Did a Google search and ran accross a somewhat similar problem from this forum that ended up being a graphics card.
Here's the story: My computer has 512 (2 x 256) DDR PC2100 184 pin. I wanted to boost it to it's max of 1GB. I ordered a Crucial 512 DDR PC2100 184 pin (the one they said was correct).
When it got here and I opened my case, lo and behold, I only have two memory slots. Could have sworn I had more. Anyway, I decided to try using the 512 and one 256. I could have sworn (again) that when I bought this machine about three years ago, I read in the documentation (no longer to be found) that it was allowed. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but everything went downhill after that.
When I booted it up, I got the manufacture's splash screen and then a black DOS type screen stating some things, but basically saying I was reducing my ram to 256. I could feel trouble right there. I shut it down and tried swapping the memory sticks and now I get nothing. Well actually, It does seem to try, I can see all the access lights on the drives go on and off while it tries to boot, but fails. Ok, I'm assuming it fails. I was wondering if the Windows log in screen is there and because my monitor isn't on, I just don't see it. I have checked the monitor, it's good.
I have put the original memory sticks back in, but no change. Since the graphics card is right below the memory slots, I wonder if I did something to it.
One other thing that may or may not matter. I have two external HDDs as well as the internal one and when it tries to boot up, the access light on on of the HHDs stays lit instead of going off like it usually does.
Another thing. The original memory sticks have chips on both sides. the new 512 has them only on on side. Make a difference?
I have no problem buying a new graphics card, but would like to be reasonably sure that's the problem before I do.
Thanks for any help you can throw my way.
110 GB HDD (C)
ATI Graphics card
It's likely that you installed "mismatched" ram cards. This can have any number of bad effects.. depending on the Mobo & other hardware.
Try using just both of the new ram cards together also test each of the new ram cards seperately in each motherboard socket. If they don't work .. well it's possible Crucial sent you the wrong ram cards or bad ram cards. I've never had it happen from Crucial (if they were given the right info before ordering) but I suppose anything is possible.
Get any info (numbers etc. ) you can get off the old RAM cards & the motherboard info and call Crucial back & tell them what happened & have them check for "mismatched" ram.
Hope this is clear
Thanks for the reply. Actually, the new ram was a single stick of 512 that I bought from Newegg. It's the same one Crucial's site recommended. I tried using that by itself and tried putting the two original 256 ones back in. No help.
I'm thinking about booting to a boot disk (if I can find it, which I doubt) and see if I get anything on the screen that way.