Wednesday, October 15, 2008

When You Just Want to Stab Something

So, as some of you might know (if you know me irl) and as those of you whom will read my blog will come to find out I am a PC gamer. As such from time to time I need to upgrade or expand upon certain components of my system to stay up to date with the current games out there. Those of you who have built your on computers can relate when I say that sometimes things work and sometimes.... They don't.

Ok, so here were my previous system specs for those of you interested:

PSU: Hiper 600 watt modular
MoBo: Asus P5W DH Deluxe
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 6400 (Overclocked to 2.66)
Mem: 1 GB Corsair 5400 x 2 In Dual Channel Mode
Video: XFX Nvidia 7900 GT (had 2 of them in SLI but one died)
HDD: Maxtor 500GB 7200rpm SATA
Optical: Lite ON Lightscribe DVD burner
OS: Vista Ultimate 64 bit Edition Tweaked

So I had a couple of upgrades in mind to make the most out of what I have. This paycheck I was going to pick up and install 4GB of PC2 6400 and overclock the ram that I have so that it is all running at 6400 with a total of 6144 mb of ram. Next free paycheck I intend to upgrade to a Core 2 Quad 6600 and possibly a 9600 gto (not sure on Video Card yet). Anyways as the saying goes: the best laid plans......

I work for a company by the name of Tiger Direct and they had the Ram that I wanted for 74.99 with a $25 mail-in-rebate so I figured, might as well pick it up from there right? So I go, I pick up what I need (bought some more compressed air since I was out and the inside of my case was getting pretty dusty. Long story short I get home and things start to go.... wrong. I figure alright lets just install the ram and then go into bios and change all of the settings that need changed. So I boot up the Tower and calmly sit and wait for my usb controllers to initialize since I have a usb keyboard. I wait for 5 minutes before deciding that obviously something is not working here. So i take out the ram restart the PC and enter the bios with no problem. My first clue that something may not be right, but I figure that perhaps I just need to tweak the bios before I can get things going. Then I realize that my knowledge of Bios and Ram tweakage is somewhat lacking and I call up my friend who is something of PC hardware genius.

B guides me through changing some voltages so that the Ram should register properly and boot. Happy with the new changes I turn of the Computer and re-install the ram. Doesn't work. For about an hour B and I tweak voltages, manually set clock rates, try different configurations of the Ram sticks and nothing works. So, we decide to go with our last resort and pull the bios battery in hopes that something we changed or missed is the problem. It works... sort of. We get the tower back up and running change the settings and voltages that we have determined need to be changed to allow my computer to register the Ram and actually boot up with it installed and restart the PC. It works, but we discover that only 3 Gigs of ram are being shown, B had forgotten that this particular MoBo had need of enabling a remapping feature for the ram to show more the 3 Gigs so I go change that and wonders of wonders it actually worked right off the bat. Nice right? Eh, not so much.

I go through all of the start up motions and find one distinct problem, Blue Screen of Death. Yeah that's right, shudder in fear at the bane of all Windows Users. Ok I though, maybe its just one of those random fluke BSODs and if I restart it will be fine. Nope, still there. So we go back and reverse one by one all of the changes we had made that were not necessary, even down clocking the ram to 5300 but every time we came up with a BSOD before Windows could even finish loading.

Now maybe there were other things I could have done, maybe there was something I was forgetting that might have made the new ram work but nothing we could think of did it so back to Tiger Direct I went. Exchanged the ram for the equivilant in Patriot (they were out of the Ram I had purchased yesterday) and got back home. Now here is the odd thing, tried the ram in the PC all alone, nothing no post. Tried it in the dominant slots with the old ram in the other 2 slots. Nothing no post. Flipped it around so the old ram was in the dominant slots and the new ram in the other slots? Worked. Went in to bios changed everything to the way I wanted it and booted into Windows without a problem. Must say that was the most unpleasent hardware instillation I have ever had to go through with my current PC. Damn thing.

Oh well thats life, hopefully I won't have any problems with the new Proccessor and Video Card but who knows right?

-Philly T

No comments: