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DRAM died?


EricBall

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Last weekend my son let me know that the main computer was spontaneously crashing and sometimes wouldn't boot up.  I try to run an offline Windows Defender scan & chkdsk, but the system shuts down / reboots in the middle.  It also fails to boot - not even getting to the BIOS splash screen.  Worrying...

 

I download the motherboard manual to see if it has any suggestions.  Well, there are "easy debug LEDs", but they are so bright I can't see the labels.  There's also four LEDs next to each other so I need to figure out which is lit - again the brightness making this difficult to determine.  Furthermore, the system stops failing to boot into Windows... sigh...

 

Eventually the failure reoccurs - and (with the aid of my phone's flashlight) I determine the DRAM LED is lit.  I swap & reseat the DIMMs but the issue still occurs.  Off to NewEgg & Amazon I go to order another pair of DDR-4 DIMMs, which were delivered yesterday.  Popped them in and no more failures.

 

I could point to the old DRAM being from "budget brand" G.Skill as being the reason for it dying, or the lack of any kind of heatsink (the new DRAM from Corsair has a aluminum "headsink").  However, this is the first time I've ever experienced this kind of failure myself.  I'm just glad it wasn't the CPU (although I wouldn't mind upgrading to one of the X3D models).

 

The other annoying thing is I now have two sticks of DDR4 that are basically e-waste.  While I could sell them as "for parts only", there's a high chance that the seller would simply resell them to someone as 100% working...

 

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