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won't boot; kernel panics; crc error; memory dump -- help?

hey all,

i'm getting a series of very, very strange errors -- and erratic, at

brief background: a couple weeks ago, my computer just went down.
magically.  i posted to this list about it[1], ran a memory test, and
ended up discovering some bulging capacitors on the motherboard.  this
article[2], and many of my friends, said this meant the mobo was bad.
so i got a new one.  also upgraded to DDR while i was at it, and got a
new case & power supply, since the new mobo used J3.

at this point, the only things that are NOT new in the computer are my
two PCI cards (sound & video (which i have both of on-board, but i like
my sound card, dammit)), the two IDE hard drives, and the two IDE cd
drives i have.  hda - d respectively.

but still, it does not work!  more information you say?  when i push the
power button, one of a handful of things happens:

    1. nothing.  it just whirrs, and doesn't even get as far as the

    2. it gets to the BIOS (correctly recognizing the amount of memory,
       and the location of the drives), and hangs.

    3. it gets past the BIOS, starts to load LILO, but then while doing
       so, says:
       crc error
        -- System halted.

    4. it loads Linux using LILO successfully, but then kernel panics,
       saying "improper root= device" or something like that.

    5. it loads Linux using LILO properly, but then dumps pages and
       pages of memory addresses in hex like this [<abcdef09>] on the
       screen, and doesn't stop.

when something like (4) happens, i think to myself, "self, this sounds
like you just have LILO misconfigured somehow.  you should just pop in a
rescue disk like Knoppix, and re-run LILO through a chroot."  so i try
that.  when trying to boot off a Knoppix CD, one of the following
    1. nothing, as above in (1).

    2. it gives me a big blue screen and large console-y characters, and
       says it's starting to load Knoppix, but then, after loading the
       kernel, everything blacks out, and nothing more happens.

basically, i can't boot -- not into my regular hard drive; not into

note that when i took the hard drives into work and tried to boot off it
there, it did just fine.

this is a new motherboard, though -- and i see no bulging capacitors, or
any obvious sign of damage.  i have a warranty on it, but is it the mobo
that's bad?

basically, i'm confused as heck at this point.  what could a possible
culprit be?  as far as i can tell, my hard drive is just fine.  i can't
even run memtest86 on this new memory, as bootable CDs don't so much
work (see "trying to boot into Knoppix," above).  i'm miffed.

any suggestions?



[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-user/2005/01/msg01259.html
[2] http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=195

    .~.      nori @ sccs.swarthmore.edu
    /V\  http://www.sccs.swarthmore.edu/~nori
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