Alright, this issue started as something simple: The monitor wouldn't turn on after waking the computer from sleep mode.
Now the problem is much worse.
The first thing to make note of is that before this problem started, theres a blue light (the on/off light) on my case that blinks whenever the computer is asleep. It no longer blinks. It simply goes out.
When I try to wake my computer from sleep mode, the lights and fans briefly go on before going out again. This repeats about 2 or 3 times before it finally catches. The screen stays black, but comes on after about a minute. This used to be accompanied with 3 short beeps from the motherboard, but so far it hasn't done that anymore.
THINGS I'VE TRIED:
1. Removed Ram. Used each stick individually. The problem was never made worse or removed with each stick. It simply stayed the course. Obviously this means I reseated the ram.
2. I removed the gpu, cmos jumper, and battery. I let it sit for about 10 minutes, resetting the motherboard I believe. Upon putting everything back, everything started normally, but the problem persisted.
I'm worried. What would cause this? Could it be the ram? Psu maybe? We did have a power outage the other night, and that's when this whole thing started in the first place, although I'm pretty damn sure the sleep mode worked for at least a good day afterwards.
At this point, you'll need to try different hardware to troubleshoot. Do you have on-board video or another GPU to test with? I would check that first, then PSU, since it would be more difficult to try another mobo.
With 2 sticks I had minor problems booting, but all 4 took me to the desktop, and all 4 yielded the same results of the computer being unable to wake, and when it woke, it could not wake the monitor.
I'm pretty sure everything is sufficient and configured properly, as these sticks are supposed to be plug and play, and have not let me down since I put my computer together in September.
Here are my complete specs:
The memory you have is not plug and play, so try manually inputting DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24 1.50V, or DDR3-1333 8-8-8-24 1.50V. The latter is fail-proof, so you can use that to give you a definitive answer of whether it may be an issue with the RAM.
Often the monitor not turning on after being woken up from sleep mode is due to the monitor itself. To test this theory and to turn on the monitor, wake the computer up, wait a little while, turn the monitor off and then back on.
Well, I did what G.Skill up there suggested and manually switched it to DDR3-16000 9-9-9-24 1.50v, and now everything seems to be working fine. I manually put the computer to sleep, and the sleep light kept blinking this time. I woke it up, and everything came on as instantly as it used to. I'm going to give it another night or two before I consider this case solved, but things are definitely looking up.
Thank you everyone and especially G.Skill support!
Also, I chose the 8gb version of this kit for my friend's gaming build. Would it be a good idea to also change his timings to what you suggested to me? What exactly does this even do? I'm not well versed in computers aside from putting them together, but I'd love to learn what exactly this all means.
Each set of memory has it's own capabilities that we tested them at; it is also known as the rated specifications. For modules that are DDR3-1333 CL9 and lower, any DDR3 motherboard can pick up the proper settings for the memory. These are the 'standard' plug and play memory modules.
For memory modules above DDR3-1333 CL9, it is considered 'performance' memory. Recently the 'standard' has increased to DDR3-1600 CL11, but not many DDR3-1600 kits are CL11, so manual settings are still required. If your motherboard supports XMP or DOCP, enabling these features can allow the motherboard to automatically detect and input the basic memory settings in EFI/BIOS. This is why you see a lot of "Optimized for Intel Sandybridge...", it is because the memory modules have the special profile for those platforms. Some platforms such as AMD (Phenom II), other changes to the CPU/NB settings may be necessary to stabilize DDR3-1600+, so that is why you don't see "Optimized for AMD...", as it requires tweaks to stabilize. Almost all memory modules are compatible with AMD, so essentially they are all 'optimized'. We do not put it in big bold font because there is no profile or anything special that makes them stand out as "Optimized for AMD..." memory. If we did for one model, we would have to for all memory kits.
In your case, it seems the motherboard did not know exactly how to operate the memory with AUTO settings. By inputting the basic memory settings in EFI/BIOS, it had a much better idea. For performance modules, we always recommend manual settings. Although AUTO can work, every time you boot up the motherboard can decide to use different settings. At any time it chooses the incorrect values, your system may be unstable or may not boot, like what you experienced. With the proper settings, the system now knows precisely how to operate the G.Skill memory.
For your friend's gaming build, you should absolutely input settings as well. If he has a similar Intel platform, then the same settings you input should be fine. If he has something else like AMD, just post it and I can tell you what settings are necessary.