Dual Channel RAM breaks my computer

corcoran

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Nov 11, 2007
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Hello - I recently built the following system:

64-bit Vista
Gigabyte GA-MA69VM-S2 board
4 GB PC-6400 DDR2 (2 matched pairs)

This system does not work if I use RAM in dual-channel mode. (i.e., if I have 2 or 4 DIMMs installed it breaks, and 1 or 3 works fine). Symptoms when in dual-channel mode include: graphical corruption in Windows (gray lines/blocks across active areas of the screen, gray lines during welcome screen), BSOD's and system freezes.

Please note - I have tested all 4 DIMMs and motherboard slots - they are all brand new and working fine. The situation is not too dire, as my machine runs perfectly w/ 3 DIMMs installed (3 GB) in single-channel mode, but it would be nice to use 4 GB in dual-channel mode. Any thoughts on what's causing this or potential solutions? Cheers!
 

corcoran

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Nov 11, 2007
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Thanks for getting back to me. To clarify: by "run memtest for 5 passes", you mean run the software 5 separate times, right?

Also, I'm assuming that I should run memtest while my RAM is in dual-channel mode?

Thanks again for the help!
 

chookman

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I believe he means get memtest86+ bootable... once run this will run through all tests continuously until you tell it to stop, it has a count on number of passes. Try with dual channel and non dual , different ram sticks and slots and see if you can narrow down what stick maybe faulty( if there is one)
 

akhilles

Splendid
Unzip & burn this as image to cd/dvd on a working pc:

http://www.memtest.org/download/1.70/memtest86+-1.70.iso.zip

Boot it up in the pc to be tested. it'll do its work. no user intervention. The pc should be in the desired config: dual channel. If it errors out, note it & google that error on the specific test #. Or you can memtest each stick of ram in each of the slots. If one or some of them error out regardless of config, then they MAY be faulty.
 

corcoran

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Thanks very much for the suggestions all. I ran memtest86+ (with 4GB RAM in dual channel mode, my problem configuration) for 6 passes without error.

Is there a way to determine and/or modify the voltage of your system RAM?

I'd be very thankful for any more thoughts or suggestions. Cheers.
 

corcoran

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I have spent a lot of time in my BIOS recently - pretty sure there's no option like this. Will check when I get home, thought. Thanks.
 

corcoran

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yeow....

so it's a good idea to update your BIOS, huh?...

anyway, I had been unable to update via the direct downloads on GIGABYTE'S site, so I finally gave the @BIOS app a go. The app found, downloaded, and installed the latest (F6) BIOS. Then it froze Windows, and upon restart my system failed even to POST. Great...BUT, after clearing CMOS, the new BIOS is installed and no more issues w/ dual channel memory. Success!