Puzzled over BSODs and RAM

By veblen
Jun 28, 2007
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  1. Hello all,

    Stumbled upon this very useful forum while googling for information on BSODs. I've browsed some of the topics and unfortunately, find that my PC suffers from a multitude of them - the reboot loop, repeated BSODs, etc.

    I've done the necessary diagnostics using memtest and orthos and indeed, with my current mobo (ASUS P5VDC-X), pretty much all the RAM modules I have fail the tests with errors writing to ## or inaccurate division (the 0.5/0.4 message that orthos spits out). However, on a different mobo, these very same RAM modules pass an overnight memtest and orthos run. This gets me puzzled - is it a RAM problem or my motherboard?

    I am currently using no-brand Nanya PC2-4300 512MB X 2 mem modules running at 310MHz (on a Pentium D-805 at 3.10 GHz.) Despite the errors from memtest, it seems stable for normal tasks until I start a game...then the game will quit abruptly with an error. I reverted back to stock settings and the same things occur. At this point, I can start XP only with these mem modules. (I removed Vista since the boot manager was really getting screwed up and when I boot from DVD, after the loading process, I keep getting error messages.)

    When I switched to my newly bought Kingston ValueRAM DDR2-667 1GB X 2 initially, I kept getting random restarts all the time. Now, my machine goes into a repeated reboot loop or if it manages to get past that, says something about corrupted BIOS (even after I cleared the RTC RAM and reflashed it) ) _and_if I manage to get past that, it's BSOD galore. (at stock settings)

    I try to boot from CD but once the drivers finish loading, I get a BSOD when the message "Windows is now starting" comes up...I can't even get to press R for repair!

    I'd appreciate any insight! I thought DDR2 RAM was backwards compatible and I could possibly achieve higher overclocks but at this point, I may have wasted my money. Also, since the same RAM modules work with no errors in another machine, is it still a RAM problem?

    I'm using a 430W PSU with an AGP 7600GT that requires an external power connector, a SATA HDD and an IDE DVD-RW.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,682   +153

    You have done evertything I can think of as far as troubleshooting. Bios clearing, memory testing, power supply ok... My only other thought besides a bad motherboard, is that the modules you are using, both the generic and the Kingston are incompatible with the Asus motherboard
  3. herr5407

    herr5407 Newcomer, in training Posts: 118

    Does this mean you plugged in DDR2 into a DDR mobo? or vice versa? I may have misread
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,682   +153

    I thought that myself for a second... The modules (DDR and DDR2) are not interchangeable! The pins/keys are different. DDR is 184 pins. DDR2 is 204 pins if I remember
  5. herr5407

    herr5407 Newcomer, in training Posts: 118

    DDR2 has 240 pins.

    If you did plug DDR2 into a DDR slot or vice-versa, I can almost garantee that you've either damaged your motherboard, the RAM itself, or even both.
  6. veblen

    veblen Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    No no, this mobo has both DDR and DDR2 slots (one of those AGP/PCI-E, DDR/DDR2 VIA chipset kinds). The problem started occurring after I installed the Kingston DDR2-667 in the DDR2 slots, despite the max. recommended DDR2 DIMM speed of 533. Shouldn't the DIMM automatically downclock to run at the lower speed? I only bought the 667 coz I wanted to ensure that if I were to upgrade, I could still use my mem modules.

    When I try to switch back to my old DDR-333 RAM (just DDR RAM in the DDR slots, nothing in the DDR2 slots), I get error beeps and the machine refuses to POST.
  7. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,682   +153

    Replace the motherboard...
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