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Installed Ram Upgrade and smelled Burning.

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February 16, 2011 5:00:19 PM

ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 AM3 AMD 880G HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Thuban 2.8GHz 6 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor HDT55TFBGRBOX

CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M2A1600C9

Xion Supernova XON-800R14N 800 Watt Modular-Power Complies with ATX 12V and EPS 12V v2.91 - Retail

When all the above was in the system it was in working order. With no problems.
I recently added another 4 gigs of ram to the system....
the same exact ram type
(CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M2A1600C9)

When i plugged it in, i noticed the monitor was taking too long to come on and i got close to the computer and smelled burning.
please assist, dont get me wrong i know a fair share about computers but simply adding ram makes no sense how that could happen.


a b V Motherboard
February 16, 2011 5:20:14 PM

Did you insert the RAM modules correctly? If you insert them backwards, one side will clip in, and the other will not. Sometimes people aren't careful and i've seen several "DIY upgrade" machines come in for service that have had ram inserted backwards. This destroys the RAM, as well as the motherboard in every case i've ever seen. Check that first.


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a b V Motherboard
February 16, 2011 5:20:37 PM

Turning off and unplugging the psu is not enough. You have to remove the power in the motherboards capacitors by pushing the power button several times AFTER you have turned off and unplugged the psu. You will see the fans start spinning, even though the computer is unplugged.

I've seen this happen several times before, you probably burned a ram slot. Visually check the ram slots and dimms for burn marks.
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February 16, 2011 5:22:14 PM

wow, holy crap i just built this pc for christmas....
eff!!
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February 16, 2011 5:23:21 PM

so i have to replace the mother board and the ram?
jesus... there is no way to salvage this?
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a b V Motherboard
February 16, 2011 5:32:06 PM

Check your RAM slots and see if there is any physical damage to the slots or the modules themselves. If you did happen to insert one backwards, you'll see. Usually there will be burned traces on the RAM, and the socket will sometimes be melted around a couple pins torwards the end.
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a b V Motherboard
February 16, 2011 5:34:30 PM

geekapproved said:
Turning off and unplugging the psu is not enough. You have to remove the power in the motherboards capacitors by pushing the power button several times AFTER you have turned off and unplugged the psu. You will see the fans start spinning, even though the computer is unplugged.

I've seen this happen several times before, you probably burned a ram slot. Visually check the ram slots and dimms for burn marks.





This is especially true if the system is in standby / sleep, where the system appears to be off, but the DIMM modules are still powered up.
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a c 108 V Motherboard
February 16, 2011 5:37:37 PM

Welcome to the forums, Newcomer. Adding the RAM indeed should not cause the problem you've described; however, some motherboards aren't very sturdy. Adding RAM while the mobo is mounted in the case can sometimes cause problems related to the mobo flexing. It is best to think outside the box for the moment.

Disconnect all wiring, including CPU fan. Thoroughly check the surface of the mobo for any scorch marks. If none are found, remove the mobo from the case and check underneath. Also check the inside of the case for any scorch marks, as well. If no scorch marks are found, on the case or otherwise, check the edges of the mobo to see if any of the layers have lifted or bubbled. If no physical signs of damage can be found, thoroughly inspect the PSU for any signs of damage.

If mobo and PSU look ok, breadboard your system. As you begin the breadboarding, install one component at a time. Start with the CPU and heatsink/fan assembly. Allow a few seconds to lapse before proceeding, to ensure that the currently installed component(s) are not burning. As you continue to add parts, carefully inspect each to ensure that nothing is damaged on said part.

Here are some theories as to why something started burning:

1. Mobo flexed when RAM was being installed, thus causing a circuit to damage
2. RAM module(s) have unseen/unknown residue
3. DIMM slot(s) could have an open circuit
4. Voltage to DIMM slot(s) aren't being reisted properly
5. Wiring inside the case may have been accidentally dislodged, causing an open circuit.
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February 16, 2011 5:41:58 PM

mavroxur said:
Check your RAM slots and see if there is any physical damage to the slots or the modules themselves. If you did happen to insert one backwards, you'll see. Usually there will be burned traces on the RAM, and the socket will sometimes be melted around a couple pins torwards the end.


I know this is stupid and hopeful, but if i didnt insert the chip all the way... and thats what caused this problem will the damage still be as bad?

man, im at work and i have to wait until i go back home to see how much i just shot myself in the foot.

and what if there are no burn marks or melted plastic?
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February 16, 2011 5:44:39 PM

T_T said:
Welcome to the forums, Newcomer. Adding the RAM indeed should not cause the problem you've described; however, some motherboards aren't very sturdy. Adding RAM while the mobo is mounted in the case can sometimes cause problems related to the mobo flexing. It is best to think outside the box for the moment.

Disconnect all wiring, including CPU fan. Thoroughly check the surface of the mobo for any scorch marks. If none are found, remove the mobo from the case and check underneath. Also check the inside of the case for any scorch marks, as well. If no scorch marks are found, on the case or otherwise, check the edges of the mobo to see if any of the layers have lifted or bubbled. If no physical signs of damage can be found, thoroughly inspect the PSU for any signs of damage.

If mobo and PSU look ok, breadboard your system. As you begin the breadboarding, install one component at a time. Start with the CPU and heatsink/fan assembly. Allow a few seconds to lapse before proceeding, to ensure that the currently installed component(s) are not burning. As you continue to add parts, carefully inspect each to ensure that nothing is damaged on said part.

Here are some theories as to why something started burning:

1. Mobo flexed when RAM was being installed, thus causing a circuit to damage
2. RAM module(s) have unseen/unknown residue
3. DIMM slot(s) could have an open circuit
4. Voltage to DIMM slot(s) aren't being reisted properly
5. Wiring inside the case may have been accidentally dislodged, causing an open circuit.


thanks... i appreciate it.
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a b V Motherboard
February 16, 2011 5:46:12 PM

If the module wasn't aligned properly (e.g. one end not clipped in, and module shifted towards unsecured end) it won't be any better. When installing modules, you have to make sure both sides "click" completely into the socket, and the retention clips close, to make sure it's fully and properly seated. If there isn't any burns / melted plastic around the sockets, you need to carefully inspect the rest of the system and try to determine what burned. If you smelled burning, it obviously came from somewhere, and you need to determine that to help further diagnose the system. It could be something like a pinched PSU wire, but you need to inspect it further.
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February 16, 2011 6:06:27 PM

true, well thanks for all the insight, its so hard to know where to start looking.
I definately greately appreciate, it i hope my dumb a$$ didnt ruin a system i just built... smh i just wanted to run photoshop.
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a b V Motherboard
February 16, 2011 11:21:42 PM

There's no point in discussing any further until you visually inspect the ram and slot.

My friend did this because he didn't remove the power from the capacitors before he installed his new ram.

He called me and said he smelled burning. I said what did you do, he said I put the ram in and now there is a burn mark on the dimm slot and now it won't boot. I had to rma the motherboard and the ram.
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February 17, 2011 5:17:07 PM

my bad i deleted the other threads...

yeah the fourth ram slot was not pushed all the way in, according to the feedback i recieved from reading around the entire ram bank is dead...
there was no burning on the chips none of the plastic was melted, there was one lil slot next to the fourth ram slot with what appears to be exposed copper on the board itself.
Basically with out a new mother board i have no way of knowing if the ram is also dead.
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a b V Motherboard
February 17, 2011 6:15:05 PM

If you have a trace on the motherboard that's bare copper, it probably shorted and burned the coating off the trace. Most likely, that board is toast, and probably all the ram that was in that bank is dead too (if not all the ram on the board).

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a c 716 V Motherboard
February 17, 2011 6:24:13 PM

Too much to read through, but if it were 'me' I would try my Lazy-Man's Breadboard: unscrew all of the MOBO & PCIe screws, pull the MOBO away from anything conductive and dangle supported by a towel. Use only 1 stick of RAM, and disconnect all but the VERY minimum including keyboard & mouse. Also, if the CPU Fan backplate isn't plastic/rubber and is metal to MOBO direct contact then that too can cause a short.

Use the power button to start/shutdown.

Good Luck!

edit: use your nose to track-down the smell, if it's from your PSU then disconnect it immediately and replace it. A bad PSU can toast anything it's connected to: MOBO, GPU, CPU, etc.
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a b V Motherboard
February 18, 2011 4:44:24 PM

Jayde_laviathan said:
my bad i deleted the other threads...

yeah the fourth ram slot was not pushed all the way in, according to the feedback i recieved from reading around the entire ram bank is dead...
there was no burning on the chips none of the plastic was melted, there was one lil slot next to the fourth ram slot with what appears to be exposed copper on the board itself.
Basically with out a new mother board i have no way of knowing if the ram is also dead.


Like I said in the beginning, your motherboard probably still had power in the capacitors when you installed the ram, which burned the board. Seen it a dozen times. Noob mistake.
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a b V Motherboard
February 18, 2011 7:26:33 PM

I'll bet he didn't smell smoke until he powered the system on though. Power in the caps won't burn traces off the board. A DIMM module inserted incorrectly, grounding Vcc pins and causing Vcc to jump to other signal and clock lines, will though.
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a b V Motherboard
February 19, 2011 12:53:16 PM

mavroxur said:
I'll bet he didn't smell smoke until he powered the system on though. Power in the caps won't burn traces off the board. A DIMM module inserted incorrectly, grounding Vcc pins and causing Vcc to jump to other signal and clock lines, will though.



I don't know about that. I've seen it blacken the dimm and the slot and melt the slot slightly.
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!