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Odd problem regarding memory

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October 15, 2011 2:51:59 PM

I was running a X48T-DQ6 with 2 paired 1GB ram modules (Corsair 2GB (2x1GB) DDR3 1333MHz/PC3-10666 XMS3 Memory Kit Non-ECC Unbuffered CL9).

I decided I needed more RAM so purchased these two modules: Corsair 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz Memory Kit Unbuffered CL9

After installing the two new modules alongside the old ones, I noticed much instability in Vista 64bit. I would get random crashes and the odd bluescreen. Also, my second hard drive, and DVD drive would disappear from My Computer. These two discs are on the IDE line, with the HDD as master and the DVD drive as slave.

The first thing I tried was to memtest86 the modules. There were no problems found. I then updated the bios using Gigabyte's @bios tool. This had no effect.

I then tried playing around with having different modules in different slots etc. Unfortunately the instability was random, and its hard to test for it. But it did seem that the more ram I have installed, the more unstable it is. Here are the results of playing with different configurations. O1 and O2 are the old 1gb modules, and N1 and N2 are the new 2Gb modules. "x" is empty. Slots 1 and 3, and slots 2 and 4 are the paired dual channel slots.



As you can see, it appears that any combination that adds up to 4Gb or more of RAM seems to cause the D: and E: drives to disappear from My Computer. I assume that this correlates with the instability.

I'm an experienced computer user, but not so much on the hardware side.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance for your help

More about : odd problem memory

a c 347 } Memory
a c 717 V Motherboard
October 15, 2011 3:07:33 PM

Assuming Gigabyte GA-X48T-DQ6 - http://www.gigabyte.us/products/product-page.aspx?pid=2...

Proper RAM installations:
CPU: | Set 1 | blank | Set 1 | blank |
CPU: | blank | Set 1 | blank | Set 1 |

CPU: | Set 1 | Set 2 | Set 1 | Set 2 |
CPU: | Set 2 | Set 1 | Set 2 | Set 1 |

Please provide links to EACH set of RAM so I can see the Freq/CAS/Voltage/etc.
Related resources
a c 347 } Memory
a c 717 V Motherboard
October 15, 2011 3:54:39 PM

First thing I looked for in your manual was 'Memory (Hole) Remapping - > Enabled ; for 64-bit OS -- however, I didn't see any such setting. HPET Mode -> 64-bit is for the timer precision, but should be used any 64-bit OS. Also, you don't have an iGPU so there's no RAM going to an onboard GPU.

Corsair:
DDR3-1333 9-9-9-24-2N @ 1.50v ; CMV4GX3M2A1333C9
DDR3-1333 9-9-9-27-2N @ 1.50v ; TWIN3X2048-1333C9 (problematic set)
=========================
DDR3-1333 9-9-9-27-2N @ 1.50v

Try these DIMMs:
CPU: | NEW | old | NEW| old |

BIOS:
Q - [Standard CMOS Features] ( what's listed at ) -> Memory - Total Memory = ???
Q - [MB Intelligent Tweaker(M.I.T.)] ( what's listed at ) -> Memory Frequency (Mhz) = ???

BIOS Settings:
[MAIN Menu] Load Optimized = Yes
[MB Intelligent Tweaker(M.I.T.)] DDR3 OverVoltage Control - > +0.10v ; this will set the RAM 1.60v
[Power Management Setup] HPET Mode -> 64-bit

Save & Exit = Yes

Q - What exact CPU? ; I forgot you have the 'fun' FSB Ratio to contend with.
October 15, 2011 5:01:59 PM

My processor:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 2.66GHz 1333FSB Socket 775 12MB L2 Cache (2x6MB)

I turned off my pc and set up the RAM in this configuration:

CPU: | N1 | O1 | N2 | O2 |

Booted into BIOS and found this:

Total Memory: 6144M

Memory Frequency (set on AUTO) : 1066 (that's not right surely?)


I then loaded optimised defaults, set DDR Overvoltage control to +0.1V and changed HPET mode to 64bit.

I saved and quit, and again booted into BIOS to find:

Total Memory: 6144M

Memory Frequency (set on AUTO) : 1066


I let it boot all the way to windows, and D: and E: were still missing, although it has been stable enough for me to come on here and post this message. That may just be down to luck however.
a c 347 } Memory
a c 717 V Motherboard
October 15, 2011 5:30:53 PM

I wanted the New first so the 'SPD' was read from the BIOS. Since your CPU has FSB Speed 1333 MHz, setting the RAM Frequency is much easier.

BIOS:
[MB Intelligent Tweaker(M.I.T.)]:
System Memory Multiplier -> 6.67 ; assuming the CPU Host Frequency (Mhz) = 200
/ 'Memory Frequency (Mhz)' = 1333 ; it should then read the correct Frequency/
DRAM Timing Selectable -> Manual
CAS Latency Time -> 9
DRAM RAS# to CAS# Delay -> 9
DRAM RAS# Precharge -> 9
Precharge delay(tRAS) -> 27
-
Command Rate (CMD) -> 2

Save & Exit = Yes

Note "[MB Intelligent Tweaker(M.I.T.)] DDR3 OverVoltage Control - > +0.10v ; this will set the RAM 1.60v " is needed only if there's instability.

Regarding missing HDD's (D: and E:) , IMO set everything to AHCI and at the very least the Intel SATA Ports.

BIOS:
[Integrated Peripherals]:
SATA RAID/AHCI Mode -> AHCI
SATA Port0-3 Native Mode -> Enabled

Save & Exit = Yes

Once in Windows run 'Fix It' ; see -> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976
then Reboot.

Let me know.
October 15, 2011 6:22:04 PM

Just after my last post, without changing the memory back I managed to run 10 cycles of IntelBurnTest as maximum stress.
It managed to get through it without crashing - so maybe the extra voltage has stabilised the memory as you say.

After this, I went into BIOS to make the changes you suggest. The CPU host frequency was actually 333 (x8 to make 2.66Mhz). So I instead changed the system memory mulitplier to 4. But it wasn't that simple:

Spoiler


There was more than one version of 4. I chose 4.00B based on the table on the right. I hope this is right?

Anyway I made all the other changes including the AHCI, and saved and quit.

The computer pauses at booting up just at the end of the POST screen, with the message "NTLDR is missing"

So I reset the BIOS back to optimised defaults, changed the RAM voltage to +0.1V and the HPET mode to 64bit, leaving us back to where we were before your last post.

Cheers for your help by the way.
a c 347 } Memory
a c 717 V Motherboard
October 15, 2011 6:41:13 PM

AHCI - you need the Drivers installed or you have a corruption.

Vista - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392

System Memory Multiplier -> 6.67 ; assuming the CPU Host Frequency (Mhz) = 200
<or>
System Memory Multiplier -> 4.00 ; assuming the CPU Host Frequency (Mhz) = 333

System Memory Multiplier = RAM Frequency (MHz) / CPU Host Frequency (Mhz)

Q - What about the 'Missing' HDD(s)??
October 15, 2011 8:43:19 PM

The missing HDD is old. Even though its not showing up in My Computer, the "missing" HDD is still listed in the device manager. It's a ST3802110A SCSI Disk Device.

The DVD player does not appear in device manager.

I'll have to hunt down my Vista CD to run bootrec.exe - I haven't touched it since I built the computer 3 years ago! :lol: 
a c 347 } Memory
a c 717 V Motherboard
October 15, 2011 8:48:05 PM

Sometimes, not always, moving the SATA Ports corrects a corruption issues. Otherwise IF it shows-up in the Device Manager then Uninstall and reboot does the same, it re-installs the drivers and rewrites the registry.

Otherwise, try the DVD and old HDD on another PC, if available, to rule-out a bad device.
October 15, 2011 8:54:07 PM

jaquith said:
Sometimes, not always, moving the SATA Ports corrects a corruption issues. Otherwise IF it shows-up in the Device Manager then Uninstall and reboot does the same, it re-installs the drivers and rewrites the registry.

Otherwise, try the DVD and old HDD on another PC, if available, to rule-out a bad device.



The C: drive is a SATA disc and works fine. The D: drive which is missing is IDE. The missing DVD drive is slave on the same IDE cable. I know the D: drive isn't broken because if I use 3Gb or less of RAM it and the DVD drive show up and function properly. It's really wierd.


The good news is that the RAM settings you gave me above work fine, and I can now boot with all 6Gb of RAM in. I'll need to give a while before I can be totally sure it's stable, but it's looking good. Thanks!
a c 347 } Memory
a c 717 V Motherboard
October 15, 2011 9:26:15 PM

The IDE 'jumpers' need to be set correctly, in this case Slave.
October 16, 2011 11:43:42 AM

Just checked and the missing HDD was already set to master, but I'm not sure about the DVD drive. So I disconnected the DVD drive and booted with just the missing HDD attached with master set.

It still didn't show up in windows.

It seems that literally the only deciding factor of whether the missing HDD and DVD show up is whether or not I have more than 3Gb of RAM installed. Could it be a power issue?
a c 347 } Memory
a c 717 V Motherboard
October 16, 2011 2:20:43 PM

The real problem is probably 'unequal' sized RAM in a Channel; as below the word 'Set' suggests 1GB + 1GB or 2GB + 2GB NOT 1GB + 2GB. When booting you should be seeing "Flex Memory Mode". Bottom-line, you're doing something odd and often odd begets odd behavior.

CPU: | Set 1 | Set 2 | Set 1 | Set 2 |
CPU: | Set 2 | Set 1 | Set 2 | Set 1 |

The 2nd HDD should be as 'Slave' not 'Master'.

IMO - the 'fix' is to get a proper 'Set' of RAM, your MOBO supports 8GB and over 4xDIMM that 2GB/DIMM density. A basic 2x2GB set costs ~ $26; example F3-10666CL9D-4GBNS - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
October 16, 2011 2:46:18 PM

jaquith said:
The real problem is probably 'unequal' sized RAM in a Channel; as below the word 'Set' suggests 1GB + 1GB or 2GB + 2GB NOT 1GB + 2GB. When booting you should be seeing "Flex Memory Mode". Bottom-line, you're doing something odd and often odd begets odd behavior.

CPU: | Set 1 | Set 2 | Set 1 | Set 2 |
CPU: | Set 2 | Set 1 | Set 2 | Set 1 |

The 2nd HDD should be as 'Slave' not 'Master'.

IMO - the 'fix' is to get a proper 'Set' of RAM, your MOBO supports 8GB and over 4xDIMM that 2GB/DIMM density. A basic 2x2GB set costs ~ $26; example F3-10666CL9D-4GBNS - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


But thats the thing, I do have it it the combination you show here. Even if I have 2Gb in slot one and 2Gb in slot three (so they run dual channel), and no other ram, I still get the problem with the IDE drives. There isn't anything odd about that config is there?

Here is a diagram of my HDD/ DVD setup:



Why should HDD2 need to be slave? Even if I disconnect the DVD drive so its only the HDD2 on the IDE it still wont show up UNLESS I use 3Gb of RAM or less.

I should point out that the HDD2 and DVD drive always show up in BIOS correctly. It's just in windows there is a problem. Even then, they still show up in Disk Management, but as uninitialised and not formatted.


I think I'm just going to have to go without the other disk and the DVD drive for now.
a c 347 } Memory
a c 717 V Motherboard
October 16, 2011 4:14:05 PM

Sorry, I forgot ... I saw the odd numbers and lost my way.

The C is the Master and both the D and DVD are slaves. BTW - It's been years since I had a SATA + IDE anything.

Q - how is the D connected to the DVD?
October 17, 2011 5:31:32 PM


Really? I thought slave and master was just when you have two IDE devices on the same cable. D: and the DVD are connected by a single IDE cable. One end of it plugs into the mobo, the other end plugs into the DVD drive. Halfway along the IDE cable is another connector which plugs into the D: drive.

Here is a picture of my standard peripherals page in BIOS:



The two "missing" devices are on IDE channel 4. PLEASE NOTE these two devices show up fine like this in BIOS no matter what. It's only when in windows with more than 3Gb of RAM that the problem arises. Maybe it's a wierd windows problem?
a c 347 } Memory
a c 717 V Motherboard
October 17, 2011 7:21:47 PM

Again, it's been years 'for me' since the last issue or dealings with IDE; last issue - I was using (2) identical DVD's on IDE with the single ribbon cable, and as I recall I solved it by both 'jumpers' and IRQ tweaking. As to what I did beyond that?? Too long ago. Once SATA came out I did have a few builds with SATA HDD and IDE ODD.

So in a nutshell, I don't know 'How to Solve' your IDE issues. I sure would 'try' making both the IDE drives as slaves. I assume you're not booting your OS off the IDE HDD. By now the IDE HDD has got to be old, unreliable, and new HDD's are selling for <$40~$50.

Try a post here -> http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum-32-204.html

If it were 'me' I'd get all SATA if the problems cannot be corrected.
October 17, 2011 7:47:35 PM

I think I agree with you. Just looking around now I could replace the IDE HDD and DVD drive for less than £40, so that'll have to be the solution.

Thanks for your help. Not had any instability since I started using the RAM settings you gave me so at least that worked out [:briovaz:2]
a c 347 } Memory
a c 717 V Motherboard
October 17, 2011 7:57:42 PM

Good Luck! :sol: 
!