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Man from Milky Way

PC won't boot when RAM sticks are inserted into alternate slots. All help is appreciated!

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Posted · Original PosterOP

First, specs:

 

RAM
Manufacturer: Corsair
Model: CML8GX3M2A1600C9
Capacity: 8 GB (2x4 GB)
Frequency: 1600 MHz


Motherboard
Manufacturer: Asus
Model:  P8Z77-V LX
DIMM Qualified Vendor List: link (it contains my RAM model but it lists it as 4 GB instead of what I'm guessing would be better: 2x4 GB but this might be irrelevant)
Manual: link


CPU
Manufacturer: Intel
Model: i5 3450
Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type): 32 GB
Memory Types: DDR3 1333/1600
Max # of Memory Channels: 2
Max Memory Bandwidth: 25.6 GB/s

 

Problem: My PC won't boot when my two memory sticks are inserted into DIMM_A1 and DIMM_A3, or DIMM_A2 and DIMM_A4 for that matter. The PC itself lights up, the device I have connected to a USB A outlet in the front lights up, but none of the devices connected to the back of the box do.

 

Background: I have been using 2x4 GB RAM. I noticed two days ago that I had them set up incorrectly with the sticks next to each other (in slots DIMM_A1 and DIMM_A2) which led to terrible memory performance when measured in UserBenchMark. I do believe they were recognized as 8 GB in total by the PC however (I can double check this if it is relevant). I chose to rearrange the sticks by turning off the PC, unplugging, and then inserting them in DIMM_A2 and DIMM_B2, as this is how I interpreted the instructions in the motherboard's manual. I plugged in the power supply and turned everything on but the PC wouldn't boot. It wouldn't boot with only one stick in DIMM_A2 either IIRC when I rearranged the RAM using the same method. I then inserted the sticks in slots DIMM_A1 and DIMM_A3. Again, didn't boot. I now decided to use a button on the motherboard called "memOK!" which is mentioned in the motherboard's manual. Its purpose is to initiate a series of tests with different BIOS memory configs until successful boot, a nifty function that got my hopes up for a moment, but yet again, no dice. Last test was to use only one stick in DIMM_A1, which did result in a boot. In addition, I got improved (RELATIVE) memory performance in UserBenchMark. Unfortunately, of course, now I have only 4 GB of RAM instead of 8 GB.

 

Possible solutions I have not tried because of potential hassle that I can think of:
- Update BIOS (I have the fourth latest version. I need to find a USB flash drive somewhere)
- Reset CMOS (the battery is under a heatsink and some hassle to reseat. The jumper however is easier to test)

 

All help is appreciated! Please ask for more information if I missed something relevant.

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Pretty sure it's A1 and A2


Ryzen 5 1500X (2.8GHz@0.8875V) === ASRock B450 Gaming ITX/AC === 24GB DDR4 === Sapphire RX 570 4GB === Optane 800P 58GB === Patriot Burst 240GB === Toshiba Q300 240GB === beQuiet SFX Power 2 400W === Silverstone ML08B

Spoiler

OK, i'm not even gonna build this, but is this a good workstation?

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD Athlon X4 860K 3.7GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($72.99 @ Amazon) 
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler  ($168.99 @ Amazon) 
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-D3H Micro ATX FM2+ Motherboard  ($62.99 @ NCIX US) 
Memory: Samsung 32GB (1 x 32GB) DDR3-1866 Memory  ($256.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Storage: Hitachi Ultrastar He8 8TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($479.99 @ Amazon) 
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 960 2GB SuperSC ACX 2.0+ Video Card  ($179.99 @ NCIX US) 
Case: Lian-Li PC-V2130WX ATX Full Tower Case  ($499.99 @ Newegg) 
Power Supply: EVGA 430W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply  ($23.98 @ Newegg) 
Total: $1745.91
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-02-09 12:48 EST-0500

 

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So if I understand correctly your PC won't boot if you put your RAM in dual channel mode! correct me if Im wrong!

I had a similar issue before (also Asus motherboard, Rog 7 Ranger) but before, can you check and try only one stick of memory in each slot one by one and see if it boots? so you can check if one of the slots is faulty.
If it boots and you get a display in all four slots with one stick, then hopefully your slots are fine.

A1 and A2 is what you used to run them in right? and when you use either A1+A3 or A2+A4 which is dual channel it doesn't work right!?
When I had this issue before I contacted Asus support and somehow they didn't help with a thing but I found a thread in their forums that instructed me to insert only one stick into the first slot A1, boot the PC and reset the bios to its default, shut down, insert the second stick in the third slot A3/B1 and that did it for me. For a while at least, after a month or so the same issue appeared even tho I didn't change the configuration and the same trick didn't work, after more hassling what fixed it for me was removing the cooler and the CPU and remounting it, according to another forum a badly seated CPU or bad contact for some pins might lead to some weird behaviors in the memory controller, I didn't understand how it helped as Im quite careful when I clean my PC but it helped nonetheless.

Thought Id explain my case. So what you'd want to try first is resetting the BIOS, you can try booting with one stick and resetting it from the menus if it doesn't help then you might need to jump/remove the cmos battery.
If it doesn't help you can try re seating the CPU.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
11 minutes ago, NunoLava1998 said:

Pretty sure it's A1 and A2

Thank you! So is the instructions from the manual just really misleading? (In attached picture) It's even color coded in pairs :(

 

Also, sorry to bother, but do you have any suggestion as to why my memory performance sucked with two sticks and was very good with just one?

https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/17362559  (two sticks in A1 and A2, respectively)

https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/17341862 (one stick in A1)

 

Thank you again!

Screenshot (2).png

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Just now, Man from Milky Way said:

Thank you! So is the instructions from the manual just really misleading? (In attached picture) It's even color coded in pairs :(

 

Also, sorry to bother, but do you have any suggestion as to why my memory performance sucked with two sticks and was very good with just one?

https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/17362559  (two sticks in A1 and A2, respectively)

https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/17341862 (one stick in A1)

 

Thank you again!

Screenshot (2).png

No idea 


Ryzen 5 1500X (2.8GHz@0.8875V) === ASRock B450 Gaming ITX/AC === 24GB DDR4 === Sapphire RX 570 4GB === Optane 800P 58GB === Patriot Burst 240GB === Toshiba Q300 240GB === beQuiet SFX Power 2 400W === Silverstone ML08B

Spoiler

OK, i'm not even gonna build this, but is this a good workstation?

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD Athlon X4 860K 3.7GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($72.99 @ Amazon) 
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler  ($168.99 @ Amazon) 
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-D3H Micro ATX FM2+ Motherboard  ($62.99 @ NCIX US) 
Memory: Samsung 32GB (1 x 32GB) DDR3-1866 Memory  ($256.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Storage: Hitachi Ultrastar He8 8TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($479.99 @ Amazon) 
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 960 2GB SuperSC ACX 2.0+ Video Card  ($179.99 @ NCIX US) 
Case: Lian-Li PC-V2130WX ATX Full Tower Case  ($499.99 @ Newegg) 
Power Supply: EVGA 430W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply  ($23.98 @ Newegg) 
Total: $1745.91
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-02-09 12:48 EST-0500

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, Salazar said:

So if I understand correctly your PC won't boot if you put your RAM in dual channel mode! correct me if Im wrong!

I had a similar issue before (also Asus motherboard, Rog 7 Ranger) but before, can you check and try only one stick of memory in each slot one by one and see if it boots? so you can check if one of the slots is faulty.
If it boots and you get a display in all four slots with one stick, then hopefully your slots are fine.

A1 and A2 is what you used to run them in right? and when you use either A1+A3 or A2+A4 which is dual channel it doesn't work right!?
When I had this issue before I contacted Asus support and somehow they didn't help with a thing but I found a thread in their forums that instructed me to insert only one stick into the first slot A1, boot the PC and reset the bios to its default, shut down, insert the second stick in the third slot A3/B1 and that did it for me. For a while at least, after a month or so the same issue appeared even tho I didn't change the configuration and the same trick didn't work, after more hassling what fixed it for me was removing the cooler and the CPU and remounting it, according to another forum a badly seated CPU or bad contact for some pins might lead to some weird behaviors in the memory controller, I didn't understand how it helped as Im quite careful when I clean my PC but it helped nonetheless.

Though Id explain my case. So what you'd want to try first is resetting the BIOS, you can try booting with one stick and resetting it from the menus if it doesn't help then you might need to jump/remove the cmos battery.
If it doesn't help you can try re seating the CPU.

You've understood 100% correctly! I will try your suggestions! Thank you!!

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2 minutes ago, Salazar said:

So if I understand correctly your PC won't boot if you put your RAM in dual channel mode! correct me if Im wrong!

I had a similar issue before (also Asus motherboard, Rog 7 Ranger) but before, can you check and try only one stick of memory in each slot one by one and see if it boots? so you can check if one of the slots is faulty.
If it boots and you get a display in all four slots with one stick, then hopefully your slots are fine.

A1 and A2 is what you used to run them in right? and when you use either A1+A3 or A2+A4 which is dual channel it doesn't work right!?
When I had this issue before I contacted Asus support and somehow they didn't help with a thing but I found a thread in their forums that instructed me to insert only one stick into the first slot A1, boot the PC and reset the bios to its default, shut down, insert the second stick in the third slot A3/B1 and that did it for me. For a while at least, after a month or so the same issue appeared even tho I didn't change the configuration and the same trick didn't work, after more hassling what fixed it for me was removing the cooler and the CPU and remounting it, according to another forum a badly seated CPU or bad contact for some pins might lead to some weird behaviors in the memory controller, I didn't understand how it helped as Im quite careful when I clean my PC but it helped nonetheless.

Though Id explain my case. So what you'd want to try first is resetting the BIOS, you can try booting with one stick and resetting it from the menus if it doesn't help then you might need to jump/remove the cmos battery.
If it doesn't help you can try re seating the CPU.

I second the CPU re-seating idea. After checking all the RAM slots individually of course. In my experience, badly seated CPUs tend to be the biggest problem. Even if the CPU seems like it's fine. Check the pins in the socket at the same time to make sure nothing in bent.

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9 minutes ago, Man from Milky Way said:

You've understood 100% correctly! I will try your suggestions! Thank you!!

The guide is correct by the way, A1+B1/A3 and A2+B2/A4 is the correct configuration for dual channel, some motherboards won't work at all if you try a different config. But it seems you have a problem somehow and you only have to test.

So you don't waste lots of time testing, start with the small changes, check the slots, reset the BIOS, if nothing works dismount the cooler and remove the CPU, check the pins and CPU, consider cleaning as well as dust might do a thing idk, and hopefully you'll get somewhere. 

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4 hours ago, Salazar said:

The guide is correct by the way, A1+B1/A3 and A2+B2/A4 is the correct configuration for dual channel, some motherboards won't work at all if you try a different config. But it seems you have a problem somehow and you only have to test.

So you don't waste lots of time testing, start with the small changes, check the slots, reset the BIOS, if nothing works dismount the cooler and remove the CPU, check the pins and CPU, consider cleaning as well as dust might do a thing idk, and hopefully you'll get somewhere. 

What comes to mind is the seating of the RAM modules. Since A2 probably was already seated correctly, they should get some compressed air and blow out any dust from B2 and then make sure it goes all the way down and clicks into place.

 

From past experiences, the reason why a memory module doesn't show up is mostly because the RAM was inserted when the machine wasn't laying down, so it's difficult to put enough insertion force on the memory module while it's in the tower position, so the clips might close, but it's not actually clicked into place.

 

Another possibility, only if the modules were purchased separately, is that the system can't tell what the settings are in dual channel mode. This is typically why you buy RAM in paired modules to begin with. But if this is the case, then I'd have concerns about the quality of the RAM.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hello again! Thank you all for the additional help!

 

I have been out of the country and busy for a few days but I've managed to try these things:

- reset BIOS via the motherboard jumper,

- clean the dimm slots with an air compressor,

- update BIOS to the latest version,

- remove and re-insert CPU, and

- ensure that the RAM was properly and firmly inserted.

None of these measures have solved my problem; if I insert a module B1 or B2, my PC won't boot.

 

Is there anything else I can try?

 

P.S. I'm fairly certain the modules were purchased in one package, not separately.

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