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Burnt smell after upgrading RAM - need advice on how to proceed

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November 23, 2012 4:31:43 PM

Today I installed a new graphics card and I also upgraded my RAM in my desktop. Everything went fine until I tried to start up the PC. The monitor never came to life and there was a burnt smell coming from the case. I quickly unplugged it and took it to the computer shop that built it for me 2 years ago. When we opened the case I found to my dismay that I had somehow managed to insert one of the ram sticks the wrong way into the slot. (Please don't ask me how I managed to do it. This is my 6th PC and I have upgraded ram before without any problems. It should be impossible to do it but it did happen.)

By the time we opened the case the smell was gone so we removed and inserted the stick back in (the right way) and the techies at the computer shop tried to start it while I was waiting. The PC booted up and Windows 7 started normally. My new 8 Gb RAM was recognized as well. The PC was shut down and started once again with no problems and no smells. I was suggested to run a memtest for a couple of hours at home to check for possible memory damage.

I have been gooling for this problem at home (using my laptop) and in every case it seems that either the memory stick, the slot, the motherboard and/or the PSU has been damaged. My PC seems to be in working order. Can it be possible to insert a memory stick the wrong way and get away with it? And what if it wasn't the memory stick that caused the burnt smell but dust or a dying PSU?

I am reluctant to start it now so should I run the memtest as suggested or should I first have it checked thorougly?

I would be grateful for some advice on how to proceed with this issue.

My PC specs:

Motherboard: P7P55D-E Pro Mainboard S-1156 P55 ATX3
CPU: Core i5-760 2.80 GHz SKT11
Graphics card: ASUS GTX 660 Ti DirectCUII
Power supply: Corsair 650 W TX 120 M
RAM: DDR3 Corsair 2x4096 MB 1600 MHz Vengeance LP
a b } Memory
a b U Graphics card
December 1, 2012 9:11:23 AM

I don't really think the burnt smell will be due to improper ram placement. I'd say have it checked throughly or you yourself can look for any burnt spots that you can identify. There might be a problem with your GTX card as you have not touched anything else.
Alternatively you can start the pc and run any stress test along with a temperature monitoring program running along side. If there is any bizarre increase in temp turn off immediately and have it checked.

During a stress test max CPU temp 85-95 degrees Celsius, max gpu temp 70-90 degrees, max hdd temp 45 degrees, all celsius

Also check if your CPU fan, power supply fan, gpu fans are working.
May 28, 2013 10:54:03 PM

I too quite have the same problem... I have a AMD Sempron 145 processor ( I'm not quite sure about the motherboard model)... I already had a Kingston 2GB DDR3 HyperX blu RAM... I purchased another Kingston 2GB DDR3 RAM (not HyperX model)... Two problems happened during RAM upgrade:
1. My board has 2 slots in which i had one slot free to place the new RAM. After i placed the new RAM in 2nd slot (heard 'tick' sounds from both locking flaps), nothing opened in the monitor, cpu lights and the fan were running...
2. Then i tried swapping the RAMs... in a few seconds after switching on, burning smell came out of my cpu.. then immediately i switched off my pc and unplugged everything... after close examination my new RAM got burnt (one of the golden strip got burnt)
and there are burnt marks on the RAM slot...
I had asked for replacement of my purchased RAM... Now my question is what is the current situation of the motherboard and the old RAM?? What should i do now?? Should I contact a computer techie/service-man
!