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Please help: Why aren't these RAM memory modules working?


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#1 peterk312

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 08:22 PM

PC is an HP xw4600
http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/12792_na/12792_na.PDF

System has 4 slots for RAM, should be able to take up to 16 GB as shown in diagrams in the above manual. I'm trying to remove the existing 1 GB RAM in 2 slots and install 2 GB modules in each slot for a total of 8 GB.



The PC is used and works fine with 2 sticks of this RAM:

Samsung M378T2863EH5-CF7
label on module: 1 GB 1Rx8 6400U-666-12-22
240 pin, unbuffered
PC2 6400 DDR2 -800 (400MHz @ CL=6, tRCD=6, tRP=6)

Note this is non-ECC RAM

Samsung specs:
http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/file/product/ddr2_product_guide_feb_12-0.pdf



Link to the RAM I bought and trying to install:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/HYNIX-8GB-4X2GB-2Rx8-PC2-6400U-666-12-HYMP125U64CP8-S6-AB-C-/251443417038?_trksid=p2047675.l2557&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEWNX%3AIT&nma=true&si=0EpluMAPx668S0l7Ys3HWqYoNdg%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc


Hynix PC2-6400U-666-12 HYMP125U64CP8-S6 AB-C
label on module: 2 GB  2Rx8 PC2-6400U-666-12


Hynix specs:
http://www.skhynix.com/inc/pdfDownload.jsp?path=/upload/products/gl/products/dram/down/DDR2MODULE.pdf



I get an error of 5 red lights when I try to start the computer with the Hynix RAM, and that's supposed to mean a memory module problem for the HP xw4600. What am I missing here? These aren't the same type of RAM?




 


Edited by peterk312, 15 February 2014 - 08:02 PM.


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#2 peterk312

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 08:42 PM

Someone pointed out to me the Samsung RAM sticks are 1Rx8 (single rank) and the Hynix Ram stick are 2Rx8 (dual rank). He said it could be that the motherboard only supports single rank memory modules. I can't verify from the HP manuals if only single rank memory is compatible, but the Hynix RAM stick definitely don't work.


Edited by peterk312, 15 February 2014 - 08:05 PM.


#3 peterk312

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 02:01 PM

HP xw4600 manual from 2007:
http://www.nts.nl/site/html/modules/pdf/Workstation/HP_Workstation_XW4600.pdf

"Only Error Checking and Correcting unbuffered DDR2 DIMMs are supported and must be either x8 or x16 width. Memory upgrades are accomplished by adding DIMMs of the same or varied sizes. The Intel chipset supports both PC2-5300 DDR2-667 and the PC2-6400E DDR2-800 ECC unbuffered memory. It is suggested to not mix ECC and non-ECC memory.

For best performance the total amount and type of memory loaded into Channel A and Channel B should be the same. If it is not,your computer will see all the RAM installed but will run the memory controller at a lower performance mode. Although not required, for best performance add the memory in pairs rather than as a single DIMM (two 512 MB DIMMs will have better performance than a single 1 GB DIMM). Also, add the memory into both channels (e.g. one in socket 1 and one in socket 3) to take advantage of dual channel performance. If you have unused slots within a channel, make them socket 2 and socket 4. This provides the best margin for the memory bus. If you are only using 1 DIMM, install it in socket 1.

MAXIMUM MEMORY
Supports up to 8 GB DDR2-667 or DDR2-800 ECC unbuffered memory"



HP xw4600 manual from 2010:
http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/12792_na/12792_na.PDF

"Maximum Memory:
Supports up to 16 GB DDR2-667 or DDR2-800 ECC unbuffered memory

Memory Configuration
(Supported)
PC2-5300E DDR2-667 ECC Unbuffered or PC2-6400E DDR2-800 ECC Unbuffered RAM DIMMs
Only Error Checking and Correcting unbuffered DDR2 DIMMs are supported and must be either x8 or x16
width. Memory upgrades are accomplished by adding DIMMs of the same or varied sizes. The Intel chipset
supports both PC2-5300 DDR2-667 and the PC2-6400E DDR2-800 ECC unbuffered memory. It is suggested
to not mix ECC and non-ECC memory.
For best performance the total amount and type of memory loaded into Channel A and Channel B should be
the same. If it is not, your computer will see all the RAM installed but will run the memory controller at a
lower performance mode. Although not required, for best performance add the memory in pairs rather than
as a single DIMM (two 1 GB DIMMs will have better performance than a single 2 GB DIMM). Also, add the
memory into both channels (e.g., one in socket 1 and one in socket 3) to take advantage of dual channel
performance. If you have unused slots within a channel, make them socket 2 and socket 4. This provides the
best margin for the memory bus. If you are only using 1 DIMM, install it in socket 1."



So the questions are:

1. Could the problem be that the memory MUST be ECC? - Answer should be no, because it runs with 2GB non-ECC.

2. But -- Can it be that it supports up to 2 GB non-ECC and up to 16 GB ONLY if RAM modules are ECC ?

3. Plus, how do you explain the 2007 manual says the system supports up to 8 GB RAM but the 2010 manual says suppots up to 16 GB RAM?

 

4. Is it the case that the memory modules may need to be "single rank" and not "dual rank" even though the manual says nothing on this?



#4 peterk312

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 08:09 PM

Somebody showed me a chart here:

http://h20565.www2.hp.com/portal/site/hpsc/template.PAGE/public/csr/home/?sp4ts.oid=3429268&spf_p.tpst=kbDocDisplay&spf_p.prp_kbDocDisplay=wsrp-navigationalState%3DdocId%253Demr_na-c01618505-11%257CdocLocale%253Den_US%257Cmode%253Dcsr&javax.portlet.begCacheTok=com.vignette.cachetoken&javax.portlet.endCacheTok=com.vignette.cachetoken

 

This is the HP recommended RAM for the xw4600, and you can see all modules indicate ECC type.

 

I don't know if this is further evidence that if you want to go higher than 2 GB RAM you need to use ECC modules. I am positive that the Samsung RAM modules in it now (specs are above) are non-ECC.

The point is I don't know for sure if the problem is a.) using non-ECC memory modules that total 8 GB, or b.) using dual rank modules. I am still finding a mix of info on single rank (1Rx8) and dual rank (2Rx8) being recommended for the xw4600. I took a look at my BIOS and there's nothing there to set for ECC or non-ECC.

I'm wondering too if an HP tech support email might be the best way to get a definitive answer on this. To have to buy the single rank memory, if it's not the real problem, is an extra expense for no reason.


Edited by peterk312, 15 February 2014 - 08:09 PM.


#5 zingo156

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 11:50 PM

I assume you have tried 1 hynix stick in 1 slot? Rather than populating all the slots you might start by trying just 1 stick and then adding another.

 

It could be 1 single stick that has a problem or 1 single slot that has a problem. If you have 1 known working stick you can try that in all slots to rule out a bad slot. If that 1 working stick works in all slots then the main board is not the problem. Then add the sticks in 1 at a time until you have the no post and that last added stick is likely the problem.


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#6 peterk312

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 07:30 PM

Hello again, Zingo:

 

I had time today to do systematic tests with the Hynix RAM sticks.

1. So, first test is to check all RAM modules are working. This means each one is installed individually, and it has to be in slot 1 of the motherboard.

Results: One of the RAM sticks is definitely defective. I was surprised to see the 5 light error occur only when the system booted with the defective module installed. Note that this means the motherboard is compatible with "dual rank" RAM modules.
 

 

2. Second test was to see if another RAM stick works in slot 3 when a working module is installed in slot 1. This is "dual channel" mode.

Results: This configuration works fine. I got a BIOS message at start up telling me that RAM was being updated to 4 GB.
 

 

3. (This was kind of optional for me because I have no reason to suspect anything is wrong with the motherboard slots.) The last test I wanted to do was install RAM to make sure all the slots on the motherboard work together. I could have  simply put the existing Samsung 1 GB sticks into slots 2 and 4, but recall these are 1Rx8 single rank modules. I see from the Internet that it's possible to mix single and dual rank in some cases, but I have no clue what is actually recommended for the motherboard in the xw4600. But I wanted 8 GB total anyway, and I still need at least one more 2 GB stick.
 

 

 

Now I need to decide whether to send it all back to the original Ebay seller (he had emailed me when I told him I had a problem and he said he would take it back for a full refund) or keep at least 3 and find one more that has the same specs as the Hynix so that I get 8 GB total. I thought I got a good buy at $57 for 4 x 2 GB. Oh well...  
 


Edited by peterk312, 16 February 2014 - 07:31 PM.


#7 zingo156

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 08:21 PM

With any ram you may run into issues, even new ram can have errors. I recommend running a memtest86 for 3 passes to verify the ram will run stable and not cause BSOD, even if the computer posts and boots normally it does not mean the ram is a-ok. I always perform a memtest on new ram and new main boards. I guess I am tedious when it comes to these things but I really hate getting a BSOD in the middle of important work etc.


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#8 peterk312

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 04:05 PM

Okay, I ran Memtest86 from a bootable CD.

 

With 2 of the working RAM sticks in place, test on Default (all 12 individual tests), I got 0 errors on 2 passes (the Passmark website says that 1 pass is adequate "for all but the most obscure errors"). I then removed the RAM in slot 1 and installed the third working RAM stick so that I could repeat the test and make sure all three appear to have good integrity. I still got 0 errors, so I think it's safe to conclude the three working Hynix RAM modules are reliable.

 

Now that I've done some tests, I think it's best to keep the three Hynix 2 GB RAM sticks and look a fourth with the same specs on Ebay. 


Edited by peterk312, 17 February 2014 - 04:44 PM.


#9 zingo156

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 04:55 PM

I agree, those 3 sticks should be fine.


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