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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Computer stats:
AMD Athlon x2 775 7750 Black Edition Dual Core 2.7Ghz.
Asus M3A78-EM AM2 (revision 1508)
ATI Radeon HD 3200 (onboard video)
OCZ Reaper PC2-6400 3.25GB ram (4gig actual)
OCZ Stealth xstream 500w PSU
1Terabite Western Digital Caviar Green Sata (WD10EAVS)
Windows XP Pro (SP2...with problems from SP3 uninstall)

Even though there is next to nothing installed on my machine, I have run AVG, Spybot S&D, Malewarebytes - all turned up negative for anything harmful.

So I recently built this new computer, and it's been nothing be a headache. Once all put together, it worked well for about 2 minutes; then it slowed to a crawl, and would take about 10 min for the system to catch up to anything I did (point of the mouse, key stroke, ect). Updated all the drivers, as well as the most recent BIOS. It worked a bit faster, but still not 100%. The Boot/Load time was ridiculously slow, but actual computer operations weren't that bad.
After some research & tech support with Microsoft, it seems that the cause was SP3. I followed the steps to uninstall SP3, and have updated the system as best I could, without getting the SP3 update, but it's been to no avail - and it's since gotten worse. Now when I try to open up I.E. it will automatically open 2 IE windows, and freeze up. As well, my computer doesn't recognize my DVD drive (this WAS a problem before as well)

Here are my issues, and attempts to resolve:
-I want to try a fresh format, but my Computer won't recognize DVD. I tried updates, different Sata cables from the Power Supply, nothing worked. Under warranty so I got a new one. Same problem. If I turn off the Comp. unplug the Dvd Drive. Turn on the comp. Turn off the comp re-attach the drive. it will work initally so that I can open/close the tray, and I can hear it scan.
BUT it's not listed in the BIOS main page, the only thing listed is my HD! I told it to boot to CD (ATAPI Cd-Rom) then Floppy, then my Harddrive, but (my guess is) since it's not recognized in the BIOS, that's why it's not loading from CD.
The very first time I tried to use the drive, I put in my Windows CD, told it to BOOT from cd first in the BIOS - when it tried to load from the CD (and this only happened once). I got the error that it cannot load from the CD drive - CODE 5.

-Under the device manager there are 2 USB 'branches' as well as 2 PCI devices which both have the yellow marker and the '?' Would the DVD drive be the PCI device? The Comp recognizes the 2 PCI devices, and trys to install them, but it is never successfull.

-Computer is very slow to load, even the inital BIOS screen is slow.

-I have 2 sticks, 4 GIG total of ram in my computer. However, under my computer, only 3.25 gb is recognized. My video card is 256 onboard...where's the rest of the ram!?

Thanks folks.
 

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A 32Bit OS will only recognize about 3.25 GB's of RAM. You need a 64Bit OS to see more than that.
The Optical drive will be listed under DVD/CD-ROM in Device manager.
You might try changing SATA to IDE in the Bios.
If you do get it to boot from the XP CD I would certainly reformat the drive and start over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tyree, thanks for the info about the ram. Just curious, is that to say that it only shows 3.25, but it actually runs with the full gambit.

About the device manager - I do not have a listing/ dropdown menu for DVD/ CD-rom devices. I do have Floppy disk controllers/ Devices, but nothing for CD/DVDs.

How do I change the SATA to IDE in the BIOS? (and I ask because I don't know) but how would that make a difference, isn't SATA & IDE simply the cables that connect devices to the MOBO/PSU? This is an SATA optical drive.

Also, although it's not recognized (in my computer, device manager, or BIOS,) when I push the button the DVD drive it WILL open/close, which is something that it wouldn't do earlier.

Thanks a bunch!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Also, I have previously tested my ram, and HD, so it's not that. The PSU is new, and was working just fine before, with more than enough power, so it's not that either.

My BIOS will now recognize the DVD drive (I think Windows updated before shutting down on the last powerdown).
HOWEVER, it's still not listed in MY COMPUTER or in my Device Manager.

When I tell it to Boot from CD, it just hangs at a black screen with a blinking cursor in the top left.

When I tell it to Boot from the HD, it will do so, VERY SLOWLY. BUT once loaded, I cannot access the net. Any attempts to enter a URL (www.google.com, windows update, ect), will cause another I.E. to open up, and cause the system to freeze up until I can close them.

Edit- It WAS booting from the HD. Now it's just hanging at a black screen.

What the hell do I do?! ...please save my computer from my fist
 

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If you don't see "DVD/CD-ROM in Device manager" then it is not installed. The tray will open and close because it has power from the PSU.
What I would do. UNPLUG the PSU-Clear the CMOS. That will set the Bios to "Default Settings".
Remove everything from the Mobo except the CPU-Hdd-one stick of RAM and the video connection to the monitor- Boot into the Bios and set to "Default". Power down and install the optical drive and reboot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It was an OEM drive, that was supposed to be largely plug and play... how do I install it then?
The tray will only sometimes open. Even though I've used different plugs from the PSU. (and remember this is the 2nd drive that I've had issues with, so it's not that)

How would I go about clearing the CMOS? If it restores back to Default Settings, do I need to update the BIOS again, or is that simply a matter of selecting the devices?

....I'm somewhat savvy with software, but not too keen on using the BIOS outside of selecting the Boot Sequence. lol (sad really)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It was an OEM drive, that was supposed to be largely plug and play... how do I install it then?
The tray will only sometimes open. Even though I've used different plugs from the PSU. (and remember this is the 2nd drive that I've had issues with, so it's not that)

How would I go about clearing the CMOS? If it restores back to Default Settings, do I need to update the BIOS again, or is that simply a matter of selecting the devices?

....I'm somewhat savvy with software, but not too keen on using the BIOS outside of selecting the Boot Sequence. lol (sad really)
EDIT: The last time I tried to BOOT from CD, I was given this message:
"Cd Boot:Memory Overflow Error"

Then it went on to load windows from the HD.
and NOW my DVD is NOT being recognized in the BIOS
 

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Tyree, thanks for the info about the ram. Just curious, is that to say that it only shows 3.25, but it actually runs with the full gambit.
If you have a 64bit operating system then you can see and use anything up to 1000GB of memory (theoretically). The most a 32bit operating system will utilise is 3.25GB (give or take .25GB depending on on-board graphics).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've unplugged eveything. Keeping only 1 stick of ram in the board (I even went so far as to repeat the following tests with the OTHER stick of ram as well)

I tested all the SATA plugs with the HD alone, as well as the DVD drive alone.

The BIOS DOES recognize the DVD drive now.
MY COMPUTER DOES recognize the DVD drive now.

Now, with both sticks of ram, HD, DVD, Keyboard, Mouse, my computer is booting quickly, and everything seems to work.
Because it's so random (I didn't really DO anything to fix this) I'm worried about what will happen if i try a fresh format! lol
 
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