Question RAM detection issue occured after much needed pc upkeep

Mar 28, 2020

I'll start by saying I didnt build the pc myself, i chose my parts online, received it built and just put the gpu in. I never built one myself so i've read and watched stuff to make sure i dont mess up or break anything before cracking it open. So i have no clue on how it was configured and how the BIOS was setup.

I started getting blue screen freezes (clock_watchdog_timeout) in the last few months, while playing games or running/installing too many softwares at once. It never happened before, and was getting pretty frustrating since my pc still has decent specs.
After trying all software optimizations i could think of, including full driver update and fresh os install, it kept happening. So i bought thermal paste and dry air dust cleaner, opened the case, removed the cpu and water cooler, cleaned all fans, applied new thermal paste and put evrything back in place.
I smoke and have a dog, in my last flat the case was on the ground, and i had never done any upkeep on my pc since i bought it like 4 years ago, so it was much needed (shame i know).

When i plugged and powered it, components were on and fans running but i didnt get any video output be it from mobo or gpu ports. On the mobo, the dram debug led was lit for a few seconds, then the cpu led briefly flashed and it went back to the dram led. Originally, the ram sticks were in the 2nd and 4th slots, which is where i put them back.
After browsing a few threads here, i made sure every cable was plugged correctly, tried unscrewing the water cooler block and screwing it back a bit more loosely, and also made sure ram were locked in properly. Still no signal.

So i tried with only one ram stick (in 2nd slot), and the pc started. It prompted me about "ram or cpu changed, load settings reset to default", and since it didnt boot at all until then i chosed revert to default, and it booted. At this point i thought the other stick was damaged, so i tried it in the same slot, and it worked too. Then i tried again with both, but in 1st and 3rd slot instead of 2nd and 4th. No signal. Tried initial positions but switching the sticks, still no luck. Then i tried with both sticks again but in 1st and 2nd slot, and it worked too. Tried the same with ram in 3rd and 4th slot, it doesn't boot.

With ram in 1st and 2nd slot, i checked both in BIOS and in Windows and both sticks are detected. But afaik im not in dual channel anymore, which isn't recommended, and also both sticks are next to each other and closer to the cpu heatsink, which isn't good for dissipation and could lead to my components being damaged or lose longevity faster. There doesn't seem to be any dust residual in the 3rd and 4th slot. I do not wish to either lose performance or shorten the lifespan of my parts, but its working right now, temps are ok, and i have no clue what other things i could do, so here i am. Its way past <Mod Edit> this oclock here so i will sleep on it and wait for some advice.

Can it be that i somehow damaged or short circuited the slots ? and if so how can i find out ?
Is there something i need to do in the bios for it to boot with ram in 2nd and 4th (as it was initially) rather than other slots ? and if so how can i do it, since it doesn't boot at all when i try anything other than only one stick or both sticks in first 2 slots ?
What else could cause this ?

Thanks in advance for your help, and sorry if i missed anything obvious mentioned elsewhere.

Specs if it helps:
Intel Core i7 6700K
Corsair Hydro Series - H60
Corsair Vengeance LPX Black DDR4 2 x8 Go 3000 MHz CAS 15
EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 SC Gaming ACX 3.0 - 8 Go
Seagate Desktop HDD - 1 To (Barracuda 7200.14 series)
Be Quiet Pure Power 9 - 500W - Silver
Cooler Master MasterBox5 Black Edition
Last edited by a moderator: