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Screwed my friend's PC trying to reseat RAM, suspected motherboard or RAM problem

Peyton
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I've posted this a lot of places trying to find answers but in the end I'm still not sure how to go about fixing this problem I've made for myself.

 

My friend was having some problems with RAM usage, showing 4 gigs being used but having 8 gigs installed. He opens his PC and I agree to take a look. I whip out the anti-static wristband and attach it to a metal part of the case and decide the first thing I'm gonna do is reseat his RAM and see if that helps anything. I THOUGHT I insterted both modules properly, I heard both of the mechanisms click, so we turn on the PC and it doesn't even post. It turns on, all fans start running, lights on his motherboard and in his fans turn on, it runs for about 20 seconds without posting and then restarts in this loop. I take out the RAM and reinsert it to see if maybe I messed up there, but I'm pretty sure the damage was already done, whatever it was (still not sure). No post.

 

I've read that bad modules can result in a rig not posting, and I also read that misaligned or wrongly inserted RAM can kill the modules, so I'm thinking it might be the RAM that's the issue. But I don't think I would have misinsterted BOTH modules, and since we've tried both sticks in each port, could it be a motherboard issue?

 

Here's a list of things we've tried:

  • Both orientations of the modules in the two slots he has
  • Cleaning the contacts of the modules
  • One module
  • His monitor on my PC to make sure it works - it does
  • My monitor on his PC - no post

 

I can get his specs if needed. I know he had it bought from BestBuy three years ago and it's been running fine besides that RAM problem that prompted us to open the computer in the first place.

 

Thanks for any help guys. This sucks.

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Just now, airspir said:

RMA the ram & the mobo

RMA won't work if the board/RAM got fried by user error.

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Try using different ram sticks, reset cmos, if it still doesn't work with different ram sticks, mobo is dead

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Just now, airspir said:

Try using different ram sticks, reset cmos, if it still doesn't work with different ram sticks, mobo is dead

If it's a motherboard issue, would trying with different ram sticks damage the new ram?

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8 minutes ago, airspir said:

Did you think about bad power supply? That may kill your ram.

I don't think it's the power supply, he got it prebuilt from bestbuy and it's run fine for 3 years. We didn't tamper with it either. I'll put that in the post.

 

Thanks for your feedback so far though ?

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Just now, Peyton said:

I don't think it's the power supply, he got it prebuilt from bestbuy and it's run fine for 3 years. We didn't tamper with it either. I'll put that in the post.

 

Thanks for your feedback so far though ?

It can really be a psu problem. Which psu is it? Specs? Model?

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If you have another PC that does the RAM, I would get those sticks put them in another PC, then run memtest x86 on them. Else you might need to try reseating the RAM / CPU a few times. When I first got my motherboard I thought it was DOA until I reseated the ram like 3 times, and now it works just fine.

 

Else try a BIOS reset / check for updates. Could be the motherboard, RAM or CPU. Also your friend didn't happen to have 32 bit windows installed right?

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3 minutes ago, scottyseng said:

If you have another PC that does the RAM, I would get those sticks put them in another PC, then run memtest x86 on them. Else you might need to try reseating the RAM / CPU a few times. When I first got my motherboard I thought it was DOA until I reseated the ram like 3 times, and now it works just fine.

 

Else try a BIOS reset / check for updates. Could be the motherboard, RAM or CPU. Also your friend didn't happen to have 32 bit windows installed right?

If the sticks are bad would they damage another motherboard if I put them in? I'm just trying my best not to end up with 2 screwed PCs. I've reseated the RAM so many times at this point ? nothing's worked.

Not entirely sure if he has 32 bit windows, he doesn't know and we're desperately trying to find his specs from bestbuy lol. I have a SATA to USB adapter that I could use to look at what's on his hard drive, could I find out somehow from that?

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6 minutes ago, scottyseng said:

If you have another PC that does the RAM, I would get those sticks put them in another PC, then run memtest x86 on them. Else you might need to try reseating the RAM / CPU a few times. When I first got my motherboard I thought it was DOA until I reseated the ram like 3 times, and now it works just fine.

 

Else try a BIOS reset / check for updates. Could be the motherboard, RAM or CPU. Also your friend didn't happen to have 32 bit windows installed right?

OP's friend in question here.

 

When we boot the computer, we have no output to the monitor, no BIOS. How would we proceed with a BIOS reset in this case?

 

Contacted Best Buy, they don't have the specs available besides the fact that it has  8GB of ram and a 1TB HDD. Was at least able to find out that the warranty expired about a year ago though :(

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14 minutes ago, Peyton said:

If the sticks are bad would they damage another motherboard if I put them in? I'm just trying my best not to end up with 2 screwed PCs. I've reseated the RAM so many times at this point ? nothing's worked.

Not entirely sure if he has 32 bit windows, he doesn't know and we're desperately trying to find his specs from bestbuy lol. I have a SATA to USB adapter that I could use to look at what's on his hard drive, could I find out somehow from that?

Ah, is the PC rebuilt? You can't find the specs using the model number of the PC?

 

14 minutes ago, IronSkillet said:

OP's friend in question here.

 

When we boot the computer, we have no output to the monitor, no BIOS. How would we proceed with a BIOS reset in this case?

 

Contacted Best Buy, they don't have the specs available besides the fact that it has  8GB of ram and a 1TB HDD. Was at least able to find out that the warranty expired about a year ago though :(

Two ways:
Unplug PC, open PC up, remove the watch battery on the motherboard, wait 5-6 minutes (and press down the power button a few times for good measure).
The other option is that some motherboards have jumper pins that you bridge using something metal (I usually use a screw driver) and that will also clear cmos (Not all motherboards have this / may be hard to find without motherboard manual)

 

Yeah, it's hard to say what exactly is without swapping in parts or testing the parts in another PC, one by one.

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6 minutes ago, scottyseng said:

Ah, is the PC rebuilt? You can't find the specs using the model number of the PC?

 

Two ways:
Unplug PC, open PC up, remove the watch battery on the motherboard, wait 5-6 minutes (and press down the power button a few times for good measure).
The other option is that some motherboards have jumper pins that you bridge using something metal (I usually use a screw driver) and that will also clear cmos (Not all motherboards have this / may be hard to find without motherboard manual)

 

Yeah, it's hard to say what exactly is without swapping in parts or testing the parts in another PC, one by one.

Will try clearing the CMOS and see if that helps. Thank you for the suggestions and info!

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2 hours ago, scottyseng said:

Ah, is the PC rebuilt? You can't find the specs using the model number of the PC?

 

Two ways:
Unplug PC, open PC up, remove the watch battery on the motherboard, wait 5-6 minutes (and press down the power button a few times for good measure).
The other option is that some motherboards have jumper pins that you bridge using something metal (I usually use a screw driver) and that will also clear cmos (Not all motherboards have this / may be hard to find without motherboard manual)

 

Yeah, it's hard to say what exactly is without swapping in parts or testing the parts in another PC, one by one.

Tried clearing the CMOS to no avail. Gonna take it by best buy tomorrow, hopefully they are more equipped to diagnose the problem than I am.

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4 hours ago, Peyton said:

Tried clearing the CMOS to no avail. Gonna take it by best buy tomorrow, hopefully they are more equipped to diagnose the problem than I am.

Curious to see what the issue is. Best of luck with it

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8 hours ago, Peyton said:

4 gigs being used but having 8 gigs installed

usually this is because of 32bit OS and not installed 64bit, (32 bit has 4 gb ram limitation)

 

all your other problems, IDK hopefully it works out,  never killed a system  with ram... cant help

 

you tried everything save for more parts swapping.

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I have ran into this problem a lot and it's always been solved by just resetting the ram multiple times . 

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