Windows XP boot lock up - 2 x 512 memory

By Family_IT
Sep 16, 2008
  1. Hello all.
    Yes I am new to the board. As the name implies I have to build, upgrade, and maintain all the computers and related equipment in the house for a family of 5 (aaaagggg).
    I have been watching this board and so I will post complete info on this problem.
    Computer is oldest in house (built originally in 2001):
    * Antec mid tower with 400W P.S.
    * Intel D850GB Motherboard with 1.8GHz intel processor, and originally 2 x 256 v iking Rambus RIMM modules for total system memory of 512MB.
    * ATI All in Wonder graphics card.
    * Adaptec U160 SCSI controller with a 37GB Seagate U320 HD as C drive (running at U160). Another Seagate 160GB IDE hardrive on IDE channel 1.
    * Plextor PX-708 DVD-RW drive on IDE channel 2.
    * Other assorted parts like Soundblaster 5.1, old USR 56.6 modem board, ethernet board, USB 2.0 board etc...

    I just upgraded the system to the 37GB Hardrive. It had the old 4.5GB harddrive with windows XP on it and it worked.
    Last year I had upgraded this system with another 1GB of RAM 2 x Kingston KTC7338/512 Rambus RIMM modules. Yes the memory is installed correctly with 2 x 256 in bank 0 and 2 x 512 in bank 1. The BIOS sees it, BIOS POST makes it through no problem, and windows XP had no problem with it. (sped it up quite a bit)
    Now this new Hardrive was long formatted twice. (once with the SCSI controller and once of course with Win XP during install). Here is what happens. With all the memory installed Windows XP's install stops at "setup is starting windows". Nothing helps. I removed everything except the bare minimum. Even took out the hard drives and controller - no difference. Finally after many hours of searching the net on another machine and more hours of troubleshooting I found that the two KIngston 512's are causing it. This was while booting from the CD-ROM. Once I went back to the original 2 x 256 I got the whole system and its install back to normal.
    Now we are on the hardrive through the controller. Of course I upgraded windows all the way through SP-3. The motherboard drivers are all still at 2001 except for the ATA controller which is at 2003.
    Put the 512's back in. This causes the now working XP to lockup at the boot screen which normally allows you to go to safe mode, safe mode with networking, or safemode with command prompt. At the bottom it counts down from 30. If you press any key the countdown stops, nothing happens, and the machine locks up. Start over, remove the 2 512's and windows boots all the way through normally.

    Summary: Booting from CD-ROM with no hard drive and the 2 x 512 in causes the "setup is starting windows" lockup. After getting windows installed with out the memory, booting through the hardrive, and reinstalling the memory windows locks up at the boot menu. BIOS still sees it and POST works fine. Clearly Windows does not like the 2 x 512 modules but it did before? I have searched for hours until coming upon Techspot. It looks like a highly technical board - I hope so. I need to know what happened? Thank you.
  2. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 923   +11

    sounds like the mem. is not supported by the mother board. once u take the mem. out that will not work, u can go here and get advice on what will work right. crucial can scan u're computer over the net and advise what will work right.
  3. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    1. check your PSU with a tester tool.
    2. Your OS may be corrupt - run CHKDSK.
    3. Ensure your ram is compatible. Read the mobo book or consult the manufacturer's website.
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