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What is best way to trouble-shoot a potential memory problem for a new build that fails POST?

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October 25, 2013 7:29:50 AM

Hi everyone,

I am doing my first build of a system and I am running into an issue. I really would appreciate any suggestions or guidance from the build veterans out there. My components are as follows:

CPU:
AMD FX-8320 Vishera 3.5GHz (4.0GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 125W Eight-Core Desktop Processor FD8320FRHKBOX

Mother board:
ASRock 990FX Extreme3 AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

Memory:
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-1866C9D-16GXM

Graphics card:
SAPPHIRE 100358L Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card

When I power up the system with the memory installed, I get a no-POST-beep/no-video situation.

I followed the excellent tip sheet on the site (http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-perform-ste...). When I got to steps 6 and 7, I tried removing all of the memory and powering the system up. When I did this, I got a 3-beep error code, as expected, indicating a memory issue, since there was no memory installed.

When I put either of the memory sticks in any of the 4 memory slots, I would always get a no-POST-beep/no-video result.

So I think that the fact that I got a 3-beep POST error code with no memory and a no-POST-beep/no-video with either memory stick in any of the memory slots indicates that the mother board is powering up correct and that memory is an issue. So it could mean one of the following:

1) both memory sticks are bad, OR
2) all 4 memory slots are bad, OR
3) the memory is incompatible with the mother board.

Is that the right way to think if this? Do you think my conclusion is correct?

To see if the memory is incompatible with the mother board, I looked at the approved memory list on the ASRock site (http://www.asrock.com/MB/overview.us.asp?cat=Memory&Mod...). My memory was not on there. However, I was really surprised to see that there were only 2 or 3 approved 2x8GB products listed. So of all of the hundreds of 2x8GB DDR3 memory products available, only 3 of them will work on this board?

I had read somewhere that these type of lists just show what the vendor has tried, and if it is not on that list, it doesn't mean it won't work, just that it wasn't tested. Is that the right way to think of this? Or should I always only buy memory on the vendor approved list?

Going forward, I was going to try two things:

1. Contact the vendor and see if the memory is compatible.
2. Buy a cheap 2GB stick that is on the vendor approved list and see if I can get the sytem to POST.

Is there anything else I could do or try? Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do next?

This is my first build, and I really would appreciate any suggestions or guidance from the experienced builders on this site.

Thanks for the help.

Joe
a c 77 V Motherboard
a b } Memory
October 25, 2013 7:37:32 AM

You are correct on your thinking and assumptios. One other thing you might try is to go to your memory manufacturer's website and see if they have an "app" that will allow you to input your mobo and it will tell you which of their memories are compatible.

Best solution

a c 1034 V Motherboard
a c 230 } Memory
October 25, 2013 7:38:41 AM
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What happens if you have a ram stick in and take out the GPU?
Board recognizes memory installed or removed (beeps) Next step is GPU if none you will get beeps if no beeps bad board if beeps bad card or not connected correctly.
October 25, 2013 7:53:50 AM

Thanks animal. I'll search for a tool like that on the ASRock web site.

Rolli59, thanks for the suggestion, I did not think of trying that. I'll try it this evening when I get home from work and let you know what I find. So if I get beeps with memory in and GPU out, then that would indicate that the problem might be in the GPU, right?
a c 1034 V Motherboard
a c 230 } Memory
October 25, 2013 7:59:39 AM

jalfano85 said:
Thanks animal. I'll search for a tool like that on the ASRock web site.

Rolli59, thanks for the suggestion, I did not think of trying that. I'll try it this evening when I get home from work and let you know what I find. So if I get beeps with memory in and GPU out, then that would indicate that the problem might be in the GPU, right?

Correct, it fails initialization.
!