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First time PC build- (DRAM LED on ASUS mobo) Memory or mobo problem

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September 9, 2012 2:16:46 AM

I recently assembled a PC for the first time (with supervision) without success. All precautions were taken, and all possible troubleshooting steps were performed. I used the following components.

Corsair Carbide 500r
SeaSonic Platinum 860w
Intel Core i7 3770k
Cooler Master Hyper 612
Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 16GB 997050
ASUS P8Z77-V Pro
Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 OC 3GB
Crucial M4 256GB SSD
Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB

The problem that arose is that the system did not POST, with the dreaded dram LED lit continuously. I tried all possible troubleshooting procedures including pressing the MemOK button with no success in getting the computer to POST. Given that the DRAM LED was lit, and the Mushkin memory not being listed on ASUS' QVL for the motherboard, my helper (who is a computer expert) and I concluded that the memory was incompatible with the motherboard. I RMAd the memory and switched to Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 16 GB (4x4GB) Dual Channel DDR3 Memory (CML16GX3M4A1600C9B). This memory is guaranteed compatible by Corsair on the Asus p8z77-v pro. I installed this memory only to get the same error, DRAM LED continuously lit. After this I attempted to reset the CMOS according to the procedure in the manual, with no success in getting the system to POST. My helper and I concluded that the motherboard is defective and I had it RMA'd with the motherboard already sent back to newegg and a replacement due on my doorstep once newegg obtains and processes the RMA. Although no damage was found to the CPU or CPU socket when disassembling the computer, I am still slightly suspicious of a problem with the CPU. This is especially given that the memory controller is integrated into the CPU itself. When my helper and I assembled the system, we made the mistake of mounting the motherboard into the case first before installing the CPU. I then had some trouble inserting the CPU into the socket hearing some scraping against the edges of the CPU socket before I finally managed to get the CPU inserted. Then again we carefully inspected the the CPU and CPU socket for damage and found nothing (no bent pins etc). I want to know if my instincts are correct in diagnosing a defective motherboard as the problem or if there is something else that is wrong assuming that the replacement mobo, once I get it from newegg still exhibits the same problem. I still strongly believe that it is the motherboard given that my case's back exhaust fan is not working either which hooks up directly to the motherboard.
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September 24, 2012 2:50:25 AM

Here is an update. I got my replacement board in, and reassembled the computer. Sadly I am getting the same exact problems I had with the previous motherboard (DRAM-LED continuously lit, back exhaust fan not working). I got on the phone with ASUS tech support to troubleshoot. The tech support rep concluded that the memory is incompatible. Corsair themselves lists my Vengeance LP memory as compatible. However, ASUS does list my specific Corsair memory on the Qualified Vendors List of compatible memory. Any sort of idea of what is going on here would be greatly appreciated so I can put an end to this nightmare.
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September 24, 2012 3:35:16 AM

Have you considered the PSU is faulty?
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September 24, 2012 3:47:22 AM

proton007 said:
Have you considered the PSU is faulty?

No, but what does the PSU have to do with the DRAM-LED on the motherboard being continuously lit?
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September 24, 2012 5:24:12 AM

Maybe its not providing a stable standby 5V? Can you measure with a voltmeter if you have one?
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September 24, 2012 5:58:12 PM

proton007 said:
Maybe its not providing a stable standby 5V? Can you measure with a voltmeter if you have one?


I don't have a voltmeter but I will ask if the individual that helped me build the computer if he has one. Could you or anyone else that reads this thread further explain the potential connection between the PSU and the computer failing to POST with the DRAM-LED continuously lit (which indicates a problem with the memory). The fact that the back exhaust fan does not work makes me see some merit in the argument with a faulty PSU. However, I still strongly believe that the problems I am having with this computer is rooted in the RAM, motherboard, or possibly the CPU.
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September 24, 2012 8:20:20 PM

This may or may not be the issue, but i had a similar issue with my ram ( Crucial ballistix sport ) and Asus P8Z77 - V motherboard.
Until i flashed the latest bios on the m/b it would not recognize the ram.
Once it was flashed it posted right up.
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September 24, 2012 8:27:44 PM

TomH426 said:
This may or may not be the issue, but i had a similar issue with my ram ( Crucial ballistix sport ) and Asus P8Z77 - V motherboard.
Until i flashed the latest bios on the m/b it would not recognize the ram.
Once it was flashed it posted right up.


It might be worth a try, but I am willing to bet that the replacement motherboard that received probably already has the latest BIOS.
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September 24, 2012 9:02:29 PM

mesopotamian said:
It might be worth a try, but I am willing to bet that the replacement motherboard that received probably already has the latest BIOS.



I think it is printed on the m/b what the bios version it is installed with.
The latest is 1504.
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September 25, 2012 5:48:31 AM

mesopotamian said:
It might be worth a try, but I am willing to bet that the replacement motherboard that received probably already has the latest BIOS.


I replaced my motherboard once, only to find out the PSU is the issue.
Unless you try out with another PSU you'll never know for sure.
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September 28, 2012 6:50:22 PM

proton007 said:
Maybe its not providing a stable standby 5V? Can you measure with a voltmeter if you have one?


Can anyone explain to me how exactly I would measure this with a voltmeter?
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September 29, 2012 3:45:54 AM

Here is another update, I successfully flashed the mobo with the BIOS using the BIOS Flashback feature. The dreaded DRAM LED continues to light continuously. That said updating the BIOS had no effect. There is something I did not mention. When turning on the power, the CPU LED goes on for a second or two then turns off. While the DRAM LED lights continuously
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September 30, 2012 8:37:15 PM

The individual who helped me put the computer together brought two power supply testers and a cheap power supply on the day this reply is written. We tested both power supplies. The cheap power supply passed the testing while mine failed. The -5V light on first power supply tester would light up on the cheap power supply (along with all the other important lights) but when hooked up to SeaSonic PSU, the -5V light would not light up. A key light on the second power supply tester lit up bright red (as opposed to green) when hooked to my PSU as well, indicating a bad PSU. Looks like it is time for an RMA.
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