I have seen this happen this happen to several machines lately. Look for these sympthoms as they are an indication of a failing RAM chip, or a bad DIMM socket on the mobo.
- The system freezes up at random times during bootup:
- during POST
- at the Windows logo
- just before login screen
- right after login
- System turns on, and stays on but never even reaches post
Note that read/write memory errors are not on the list here. Those are dead giveaways, and curiously they were not occurring in most of the cases I worked with. If you experience intermittent, but consistent sympthoms like the ones listed above, start pulling out DIMM’s out of your system. Chances are that one of them might be going bad, or that the DIMM socket itself is on the fry.
Once you identify the “bad” DIMM, take all the memory of the system and put a chip that you know to be good into the slot where the bad one was before, set the strictest POST in your BIOS and try to boot it few times. You don’t have to go all the way into windows. You just want to see if it passes through the memory test at the POST. If the sympthoms go away, you are in the clear – it was just a bad DIMM. Get a new one and go on with your life. If they continue, or if you can’t even boot, then you may need to get a new mobo.
[tags]dimm, ram, memory, bad memory, bad dimm, dimm socket, freezing at post, freezing at windows logo, freezing at login, blank screen on boot up[/tags]