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Asus M4A79XTD Evo, Computer doesnt boot with 2 sticks of ram installed

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July 18, 2011 6:36:01 PM

Hello, Ive been fighting with my computer for over 2 months now. Its a new build that has never worked right. :fou: 

Specs:
Asus M4A79XTD Evo
G.Skill Sniper gaming ram DDR3 1333 2x4gb 1.5v
AMD Phenom x4 965 Denai Black Edition Cpu
500Gb Western Digital HDD
500 Watt psu
Nvidia 9500gt video card
Liteon dvd/cd burner
Raidmax Smildon Durktooth case


Ive literally replaced every component in this build.

MY PROBLEM: The computer will not post/boot with both sticks of ram in the motherboard. I have tried all the slots, a new motherboard, new ram i received today... Everything has been replaced. I dont know if maybe it is a bios setting, I have everything set to AUTO. I dont know enough about the bios to go in and manually set the ram values.

The motherboard does error beep when there is no ram installed. Ive ran memtest86 on the ram, no errors.

The computer post/boots perfect when I use one stick. It doesnt matter which stick i use or what slot i put it in, it boots every time. As soon as the second stick is installed, no post beep/no boot.
a c 717 V Motherboard
July 18, 2011 6:48:01 PM

What BIOS version are you running? The 2 sticks MUST be in the same colored DIMM Slots. There are Sniper's that are NOT compatible with AMD - so what EXACT set do you have; provide a link.
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July 18, 2011 6:55:30 PM

I have the latest bios, i believe it is 2012. I always installed the ram into the same colored slot (blue/blue and black/black) the only time they werent in the same colored slot was just to see if moving the ram around fixed the problem.

Here's a link to the ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It says it is compatible with am3 platforms
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Related resources
July 18, 2011 7:03:18 PM

ALSO,
Today, after seeing I still had the same problems with the new ram, i called G.skill. One of their techs told me to return my sniper ram and that they would upgrade me to their ripjaw x series ram. I dont if it is something i should do or i would just be wasting my return postage. Im not 100% convinced its a ram issue. Maybe bios settings? ram voltage? motherboard? I just dont know where to begin as everything has been replaced at least once. I dont think its a hardware issue.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
July 18, 2011 7:16:14 PM

BIOS & RAM - just checkin' you needed 0605 for your CPU, and the 1.25v ...8GBSR2 {2} are not compatible.

Stock
1333 @ 1.50v 9-9-9-24-2N

Get into the BIOS, 1 stick:
{Assuming others are Defaults}
AI Overclock Tuner -> Manual
DRAM Frequency - > 1333 MHz
DRAM Voltage -> 1.60v ; lets try +0.10v for testing
DRAM Command Mode -> 2T ; 2T is 2N
TCL -> 9
TRCD -> 9
TRP -> 9
TRAS -> 24
---
ECC Mode MUST be Disabled

Save & Exit = Yes

Shut down and install the 2nd stick.

Let me know! :) 
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a c 717 V Motherboard
July 18, 2011 7:19:14 PM

asimons11 said:
ALSO,...Im not 100% convinced its a ram issue. ... I dont think its a hardware issue.

The first thing that crossed my mind was a CPU issue, but first things first.

Q - What do you mean specifically when "Ive literally replaced every component in this build." -- what part(s)?
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July 18, 2011 9:07:44 PM

i will try that now and let you know. every single component has been replaced. ive tried (2) hard drives, (2) sets of ram, (2) motherboards, (3) cpu's, (2) video cards and (2) power supplies.
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July 18, 2011 9:48:09 PM

ok, so i tried those settings , saved/exited, installed the second ram stick and restarted. Still no post beep/boot. I didnt see the ECC MODE anywhere in the bios tho. i decided to reset the bios (everything set back to auto) and try moving the one stick of ram to each DIMM slot restarting the computer after each move. The computer boots using two of the slots but fails to boot using the other two slots.

This is how my DIMM slots are labeled:

Working closest to the cpu and moving away from it.
BLACK: A1
BLACK: B1
BLUE: A2
BLUE: B2

BLACK A1 and BLUE A2 dont seem to be working. No post beep/boot with one stick installed at a time

BLACK: A1 <--- BAD, didnt boot
BLACK: B1 (BOOTED)
BLUE: A2 <--- BAD, didnt boot
BLUE: B2 (BOOTED)

Black B1 and BLUE A1 work with on stick installed.

It seems like maybe i have a bad DIMM slot on channel 1 and a bad DIMM slot on channel 2.

That would explain why when i have two sticks installed per channel the computer doesnt post...
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July 18, 2011 10:19:45 PM

i just put one stick in channel one and one stick in channel 2 (yes i know both sticks are supposed to be in either channel 1 or 2) and the computer posts like its supposed to. i opened a monitoring program called SIW (system info for windows) and the computer is now reading 8gb of ram. I also opened ccleaner because that shows some system info and it too is showing 8gb of ram. maybe the asus manual is wrong and the channels are actually paired by the a's and b's instead of the 1's and 2's... i dont know. if this continues to work is it safe to use one stick in BLACK B1 and one stick in BLUE B2 until i get my new motherboard? after all this troubleshooting, this is the only way my computer boots properly with both sticks.
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Best solution

a c 717 V Motherboard
July 18, 2011 10:51:17 PM

If you replaced as stated then the chance of a bad DIMM slot is nearly zip. If you reset the BIOS via a Clear CMOS - jumper then ECC Mode is Disabled. If you replaced all of that stuff and indeed have the latest BIOS then you need to start thinking 'shorts.'

1. Try increasing the NB Voltage -> 1.20-1.30v in addition to what is listed above.
Try A1 + B1 and A2 + B2

2. Shorting:
A. Vanilla Stand-off short:
Unscrew all of the MOBO and PCIe screws, dangle the MOBO supported by towel and pull away from anything conductive; otherwise full breadboard

B. Test Everything for a short:
Unplug ALL headers: USB & Front Panel
Unscrew all of the MOBO and PCIe screws, dangle the MOBO supported by towel and pull away from anything conductive; otherwise full breadboard
Unplug ALL USB Devices including Keyboard & Mouse
GPU; I assume the GPU requires NO additional power. This link shows none -> http://www.nvidia.com/object/product_geforce_9500gt_us....
Verify 24-pin and 4-pin CPU is connected to PSU

See page 2-32, with screwdriver or wire short {PWR + Ground \ PWRSW}
Try A1 + B1 and A2 + B2
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a c 717 V Motherboard
July 18, 2011 10:54:26 PM

asimons11 said:
i just put one stick in channel one and one stick in channel 2 (yes i know both sticks are supposed to be in either channel 1 or 2) and the computer posts like its supposed to. i opened a monitoring program called SIW (system info for windows) and the computer is now reading 8gb of ram. I also opened ccleaner because that shows some system info and it too is showing 8gb of ram. maybe the asus manual is wrong and the channels are actually paired by the a's and b's instead of the 1's and 2's... i dont know. if this continues to work is it safe to use one stick in BLACK B1 and one stick in BLUE B2 until i get my new motherboard? after all this troubleshooting, this is the only way my computer boots properly with both sticks.

IF CPU-z is showing as Dual Channel then the manual is wrong; CPU-z -> http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html
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July 18, 2011 11:00:30 PM

downloading cpu-z right now. i read online that some people thought the asus motherboard manual gad the instructions wrong in regards to the dimm slots. . ill let you know
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July 18, 2011 11:02:50 PM

Cpu-z does in fact show dual channel. im gonna try to get you a screen shot.
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July 18, 2011 11:04:49 PM

actually im not sure if it is dual channel but its reading all 8gb.

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a c 717 V Motherboard
July 18, 2011 11:14:57 PM

No, it's single channel :(  However, the speed differences between Single and Dual Channel with DDR3 is pretty insignificant <1%. You'd have to be a Borg to sense it.

Q - What about your Mainboard tab?

Channels # {Single, Dual, Triple, & Quadruple}
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July 18, 2011 11:15:29 PM

Here a two screenshots of cpu-z showing the slot in which each stick of ram is in. just to verify they are in either BLUE/BLUE or BLACK/BLACK.





Mainboard tab

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a c 717 V Motherboard
July 18, 2011 11:35:04 PM

Yep, your BIOS version is good.

I assume the Overvolting jumper is in the 2+3 postion; see page 2-20.

I also assume that you're not running BIOS invasive Apps: AMD OverDrive Utility, ASUS Ai Suite, ASUS EPU-4, or ASUS TurboV - these Apps cause all sorts of oddball problems...
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July 18, 2011 11:42:49 PM

that is correct. the jumper is in the 2+3 position and i dont have any of the bios apps installed. I try to keep my computer as clean as possible. so at this point it it safe to say my motherboard has two bad DIMM slots?
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a c 717 V Motherboard
July 19, 2011 12:06:38 AM

The chances are: 80% MOBO, 10% CPU/CPU Pins, 10% something else including a short.

I should have asked before, what HSF are you using? IF non-stock then I've seen a backplate short do 'this before.'

Screw or Nut -> Metal Backplate | Plastic Washer | [MOBO] | Plastic Washer | Top Plate/HSF <- Screw or Nut

Next, IMO it's worth exploring the 'shorting' the most common shorts are Standoff and I/O grounding shorts. Since you're moving in that direction is cannot hurt to breadboard.

Lastly, the Ripjaws X might solve the problem if the 8GBSR 'really' aren't compatible. AMD is really picky with RAM - trust me.

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July 19, 2011 12:53:49 AM

i do have an aftermarket hsf. it is this right here: http://www.shopping.com/Rocketfish-Rocketfish-Universal...

it doesnt actually screw to the motherboard. it uses the same bracket system the stock amd cooler would. i dont see how it could short as it mounts the the composite housing that the cpu lays in. you can see the mounting tabs in this picture: http://www.amazon.com/AMD-CPU-Bracket-Base-socket/dp/B0...

tonight i will breadboard and see if that helps.

i called gskill again and they said since i already had to rma ram that they would be paying my return shipping. i think i will def get the new ram as well. if that doesnt work directron.com has agreed to let me rma the motherboard if needed.

would you suggest i go with the same motherboard or try something else. after doing some reading online it seems like this motherboard is known for this problem... i would have around a $100 credit if i return the motherboard so i would like to get something in that price range if i did decide to go with a different one. i would just like to get something descent. i really appreciate all the help. i will breadboard and let you know if i find anything.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
July 19, 2011 1:04:27 AM

As I stated 'Metal Backplate' obviously yours is plastic.

IMO - I would try the new RAM and if that fails then either RMA the MOBO or exchange for a different MOBO. Then it becomes a financial issue, if I were to get a new AMD then AM3+ and 990FX.

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July 19, 2011 1:12:02 AM

well i will breadboard it tonight and see if that fixes it. if not ram then mobo. like i said i appreciate everything sir.
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July 19, 2011 1:58:11 AM

ok, this has really thrown me for a loop! i pulled just the mobo out of the case, put both sticks of ram in the blue DIMM slots (where they are supposed to be) and started the computer. I figured i would remove one component at a time so if it was a shorting problem id know what was causing it. well... the computer post and booted!!!! open cpu-z and the memory is dual channel. I turned off the comp/restarted it 10 times now and it has started perfectly every time... so i guess it has been a short the whole time. now my next question is how do i go about fixing the shorting problem. the motherboard is held in with 9 screws. they came with 9 felt washers. do i put the washers between the mobo and the case or between the case and the head of the screws? do i even use them at all? is it possibly the motherboard has special grounding requirements? what other places on the mobo should i be concerned with it shorting out? never had to deal with this situation before.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
July 19, 2011 3:18:09 AM

IMO - I would NOT use 'felt' and instead use plastic; you 'can' make them using plastic squares with holes from a blister pack or buy them some place local. VERIFY that all of the standoffs line-up with only MOBO screw holes and none of them are simply hitting the bottom of the MOBO. Case | Standoff | Plastic Washer | [MOBO] <- Screw.

Next, I'd look very carefully at your I/O Shield. Most of all shorts are those (2) items - standoffs & I/O shields.

Hey, at least you know now it 'can' work! :) 
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July 19, 2011 4:08:41 AM

well i got it back together and it seems to be working for the time being. big relief! been fighting this computer for over 2-3 months now. I really appreciate all the help, i couldnt have done it without all your advice!
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July 19, 2011 4:09:58 AM

Best answer selected by asimons11.
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July 19, 2011 6:13:12 AM

well it was too good to be true :(  started getting errors while the computer was booting, stating a recent hardware change had caused a problem with windows. this was happening even though i hadnt changed anything. im gonna rma the ram (get the ripjaw x's) and rma the motherboard. hopefully its an actual hardware issue.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
July 19, 2011 4:26:49 PM

If this is 'happening' in the Case then the problem is the installation. IF you are not using a 3-prong receptacle or power cable then you'll have a grounding issue from the PSU. The wall plug can also be improperly wired {reverse polarity or ground}; this can be tested by removing the PSU from the case while everything else is installed in the case.
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July 19, 2011 5:12:53 PM

Man shorts are a bear, I had one in 2010 that caused me a month of goofing around and even RMA of the board. Good thing about that was they updated the Bios for me while they had it :lol: 

Anyway I ended up removing the board and setting up on the box and boom all was well. I took all the stand offs and wrapped them with a layer of electrical tape and even cut a sheet of static bag to fit the back of the motherboard perfectly under the stand offs I then put it all back together and it was all good. That got me going but right after that I got a new case and set it all up again.

A good short can test the patience of even the experienced. That was my first real short issue I had ever come across in my 12 years of building. Part of the problem was I was stubborn and would not accept the possibility of a short, I was convinced it was the motherboard :/ 
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July 19, 2011 6:17:45 PM

jaquith said:
If this is 'happening' in the Case then the problem is the installation. IF you are not using a 3-prong receptacle or power cable then you'll have a grounding issue from the PSU. The wall plug can also be improperly wired {reverse polarity or ground}; this can be tested by removing the PSU from the case while everything else is installed in the case.



I am using a three prong power cable. So far i have hooked the computer up in a different room (different outlet) and i removed the power supply from the case (i still have both sticks of ram in the blue DIMM slots) and it seems to be booting fine again. the motherboard is still in the case. i have turned it on and off about 5 times with no problems. i dont beleive it was the outlet in the other room though because my other computer works fine using the same outlet.
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July 19, 2011 6:21:07 PM

rogbur22 said:
Man shorts are a bear, I had one in 2010 that caused me a month of goofing around and even RMA of the board. Good thing about that was they updated the Bios for me while they had it :lol: 

Anyway I ended up removing the board and setting up on the box and boom all was well. I took all the stand offs and wrapped them with a layer of electrical tape and even cut a sheet of static bag to fit the back of the motherboard perfectly under the stand offs I then put it all back together and it was all good. That got me going but right after that I got a new case and set it all up again.

A good short can test the patience of even the experienced. That was my first real short issue I had ever come across in my 12 years of building. Part of the problem was I was stubborn and would not accept the possibility of a short, I was convinced it was the motherboard :/ 


i think im in the same boat as you. even though i now think it is shorting somewhere near the psu, im going to also wrap my stand-offs and make some sort of shield to go under the motherboard. i feel as we are chipping away at the problem. hopefully all problems will be fixed soon. like i said before ive been battling this computer for about 3 months now :( 
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