[SOLVED] Strange slots and memory behavior

Oct 13, 2021
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History

I've built my current setup in 2019. At that time, it had a lot of BSODs and after ups and downs, while I was disassembling the parts for RMA, I bent the pins of the socket. Gigabyte repaired it (I suppose by welding a new socket) and Kingston replaced the memory sticks. After that, I had no more problems.

Recent issues

Between September 30 and October 3rd, there were 3 BSODs that I wasn't able to capture. After running the sfc /scannow command and repairing some corrupted files, it stopped.

In October 5th there was a BSOD (KERNEL_SYSTEM_CHECK_FAILURE) while I was playing. The screen was frozen and I had to restart the PC manually. When it restarted, it entered a restarting loop, running for 5 or 10 seconds and then restarting again, not reaching the BIOS screen (video here). I disconnected all "unnecessary" stuff until I found that the PC only booted if the RAM sticks were on slot 1 and 2 (single-channel); if any stick was placed in slots 3 or 4, I got the restarting loop scenario.

Everything pointed to the MOBO. Researching about this issue, I've found some threads about the same problem where the cause was the cooler being too tight, maybe benting the MOBO enough to affect the CPU behavior or something like that.

I decided to try this scenario. I removed the cooler and the CPU — and just in case also checked the pins. Checking the back of the MOBO, I've noticed a "dark stain" (image here) between the buses (or circuits, I don't know a better word for this) between the memory slots. I'm a complete noob in terms of electrical stuff; so I don't know if this stain is related to a short circuit, damage, dirt or traces from the repair done 2 years before.

I followed with the "tight cooler scenario" and reassembled everything, this time applying less turns to the cooler's screws. The PC booted and worked normally…

October 10th, while I was playing, the PC froze and restarted shortly afterwards. without any BSOD or generating a dump file. The day after, it happened three times while I was playing. The common thing between these four events was that I was playing with Chrome open, something I already have done before without problems.

After these events, I only played without the browser opened and monitoring the RAM usage with the task manager. The only thing I realized is that the memory almost reaches the full capacity (something like 13 GB of 16 GB total). This makes me wonder if the issue is something causing a “stack overflow” or involving the pagination.

I’m tired and running out of ideas. Sometimes I think about buying another MOBO, despite the fact that I fear buying something that maybe is not the real issue. Do you guys have any suggestions of tests that I can do to really isolate the problem?

Specs

CPU: Intel i9900k
MOBO: Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Elite (BIOS F10h)*
RAM: 2 x 8 GB Kingston HyperX Fury 2666Mhz
GPU: Gigabyte 1070 TI Gaming
Cooler: Coolermaster MA610P
PSA: Corsair 850W

* Has a history of issues with Kingston RAM sticks
 
Oct 13, 2021
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Just to close this thread (sorry for my necromancing)

Apparently, it was an electrical problem.
I've take my PC to a repair shop; they tested it for one week and found nothing wrong.
The store's owner asked me about how the cables were connected (if all cables were connected in the same power strip) and recommended to connect the PC to other plug.
Since I was using only one power strip with multiple things connected to it (my PC, 2x screens, a steering wheel, modem, etc), I took her advise and the problem was solved.
I think that the power strip was probably being overloaded with too many devices.
 
Tightening the cooler too hard is known to affect memory lanes. Some don't work and all kinds of funky stuff, so don't do that. CPU can't handle that pressure.
My suggestion would be to take it to a PC repair shop, let them look it over and fix stuff. Doesn't sound like any hardware is damaged but who knows. If they suggest you replace more than 1 part, I would question it, seriously. Sometimes they just want to sell you stuff you don't need. But if you want to keep troubleshooting, check for viruses and malware, run a memory stability test. HCI Memtest, Testmem5 or similar. Windows built-in memory tester is absolute junk, I hear. I have never even tested it. I have played with my Ram for probably years now, overclocking it. It is complicated and therefor fun for me.

Ram usage depends on game. I can get awfully close to 16 gigs total used in a couple of games I play. Especially after a couple hours of gaming. Which is why I have 32 gigs. I hear MS Flight Sim for example will happily eat 16 gigs and more on max settings.
 
Oct 13, 2021
4
0
20
1
Tightening the cooler too hard is known to affect memory lanes. Some don't work and all kinds of funky stuff, so don't do that. CPU can't handle that pressure.
My suggestion would be to take it to a PC repair shop, let them look it over and fix stuff. Doesn't sound like any hardware is damaged but who knows. If they suggest you replace more than 1 part, I would question it, seriously. Sometimes they just want to sell you stuff you don't need. But if you want to keep troubleshooting, check for viruses and malware, run a memory stability test. HCI Memtest, Testmem5 or similar. Windows built-in memory tester is absolute junk, I hear. I have never even tested it. I have played with my Ram for probably years now, overclocking it. It is complicated and therefor fun for me.

Ram usage depends on game. I can get awfully close to 16 gigs total used in a couple of games I play. Especially after a couple hours of gaming. Which is why I have 32 gigs. I hear MS Flight Sim for example will happily eat 16 gigs and more on max settings.
Thanks for your input.

The thing about the cooler is fun to me because some months ago, I cleaned my PC and in the process, removed the cooler, but I don't remember fixing it too tight.
I was thinking of taking it to a repair shop, and cite all these details, so maybe they can perform other tests (like using other memory sticks, CPU, etc) despite I fear they won't find the root cause.

I will try Memtest before this. About the games: the majority of the freezes happened while I was playing Fallout 76 and on two occasions, War Thunder. I only noticed the usage of memory after I started monitoring. I'll consider upgrade the memory to avoid these possible shortages
 
Oct 13, 2021
4
0
20
1
Just to close this thread (sorry for my necromancing)

Apparently, it was an electrical problem.
I've take my PC to a repair shop; they tested it for one week and found nothing wrong.
The store's owner asked me about how the cables were connected (if all cables were connected in the same power strip) and recommended to connect the PC to other plug.
Since I was using only one power strip with multiple things connected to it (my PC, 2x screens, a steering wheel, modem, etc), I took her advise and the problem was solved.
I think that the power strip was probably being overloaded with too many devices.
 

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