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Bad Ram, or Motherboard?

by darkzenlord / May 28, 2010 6:09 AM PDT

So begins an unusual build. Put together a custom PC for a buddy of mine. During OS install got several errors regarding memory stops and could not read sections. After several reboots. Was able to install OS and use it normally. Next day, started it up cold and OS would not load, start-up recovery manager did. Ran Memtest86 found a stick was erroring out every single test. Took the stick out. System booted fine and OS ran smooth. Next day, cold started the machine, OS would not load. Ran Memtest86, found errors. Took stick out of slot A and put it into slot B, ran Memtest86 again, no errors. OS loads fine. Operates fine. Shut system down for an hour. Started it back up. Tested Ram again, found errors. Swapped the stick slot, booted fine.
Ran a Burnin test on the RAM in OS and it found errors every time, but far less then Memtest86.

-My guess.
The motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-P55-USB3 r1.0 and the RAM is Corsair VS2 1333. The RAM is not on the approved list so I ordered RAM that was. Have not received it yet, but the results I have been getting would lead me to believe it could be the motherboard as well. I have already condemned the RAM and sending it back. However, I would be wasting RMA time if the mobo is bad.

Nutshell question- What does it mean when the RAM tests bad after a cold boot, but after swapping slots, tests fine?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Tried any other RAM tests ?
by VAPCMD / May 28, 2010 11:45 AM PDT

Did you check the BIOS Settings for timing, voltage, etc., ?

Did you contact the RAM mfg ?


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by darkzenlord / May 28, 2010 12:02 PM PDT

The bios settings are set to default, except gigabyte by default enables RAM "turbo" mode. So I set it to off. So everything in Bios is set to defaults, no overclocking. I have read on several forums about cold boot issues with gigabyte boards and commonly Corsair RAM. Like I said before, I got "approved" RAM coming.

Followup Question- If it were the motherboard, wouldn't it not work at all? Can it be intermittent?

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Yes....can be intermittent.
by VAPCMD / May 29, 2010 12:18 AM PDT
In reply to: Bios

If it were mine I'd contact the MB mfg and the RAM mfg to get their recommendations. Perhaps increasing the RAM voltage might help.

I'd might also try another RAM test just to be sure.

Let us know how it turns out.


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The tests are in
by darkzenlord / May 30, 2010 6:51 AM PDT

The tests are still coming up bad after a cold boot. The OS is most likely not booting due to the Memory errors. After a DIMM swap the memory will pass a 15 minute test. I use Memtest86 to test my RAM and I trust it's results. However, if a RAM tests bad, it could still be the MB. I have contacted Gigabyte Last Thursday and they have not wrote back.(way to go 24 hour rule).

Will let you know when the new (approved) RAM gets here.

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Are you terminating the test or does it go bad after 15 mins
by VAPCMD / May 30, 2010 8:47 AM PDT
In reply to: The tests are in
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What I did

I terminate the test after 15 minutes of no errors. I still have to configure this machine for a friend. I also used Burnin test in the OS to test RAM and CPU functions. The Burnin Test finds issues with the RAM in the OS within 15 minutes. The issue has now presumably become where the issue actually is. The RAM or the Mobo? We will find out soon enough, I have the New Ram coming and if that flunks, I will RMA the board.

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(NT) Ok....will be standing by for update.
by VAPCMD / May 30, 2010 11:58 AM PDT
In reply to: What I did
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Prelimenary Test complete
by darkzenlord / June 1, 2010 8:24 AM PDT

Got the New RAM today. Threw it in before first boot. System came up and booted right into Memtest86. Tested for 1 hour and found no errors. Booted into OS right after, Ran BurnIn Tests on RAM, found no errors.

With the other RAM I would get an error by now. So I am confident the RAM is good and not an issue. Like I said, this is preliminary testing, any errors popping up in the next 36 hours will prompt an RMA of the motherboard.

I speculate the errors came from the other RAM, not that the RAM was bad, but it could have been a compatibility issue. Voltages are often brought up when researching this issue. It is just possible the Corsair was not getting what it was supposed to. However all tests at this time report 0 errors.

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Good to hear.... what brand/model RAM didn't work and
by VAPCMD / June 1, 2010 11:00 AM PDT

brand/model did work? Posting that specific info might really help someone in future.

To make sure....run the RAM test overnight....you want more than 1 hours worth of testing if possible and better now than later.


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(NT) Yes, I want to know exactly what RAM worked
by Ol Rod / June 2, 2010 1:07 AM PDT
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