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Can a Motherboard Failure Damage RAM?

Last response: in Memory
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October 15, 2010 2:38:33 PM

I dropped something on my laptop's keyboard while it was running and the laptop instantly died. I had two 1gb sticks of RAM iinstalled when this happened. I ended up replacing the motherboard.

I transferred the two 1gb RAM sticks from the dead motherboard into the new motherboard. When I tried to run the laptop, it wouldn't boot - I didn't even see the splash screen that appears just before the BIOS starts loading. I tried the two 1gb sticks separately, and the laptop still wouldn't boot..

I took out the 1gb sticks completely and replace them with a 512mb stick. The laptop then boots up normally.

Could the damage I did to the motherboard have also destroyed the RAM that was in the laptop at the time?

a b V Motherboard
October 15, 2010 4:49:01 PM

It's always a possibility. =P

Did you replace it with the same motherboard/version as the one that died?
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a c 717 V Motherboard
October 15, 2010 5:40:14 PM

If you have a 'different model' laptop then that may also explain the problem - you need to look at the specs of the new laptop and determine compatibility.

If the laptop is EXACTLY the same then first I would remove, examine, and re-install {verify} that the RAM is properly seated. You can also test 1 DIMM {stick} at time. If they both work individually with the EXACT laptop then the problem is your replacement laptop.

Are they BOTH the same laptop? Post both your Laptop Model and EXACT RAM part-number and/or link.

If you don't know - 1. You can read the part-number off the RAM or 2. You can use CPUz - http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html
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October 16, 2010 8:54:10 PM

Thanks for the suggestions.

The RAM didn't work in a totally different laptop, either. It turned out the contacts were dirty. I was advised to clean them a pencil eraser. Once I did that, the problem was resolved.

And yes, for those of you helping me with this problem, the two laptops are both Thinkpad T30 models. The broken one is 2366-85U; the replacement is 2366-KU1. I used CPUID to ID the RAM as jaquith suggested. The RAM must be generic because it CPUID didn't report any model numbers. It did display specs of DDR 133.2 MHZ DRAM frequency, and that 2048 MBytes are installed.
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