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RAM issues - POST beeps and confusion

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Last response: in Memory
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November 17, 2011 12:36:44 PM

Hi there. I've never posted on the forums before, but a certain amount of lurking has led me to believe this would be the best place to ask about this problem.

I'm having some pretty perplexing issues with my Dell Studio 1745. It apparently comes with the Calpella platform, but I have a Core 2, so I imagine that's not the case with mine. It does have a (massively crippled) Phoenix BIOS though.

A few days ago I powered up the PC and was confronted with no video output, and a POST beep code. It was one low short beep, one higher short beep, and then 4 longer beeps at the higher pitch. The 4 beeps then repeated indefinitely, with a pause of maybe 3 seconds between each repetition. I left it for a few minutes and it suddenly decided to work again.

The next day, though, I had left it on and when I came back to it it had completely frozen - no kind of response whatsoever. Upon trying to reboot it I got the same problem, but this time it didn't start working again of its own accord. I though the problem would be with the RAM, so after exhausting other options I removed the module in slot B and it was happy again.

What I then assumed was that the stick I took out was faulty. I don't really want to be operating on 2GB, so I bought a new 2x4GB Corsair kit, which is DDR3-1066. I was pretty certain it would be compatible with the MoBo, because it's the same frequency and standard as the original stuff. I'm running 64-bit W7HP, by the way, although I can't imagine that making much of a difference.

The problem now is that this new stuff doesn't work. I can put the old 2GB card in either slot and it works fine, but any configuration involvind the new 4GB modules gives the same POST error as before.

The fact that the old card works in either slot leads me to believe the problem's not something physical with the MoBo, but I really don't know.

Any help would be hugely appreciated, and I'm sorry I can't explain it any more concisely - I'm really confused by the whole thing so I'm finding it hard to be succinct.

Thanks in advance,

Michael
November 17, 2011 3:13:22 PM

Bump
a b } Memory
November 17, 2011 3:50:53 PM

Sounds like you bought the wrong ram, different voltage or something, don't know because you haven't told us what ram you had nor what you bought.

You can run memtest86+ to test each of your ram sticks individually, this will tell you if any of them are defective instead of just guessing.
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November 17, 2011 5:09:51 PM

Thanks for the reply, but I really am rather certain I bought the right RAM. The original is Crucial-branded (i.e. Micron) 2GB, DDR3-1066, CL=7, 204-pin SODIMM. The only variables different with the new stuff is the brand name and the capacity.

I also fail to see how I can run Memtest when the computer fails to even show the BIOS splash. If it can't address the RAM then it won't boot full-stop.
November 17, 2011 5:16:31 PM

Oh and they're both 1.5v. Forgot to mention that. I'm also wondering why the RAM would have failed in the first place, only to become usable again, and then fail once more. That just doesn't seem to make much sense.
November 17, 2011 7:55:56 PM

Anybody got any ideas?
a b } Memory
November 17, 2011 9:15:02 PM

You burn memtest86+ to a disk and boot to it. The test will run. It's a disk I keep with me all the time.

Core 2 duos or quads with DDR3 are pretty rare, although I have seen them. Are you sure it's not DDR2-1066? I'm just having a hard time believing Crucial makes a DDR3-1066 in Cas7, that's odd as well.

Either way let us know what memtest tells you.
November 17, 2011 10:08:28 PM

Maybe I'm being an idiot here, but I don't see how I can get Memtest to run when I can't even get into the BIOS. There's no problems with my HDs, so how would booting from a cd make any difference?

Yeah it is a bit unusual that it has DDR3. It would make more sense if this computer had an i5, but Dell brought out this model just before the i5 came about, for some reason.

Upon further inspection, it turns out the CL on the old RAM is actually 9, but the Corsair memory should still work at that rate, right?
a b } Memory
November 19, 2011 2:57:39 PM

You obviously don't want help. Go troll somewhere else. Bye bye.
November 20, 2011 12:13:29 AM

Well clearly I was mistaken. Maybe this isn't a good place to try and get advice. Can you at least tell me what on earth led you to believe I am a troll?
a b } Memory
November 20, 2011 1:33:25 PM

You clearly were mistaken. You don't come ask for advice and then tell people your not going to test it because it doesn't make sense or because you think that's not the problem. Clearly you came here because you have no idea what the problem is.

I offered advice, you shot it down without even trying it, or possibly without even reading it, which I gathered from your answer, so that leads me to believe you don't want help or you already know all the answers. If your too bullheaded to even run a simple test, nobody here can help you.

Nothing about diagnosing ram issues makes sense, that's why you use a ram tester. Bad ram can cause a computer to not boot at all. Then it could boot but bsod. You could get file errors leading you to believe you have a bad hdd or a corrupt windows install, or even malware/virus.
It could run fine for a while and then just restart in the middle of your work. It could be totally random issues. I just went through these issues myself with a friends computer.

Or it could be just that you have mismatched timings/speed/voltage and your not setting it correctly in the bios to work properly, which like I said, you bought the wrong ram, you then told me you were SURE you bought the CORRECT ram, and then came back and said turns out you DID buy the WRONG ram. So clearly you don't know everything you think you know.

November 20, 2011 4:52:22 PM

It's patently impossible to run diagnostics on RAM that the BIOS can't address. I wasn't saying I won't run memtest on the new RAM, I was saying that I can't - it's literally not possible.

If you meant I should test the old RAM that started working again, then that would make sense, but that's not what I thought you were saying. As it happens, it reports 0 errors.

I'm sorry if you feel I've wasted your time, but I really don't know what I did wrong here. I couldn't have done what you suggested.

I'll get help from someone who's not already mad at me. Thanks for your time anyway.
a b } Memory
November 20, 2011 10:30:20 PM

You could have, you just refuse to. Good luck with your problem.
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