Machine won't POST. Where to find new barebones systems?

The 5 year old Athlon that my two toddlers use seems like it is dying. Half the time now it won’t POST and if it does it usually freezes within a few minutes.

I’ve started doing MEMTEST86 runs but so far that doesn’t seem to be telling me anything. I thought I had found that one of the sticks was the problem since after I took out one of the sticks the machine ran MEMTEST for about an hour with no trouble, but this morning the thing is having trouble again.

What else should I be looking at testing?

On a pessimistic note, if I can’t figure out what’s wrong with the system, where is a good place to buy barebones systems that ship with MB and CPU pre-installed? I was looking at but it seems like all their barebones systems don’t have the CPU preinstalled. I really don’t feel like installing the CPU if I can avoid it…it always makes me nervous.

Hmmm…define barebones then. you just want the MB/CPU combo and you will add the rest? used to do the barebones thing with CPU installation. Try there.

Also… I haven’t bought from them in awhile, but I put together like six or seven systems using parts purchased there and never had a problem.

Yeah I always thought barebones meant mobo+cpu+case+ps but it looks like more people tend to define it as mobo+case+ps.

My thing is I don’t really enjoy having to install CPUs…makes me nervous.

Tigerdirect also does the barebones thing.


I’m cautiously optimistic. I have three sticks in this box…one no-name 256mb DDR 266 stick that came with it five years ago, one Crucial 256mb DDR 266 stick that I got a few years ago, and a Crucial 256mb DDR 333 stick that I got last year.

My first two tests I removed the two crucial sticks and left the no-name stick (the PC eventually crashed on each test).

The third test I put back in the DDR 333 stick since it’s the newest one and the PC ran Memtest for about an hour and the kids used it for about an hour without any trouble. I’m really hoping it’s that third no-name stick that’s the problem.

The problem could be that the RAM sticks don’t like eachother. Fiddling
with timings in the BIOS (good luck!) can fix it. Maybe.

Barebones: It’s usually defined as no CPU and no RAM over here. This MAY
include graphics if it’s integrated, but I’ve seen some do custom systems based
on barebones. But it’s typically a box to plug RAM, CPU and GPU into.