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New System Boot Error: Narrowed down to one stick of RAM

Last response: in Systems
April 10, 2010 3:36:49 AM

Hello Everyone,

Got a new system build POST error. Three long beeps and one short beep. Following the 'read before posting' suggestions I was able to identify the problem area, which is RAM.

Here is my current situation...

Both sticks of RAM in slots 1 and 2. POST error.
Both sticks of RAM in slots 1 and 3. POST error.

One stick in slot 1. Boots fine.

I did as suggested in the read before posting thread, and manually set the RAM voltage to 1.5v, which is default for DDR3 and I double checked my specific RAM to ensure its also 1.5v.

I am having problems eliminating the stick as faulty due to a teensy problem. The CPU cooler I purchased actually sits over the first slot on my motherboard, making it impossible to remove that stick without removing the CPU cooler. Also, the cooler is known for being a PITA on AMD mobo's. I didn't read the reviews closely enough before purchasing, though, so now I am stuck with it.

So, bad stick of RAM or other problem?

Also, back to the CPU cooler... just in the BIOS my CPU temp is listed at 42. This is with no operating system installed and the case open. Is this high for a idle quad core? One of the problems with the CPU cooler I purchased is that the contact to the CPU is a bit small for quad core processors. But its my understanding (based on a very very limited understanding of thermal dynamics) that the conductivity of metal is so high that it doesn't necessarily have to be touching on all places. Should I be concerned? Once I get the RAM problem figured out I will do a Prime95 stress test to see what temps are going to look like under load.

Specs Below...

Thanks in advance for any support...
April 10, 2010 4:00:01 AM

Populate the furthest slot from CPU first ... Just one stick ... Boot ... What happens?

Now, Try the other stick in that same slot ... (furthest from CPU) ... Boot ... what ?

Finally ... Try them both ... One in the furthest slot ... SKIP a slot ... put the 2nd stick in the NEXT slot ... leaving an EMPTY slot between the sticks ... boot .. what, then ?

= Alvin =
April 10, 2010 4:45:43 AM

hmm, in order to try your suggestion I will have to remove the CPU cooler. Are you getting at that some of the new MOBO's have the preffered slots further from the CPU? If that's the case, I checked the documentation to double check what slots were preferred for duel channel with two sticks.
Related resources
April 10, 2010 5:24:13 AM

Are you saying the cooler is blocking two slots ?

Put one stick furthest away ... skip the next slot ... then the 2nd stick. it won't catch fire!

= Al =
April 10, 2010 5:26:25 AM

I'll look it up and see what the RTFM says.
April 10, 2010 6:37:27 AM

So putting the sticks in the white "DDR3,DDR4" slots at the same time did not work ?
= Alvin =

Due to CPU limitations, read the following guidelines before installing the memory in Dual Channel mode.
1. Dual Channel mode cannot be enabled if only one DDR3 memory module is installed.
2. When enabling Dual Channel mode with two or four memory modules, it is recommended that memory of the same capacity, brand, speed, and chips be used and installed in the same colored DDR3 sockets for optimum performance.
April 10, 2010 7:02:21 AM

The problem is that I have a stick in DDR1 slot and can't remove it without taking out the cooler, which I CAN do, but it would be a pain in the rear. I will try it when I get some time to lay the computer down and can take all the proper precautions for messing around with the CPU.
April 10, 2010 7:17:11 AM

oh ... cool! .. You installed the RAM before the cooler and everything fit ... ha.

... never heard that one.

.. sure .. of course!

= Al =
April 10, 2010 7:31:48 AM

From the installation instruction diagrams, on that cooler, it *almost* looks like you might be able to move the retainer clips and turn the whole thing 90 degrees ...
... why do they insist on having it overhang the RAM ??? ... what a PITA !

= Al =
April 10, 2010 8:05:16 AM

lol. If I had researched better I wouldn't have purchased the cooler. the clips attach to a metal piece that goes between the vertical metal tubes. it could be unscrewed but it couldn't rotate :-\

ill update once i change the ram around... i'll probably just use 3 and 4 permanently unless i replace the cooler
April 10, 2010 8:20:06 AM

I guess you already know the CoolerMaster Hyper-212 is the way to go $34
April 11, 2010 8:36:16 PM

Well, bad news. I put the stick in question in slot 4, system didn't post. 3 long beeps and 1 short. Then, I put the stick that has been in slot 1 this whole time into slot 4, system POST'd just fine.

Anything else I can do?
April 12, 2010 1:11:54 AM

DUDE ! YOU are SO LUCKY that it is JUST a stick of RAM and NOT the mobo ! !

RAM is fast and cheap and easy to RMA ... use this thread as "proof of isolation".

= Alvin =