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BSOD - Memory related? Solutions?

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May 4, 2010 2:28:41 PM

Hello all!
To make a long story short, I was starting to get BSOD awhile ago, they wasn't so frequent so I acually didn't care so much about them then /shame. Well it came to a point when they occoured daily and then later when I started Windows explorer.exe stopped working and couldn't be restarted. I'm no pro at computers but I thought it was my HDD messing up and since I was anyway thinking about getting a new one I bought one and did a fresh Windows install on it. Same day I started to get BSOD again =/ Now I was paying attention to what it said: REFERENCE_BY_POINTER, IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL and one more which I don't remember.

Now I don't want to boot my system. When I was googling on the error codes I came to the conclusion it was either a bad driver or the RAM, and since it was a fresh install there shouldn't be a bad driver I figure so it must be the RAM?

I also was reading that the memory I use is sold as factory overclocked. When I went to my BIOS I saw that DRAM Voltage is set to 1.968V, shouldn't that be 1.8V to be stable or how does it work? I don't really know much about how to change stuff in BIOS so I didn't want to change anything before asking first.

Here is my system spec:
OS: Windows Vista Premium 64-bit
CPU: Core2 Duo E6850
MB: Asus Maximus Formula
RAM: Crucial 4x1GB PC2-8500 CL5 (2 of those got part no. BL12864AL1065 and 2 with part no. BL12864AL106A)
GPU: Asus EN8800GT/G/HTDP/512M/A

I could probably get the minidumps if I boot up my computer if they are really needed.

Really hope to get some good solutions to this, can it be fixed or do I need to buy new RAM? Or maybe this isn't even memory related? Please help :) 
May 4, 2010 6:00:59 PM

im not sure of your RAM's exact spec but 1.968v seems pretty high. I always hear not to go over 1.65 but you should look up your exacts
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May 4, 2010 6:01:25 PM

im not sure of your RAM's exact spec but 1.968v seems pretty high. I always hear not to go over 1.65 but you should look up your exacts
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a b } Memory
May 4, 2010 10:00:04 PM

Well, your main problem is that the two RAM kits don't have the same specs. One is rated at 2v and the other is rated at 2.2v. Both are rated at 1066MHz and 5-5-5-15 timings. Mixing RAM with different voltage ratings is a recipe for disaster. I would downclock the RAM to 800MHz and run them at 5-5-5-15 timings at 2v and see what happens.
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May 5, 2010 1:05:07 AM

Thanks for your answer, I will try to adjust this tomorrow and see how it goes.

Another question can my motherboard or any other hardware take damage due to using RAM's with different voltage ratings or is it just the RAM that might be damaged?

Thanks,
Patrik
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a b } Memory
May 5, 2010 1:47:56 AM

crispy7 said:
im not sure of your RAM's exact spec but 1.968v seems pretty high. I always hear not to go over 1.65 but you should look up your exacts


that's for the new i3/i5/i7 chips that use DDR3 (normal voltage for DDR3 is 1.5v)
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May 5, 2010 9:14:10 AM

shortstuff_mt said:
Well, your main problem is that the two RAM kits don't have the same specs. One is rated at 2v and the other is rated at 2.2v. Both are rated at 1066MHz and 5-5-5-15 timings. Mixing RAM with different voltage ratings is a recipe for disaster. I would downclock the RAM to 800MHz and run them at 5-5-5-15 timings at 2v and see what happens.


OK, I was trying this out today. I could easily find where to change to 800 MHz. Althou I couldn't find anywhere to change the voltage, I could find something called DRAM Voltage which was 1,968V but the only thing I could change that to was 'Ignored'. This was under Power -> Hardware Monitor -> DRAM Voltage. Where can I find to change the voltage, feels like I searched everywhere in BIOS?

Another question about the timings, in DRAM Timing Control I select 'Manual'. Primary info says 5-5-5-18-3-52-6-3 and CAS# Latency is set to '5 DRAM Clocks', RAS# to CAS# Delay is set to '5 DRAM Clocks', RAS# Precharge is set to '5 DRAM Clocks' and RAS# Active Time is set to '15 DRAM Clocks'. Is this what you mean 5-5-5-15 or do I need to change anything else?
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May 5, 2010 9:41:23 AM

I downclocked it to 800 MHz and left the timings like they were (exactly as in my above post) and since I couldn't find where to change the voltage I left it at 1.968V and booted Windows. After about ~20 minutes I got BlueScreen again saying REFERENCE_BY_POINTER. Could it be that I need some software from Asus to change my DRAM voltage inside Windows?
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a b } Memory
May 5, 2010 2:51:31 PM

The RAM voltage setting is called DRAM Voltage and is in the "Extreme Tweaker" section of the BIOS. The hardware monitor section only monitors values, it doesn't let you change values. If you're still getting BSOD's after you set the voltage to 2v then you should perform an overnight Memtest86+ test to check for RAM errors. Crucial used to be about the best RAM you could buy, but they've had some quality issues lately.

To perform the Memtest86+ test you need to go to www.memtest.org and download an ISO image. You then burn the image to a CD and boot from the CD. The RAM test will start automatically. You should let it run overnight to fully test all the RAM.
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May 5, 2010 5:23:54 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
The RAM voltage setting is called DRAM Voltage and is in the "Extreme Tweaker" section of the BIOS. The hardware monitor section only monitors values, it doesn't let you change values. If you're still getting BSOD's after you set the voltage to 2v then you should perform an overnight Memtest86+ test to check for RAM errors. Crucial used to be about the best RAM you could buy, but they've had some quality issues lately.

To perform the Memtest86+ test you need to go to www.memtest.org and download an ISO image. You then burn the image to a CD and boot from the CD. The RAM test will start automatically. You should let it run overnight to fully test all the RAM.


Acually it's not in Extreme Tweaker, it's really weird. I took 2 pictures of what's in Extreme Tweaker.



I noticed my BIOS version is 1004 (released ) and the latest one is 1403 (released 2009-09-22) Maybe I need this later version of BIOS to gain access to DRAM Voltage setting?

I will perform the memtest tonight or tomorrow.

Thanks for your answers!
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May 5, 2010 5:28:13 PM

Relase date on 1004 was 2008-02-22, wasn't allowed to edit my post -.-
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May 5, 2010 10:06:35 PM

Found where to change DRAM Voltage, had to switch 'Ai Overclock Tuner' to Manual. Will see if it's stable now :) 
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May 5, 2010 11:56:46 PM

...and there the BSOD came again! Burning out Memtest now...
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May 6, 2010 9:22:53 AM

Memtest have been running now overnight, after about 8 hours, 20 minutes I've encountered 6144 errors. Is there anything else I need to read out from this test, can I see which RAM is faulty? or should I just throw them all in the garbage bin and order 4gb of new RAM?
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May 6, 2010 12:12:30 PM

Well I decided to order new RAM instead, I gave up hope on these ones. I ordered a kit of 2x2GB Crucial DDR2 800MHz, CL4 rated at 2V. I guess they will last until it's time to upgrade my motherboard, CPU and RAM to next gen ;) 

Just one last question: could any other hardware (like my CPU, MB or GPU) be damaged as a result of using RAM's with different voltage settings?
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May 6, 2010 2:54:56 PM

Aha, yea I should have done that, I guess I got little stressed to get it before the weekend :( 

Thanks for all your help thou on this matter, really appreciate it!
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a b } Memory
May 6, 2010 3:42:30 PM

No problem. I'm sure the RAM you ordered will work fine. You should manually set the RAM to its rated values of 800MHz, 4-4-4-12 timings, and 2v in the BIOS when you get the new RAM to ensure it's running at its rated specs.
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May 16, 2010 1:13:42 PM

Best answer selected by Gooseer.
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