Computer reading incorrect amount of memory (damaged board or ram?)

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
MB:ASUS P6T SE Bios Date: 2/24/10
Mem: 6 Gb of Ram (3 sticks of 2 gigs ADATA) 1.65 V
CPU: i7-930 2.80 Ghz, not OC as far as I know
GPU: PNY Nvidia GTX 550 Ti

I have bought this computer from a private seller (it's a computer from iBUYPOWER). The next day I start it up, I go and play BF3 (after about a night of being shutdown). I notice some drop in my FPS so I check my memory usage it lone behold, it's only reading 4 gigs. So I look inside to check if I actually only have 4 gigs but it six, so I figure the ram is not firmly placed. I also notice another problem at that point, the previous owner spilled some type of fluid through the top (seems to be soda), as far as checking the front side of the mother board, a little bit hit around the ram slots. I cleaned everything I can visibly see. I then continue to clean the ram as that seemed to be spilled on as well. I plugged everything back in and it read 6 gigs.

Here's the strange part. Throughout the day, I would restart and power it down and start up to see if it would continue to read the 6 gigs, and it would. That night I shut down the computer comfortably. The next day though, it reads 4 gigs again, my course of action was changing the ram order (of 6 slots), than it works. It has been three days now, and the computer continues to do this, and I continue to take the process of removing and occasionally plugging it back in to get the full 6 gigs. It seems as if I give my computer a couple hour break, it will not read it the first time I start it up.

Ultimately my question is, is my motherboard damaged or is my ram damage. (I will also add though, that I have yet to check the back side of the motherboard if any of the spill has hit that)... this may just be my mind wanting the ram to be damaged, but I figure if it is able to eventually use it with all the slots working, then the ram must be damaged... I hope

Sorry for such a long post, this is my first one ever... in any forum

If there is any other bits of detail I failed to mention, please feel free to ask
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  1. Best answer
    I would suggest removing 1 stick for a few days to see if your pc will consistently read the remaining 4gb. If still inconsistent, replace the stick into its original port, and remove a different stick. Eventually, I would guess your system should stabilize, and then you'll know which port/stick combo was the culprit. Then just move one of the remaining sticks to the empty port. If everything stays fine, you know it was the stick you removed. If it goes bad, you know it's the port.

    If you try this and things never stabilize, try leaving only one stick plugged in at a time.

    If that doesn't work, beats me :D

    It's possible that multiple ports are bad, or multiple sticks are bad, or some of each are bad, in which case testing gets messier. It may also be possible that no single port or stick is bad, but the board just has trouble juggling 3 sticks at once.

    Good luck!

    EDIT: I do a lot of hardware testing in the workplace from time to time, so learn from my mistakes! label your ram A,B,C with stickers and sharpies, and write down the configuration and the behavior at each stage, to avoid having to repeat things once you shuffle your sticks around and forget what you've already done.
  2. thank you mic4h, I will give that a try. I will also use your labeling technique, never would have thought to do that lol
  3. Best answer selected by sinecero.
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