System restarts with two memory sticks, fine with one

By sethbest
Jan 17, 2013
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  1. I got a system in recently with a weird issue. It would reset after a few minutes, and then shorter and shorter intervals on restart continually. I tested for all the normal stuff (power supply, temperature, unplugged the video card) and checked the error logs but only the unexpected restarts were listed, with no suspicious events around them.

    If I removed a memory stick it ran fine though. I thought it was a bad stick but I ran memtest on both sticks without errors for a few passes. Immediately though if I plug in both sticks the system won't stay on for more than a minute or two.

    I adjusted just about every bios setting concerning memory without change, and tried loading bios failsafe defaults.

    Anyways I'm considering between just telling the owner that the system can only support one ram stick now, likely due to some motherboard fault, or trying to do a bios update though I'm a bit hesitant that if there are issues with the motherboard maybe I should just leave the bios version alone.

    I'd be interested in hearing others takes on the issue.

    CPU- AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ 2.40GHZ
    Motherboard- amd690gm-m2
    RAM- CORSAIR CM2X1024- 6400C4 800 MHZ 4-4-4-12
  2. LukeDJ

    LukeDJ TechSpot Addict Posts: 412   +109

    Often a faulty memory stick will work by itself, but then fail once running in duel channel.

    Unfortunately this is very difficult to test with two sticks, so there's no guarantee that this is the issue. You may just have to buy some new memory.
  3. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,197   +555

    You say the PC doesn't stay on - does this include just sitting on the BIOS?
  4. sethbest

    sethbest TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 167

    Now that you mention it st1k it does stay on pretty well in bios. I don't think it's reset once while I was making changes, whereas otherwise it won't last more than a minute or two.
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,246   +213

    I'm sure you did try this but I didn't see it mentioned. Have you ran memtest with both the sticks in? I know you said it resets with 2 in there and its time alive gets shorter with time, but it doesn't take very long to get into memtest. Just wondering if you could see it throwing any errors just before rebooting.

    Suppose you don't have any DDR2 lying around?
  6. sethbest

    sethbest TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 167

    SNG, yeah it will make it into memtest with both sticks, but will reset within the first minute or two of run time. No errors found within this time.

    I suspect one stick has a fault that just isn't showing up in testing. With one stick I noticed the system seems less stable, left on over night it did freeze once. With the other stick only it's been on for about 8 hours now without any freezing or errors.

    I am about to go through my memory pile now to see if I have any compatible sticks to test with.
  7. sethbest

    sethbest TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 167

    Well, while testing other ram sticks something shorted and now it just beeps as if there is no ram installed. My POST reader just gives me the FF code. Tried resetting the cmos, and unplugging peripherals. I guess the board was just starting to go.

    Now I have to find an a compatible board as a replacement to suggest, though at this point they might as well do a new build.
  8. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,197   +555

    Were you doing the memtest inside or outside the OS?

    Also, my conclusion was leaning towards the motherboard too. I had similar symptoms with a Dell recently.
  9. misor

    misor TechSpot Addict Posts: 748   +111

    Maybe its a compatibility problem.

    I remember my old celeron computer with ecs p4vmm2 mobo would BSOD whenever I insert 2x256mb ddr-333 kingston but has no problem with 2x2mb ddr-333 hynix memory chips.
    try to insert memory 1 to memory slot 2 or vice versa.
    or try to use some other spare memory brands.

    I cannot find memory certified for AMD690GM-M2 (V1.0A) AMD AM2 CPU HT2000 and Dual DDR2 800 Motherboard here:
    http://www.ecs.com.tw/ECSWebSite/Pr...x?DetailID=789&CategoryID=1&MenuID=21&LanID=0
  10. sethbest

    sethbest TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 167

    The tests were run in Memetest 86x by a boot cd, outside of operating system.

    I can never be sure of the background of a system, since I only see it when it has a problem, but from the owner's information it worked for quite a while with the original two sticks. I guess this system just falls under the broad umbrella of bad motherboard quality over the last 7 years or so.

    Anyways, thanks for the feedback everyone. I was sharing because it was such a peculiar case, but I appreciate hearing similar experiences from others when I run into something I haven't seen before.
  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,246   +213

    I had an Athlon T-bird 1Ghz Socket A processor in an Asus A7V motherboard, and it eventually died in 2007 or so. Not sure whether it was the motherboard that gave out or the processor. But I suppose that puts it in that 7 year old range of the system you are working on. 7 years is a pretty good run for a system though..

    Uh oh.. just as I was typing that I realized my processor is 6 years old :D


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