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System failing before bios. Occasionally freezes in bios.

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by matt.choules, Aug 10, 2006.

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  1. matt.choules

    matt.choules Thread Starter

    Sep 11, 2003
    Got a bit of a problem with my housemates pc...
    A friend gave him some extra RAM, i checked it out and it was crucial 512mb pc2100 CL2.5, and although it didn't match his exsisting RAM it seemed to me that his mobo would only run the FSB at 200mhz anyway so i went ahead and fitted it.
    It worked fine I then noticed his system temp was running a little high (60-65 degrees), so i took his heatsink off and cleaned the

    dust and refitted it with some new thermal compound.
    I added too much and the temp went up. To nearly 90 degrees.
    I shut it dwon as i didn't want the cpu to pop, cleaned it off, reapplied less compound and figured this would work fine.

    Now we have the problem.
    Most of the time: Power on and nothing happens. No bios, no beeps.
    Occasionally: Power on, i jump into the bios, the temp looks fine (30-40 degrees) and then it freezes right there in the bios after about 30 seconds to a minute.

    This sounds like a heat issue, but the last temp reading before freeze is 33 degrees.....?
    I've double and triple checked that the heatsink is on properly and thats fine. I followed the official guide on how much compound to use (a blob the size of an uncooked short grain of rice).


    Here is the info on his system:

    Abit SG-72 mobo

    Pentium 4 3ghz (SL7PM)

    512mb elixir DDR-400hz-PC3200 (CL3) RAM

    Barracuda 120gb 7200rpm HDD

    Windows Pro SP2
  2. ozrom1e


    May 15, 2006
    This is a heat issue and you should have never taken the heatsink off the processor. All you do is blast the heatsink with compressed air and your done. What has happened is more than likely you might have cracked the processor in re-assembling the heatsink. If you removed the processor you might have damaged it thru ESD = electrostaic Discharge with to much static.

    I would suggest taking the computer to a local tech who specializes in this type of repair. Basically the more you try and run this computer the more damage you might do to it.

    One other thing take out the new Ram chip it might be the wrong one, Ram is really finicky.
  3. win2kpro


    Jul 19, 2005
    OK, you're running a 3.0E socket 478 Prescott core processor. When you removed the heatsink, did you remove the processor? If not, remove the heatsink and remove the processor. Clean the top of the processor with an old soft toothbrush and denatured or 99% isopopyl alcohol. Make sure none of the thermal compound you used got on to any of the processor pins. After the processor is cleaned, blow it dry with compressed air.

    Before you reinstall the processor check all the pins and make sure none are broken off or bent. While the processor is removed check the heatsink retainer to make sure none of the "openings" on each corner are broken off. If the heatsink retainer is good, lift the zif securing arm and reinstall the processor. The processor should "fall" right into the retainer with 0 pressure. If the processor "falls" in correctly, lock the zif retaing arm.

    If you are using a thermal compound instead of a thermal pad, put a small drop of the compound on the center of the processor. I wrap my hand with Saran Wrap and use my finger to spread the compound evenly on the processor. You do not have to spread the compound all the way to the edge of the processor.

    Clean the contact area of the heatsink with a cloth and the mentioned alcohol. The retention mechanism on the socket 478 heatsink has an "over the center" "pressure lock" arm" on each side. When the heatsink is in place, one retention "pressure lock arm" should move to the left and the other to the right to apply even pressure for the heatsink to processor contact. Make sure the "pressure lock arms" are in the correct orientation before reinstalling the heatsink.

    When you are ready to install the heatsink, set it straight down on the processor and do not twist it. Get the "catches" on the "pressure lock arms" into the corner slots of the heatsink retainer, do this on both sides then move the "pressure lock arm" over to the "over the center" position until it fully locks. Make sure the "catches" on the "pressure lock arms" are fully in the locked down position and the "catches" are in the proper position on the heatsink retainer. If the heatsink is properly locked down, there should be no movement at all if you try to wiggle the heatsink.
  4. matt.choules

    matt.choules Thread Starter

    Sep 11, 2003
    Ok, win2kpro i did all of what you said (i followed online instructions on how much compound to use supplied by intel), but still nothing.

    It's screwed huh?
  5. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

    Oct 19, 2002
    FWIW, if the machine wakes up some of the time, I'd be surprised if the processor is defective. Usually, they either run or not, but variable results like you describe are likely to be something else. Have you reseated ALL the expansion cards, memory, and MB connectors?
  6. ozrom1e


    May 15, 2006
    Have you tried removing the Ram you installed? If not remove it and do not put it back in. Still sounds like the processor is shot to me and if you were not grounded when you did the clean process that was explained you then the processor for sure was zapped by ESD (ElectroStatic Discharge)

    My suggestion is to quit goofing around with this computer and take it to a qualified tech and explain what was done and let him/her fix it. You might have to pay for it but it will be fixed and fixed right.
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