What do you know, it almost worked. Don’t forget that I had tried to reinstall an operating system, any operating system but had never completed it. Since I had the Red Hat disks handy, I went ahead and installed it. The installation went through but upon reboot I received a “90” repeatedly across the screen before any graphics were displayed. Argh! What is an error “90”? Well, forget that, I grabbed the copy of XP Home I had originally installed and reformatted and installed it. The installation went well, the system booted, I ran critical updates and the ASUS motherboard driver disk and updates to it. So far so good, after all I had not been this far in quite a while. Once again it was well after 11 pm and I needed to get some sleep so with a prayer and sigh of relief I shut down the computer and wander off to get ready for bed.
I had a couple of really big jobs the next day that ran over to the following day so roughly 36 hours later I was able to tackle this beast once again. During the boot procedure all went well and I was able to install my software security suite and update the programs with no issues, hurray the CPU was at fault! I quickly packaged up the CPU back in the box the new one had come in and shipped it off to AMD (this was back on 5/19). When I returned to the office guess what, yep! The system was frozen. What in the world? Remembering that both sticks of RAM were still in the unit, I shut it down and removed the original stick and then fired the system back up.
Well, today is June 2 and not a hint of lockup by the system. I have installed Office 2k, surfed the net, printed files, ran some test software and all is well.
So why the frequent lockups and the prior random lockups? It is my opinion that the RAM is bad at a certain “switch” inside and that caused the random lockups, as long as that part of the memory was not in use there was no issue. The lockups that later occurred during boot had to be the CPU. So I have sent off the RAM for replacement and the CPU but have not heard back from either one at this point.
Our lesson here kids is “some days you get the bull and some days the bull gets you”.