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BadKarmaPT

Could use some help...

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Hello everyone.

 

I'm having some trouble finding what the problem is with my dad's "legacy" PC. He's running Windows 8.1 (with latest updates) on a 5 year old Asus P5QL -SE with a Core2 Duo E8400 processor and 4GB of DDR2 800 RAM (2 x 2Gb) by Kingston.

 

This will be a bit long but please bear with me.

 

Last week he decided to replace his old mouse with a Logitech cordeless mouse. When he got home he plugged the USB dongle on one of the two USB ports on the front of the case (the other USB port has also a dongle by Logitech but for a cordless keybord).

 

He powered the PC and although there was disk activity for a minute or two the monitor did not "wake up". He waited for "something" to happen but nothing did so he pressed "reset". This time the PC booted, the monitor "woke up" but the PC hang at the Windows logo. After another press of the reset there was SSD (120GB also by Kingston) activity but the monitor (which had entered standby by then) did not "wake up" again.

 

After shutting down the PC (long press of power button) and powering it up again it booted to the Windows logo but this time with a "Windows is trying to repair" message... after a couple of seconds the loading circle froze and nothing else could be done except reboot the computer.

 

Knowing I am a bit more computer "savvy" he decided to ask for my help ... 

 

The first thing I tried was to reboot the computer without the mouse dongle but it made no difference. By that time I noticed the PC never booted at first and pressing reset didn't work either because most times the monitor did not "wake up". The only way to get to the Windows logo was by hard/cold rebooting.

 

Then I opened the case and decided to test the memory modules. I removed one of the modules, then the other and noticed that during POST one of the modules was reporting inconsistent values (350MB, 620MB, etc.)

By then I thought I had found the culprit. My dad found an online store which had that memory module with the same exact specs (also by Kingston) and went out to buy it.

 

This is where it gets weird. I replaced the "faulty" module and marked it as "bad". The first sign the problem was not solved was when the PC didn't boot at first and I had to perform a hard reboot (again).

After reporting the 4096MB of RAM during POST it got to the Windows logo, the "Windows is trying to repair" message and froze again. I decided to remove the new module and did a hard reboot with only one (the old) memory module in.

To my amazement this time with only 2048MB correctly reported it moved past the "Windows is trying to repair" message and told me that it probably only needed to restart to fix the problem.

Restarting it didn't work but got into Windows by performing another cold reboot.

 

I tried all the memory modules combinations I could think of but found this is the only way Windows loads. The "old" memory module on THAT slot. If I try to replace it with the new or place the new module on the other slot, the PC freezes at the Windows logo. Coincidence maybe?

 

After I was able to (finally) load Windows I ran a "sfc /scannow" command which resulted in zero corrupt files found. I ran a full system scan with Windows Defender, a full Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scan, a scan to the SSD using Kingston's SSD Toolbox and nothing pointed out to the cause of this problem.

Apart from an occasional program crash (memory related maybe?) Windows is stable this way.

 

Of course my dad is not happy with this "solution" especially after spending money on a new memory module he can't use and I understand that. The problem is I can't find a cause to this problem let alone a solution.

My next guess would be the motherboard but if I'm wrong? I can't ask him to buy a new motherboard (which are very rare by now) just to test my theory.

 

During the "testing phase" he suggested we reinstalled Windows. We got the USB pendrive with Windows and the only way the install program would load past the Windows logo and language settings was like before with THAT memory/slot combination. In the end we gave up on the idea of reinstalling Windows as it wouldn't in my opinion solve the problem.

 

Sorry for the long post.

 

Any help appreciated.

 

Thank you in advance.

 

 

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If the system won't boot with different RAM in a particular slot it's likely/possible that the motherboard is faulty.

 

Cheers!

 

Luke

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Could be a failing motherboard or it could be RAM incompatibility.  Even if that new stick is the same brand and has the same specifications as the old memory, there is no guarantee that it will peacefully coexist with the old memory.

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If the system won't boot with different RAM in a particular slot it's likely/possible that the motherboard is faulty.

 

Cheers!

 

Luke

 

 

Sorry, but I'm leaning towards a M/B issue also. 

 

 

Could be a failing motherboard or it could be RAM incompatibility.  Even if that new stick is the same brand and has the same specifications as the old memory, there is no guarantee that it will peacefully coexist with the old memory.

 

I'm also leaning towards a Motherboard failure.

 

Thank you very much for your input, gentleman. I appreciate it.

 

Merry Christmas.

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