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Mobo only boots w/ 1 stick of RAM

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July 6, 2010 8:10:34 PM

Mounting more than one stick of RAM in my brother's self-build PC results in an angry motherboard. The beep code is a continuous series of long beeps. One stick of RAM and the mobo posts and boots OK, but 2 sticks produces this result. The motherboard is a Gigabyte MA785GM-US2H (Rev 1.3), part of the Ultra Durable 3 Series. Beep code manual says that continuous long beeps indicate an improperly seated graphics card, but this is not the problem, cross my heart. I'm certain it's a memory error.

The RAM in question is 2 x 1024MB Corsair XMS2 DDR2 PC2-6400. My 2GB stick also worked in the first slot.

What's my most likely issue? Bad mobo? RAM incompatibility? BIOS setting? Insufficient power?

I'd love to resolve this without having to return the motherboard. That's a whole different story, though.

On a potentially related note... I can't get Windows Vista installation to run with 1 stick of RAM. The disc loads the components and whatnot, but when the background turns a Vista-gradient blue and the cursor appears, it seems to just stop. The setup never runs, and the disc doesn't appear to be active. PC isn't frozen, but the OS never proceeds to install. If this seems irrelevant, please disregard.

Thanks!

UPDATE (from troubleshooting suggestions below)
RAM works in slots 1 and 3 when alone or paired with each other, but never in slots 2 or 4 alone or paired with any other (1-2, 1-4, 3-2, 3-4, 2-4).

More about : mobo boots stick ram

July 6, 2010 8:40:48 PM

If you swap the sticks using them one at a time do both work? Try one stick in every slot on the motherboard and then try the same with the other stick. This will eliminate the possibility of a bad RAM slot. You can check the tested memory modules for your motherboard at the Gigabyte website but I can't see that being an issue if one of them works fine.

If you list your full specs including PSU we can examine the insufficient power possibility.

At first glance my money would be on a bad RAM slot or other motherboard issue. If possible try the RAM in a different motherboard. If they work fine then you know it's not the RAM. Post back and let us know. Good luck!
July 6, 2010 9:06:51 PM

Thanks for the prompt response. The RAM sticks each work - I tested them individually on the 1st DDR slot of the mobo and they all booted. I'll try each stick in the other 3 slots when I return home today, and I'll get the full specs for you. Thanks thus far!
Related resources
a c 177 V Motherboard
July 6, 2010 9:48:25 PM

I have seen numbers of Corsair DDR2 'degrade' over time, so that a once working setup failed to... Instructions on memory testing and 'tracking down' bad DIMMs at Part IV - "Tweaking and tuning"
July 6, 2010 11:43:37 PM

There may be a problem with your ram slot, open up the system unit and take a peep inside to check if there are no cleavages or cracks near the dimm slots
a c 177 V Motherboard
July 7, 2010 12:15:14 AM

Might have a point, there - every time I see 'cleavage' 'n my machine, takes two days to clean up the viruses left behind![:jaydeejohn:4] [:bilbat:9]
July 7, 2010 12:25:32 AM

Check the Ram voltage requirement from Corsair for your specific set of ram. Then boot into the Bios with 1 stick installed and make any changes accordingly. No guarantees, but it's something you can try.

My system is an older one, but at the time I had to set my ram voltage a bit higher and I have both a gigabyte mobo and Corsair XMS2 DDR2.
July 27, 2010 5:17:11 PM

Hey guys - sorry I've been so quiet. This is by no means solved. Here's a new update:

We (my brother and I) tested several combinations of RAM, and here are the results:

Slot (1) Boots, OS setup doesn't load, just a Vista blue background.
Slot (3) Boots, OS setup doesn't load, just a Vista blue background.
Slot (1) & (3) Boots, OS setup doesn't load, just a Vista blue background.

Slot (2) No boot, incessant beeping.
Slot (4) No boot, incessant beeping.
Slot (1) & (2) No boot, incessant beeping.
Slot (1) & (4) No boot, incessant beeping.

So it appears that slots (2) and (4) are duds? No cracks visible. What should we do next?
a c 177 V Motherboard
July 28, 2010 3:26:03 PM

At this point, would help me quite a bit to have the actual GB p/n for the motherboard - we need to get more specific in our troubleshooting... Example: for some boards, memory compatiblity is enhanced by certain BIOS, and can't know without reading the list of BIOS' changelogs (well, sometimes you still don't know, but it's always worth a try :kaola:  ) I would also suggest that, in the meantime, you prep a MemTest boot disk, by following the instructions about in the middle of this: Part IV - "Tweaking and tuning"...
July 28, 2010 6:01:06 PM

bilbat said:
At this point, would help me quite a bit to have the actual GB p/n for the motherboard


The motherboard is a Gigabyte MA785GM-US2H, part of the Ultra Durable 3 Series.
a c 177 V Motherboard
July 28, 2010 8:26:39 PM

EEkk! I swear, I'm not doin' this to tick you off! Now, we need the board's revision level - GB just 'moved' their main website, where I get this stuff from, and they forgot the '78's - just have the 785's; finally found it, and there are four revisions: 1.0, 1.1, 1.3, and 3.3! Rather than I 'root around' in all four (and I are a 'old fart' [:bilbat:6] - I confuse easily [:fixitbil:9] !), help to know which one...

Revision numbers can be found here:

July 31, 2010 10:05:51 PM

Your Vista install problem could be happening if your FDD (Floppy Disc Drive) is enabled in your BIOS. I ran into the same problem installing Win7 -- it didn't necessarily freeze, but it took 20 minutes or so for the first "Do you want to install?" prompt to come up. If you've already disabled floppy support and it's still screwed up, well, sorry!

That said, it's not going to fix your bad mobo. In my mind your testing has proved that there's something *especially* wrong with slots 2 and 4 (who knows about 1 and 3 yet) -- ASSUMING YOU HAVE SET EVERYTHING TO THE MANUFACTURER'S RECOMMENDED SETTINGS. If you haven't, set it up properly.

If you have, RMA the mobo.
August 4, 2010 6:49:10 PM

bilbat said:
there are four revisions: 1.0, 1.1, 1.3, and 3.3! Rather than I 'root around' in all four (and I are a 'old fart' [:bilbat:6] - I confuse easily [:fixitbil:9] !), help to know which one...


Rev 1.3

By the way, thanks for the help. Just figured I'd throw that out there. :) 

deepruntramp said:
Your Vista install problem could be happening if your FDD (Floppy Disc Drive) is enabled in your BIOS. I ran into the same problem installing Win7 -- it didn't necessarily freeze, but it took 20 minutes or so for the first "Do you want to install?" prompt to come up.


This appears to have been the case with my brother. He just called to say that he's installing now. The first good news we've had in a LONG time! Thanks so much!
!