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New RAM installation rendered my PC inoperable - Perplexed

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  • New RAM installation rendered my PC inoperable - Perplexed

    I built a system a couple of months ago and it worked from the start and with scores of hours of gaming it hasn't given me the slightest problem. It was my second build so I'm certainly not an expert. I decided to change the memory modules from 4 1GB Kingston 1.8V 800Mhz to 2 2GB Corsair XMS 1066Mhz modules requiring 2.1V. This is approved QVL memory for my GA-EP45-DS3L. It was on sale and I was just plain curious what would happen.

    Idly thinking this would be simple upgrade I shut the power off to the computer, grounded myself, removed the 4 sticks and installed the 2 new sticks. Thinking on startup I'd enter BIOS and set the voltage and timing if the AUTO setting didn't take of this in the first place.

    I was surprised when on first power up a message on the screen showed "recovering BIOS from the HD". A series of dots flowed across the screen and they stopped after about 10. Then it stopped responding. I waited patiently for 20 minutes and nothing happened. I shut the computer down by switching off the power switch and then attempted a restart. Nothing now on the screen. A series of long beeps started - 9 or 10 followed by a reboot. This cycle continued many times until I shut down the system.

    The MB manual says this means a DRAM error. I carefully checked the installation, reseating the sticks and repeated a startup. Nothing except beeps.

    I removed 1 stick and tried a startup with it. Same. I tried the other stick. Same.

    Hmmmm...I tried a CMOS reset. Same.

    I put back in 1 of the original sticks. Same.

    I tried one stick in each of the 4 slots. Same.

    I removed the CMOS battery and waited 30 minutes, then repeated the memory test. Same.

    I noticed that all fans are spinning each time it powers on.

    So I'm stumped. What could I have done to render my computer inoperative by just installing those two sticks?

    And why can't it recover to a default BIOS. The board advertises 2 BIOS chips supposedly a primary and a backup. The backup should have been accessed if the primary was corrupted?

    Not knowing what to do next I've ordered another MB and guess I'll have to rebuild my machine.

    If anyone has some insight to what could have gone wrong and something I could try to get a recovery I appreciate your comments.

    Thankyou.

    My System basics - everything stock:

    nVidia 280GTX
    Intel Q9550
    Gigabyte EP45-DS3L
    Windows XP SP3
    Kingston standard 800Mhz 4GB
    VelociRaptor 300GB
    PC Power & Cooling 750watt
    sigpic

  • #2
    Re: New RAM installation rendered my PC inoperable - Perplexed

    Originally posted by Nagin View Post
    I built a system a couple of months ago and it worked from the start and with scores of hours of gaming it hasn't given me the slightest problem. It was my second build so I'm certainly not an expert. I decided to change the memory modules from 4 1GB Kingston 1.8V 800Mhz to 2 2GB Corsair XMS 1066Mhz modules requiring 2.1V. This is approved QVL memory for my GA-EP45-DS3L. It was on sale and I was just plain curious what would happen.

    Idly thinking this would be simple upgrade I shut the power off to the computer, grounded myself, removed the 4 sticks and installed the 2 new sticks. Thinking on startup I'd enter BIOS and set the voltage and timing if the AUTO setting didn't take of this in the first place.

    I was surprised when on first power up a message on the screen showed "recovering BIOS from the HD". A series of dots flowed across the screen and they stopped after about 10. Then it stopped responding. I waited patiently for 20 minutes and nothing happened. I shut the computer down by switching off the power switch and then attempted a restart. Nothing now on the screen. A series of long beeps started - 9 or 10 followed by a reboot. This cycle continued many times until I shut down the system.

    The MB manual says this means a DRAM error. I carefully checked the installation, reseating the sticks and repeated a startup. Nothing except beeps.

    I removed 1 stick and tried a startup with it. Same. I tried the other stick. Same.

    Hmmmm...I tried a CMOS reset. Same.

    I put back in 1 of the original sticks. Same.

    I tried one stick in each of the 4 slots. Same.

    I removed the CMOS battery and waited 30 minutes, then repeated the memory test. Same.

    I noticed that all fans are spinning each time it powers on.

    So I'm stumped. What could I have done to render my computer inoperative by just installing those two sticks?

    And why can't it recover to a default BIOS. The board advertises 2 BIOS chips supposedly a primary and a backup. The backup should have been accessed if the primary was corrupted?

    Not knowing what to do next I've ordered another MB and guess I'll have to rebuild my machine.

    If anyone has some insight to what could have gone wrong and something I could try to get a recovery I appreciate your comments.

    Thankyou.

    My System basics - everything stock:

    nVidia 280GTX
    Intel Q9550
    Gigabyte EP45-DS3L
    Windows XP SP3
    Kingston standard 800Mhz 4GB
    VelociRaptor 300GB
    PC Power & Cooling 750watt
    Did you set DRAM voltage to 2.1v and input in the memory timings for the DDR2 1066 RAM into BIOS?

    If that isn't working, try lowering the RAM's effective clock speed to 800 mhz, lower the voltage to 1.8v, and set the correct timings to see if you can get your system to boot stably.

    The problem with 1066 RAM in a lot of DDR2 1066 boards is that they don't run stable at the given speed, voltage, and timings.
    |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
    TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
    Former 9th & 13th

    Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
    Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





    SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

    TG Primer and Rules

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: New RAM installation rendered my PC inoperable - Perplexed

      Did you set DRAM voltage to 2.1v and input in the memory timings for the DDR2 1066 RAM into BIOS?

      If that isn't working, try lowering the RAM's effective clock speed to 800 mhz, lower the voltage to 1.8v, and set the correct timings to see if you can get your system to boot stably.

      The problem with 1066 RAM in a lot of DDR2 1066 boards is that they don't run stable at the given speed, voltage, and timings
      That is what I would like to try; however, the computer will not past POST - I cannot get into the BIOS even after putting in the original memory sticks.
      sigpic

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: New RAM installation rendered my PC inoperable - Perplexed

        To find out if your computer is hosed, take the ram out entirely and try to boot up with a boot disk into a command prompt. You should at least get to the command prompt. At least that's what you used to be able to do with older computers. I'm not so sure about now. Back in the day, it'd run off the base cache and didn't NEED ram to start. That way, I could at least rule out if it was the ram or not.

        From there, I'd check the contacts on the ram, and use compressed air to blow out any possible dust in the memory slots. Then re-seat the ram. I've had dirty contacts cause problems before. Sometimes from dust. Sometimes from oxidation. If there is ANY oxidation on the contacts, you can clean it off with a cotton swab and alcohol. Being that it's brand new, though, that's probably not the case. Just throwing out all my suggestions. Good luck.
        "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: New RAM installation rendered my PC inoperable - Perplexed

          Originally posted by Nagin View Post
          That is what I would like to try; however, the computer will not past POST - I cannot get into the BIOS even after putting in the original memory sticks.
          Okay, here's the problem I see:

          Since installing the new sticks, your system's board has stored the SPD settings read from the new sticks so when you insert the old ones, it either doesn't refresh those settings with the old RAM or just isn't reading the settings from the old RAM.

          1) Remove all RAM from their sockets.

          2) Clear your CMOS (either remove the button cell battery or short the proper pins with a jumper - see mobo manual for the proper pins and their location).

          3) After you've cleared your CMOS, insert your old RAM and proceed to boot up the machine.

          4) Once it's on, go into BIOS. Set DRAM voltage to 2.1v and whatever timings you need for your new RAM.

          5) Then save the settings and shut down the PC. Pull out the old RAM and insert the new one.

          6) Start back up your rig, go back into BIOS and make sure your settings are correct.
          |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
          TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
          Former 9th & 13th

          Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
          Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





          SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

          TG Primer and Rules

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: New RAM installation rendered my PC inoperable - Perplexed

            New MB arrived by FedEx at 730pm last nite. It was supposed to have been here by 1030am. The "backup" FedEx driver blamed the delay on Xmas, sure...

            I had dismantled the system the previous nite. This morning I removed the CPU fan assembly, used Arctic Silver Cleaning kit to remove the heat transfer compound and prepared the surface of the CPU and heatsink ready for Arctic Silver 5 application. First time for me and I was concerned about disturbing the bonding connection between the two and getting a reestablished connection.

            Installed the MB. It was the same version as my previous one. Installed all the stuff, including the original memory sticks and fired her up.....really, really nervous at this time.

            It passed the POST first time and to my complete amazement booted into Windows with no error messages or other glitches. I looked over the device manager for driver issues and didn't see any.

            Went back into BIOS and looked over the settings. This was version 8, pretty up to date as only a version 9 exists on the Gigabyte site. CPU multiplier was correctly set and the memory settings were correct. I reset the boot order to have harddrive first and CD/DVD second. Other than that everything seems to working.

            Watched the EasyTune6 Hardware monitor for awhile....CPU is idling at 29C at 1350rpm CPU fan speed. GPU is steady at 52C.

            Ran a 3DMark06 graphics test and got 15228. Just about the same as I was getting before.

            I am amazed. I really though I was in for days of OS clean install, getting device drivers working followed by software loading.

            In hindsight I'm convinced installing that other memory caused something to go wrong with the BIOS. Oh well, that is the chance you take screwing around with these things. I'm not trying that experiment again with this board.

            Now, of course, we will see if the system stays stable during some hours of gaming stress....crossing my fingers.
            sigpic

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: New RAM installation rendered my PC inoperable - Perplexed

              Yep something shorted in your hardware and cleared your bios. The bios recovery systems advertised by the motherboard companies are not end all fail safes. Sucks that happened.
              |TG-12th| Namebot

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: New RAM installation rendered my PC inoperable - Perplexed

                To me, it sounds like the new RAM killed the old mobo. Why? Could be the new ram had some pins shorted. Could be you mis-installed it. Could be you zapped it with static (I read that you grounded yourself, but unless you wore a strap, it could have happened). Could be you brushed against a chip with a cold solder joint and it snapped. Often times, a part is near breaking before you open the case. Fiddling around near it is enough to push it over the edge. Your PC goes through drastic temperature changes (unless you leave it on all the time). The repeated thermal shock is enough to cause damage.

                Bottom line is, do not open you PC unless you're ready to accept the chance of your PC breaking. You can take all the precautions you want, but there's always a small chance you'll screw things up.

                FYI, I work with electronics. Stuff breaks. More often then not, it's not worth investigating what happened. You find out what part broke, you replace it, and you move on. Which is exactly what you did.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: New RAM installation rendered my PC inoperable - Perplexed

                  Originally posted by BleedingKnee
                  Could be you mis-installed it.
                  He would probably snap the module in two or break the DIMM slot on the mobo if he tried to insert it the wrong way and force it down. Probably walk away with a few cut fingers too.
                  |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                  TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                  Former 9th & 13th

                  Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                  Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                  SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                  TG Primer and Rules

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: New RAM installation rendered my PC inoperable - Perplexed

                    Three days into my rebuild computer and all is running normally after many hours of gaming. The Arctic Silver literature says expect it to take about 200 hours for the compound to stabilize the connection between the fan heatsink and CPU.

                    Keeping an eye on the CPU temperature....idle at 27-30C with a room temperature of 75-78F. After several hours of Warhammer which uses 30%ish of the CPU I see CPU temperature stable at 45-47C with CPU fan running at 1500rpm.

                    Nope, I didn't cut my fingers inserting the modules incorrectly, but you certainly could I bet.

                    Now back to the gaming....:icon14:
                    sigpic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: New RAM installation rendered my PC inoperable - Perplexed

                      Originally posted by Nagin View Post
                      Three days into my rebuild computer and all is running normally after many hours of gaming. The Arctic Silver literature says expect it to take about 200 hours for the compound to stabilize the connection between the fan heatsink and CPU.

                      Keeping an eye on the CPU temperature....idle at 27-30C with a room temperature of 75-78F. After several hours of Warhammer which uses 30%ish of the CPU I see CPU temperature stable at 45-47C with CPU fan running at 1500rpm.

                      Nope, I didn't cut my fingers inserting the modules incorrectly, but you certainly could I bet.

                      Now back to the gaming....:icon14:
                      Great to hear. Would hate for you to have no gaming during this snowy holiday season. :p

                      As a aside, I've cut my thumb once during a RAM install. The mobo sockets were extremely tight (would even say poorly molded). Almost snapped the little plastic lever that holds the modules in place.
                      |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                      TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                      Former 9th & 13th

                      Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                      Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                      SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                      TG Primer and Rules

                      Comment

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