Question Do either of these RAM sticks in the photos look bent or damaged to you?

Oct 3, 2019
26
1
35
0
Built my girlfriend a computer just under a year ago and it has been working smoothly since then. However yesterday it randomly started refusing to boot. The fans turn on but there is only a blank screen.

Guided my girlfriend through all lot of steps of adding and removing hardware components and she commented that one of the RAM sticks was very hard to insert (slot A). We realised the pump on the CPU cooler is pushing against it slightly. I then remembered struggling to get it in myself when I was building it.

Is it possible that over time the RAM has been slowly damaged from the pressure being applied to it? I have included three photos below of both RAM sticks side-by-side. Please let me know if you think one or both look damaged.

  1. View: https://i.imgur.com/sGbFMvd.jpg
  2. View: https://i.imgur.com/oqqJBPh.jpg
  3. View: https://i.imgur.com/8LuKujP.jpg
 

Ferimer

Distinguished
Aug 19, 2011
851
71
19,090
17
Wish I had an identical RAM stick handy to compare to these to see how much of a tilt there is normally, if any
OH yah one is completely bent. And if you have something pushing on it overtime as heat causes components in your computer to expand and there is no room to do so it will just do it anyway does resulting in a bend or a curve. Over time that would cause the Motherboard Ram slot to become bent as well and eventually coming apart from the Motherboard. Your best bet would be to remove all components and see from the side view if the ram slot has been bent up and out of place
 
Oct 3, 2019
26
1
35
0
Over time that would cause the Motherboard Ram slot to become bent as well and eventually coming apart from the Motherboard. Your best bet would be to remove all components and see from the side view if the ram slot has been bent up and out of place
Oh <Mod Edit>. Thanks for the info!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Ferimer

Distinguished
Aug 19, 2011
851
71
19,090
17
One issue you could be running into is that because things are touching your computer isn't allowing it to turn on is to avoid a surge ( i think im using the wrong term there)
 
Oct 3, 2019
26
1
35
0
One issue you could be running into is that because things are touching your computer isn't allowing it to turn on is to avoid a surge ( i think im using the wrong term there)
Could that happen after months of it working? Like it gradually bent so much it started touching something it shouldn't?
 
Was hoping to get a consensus on that... :/
To me it looks like they heat-spreaders are not squared, because your modules are single rank (memory chips on one side), so there isn't enough material to offset the angle when the heat-spreaders are attached. My Patriot Viper kits have the same issue and the heat-spreaders were actually coming off because of not enough glue and the cold weather when they arrived at the end of last year.

What is the CPU in the system? If it's Intel it, the issue might be with the CPU socket, like a bent or shifted pin slightly out of alignment.
 
Oct 3, 2019
26
1
35
0
To me it looks like they heat-spreaders are not squared, because your modules are single rank (memory chips on one side), so there isn't enough material to offset the angle when the heat-spreaders are attached. My Patriot Viper kits have the same issue and the heat-spreaders were actually coming off because of not enough glue and the cold weather when they arrived at the end of last year.

What is the CPU in the system? If it's Intel it, the issue might be with the CPU socket, like a bent or shifted pin slightly out of alignment.
Wait, so do you think that our RAM has been bent or do you think that it's normal? As for the CPU, it is Intel, but the computer has been running smoothly for the past year before it suddenly wouldn't boot. So I'm not sure it would have worked that long if a pin was out of alignment?
 
Wait, so do you think that our RAM has been bent or do you think that it's normal? As for the CPU, it is Intel, but the computer has been running smoothly for the past year before it suddenly wouldn't boot. So I'm not sure it would have worked that long if a pin was out of alignment?
Edit - The modules themselves do not look like they're bent. The material holding the heat-spreaders on to the modules looks like it's just improperly installed or the glue melted enough to shift it's position.

If the system stopped booting it could mean a few different things. With Intel systems, it could be an issue with the CPU pins in the socket getting shifted out of position from someone or something hitting the case or the case being moved around can sometimes cause the problem. Improper installation of the heat-sink can cause the CPU to shift out of position. These situation usually cause boot looping or memory to stop functioning.

Other possible problems could be the motherboard is damaged from a power surge from the power supply starting to die. The motherboard itself is starting to die just from a faulty component. The GPU might be dying.

If you have another power supply, try that first. If it's still having an issue try another GPU if you have one or the Intel HD iGPU if the CPU has one. If you have other ram to test with, try different slots as well as the ones being used before. Reset the bios if you haven't done so already. If those possible fixes fail, remove the the heat-sink and check the CPU socket for bent pins.
 
Oct 3, 2019
26
1
35
0
Edit - The modules themselves do not look like they're bent. The material holding the heat-spreaders on to the modules looks like it's just improperly installed or the glue melted enough to shift it's position.
I think that is an accurate assessment. I wonder if it is possible to. force them back to the correct angle with a heat gun...
 
I think that is an accurate assessment. I wonder if it is possible to. force them back to the correct angle with a heat gun...
Do not use a heat gun on your hardware. If you really want to shift the heat-spreaders back in place use a hair dryer. It's unlikely to be affecting the modules, so I wouldn't bother messing with it. You may void the warranty on the ram if it's actually faulty.

Also, what is the motherboard model? If you have a speaker/buzzer you can plug into the motherboard, do that now and see what you get for beeps.
 
Oct 3, 2019
26
1
35
0
Do not use a heat gun on your hardware. If you really want to shift the heat-spreaders back in place use a hair dryer. It's unlikely to be affecting the modules, so I wouldn't bother messing with it. You may void the warranty on the ram if it's actually faulty.

Also, what is the motherboard model? If you have a speaker/buzzer you can plug into the motherboard, do that now and see what you get for beeps.
I instructed her to insert her headphones into the mobo to try and hear beeps but she didn't hear anything which I thought was strange. We have removed the graphics card and tried the RAM in various configurations, swapping, trying with one, etc. And the computer booted to Windows once but then stopped once we inserted the GPU. So we took the GPU out again but it wouldn't POST again.

My theory is the GPU hit off the RAM that is already been warped by the CPU cooler. The reason I think this is because when I assembled the computer a year ago I had a similar problem and there was no GPU inside to cause it. I had to mess with the RAM for ages and suddenly worked again for seemingly no reason but now I think it's because the RAM isn't sitting properly most of the time.

Going to try re-seat the CPU cooler and take it from there. Let me know what you think.

This is the mobo: https://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z390M-ITXac/index.asp
 
I instructed her to insert her headphones into the mobo to try and hear beeps but she didn't hear anything which I thought was strange. We have removed the graphics card and tried the RAM in various configurations, swapping, trying with one, etc. And the computer booted to Windows once but then stopped once we inserted the GPU. So we took the GPU out again but it wouldn't POST again.

My theory is the GPU hit off the RAM that is already been warped by the CPU cooler. The reason I think this is because when I assembled the computer a year ago I had a similar problem and there was no GPU inside to cause it. I had to mess with the RAM for ages and suddenly worked again for seemingly no reason but now I think it's because the RAM isn't sitting properly most of the time.

Going to try re-seat the CPU cooler and take it from there. Let me know what you think.

This is the mobo: https://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z390M-ITXac/index.asp
I should have been more clear with what I said about a speaker. I meant one of these that is plugged into the front panel headers where the power button and power led headers are located. https://www.amazon.com/Corporate-Computer-Motherboard-Internal-Speaker/dp/B01527H4W2. On page 7 and 18. Chassis Speaker Header (SPEAKER1) on page 8 of this PDF manual for the motherboard, it shows where you plug in that speaker. https://download.asrock.com/Manual/Z390M-ITXac.pdf

If you are going to reseat the Heat-sink, you should take the CPU out and check the CPU socket for bent or shifted CPU pins. The system working again with the GPU removed could still be an issue with CPU pins, especially since the system stopped booting again after installing it and taking it out the GPU. If you want more eyes on it, you could upload some photos of the CPU socket pins from a few angles.
 
Oct 3, 2019
26
1
35
0
If you are going to reseat the Heat-sink, you should take the CPU out and check the CPU socket for bent or shifted CPU pins. The system working again with the GPU removed could still be an issue with CPU pins, especially since the system stopped booting again after installing it and taking it out the GPU. If you want more eyes on it, you could upload some photos of the CPU socket pins from a few angles.
I will try do that soon and send some pictures here.
 
Oct 3, 2019
26
1
35
0
Have you tried removing the motherboard and seeing if the Ram slots are bent up and off the motherboard? ANy Pictures you can provide would be helpful too
I can't actually do that myself due to the pandemic so all of this needs to be done by my girlfriend by herself. I am going to guide her through re-orienting the pump, but we'll hold off on taking the whole mobo out until we're sure we have to.
 

Ferimer

Distinguished
Aug 19, 2011
851
71
19,090
17
I can't actually do that myself due to the pandemic so all of this needs to be done by my girlfriend by herself. I am going to guide her through re-orienting the pump, but we'll hold off on taking the whole mobo out until we're sure we have to.
One other option you can try is a different ram stick and see if it works.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY