Adding 2GB to A7v266-E ?

Discussion in 'Asus' started by Gary Fritz, May 6, 2006.

  1. Gary Fritz

    Gary Fritz Guest

    I have an A7V266-E with an Athlon 1800+. I'm running Windows 2000. The
    mobo currently has 512MB on it (not sure but probably PC2100).

    I need to run VMware on this system, running 2-3 virtual PCs in addition to
    the base OS. This is going to take major amounts of RAM. I want to add at
    least 2GB.

    Problem: finding PC2100 RAM is like finding parts for a model T.

    Questions:

    What speeds of RAM will work in this mobo? I've looked on the Asus site
    (pretty useless) and looked at several RAM mfg sites and haven't found a
    definite answer.

    Will fast (e.g. PC3200) RAM work alongside the existing slow (PC2100) 512MB
    stick? Do different speeds of memory play together OK, or would I be
    better off to pitch the 512MB stick and get several GB of the same speed?

    Will I need to make any BIOS changes (or whatever) to make faster RAM work?

    Would 1 2GB stick be better than 2 1GB sticks, other than the obvious
    difference of only using one slot?

    Thanks!
    Gary
     
    Gary Fritz, May 6, 2006
    #1
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  2. Gary Fritz

    Paul Guest

    In article <Xns97BAEA52A5BFDfritzfriicom@216.168.3.50>, Gary Fritz
    <> wrote:

    > I have an A7V266-E with an Athlon 1800+. I'm running Windows 2000. The
    > mobo currently has 512MB on it (not sure but probably PC2100).
    >
    > I need to run VMware on this system, running 2-3 virtual PCs in addition to
    > the base OS. This is going to take major amounts of RAM. I want to add at
    > least 2GB.
    >
    > Problem: finding PC2100 RAM is like finding parts for a model T.
    >
    > Questions:
    >
    > What speeds of RAM will work in this mobo? I've looked on the Asus site
    > (pretty useless) and looked at several RAM mfg sites and haven't found a
    > definite answer.
    >
    > Will fast (e.g. PC3200) RAM work alongside the existing slow (PC2100) 512MB
    > stick? Do different speeds of memory play together OK, or would I be
    > better off to pitch the 512MB stick and get several GB of the same speed?
    >
    > Will I need to make any BIOS changes (or whatever) to make faster RAM work?
    >
    > Would 1 2GB stick be better than 2 1GB sticks, other than the obvious
    > difference of only using one slot?
    >
    > Thanks!
    > Gary


    You can see here, that Crucial thinks it can run with just about
    anything.

    http://www.crucial.com/store/listpa...ds&mfr=ASUS&tabid=AM&model=A7V266-E&submit=Go

    PC3200 memory, can run at DDR400, DDR333, DDR266, DDR200. It is
    backward compatible.

    With a well designed BIOS, you can mix memory types, and the
    BIOS will select the timing of the slowest stick and use that
    timing for all of them. So, yes, you could mix it.

    I would suggest you buy 2x1GB memory, with a chip type of
    64Mx8 chips. There is plenty of cheap memory using 128Mx4 chips,
    and I do not recommend buying it. Ebay would be a good source
    of the 128Mx4 bad memory, so stick with branded memory from a
    reputable source. The Crucial memory should be safe to buy.
    Pull the previous memory, and just install the two new
    sticks in slot 1 and slot 3.

    To see the caveats with the cheaper 128Mx4 memory, read this
    advert. It lists the bad RAM and the good RAM, in the same
    ad. Notice the restricted list of chipsets known to work
    with 128Mx4 chips. That is why I recommend avoiding the
    cheap, Ebay-style stuff.

    http://www.portatech.com/catalog/memory.asp?ID=285

    One reason I would suggest PC3200 memory, and getting 2x1GB
    sticks, is if you find your machine bogs down to a crawl running
    that applications environment, you can reuse the sticks on
    a new Athlon64 motherboard. Then the memory won't be a complete
    loss, and can be reused on a new motherboard. But DDR motherboards
    won't last forever, so to execute that plan, you'd want to do that
    some time this year.

    Paul
     
    Paul, May 6, 2006
    #2
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  3. Gary Fritz

    Gary Fritz Guest

    (Paul) wrote:
    > I would suggest you buy 2x1GB memory, with a chip type of
    > 64Mx8 chips.


    OK, I was looking at some Kingston memory, but the Crucial PC3200 is only
    a few bucks more. Probably the Crucial CT12864Z40B for $84 at newegg:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820146545

    > Pull the previous memory, and just install the two new
    > sticks in slot 1 and slot 3.


    Why slots 1 and 3?

    What happens if I leave the old slower RAM in slot 1 and put the new
    Crucial in 2 and 3? I hate to throw away half a gig. I suspect any
    speed gains I'd get by running at the faster RAM's speed would be far
    outweighed by the increased likelihood of thrashing. (And would my
    266MHz FSB mobo run the new PC3200 RAM any faster than the existing RAM
    anyway?? Isn't the mobo itself limited to PC2100 speeds?)

    > To see the caveats with the cheaper 128Mx4 memory, read this advert.


    Sorry, all I see there is a listing of 3 different RAMs.

    > One reason I would suggest PC3200 memory, and getting 2x1GB
    > sticks, is if you find your machine bogs down to a crawl running
    > that applications environment, you can reuse the sticks on
    > a new Athlon64 motherboard.


    Since PC3200 is actually cheaper than most of the slower RAM I see,
    there's no reason not to get it. I just wanted to make sure I wouldn't
    have any compatibility problems.

    Thanks Paul!
    Gary
     
    Gary Fritz, May 7, 2006
    #3
  4. Gary Fritz

    Paul Guest

    In article <Xns97BBE554DA214fritzfriicom@216.168.3.50>, Gary Fritz
    <> wrote:

    > (Paul) wrote:
    > > I would suggest you buy 2x1GB memory, with a chip type of
    > > 64Mx8 chips.

    >
    > OK, I was looking at some Kingston memory, but the Crucial PC3200 is only
    > a few bucks more. Probably the Crucial CT12864Z40B for $84 at newegg:
    > http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820146545
    >
    > > Pull the previous memory, and just install the two new
    > > sticks in slot 1 and slot 3.

    >
    > Why slots 1 and 3?


    In transmission line theory, you can compute a rough transmission
    line impedance based on capacitive loading. The more loading per
    inch of track, the lower the track impedance. By spacing the two
    DIMMs apart, it helps to raise the impedance a little bit (closer
    to the unloaded value). The difference in stability between using
    slots 2 and 3, versus using slots 1 and 3, would be pretty small,
    but it won't stop me from suggesting 1 and 3 to people, for a two
    stick install.

    >
    > What happens if I leave the old slower RAM in slot 1 and put the new
    > Crucial in 2 and 3? I hate to throw away half a gig. I suspect any
    > speed gains I'd get by running at the faster RAM's speed would be far
    > outweighed by the increased likelihood of thrashing. (And would my
    > 266MHz FSB mobo run the new PC3200 RAM any faster than the existing RAM
    > anyway?? Isn't the mobo itself limited to PC2100 speeds?)


    Yes, it is probably limited to DDR266. By all means, try all three
    sticks if you want. I'm not stopping you. Test with memtest86+
    (www.memtest.org) and see if all three sticks are stable. If
    you are having trouble, you'll end up trying different combinations
    anyway, so start with three, and work from there. Allow the pass
    counter on memtest86+ to do two full passes, error free, before you
    try booting into Windows. That is to help prevent your Windows install
    from getting corrupted.

    >
    > > To see the caveats with the cheaper 128Mx4 memory, read this advert.

    >
    > Sorry, all I see there is a listing of 3 different RAMs.


    The advert says, for the right-most (cheap) RAM:

    "(128x64 Module - 128x4 DRAM)

    * Generic / Unbranded 128x4 DRAM Chips
    * 1 Year Warranty

    *** Verify that you have a motherboard with a VIA PT800,
    KT600, P4X266A chipset or an a SIS 648, 648FX, 746FX
    chipset before purchase"

    Those chipsets are the ones that support 128Mx4 chips. Notice
    there are no Intel chipsets mentioned there. And it also
    doesn't say whether any of those chipsets can drive three
    of those modules with any stability. In the Mushkin testing
    of "stacked ram", they only found one chipset that could
    drive multiple sticks like that. Unfortunately, Mushkin has
    seen fit to take down all of its nice memory test results
    pages, so I cannot give you a URL.

    >
    > > One reason I would suggest PC3200 memory, and getting 2x1GB
    > > sticks, is if you find your machine bogs down to a crawl running
    > > that applications environment, you can reuse the sticks on
    > > a new Athlon64 motherboard.

    >
    > Since PC3200 is actually cheaper than most of the slower RAM I see,
    > there's no reason not to get it. I just wanted to make sure I wouldn't
    > have any compatibility problems.
    >
    > Thanks Paul!
    > Gary


    HTH,
    Paul
     
    Paul, May 7, 2006
    #4
  5. Gary Fritz

    Gary Fritz Guest

    (Paul) wrote:
    > In transmission line theory, you can compute a rough transmission
    > line impedance based on capacitive loading. The more loading per
    > inch of track, the lower the track impedance. By spacing the two
    > DIMMs apart, it helps to raise the impedance a little bit (closer
    > to the unloaded value).


    I see. (I had most of an EE degree decades ago, so I follow what you're
    saying reasonably well.) Sounds like if I want to continue using the old
    512MB stick, I'll need to get that memtest86+ tool you mentioned, and
    verify whatever config I use works OK.

    > Unfortunately, Mushkin has seen fit to take down all of its
    > nice memory test results pages, so I cannot give you a URL.


    For future use, maybe you could find the page you want in the Wayback
    Machine? http://www.archive.org/web/web.php

    Thanks for the excellent advice!
    Gary
     
    Gary Fritz, May 7, 2006
    #5
  6. Gary Fritz

    Paul Guest

    In article <Xns97BC55FFA6E9Bfritzfriicom@216.168.3.50>, Gary Fritz
    <> wrote:

    > (Paul) wrote:
    > > In transmission line theory, you can compute a rough transmission
    > > line impedance based on capacitive loading. The more loading per
    > > inch of track, the lower the track impedance. By spacing the two
    > > DIMMs apart, it helps to raise the impedance a little bit (closer
    > > to the unloaded value).

    >
    > I see. (I had most of an EE degree decades ago, so I follow what you're
    > saying reasonably well.) Sounds like if I want to continue using the old
    > 512MB stick, I'll need to get that memtest86+ tool you mentioned, and
    > verify whatever config I use works OK.


    The correction to Z0 is to divide by SQRT(1+Cd/C0) where Cd is
    the distributed capacitance in farads per inch or similar units.
    (Just make sure Cd and C0 use the same units, as they cancel.)
    The more capacitance, the lower the equivalent impedance, as an
    approximation. When Cd is zero (no DIMMs installed), the correction
    factor becomes SQRT(1). The terminations on a memory bus have
    to be optimized for one value of impedance, so divergence from
    the design point reduces signal quality.

    http://www.allbusiness.com/periodicals/article/444403-1.html

    >
    > > Unfortunately, Mushkin has seen fit to take down all of its
    > > nice memory test results pages, so I cannot give you a URL.

    >
    > For future use, maybe you could find the page you want in the Wayback
    > Machine? http://www.archive.org/web/web.php
    >
    > Thanks for the excellent advice!
    > Gary


    Mushkin used an "inline cookie" method, which prevents a
    robot from traversing the site. While archive.org would have
    been able to archive the top level of the site, they cannot
    go down into stuff below the top level. (I know this, because
    we couldn't quote a URL while the web pages still existed, and
    have them work for people. You had to tell people to hack the
    URL, by replacing a certain section of the URL, with a number
    randomly generated by the Mushkin website as each person visited.
    That is what I mean by an "inline cookie". Very frustrating,
    when you are trying to help someone, to have to teach them
    how to hack links as well. In a way, maybe it is better that
    Mushkin just buried that stuff, if that is the best they can
    do in terms of web site design.)

    Paul
     
    Paul, May 7, 2006
    #6
  7. Gary Fritz

    Gary Fritz Guest

    (Paul) wrote::
    > The correction to Z0 is to divide by SQRT(1+Cd/C0) where Cd is
    > the distributed capacitance in farads per inch or similar units. ...


    OK, you have officially lost me. :)

    Gary
     
    Gary Fritz, May 8, 2006
    #7
  8. Gary Fritz

    Gary Fritz Guest

    (Paul) wrote:
    > Yes, it is probably limited to DDR266. By all means, try all three
    > sticks if you want. I'm not stopping you. Test with memtest86+
    > (www.memtest.org) and see if all three sticks are stable. If
    > you are having trouble, you'll end up trying different combinations
    > anyway, so start with three, and work from there. Allow the pass
    > counter on memtest86+ to do two full passes, error free, before you
    > try booting into Windows.


    Yow. I've got the 2GB + 512MB sticks in there now and I'm running
    Memtest86+. It looks like it will take 15-16 hours per pass! I will let
    it run overnight and complete one pass, but I can't lose my computer for
    2 days. I've got work to do.

    I put the two 1GB sticks in slots 1 & 2, and the 512MB in slot 3. Dunno
    if it makes much difference where?

    Memtest86+ says the RAM access speed is 389 MB/sec. I forgot to note the
    speed before I put the 2GB in but I suspect it was the same. That's
    probably about the max rate for a 266MHz FSB, yes?

    Gary
     
    Gary Fritz, May 10, 2006
    #8
  9. Gary Fritz

    Paul Guest

    In article <Xns97BFA8A39A611fritzfriicom@216.168.3.50>, Gary Fritz
    <> wrote:

    > (Paul) wrote:
    > > Yes, it is probably limited to DDR266. By all means, try all three
    > > sticks if you want. I'm not stopping you. Test with memtest86+
    > > (www.memtest.org) and see if all three sticks are stable. If
    > > you are having trouble, you'll end up trying different combinations
    > > anyway, so start with three, and work from there. Allow the pass
    > > counter on memtest86+ to do two full passes, error free, before you
    > > try booting into Windows.

    >
    > Yow. I've got the 2GB + 512MB sticks in there now and I'm running
    > Memtest86+. It looks like it will take 15-16 hours per pass! I will let
    > it run overnight and complete one pass, but I can't lose my computer for
    > 2 days. I've got work to do.
    >
    > I put the two 1GB sticks in slots 1 & 2, and the 512MB in slot 3. Dunno
    > if it makes much difference where?
    >
    > Memtest86+ says the RAM access speed is 389 MB/sec. I forgot to note the
    > speed before I put the 2GB in but I suspect it was the same. That's
    > probably about the max rate for a 266MHz FSB, yes?
    >
    > Gary


    With three sticks, I wouldn't expect the ordering to make a
    difference. Sometimes, when a motherboard has a particularly
    bad BIOS design, changing the order may allow the BIOS to
    detect all the sticks - so sometimes you have to change the
    order, for the DIMMs to be seen and used. If you got all your
    memory to work, then leave it as is.

    A while back, looking at datasheets for memory chips, at least
    one brand had the same loading numbers for their 32Mx8 and
    64Mx8 chips, and that means electrically, the DIMMs should be
    indistinguishable from one another.

    I'd probably check with CPUZ, back in Windows, and see what
    memory clock and timings are being used. You can do that after
    you finish your two passes of testing. (www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php
    has CPUZ.) Looking at timing values and clocks is a better way
    to determine if everything is set up right or not.

    With the smaller amount of RAM I've got, two memtest passes might
    cost me less than an hour. You've got to expect a bit more test
    time with 2.5GB.

    In terms of numbers, a DIMM is 8 bytes wide. If the memory rate
    was DDR266, that would be 8*266 = 2100MB/sec theoretical transfer
    rate (assuming the memory never took a breather). I think in
    memtest, my memory (in a single channel mode) gives about 28%
    of the theoretical number, and 28% of 2100 is a bit more than
    you are getting. But once you get back into Windows, it won't
    take long to check the vital statistics with CPUZ.

    Who knows. You may end up cranking the memory clock up a bit,
    and have to repeat the testing :)

    Paul
     
    Paul, May 11, 2006
    #9
  10. Gary Fritz

    Gary Fritz Guest

    I spoke too soon. The first 11% of a pass took about 90 minutes, but the
    remaining 89% only took about another 90 minutes. In 6+ hours I
    completed 2 passes with no errors. So everything is cool? NOT!! :-(

    > I'd probably check with CPUZ, back in Windows, and see what
    > memory clock and timings are being used.
    > Looking at timing values and clocks is a better way
    > to determine if everything is set up right or not.


    OK, I exited Memtest86+, booted up into Windows, read your note,
    downloaded CPUZ, and started to read off some data. First thing I
    noticed was that the FSB speed was 136MHz or so -- not what I expected,
    since the mobo's box says it's a 266MHz FSB. Should I be concerned?

    Then I started looking at the RAM stats. First thing I noticed was that
    CPUZ only reported 2GB -- even though the BIOS says it sees 2621440KB.
    ??? So I went to the System Information tool to see what Windows thought
    it had, and... whammo. Sudden crash with vertical stripes across the
    monitor. UH-oh.

    So I rebooted. Now before it gets to the login page, it flashes a blue
    screen (so fast I can't read any more than "STOP") and boots again.

    Urrghghghghhhh...

    Now what do I do!?
    Gary
     
    Gary Fritz, May 11, 2006
    #10
  11. Gary Fritz

    Paul Guest

    In article <Xns97BFE0E86CAFDfritzfriicom@216.168.3.50>, Gary Fritz
    <> wrote:

    > I spoke too soon. The first 11% of a pass took about 90 minutes, but the
    > remaining 89% only took about another 90 minutes. In 6+ hours I
    > completed 2 passes with no errors. So everything is cool? NOT!! :-(
    >
    > > I'd probably check with CPUZ, back in Windows, and see what
    > > memory clock and timings are being used.
    > > Looking at timing values and clocks is a better way
    > > to determine if everything is set up right or not.

    >
    > OK, I exited Memtest86+, booted up into Windows, read your note,
    > downloaded CPUZ, and started to read off some data. First thing I
    > noticed was that the FSB speed was 136MHz or so -- not what I expected,
    > since the mobo's box says it's a 266MHz FSB. Should I be concerned?
    >
    > Then I started looking at the RAM stats. First thing I noticed was that
    > CPUZ only reported 2GB -- even though the BIOS says it sees 2621440KB.
    > ??? So I went to the System Information tool to see what Windows thought
    > it had, and... whammo. Sudden crash with vertical stripes across the
    > monitor. UH-oh.
    >
    > So I rebooted. Now before it gets to the login page, it flashes a blue
    > screen (so fast I can't read any more than "STOP") and boots again.
    >
    > Urrghghghghhhh...
    >
    > Now what do I do!?
    > Gary


    I'd pull the new RAM out, and establish that nothing is busted.
    See if you can get back into Windows OK. Is this WinXP or something
    else ?

    So the steps would be:

    1) 1 x 512MB. Verify Windows is not corrupted.
    2) 1 x 1024MB in slot 3. Two passes memtest86+. If error free, boot
    into Windows. Check stats with CPUZ. Run Prime95 (mersenne.org)
    and its "torture test" option. The blended or large FFT setting
    uses a good sized chunk of memory for testing. If Prime95 doesn't
    error out after maybe four hours, I'd finish the run with some
    3D gaming or 3DMark family of benchmarks.
    3) Repeat step 2 with the second new 1024MB DIMM.

    The purpose of step (2) and (3), is to thoroughly test the sticks
    to see if they are worth keeping. That is why these tests should
    be done first.

    4) 2 x 1024MB in slot 1 and slot 3. Same tests as (2).

    Test (4) is the first test checking the interaction/additional load
    of using more than one stick. You still have to be pretty thorough
    in testing, as marginal behavior may not be apparent until you
    try gaming.

    5) Are we happy yet ? Or must we "go for the gusto" of 2.5GB ram ?
    Install all three sticks. Run memtest86+ with defaults. You
    may want to back off the clocks in your system, and work your
    way up, to see where or if it is going to break on you. Maybe
    the three sticks just aren't going to get along ? You can try
    changing the order, by moving the 512MB stick around.

    Yes. It is a lot of work, but what you are attempting is a lot
    of RAM for an older system.

    BTW: An Athlon system is "double data rate" on the FSB, in the
    same sense as your memory is double data rate. A 133MHz CPU
    clock on the FSB, gives FSB266. A 133MHz clock on a memory,
    is a DDR266 transfer rate. (A Pentium4 is "quad data rate"
    on the FSB, so a 133Mhz CPU clock gives FSB533.) And the
    BIOS are not always consistent in their choice of units of
    measure - a screen might read "533 MHz", when it should
    really say "FSB533" for example. A memory setup screen might
    say "266 MHz", when it really means "DDR266". That makes
    it extra easy to get confused. Usually, you can figure it
    out, by noting the progression of available values listed,
    to tell if you are dealing with a clock, or with a transfer
    rate.

    Paul
     
    Paul, May 11, 2006
    #11
  12. Gary Fritz

    Gary Fritz Guest

    Oh man, I am so hosed.... :-(

    (Paul) wrote:
    > I'd pull the new RAM out, and establish that nothing is busted.
    > See if you can get back into Windows OK. Is this WinXP or something
    > else ?


    Windows 2000 Pro.

    > So the steps would be:
    > 1) 1 x 512MB. Verify Windows is not corrupted.


    It appears to be. I pulled the two 1GB sticks and left the 512MB in slot
    3. I moved the 512MB to slot 1, the way it was before. I changed the
    clock speed from 1533 MHz down to 1150 MHz. I tried booting in safe
    mode. It still crashes.

    The bluescreen message seems to be saying something about not being able
    to load a registry hive, but I can't read it fast enough to be sure.

    Apparently when I booted up with 2.5GB in the box, it ran for a few
    minutes but then corrupted something bigtime when it crashed. Which is
    mighty @#@#%# frustrating considering I ran the RAM through the torture
    test for 6 hours and it passed with flying colors.

    I'm not sure where I go from here. I'll see if I can find some kind of
    "boot from CD and repair the registry" utility, but I'm not hopeful.

    Thanks much for your help, Paul. I would be in at least this much
    trouble without your help, but I'd be more confused and less informed.

    Gary
     
    Gary Fritz, May 11, 2006
    #12
  13. Gary Fritz

    Gary Fritz Guest

    Oh man, I think I"m hosed even worse than I thought.

    I found a "boot from floppy and repair the registry" utility at
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=56D3C201-2C68-
    4DE8-9229-CA494362419C&displaylang=en

    You download an XP SP1 setup boot image that you copy onto 6 floppies,
    and then it modifies the 6th floppy to do the Win2000 registry repair.

    I can't even boot off the first floppy!!! It says "Setup is inspecting
    your computer's hardware configuration," then it flashes "NTDETECT
    failed" and reboots. I tried pulling the 512MB stick and replacing it
    with one of the 1GB sticks and it still does the same thing. Apparently
    NTDETECT can't find the BOOT.INI file on my C:\ root?

    I tried running the Win2000 SETUP disk to see if it could repair the
    system. It was useless -- couldn't do anything more than a CHKDSK unless
    I had an Emergency Repair Disk, which I don't (d'oh). And it seems the
    ERD must be created from within Windows, BEFORE it blows up.

    I downloaded an NTFS reader utility that had no problems reading the
    disk. I downloaded Knoppix and copied some critical files off the disk.
    So the HD seems to be OK. Furthermore the RAM (currently 1 1GB stick)
    and mobo seem fine, as the NTFS utility and Knoppix run with no problems.
    (Just like Memtest86+ did, grumble...)

    So why won't Windows or the XP Setup disk run!? I am seriously
    confused...
     
    Gary Fritz, May 11, 2006
    #13
  14. Gary Fritz

    Paul Guest

    In article <Xns97C04A5E82F7Dfritzfriicom@216.168.3.50>, Gary Fritz
    <> wrote:

    > Oh man, I am so hosed.... :-(
    >
    > (Paul) wrote:
    > > I'd pull the new RAM out, and establish that nothing is busted.
    > > See if you can get back into Windows OK. Is this WinXP or something
    > > else ?

    >
    > Windows 2000 Pro.
    >
    > > So the steps would be:
    > > 1) 1 x 512MB. Verify Windows is not corrupted.

    >
    > It appears to be. I pulled the two 1GB sticks and left the 512MB in slot
    > 3. I moved the 512MB to slot 1, the way it was before. I changed the
    > clock speed from 1533 MHz down to 1150 MHz. I tried booting in safe
    > mode. It still crashes.
    >
    > The bluescreen message seems to be saying something about not being able
    > to load a registry hive, but I can't read it fast enough to be sure.
    >
    > Apparently when I booted up with 2.5GB in the box, it ran for a few
    > minutes but then corrupted something bigtime when it crashed. Which is
    > mighty @#@#%# frustrating considering I ran the RAM through the torture
    > test for 6 hours and it passed with flying colors.
    >
    > I'm not sure where I go from here. I'll see if I can find some kind of
    > "boot from CD and repair the registry" utility, but I'm not hopeful.
    >
    > Thanks much for your help, Paul. I would be in at least this much
    > trouble without your help, but I'd be more confused and less informed.
    >
    > Gary


    Well, now you're in "blue sky" territory :-( I've never had to
    try to fix a registry. That is Windows biggest exposure, loading
    the registry into memory, and then somehow, Windows decides to
    write part of it back. If the contents of memory are corrupted, that can
    mean big trouble. This kind of thing happens to people who overclock,
    and since they know there is a risk, they tend to use a sacrificial
    boot drive.

    My suggestion of using memtest86, was intended to reduce the risk.
    When I've upgraded memory here, I've never bothered to use a
    small drive with a fresh install, as a safety precaution. I'll
    remember this for future reference.

    There is mention here, that there is a backup copy of the registry
    on the system.

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;231777

    http://www.techgroup21.com/subpage.asp?subnavID=121

    First thing to do, is make absolutely sure you know what has
    been corrupted, then fire up your favorite search engine to
    find a recipe to fix it. (At this very moment, the Microsoft
    KB search engine appears to be down. Probably won't take them
    long to get it back online again.)

    Paul
     
    Paul, May 11, 2006
    #14
  15. Gary Fritz

    Gary Fritz Guest

    (Paul) wrote:
    > can mean big trouble. This kind of thing happens to people who
    > overclock, and since they know there is a risk, they tend to use a
    > sacrificial boot drive.


    Yeah. I wasn't overclocking and thought I'd verified the memory
    integrity with the memory test, so I wasn't even smart enough to pull a
    registry backup before I did it. ***SIGH***

    > There is mention here, that there is a backup copy of the registry
    > on the system.
    > http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;231777
    > http://www.techgroup21.com/subpage.asp?subnavID=121


    The Microsoft site just tells how to use the Windows tools to build an
    ERD, but the second one is interesting. I think the third error message
    on that page is what my system is printing:
    > Stop: c0000218 {Registry File Failure}
    > The registry cannot load the hive (file):
    > \SystemRoot\System32\Config\SOFTWARE or its log or alternate


    The resolution process on that page assumes you're running XP, but it
    seems to apply to W2k too. I do have a backup of the SYSTEM and SOFTWARE
    hives. It's 9 months old but... ohwelllll....

    Unfortunately the NTFS utilties I've grabbed (including Knoppix 4.0) are
    read-only. I'll have to find a utility that lets me CHANGE an NTFS disk
    so I can try copying the backup SYSTEM or SOFTWARE hive.

    > First thing to do, is make absolutely sure you know what has
    > been corrupted, then fire up your favorite search engine to
    > find a recipe to fix it.


    Ah, but there's the rub. How do I figure out what's been corrupted?
    I've been beating on this almost non-stop all and I still no idea what
    happened or what's corrupted. :-(
     
    Gary Fritz, May 11, 2006
    #15
  16. Gary Fritz

    Gary Fritz Guest

    Gary Fritz <> wrote:
    > Ah, but there's the rub. How do I figure out what's been corrupted?
    > I've been beating on this almost non-stop all and I still no idea what
    > happened or what's corrupted. :-(


    I shot a video of the screen when the bluescreen flashed by, so I was
    able to see what the error was, and that (along with the repair procedure
    you posted) pointed me in the right direction. Turns out my SECURITY and
    SOFTWARE hives were corrupted.

    By restoring the backup copy of those hives in the \winnt\repair
    directory, I was able to boot. (Huzzah!!) But things are fairly screwed
    up because the registry entries are inconsistent. I'm not sure it's a
    good idea to run in this state. So I've done the full recovery step of
    copying ALL the hives from the repair directory. Which basically puts my
    system back to its state right after I installed Windows -- ALL registry-
    based changes are lost. The data is still on my disk, and all programs
    are there, but they mostly don't work because they're not registered.

    But that's probably my best bet. If I was running XP I'd have restore
    points I could restore to, but not in W2k. I'll have to rebuild my
    system from its post-install state. And then I'm gonna back up the
    registry and make an ERD !!!!!

    (I wish I could have run a registry repair tool on my corrupted hives,
    but the only one I can find is the one that runs with the XP setup
    floppies. And that doesn't work even with the registries fixed!)

    Now I'm back to wondering WHY the system crashed in the first place...
    Gary
     
    Gary Fritz, May 11, 2006
    #16
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