[SOLVED] Tried installing new RAM, reset CMOS now old and new don't boot

TheHood_

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Nov 11, 2012
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So my build is
Nvidia GTX660TI GPU
8GB RAM
Intel i5 3570K CPU
Asus P8Z77-V motherboard

The board takes DDR3 RAM and had two free slots. I bought some second hand RAM, an 8GB stick and a 4GB stick. I installed them next to the two 4GB sticks I already had and started the PC up and there was no display but a red light on the mobo next to the RAM. I disconnected the PC, righted the RAM and the light went off, but there was still no display. I took out one stick and tried again, with no luck, then took both sticks out and tried with the original RAM and I got the display working again.

I looked online and found the suggestion to reset the CMOS by removing the battery, and did that, then installed the 4 sticks again. No display. So I tried just one of the new sticks, no display. Then I went back to the two original sticks, no display. Then I reset the CMOS again with the two original sticks, and have no display with them now either!

Now I'm worried since my original setup isn't working any more and neither is the new one. Hard to find forum posts that aren't just telling me to try what I've already tried so I could really use some help
 
Solution
So I tried resetting CMOS again with the original 2 4GB sticks and the 8GB stick and got nothing, then removed the 8GB stick and tried with the original two and it worked! Managed to get the BIOS version, 1106, but am wary of fiddling further, updating the BIOS and trying the two random brand RAM sticks again. Not really willing to risk losing use of my PC. Unless there's anything you'd recommend. Would the two matching brand and the single 8GB stick go together? They're all 1600mhz. That'd get me up to 16GB RAM.
You are not going to lose the use of your computer by trying RAM sticks in the motherboard. What you need to do is look at all of your sticks of ram. make note of the lowest speed of them all and the highest CL timings...

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
You're advised to not mix and match rams. In fact you're advised to work with a matched kit that came out of the box. If you're working with individual sticks, make sure that all sticks are from the same make and model(all the way down to their timings). You forgot to mention the make and model of the PSU and it's age. To add, what BIOS version were you on prior to the ram upgrade?

For a board of this age, I suspect that the slots would be either filled with dust/debris or some contacts might've seen corrosion. Might want to try and breadboard the system.
 

TheHood_

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Nov 11, 2012
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You're advised to not mix and match rams. In fact you're advised to work with a matched kit that came out of the box. If you're working with individual sticks, make sure that all sticks are from the same make and model(all the way down to their timings). You forgot to mention the make and model of the PSU and it's age. To add, what BIOS version were you on prior to the ram upgrade?

For a board of this age, I suspect that the slots would be either filled with dust/debris or some contacts might've seen corrosion. Might want to try and breadboard the system.
The PSU is an Akasa Venom 750W. I put this build together 10 years ago. I'm aware of matching new RAM being optimal, my original two are matching and I haven't removed them at all during this process. The two mismatched new ones were cheap and easy to return so I thought I'd give them a go, thinking it would be straightforward. Just trying to restore my working original configuration at this point. Don't know what BIOS version I was on, but I haven't updated it in a long time. I saw a suggestion to update when installing new RAM but didn't try it before resetting CMOS and the PC not displaying.

My build was working perfectly before I tried installing the new RAM sticks, so I don't think the other components would be the issue. Maybe the dust was preventing the new sticks being detected but now they're gone I'm not sure how that could be causing this failure to boot with the old RAM which has not been removed since I built the PC
 

TheHood_

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Nov 11, 2012
5
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18,510
The PSU is an Akasa Venom 750W. I put this build together 10 years ago. I'm aware of matching new RAM being optimal, my original two are matching and I haven't removed them at all during this process. The two mismatched new ones were cheap and easy to return so I thought I'd give them a go, thinking it would be straightforward. Just trying to restore my working original configuration at this point. Don't know what BIOS version I was on, but I haven't updated it in a long time. I saw a suggestion to update when installing new RAM but didn't try it before resetting CMOS and the PC not displaying.

My build was working perfectly before I tried installing the new RAM sticks, so I don't think the other components would be the issue. Maybe the dust was preventing the new sticks being detected but now they're gone I'm not sure how that could be causing this failure to boot with the old RAM which has not been removed since I built the PC
So I tried resetting CMOS again with the original 2 4GB sticks and the 8GB stick and got nothing, then removed the 8GB stick and tried with the original two and it worked! Managed to get the BIOS version, 1106, but am wary of fiddling further, updating the BIOS and trying the two random brand RAM sticks again. Not really willing to risk losing use of my PC. Unless there's anything you'd recommend. Would the two matching brand and the single 8GB stick go together? They're all 1600mhz. That'd get me up to 16GB RAM.
 
So I tried resetting CMOS again with the original 2 4GB sticks and the 8GB stick and got nothing, then removed the 8GB stick and tried with the original two and it worked! Managed to get the BIOS version, 1106, but am wary of fiddling further, updating the BIOS and trying the two random brand RAM sticks again. Not really willing to risk losing use of my PC. Unless there's anything you'd recommend. Would the two matching brand and the single 8GB stick go together? They're all 1600mhz. That'd get me up to 16GB RAM.
You are not going to lose the use of your computer by trying RAM sticks in the motherboard. What you need to do is look at all of your sticks of ram. make note of the lowest speed of them all and the highest CL timings. It should say these stats on the sticks labels. Add all the sticks into the motherboard and load into BIOS. Manually set the RAM speeds to the slowest RAM stick for all of the RAM sticks. Now manually set the CL timings to the highest of the sticks to all the sticks. Save and restart. with some luck you can be on your way with 20gb of RAM assuming the RAM you bought works.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTS0ybQ3lCI
 
Solution

TheHood_

Distinguished
Nov 11, 2012
5
0
18,510
You are not going to lose the use of your computer by trying RAM sticks in the motherboard. What you need to do is look at all of your sticks of ram. make note of the lowest speed of them all and the highest CL timings. It should say these stats on the sticks labels. Add all the sticks into the motherboard and load into BIOS. Manually set the RAM speeds to the slowest RAM stick for all of the RAM sticks. Now manually set the CL timings to the highest of the sticks to all the sticks. Save and restart. with some luck you can be on your way with 20gb of RAM assuming the RAM you bought works.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTS0ybQ3lCI
By lose use of my PC I mean I've temporarily bricked it 2-3 times trying to get this to work, either getting no display after inserting the new RAM and having to clear the CMOS to get the old RAM working again or getting it stuck on a Repairing Windows startup loop so I've had to reinstall Windows. There's one or two more things I could try but each brick is worse than the last and at the end of the day it's mismatched RAM and it could just plain not be compatible, like in the video you linked where certain combinations wouldn't work or worked then stopped working randomly.

All the RAM is 1600mhz so that shouldn't be the issue. And I can't fiddle with the BIOS since I don't even get that far with the new RAM inserted, I get no dispy signal. I can get the original two 4GB sticks of RAM working by clearing the CMOS and restarting twice, but the last time I tried it is when it got stuck on the Repairing Windows loop and I had to reinstall. I must have turned the PC off at the wrong moment, not being able to see where it was at with no display.

Thanks for your advice anyway, it's a curious problem, RAM is meant to be a straightforward upgrade.