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Windows 7: RAM problems

16 Jul 2014   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
RAM problems

I have 2 computers, both Dell Optiplex 780 DT models.
I wanted to upgrade the RAM as there was only 2GB of DDR3 in each.
I bought sticks of Corsair XMS3 from ebay, mostly second-hand (used).
All but 1 stick was OK. That faulty stick gave Blue Screen of Death after 10 minutes or so.
I returned it to Corsair, hoping to avail of their lifetime warranty.

They have now sent me a new stick.
This stick, when installed singly or with the other sticks, gives a new fault.
Both pcs refuse to POST.
The fan starts without touching the power button, but the monitor stays black.

I seem to remember needing to reset the cmos battery, but haven't done that, thinking "what's the difference between the existing sticks and the new one"?

Each stick is 4GB, making 16GB in total. I've tried the new stick in each of the 4 dimm slots and get the same problem.

I suspect the new stick, but I'd expect it to have been tested before dispatch from the factory.
Could airport x-ray machines have damaged it?
No external signs of damage and it was very well packed.

Any help very welcome, please.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2014   #2

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

Sean first mistake mate was going through Ebay mate I know it is expensiveto buy but because is pivotal in running the machine it is best get new gear.

If you buy RAM we usually advise that you buy it in one stick or in sticksthat come as apart of a matched batch. ie the sticks come in the same package. So say you are installing 8GB RAM then 1, 2, or 4 sticks in the one retail pack. It is generally speaking to mix match brands or the same brand form different sources.

Having said that your machines are not new and it may be hat one or more of the RAM slots on the motherboards are bad too. I take it you have been using memtest for testing the RAM??

The CMOS battery mate you need to either take it out leave for a few minutes then replace or insert a new one - very cheap and a no brainer.

You can check the volts to on the machines with HW Info you can check the voltages on the rails and CMOS battery. HWiNFO, HWiNFO32/64 - Download < get the right bit version
se pic for readout - it is mine unfortunately a laptop so slightly different to a desktop. But you should get the gist of it. You are looking for a readout called Vbatt

Using HW Info

DownloadHW Info and pick the right bit version - HWiNFO, HWiNFO32/64 - Download -(copy and paste this site into the search bar) If you do not need the runninginformation in the smaller right hand panel close it. In the left hand windowclick on the + for the individual device groupings and they will open out tothe various components.

Goon opening out further until you get to the device itself. click on it and itwill highlight. In the right hand window there will be a very detaileddescription of that device as in brand, speeds model number etc etc These arevery detailed and are just what is needed for searching for drivers etc.

Seemy pic for an example - in this I have opened out my memory and thenhighlighted one of the sticks and you can see the detail.

Attached Thumbnails
RAM problems-hwinfo-power.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2014   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks, I'll try that.
I know ebay is dicey but 16GB of XMS3 DDR3 RAM costs 130 on Amazon and I needed to upgrade 2 PCs.
260 is a lot to spend.

What bothers me is that I've tried the new stick on each of the 2 PCs and in each of the DIMM slots.
I get the same result in all cases.
It seems to point to the new stick being faulty.
By the way, every stick is identical. They are all Corsair XMS3 DDR3 4GB apiece. The only difference is the "Version number" whatever that is.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Jul 2014   #4

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

Sean just out of interest do you have to have 16GB in each machine. I think generally speaking unless you are going to be doing some super RAM hungry programs in say high end graphics work / intensive gaming mate then 8GB would be plenty.

Having said that I have just had a quick look at the UK sites and yes it is expensive. It is abit like out here we pay far more than our US cousins
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2014   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I suppose I was a bit greedy.
I use my PCs quite a bit and download lots of bittorrent stuff.
If you have several files downloading at once it seems to use lots of memory resource.
Probably I didn't actually need 16GB each, but that is what I bought.

I'm just surprised that a brand new stick, sent all the way from Taiwan, would appear faulty on receipt.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2014   #6

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

No it wasn't being greedy mate I did the exact same thing when I did my two larger builds and then found 8GB stacks for really just about anything - so you are not alone in reckoning more is better.
Both my Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge both have been cut back to 8GB and although I don't do a lot in the way of graphics I reckon I can do most of what I want.

Yes it is annoying to get stuff that is no good but as I mentioned before stuff from Ebay if that is where it came from is very hit and miss on what you get because a lot of that stuff is probably stripped from old machines and sold as slightly used or whatever.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2014   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thank you.
The problem now is with a brand new stick, sent via UPS direct from Taiwan.
I was extremely impressed with their tracking data. It showed every step from Taiwan, to AbuDhabi, to India, to Germany, to Netherlands and over to the UK.
I was less than impressed with the stick when it arrived but it might just be the system cmos battery which is now 4 years old in both PCs.

Once the PC is switched on, is the system voltage maintained from the power supply?
I thought the cmos just maintained settings when the PC was off.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2014   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

The answer seems a bit closer.
I emailed the technical team at Corsair in USA.
This is their reply:
Based on Intel's specification for their Q45 chipset, the memory controller can read up to 2Gb IC modules:

2Gb IC, single rank (8 IC chips total on module) = 2GB module
2Gb IC, dual rank (16 IC chips on module) = 4GB module
4Gb IC, single rank (8 IC) = 4GB module

As you can see, there are two ways to create a memory module - a dual rank, lower density IC or a single rank, high density IC. If the CMX4GX3M1A1333C9 does not work on your system, it is more than likely that it is based on the 4Gb IC technology which the Q45 chipset cannot use. I mentioned "likely" because the IC chip market is very dynamic and as such, our modules are manufactured based on the availability of these chips.

The problem is that they don't distinguish between 4GB modules that are low density or high density.
How daft is that?

I changed the cmos battery and drained residual current before putting the new CR2032 battery in. No good.
I think I have my answer now and will update this post when Corsair decide what they can do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2014   #9

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

Sean I don't quite understand what you mean by the system voltage being maintained from the power supply because that is the only place it can come from. It is maintained by the Power_Good signal see this Power good signal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
It is the signal at pin 8 (grey cable) on the 24 pin socket and that has to be between 2.4v and 6v for the machine to start powering up otherwise it will not boot and if it goes outside of those limits it will shut down because it is sensing the machine is not getting the correct voltages.

If I can find the Tomshardware link I will send it to you. So the CMOS battery is only for maintaining the time and ate and BIOS details of course.

Yes it is annoying and you should ask them to be a bit more specific on the densities.

a very good reference and go to page 2 for the Power_Good info
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2014   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thank you. Very helpful.
Corsair seem embarrassed as this is a known problem.
They use exactly the same item number (SKU) whether their modules contain high density or low density chips.
The former is OK for 10% of PCs and the latter for 100% of PCs.
I think that's significant.
They don't.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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