[techtalk] Help with hardware woes?

Wood, Mary conmwo at SoftwareAG-USA.com
Thu Mar 8 11:27:41 EST 2001

Putting out a general distress call to see if anyone
else out there has run into a similar problem ... and
was able to do something about it besides convert the
PC into a cat litter box.

I'm working on a Dell Optiplex GX200 running Win2k (no, not
Linux, but I'm reasonably certain this is hardware and not
OS related).  User left PC on when he went to lunch, came 
back to find monitor in power save mode (which it should be).  
But moving mouse/pressing keys on keyboard did not bring up 
video.  He tried powering off PC, but it wouldn't power off 
(being a Dell, he probably didn't hold power button in long 
enough) so he turned off surge strip to cut power to PC.  
Waited a few seconds, powered PC back on, got a pre-POST 
message saying "memory parity failure."  We have since been 
unable to boot machine past this message and address given 
is different each time we get the message.  More often than 
not, attempts to boot result in no video, yellow light on 
monitor as if it's not detecting PC. 

Called Dell yesterday and they took me through the usual 
steps; "disconnect this and test, disconnect that and test, 
disconnect everything but power supply and test.  Dell and
I concurred a new motherboard was the next logical step and
they shipped one to me.

Just put in the new motherboard, testing each time I connected 
something new.  All ok until I hooked up HD and CD-Rom/floppy 
(CD and floppy both on IDE 2 ... it's one of those new super 
floppy jobs).  PC powered up ok, but didn't detect any drives.  
I powered down, pushed cables in to make sure they were secure, 
powered up and it's back to the same problem; memory parity 
error.  Disconnected drives, connect that, disconnect this, same 
problem ... back to square one.

I've also tried switching memory chips (PC uses RIMM; 1 memory
chip and 1 dummy chip).  No effect.

Any ideas?  Ever run into something like this before?

Thanks in advance 

- Mary, the ever growing little PC tech.

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