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I have no clue what's going on, or what to do...

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  • Memory
Last response: in Memory
November 14, 2010 8:37:38 PM

Alright, I'm having a problem with my latest build (5th one), and i am not sure what is going on or what to RMA back. Here's the scoop.
Built computer and installed everything here for the guy, everything ran smooth as ever, he takes it back to his house and then starts having problems with windows recovering files, it'll BSOD on him frequently, and even randomly restart in the middle of startup, but will occasionally make it all the way to the desktop, where sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnt.
I met up with the guy, brought his computer back to my house, and did all sorts of different tests.. Here's what I found:

Memtest86 v 3.5 was ran and found 33 errors during test #1, (memory was in slots 1 and 3 in motherboard).

Removed 1 module (slot 3) and ran Memtest on 1 stick of ram...Passed

Replaced 1st module with the one that I had taken out and ran Memtest....Passed.. ?

Placed 2nd module in slot 2 (now one module in slot 1 and one module in slot 2), ran Memtest....Computer shuts off during testing (specifically at test 1 48% completed)

I moved around the ram into all the different combinations of slots and each seemed to fail, but it seems to pass on one stick alone, it doesn't matter what stick it is.

Here's the twist...
Placed both modules into mobo (slot 1 and 2), ran Memtest v 3.4 instead of 3.5....Didn't shut down at 48%complete(test 1), the test actually ran to completion, it took almost two hours, but the results came up with two errors during test #1. Not exactly what this means but it said:
Errors per memory slot: 0: 2
1: 0

After that, I started up the computer with both sticks and went to windows instead of Memtest, and everything seemed fine, I decided well lets throw that product key in, and after I hit enter the screen turned green/blue/red and froze for a minute, then went back to normal, said something about a graphics driver had failed ( haven't installed GPU driver yet). Then it seemed to just start having explorer problems again and eventually bsod'd on me again.

I looked on corsair forums and there was something about decreasing the frequency and increasing NB voltage, I did that, no change, except for the one time the computer didn't even respond when I turned it on, had to do a bios reset through motherboard jumpers.

Also when it does start up to windows successfully, often explorer will randomly stop responding and all I have is a nice view of the desktop w/ no start menu/icons. So... that's what is going on.

One more thing, Windows recognizes 4GB of RAM, so does the POST and the Bios, and during Memtest.

Here's the specs:

ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard65408035

CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TW3X4G1333C9

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX65408035

ZALMAN 9500A-LED 92mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler65408035

XFX P1-650X-CAG9 650W ATX12V 2.2 / ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply65408035

XFX GX260XADJC GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

More about : clue

a c 347 } Memory
November 14, 2010 9:02:03 PM

Welcome to Tom's Forums! :) 

Here's Clue 1 tested & compatible RAM use TW3X4G1333C9DHX, or TW3X4G1333C9A if you want Corsair 1333 MHz. Clue 2 - disable the on-board GPU in both the BIOS {if available} and in the Device Manager. Clue 3, Clear CMOS. Clue 4 run MSCONFIG and select Diagnostic and then test. Clue 5 try both Ganged and Unganged in the BIOS.

Having fun with Clues... substitute Idea from me. My first assumption is RAM.
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a b } Memory
November 15, 2010 12:49:21 AM

Factory specs for the RAM is 1.5 volts. Try increasing it a little. Do not exceed 1.65 volts.
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November 15, 2010 2:24:13 AM

jsc said:
Factory specs for the RAM is 1.5 volts. Try increasing it a little. Do not exceed 1.65 volts.


Alright, I went through and tried that, nothing different. I went up to 1.62volts. Still failed test at 48%
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November 15, 2010 2:27:19 AM

jaquith said:
Welcome to Tom's Forums! :) 

Here's Clue 1 tested & compatible RAM use TW3X4G1333C9DHX, or TW3X4G1333C9A if you want Corsair 1333 MHz. Clue 2 - disable the on-board GPU in both the BIOS {if available} and in the Device Manager. Clue 3, Clear CMOS. Clue 4 run MSCONFIG and select Diagnostic and then test. Clue 5 try both Ganged and Unganged in the BIOS.

Having fun with Clues... substitute Idea from me. My first assumption is RAM.


I'll be testing another type of ram hopefully tonight, i'll be meeting up with a friend to borrow it for a few hours.
I disabled on-board GPU in bios, but i was unable to find it in the Device Manager, there was no change in Memtest
Already cleared CMOS earlier and that didn't work
I went to MSCONFIG, I started up in diagnostic, but test?? Idk if thats something I'm supposed to select, if it was I couldn't find it anywhere.
Also BIOS doesn't have unganged or ganged options
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a c 347 } Memory
November 15, 2010 10:25:43 AM

RE: "diagnostic, but test??" -- what every you have been 'doing' the break the rig -- run prime95 or benchmarks -- 'stress' the rig. BIOS AI Tweaker / DCT Unganged Mode {Auto} -> try both Disabled (ganged) and Enabled (unganged) ; both 'should' work with 'proper' RAM.

However, my money seems to be on incompatible RAM http://www.corsair.com/configurator/product_results.asp...
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November 16, 2010 4:25:58 AM

jaquith said:
RE: "diagnostic, but test??" -- what every you have been 'doing' the break the rig -- run prime95 or benchmarks -- 'stress' the rig. BIOS AI Tweaker / DCT Unganged Mode {Auto} -> try both Disabled (ganged) and Enabled (unganged) ; both 'should' work with 'proper' RAM.

However, my money seems to be on incompatible RAM http://www.corsair.com/configurator/product_results.asp...


Alright, here's what I found. I got some memory from a friends computer, (Crucial Ballistix 1600 DDR3), computer shut off at 48% complete w/ memtest. What do you think, motherboard now?
I tested the new working memory at 1600, 1333, 1067 and all failed, also upped the voltage to 1.58volts, still shut off at 48%. Tried starting up into windows.. BSOD, started up in diagnostic mode and it ran pretty well once I was in there
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a c 347 } Memory
November 16, 2010 11:42:57 AM

I wish it were always cut & dry simple - but it's not. One last thing to try, I would recommend that you breadboard the MOBO {pulling out the MOBO + running on cardboard}. If it fails the send-off the MOBO, you wasted no time. Keep in mind it too could be the CPU -- so before you box up the MOBO ALSO look for a bent CPU pin.

I am going with the assumption that you're too 100% certain that your PSU is good.

In either case - Good Luck!
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November 17, 2010 1:15:57 AM

jaquith said:
I wish it were always cut & dry simple - but it's not. One last thing to try, I would recommend that you breadboard the MOBO {pulling out the MOBO + running on cardboard}. If it fails the send-off the MOBO, you wasted no time. Keep in mind it too could be the CPU -- so before you box up the MOBO ALSO look for a bent CPU pin.

I am going with the assumption that you're too 100% certain that your PSU is good.

In either case - Good Luck!


Thanks i'll need it. To get a refund on it it'll cost me 45 bucks (20 taken away for discount, 15 for restock fee, 10 for shipping), which is insane. i'll try breadboarding the MOBO hopefully tonight, and I can also check the processor (my comp runs am3). I am 100% certain the PSU is good, I already ripped my computer apart and tested the 800w XION on it, same results. So i'll test it and give you some results. I feel sorry for this guy, he bought this computer 2 weeks ago and it's still not working.
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a c 347 } Memory
November 17, 2010 1:35:39 AM

The first 30 days is a tell all, and if it's going to 'break' it's better now that after using it for 2-3 months. Le us know.

Good Luck!
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November 18, 2010 12:16:15 PM

jaquith said:
The first 30 days is a tell all, and if it's going to 'break' it's better now that after using it for 2-3 months. Le us know.

Good Luck!


Alright so I also checked the CPU, that was fine. I called ASUS and they said the memory controller is now a part of the processor, so I checked it with an AMD 945 processor (the one in my computer) and it still failed.
Ran it on a piece of cardboard, that also failed.
I called ASUS back and they said to just RMA the board, so I am sending it off today and hopefully in about a week or so I'll get another one. We'll see how that goes.

One thing I also noticed is that the RAM is two different colors? They are identical model numbers but when I look at the sticks of ram closely one of the sticks has a brighter green color than the other, and also one has brown around the notch that fits in the ram slot, and the other has green.. Hmmmm. Rma'ing that as well, since corsair already told me they would for free. Just in case ;D
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a c 347 } Memory
November 18, 2010 1:17:37 PM

Yes I know the CPU has the memory controller; the {pin} reference which is very problematic on the P55 MOBOs will show the RAM in Windows {i.e. good DIMM}, but the CPU cannot process/utilize the RAM {i.e. missing pin}.

I too assume that your BIOS is/was at least v 2702 or greater, and 3303 addresses 'stability' so I would recommend that or higher.

YES! Mix-Match RAM is ALWAYS a bad idea especially under the SAME Channel. You ONLY listed 'TW3X4G1333C9' which is a matched set of 2x2GB.

Q - "Alright so I also checked the CPU, that was fine" -> How do you know?

BIOS {M4A78T-E BIOS 2702 / 2010/03/12}:
Phenom IIX4 955 (HDX955FBK4DGI),3.2GHz,125W,rev.C2,SocketAM3,Quad-Core ALL
1503
Phenom IIX4 955 (HDX955FBK4DGM),3.2GHz,125W,rev.C3,SocketAM3,Quad-Core ALL
2105
Phenom IIX4 955 (HDX955WFK4DGM),3.2GHz,95W,rev.C3,SocketAM3,Quad-Core ALL
2702
Phenom IIX4 955 (HDZ955FBK4DGI),3.2GHz,125W,rev.C2,SocketAM3,Quad-Core ALL
1001
Phenom IIX4 955 (HDZ955FBK4DGM),3.2GHz,125W,rev.C3,SocketAM3,Quad-Core ALL
2105
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November 18, 2010 6:56:21 PM

jaquith said:
Yes I know the CPU has the memory controller; the {pin} reference which is very problematic on the P55 MOBOs will show the RAM in Windows {i.e. good DIMM}, but the CPU cannot process/utilize the RAM {i.e. missing pin}.

I too assume that your BIOS is/was at least v 2702 or greater, and 3303 addresses 'stability' so I would recommend that or higher.

YES! Mix-Match RAM is ALWAYS a bad idea especially under the SAME Channel. You ONLY listed 'TW3X4G1333C9' which is a matched set of 2x2GB.

Q - "Alright so I also checked the CPU, that was fine" -> How do you know?

BIOS {M4A78T-E BIOS 2702 / 2010/03/12}:
Phenom IIX4 955 (HDX955FBK4DGI),3.2GHz,125W,rev.C2,SocketAM3,Quad-Core ALL
1503
Phenom IIX4 955 (HDX955FBK4DGM),3.2GHz,125W,rev.C3,SocketAM3,Quad-Core ALL
2105
Phenom IIX4 955 (HDX955WFK4DGM),3.2GHz,95W,rev.C3,SocketAM3,Quad-Core ALL
2702
Phenom IIX4 955 (HDZ955FBK4DGI),3.2GHz,125W,rev.C2,SocketAM3,Quad-Core ALL
1001
Phenom IIX4 955 (HDZ955FBK4DGM),3.2GHz,125W,rev.C3,SocketAM3,Quad-Core ALL
2105


I checked to see if the processor was the problem and it wasn't because I put my processor in the motherboard and it still failed the test.
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a c 347 } Memory
November 18, 2010 7:22:28 PM

Hmm...did you breadboard the MOBO?
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November 18, 2010 9:17:20 PM

jaquith said:
Hmm...did you breadboard the MOBO?


I did, nothing changed unfortunately. I sent the mobo off this afternoon and i'm also going to send the ram off, hopefully when it comes back i'll be done with this puzzle. Thanks for all your help jaquith
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