Is my motherboard killing my RAM, or is there another hardware problem with my PC?

Anonymous July 11, 2013
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Hi,

About a year ago I bought a new CPU for my PC (an AMD Phenom 8650 Tri-core). The first few times it turned on only took a little more time than normal. But then it started not to turn on at all, sometimes it would get stuck at the Windows logo, sometimes the screen would show “no signal”.

Turned out it was a RAM problem. I had two sticks for a total 3 GB installed (2GB and 1GB, which were working great for about 3 years) and taking the 1GB out helped and my PC would turn on and work as it used to. The 1GB stick of RAM was dead, my PC wouldn’t turn on with it installed.

After about a month I bought another 1GB card and it had been working fine until yesterday. I’d been away for a week, so the PC hadn’t been turned on for a week as well. When I tried to turn it on, the same problem appeared – booting would stop at the Windows logo. And once again taking out the stick of RAM (1GB, again) helped.

What could this problem refer to? A PSU or MOBO problem? Or maybe something else?

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  1. Tammy
    July 12, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Check the specs on your motherboard. Some have pairing requirements. If you have two slots, both memory sticks must be the same. That might be why there is improvement when you take out the 1GB stick. Try putting in another 2gb stick that is equal to the one you have in there.

  2. Ezekiel S
    July 11, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    its imposible! maybe theres an hardware incompatibility there check it our make sure that the hardware is well ballanced

  3. Oron J
    July 11, 2013 at 11:42 am

    I agree with the other comments here, but also with your thinking. It may well have nothing to do with the RAM this time! Here are a few points to consider:
    1. Enter the BIOS, and check the H/W monitor screen (most BIOSes have this option, although the name may vary). Is something abnormal? Temp. too high? Voltages too far off? This may give you a clue where to look.
    2. The PSU may be just a little short of providing enough power. PSU's are almost unique in a PC in that their performance tapers off very gradually, and it may have reached this point. If you can borrow another PSU (preferably with a higher rating), do so and try it. If not, take the risk and buy a new one.
    3. It could be a thermal problem, most likely with the CPU. I've seen more than one PC where this was the cause of very odd problems, including ones similar to the symptoms you describe. Try removing the heat sink, cleaning it thoroughly and reapplying the thermal paste.

  4. Bruce E
    July 11, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Does your motherboard support the memory layout you are attempting to use? If the board is set up to use memory in banks, the sticks in each bank MUST be matched or you will always run into problems. If you will be using 2 different size DIMMs, they will normally have to be put into different banks. Even if they are going into different banks, you should also make sure that the speed/timings are identical for all DIMMs for the best performance.

  5. Hovsep A
    July 11, 2013 at 8:14 am

    in dual channel RAM specifications should be identical
    perhaps you had a bad luck
    perhaps the ram slot somehow is causing ram premature death

    Test Your Computer’s Memory For Errors with Memtest
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/memtest-awesome-tool-test-computers-memory-errors/

    try to update BIOS

    Intel® Chipset Device Software (INF Update Utility
    https://downloadcenter.intel.com/SearchResult.aspx?lang=eng&ProductFamily=Software+Products&ProductLine=Chipset+Software&ProductProduct=Intel%c2%ae+Chipset+Software+Installation+Utility

  6. Dalsan M
    July 11, 2013 at 2:52 am

    It can't be said as of yet wether it is bad luck or a pattern yet. Check to see if there is any corrosion or dust built up on and in the memory slot. This, along with improperly seated memory sticks can cause this issue. There could be many different reasons why this would occur, ranging from bad memory slot, failing motherboard, improper voltage going into the memory slot, bad memory (especially from a non-reputable company), etc. Without physically taking a look at it and testing the voltage going into the memory slot, it would be a guessing game as to the culprit. More information about the memory used that wound up failing may help (brand, speed, etc.).

  7. Justin Pot
    July 11, 2013 at 2:29 am

    Did the RAM have a warranty? I have to imagine you can get it replaced.

    I'm not sure this is necessarily a pattern, though I can imagine your frustration. But perhaps someone with more experience could fil you in better.

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