Question ASUS Z390-A | DRAM Light On | Can't even get to bios

Jan 12, 2021
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I recently received a hand-me-down GPU from a friend of mine. I went to replace one of my old cards with it and can no longer reach the bios screen. The DRAM light on the mobo is stuck on when I boot the computer. I did not change anything about my RAM setup when replacing the GPU.

My specs:
PW/S: Corsair HX1050
Mobo: ASUS Z390-A
CPU: i9 -9900k 300 Series
Cooler: Corsair H100i
RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) (Model #: CMK16GX4M2B3200C16 )
GPU0 (old/to be replaced): GTX 1050ti
GPU1: GTX 960

GPU0 (new card received/attempted to install): Radeon AXRX 580

I replaced the 1050ti with the 580 and the computer wouldn't display. After doing some research I saw that I did not follow the proper procedure by resetting the CMOS.

I reset the CMOS and tried again to no avail. At this point I removed both GPUs, reset the CMOS, and attempted to get it running with the integrated graphics. Still no display.

I noticed the DRAM light was on so I checked my RAM config, saw no problem, and tried to run it with just one card at a time. I tried both cards separately, no dice. I ordered new RAM (same model) and just attempted to use one of the new ones. (Resetting CMOS every time) It still is not working. I am not sure if the DRAM light is a false flag or not but I cannot seem to find a solution.

Any thoughts?



Additional Specs:
3 HDD
1 2.5in SSD
Sound Blaster Fatality Sound Card
Firewire PCIe card
2 disk drives

If there is any additional information I can provide please let me know.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Try this.

Remove ALL graphics cards, and all RAM. With the power switch on the PSU flipped to the off or "0" position, or the PSU power cable unplugged from the wall or the PSU, remove the CMOS battery. Now, press the power button on the case for about 15 seconds, continuously, to deplete any residual power in the motherboard and CMOS circuit.

Now, reinstall the RAM making sure to put them in the A2 and B2 slots, which are the second and fourth slots over from the CPU. This is likely where you already had them previously, but if it wasn't, it is where they SHOULD be in any case.

Now install the graphics card, and be sure to attach the auxiliary PCIe power cables (6 pin, 8 pin, generally some combination of 6+2 pin connectors on pretty much all modern PSUs except where custom sleeved cables have been ordered or built).

Be sure to attach the monitor display cable or cables to the outputs on the graphics card, not the motherboard. And be sure that if it doesn't work with HDMI to also try Displayport if possible.

Now plug the PSU back in, flip the PSU power switch back on and power up the system to see if there is a display signal.

The standard procedure looks something like this, which is my general copy pasta. It works in a lot of cases, especially where hardware has been changed, but not in EVERY case. It is always worth trying though.

BIOS Hard Reset procedure

Power off the unit, switch the PSU off and unplug the PSU cord from either the wall or the power supply.

Remove the motherboard CMOS battery for about three to five minutes. In some cases it may be necessary to remove the graphics card to access the CMOS battery.

During that five minutes while the CMOS battery is out of the motherboard, press the power button on the case, continuously, for 15-30 seconds, in order to deplete any residual charge that might be present in the CMOS circuit. After the five minutes is up, reinstall the CMOS battery making sure to insert it with the correct side up just as it came out.

If you had to remove the graphics card you can now reinstall it, but remember to reconnect your power cables if there were any attached to it as well as your display cable.

Now, plug the power supply cable back in, switch the PSU back on and power up the system. It should display the POST screen and the options to enter CMOS/BIOS setup. Enter the bios setup program and reconfigure the boot settings for either the Windows boot manager or for legacy systems, the drive your OS is installed on if necessary.

Save settings and exit. If the system will POST and boot then you can move forward from there including going back into the bios and configuring any other custom settings you may need to configure such as Memory XMP, A-XMP or D.O.C.P profile settings, custom fan profile settings or other specific settings you may have previously had configured that were wiped out by resetting the CMOS.

In some cases it may be necessary when you go into the BIOS after a reset, to load the Optimal default or Default values and then save settings, to actually get the hardware tables to reset in the boot manager.

It is probably also worth mentioning that for anything that might require an attempt to DO a hard reset in the first place, IF the problem is related to a lack of video signal, it is a GOOD IDEA to try a different type of display as many systems will not work properly for some reason with displayport configurations. It is worth trying HDMI if you are having no display or lack of visual ability to enter the BIOS, or no signal messages.

Trying a different monitor as well, if possible, is also a good idea if there is a lack of display. It happens.


Also, and this might be important, what is the EXACT model of your power supply, and how LONG has it been in service that you know of?
 
Jan 12, 2021
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Thank you for responding, I appreciate the help. I went through the instructions in your post. Installed both RAM chips and both GPUs. Still no signal from either GPU using either HDMI or DVI. I tried with two different monitors as well.

My PSU:
Corsair Professional Series HX 1050 Watt ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Gold (HX1050)

I bought this back in 2013 so it is a bit old. I'm not sure if there is a model number I am missing but Amazon no longer has the listing for the 1050 watt model.

ETA: The DRAM light is still lit
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Do you have a multimeter, or volt meter, or have access to one? Or can go buy one? I think testing for the appropriate voltages on the PSU would be the first step unless you are willing to just buy another one OR if you have another one that is suitable quality and capacity.

If so, you can test as follows.



And, benchtesting would seem appropriate at this point.


But you want to be sure and double check everything listed here FIRST.

 
Jan 12, 2021
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I completed the PSU test last night and everything was reading correctly on the multimeter.

I wanted to make sure I covered all my bases so this morning I tore the whole thing down and built it back up again. It must have been a loose wire or something, things seem to be working now. I appreciate your help, despite it being a typical piloting error on my side.

All the best,
Dave
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Yes, for certain. A complete tear down and reassembly is usually the NEXT step I recommend, and surprisingly often it solves the issue even if each item had already been inspected individually. Usually my response in these situations is "just be glad it was an easy fix" and go on with life. LOL.
 

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