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Has my RAM replacement killed my friends PC?

By Darren192 ยท 22 replies
Feb 9, 2009
  1. Yesterday I tried a procedure I've done before with no problem - a RAM upgrade on a friends PC. Usual process, disconnect cables, remove side panel, earth hands on case, remove old RAM stick (256mb) put 2 new ones in, switch on. PC powers up - nothing on the monitor (though if the cable is disconnected it says so on screen "no signal"). Drat, wasn't sure what the RAM was I was putting in (usually I do), so stick the old stick back in, start up, Same nothing on monitor. Have I fried something? Can I try sticking in a spare graphics card I have in an AGP slot to circumvent the built in graphics of what is an oldish e-machibnes Celeron PC? Any adfvice/thoughts welcome.
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Have a look here: Tutorial: No POST (Power On Self Test)
    Pretty sure the dispersing voltage (and possibly with addon Video card out first) will fix that, so the original Ram will work again
  3. Darren192

    Darren192 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I should add the PC does come on - all the usual hum of fans - but no screen image comes up. I'll try your suggestion, fingers crossed.
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    It doesn't sound as though it's POSTing, unless you can see the harddrive light flickering, and it sounds as though it's getting into Windows (startup sound, harddrive booting sound etc) If this happens, then it could be faulty Monitor; Video card or connection. But do the above first ;)
  5. TheConqueror

    TheConqueror TS Rookie Posts: 19

    First let me say, In regard to upgrading Ram Crucial.com is your friend as far as checking compatibility with whatever computer you have. Not all Ram will work on any system it is very specific as there are many types and you can easily overload a system especially an older one.

    Now there is a chance you may have damaged something internal like the Ram slot remember the sticks are very delicate ande ven more sensitive to ESD. Now since reinstalling the old ram did not boot the computer succesfully with image. 1. Try both slots with the old stick 2. a more subtle approach take out bios battery for about 5 min and unplug the PS (powersupply unit) as this will make the computer forget the video and Ram settings as they were originaly 3. aquire the same type of Ram that you know works for shure and try it on the Pc 4. try a different monitor on the offchance the onboard video has been damaged then yes test it with a cheap graphics card
    Let me kow if these suggestions helped at all XD
  6. Tedster

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

  7. Darren192

    Darren192 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    - tried the unplugged, start button in for 30 seconds thing, no difference

    - tried the PC on my own definitely working monitor, no signal, it says

    - went to add my spare graphics card, see if that connection helped, no go as its AGP and the slots PCI.

    Now, I'm stuck. Looks like I upset the RAM slot, may have to concede defeat and buy my friend a comparable (thankfully cheap) new second hand PC.
  8. Darren192

    Darren192 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    New situation - friends PC still doesn't post - so I bought her a similar second hand one. That means I can dissemble or reawaken her PC at leisure.

    In the meantime, I'd like to recover photo's from her hard drive for her. Is it practical to remove the hard drive and put it in my other machine (after taking that hard drive out), then transferring the files to data pen and then restoring my own PC by restoring its hard drive?
  9. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Yes excellent idea

    Back up, then you can safely do what you like :)
  10. rev_olie

    rev_olie TS Guru Posts: 560

    Very good idea in backing up. I wish id though of that a few years ago when i lost my PC to no POST. I tinkered with it got static in the PC and blew the HDD and the Graphics card :p..ooops

    Also in the tutorial kimsland posted above (post #2) did you try and Reset CMOS?. I think that could work.
  11. Darren192

    Darren192 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    You know what, I didn't try that, but I will, I have nothing to lose and a chance I won't have to pull out the hard drive and try on another PC after all.

    I love the fact that people are so keen to offer advice on here, possibly the most positive forum of any description I've ever posted on.
  12. rev_olie

    rev_olie TS Guru Posts: 560

    Well there's a compliment if there ever was one :) but you right Techspot is the best forum... :)

    Also people offer the advice to make sure you don't miss anything as sometimes when given some thing people presume its been done and then the possible fix has been missed which like you say you get a lot on tech spot.
    But from what you've said a CMOS reset may help so try it when you can ;)
  13. Darren192

    Darren192 TS Rookie Topic Starter

  14. hrlow2

    hrlow2 TS Rookie Posts: 136

    If the machine is a desktop, maybe you could hook that drive up as a slave in the replacement machine and transfer things directly.
  15. rev_olie

    rev_olie TS Guru Posts: 560

    That's probably the best way of transferring the data for backup generally. But for less data Knoppix is best, so yes its worth a try and slave the drive if you haven't.

    Looking over that guide it is possible to reset the CMOS with jumpers but i always say removing the battery is the best way. Just make sure you don't break the contacts otherwise its all dead.
  16. Darren192

    Darren192 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Tried the CMOS reset, didn't work, swapped out RAM, diffused the electricity again, same result - mobo light on, fan whirring, monitor no change, no signal.

    So - if I take the hard drive out how do I turn it into a slave for the other PC? Assuming this doesn't wipe anything.
  17. hrlow2

    hrlow2 TS Rookie Posts: 136

    IF the replacement machine has a spare data and spare power connectors between the current drive and motherboard, connect your old drive to the middle spare ones.
  18. Darren192

    Darren192 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I doubt it - I was thinking of briefly borrowing them from the dvdrw (which has gone wrong and won't open, this is not a good time for me and PCs).
  19. hrlow2

    hrlow2 TS Rookie Posts: 136

    Have heard that it works that way. If the plugins are the same, should be OK.
  20. rev_olie

    rev_olie TS Guru Posts: 560

    Plug ins?...aren't you thinking of software?...:p

    Basically with hardware you can setup either a master or a slave for a device. So a master Hard drive and a Slave hard drive (same for DVD/CD devices).
    So this means that that cable from the CD/DVD drive will work fine.

    The main way of setting this is by using the jumpers. These will be on the back of the drive.
    For example i saw in another post you had a samsung hard drive on one PC:

    That would be the configuration of the pins. Now you would have the PCs primary drive (the ones that's already installed) as the MASTER and you would then put the jumper over pins 5-6 to make this hard drive the salve (if it was a samsung hard drive). This would then make sure that the operating system was loaded from the master hard drive and not the slave.

    Also this can be done in the BIOS but that's fairly general so try the jumpers. Set the jumpers then plug in the IDE/SATA cable and the power cable and boot up. It will take slightly longer to load however.
    Then the hard drive should be picked up by Windows and you will be able to see all and copy all of the data.

    Then because of the CMOS reset not working I believe you have a bad power supply. If you can you should test this with a new one or try the possibly broken power supply in another PC and see if it works.
    Also you could try a power supply tester, which you can get from most PC shops. However before doing that try and do what Kimsland said earlier and listen to the hard drive as you start the PC. If it sounds as though its spinning up then its something wrong with your Graphics card, screen or connection.
  21. hrlow2

    hrlow2 TS Rookie Posts: 136

    to rev_ollie
    The plugins for the power and data connections.
  22. rev_olie

    rev_olie TS Guru Posts: 560

    Aaah sorry i wasnt thinking of it in that sense sorry :)
  23. Darren192

    Darren192 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have tried taking the hard drive from the defunct computer and accessing the files, but to no avail. So I will take it up with a friend who knows more about these things than I do.

    All this has put me off my old policy of buying and upgrading PCs, I will now move onto buying a real new PC once Windows 7 is out and buy new thereafter and occasionally get an old laptop to run my old games - I remain very fond of Shogun Total War, UFO Enemy Unknown, Championship Manager 01/02 and others and would like to play them at intervals permanently.

    I am encouraged by the price of new PC's, very cheap indeed at the minute. Incidentally, I had bought my friend a cheap PC to replace her old one - the 2 are very similar - and got that set up tonight so my conscience is a lot clearer.
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