should feel the hairs on the back of your hand stand up from the static electricity charge present on the front of the monitor.

Done right, with no problems, you'll see and hear the normal good noises that tell you the system is working properly, and from that point forward, the system should eventually boot into Windows.

Post your results here; if you have any questions about anything, including anything I've presented here, post them and I'll do my best to clarify things.

After you have the system working properly, go ahead and shut down, ground yourself as I've previously described, and unplug the PSU. Push the ON button a few times to discharge the caps, then remove the original RAM DIMM, and replace it with one of the new ones. Once you get the system to boot with one new DIMM, go through the same shutdown / grounding / unplug PSU / cap discharge routine again, and install the second DIMM. Be sure you've got the DIMM fully seated, then try to boot up with both DIMMs installed.

You've described yourself as inexperienced, so I've taken the time to type these detailed instructions for you. They should help you to get your system working properly; if nothing else, they'll teach you good techniques for the NEXT time you need to work on your system.

Good luck; let us know how things turn out.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:42 pm 
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I didn't notice a jumper, but I did see the battery on the Motherboard.
I popped the battery out, made sure my power cable was unplugged and the same thing is still happening.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 6:24 pm 
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SSG nForce2

Thank you so much for the detailed post! I really appreciate the time you took to explain all that for me.
I followed your instructions and unfortunately my PC still is not working.

My computer has a power switch on the back as well as an on/off button. when my power switch was turned off, the light on my motherboard was out. I had been told that at this time, it would be ok to install hardware.
The 'Fan' that I spoke of, it was actually a cable that came from my power supply. I checked the port it was connected to and found that it is the PWR FAN. (thanks to my motherboard manual.) It was not my CPU fan. no smoke, no sparks so I hope its fine.

http://www.factorydirect.ca/catalog/printableSpec.php?code=ME5120 this is the RAM card I bought.I brought my old card with me, and the guy at the store said that the cards under the link is what I need.
My old card is incased in a Heat displacer (I think that is what its called). I can't take the heat thing off my old card, but on closer look, my old card looks a little different than the new ones I got. The difference (and here is when I go all caveman on you) is that my old card has the smooth black 'nubs' on both side of the card. the new ones I purchased only have them on the one side. the other side is smooth.
Could it be that the store sold me the wrong RAM Sticks?

Would installing a RAM stick that isn't compatible with my motherboard essentially bugger things up like this?

When I was putting the RAM sticks into my PC, I made sure that the notch was in the right spot.

I think I coverd everything with my update.

Thanks again for the assistance.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 10:37 pm 
Monkey Fed [PC]
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The ram sticks he gave you are ok....theres just memory on one side instead of 2...this isnt a problem...to the rest of the people here...is this a dual channel board that needs pairs of RAM in specific slots to work right? I know that with my mobo it wont work with 3 sticks of RAM...just a thought....

CHUPNESS: If you have the book for your motherboard...try reading through the memory section...if you dont have the book you should be able to find a manual online using the Model number you posted here...click here to download the manual for your motherboard to get more information!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 1:27 am 
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I had a similar situation come up when I put together a rig for a friend of mine. When I booted it up, the monitor stayed off and I got the annoying beeping sound. After checking the manual, I realized the stick of memory was in the wrong slot. After putting it in the right slot it booted up fine. Try one stick at a time and follow your manual's instructions. You want to target what the problem is. Maybe it's just a bad stick of ram that was sent to you, maybe it's something more severe.

But 1st thing's 1st. Read the manual for proper placement of a single stick of ram(don't run dual channel yet until you eliminated the possibility that there is a bad stick in there). If you get it to boot up properly, you will be able to tell if it's a bad stick or not. Do this for both sticks separately. If one boots up and the other doesn't then you will know one of the ram sticks is defective.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 2:52 am 
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bigtoyota479 wrote:
CHUPNESS: If you have the book for your motherboard...try reading through the memory section...if you dont have the book you should be able to find a manual online using the Model number you posted here...click here to download the manual for your motherboard to get more information!


From what I remember, the section on memory didn't have all that much too it. I will take another look when I get home this afternoon.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 2:55 am 
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Laus3 wrote:
But 1st thing's 1st. Read the manual for proper placement of a single stick of ram(don't run dual channel yet until you eliminated the possibility that there is a bad stick in there). If you get it to boot up properly, you will be able to tell if it's a bad stick or not. Do this for both sticks separately. If one boots up and the other doesn't then you will know one of the ram sticks is defective.


I did try a different combo of placements and none seemed to work at all.
whats worse is that my computer will not boot up with the original RAM stick in the originall slot I pulled it from.

Whats weird is that times I'll boot up the computer and it will beep. other times it won't... sometimes I'll boot up with nothing else plugged in, I'll turn it off, connect my monitor and then turn it back on, the beeping starts again.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 6:13 am 
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I just checked the link you provided for the memory you bought; to be honest, that stuff is probably only one notch above JUNK. Trust me on this; I've bought my share of cheap memory over the years, and DDR is not a good memory type to try to save a few dollars with.

Even worse, you only get a ninety-day warranty; Crucial, Corsair, Kingston, and all of the other reputable companies give you a limited lifetime warranty, and that alone should tell you all you need to know about that cheap stuff.

This is the direct link to the Crucial website for the RAM you need:

http://tinyurl.com/clqz4

I also checked the Corsair website, http://www.corsair.com, but they don't show a listing for the A7S333 motherboard...

Then, I called the friend I gave the A7S333 board to; he started out with the cheapest RAM he could buy, and none of it worked, so he finally bought quality RAM from Crucial (the same RAM I'm recommending to you), and told me he hasn't had a single problem with it.

As it turns out, Crucial sells three different 512MB DIMMs for your A7S33 motherboard; one type is rated for 266MHz, one type is rated for 333MHz, and the other type is rated for 400MHz. The DDR266 / DDR2100 DIMMs normally sell for $68.99, the others normally sell for $63.99, but the DDR266 DIMMs are on sale right now for $62.09, while the other two are on sale for only $57.59. I realize that is $7.60 (each) more than you paid for the cheap RAM, but I consider that to be a bargain, when you factor in the lifetime warranty and the excellent customer support Crucial provides. Even better, Crucial is offering free shipping within the lower 48 states on all orders over $40.00. You might have to pay sales tax, but you probably had to pay tax on the cheap RAM, so that shouldn't bother you.

Look at it this way; for $116 to $125 (depends on whether or not you have to pay tax), you can get RAM which is GUARANTEED to work with your motherboard, as opposed to what you have now, which cost you at LEAST $100, and that was with a crummy 90-day warranty, which I consider to be worthless.

This is the link to the DDR400 / DDR PC3200 DIMMs, which I recommend:

http://tinyurl.com/7gk24

This is the link to the DDR333 / DDR PC2700 DIMMs:

http://tinyurl.com/9o7re

The choice is yours; I want to advise you NOT to buy ANYTHING until you get your system working again, but I don't know how long those sales prices and free shipping offers from Crucial will last.

Now, let's see if we can get your system booting again...

You have to take this by the numbers; do the shutdown procedure I've previously described, then remove the RAM. Remove and replace the videocard, making sure it is fully seated. Use a flashlight to see where the card jacks into the slot; look to see that all of the contacts on the card are held equally in the slot, all along the length of the card. Check to be sure that the clip at the end of the AGP slot (right near the RAM slots) is holding the AGP card securely in place;if not, you need to reseat the card. Don't overlook this step; loose AGP cards can drive you nuts when troubleshooting...

Next, remove the coin-cell battery from the motherboard (which can be tricky), and set it aside for now. The battery might be nearly dead (it is probably three years old by now), but for the time being, set it aside and move on to the next step. That Asus motherboard uses the CR-2032 battery (the most common coin-cell used today); it won't hurt to buy a new one. Rip-You-Off Shack has them for less than five bucks, so that shouldn't break you...

Check the monitor cable; look at the connector on the end of the cable (where it attaches to the videocard). Look for broken or bent pins; don't worry if some are missing, because CRT monitors don't use all of the pins to carry signals, so some connectors don't provide all 15 pins. OTOH, broken pins are a pain to repair (yes, I've done it; it isn't brain surgery, but my background is in electronics), though you can usually straighten bent pins with a small pair of needle-nose pliers, though you must be CAREFUL when doing this, or you can destroy the pin, and then you're no better off than you would be if the pin was broken. If it looks good, reattach the cable to the videocard; if not, tell us what seems to be wrong, and someone will advise you on how to deal with it.

Now, replace the ORIGINAL DIMM into the primary DIMM slot, which is the one closest to the CPU; as it turns out, I knew I still had the .PDF file for the A7S333 manual on one of my older systems, so I cheated and looked at it. I've saved a LOT of manuals in .PDF format over the years...

BTW, thanks to my Folding teammate, bigtoyota479, for providing the direct link to the .PDF file for the manual; I'm sure that some other people who find this thread will appreciate it.

Next, remove the ATX power cable from the motherboard; look for burned or damaged pins on the connector. If everything looks OK, plug the connector back into the motherboard, and make sure it is fully seated. The plastic clip should lock the connector into place, so push firmly until you feel or hear it click into position.

Once you've done all of that, replace the coin-cell battery, and try to boot the system again. If all goes well, you'll be back in business; if not, let us know. It would be good if you could buy a new CR-2032 battery, just in case yours is kaput; you can test the original with a multi-meter, if you have one, and I'm sure someone at R-Y-O Shack will be glad to test it for you if you don't have a multimeter.

Good luck; let us know what happens when you've done this.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:50 am 
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Hey,

I checked the link to the DDR400 / DDR PC3200 DIMMs and they have the same modle at the store I purchased the first 2 cards from. I noticed those last night and was going to inquire about them. They're 60$ CDN (which seems pretty good to me) so I'm going to exchange them after work.
As for your further instructions, I will try that out when I get home and give an update.

Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 11:35 am 
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The only advice I can give you about exchanging the non-functional RAM for the Crucial RAM is to make SURE that you get the same lifetime warranty that Crucial offers on their website. I've seen resellers (probably unauthorized) screw people with one-year (sometimes three-year or five-year) warranties, and those people do NOT need your money. Spend your cash at the shops that support you; ASK about the warranty, TELL them that if you buy the RAM from the website, you'll get the FULL warranty, and if they tell you that the warranty they offer is less than the Crucial (lifetime) warranty, get a full refund from the crappy RAM, and vote with your feet (IOW, walk out).

Just so you'll understand this, the links I posted were SPECIFICALLY set to provide you with the full Crucial warranty; I used the Crucial Memory Advisor Tool to find the RAM for the A7S333 motherboard on the website, and the URLs I posted through TinyURL are your proof that you are entitled to the lifetime warranty; if you simply order RAM from Crucial WITHOUT using the CMA Tool, the order you place online will show that, and you will NOT get the lifetime warranty.

Keep us posted...


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 12:28 pm 
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Well, It turnes out that my motherboard is fried.
I had a friend come over and he brought some spare RAM which he previously tested on his machine, so it was in working order when he came by. It didn't work in my machine. He even tested my new RAM in his machine and the new RAM works fine.

I'm going to be taking the RAM I bought last night to where I had purchased it from and exchange/Return it and go with your suggestion and purchase from the website. as well as look into a new motherboard. My buddy said he is going to lend me a hand in what will work best for me.

I can't thank you enough for your help through all this. I really do appreciate all the effort you put into helping me out.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 1:33 pm 
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Let me point out that if you didn't also swap the PSU for a known-good unit, then you can't be POSITIVE that the motherboard is the culprit. If you can beg/borrow/steal a good PSU, attach it to the motherboard with the CPU, RAM, vidcard, etc. installed properly, to see if the system will boot with the replacement (i.e., known to be working) PSU. If not, the motherboard is the probable root of your troubles, but if the system starts working, then the motherboard is fine, and it is the PSU you'll need to replace.

FWIW, there are some GOOD PSUs on the market, and countless others which SUCK like a Hoover vacuum. Search these forums, or ANY computer enthusiast website, for advice on which ones to seek out, and which ones to avoid (or keep reading for more information on PSU choices).

If it turns out that you DO need a motherboard, then do NOT buy ANY RAM for it until you have the motherboard within arm's reach. There are no guarantees that the RAM you buy for the Asus A7S333 will work properly in a different motherboard, so wait until you're SURE you know which motherboard you'll be using. Then, go to the Crucial website (http://www.crucial.com), and use the CMA Tool to select your RAM; that way, you'll get the lifetime warranty when you order the RAM.

There are still good AMD 32-bit motherboards available, and as my screenname suggests, I prefer the ones built with the nVidia nForce2 chipset. Here's a short list off the top of my head:

Abit NF7-S ver. 2.0 ; very popular, could be hard to find nowadays

EPoX 8RDA3iPro ; nice board for a good price

FIC AU-13 ; good board used by MaxPC for Lean Machine 2003

MSI K7N2 Delta - ILSR ; got a 9 / Kick-Ass rating in MaxPC

There are many other good nForce2 boards available, but most are limited in some way or other. The four I've listed are the ones I consider to be the best of the nForce2 motherboards, and they will all work with your CPU. You'll need a quality PSU (if you don't already have one; I use Enermax and Antec exclusively), and of course, you'll need to order the RAM once you have the board in hand.

Good luck; please be sure to re-test your system with a known-good PSU before you make any final judgments on where your problems originate.

Keep us posted on your progress...


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