Question Laptop isn't turning on when second RAM slot is populated

Aug 21, 2021
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I bought a Micron 8gb DDR4 2400mhz stick for a refurbished Lenovo Yoga 530 14arr, and I had some issues installing it. I was already taking a gamble with mixing it with the included ramaxel 8gb 2133mhz so I was prepared to run into the display problems, but I wanted to do some troubleshooting before just giving up and tried a few different things, first being switching the slots which didn't work, the second being ensuring each stick worked individually, which they did. I tried one more thing, which was check them individually using the second slot, and the display remained black on both tries with the individual sticks despite the system being on. So even though the mixing issue isn't totally out of the question, there's definitely something off about the second slot. I was wondering if there are any other steps I should take or if there's nothing to be done. Most other articles I read about the slot being the issue had people still able to boot with the RAM in the faulty slot simply not registering, but for me regardless of what configuration I use the slot in, the laptop does not start. I read about some DIMM slots being disabled by default in the BIOS, but mine (InsydeH20) doesn't seem to have the option to re-enable it if that's the case.
 
Ram is sold in kits for a reason.
A motherboard must manage all the ram using the same specs of voltage, cas and speed.
The internal workings are designed for the capacity of the kit.
Ram from the same vendor and part number can be made up of differing manufacturing components over time.
Some motherboards, particularly ryzen, can be very sensitive to this.
This is more difficult when more sticks are involved.
There is also a preferred/required slot into which only a single stick should be populated.
My suggestion is to go to a ram site such as crucial or kingston and access their ram upgrade app.
Enter the make/model of your unit and you should get a list of supported upgrades.
 
The display being blank even when you put your original in there is a bit puzzling. Some systems do require slot one to be occupied, but generally this is for servers, not consumer stuff like laptops.

My thinking is probably the same as what brought you here to post--I think the 2nd slot is defective from the factory. The only way to really test it is to call up support and put the factory module in slot 2 and ask them why it isn't working as it was before and see what they say. They'll either tell you that the module will never work in slot two (as per their engineering documentation that they should have access to), or that they will say the laptop is defective and issue a warranty repair (if it's in warranty).
 
Aug 21, 2021
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The display being blank even when you put your original in there is a bit puzzling. Some systems do require slot one to be occupied, but generally this is for servers, not consumer stuff like laptops.

My thinking is probably the same as what brought you here to post--I think the 2nd slot is defective from the factory. The only way to really test it is to call up support and put the factory module in slot 2 and ask them why it isn't working as it was before and see what they say. They'll either tell you that the module will never work in slot two (as per their engineering documentation that they should have access to), or that they will say the laptop is defective and issue a warranty repair (if it's in warranty).
Thank you for the advice. I made some progress actually, I cleaned the slot to the best of my ability and it started working, at least for a little bit, though after a few minutes, the display would either go black or turn off until I restarted the laptop. I tried the same configurations as above with the second slot again and got a similar result each time, so at the very least I know for sure that the ram is compatible, memory check on both sticks confirmed there was nothing wrong with them for good measure and that the slot at least is functional. I couldn't find any more visible debris if that was actually the initial issue, but would a faulty slot do something like this as opposed to not working entirely? I can't seem to find much other reports of what I assume is the slot behaving as if I had pulled the ram from it while it was active. Is there a chance I just need to really give it a proper clean? Reseating it seems to solve the problem for a short amount of time, and it does display the correct values in task manager and CPU Z, but then it inevitably crashes again.
I'd love to contact lenovo itself and ask them your suggestions, but given that it's secondhand refurbished and certainly not under warranty it seems quite daunting without much details of the original purchase.
 
I forgot that you need to completely remove the battery and drain the power before you replace/add modules. If you didn't do that, you can ruin the modules that way.

I will typically use a pink pencil eraser to clean the contact edges on memory modules. You have to be careful as there are some small ICs close by that can be knocked off, but this is a very effective way to clean a module and I've had success recovering modules that were otherwise testing bad. I would try this and then try the module in the second slot again. If it keeps crashing, I would contact the refurbish company as they probably never tested the second memory slot.
 
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Aug 21, 2021
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I forgot that you need to completely remove the battery and drain the power before you replace/add modules. If you didn't do that, you can ruin the modules that way.

I will typically use a pink pencil eraser to clean the contact edges on memory modules. You have to be careful as there are some small ICs close by that can be knocked off, but this is a very effective way to clean a module and I've had success recovering modules that were otherwise testing bad. I would try this and then try the module in the second slot again. If it keeps crashing, I would contact the refurbish company as they probably never tested the second memory slot.
Tried draining and removing the battery before installation and it definitely helped, long outlasted every other configuration I've tried so far but I had another shutdown after trying a memory test. Is it worth trying the whole process again with the sticks in switched slots, or should I just go ahead and call it in now? Regardless I appreciate all the help.
If it's important at all, I recalled and confirmed that when I was still just using the factory stick, using CPU-Z showed that the first two JDEC frequency values were both unique while the last two were exactly the same. On the new stick the frequencies are exactly the same across the board. Could this be related to my problem at all?
 
Ouch, if you've not been disconnecting the battery and draining out the power then the modules or motherboard probably has some damage now. :( I'd get replacement module and remember to MAKE SURE there is NO power in that laptop when working with the memory modules. You will also want to get a grounding strap or manually ground yourself as static can also zap modules.
 
Aug 21, 2021
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Ouch, if you've not been disconnecting the battery and draining out the power then the modules or motherboard probably has some damage now. :( I'd get replacement module and remember to MAKE SURE there is NO power in that laptop when working with the memory modules. You will also want to get a grounding strap or manually ground yourself as static can also zap modules.
Ack, for now I'll repeat the draining process and just use it with the one functional slot, hopefully that silly mistake hasn't locked me out of dual channel until I get another laptop entirely but I'll try again when I get replacement module(s) with matching speeds and hopefully brand for good measure. Thanks for all the help.
 
Yep, these aren't meant to be removed or installed with any current flowing. Luckily, there's never any evidence of damage so you can simply exchage/return it saying it was doa.

It's hard to remember about laptops since they can have a built-in battery that would need to be run down completely before installing. I almost forgot when I was upgrading my 8760w to 32GB--that would not have been fun!
 
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