Resolved Question

Problems in RAM Slot 1

Hi dear fellows,
First of all, please note that I will talk about a laptop problem, not about desktop/builds. I have a laptop with a HM76 Chipset and I've upgrade from an i5 3210M to an i7 3630QM, so perfectly compatible. I also bought an additional stick of 8GB RAM with dual voltage of 1.35V and 1.5V, from Crucial (according to the information on the Crucial's website, I think they are both running at 1.5V).

It was everything OK and I was very happy with the big upgrade. However, when I decide to do a memory test with memtest86 and memtest86+ I got many errors, but just in the latest tests, and always after 1h of test (with Windows diagnostic tool I had no errors). So I did some tests with memtest86 to know which RAM stick was damaged and I came to the conclusion that both sticks are both good but Slot 1 don't. If I put any stick of RAM in the Slot 1 I have errors in memtest86 and BSoD in Prime95. If I just use the Slot 2 I have no problems. I don't know if I already had this problem in Slot 1 before the upgrade, because I never did a scan memtest86, or if by some (very strange) reason, I have damaged the motherboard/Slot 1 with this CPU and RAM upgrade.

But, what I would like to ask is if there is any problem of ignoring this damage in Slot 1 and use only the Slot 2 with the limited 8GB RAM, or if it is probable that the motherboard will show more problems/errors/damages in the future.. ?? Should I by another motherboard, or I will not have bigger problems than an unusable Slot of RAM?

Thank you in advance for your time and help,
I wish you all a great week!

Best regards.

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Best Answer

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Now that you have gone back to the i5 and it works.

My answer changes. It appears the i7 isn't as compatible as you claim. Part of the memory management (chip, stick support) is in the CPU so there it is. Maybe nothing is broken here. The machine works fine with the CPU it came with.

Case closed.

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The i7 is perfectly compatible

I would like a lot if that was the problem and nothing was broken/damaged, but the i7 is perfectly compatible, because this laptop model came out also in a i7 version, and that i7 is the one I've put in my laptop. And in the chipset compatible list, this i7 is also present, as expected.

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I re-read the thread

And it seems the i5 works but not the i7. Here's the second issue. Since your board was not delivered with the i7 it was never tested it worked thoroughly with this CPU. So you are back to "should be compatible" but was never tested.

To me, this is a KNOWN THING. I saw it on many systems (I work with shops, design electronics, write code and at one time owned PC repair shops.)

Hey, I get you want to believe, but the story has me remembering CPU swap issues. This is one of them.

-> LAST HURRAH? Be sure the BIOS is the latest from the maker. DO NOT get into BIOS modification except on BIOS mod forums.

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Depends on the damage.

But if it works, you may want to leave it.

Here I could take it under a 40 to 100 power scope and see if it can be tinkered with but do you have that?

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How can I check that Damage?

No, I haven't :/ But how can I access that damage to see how bad it is?

The thing is that using both sticks I had no real problems in some hours of usage (intensive browsing and office, no gaming). Just in the stress tests. But that means that it is a problem, however in the real usage I hadn't already feel it. But I don't want to damage more hardware, so maybe it's better to use just 1 stick in the slot 2..

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The most common is a microscope. Here's a fellow that repairs boards. Yes, it takes a microscope as the size of connections and circuits are very small.

There are many other videos about inspection. But if this is new territory for you, get an experienced board repair person to look it over.

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Just one more question.. :)

Thank you very much, I watch that vídeo and it is really advanced for me. I will try to find someone in my city experient on eletronic repair and mobos.
But, if you don't mind, can you give me your opinion about 1 more question please?

- using both sticks of RAM in the 2 slots, in the real usage I have no problems (maybe some BSoD in the future..), just when stress testing. Do you think that "forcing" to use RAM in the "damaged" slot 1 will cause more problems in the mobo? Because 8GB of RAM is becoming tight for me, and losing the Dual Channel will also slow down..

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You are asking me to predict the future.

Sorry but it may be just fine. Most folk just go with this and prepare for a total board failure.

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I did not understand

Sorry, I did not understand your answer, can you please explain better? You said "it may be just fine" and then "prepare for a total board failure". What is your opinion, so? Happy

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My advice.

Not opinion is to use it and be diligent about backups just like all PC users. We only lose what we don't backup.

The damage is not such that I can offer an opinion as I can't inspect it under the microscope. This is why I offer advice to use it and prepare for the end.

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If you don't mind....

....increasing electrical resistance on that slot causing more heat that might melt more solder, go ahead.

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So, you're telling me to stay just with one stick and leave Slot 1 empty, ignoring that it is damaged, right? Happy Or you're saying to me to increase electrical resistance? sorry for cannot understand 100% you're english, I'm not native and I think I could not completly understood you.

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Just use Slot 2

electrical resistance creates heat. Since Slot one has a problem, it could be a loose connection, which can result in electrical resistance. If enough heat is created, it can burn the circuits to both RAM slots.

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Is it probable to happen the same to Slot 2?

I got it! Thank you.
But do you think that this is not probable to happen the same to Slot 2 if this wouldn't be fixed? Someone told me that if I ignore the problem in Slot 1 and use just Slot 2 in the near future the Slot 2 will have the same problem.. Do you think that is not that probable?

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Possible? Yes. Probable? maybe not

Those slots each have pins on them which go to the motherboard and are soldered on the backside of the motherboard. The circuitry is on the motherboard. Those circuits run to each slot. If the #1 slot is used and overheated at a bad pin enough, then it's possible it could burn the circuit that goes to matching pin on #2. If slot #1 isn't used, that's unlikely to happen.

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Just a last question

Thank you, that made perfect sense to me. I will follow your recommendation and not use the Slot 1. But, for end this I would like to ask you a last question:

This problem with slot 1 just appeared when I upgraded the CPU. Before that I had 2 sticks of RAM in 2 slots and the PC booted normally (I don't know if the Slot 1 was damaged because I haven't done any stress test before, but I could boot the computer normally - now I have a fail to post if I use RAM in Slot 1). What do you think that can happen in a simple CPU change to cause this damage? I read that it could be bent pins on CPU but I stress-test for 15h and I had not BSoDs nor overheating during the test, so I presume the CPU is ok without bent pins and anomalies, right..

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If you suspect the cpu put the old one back and test.

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I've sold it

I don't have it anymore, I've sold it. I dont remember at 100% but I'm almost sure that when the PC fail to post because of slot 1, I put back the i5 and it worked. But than I put the i7 and I did that trick I saw in a video I already posted here, to put and remove the stick many times, and it worked, and I shut down the PC and restart it without problem. But than the problem returned and it is harder or even impossible now to start the PC with stick in slot 1.
But what is tricky is that I stress test the cpu and it is at 100%, no overheating, no blue screens..

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You maybe flexed the motherboard just enough to create the problem when installing the CPU and heatsink. I personally always slide a pencil under that part of motherboard when installing a different CPU, but on new install since it's done on cardboard BEFORE putting inside the case, there's no need to do that. NEVER flex the motherboard.

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Yes, it's probable, but...

Yes, it's probable that I've flexed the motherboard, I remember that in on situation the mobo didn't want to leave and I put a little bit of strength on it. But after that I put the i5 on it and it worked. So, if the mobo was damaged, the i5 would have the same behavior than the i7 right?

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So your saying that if you just use one stick of ram in slot 1 you get errors in memtest 86.
If you take that one stick of ram and put it in slot 2 you do not get errors.
Is that correct?
Note..... I'm talking about just using one stick of ram for testing.
If you repeat the test with the other stick of ram it shows the same thing?

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The results are for both sticks

Thank you for your reply. You're correct: with ANY stick in slot 1 I get errors in memtest86 AND BSoD in Prime95.

This is for both stocks in slot 1, I've tested both individually.

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Then it would seem you have a problem with the slot.
If you can't see any damage with a good light and a magnify glass your stuck.
Just use the second slot alone or go for a new mobo.

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Forcing to use slot 1, will do more damage?

Thank you. But, let me just ask you 2 more questions:

1 - using both sticks of RAM in the 2 slots, in the real usage I have no problems (maybe some BSoD in the future..), just when stress testing. Do you think that "forcing" to use RAM in the "damaged" slot 1 will cause more problems in the mobo? Because 8GB of RAM is becoming tight for me, and losing the Dual Channel will also slow down..

2 - If I go safe and use one 1 stick in the slot 2, is it possible that the damage could spread in the mobo and affect other components?

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If the slot is bad and you use it you run the risk of corrupting files on your storage.

Look close at all the stuff you have running and see if there is stuff you can turn off.

Unless you know that the apps your running benefit from dual channel I would not be too concerned about it.

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Situation Upgrade

Many thanks for your help and opinion. In fact, corrupting files is a very danger situation because it is my work computer. So, if you say there is that risk, I will not use that slot.

But, just a small update, I don't know if this will open the door to new possibilities of the problem: I tried to test the laptop with both sticks of RAM and if I use RAM on Slot 1 the PC boots but there is a black screen, the logo of "ASUS" don't even appear. I tried all the possibilities of playing with RAM in sticks in the 2 slots, and this happens with any of the RAM sticks in the slot 1. If I use just 1 RAM stick in the slot 2, the PC boots normally (independently of the RAM stick it is). In fact it have already happened 2 days ago, but I saw this video ( with a very strange method and I decide to try and it worked, the PC booted normally. But now that problem appeared again, and if I use any stick of RAM in the slot 1 I have a black screen in the boot. This information changes anything?

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Black screen

That's saying the machine failed POST.

The vid is showing reseating the ram, that just helps clean the contacts of the stick and the slot.

Look very close at that slot for damage or something that's in the slot that stops the stick from seating properly.

Perhaps get a can of compressed air and blow out the slot.

You must get that slot to pass memtest86.

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Slot and RAM clean

Thank you very much. I have already bought a can of compressed air and cleaned the slot. Looking to it I can not find anything strange, but I'm not very professional on this, and the slot of RAM is an almost plastic thing that looks as new Happy
But I will disassembly again the laptop and try to clean again, how I wish this could be just dirty..

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UPDATE: Problem Found!

My dear friends, first of all thank you very much for your help to try fixing the problem with my laptop. I really appreciate your time and help, I learn I lot with you, and this is a great forum! Thank you for your kindness.
Yesterday I could get another CPU same model of the one I bought, from a laptop of a friend, and the both slots worked as a charm! The problem was in my CPU as some of you have already said: however, it was not a compability issue - I guess it was the memory controller of the CPU that was damaged (I think it is also called IMC) because as I've said the CPU works at 100% tested during 15 of 100% load in Prime95 with great temperatures, without overheating and without blue screens. However, even it is a little bit rare to happen, some component about memory inside the CPU was damaged. It was nothing about motherboard, as in the 99% of the times.

Thank you again for your help. For futures similar situations to mine, I advise you, if possible, to get another CPU (same model or different but compatible) and figure out if the problem is with the CPU (after, of corse, have tried to deeply test the RAM sticks to find out if they are the problem). In this case, you avoid sending your mobo to be fixed without need.

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(NT) NT - thanks for the update!

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