Vista Wouldn’t Boot After Upgrading Memory…

Well, it’s been a while since I wrote in this blog! Sorry about that, but sometimes, I get busy – just like everybody else – and this month has been no exception – what with college and all, I hardly have time for sleep!

Anyway, today, I ran into a real headache trying to install additional RAM in my system. I purchased two 1x Gig modules to upgrade my system to 2GB of RAM, replacing the 2x 512 MB RAM Chips I had in it.

Well, with all things computer, and also all things Vista, I ran into problems as soon as I got done installing the new RAM chips…

After installing the chips, I started a reboot, and what do you know, the system wouldn’t boot… “Well, that’s great!” I thought, “maybe I got a bad RAM Chip or two…” Hmm… And I didn’t have my Vista disk on hand to see if I could fix the system that way, because I was at work.

Well, I booted into safe mode, and had no problems. So then I shut down and tried to reboot into normal mode. No dice. Maybe it was a bad RAM chip.

So, I rebooted into safe mode, and then brought up the start menu and typed in “mdsched” in the search bar and hit enter.

Here’s what it looks like when you do this:

Vista memory diagnostics window

When prompted, I selected “Restart now and Check for problems”. The system restarted and began to test the memory.

Vista Memroy Diagnostics Tool on reboot
When this screen came up, I hit the F1 key to see the options, and changed the scan to “Extended”. Then I sat back and about 30 minutes later, I had my results – “No errors detected”. Well, it certainly appears like the memory is fine. On to the next thing. By this time, it was time to go home – so, I packed up my system, and headed home.

As soon as I got in the door, I set up the system, and tried a reboot. Nothing – then, I noticed the wireless network light and button were not working – normally during boot, the light comes on, indicating that the wireless network card is working properly. Not this time.

So I went and swapped out the new RAM for the old RAM, and sure enough, the system booted up fine, and the wireless network light was on, and I had connectivity. So, I shut down again, swapped the old out for the new again, and rebooted again. Again, there was NO wireless network light. “AH HA! – It might be a driver conflict with the new RAM!”. I rebooted into safe mode, and deleted the drivers for the wireless network card and then I rebooted into normal mode.

The system booted perfectly, and then stated that it had found new hardware (that would be the wireless network card). As I had not connected to my network using cable, I went ahead, plugged it in, and had Vista search for the drivers. No dice – I was connected to the internet, but Vista apparently didn’t have drivers for this wireless card.

Well, because this system is an older HP pavillion zd7000, I went and checked my download folder where I keep all my drivers, and sure enough, there was the driver software. I tried installing it, but it didn’t seem to work – as a matter of fact, the install hung at 27% and wouldn’t budge from there.

So, I brought up the task manager, killed the install program, and then went to the device manager to try and install it that way.

Once in the device manager, I found the Network card (indicated by an “exclamation” as having a problem), and then right clicked it and selected properties.

I then selected “Install drivers” and then selected “Browse my computer for driver software”. I browsed to where the driver software was located (the one that failed earlier). The drivers were there, and five minutes later, they were all installed.

Just one more thing to do: Reboot, and MAKE SURE that the driver re-install had indeed fixed my boot problem. It did! :)

I was once again up and running, with my wireless network card connecting to my LAN and the internet, and thus, allowing me to write another interesting (to me anyway) post in my blog!

Anyway, if you decide to upgrade your memory, be aware that there might be problems, even with something as simple as that… And always start looking for what is not working that should be working normally – besides the obvious!

Of course, some of you are wondering, would this have happened with Windows XP? Maybe. I don’t know. I suspect it might have, but there’s no guarantee. If you have an HP Pavillion zd7000, running Windows XP, and you use a broadcom 43xx b/g network card or similar, and you upgrade you memory, let me know how it goes! I’d certainly be interested.

Take care!

Blackwolf

[tags]Windows Vista, Memory, Will not boot, errors, wireless network, upgrading, RAM, blackwolf[/tags]