XP not booting with more than 256 MB RAM

By bobroo ยท 4 replies
Dec 30, 2007
  1. Hi, I have a peculiar problem with my system. I have a MSI motherboard (nforce2 chipset) with an AMD processor (XP 2400+). I had it running with 1 GB RAM (2 X 256 MB @ 266Mhz + 1 x 512MB @ 333Mhz) until 2 days ago when there was a RAM failure.

    One of the 256 MB RAM chips had conked out. The remaining 2 are fine (tested on another system). The strange thing is that now XP refuses to boot with more than 256 MB RAM. It bugchecks with IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL and similar. I also have Windows 98 on my system which boots without any problem.

    I ran the windows memory diagnostic tool which crashes on testing any RAM greater than 256 MB (tried all varieties at the repair shop 266-400 MHz, 512-1024 MB).

    Even with 256 MB RAM XP crashes if I start too many programs. I suspect its a motherboard problem. I tried tinkering with all BIOS settings without success. Last night XP wouldn't boot even with 256 MB RAM. Then I had to reduce FSB to 100Mhz from 133MHz to make it start.

    Can somebody please suggest how to resolve this, or atleast find out if it's a hw or sw problem? Any help will be greatly appreciated. I'm attaching the last three minidumps.

    Thanks in Advance..
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Since memtest crashes,then it obviously isn't a Windows problem.

    Try updating your BIOSto the latest version. Also, try the RAM sticks in different slots in different combinations/order.

    It may have been your memory controller that got damaged together with the RAM..
  3. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    if you suspect bad ram, replace it.
  4. pdyckman@comcas

    pdyckman@comcas TS Rookie Posts: 527

    I read your post. I believe that you only need to put your present ram in the drawer and put in 2 gigs of good ram. For instance: Fry's electronics has 2 gigs of OCZ for $29 (after rebate)...$59 without. That's a fair price to pay to remedy all this.
  5. bobroo

    bobroo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Can't be bad RAM. I took my CPU to the repair shop, where we tried all possible combinations of RAM chips on the slots (new ones that is). It's the mobo alright, but I don't know how to locate the fault or fix it. Need to find a hardware expert..
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