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Something funny is going on with my Memory Modules and their slots

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July 27, 2010 8:52:44 PM

I have an MSI X58M Motherboard and G.Skill Memory totaling 6gb with 3 sticks of 2gb. My hard drive is Western Digital Caviar Black WD7501AALS 750GB.
I noticed problems yesterday while playing world of warcraft. A specific zone wasn't loading correctly and the error message said a specific texture file couldn't be read. I run through wow repair and it said the game was corrupted and it was reverting to an older patch. After this the game was trying to install the new patch but that wasn't working either. I then uninstalled wow completely and tried to reinstall it from the disk. I received a very similar error message concerning a file that couldn't be read.

I then tested my system drive with a Western Digital diagnostic utility I got from their website for my specific Hard Drive. All the tests said the drive was clean. It was at this time that I noticed Windows said I only had 4gb of memory installed when I had 6gb. I then ran Memtest86+. It only saw 4gb of memory and there were 14000 errors in an hour. I reseat the memory and then everything is fine. All 3 sticks were recognized and there were no errors in Memtest86+. With this I reinstalled world of warcraft and thought things would be better.

I did all that yesterday. Today when I turned on my PC only 2 Ram sticks were being recognized and windows wasn't working correctly. I couldn't open explorer, my computer, and mozilla. Some things worked but they weren't useful. The stick of ram that wasn't being recognized is in the same slot as the stick that wasn't being recognized yesterday.

At this time I have the 3 sticks in another computer that is running Memtest 86+ and so far it is error free. I also put that computer's memory in the MSI and it is also running Memtest86+ and it is also error free. Right now, I'm perplexed. If there is an error with the memory then shouldn't it follow the memory or if there is an error with the motherboard shouldn't the new memory be having problems?
July 27, 2010 9:08:28 PM

How much Ram is Windows detecting, not memtest?

when your system saw only 4 gigs one slot wa not working... later this was fixed.... when this incident occured the second time was it the same stick of ram in the questionable slot?

Have you tried rotating the ram sticks to duplicate the issue?
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July 27, 2010 9:26:34 PM

Your first question: Windows 7 on the MSI machine is recognizing all 6gb in 3 sticks, but this is the switched memory from the other computer (has a Gigabyte motherboard). I should note that this switched memory while it's still G.Skill is not listed as supporting the MSI X58m motherboard. The specific memory is this dual channel memory.

Your second question: No, it was not the same stick in the first slot. When I reseated the memory I also moved them around.

Your third question: See answer to second question.
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Related resources
a c 106 } Memory
a b Ý World of Warcraft
July 27, 2010 9:28:44 PM

Some ideas:
1) Read the motherboard manual to determine which 3 slots should be populated if you have only three sticks. Often it is not the ones which seem logical.
2) You might want to increase the voltage to the ram sticks a bit. Do not exceed 1.65v or you can permanently damage your cpu.
3) Check to see if there is a motherboard bios update that might address your issue. Do not update unnessisarily because a failed update can brick your motherboard.
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July 27, 2010 9:49:58 PM

1) I have the manual in front of me and I'm certain I have the memory in the correct slots.

2) How would increasing the voltage help the motherboard detect the memory module more consistently?

3) The bios states that it is version 2.61 and there have been many updates(7) to the bios from MSI. Do I need to update the bios in order up to the current version or can I simply update the bios with the latest version? Here is the bios page at MSI. MSI also has a live-update program that can update the bios from within Windows and even from the web browser. Is this an option that I should try?
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a b } Memory
July 27, 2010 11:36:59 PM

Illuminate88 said:

2) How would increasing the voltage help the motherboard detect the memory module more consistently?


Think of the DIMM slots like a remote control, when the battery voltage is low, the control works, but not efficiently. In some instances the power button might work, but the volume button may not. Similarly, w/o enough voltage to your DIMM slots, the memory can be read, but maybe not efficiently. This type of problem is actually common when all slots on the mobo are occupied.

Illuminate88 said:
3) The bios states that it is version 2.61 and there have been many updates(7) to the bios from MSI. Do I need to update the bios in order up to the current version or can I simply update the bios with the latest version? Here is the bios page at MSI. MSI also has a live-update program that can update the bios from within Windows and even from the web browser. Is this an option that I should try?


Generally, you can skip to the latest BIOS update. Do yourself a favor, though, look at what each update addresses and determine if there is a function/feature that is missing or needed fixing from one of the seven (7) BIOS updates you mentioned. BIOS updates aren't like game patches; you don't need to update to keep using your mobo.

Most of the time updating the BIOS from within the OS leads to trouble. There have been a few people on these forums who have successfully updated their BIOS with the GUI tools, but this is an unconventional and unrecommneded route.
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