Possible BIOS Issue after tampering with RAM

June 6, 2009 at 15:51:48
Specs: Windows XP
Hi, I removed my RAM sticks a little while ago to see what kind they are because I was thinking of upgrading but I didn't properly discharge myself so I may have damaged them. So I bought new RAM sticks and the problem was persisting so I'm thinking it could possibly be a BIOS problem. Right now, the computer turns on but the monitor isn't picking up any signal, and the computer isn't making that initial beep on start-up that it usually does but instead, it's silent for about 10 seconds and then there's 2 very faint beeps that sound similar to the sound a printer makes when it gets turned on. Does anybody have ideas or anything? If this isn't the issue then I have no idea what it could be. Any help or suggestions would REALLY be appreciated.
Thanks.

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#1
June 6, 2009 at 16:52:31
Disconnect & reconnect the plug from the power supply to the mother board. If that doesn't help, remove the CMOS battery for awhile.

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.


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#2
June 6, 2009 at 16:54:21
Why would you suspect the BIOS? You messed with the RAM, so that's most likely what the problem is.

Did you unplug the power cord before you messed around inside the case? There is always power to the board, even when the system is shutdown.

Try installing just one stick of RAM to see if you can get the system to boot. Make sure it's placed in the slot the right way & push down firmly until it clips in place.


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#3
June 6, 2009 at 19:00:01
@ guapo - I'll give that a try. Thanks.

@ jam - I didn't properly discharge myself or unplug the computer when I first removed the RAM but when I bought the new sticks, I unplugged the computer, grounded my hands and made sure I was touching the computer case when installing the RAM and the problem still persisted so I've ruled out that the problem is from the RAM.


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#4
June 6, 2009 at 20:23:45
I tried disconnecting and reconnecting the PSU and nothing happened so I removed the CMOS battery and I'm going to wait a little while and plug it back in. In the meantime, what does it mean when there are no beeps at all when I turn on the computer?

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#5
June 6, 2009 at 20:57:13
It means you likely damaged the motherboard. When you say you didn't discharge yourself before removing the memory, does that mean you felt or saw a static spark or do you just suspect it?

Instead of removing the cmos battery (which can take an indeterminate amount of time to discharge the cmos circuitry) you should look for a 'clear cmos' (or an abbreviation of that) jumper. Move it to the 'clear' position, turn the power on for a second or two, turn if off and replace the jumper in the standby position.

Also you should check what the beep code is for your bios. If you don't know, post back your motherboard or system model number. Maybe the 2 beeps are telling you something.


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#6
June 6, 2009 at 21:13:52
I meant that I suspect there may have been some static, I didn't see or feel any but there still may have been some. And I'll look for the jumper. My motherboard is ASUS P5N-E SLI nVidia 650i. I tried looking for the specific beep codes on google but I couldn't find anything helpful. These 2 beeps that I hear are very, very quiet, I can only hear them if I listen closely and they sound more like a printer beep. And I don't even know if these are new beeps, they may have been there back when my computer worked fine and I may have not noticed it. Anyways, thanks, I'll try playing the CMOS jumper.

EDIT: Well, I looked and I'm not actually sure what I'm looking for. Is the jumper a switch on the back of the computer or something on the inside? Where is a CMOS jumper typically located?

EDIT2: Nevermind, the power of google has prevailed once again.


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#7
June 6, 2009 at 22:19:18
I can't seem to find the CMOS jumper. It's not on the motherboard diagram in the manual and I haven't seen anything while looking at the actual motherboard, so I'm going to give up on that search. I've replaced the CMOS battery mutliple times anyways. I'm thinking at this stage I'm going to send the computer back for warranty and see if they can fix it. However, I'm still open to some more suggestions over the next few days.

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#8
June 6, 2009 at 22:55:27
The clear cmos jumper is usually close to the bios chip. Its location should be described in the motherboard manual. Some older Asus boards didn't have the jumper itself but had two solder joints instead. They said in order to clear the cmos you needed to short the solder joints with a screwdriver. I don't know why they couldn't have just added the jumper pins since that's what the solder joints were there for. Anyway, yours may be that way too.

If you send it back under warranty don't let on that you may have damaged it. Just say it stopped working.


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#9
June 7, 2009 at 10:27:05
Well, I was thinking that my motherboard was fried so I removed the RAM sticks and started it up just to see if there was any beep code for missing RAM and the beep code was present. So I don't think it's my motherboard now. What could it be? My graphics cards? I have 2 of them running SLI so I don't know how they could both be fried. When the computer starts up with the RAM in it, it doesn't make any beeps but without the RAM it gives the beep code for 'no RAM'. Any ideas?

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#10
June 7, 2009 at 13:46:50
The bios is correctly seeing that no memory is present when you remove the sticks but the lack of the normal single beep when the RAM is there would seem to mean that everything else is not OK.

But yeah, it would be a good idea to eliminate peripheral hardware as the problem. Disconnect all the drives and remove all the cards except video. Make sure the video card is firmly installed. See if that makes any difference. Try other video cards if possible.


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#11
June 7, 2009 at 15:45:55
So what do I remove exactly? All but one RAM stick, one video card, and the sound card?

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#12
June 7, 2009 at 16:13:52
The ram probably doesn't matter. You just want the minimum hardware to get a posting screen. For that you don't need the sound card, modem/network cards or drives.

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