No post with more than one RAM

Gaming PC, Elite Computer Group
MB - NFORCE6M-A
CPU - AMD Quad Core 9750
RAM - 8G DDR2 800
HD - 500GB Seagate
GPU - GeForce 8600GT 512MB
PSU - Logisys ATX 20/24 serial ATA 480W (3.3V, 5V, 12V, -5V, -12V)


Symptoms and steps to date.

Rig shut down without warning, no power.
Restart without successful post, shuts down in 3 seconds.
Disconnected ATX12V line, powers on, but no post.
Cleared BIOS, nothing.
Stripped to the bones, MB, PSU, (1) 2GB RAM of (4) 2GB RAM (all identical) installed, cleared BIOS- successful post!
Tested each RAM and slot, one at a time - all good. One RAM in any slot will post. Addition of any other RAM leads to no post, even with clearing BIOS, no matter what combination of RAM / slot is used.

This is on an ESD mat with only the following right now:
MB, PSU, GPU, HD, (1) 2GB RAM, CPU fan, USB mouse & keyboard, LCD monitor.

I added everything else to make sure than my power supply wasn't failing. I thought it may be fluctuating, getting ready to fail, causing RAM voltage problems. So I added everything thinking that if it wouldn't post if that was the case, given the increase in power demand. Not the case, so I've ruled out the PSU.

Processor must be good, since I'm using it to post this right now! No glitches, other than running slowly on only 2 GB RAM, rather than 8GB (I was only using 3.5GB anyways with 32 bit Vista Ultimate installed, I intend to upgrade.)

Is there something I can do to check if the motherboard is going? I don't have another for bench testing.

I don't think it's software, it's been running fine in this configuration for over a year, and always updated, cleaned, lots of ventilation with low operating temps and a high temp automatic shutoff that has never been needed. Plus a UPS.

There was a squealing noise that happened on power up over a month ago. Made me worry because it happened during two power-ups lasting for about 3 seconds each time, but I cleaned it out thoroughly and it didn't happen again. (Noise wasn't from PSU, though I cleaned it thoroughly anyways. I've replaced it before...naively with the same exact model). Could also have been from the HD or front fan that failed around the same time. Leaning towards the fan, so I don't think that was a contributing factor.

Any ideas people?
10 answers Last reply
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  1. It's clear that there's something wrong with your motherboard. There's nothing to indicate that your PSU is the cause, especially since adding just one stick wouldn't suddenly increase the power requirements of your setup. Is your rig newly bought, or past the warranty? If the former, RMA time! If the latter, it's a perfect opportunity to upgrade! :)
  2. Assuming ?? that all your hardware is functional,the only thought that comes to mind is,,install your OS of choice with 1 stick of ram then,,when install finished ,,drop in the other 3..
    NOTE<< personaly I NEVER buy a no name psu,with out all the tests and national regs .,being met a no name psu is a calculated risk,480w should do the job but from a no name ,,who knows,,,???.
    If you think that your psu is good and it is the mobo,consider a mobo from anuther brand..:)
  3. If this is a new build, I'd check the RAM voltage settings to see if they are as they should be. If not, adjust them. If they are, and you have some headroom, kick the voltage up a bit and try two sticks, then 4.

    If this is an old build that used to run with 4 sticks, its probably a mobo issue.
  4. Actually, this is about a year old, and only 6 days past the warranty! I could have built this myself, but it was a pretty decent price and more than enough to meet my needs. I was thinking of a MB upgrade myself, if necessary. Things are a little tight right now though, so I'm trying to salvage it instead, you know?

    I'd clean install, but I only have one SATA drive right now..the only kind this rig runs. If it is the PSU, do you have any brand/store suggestions for replacement with something more reliable?

    This rig was built by someone else, but I'm pretty sure it was at default when this occurred. I know they are at default now, because the BIOS was reset. I'll give it a try.

    By the way, if anyone was wondering, all four RAM pass Memtest86.
  5. No luck as far as RAM voltage is concerned. This motherboard doesn't support user controlled voltages, it just gives automatic BIOS readings of the current voltage, which is around 1.86V by the way. It varies slightly, when read from the BIOS. CPU-Z shows a steady 1.8V. Oh, and I checked both rails on the ATX12V, both read a steady 12.26V, with .01V deviation.
  6. CPUZ only reports the voltage the memory is spec'd for, it won't tell what voltage the memory is actually running.
    Is there an auto detect in the memory settings you can disable in your BIOS?
    In most BIOS's, you change the setting from "auto" to "manual" to enable the sub menus so you can change the individual settings.
    If you can see the settings, but they are grayed out, you should be able to do this.
    In a BIOS that will not let you change the settings, the settings are not "grayed out", they are simply not there period.
    If you do that, set the memory to around 1.9~2.0 volts and see what happens.
    It is common to have to overvolt 4 sticks of memory to get them all to work.
    2 sticks should work at stock voltage....but I personally have seen a bad/low quality PSU actually cause a problem with my memory.

    Believe it.

    I had 4 sticks (partriot extreme 4x1gig) that I simply could not get stable in a board (DFI Lanparty) I used to have, no matter what I did, I couldn't get all 4 sticks to work, so I finally just settled on running 2 sticks. I had a Raidmax PSU.
    I gave the board, Processor and memory to a friend of mine, and he hooked the board up to an 850 watt Corsair PSU. Booted perfect first time, with all 4 sticks in, loaded Windows, and he has had no problems what so ever with it, been running perfect for a few months now. I also had a Seagate drive that I thought was going bad, keep clicking and freezing all the time. So...I throw my Raidmax PSU in the trash after my friend has no problems with my old hardware, go buy a new BFG LS Series, and bingo, my drive problem stopped completely. It has been working perfectly for months now as well.
    A low end or low rated PSU can and will affect your system in all sorts of ways, many ways that a lot of people never would think of..
    So....long story short, always, always, always buy only highly rated PSU's.

    Having said all that, I am going to pick on your board, please don't take it personally.
    ECS motherboards are absolute bottom of the pile cheap lowest quality boards.

    The only thing in the world worse than an ECS motherboard, is an ECS motherboard with an nVidia chipset.
  7. Nope, no way to change the voltage. http://ixbtlabs.com/articles2/mainboard/ecs-nforce6m-a-nforce520le.html
    This isn't a good board for overclocking, but that wasn't what I had in mind when I got it. I don't do a lot of gaming, I was just sick of waiting hours to encode video. Basically, I was just aiming for a decent "all around" machine that could handle lots of software, video, entertainment and multitasking without bogging down. I haven't even had a chance to unleash the full 8GB RAM, since I'm stuck with vista32. Just haven't got around to getting a 64 copy yet.

    Besides, what really bothers me is that I've gotten a year of use out of this system, and I know there has to be a reason that the board would suddenly refuse to load more than one RAM. I'm thinking it has something to do with motherboard system for managing the RAM. I'm not very experienced in this area though, most of my knowledge is more along the lines of non-destructive test & repair using equipment and technical publications that I just don't have available to me anymore. If I can track down the faulty component, maybe I can delay investing a new system for a little while. (Because who wants to buy just a motherboard by itself?!? At that point, you want to aim for the top, lol)

    I noticed during post, after updating the BIOS(just to make sure), there was a brief BIOS test list that hung for a second(less than a second normally)...I couldn't get all of it, but I did notice that everything in the list had three columns beside it of components being checked, and every single one had a value in one of three fields, save for the top one

    "0 0 0 Memory controller IRQ NA"

    Any idea if that could be related to this problem? Just a stab in the dark until I find something more concrete.
  8. Absolutely. Have you tried reflashing the BIOS?
    The memory controller may be simply starting to go bad if that does not work.
  9. No luck reflashing. I did notice something else using SISoftware Sandra - The 12V line voltage sensor shows only 8.2V. I've never used this piece of software, do you think it's accurate?
  10. By the way, you can pick on my board all ya want, and the chipset too, but I'm perfectly willing to let you just plain "PICK" my next set-up, lol. My patience for this rig has grown thin, I'm seriously thinking I should replace whatever is wrong, and use it to find the parts for a new one down the road. Construct a new rig of my own, then send this thing packing back to where I found it, eBay! At least selling it might trim some cost off a new one later. Gotta admit though, I'm leaning towards the CPU. If I'm not mistaken, this AMD Phenom has the memory controller built into it. That would explain why I'm having such a hard time tracking it down.
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