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Windows 7: Dual Channel Suddenly Stopped Working, Only Single Channel Remains


07 Apr 2013   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 
Dual Channel Suddenly Stopped Working, Only Single Channel Remains

Hey everyone

I got a bit of a problem here, and I'm at a loss on what to do to fix it.

Some background about the situation would be a good place to start. A few days ago I came home from work and found my PC in a "lights are on, but no one's home" state. The power button was lit up and the fans were in motion, but the monitors were in power saver mode, not the normal on state with the blank screen saver. I tried moving the mouse, mashing on the keyboard but nothing happened. So I reset the machine and it just went to a blank screen, no beeps, or messages, just the same ole lights on no ones home deal again.

Now before this I had been having memory problems, with blue screens saying "memory management" and "IRQL not less than or equal". So I thought it might be a bad strip of ram, and even bought two more strips to replace the ones I had removed. In the process of testing each strip I discovered that one was bad. (That was not the fix by the way)

After putting in the new ram in for a total of 8GB's of ram (figured if I'm gonna buy new ram might as well increase the total amount) it booted up and no more blue screens after loading into windows, YaY it was fixed or so I thought. A few weeks later the above incident occurred and the only way to get the PC to boot up was to pull two strips of the ram and insert the remaining strips into slots 1 and 3 for a single channel configuration. Didn't matter which set of ram I used, just so long as I didn't mix two different brands on the same channel. It's never needed to be set in that manner before. CPUID reports it as single channel, with a blank entry in the DC mode, so I assume its ganged up and in single channel, YUCK!

While the PC is operational, since I'm typing this up on it, I know its not at its optimal configuration which annoys me to no end. After researching the problem via Google and numerous forum post with info unrelated to my exact problem I decided to write up a post, in the hopes that some one out there can help me to figure out if the problem lies in my motherboard (doubtful) or in the processors integrated memory controller.

I think its the Phenom's memory controller that is faulty, or failing. It's been in operation since 2009, almost continuously and its been a good computer and still is. I think the new ram might have been the culprit that shot my memory controller in the back. There CAS/RAS ratio's do not match by one number one is at CAS 6 the other set CAS 5, and when all 8GB's was installed the ram would run at 667 not the 800mhz it's rated to run. So like a dumb ass, not knowing enough. I went in the BIOS and overrode the auto setting for the ram and set it 400mhz vs the 333mhz it was defaulting to. Did I inadvertently over work the memory controller? All the current Ram I have is working and not faulty. So that only leaves the Mobo and the processor.

I don't have tons of cash to spend, I'm a poor man. So before I bite the bullet and buy a new Phenom to replace the one I have I'd like to try and verify if that is indeed the problem.

System Info:

  • Asus M4A785-M Motherboard
  • AMD Phenom II X2 550 B.E. 3.1Ghz (unlocked and over clocked it once but it was unstable, back in 2009)
  • NVIDIA 9800GT 1024GB @ 900mhz, Core 550mhz Bit Width 256 Bit
  • 4 to 8GB's of Ram, when it worked it was at 8GB's now it's at 4GB for now.
  • 3 SATA Hard drives all independent of each other, not raided.
  • 730W OCZ PSU

I think that's the gist of the system info one would need. If it is indeed my processors memory controller and there is nothing that can be done with what i have on hand to correct the problem then I plan on buying a Phenom II X4 965. It's about the same price as my X2 was in 2009. Plus it has the same socket and should work with my motherboard. Could the motherboard some how be at fault, how can I test this without additional hardware?

Here is more information about my memory.

Sorry I didn't post enough information, here are the timings for the ram that is currently installed.

Newer Ram Specs:
Type DDR2
Size 4096 Mega Bytes (4GB)
DRAM Frequency 400.0Mhz
FSB : DRAM 1:2
CAS#CL 5.0 Clocks
RAS# to CAS# Delay 6 Clocks
RAS# Precharge 6 Clocks
Cycle Time 18 Clocks
Bank Cycle Time 24 Clocks
Command Rate 2T

Channels# Single
NB Frequency 2000 MHz

Older Ram Specs
Type DDR2
Size 4096 Mega Bytes (4GB)
DRAM Frequency 400.0Mhz
FSB : DRAM 1:2
CAS#CL 6.0 Clocks
RAS# to CAS# Delay 5 Clocks
RAS# Precharge 5 Clocks
Cycle Time 18 Clocks
Bank Cycle Time 23 Clocks
Command Rate 2T

Channels# Single
NB Frequency 2000 MHz

As you can see there almost identical and the PC used to be able to run either set so long as they were not mixed up. I.E two matching strips in the blue slots and two matching strips in the black slots. Dual Channel is acheived by pairing the memory in side by side slots. Which at the moment it is not set that way, in order to make the system boot up.

While I had the case open a few mins ago to swap the ram, I tried putting the ram in dual channel on slots 3 and 4 but the same thing happens. I turn on the system and it just sits there, you can hear the HDD do a read operation and the CD rom flashes its light and then it just sits there dead for all intents and purposes.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

07 Apr 2013   #2

Windows 8.1 Pro | Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
 
 

Britton, go to the asus site for your motherboard. Download and install the latest drivers. Download a copy of your manual and review the bios settings. If need be manually input the correct timings for your ram. Also make sure to follow the ram installation documentation for which slots to use to enable dual channel.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2013   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dude View Post
Britton, go to the asus site for your motherboard. Download and install the latest drivers. Download a copy of your manual and review the bios settings. If need be manually input the correct timings for your ram. Also make sure to follow the ram installation documentation for which slots to use to enable dual channel.
Thank you for your reply, there is one BIOS update available which I am going to try now. I don't think it will fix this but it never hurts to try. I'll let you know how it goes in a couple of minutes. The BIOS for this board does not let you set individual timings, all of that is controlled by the integrated memory controller.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


07 Apr 2013   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Well I thought it was an update for it, turns out I already have BIOS version 1101 installed, which is the most recent update they offer on the ASUS website. Looks like I'll just have to buy a new processor if I want my dual channel memory configuration to work again.

I've posted this question on 2 forums and no one seems have an answer or just doesn't care to reply.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2013   #5

Windows 8.1 Pro | Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
 
 

Page 53 of your manual shows DRAM Timing mode
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2013   #6

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)
 
 

I am running a similar rig to this one, Today. I'm not sure if the CPU or the motherboard controlls the dual channel aspect.


Attached Thumbnails
Dual Channel Suddenly Stopped Working, Only Single Channel Remains-cpu-z_phenom_550.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2013   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dude View Post
Page 53 of your manual shows DRAM Timing mode
I have a copy of the manual and a quick guide book and I see the timing page your talking about but what does all that mean. Should I write down my current timings and then manually try to set them? I know about computers but that part is beyond my current scope of understanding. It shows the basic memory settings all set as auto and that has always worked. If there is a chance I can some how configure the memory in the BIOS manually then I'm all for it but I'm not sure what settings to change. Should I just trial and error it until I figure it out, or would that damage my hardware even more?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2013   #8

Windows 8.1 Pro | Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
 
 

If I'm looking at your specs right you can run Unregistered DIMMs up to PC2-8500 (DDR2-1066MHz) -AND- PC3-10600 (DDR3-1333MHz)

http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Ha...eviews/pii550/
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2013   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DocBrown View Post
I am running a similar rig to this one, Today. I'm not sure if the CPU or the motherboard controlls the dual channel aspect.
Yeah that's exactly how my CPU ID used to look, almost the exact same timings and everything, yours is in dual channel mode though. Did you have to do anything special to make the ram work. My ram was working by default and then suddenly just stopped working, but only if I have it in dual channel mode. This is a function that had been working fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2013   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dude View Post
If I'm looking at your specs right you need DDR3 1600 ram
I can't afford that stuff, but my manual says it only supports up to DDR2 @ 1066mhz and only in the blue slots for dual channel mode. The if I put DDR3 @ 1600mhz my processor would probably burn out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Dual Channel Suddenly Stopped Working, Only Single Channel Remains




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