system info: using windows XP service pack 2, MachSpeed MSNV-939 NVIDIA Socket 939 ATX Motherboard http://www.machspeed.com/specs/viper/MSNV-939.html , new 1gb ram sticks http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820211014
Hello, and thanks for giving some time to try and help. Yesterday i installed 2 1 gig ram sticks (pc3200) to my existing 2 512mb sticks (pc2700), and everything worked without a hitch. I mention this because it was the only thing i can remember that changed on my computer, hardware/software wise, all day though im am not sure it is the cause of teh problem. Late that night i was playing call of duty 4, and my pc froze. Taking this as a sign that it was time to goto bed, i switched off my pc and did just that. Waking up this morning i switched on my pc everything was fine until it gets to the welcome/login screen. Nothing comes up, its just a pixelated mess (http://img186.imageshack.us/img186/8937/img0001ei0rb4.jpg it didn't always look exactly like this, as I've tried to fix the problem the screen looks different.) The mouse cursor appears, turns into an hourglass sometimes, and i can even move it around for a little, but then it totally freezes.
Thinking it was the ram, i took out the two new sticks, but the same thing still happens. The computer boots into safe mode/safe mode with networking just fine, and that what I'm actually using to type this.
After booting into safe mode i have tried running ad-aware, spybot s&d, and avast anti-virus all of which have come up with nothing. I removed the password to my login, and disabled the welcome screen to no prevail. Then set it up to bypass the welcome screen all together which also did nothing (only thing it changed is when i got to the pixelated screen i couldn't move my mouse at all.) I also tried to system restore, but at restart it brings me back to the same pixelated screen, then i have to restart into safe mode where it tells me my computer has been successfully restored.
after fooling around with all different combinations of the 4 sticks of ram this is what ive got: (note- slot is paired with 2 and 3 is paired with 4)
1)gig sticks in slot 1 and 2 - the pc wont boot. gives error beeps
2)gig sticks in slot 1 and 2 and 512 stick in slot 3 - pc boots into safe mode but only reads 2 gigs of total ram
3)512 sticks in 1 and 2 - pc boots into safe mode and reads 1 gig of total ram
4)512 sticks in 3 and 4 - pc boots into safe mode but only reads 512 of ram
5)gig sticks in 1 and 2 and 512 in 3 and 4 - pc boots into safe mode but only shows 2.5 gigs of ram
all this leads me to believe that something is wrong with my slot 3 on my mobo. Could this be my problem? It's just odd that my computer did boot when i first installed the new ram, I don't know if all the slots were working correctly at the time though. Maybe slot 3 never worked.
Any ideas would be a great help. I've really run out of ideas. Thanks for anything you can give me. Hope i have enough information, but if anybody wants anything more just let me know.