Bizarre behavior after upgrading RAM from 4GB to 8GB!

Discussion in 'Memory' started by mb91, May 4, 2014.

  1. mb91

    mb91 n00b

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    After replacing the previous 4x1GB DDR2 DIMMs with 4x2GB DDR2 DIMMs in my Asus mobo, the machine started behaving very weirdly! Note that these problems arise well before trying to load Windows.

    Here are the symptoms:

    (1): The PCIe graphics adapter will work fine every other boot-up, but on the odd-numbered boots, the monitor stays blank.

    (2): There are two PCI-X storage adapters, one an Adaptec 29320ALP-R SCSI-320 card, and the other is a SuperMicro AOC-SAT2-MV8 8-port SATA RAID adapter (based on the SiI 3124 chip). The Adaptec SCSI card pretty much always boots up and recognizes the SCSI RAID0 array just fine, but the SuperMicro/Sil 3124 card recognizes the attached SATA drives completely at random after the RAM upgrade! Note that the BIOS always recognizes both PCI-X adapter cards, but the SuperMicro only recognizes the attached disks only randomly.

    (3): There's yet another SATA RAID adapter, a PCI card that usually works, but not always.

    I've been running MemTest86+ v5.01 for over 16 hours (multiple sets), and no error whatsoever has been reported.

    The mobo is an Asus P5WDG2 WS Professional (my BIOS version is the latest available, v 1001). You can download the User's Manual starting here: P5WDG2 WS Professional user’s manual (English). That manual states that it supports up to 8GB RAM in a 4x2GB configuration, and up to PC2-6400/DDR2-800 speeds. Here is what the manual says about memory:

    The RAM I just bought can be seen here: KOMPUTERBAY 8GB (4X 2GB) DDR2 800MHz PC2-6300 PC2-6400 (240 PIN) DIMM Desktop Memory with Samsung Semiconductors. Although the speed isn't shown in the description, the manufacturer reports it as follows: "The CAS latency is 6. The timings are 6-6-6-18". I've read and been told that Samsung RAM chips are excellent (and some say they're the very best).

    Although under the previous 4GB RAM configuration, I ran 32-bit Windows XP Pro/SP3, I want to upgrade to 8GB RAM to run 64-bit Windows 7 Pro. My CPU is an Intel Q9650 Quad-core, which is a 64-bit processor.

    My previous RAM was two sets of OCZ Technology 2 GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 800MHZ Dual Channel Kit (OCZ2A8002GK), and the timing listed is: CL 4-4-4-15 (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS).

    I tried to get some specific hardware details on the RAM, but since I haven't actually booted into Windows yet, I booted from a boot CD "whose name must not be spoken" and ran a utility called "System Information for Windows" from the CD's virtual XP-like system (which may well have skewed the report). The report showed some unnerving errors/warnings, but I have no idea if those errors are actually legitimate or are related to the unusual software context of the boot CD. Here is a section of the report, with troubling info in red:

    Memory Summary: Wrong/Incomplete values reported by BIOS
    Memory Type: DDR2
    Installed Memory: 8192 MBytes
    Available Memory: 3071 MBytes
    Channels: Dual
    Maximum Capacity: 2048 MBytes (Wrong Value)
    Maximum Memory Module Size: 1024 MBytes
    Memory Slots: 4
    Error Correction None
    Memory Timings
    DRAM Frequency 333.3 MHz
    CAS# Latency (CL) 5.0
    RAS# to CAS# Delay (tRCD) 5
    RAS# Prechange (tRP)5
    Cycle Time (tRAS) 15
    Command Rate [unknown]
    Device Locator Slot 1
    Memory Type DDR2 [PC2-6400]
    Manufacturer [unknown]
    Model [unknown]
    Serial Number [unknown]
    Capacity 2048 MBytes
    Speed 400 MHz (400 x 2 = 800)
    Manufacturing Date [unknown]
    EPP SPD Support No
    XMP SPD Support No
    Supported Frequencies 266 MHz, 333 MHz, 400 MHz
    Memory Timings
    JEDEC #1 4.0-4-4-12-16 at 266 MHz, at 1.8 Volts (CL-RCD-RP-RAS-RC)
    JEDEC #2 5.0-5-5-15-20 at 333 MHz, at 1.8 Volts (CL-RCD-RP-RAS-RC)
    JEDEC #3 6.0-6-6-18-24 at 400 MHz, at 1.8 Volts (CL-RCD-RP-RAS-RC)

    I have no idea why that report claims "Wrong/Incomplete values reported by BIOS" and that the maximum capacity for a single DIMM is only 1GB, because, as the manual section I quoted above says: "You may install 256 MB, 512 MB, 1 GB, and 2 GB unbuffered ECC and non-ECC DDR2 DIMMs into the DIMM sockets." I'm baffled!

    Regarding the BIOS: In the setup page headed "Boot Settings Configuration", there's an entry labeled: AddOn ROM Display Mode, which has two settings: Force BIOS or Keep Current. I have no idea what they mean or do, but I'll be it's important considering the weirdly inconsistent appearance and disappearance of the hard disk adapters and/or disk drives.

    Note that after clearing the CMOS to try to solve this problem, I received two warning messages that first time after clearing (though I've never seen them again). They read:
    I don't know what that means, but they seem significant.

    I'm DESPERATE for some help, please!



    ETA: I've posted a lengthy hardware report on the computer in question using XP from Sandra 2013, in HTML format. Here's the download link: Sandra Report from XP - 4-May-2014.htm
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
  2. Lunas

    Lunas [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,741
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2001
    You are the second person here to have issues with shit komputer ram one or more sticks are likely bad if not all 4. Yeah they claim Samsung chips but either they are bottom of the bin or counterfeit.
     
  3. mb91

    mb91 n00b

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    Update as of Monday morning:[/b

    So I've done more research and it turns out that the lack of option ROM space is probably the biggest problem. It's why the three disk adapter cards and the disks attached to them tend to appear and disappear at random. And that's probably involved somehow in why the graphic adapter works only every other boot. DAMN!

    And since everything worked perfectly with only 4GB RAM, logic tells me that upgrading to 8GB probably consumed a bigger chuck of option ROM. Am I correct in that?

    DAMN!! :mad:

    So, new question: Is there anything I can do about this option ROM problem other than removing a bunch of stuff from this computer? What about, say, finding someone to mod the BIOS to strip out all the stuff I don't need, such as support for other CPUs and the like? Or anything else I can do? Huh? Please? Maybe?

    Help! :confused:
     
  4. mb91

    mb91 n00b

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    Thanks for your reply, but if that's the case, why does MemTest86+ insist after about 20 hours of repeated heavy-duty testing that the RAM is utterly, 100% perfect?

    Also, there are no negative customer reviews for that RAM.
     
  5. Shadohh

    Shadohh Gawd

    Messages:
    821
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    You should put all 4x1gb back into your system

    Verify it is working.

    Then you can replace 1gb vs a 2gb stick one at a time and verify computer operation each time.

    This will help isolate any potential bad ram stick it will also help you determine a chipset problem.

    I am thinking this might be a bios/chipset problem. It may not be able to accurately address all 8gb. Also if the chipset does have a 8gb limit, remember that 8gblimit is shared with video card ram and potentially raid controllers with onboard ram.

    It may be like the system is allocate the system ram over the controller card ram causing unstable functionality. Just a guess.

    TLDR:

    Try 3x2gb
     
  6. drescherjm

    drescherjm [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    14,168
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    It does not really tell you that. MemTest86+ can not ever tell you that your ram is perfect. All it can tell you is your HW is bad or there is a bug in MemTest86+ or some part of your system got hit with a cosmic ray causing 1 or more bits to flip. I have more than once seen MemTest86+ take days to detect the first ram error then print 1000s of errors. This is on systems that were very unstable in windows. After replacing the ram these systems ran fine.
     
  7. Lunas

    Lunas [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,741
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2001
    customer reviews fall into 3 groups
    ones done by people who work for or are paid for positive reviews
    ones done by stupid people
    ones done by people you should listen to

    and yes as was brought up by others this does seem more like a chipset issue and cutting and modding the rom is not going fix it your going to need to add up all the ram in the system and remove any overage you may be able to go to 6gb
     
  8. mb91

    mb91 n00b

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    Hey, thank you Shadohh for your helpful reply! I was beginning to wonder if I'd get one...

    I will do exactly as you suggest and report back.

     
  9. mb91

    mb91 n00b

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    Thanks for the info, drescherjm. I didn't know that...

     
  10. mb91

    mb91 n00b

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    Okay, thanks, Lunas

     
  11. mb91

    mb91 n00b

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    Update: Problem essentially RESOLVED! :)

    There were major electrical storms here most of the night, and given my luck, I figured that a lightning hit would strike right at the worst moment and make things far worse, so I naturally waited several hours before continuing to troubleshoot this weird situation. But the testing is now done, and here's what I found...

    List of the experiments performed and the results:

    Experiment 1: RAM config: 8GB KOMPUTERBAY - 4x2GB PC2-6400 (new RAM)
    Changes made: Removed PCI SATA RAID adapter to look for any improvement in Option ROM problem
    Results: NO CHANGE - same symptoms remained. 32-bit XP booted and ran fine, 64-bit Win 7 booted and short run appeared okay.

    Experiment 2: RAM config: 4GB KOMPUTERBAY - 2x2GB PC2-6400
    Changes made: (1) Removed two of the KOMPUTERBAY 2GB DIMMS in secondary DIMM pair
    (2) Restored PCI SATA RAID adapter
    Results: Appeared a bit worse - same symptoms remained. 32-bit XP booted and ran fine, 64-bit Win 7 booted but appeared sluggish and glitchy. Because of this, I decided it obviously wasn't worth trying a RAM config of 2x2GB KOMPUTERBAY with 2x1GB OCZ.

    Experiment 3: RAM config: 4GB OCZ - 4x1GB OCZ PC2-6400 (original config)
    Changes made: Restored original RAM in all slots
    Results: Major improvement, but it did not return to original status completely. The PCIe graphics adapter started working again correctly with EVERY boot. But the second PCI-X adapter, the SuperMicro AOC-SAT2-MV8, STILL did not recognize any disks. I can think of two possible explanations for this: (1) Installing the 8GB KOMPUTERBAY RAM did something somewhere to push it over the edge, from which it has not recovered; or (2) Completely coincidental failure (less likely, obviously). I ordered a new PCI-X SATA RAID adapter, the Intel SRCS28X Megaraid RAID Controller, a couple of days ago and should be arriving by the end of the week. One of the benefits of this will be that I can then permanently remove the PCI SATA RAID card. 32-bit XP booted and ran fine, 64-bit Win 7 booted and seemed fine but a bit sluggish.

    Experiment 4: RAM config: 6GB Corsair - 2x2GB Corsair + 2x1GB Corsair
    Changes made: I donned the ol' surgical scrubs and performed a complete RAMectomy of one of my less commonly used computers, followed by a total RAM transplant from that machine to the one I've been describing here.
    Results: The SuperMicro AOC-SAT2-MV8 PCI-X adapter STILL failed to recognize any attached disks, but everything else was back to great working condition as in Experiment 3, except that 64-bit Windows 7 seemed "happier" with 6GB instead of 4. I ran a freeware tool called "HeavyLoad" and set it to allocate as much RAM as possible, and everything seemed to go swimmingly!

    Here's what Sandra has to say about the Corsair RAM:
    I'm somewhat hesitant to blame KOMPUTERBAY for this. The timings for the KOMPUTERBAY vs the OCZ & Corsair are different, for one thing, and it might well be that the KOMPUTERBAY timings are incompatible with this mobo. So before I write a negative review for the new RAM, can I please ask you experts for your reasoning on this question? How confident are you that KOMPUTERBAY as a company or this KOMPUTERBAY RAM is completely to blame for this?





    (Side note: One of the very slightly odd things this motherboard has always done, even with the previous CPU, was that every once in a while, the initial POST page would report the CPU frequency as 2.4 GHz instead of the correct value of 3.0 GHz. I paid it no mind. But one of the things I didn't bother to report in this thread is that after installing the KOMPUTERBAY memory, that post page ALWAYS reported the CPU frequency to be 2.4 GHz and never reported 3.0 Ghz. But in both Experiment 3 and 4, it was back to pretty [/HTML]much always reporting 3.0 GHz. I have no idea if this was significant, but there you are...)
     
  12. Lunas

    Lunas [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,741
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2001
    I know i have seemed like i hate komputer bay but... They are a very new company and my few experiences with the ram has been trouble shooting that that has been the culprit.

    What I would do is return the ram and get a known reliable brand corsair, g.skill, crucial ect.

    I would likely not leave feedback or a review or if i did i would do 3 stars and i would detail the issue i had in that the mobo is believed to not be compatible with the timings.
     
  13. larrymoencurly

    larrymoencurly [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,623
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Why does the Amazon picture of 4 Samsung Komputerbay DIMMs show Samsung chips, but the picture of 2 Samsung Komputerbay DIMMs show Micron chips? If Komputerbay was responsible for the listing, then maybe they're also sloppy with what they write into their SPDs. Have you tried running one Komputerbay DIMM in the same bank as a Corsair or OCZ module, to force the slower settings to be used for both modules? It did when I used a Crucial/Samsung 1GB DDR2 module (same 6-6-6-18 timing and Samsung K4T51083QE chips as your Komputerbay) next to a 1GB OCZ.