Is ram timing my problem?

Hello,
I have just purchased some ram to get a bit of a performance boost, but after installing it my computer fails to boot. The only difference I can find in the two pairs is that the old timing is 6-6-6-12 and the new is 5-5-5-18. I would not have suspected that faster timed RAM would introduce such a problem, but concede that I may be wrong. Could this really be the issue?

system specs

hp xw4600 workstation
vista business ed.
intel core2 duo @ 2.33 GHz

new memory
existing memory

thank you for any/all help!
17 answers Last reply
More about timing problem
  1. Hello,

    What is the RAM you purchased ? It would help if we had the brand, the type (DDR2-DDR3 ? Dual or Triple Channel ?). Also, what is the capacity of each DIMM ? Is it 1,2 or 4 Gb ? What is the rated speed ?

    Once I have these infos, I might be able to help,
    al360ex
  2. al360ex said:
    Hello,

    What is the RAM you purchased ? It would help if we had the brand, the type (DDR2-DDR3 ? Dual or Triple Channel ?). Also, what is the capacity of each DIMM ? Is it 1,2 or 4 Gb ? What is the rated speed ?

    Once I have these infos, I might be able to help,
    al360ex


    The ram I purchased can be seen at the link provided in my original post. For simplicities sake, here are some details:

    A-DATA 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model AD2U800B1G5-DRH

    I am unsure of the capacity of each DIMM, but since I was installing nothing larger than what was existing (1Gb/DIMM) I didn't think it would matter. The existing RAM is also DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800.
  3. I'm sorry, I didn't see the two links.

    As far as I can see, these modules should work. Have you tried lowering the timmings to make them equal to your last RAM to see if it works ?
    If it still doesn't work, you might have DOA DIMMs. It happens. You'll have to RMA them.

    Also, are there any beeps when your board POSTs ? What does it say during posting ?
    If it's the first time you change RAM in a PC, you might not have pushed it in enough. Sometimes, you have to put some surprising pressure to make it click in.
    Also, are you certain you discharged any static you might have had on you before touching the board (by touching a metal part of the case, for example) ?
    Had you disconnected the Power cord from the wall and made sure that the capacitors in the PSU were discharged ? If not, you might have fried you ram modules withouth feeling a thing (it doesn't take a lot of voltage to fry).
  4. al360ex said:
    I'm sorry, I didn't see the two links.

    As far as I can see, these modules should work. Have you tried lowering the timmings to make them equal to your last RAM to see if it works ?
    If it still doesn't work, you might have DOA DIMMs. It happens. You'll have to RMA them.

    Also, are there any beeps when your board POSTs ? What does it say during posting ?
    If it's the first time you change RAM in a PC, you might not have pushed it in enough. Sometimes, you have to put some surprising pressure to make it click in.
    Also, are you certain you discharged any static you might have had on you before touching the board (by touching a metal part of the case, for example) ?
    Had you disconnected the Power cord from the wall and made sure that the capacitors in the PSU were discharged ? If not, you might have fried you ram modules withouth feeling a thing (it doesn't take a lot of voltage to fry).


    Yeah, I thought they ought to work as well :pfff:. I did attempt to manage the timings but wasn't able to find the option in my BIOS settings. It wouldn't surprise me if it weren't an available option, since lots of brand name computers seem to limit your options. I figured I might need to RMA them, but was really hoping I wouldn't need to, as I have already RMA'd one pair of the same RAM. The fact that the 2nd pair didn't work got me to thinking that maybe it might be a problem with compatibility.

    You may need to educate me on what you mean by "when your board POSTs". To be more clear on the booting issue, when I turn the computer on it doesn't even get to the screen where I can choose to go into the BIOS options. Does that answer your question? I don't see anything when I boot it up. All I get are a series of previously unheard beeps and the power light blinks red instead of the normal, constant green.

    This isn't the first time I have installed RAM, and am familiar with how hard I need to push them in. They are both in securely. I did do a static discharge before handling the RAM, so I don't think that is the issue. I didn't have the power cord disconnected, so I supposed that may be part of the problem. I guess I had better get the next RMA process rolling. :( Thanks for your help.
  5. That's the bios posting
    From what you tell me, you computer does not even POST. That's not a good sign. Have you tried putting your old RAM in the board ? If they don't work either, you might have fried your motherboard.
    Also, check the bips sequence, then go look into your motherboard manual to get the error code. It might help for diagnostics.
  6. al360ex said:
    That's the bios posting http://www.linuxhardware.org/images/articles/nf2kt400-071003/SOYO-KT400-BIOS-Post.jpg
    From what you tell me, you computer does not even POST. That's not a good sign. Have you tried putting your old RAM in the board ? If they don't work either, you might have fried your motherboard.
    Also, check the bips sequence, then go look into your motherboard manual to get the error code. It might help for diagnostics.


    Oh, no the computer still works just fine (I still have the old RAM installed). It just won't boot with the new RAM installed. I have tried booting it up with just the new, and then also with the new and old together and I get the same result.
  7. Then what I'd suggest is ask for a RMA (with refund). Then pick a brand that is better known, like Kingston, Mushkin, Corsair, G.Skill or Crucial. It should work fine.
    And discharge any static you might have on you before touching the new modules in the box. Sometimes this is the part people forget. They discharge themselves when they are "playing" in the case, but not before when they open their memory box to have a look at the RAM they just bought.

    And also, with the new RAM installed, does it POSTs, but not boot. Or do you see nothing at all on your screen ? If it is the latter, then it is probably a compatibility problem. The RAM you chose is simply not compatible with your motherboard. By the way, what is the brand/model of your mobo ? Do you have a custom build, or you bought from HP, Dell, or a company like that ? If that's the case, sometimes theses companies use special RAM for their computers...In other words, only their RAM will work with their motherboards. It means you won't be able to upgrade it without changing your main board.
  8. I got some G.Skill for my home PC and have not had any problems. I felt confident getting this Adata RAM because it had a great customer review score with 1000+ reviews. It seemed like a no-brainer. maybe i should try this G.Skill option. It has more than 2x as reviews and is still a 5/5 score. If that doesn't work I'll have to try something else.

    When the new RAM is installed it doesn't POSTs. There is nothing visible on the screen. I think that if I have to do the OEM RAM from HP I might just do without. It usually costs 2x as much as anything else.
  9. I can't follow the links at my work to verify the required voltage for each set. But I did run into a similar issue where the ram I purchased required a higher voltage and the default voltage setting on the MB was not set high enough.

    To solve this, I had to use some generic ram that matched the MB default RAM voltage. This allowed me to get into the BIOS and from there I had to change the voltage to match the new RAM being installed. To future prof myself I created a profile in the BIOS with the New Voltages.

    Once I installed the new RAM the PC fired up with no issues. Don't know if this could be the cause but I thought I would throw it out there. You never know.
  10. Thanks for the reply, but both the old and the new RAM are 1.8v so I don't think that is the problem.
  11. radinplaid said:
    When the new RAM is installed it doesn't POSTs. There is nothing visible on the screen. I think that if I have to do the OEM RAM from HP I might just do without. It usually costs 2x as much as anything else.

    That's always what happens when you buy a pre-built system : when you want to upgrade, you realise you can't and must buy a new system altogether. It's a pain in the ***. It happened to me once, and since then, I always build my computers from scratch.
  12. al360ex said:
    That's always what happens when you buy a pre-built system : when you want to upgrade, you realise you can't and must buy a new system altogether. It's a pain in the ***. It happened to me once, and since then, I always build my computers from scratch.

    I must have gotten lucky then. The last time I upgraded RAM it was on my home pc which is a Dell, and I had no problems.
  13. Try a single stick of the new RAM and see if you can POST.

    If not, check the beep code sequence and post it here i.e. . . . - . . - . . . (dot for short beep, dash for long)
  14. schizz69 said:
    Try a single stick of the new RAM and see if you can POST.

    If not, check the beep code sequence and post it here i.e. . . . - . . - . . . (dot for short beep, dash for long)

    I tried each of the sticks individually and still couldn't boot. Since I have already sent the RAM back I can't put it in to verify the beep sequence, but I want to say that it was 3 long beeps followed by a break which repeated until i shut it down.
  15. radinplaid said:
    it was 3 long beeps followed by a break which repeated until i shut it down.


    Ok, and what is the manufacturer of your BIOS ? Follow this procedure if you don't know which one it is, here is a method to find it.

    Usually, HP uses AMI (American Megatrend Inc.) BIOSs.

    Once I'll have the BIOS manufacturer, it'll be easy to find the error code.
  16. After checking the system info it looks like the BIOS version is "Hewlett-Packard 786F3 v01.03, 9/28/2007". In case it is relevant, the SMBIOS version in 2.5.
  17. Well, it looks like this is a BIOS made by HP itself...which means that I wasn't able to find any information about the beep code sequence...
    Here you can find the POST codes : http://www.bioscentral.com/postcodes/hpbios.htm
    But nowhere was I able to find the signification of the beeps.

    Sorry !
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