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Black screen, bsods, I'm out of ideas

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November 22, 2011 1:50:09 PM

My rig worked fine until one day it started BSODing out of the blue. Those BSODs sometimes caused the computer to get stuck while booting (the titular black screen) - no beeps, no smoke coming out of the case, no clues at all as to what was wrong. After a few tries it eventually booted and worked fine for a couple of days. Then it started again, so I ran MemTest. Sometimes it gave me an upwards of 500000 errors and sometimes nothing at all. I also succesfully ran the OCCT power supply test for an hour and a half. Then the black screens returned, so I took my RAM (3X1GB Kingston 1333mhz) and plugged it into my brother's computer to see whether they'll work or not. Worked without a hitch for 4 days. A few hours after I got them back in my rig, bam! blue screens.I got fed up with that and bought brand spanking new 2x2 GB Kingston HyperX 1600mhz sticks hoping that it would solve my problem. Well, it didn't. I tried everything - I've installed another GFX card, reseated RAM, disassembled the entire computer and then assembled back again, BIOS resets. Nothing's changed - it usually doesn't boot and when it does, it will eventually crash (I played 4 hours of Skyrim yesterday without any issues and then crapped out after 15 minutes of BF3, today Windows bsoded while surfing the web) I've been trying to get it to boot for the past 4 hours but I can't get past the damn black screen. I'm stumped like never before. Somebody please help, I'm on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
November 22, 2011 3:06:42 PM

I have just installed the old memory and it boots up just fine. Won't boot up when new mem is in. What the hell?
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November 22, 2011 4:54:41 PM

What are your BSOD's? I was getting BSOD's, I wrote down what it said googled it, turns out it was a memory problem. I bought new ram BSOD went away. I had 2 x sticks of corsair memory, bought 4 x 4gb Corsair vengance memory.
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November 22, 2011 5:15:37 PM

Could easily be a software problem... but you said it gets tuck at the "black screen"... what black screen.. after your BIOS screen but before your windows screen? Does it always boot past BIOS?

Need more clarification...
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November 22, 2011 8:25:28 PM

I just get a black screen after pressing the power button, before the BIOS screen. Btw it's been working fine with the old memory installed for the past few hours. It's probably temporary though and it'll eventually start crashing again. Oh, I also updated the bios. @anonnymous- I got around 15 different BSOD error codes. I looked them all up and most of them referred to faulty RAM so like I said I bought a new pair of 2 gb sticks to no avail.
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November 22, 2011 8:40:45 PM

Rogfield said:
I just get a black screen after pressing the power button, before the BIOS screen. Btw it's been working fine with the old memory installed for the past few hours. It's probably temporary though and it'll eventually start crashing again. Oh, I also updated the bios. @anonnymous- I got around 15 different BSOD error codes. I looked them all up and most of them referred to faulty RAM so like I said I bought a new pair of 2 gb sticks to no avail.



could you list all your system specs please?

did you manually set up the timings, mem speed, voltages in the bios?
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November 22, 2011 8:47:55 PM

Motherboard- Asus M4A77TD Pro
CPU- AMD Phenom II X4 955
RAM- 3X1 GB Kingston 1333 mhz/ 2X2 GB Kingston HyperX 1600 mhz
GFX- Asus HD6950
PSU- OCZ StealthXStream 500W
HDD- Samsung SpinPoint F3 750 GB

I did and it changed nothing.
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a c 136 B Homebuilt system
November 22, 2011 8:55:37 PM

you need to check the memory voltage and timings in BIOS .
Compare to the spec of the RAM , and try a little more voltage to stabilize it even if it is at spec

And BTW you should have an even number of RAM sticks to get the benefit of dual channel memory .
It will probably run many things faster with just two of those 3 sticks
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November 22, 2011 9:05:36 PM

I did all of that already and it didn't help. I was running 2 2gb sticks for a while and I got a bsod after an hour or so.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 22, 2011 10:23:28 PM

Obviously it's your RAM. Check your settings and run Memtest86+ from a flashstick on bootup until you get settings that are stable. If you don't find stable settings at the speeds printed on the stick, return the memory for your money back.
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November 22, 2011 10:37:23 PM

Could be your motherboard... maybe bad RAM slots. Try putting your ram in the 2 and 4 slots instead of the 1 and 3.... or just put in 1 stick at a time. re-run memtest
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 22, 2011 10:44:16 PM

I was lazy reading through this thread. Jdenova007's right--cycle the sticks through your RAM slots and see if errors/lack of errors on Memtest86+ are consistent. I've had boards with 4 slots that run at 3 different speeds and need relaxed timings or they'll error out.
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November 23, 2011 2:34:37 PM

People, I bought brand new ram and the same thing keeps happening. Are you saying that new sticks are also defective?
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November 23, 2011 2:53:59 PM

No, the suggestions I put are testing the RAM slots on the MOTHERBOARD..... please perform steps and post your findings.
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November 23, 2011 3:30:27 PM

I've already done that before buying new RAM - I tried EVERY possible combination and it's a complete crapshoot. Sometimes it won't boot up, I'll switch the sticks around and it'll eventually start working for a few hours and then go apepoop again and I won't be able to boot it up on the combination that was supposedly stable.
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November 23, 2011 3:32:26 PM

I ran memtest on each stick individually and got no errors. Three at once - usually error-free, but I got over 500000 errors twice (I'm talking about the old sticks, haven't tested the new ones yet)
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November 23, 2011 7:00:48 PM

weird... i'm guessing bad Motherboard... you could try updating your BIOS.. but it is probably a bad motherboard.. sorry. good luck
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 27, 2011 9:58:01 PM

"and I won't be able to boot it up"--you shouldn't even be attempting to boot up [to Windows]. If you run Memtest86+ from a flashstick, as I suggested multiple times, then you'll never even go to Windows.

Now you say that you can run Memtest86+ (not memtest) individually on any stick in a particular slot and not get errors? What about if you try the same stick in a different slot? If you have two slots that work individually, does it give you errors to do both at once?

Have you set all of your RAM settings correctly in the bios?: Voltage, timings (use loose timings), speed (use low MHz like 533MHz)

What speed does Memtest86+ say your RAM is running at?

The fact that you can play Skyrim for 4 hours means that everything is almost working. You should just use the max voltage the ram allows (either 1.5V or 1.65V probably. That may mean to up your VTT voltage to within 0.45V of that value). Set loose timings and speeds, then run Memtest86+ with new settings until it stops failing.

Please list all bios speed, latency (timings), and voltage settings for us.
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November 30, 2011 7:55:28 AM

Updating the BIOS seems to have done the trick. No crashes whatsoever in the past week. Thanks for all your suggestions guys!
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!