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System will only boot with one memory stick (Weird twist)

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January 9, 2012 9:27:32 PM

Hi everyone,

So I put a machine together for the first time a couple of weeks ago and things were running smoothly so I was a happy camper. Then, a couple of days ago I went to start up my computer and it would not POST. It would simply start up for a couple of seconds, then shut off, wait a few seconds and try all over again, and again, etc..

After troubleshooting I narrowed it down to something to do with the memory: Possibly a bad slot, maybe a bad stick, some kind of setting getting messed up in the Bios, or maybe the memory controller.

I came to this conclusion because I discovered the system will boot and run (albeit much slower) on a single stick of ram in either A2 or B2 (P8Z68-V Gen3 board), but as soon as both slots are populated, it won't POST as described above.

Here's what I've done:
-Reset all Bios settings to defaults in case a power surge thwarted my surge protector or something. I did this once with the jumper, and again by pulling the battery.

-Boot the system with either stick by itself (successful).

-Run Memtest86+ (4.2) on each stick individually. No errors. Two passes each. I've done this with each stick in slot A2 once, and B2 once.

-Plugged my two sticks into my room mate's PC and it boots up fine.

Here's the weird part: If I run memtest on either stick when they are in the A2 slot, the timings in memtest read as 9-9-9-24 which is what the RAM is advertised and listed as. If run the same test on either of them in the B2 slot, memtest shows me timings of 6-6-6-20.

In the bios, regardless of what slot either stick is in, I see 9-9-9-24.

My theory is that for some reason, the B2 slot is forcing whatever stick is in there to run at 6-6-6-20, so when I try to boot with both the A2 and B2 slot populated there is a difference in timings and it can't boot. Does this theory hold water? Or is that just a bug with memtest, displaying wrong information? If that's the case... well... I'm even more lost!

Does it sound like a bad board/memory slot? Is there a chance the memory controller (which I believe is on my CPU - i5 2500k - right?) is at fault? Any other testing suggestions?

Thanks in Advance!
-Andrew

Quick summary of the parts involved:
P8Z68-V/Gen 3
i5-2500k
Corsair Vengeance LP 1.5v DDR3

More about : system boot memory stick weird twist

a b } Memory
January 9, 2012 10:17:31 PM

Have you checked each memory by using only 1-1 i.e. remove other 3 and try using one in each slot to test whether all the slots are working or not?

As you are having the same Mobo(as mine), I believe you already having updated BIOS.

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January 9, 2012 10:30:47 PM

I've successfully booted the machine by using just one of the sticks (either of them) in A2, and in B2. By switching the same stick between these slots I get the discrepancy in timings that I described in my original post. I haven't checked slots A1 and B1 because A1 would be really hard to get to, and to my knowledge, the mobo is setup such that A2 and B2 are meant to be used over A1/B1.
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a b } Memory
January 9, 2012 10:44:37 PM

Dudious said:
I've successfully booted the machine by using just one of the sticks (either of them) in A2, and in B2. By switching the same stick between these slots I get the discrepancy in timings that I described in my original post. I haven't checked slots A1 and B1 because A1 would be really hard to get to, and to my knowledge, the mobo is setup such that A2 and B2 are meant to be used over A1/B1.



Try A1 & B1 too. There won't be any issue on trying.

I have also checked all slot like this way. In fact I did an experiment what happens if I do so, but it creates no issue.
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a b } Memory
January 9, 2012 11:15:05 PM

errors may not show up in memtest until you have run it for sever hours, not just a couple of passes. Run it a minimum 6 hours, preferably 8 or more to be sure your ram is not the problem.

When I did my build (similar board I think) I had a similar problem. Rig worked perfect for 3 weeks, and then at random it would not post. Any combo of 2 sticks would work, and I did find 1 bad stick, and any combo of the 3 sticks would work, but if I added a 4th stick of good ram the mobo refused to POST, or would run briefly only to frese later (not even BSOD). I ended up RMAing the ram and the mobo, and now it has been 3 weeks up and running with no problems. see sig for system details.
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January 11, 2012 3:36:00 AM

Thanks for the responses, guys.

I tested the A1 and B1 slots which got the same results as the A2/B2 combo. I also ran memtest a bunch more for each stick.

I switched my ram into my room mates PC and it ran fine. I switched his ram into my machine and it ran fine. The only major difference between the two sets of memory is that mine is 8gb (2x 4gb) and his is 4gb (2x 2gb).

I suspected maybe the memory controller integrated my CPU was the problem, so I tested my CPU in my room mate's machine with his and then my memory - no problems with either set. I then used his CPU in my build with first his and then my own memory and got the same results as I did with my own CPU - his memory worked, mine didn't.

From this I concluded that there has to be something wrong with the motherboard as each of my components work when used in conjunction with my room mate's motherboard.

It's strange that this issue allows me to boot the machine with 2x 2gb = 4gb but not with 2x 4gb = 8gb. Did some searching around and couldn't find any other posts stating a similar problem.

If anyone has any idea what's causing this I'd sure like to know, but regardless, it looks like I have to return the mobo and get a replacement.
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June 18, 2012 10:11:05 PM

Hi, i have exactly the same problem but my hardware is different:
Asrock Z77 extreme4/i5 3570k/gskill ares 2133 9-11-10-28
exactly the same issue as you describe, i tested my memory modules on A1 B1 A2 B2, and i have the same timings issue on B1 and B2, the timings indicated with memtest are 6-6-6-20 instead of 9-11-10-28, on A1 and A2, everything i just fine. I can't figure out what the problem is...
Did you find any solution?
thanks
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a b } Memory
June 19, 2012 3:16:10 AM

this is an old dead thread from January, please re-post your question in your own thread.
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