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If My Memory Serves Me

I get a computer the other day from a customer of my "side" business. Yes, I fix computers for people and keep all the money sometimes instead instead of getting paid hourly to fix them for my regular job. Not a conflict of interest though because you couldn't take a broken computer to my regular job and ask for them to fix it. Anyways, the nice lady who gives me the computer says she has had everything in the computer replaced by her brother who "knows a lot about computers". The computer is stuck in a constant boot loop where it gets to the XP loading screen and then goes black and starts all over again. It also wakes by itself, as if a ghost is pushing the power button. I say, "No problem, I'll take a look at it and give you a call when I find out the problem."

First things first. When somebody tells me they replaced everything, I normally think HDD and RAM, and maybe the power supply. She (or her brother) actually replaced the video card also with an EVGA 9400GT. How that has anything to do with constant rebooting I don't know, but at least her 5 year old Dell got an upgrade. The motherboard still said Dell on it so hopefully he didn't order another one of those and put it in the computer as well as another Pentium 4. Either way, this thing does have an aftermarket PSU, new HDD, new video card, and lo and behold....

Sticks of 256MB PC2 3200 mixed with 1GB sticks of PC2 6400 in the same colored slots. "AHA!!!" I say to myself. That can't work in this computer because it needs matching pairs. I also think that PC2 3200 looks way to old for this particular model. The brother who "knows a lot about computers" must not have realized that when trying to upgrade another 512MB, he doomed this Dell. PC2 3200 isn't even compatible with this motherboard.

As for the computer turning on by itself, it was caused by what it usually is 95% of the time...the wake up setting in BIOS. 4% of the time it is a bad power switch. 1% of the time it actually is a ghost.

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Overclock.net › Member Blogs › If My Memory Serves Me