cache ram?

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  #1  
Old 10-06-02, 08:53 AM
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cache ram?

What exactly is cache ram? In another post (my defrag question) that problems can show up during game play.

Okay, I noticed that my black screen with the white dots equally spaced vertically and horizontally appeared again after I got through organizing my gifs and jpgs. I had done some serious copy, pasting and moving. Am I correct in assuming that gaming video and gif/jpg are the same thing as far as my video card is concerned? I didn't open each of these gif/jpg just looked at them as I moused over to see which file to put them in.

I went to check my mail, outlook opened okay, but the links on the notifications for posts on this forum didn't have the links as usual, just the url, no ability to link. Closed it out, opened it again and the links were magically there. Linked over, read the posts, closed out outlook and IE and bam. Taskbar started loosing icons, and when I went to the start button to shut down, the graphics had 2 menus showing, one atop the other.

I got to the restart/shut dialog box, clicked on restart and blue screen with unstable system message. Hit key to continue and then...tada...the black screen with dots.

??????? video card? motherboard? arrrrrrrrrggggghhhhhhhhhh.

Kay
 
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Old 10-06-02, 10:49 AM
logjam
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Heh, ya coulda asked me on the same thread Kay, I'm not against recycling.

A cache is a store. Cache RAM is used either to store data retrieved from a (larger) slower source or to hold working data, to avoid putting it in a (larger) slower source. Your hard disk for example is slow compared to physical memory (RAM) and your CPU, therefore every hard disk drive has some cache RAM on it.

The cache RAM I was referring to was on the Motherboard, sitting between the CPU and the main memory (RAM).

"Am I correct in assuming that gaming video and gif/jpg are the same thing as far as my video card is concerned?"

No, not even close. The current generation of computer games will always put much more load on your system than any desktop application you could think of, including viewing still images and even video.

Graphical corruption could be a driver issues, but again you would only exercise your system enough to notice it while playing games (and I don't mean simple ones like Solitaire).

The symptoms you're describing suggest extreme o/s corruption &/or viruses, not hardware issues.

I still suspect foul play here... did you run a virus scan on every single file? How confident are you in that Virus Scanner's abilities? When it comes to something like that, I tend to stick with names I know - Norton and McAfee.
 
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Old 10-06-02, 03:11 PM
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I debated before posting as a new question. Thought it might be easier for others to find answers to more specific questions without having to scroll through my endless chatting in posts .

I found Panda in Pc Magazine. I chose Panda, and going to their site for a free system scan. After reading that Norton and McAffee had caused some problems on other's machines I stayed away simply because I was already having enough problems. Its caught the Kelz virus twice from my email, and another that was on my system.

Did the full virus scan, email, memory... nothing. I probably should put this over in the other post since it seems it is still related to previous problems. I am trying to organize the system so I can do a backup that actually helps me. Then I will reformat the correct way, and then install Win98 again off the restore disk.

I am curious if I maybe damaged something when I allowed the computer to run even though I didn't have the cpu fan yet.

I will pull the desk out tomorrow and check all connections. Who knows what may have jumped loose back there. Its time for its cleanup again anyway. I just did the cleanup on it a week ago, but that was off schedule. This time I will double check the condition of everything and also how well its all seated.

Thanks,

Kay
 
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Old 10-06-02, 06:04 PM
logjam
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Talking

*heh* Not a problem.

I actually went and checked out Panda and they seem to be legit. I was wary just becuse I hadn't heard of them before.

I'm not sure what the circumstances were with those reviews you read, but both Norton and McAfee have been in the business for a long time and while neither is perfect (who is?), both have good reputations.

Hmmm, if the full scan didn't turn up anything, I'm not sure what to suggest.

It could be hardware related, but short of being able to swap spare parts in and out and reproduce the problem on demand, that's really hard to pin down. Do you have another PC?

You know what it might be... If your new Power Supply Unit (PSU) is bad and isn't supplying power consistently or the motherboard was indeed damaged in a subtle way when your previous PSU died, either of those might lock you up with the kind of gargage screen you're seeing.
 
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Old 10-06-02, 06:13 PM
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I just have a notebook (Dell) as my second computer. I like it since its smaller, but I have the burner on this one, plus the cable modem & NIC card on this one, too.

I wonder if my sister in law would let me swap parts? Is that what I need to do? Try their motherboard, or their video card and see if the same thing happens?

Not really sure how all this works. May be simpler than I think since its just something I don't know much about.

Kay
 
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Old 10-06-02, 06:22 PM
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Deal is this... if it is power related and either the PSU or the motherboard is failing to regulate power, there is a risk of damaging other components. (both the ones you have in there now and any other ones you might swap in)

I think you have two choices...

1. Do the reinstall and see if that fixes the problem. If you've tried this at least once already or you're feeling cautious, skip to...

2. Take it to someone you trust - I would ask around for recommendations for a good, local computer store - who's qualified to look at it and tell them your symptoms (including how to recreate if you can), your previous problems and that you suspect either the PSU or the motherboard of being at fault.
 
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Old 10-06-02, 07:09 PM
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I'll get a little more organized on the system, do a backup and then reformat from DOS. I will post when I'm ready to do this.

I have one major question about formatting from DOS. How will the computer read my cd rom drive to reinstall? Does that come from the restore disk being bootable, and will install the necessary drivers first to do the job?

Kay

sorry about they typos, bad grammar in previous posts. i shouldn't even try typing a coherent thought while a child is in the room. very distracting!

k.
 
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Old 10-06-02, 09:36 PM
logjam
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If you have a restore CD as opposed to a straight Windows 9x CD, it should auto-boot but I don't know for sure. Older PCs may not be able to boot from CD, but we're talking 5+ years old (early Pentium/late 486 era).

One thing you can do, to cover yourself is make a boot disk.

- start up explorer
- insert a blank floppy disk into the drive
- right-click on the floppy drive icon (drive a
- select 'format'
- select 'Copy system files only'
- hit [Start]

To test it, leave the floppy in the drive and reboot. The floppy drive should access and bring you to a DOS prompt.

Unfortunately I don't remember for sure if it puts a generic CD-ROM driver in there... I think it does, but worth double-checking. (drive letter for CD will be same as in Windows)
 
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Old 10-06-02, 09:58 PM
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I noticed in the cd rom file on the computer there's a readme. I believe it said something about how to install it from DOS. I will check on that before I begin.

Oh, in my bios, it is listed as the as a boot source: a first, then the cdrom, and then the hard drive. I will double check all of this to cover my tail before I start it. The recover disk is bootable, so that shouldn't be a problem. I have trouble with my floppy disk not working. It never has so I don't rely on it much.

Kay
 
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Old 10-06-02, 10:12 PM
logjam
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Yeah, check the readme file.

That boot sequence is fine. If you have no floppy in, an erased hard drive and a CD in, it will try to boot from the CD.

Back when Pentiums were just taking off (and CD-ROMs hadn't been around that long), computers couldn't boot from CD, but as I say, that was 5+ years ago.

Your floppy drive never worked right??? Sheesh, that's really shoddy build quality.
 
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