Pretty sure the RAM started the problem when I added in the other pair. Either that or the CD drive but I doubt that could cause this problem.
My motherboard is gigabyte ep35-ds3p
CM2X1024-6400C4DHX - info from cpu-z
CM2X2048-6400C5 - info from ram label
I just run memtest with all the sticks in for about 3-4 passes. There were no errors.
The whole concept of adding one item at a time, is to determine with certainty, which component is causing the problem.
You can theorize 'till the cows come home and not get results, whereas you have the knowledge and the capacity to systematically determine which thing causes the problem, and then you can either fix it, change it or just throw it away, depending on its importance.
To revise, you start with the bare naked puter that boots properly, then add one device, try to boot up, and repeat the operation until the slow boot happens, and then you'll know that the last item added in to the mix, is the culprit.
Which memtest did you use, and which OTHER memtest did you use? Try MemTest86 (not 86+ for that machine) AND Gold Memory 5.07 (not 6.92). Even the best diagnostic misses some errors, and one person never saw a failure with MemTest86/86+ while Gold Memory found an error in under 2 hours (but took another 9 hours to find it again).
If you can, borrow some known good memory, meaning something with the part numbers of chip manufacturers (Samsung, Micron, Hynix, etc.) clearly visible on them because that's the surest, fastest way to rule out memory problems. Several years ago, when DDR2 prices hit bottom, 5 people I know who bought Corsair XMS DDR2 received bad modules, and I went through 3 pairs of them before giving up.
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