[SOLVED] [SOLVED] PC won't boot in Dual Channel Mode (RAM)

Jan 6, 2020
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SOLVED: A standoff for my old motherboard was out of place and was pressing against my new motherboard from beneath. It most likely caused a short circuit and damaged the DIMM slots. A new replacement for the motherboard solved the issue.

Sadly, there was no other solution than to order a new motherboard.

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Hi!

I am using the MSI B450 Tomahawk MAX motherboard together with the Ripjaws V DDR4-3200MHz CL16-18-18-38 1.35V 16GB (2x8GB) and the Ryzen 5 3600. Every component is brandnew.

My issue here: I can't use the two RAM sticks in the dual channel mode as it is recommended by the motherboard (slot 2 and 4). Trying to use slot 3 and 4 with and in any combination hinders my computer to boot up properly. It just beeps 3 times and the EZ debug light for RAM turns red upon booting up. The screen remains black.

This is have what I have tried so far:

- Tests with the RAM sticks in any combination possible -
  • Used slot 1 and 2 - System boots
  • Used one single stick in slot 2 - System boots
  • Used slot 1 and 3; 2 and 3; 2 and 4 - System does not boot
  • Used one single stick in slot 4 - System does not boot
  • Within the BIOS, I activated the A-XMP option
  • The RAM sticks are on the Tomahawk's QVL: https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/B450-TOMAHAWK-MAX#support-mem-19 (RAM's model: F4-3200C16D-16GVKB)
  • Installed the latest drivers from the disk for the motherboard
  • The CPU's cooler has been screwed in properly (3 times now)
  • No CPU pin is bent
  • Side note: The CPU's temperature in idle state is at ~50°C.
I am seriously out of ideas and would appreciate any help!
 
Last edited:

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
That's not accurate really Calvin. There are PLENTY of things that can cause the memory to fail Memtest that are not explicitly "bad memory". I agree it's a good practice to follow once the memory is actually working in the slots it belongs in, but otherwise, it's kind of pointless. If you can run two DIMMs that came together in a single kit, in the DIMM slots they belong in based on the population rules, then there is either a BIOS issue, a compatibility issue, a problem with the CPU/motherboard pins, the motherboard itself, a standoff in the wrong location, incorrectly installed CPU cooler or bad memory.

After making sure the BIOS is up to date, I'd install the two DIMMs in the second and fourth slots starting at the CPU and working towards the edge of the motherboard, with the DIMM slot closest to the edge of the motherboard being slot 4, and then do a hard reset of the BIOS to see if there is any change.


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 five minutes. In some cases it may be necessary to remove the graphics card to access the CMOS battery.

During that five minutes, press the power button on the case for 30 seconds. 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 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, 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.
 
Last edited:

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Update to the latest motherboard BIOS version and try again. Be sure to first update to the latest AMD chipset driver located here:

https://www.amd.com/en/support/chipsets/amd-socket-am4/b450


And be sure to read and follow ANY and ALL notes regarding update procedures for the BIOS firmware. It may be required, and often is on the last few Ryzen motherboard firmware versions, that you update the chipset drivers AND update to specific versions before updating to the latest version. Notes should be indicated on the BIOS firmware downloads page.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
That's not accurate really Calvin. There are PLENTY of things that can cause the memory to fail Memtest that are not explicitly "bad memory". I agree it's a good practice to follow once the memory is actually working in the slots it belongs in, but otherwise, it's kind of pointless. If you can run two DIMMs that came together in a single kit, in the DIMM slots they belong in based on the population rules, then there is either a BIOS issue, a compatibility issue, a problem with the CPU/motherboard pins, the motherboard itself, a standoff in the wrong location, incorrectly installed CPU cooler or bad memory.

After making sure the BIOS is up to date, I'd install the two DIMMs in the second and fourth slots starting at the CPU and working towards the edge of the motherboard, with the DIMM slot closest to the edge of the motherboard being slot 4, and then do a hard reset of the BIOS to see if there is any change.


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 five minutes. In some cases it may be necessary to remove the graphics card to access the CMOS battery.

During that five minutes, press the power button on the case for 30 seconds. 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 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, 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.
 
Last edited:
Jan 6, 2020
7
0
10
0
Update to the latest motherboard BIOS version and try again. Be sure to first update to the latest AMD chipset driver located here:

https://www.amd.com/en/support/chipsets/amd-socket-am4/b450


And be sure to read and follow ANY and ALL notes regarding update procedures for the BIOS firmware. It may be required, and often is on the last few Ryzen motherboard firmware versions, that you update the chipset drivers AND update to specific versions before updating to the latest version. Notes should be indicated on the BIOS firmware downloads page.
Thanks for the reply!

Unfortunately, that didn't work either.

I have first updated the chip and system driver for the motherboard, then updated its BIOS in M-Flash mode with an USB drive.

Both updates came from here: https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/B450-TOMAHAWK-MAX#down-driver&Win10 64
 
Jan 6, 2020
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And you performed a hard reset like I outlined in my last post?
Not quite yet.

I am planning on going to a technician today to let him check if there is truly no faulty hardware, such as bent CPU pins, even though I have checked that already. I just want to be sure now. If that doesn't help, I'll do the reset.

I'll keep you updated, thanks for now!
 
Last edited:

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
The only way they can check that there is no hardware failure is by doing the same things you can do yourself. They don't have any automagical motherboard checking equipment that will tell them something you are not able to determine for yourself. They will simply swap out hardware until by process of elimination they determine what the problem is, or that they can't determine what the problem is, in which case it's almost always the motherboard.

But I understand if you feel more comfortable having an experienced tech take a look at it instead. I'm just not sure it's a good use of your hard earned dollars. Hopefully, it works out for you. Let me know. Good luck.
 
Jan 6, 2020
7
0
10
0
The only way they can check that there is no hardware failure is by doing the same things you can do yourself. They don't have any automagical motherboard checking equipment that will tell them something you are not able to determine for yourself. They will simply swap out hardware until by process of elimination they determine what the problem is, or that they can't determine what the problem is, in which case it's almost always the motherboard.

But I understand if you feel more comfortable having an experienced tech take a look at it instead. I'm just not sure it's a good use of your hard earned dollars. Hopefully, it works out for you. Let me know. Good luck.
Well yeah.

We checked slot 3 and 4 with another pair of RAM sticks and that was about it. What he noticed that there was a bolt screwed underneath the new motherboard left from the old motherboard, which was pressing against my new one right beneath the RAM sockets.

Thinking this was it, we removed it. Did not change anything. I just resorted to sending the motherboard back and getting a replacement.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
That "screw" was a standoff. And that is one of the things I listed to look for in my reply to Calvin's post. A standoff in the wrong location.

Chances are good that if there was a standoff in the wrong spot, it has shorted the motherboard out. You may, or may not, get any love on the replacement if they determine it was shorted out due to that. That is technically user error. Regardless, I think it's likely that was the problem BUT you should also not be surprised if that has resulted in also having a problem with the memory itself. Anything that can short out the motherboard, can also short out the things directly attached to the motherboard, like memory.
 
Reactions: Two-Tu
Jan 6, 2020
7
0
10
0
That "screw" was a standoff. And that is one of the things I listed to look for in my reply to Calvin's post. A standoff in the wrong location.

Chances are good that if there was a standoff in the wrong spot, it has shorted the motherboard out. You may, or may not, get any love on the replacement if they determine it was shorted out due to that. That is technically user error. Regardless, I think it's likely that was the problem BUT you should also not be surprised if that has resulted in also having a problem with the memory itself. Anything that can short out the motherboard, can also short out the things directly attached to the motherboard, like memory.
Ah damn. As I have said, we removed the standoff (the "screw", I am not a native English speaker, my bad), but it may have indeed caused a short circuit already. Thanks for the tip though.

The RAM sticks themselves worked nonetheless, atleast in slot 1 and 2. It seems like they remained unharmed from the possible short circuit, so I hope... How do I tell if the RAM sticks have been damaged here? Only through a MemTest?

Yeah, I just hope that I'd get a replacement, otherwise that would be really unfortunate.

Anyways, I'll just wait. I will you keep you updated, thanks for everything so far :)
 
Last edited:

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
When the new board comes, make SURE that there are ONLY standoffs in the exact positions that line up exactly with the mounting holes in your motherboard, installed in the motherboard tray on the case. If there is no hole in the motherboard in that exact location, then REMOVE that standoff from the tray. If there is a mounting hole in the motherboard in a certain location but there is NO standoff in the matching spot of the motherboard tray, then INSTALL a standoff in that location.

Once the motherboard is installed then the memory needs to be installed in the DIMM slots which are located as slots 2 and 4 over from the CPU socket. As seen here:

 
Jan 6, 2020
7
0
10
0
When the new board comes, make SURE that there are ONLY standoffs in the exact positions that line up exactly with the mounting holes in your motherboard, installed in the motherboard tray on the case. If there is no hole in the motherboard in that exact location, then REMOVE that standoff from the tray. If there is a mounting hole in the motherboard in a certain location but there is NO standoff in the matching spot of the motherboard tray, then INSTALL a standoff in that location.

Once the motherboard is installed then the memory needs to be installed in the DIMM slots which are located as slots 2 and 4 over from the CPU socket. As seen here:

A new motherboard has solved the issue.

Must have been the standoff that have caused a short circuit.

Luckily, Mindfactory sent me a replacement even though it might have been my own fault.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Nice man. Good deal. I'm glad it worked out for you. Something to always keep in mind though for future builds. Every mistake, is simply a learning experience to be applied to what we do in the future. This time, it wasn't TOO painful, but it could have been.

Sweet that it worked out though.
 
Reactions: Two-Tu
Jan 6, 2020
7
0
10
0
Nice man. Good deal. I'm glad it worked out for you. Something to always keep in mind though for future builds. Every mistake, is simply a learning experience to be applied to what we do in the future. This time, it wasn't TOO painful, but it could have been.

Sweet that it worked out though.
Indeed, I am glad that it worked out.

Thanks for your efforts and see you around. 😊
 

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