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Possibly 1 of 2 mobo RAM channels died ... Should I be worried?


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#1 cameronDB

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 02:35 PM

This PC was self-built from newegg parts and has been going strong since March 2012. Haven't changed much since build. Changed the graphics card a while back and it hasn't been a problem. A couple of weeks ago Windows 8 was acting up terribly so I bought the Samsung SSD 850 EVO and created a new install of Windows 8.1 and the experience has been great--using the original HD as storage only. AFAIK those are the only changes I have made.
 
Full specs.
Lx5KX23.png
 
 
Mobo specs. 
 
kokXcdP.png
 
RAM specs. 
 
.Obad29g.png
 
 
 
I have an Asrock Extreme 3 Gen 3 like this:
 
 
 
 
So here is what happened to my best guesstimation and recollection.
 
My computer started acting weird last night. I tried to boot up and it did nothing except for spin up the fans and turn on the case lights. 
 
Nothing displayed on the monitor and the monitor light was orange instead of blue, indicating there is no activity to display.
 
My girlfriend was home all day and claims it worked fine earlier in the day.
 
 
 
Things I tried.
 
Made sure all cables were seated properly. No luck.
 
When I finally got the time today I tried a few things. Cleared the CMOS and defaulted the BIOS. Didn't fix it but I could get farther in, this time!
 
Tried to repair windows but it didnt work. Does this ever work for anyone?? Never has for me.
 
 
 
An epiphany! Could this be it?!
 
After a while of headscratching and fruitless reboots I saw in BIOS that only one of two memory sticks were working / being reported.
 
Let me draw a diagram of the four available memory slots on the mobo. You can see this in the following image at the bottom right.
 
[processor with huge hyper 212+ heatsink on it]   [A1] [B1] [A2] [B2]   [ATX power connector]
 
Here is an actual picture of the mobo to show what I mean about the text diagram.
 
uPfjvEB.png
 
 
And here is a page from the manual describing the DIMM setup.
 
 
1RpMmt4.png
 
 
 
So, ever since this PC has been built, the 8GB (2x4GB) modules have been in A2 and B2. I don't know why, that's just the way I stuck them in there. I have a big heatsink on my computer so it made sense at the time, I guess.
 
Observed that the B2 stick is fine but the A2 stick doesn't show.
 
I move both up to A1 and B1.      Now the A1 doesn't show but the B1 does.
 
 
 
Move both sticks to B1 and B2 and now I can see both sticks and it seems to be working fine, the only thing is that I can't select DDR-1600 in the bios. 
 
 
 
So, as of now, I can choose either 1066 and 1333 -- but not 1600, which is what it originally was (or what was reported), which is the rated speed.
 
Here is the link to the RAM kit.
 
 
 
 
 
So... what gives? 
 
 
Has my A channel for RAM on my mobo died?
 
Why did my PC show that mixing different channels was fine for running dual-channel at the highest setting although the manual says that it is not acceptable?
 
Why can't I do that now?
 
Is full MOBO failure immenent? Should I replace it or risk my other components?!
 
 
Thank you so much for your advice. I am sorry I wrote a HUGE wall of text and pictures but I just want to make sure you have all the facts.


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#2 zingo156

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 02:54 PM

I would try a single stick in each slot by itself. Basically insert a stick into A1, power on, if you get a no post, move it to A2, if still no post, move to B1, and so on. Then switch that stick with the other one you have and try in all slots again. If you get a no post with a single stick in any slot, try with the other stick you have in that same slot, if that stick also does not work, you have a bad slot or possibly a bad channel if neither stick work in A1,A2.

 

Certainly the issue you have could be related to the mainboard or the cpu. Memory controllers have been built into the cpu for a while so that is why it is possible it could be either of those. You might also consider running Memtest86+ http://www.memtest.org/#downiso

 

Any of these will work, just burn to a disc and boot to the disc or use the flash drive version:

** Memtest86+ V5.01 (27/09/2013)**

You may have to disable uefi and enable legacy boot to boot to a disc or usb device.


Edited by zingo156, 05 February 2015 - 02:57 PM.

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#3 cameronDB

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 05:22 PM

Here is the result of a memtest which I let run for 2 hours.

 

ItMoYlH.jpg?1

 

 

 

 

 

 

From here, I guess I'll just move some modules around and see what happens.

 

Really, what I want to take away here is, is this common?

Should I be worried my mobo is doomed?

 

Thanks



#4 zingo156

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 07:59 AM

It is tough to say at the moment, your memtest was clean so you can continue to use the computer with the sticks in that configuration without any issue.

 

Move the sticks around. Most likely if both slots of a channel do not work it means that channel is bad. Whether that is the motherboard or the cpu is what you would need to figure out. In my experience, cpu's rarely fail, overclocking will increase the odds of cpu failure. If you have never over clocked the cpu and the temperatures have always remained within spec (never overheated), my guess would be the board is bad.


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#5 cameronDB

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 09:08 AM

Although I have overclocked for short periods of time, I never pushed it close to the limit. With only air cooling from the Corsair Hyper 212+ I got up to 4ghz stable and the games I ran were flawless. Total hours of OC, I'd guess, are less than 24 hours.

 

I'll move the sticks around this weekend and post a reply. Thank you for your assistance.



#6 ranchhand_

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 09:20 AM

I suggest using Memtest86+ on a single stick at a time. A complete pass should run only about 20". Any discovered problems will be posted in red at the bottom of the screen-you won't miss them.

I recently had a poster who ran the test on two sticks of memory at the same time and no problems were reported. He then ran the test on each stick singly and one reported as bad and that solved his problem.


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#7 cameronDB

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 09:22 AM

I suggest using Memtest86+ on a single stick at a time. A complete pass should run only about 20". Any discovered problems will be posted in red at the bottom of the screen-you won't miss them.

I recently had a poster who ran the test on two sticks of memory at the same time and no problems were reported. He then ran the test on each stick singly and one reported as bad and that solved his problem.

 

Very interesting, thank you.

 

As you can see, I ran the test for a while as I was out of the house. I know that it will continue til' you stop it. Do you have a preferred length of time?



#8 zingo156

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 09:28 AM

3 passes is a good general time for a memtest. The time it takes will differ with ram speed etc.

 

You can run a test for each stick in each slot. If 1 slot gives errors with either stick, that slot may have an issue.


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