New RAM causes display problems?

Jul 12, 2005
  1. I've just added another stick of RAM to my PC, but upon turning my PC back on I found that my display is completely messed up - BIOS and start up menus are virtually unreadable because of thick vertical lines going across the screen. They also appear on Windows, but they're much finer and don't obscure the screen too much.

    I had the exact same problem this time last year when I bought new motherboard/memory/processor/graphics card and it seemed to fix itself. I've tried a different monitor and yet the problem remains.

    The memory I bought today was Kingston ValueRAM PC3200 512mb, the same brand and model as the first stick.

    Any ideas?
  2. just_a_nobody

    just_a_nobody TS Rookie Posts: 182

    Hi TGV, have you tried switching out the old memory stick, with the new stick, to verify the new stick is good?

    Either you bumped something when installing the new memory stick, the new memory stick is bad, or the memory socket is bad. So, I would check all my connections, reseating all your cards, and double checking your memory.

    Please be sure to discharge any static electricity, you hold, by touching the case, before working on the inside of your computer.
  3. DJ Adi

    DJ Adi TS Rookie

    Hmm this sounds really strange. I don't think that would be RAM's fault as it got nottin to do wid this. So u either damaged something while inserting the RAM or maybe but I aint' too sure about it, maybe ur sticks of RAM differ in type and that's what causing all that. What I mean is that one stick is DDR the other SD RAM or else. So check them both and see.
  4. TGV

    TGV TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The most baffling thing is that I had the exact same effect when I first built this computer, yet I can't remember how or why it went away. I've tried a multitude of different combinations involving the two sticks (identical models, BTW) and the four slots, with no joy...

    1. Upon booting, 1024mb of RAM is recognised, as is dual channel mode.
    2. Using Belarc Advisor, only one chip is recognised - the one in the lowest slot. It can by either of the two chips and each slot is acknowledged when only one stick is used. It does however report the correct overall amount of memory.
    3. Windows itself recognises 1gb of RAM, and the PC is running quicker than previously.
    4. The actual distortion I can see now is minimal. The lines are only clearly visible against darker backgrounds, and tend to take on a shade of red.

    Here's a screenshot, although I don't know if you'll see the distortion?
  5. just_a_nobody

    just_a_nobody TS Rookie Posts: 182

    I wonder, if your MOBO is shorting out on a standoff, from inserting your new memory, that may be something you could check, also remove, and reinsert your video card. You may even want to clean the video card contacts, with a pencil eraser, while you have it out, make sure you get all the eraser dust off the dimm first.
  6. nucleardreams

    nucleardreams TS Rookie Posts: 68

    Wait a second, that screenshot looks like there might be some outside interference with your PC. Do you have any lamps with transformers(usually hologen), equipment power cords with external transformers, old speakers or magnats next to your CPU housing? If thats not the case, then check and see if there are any contacts to the back of your mainboard, maybe a misplaced mounting screw screwed into the wrong place. This will cause interference or a short circuit. A question: is your monitor CRT or TFT?
  7. TGV

    TGV TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The comments were much appreciated, I finally found out that it was actually my graphics card all along! I went to a friend's house and his graphics card worked perfectly in my machine. I should have known - my PC is running more smoothly than ever, which surely wouldn't be the case had there been issues with my memory/mobo. The replacement is already in the post, so once again I thank those who offered their advice.

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