Confusing motherboard problem

I just finished ugrading my computer and the strangest thing is happening. My memory will only work in slots 1 and 3 or slots 2 and 4. It will not even start up if I place the memory in slots 1 and 2 or 3 and 4. It also works if I use only one stick in slot 1 or 3. In the slot 1 and 3 or 2 and 4 configuration I get a message telling me that the memory is not optimized. Also my 2 dvd writers are being recognized as ata 33 instead of 66, which they are. I’ve flashed the bios and that didn’t help. I have tried everything I can think of and I am about ready to pull the motherboard out and return it. I haven’t yet because I keep having this nagging feeling that I’m overlooking something or am I deluding myself to the fact that my motherboard is a piece of crap and should return it and get something else.

My new parts are;
Athlon 64 3500+
Gigabyte GA-K8NS Ultra-939
2 - 512 meg ram of DDR 400, manufacturer unknown
BFG 6800 ultra OC w/ 256 meg ram
The rest are recycled from my old computer.
I should note that the vid card has been working for two weeks in my old system.

It should be noted that I am using the system as I write this.

I think the memory thing is a design thing. As I look in the side of my case here my ram is in slots 1 and 3 as well and I have a 939 mb (MSI). I think it has something to do with dual channel support even though I am running single channel here.

As for the dvd writer thing I am not certain what the issue is there.

– Xaroc

I think the memory thing is a design thing. As I look in the side of my case here my ram is in slots 1 and 3 as well and I have a 939 mb (MSI). I think it has something to do with dual channel support even though I am running single channel here.

Thanks for the observation. That kinda confirms why it works in slot 1 and 3, but not in slot 1 and 2 which was how it worked previously.

I still have to figure out why I get the memory not optimized message. If I can get the memory thing figured out I can live with the dvd speed.

This seems to be the answer to your issue. Since your memory is not dual channel it seems the MB thinks it is unoptimized. Dual channel memory is not noticably faster with AMD cpus so you aren’t missing much by not having it.

– Xaroc

As for the DVDs running at ATA33, be sure you are using the right IDE cable for ATA66. It will have many more and smaller “strips” in it compared to a regular ATA cable. The wires in an ATA33 cable compare to those in an ATA66 cable about like a regular #2 pencil lead to a mechanical pencil’s lead (the latter is much slimmer).

You can compare the DVD ribbon cable to your floppy drive’s ribbon cable. If the strips of wire in the cables are about the same width/girth, you’re using an old ATA33 cable on those devices and they won’t work at 66. A mobo I bought recently (for my AMD64 no less) had one old style ATA33 cable in it, but also had two for ATA66+ and everything else, so its worth a look.

The cable to the DVD drives is the correct one. It’s a 80 pin ultra dma cable. My manual tells me that evrything is automatic and I can’t find any way to alter how the motherboard handles the DVD drives. As for my memory problem, when I first start up I get the normal beep then a continuous beep. If I hit reset immediately the continuous beep goes away. I’m going to try and add two more ram sticks of the same type and see if the problem goes away. I doubt that it will solve the problem and I will have to pull the board and take it back and get another. If this is any help the motherboard is based on Nvidia nForce 3 250.