System difficulties, technical info, need insight

bought a system assembled but not programmed right before the holiday vacation… after tremendous difficulties on something that should be an ABC programming job, turns out the daisy chain cables were on backwards, and so we put them right. also, we didn’t receive any program cds for the combo, nor the video. here’s the system:

msi k-7 km4m-v(333) motherboard
amd sempron-a 2400 333mhz cpu
80G seagaste hard drive
512 ddr 333 mhz pc2700 memory
TV 64meg nvidia mx400 tv-out video
cd-rw/dvd-rom combo, lite-on 5232k drive
internal fax modem 56kbps encore/nextdragon
monitor, mouse, keyboard, basic stuff

so, here goes…(this is highly unusual for us to be stumped and are trying to avoid a complete re-format, bios flash, reprogramming just to see if it might work)
we got a motherboard disk, fax talk disk, and biostar vga drivers and utilities disk, just 3 disks. no documentation whatsoever for the combo. the drives are daisy chained like this: hard drive jumpers are master, combo is slave… but the cable is labeled with slave in middle and master on end. the hard drive was plugged into the slave position and the combo at the end where master is labeled, all onto the ulra ata blue slot on the motherboard. we concluded this was backwards after fighting with it.
we try like hell to get the system to work while the distributor is on holiday, and come to the conclusion after putting the cables on right that a program disk or disks are missing. they come back from holiday and say yes come pick up the disks.

so, i go in, pick up two disks they give me, nero for cdrw’s and combo’s oem suite, and powerdvd xp for combos.

install them and hey wer’e almost working, the dvd plays with periodic split-second hesitation, and the system still is getting a not-enough-system resources message erratically. also some kernel32 dll errors, various other rundll errors. we think the refresh rate on the video may be the answer.

we get the impression there’s still something we’re lacking (duh), so i go back in again yesterday, and i get lo and behold documentation for the combo, and more disks, another version of powerdvd not specifically for combos, another motherboard disk which is the same, a vga utilities disk, and another nero disk, and an extra basic hard drive cable. we put the combo on its own ide, and daisy chain a regular cdrom with the hard drive.

worked a couple of times, and then began the blue screens, vxd errors.

at this point we can barely boot, and it goes like this… boots part of the way through the desktop window, then bluescreen with vxd message, at the same point each time. hit a key and keep going, until it gets to incd, and freezes, at which point i ctrl alt delete and end task, and it keeps going, then freezes at registry repair pro, again ctrl alt delete and end task, and it keeps going until it hits power dvd and same thing. then we get a full boot( hopefully, i think that’s what it is). you may also get a smbios driver error, not enough system resources to run this program. then maybe you get to the full desktop.

now, anything besides the internet and email freezes up the machine, then blue screen with a system busy or unstable message. then gotta use a button-restart and start the whole thing over. if you are semi-functioning simply ejecting the drawer gets a blue screen, no matter if manually or through windows explorer. if you get booted and put a dvd in, it’ll play just a little while and freeze up. then onto the blue screen maybe. also suspect the video refresh rate is not working right.

i suspect that the combo should have been loaded properly from its dos based install first and foremost so it can select its dmas. if i know right, it overrides other dmas, and so you want to load it first. we’re afriad the dmas are locked in by the firmware that was loaded before we arrived to this configuration. also afraid the channel on the motherboard is burned out.

os and other programs:
windows me, avast virus protection, quicktime, direct x 9, the usual. there’s also a pesky Vinyl Deck audio program that can’t be deleted or uninstalled, it doesn’t show up in add/remove programs.

if anyone has some definitive insight, i’d appreciate an offlist email seeing as the best i can rely on right now is my email. my email is