|Older MSI mboards are more likely to have the bad capacitor problem than most other other mboard brands.|
Open up your case and examine the mboard to see if you have bad capacitors, and/or other findable signs of mboard damage .
This was the original bad capacitor problem - has some example pictures.
History of why the exploding capacitors and which mboard makers were affected:
What to look for, mboard symptoms, example pictures:
Home page that site
- what the problem is caused by
- he says there are STILL bad capacitors on more recent mboards.
Pictures of blown capacitors, other components, power supplies, Athlon cpu's, etc.:
"....I put lost of different ram sticks in that i know works..."
Examine the ram slots in good lighting, and possibly with a magnifying glass or similar. If any contacts in the slot are missing and/or look damaged (have melted or are only partially there) and/or if there are black carbon deposits and/or melted plastic in it, someone installed a ram module in that slot backwards and tried to boot the computer with it that way. That ram slot is fried and useless, as was the ram module that was backwards. If you clean the carbon and/or melted plastic from the slot, and sever any bridged contact connections, the mboard MIGHT boot with ram in the undamaged ram slots, but don't count on it.
Ram that works in another mboard , or any ram you buy or have lying around, may not work properly, or sometimes, not at all - even if it physically fits and is the right overall type (e.g. SDram, DDR, DDR2, etc.; PCxxxx, xxx mhz) for your mboard. In the worst cases of incompatibilty your mboard WILL NOT BOOT with it installed, and the mboard may not even beep - the ram has to be compatible with the mboard and it's chipset.
See response 5 in this for some info about ram compatibilty, and some places where you can find out what will work in your mboard for sure:
Correction to that:
Once you know which module ID strings work in your mboard, you can get them from anywhere you like that has ram with those ID strings.
If you have brand name ram, it is usually easy to look up whether it's ID string is in a list of compatible modules found by using your mboard or brandname system model number.
If the ram is generic, that may be difficult or impossible.
It is easy to test for whether incompatible ram has caused your mboard to fail to boot, or it's caused by another problem.
Make sure you have a speaker or speakers connected to the mboard so you can hear mboard beeps (see your mboard manual).
Remove the AC power to the case/power supply.
Remove all the ram.
Restore AC power.
Try to boot.
If nothing else is wrong, you will hear a pattern of beeps that indicate no ram is installed, or a ram problem.
E.g. for an Award bios or a bios based on one, that's often a beep of about a half second, silence for a half second, a beep of about a half second, silence for a half second, continuously.
A common thing that can happen with ram, even ram that worked fine previously, is the ram has, or has developed, a poor connection in it's slot(s).
This usually happens a long time after the ram was installed, but it can happen with new ram, or after moving the computer case from one place to another, and I've had even new modules that needed to have their contacts cleaned.
See response 2 in this - try cleaning the contacts on the ram modules, and making sure the modules are properly seated:
If you do a ram test, do that AFTER having tried cleaning the contacts and making sure the ram is seated properly - otherwise any errors found may be FALSE.
If the ram is incompatible with the chipset, it will likely FAIL a ram test - that is NOT a true indication of the ram being faulty - there is probably nothing wrong with it, and it will pass the test if installed in a mboard it is compatible with.
If you want to try a memory diagnostic utility that takes a lot less time to run a full pass than memtest86 does, this one is pretty good - Microsoft's
Windows Memory Diagnostic:
It can be toggled to do a standard or a more comprehensive set of tests - use the latter one. A few of the tests are intentionally slower.
"The light goes on on the motherboard btw."
Failing power supplies are common and can cause your symptoms.
They often partially work, yet the system will not fully boot.
Check your PS.
See response 4 in this:
The floppy led should come on briefly while booting, once, if there is no floppy in the drive, and the floppy drive is in the boot order in the bios Setup before a hard drive.
If it does not come on at all, if there is nothing wrong with it and it's connections, or the power supply, someone may have tried to flash the bios and that failed. In that case, the flash either completely corrupted the data in the bios, or the flash chip physically failed - if the bios chip is not removable because it's soldered into the mboard, that situation is too costly to be worth fixing. If the bios chip is removable because it's in a socket, the cheapest option is to get a replacement bios chip already flashed with the latest manufacturer's bios update from a place such as www.badflash.com .
If the floppy led comes on twice while booting when there is no floppy in the drive, briefly, and then for a longer time, someone has tried to flash the bios and that failed, but the boot block portion of the bios is still intact and you may be able to get the bios working again by doing a bios recovery procedure, according to the brand of bios on the mboard.