Question Tried to overclock ram and pc won’t boot

Jan 20, 2020
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Specs:
Asrock 970m pro
Fx 8320
Gtx 1060 6gb
16gb ddr3 ram rated at 1600mhz

What happened:
So I my ram was only running at about 533mhz and I figured it would be safe to clock it to the advertised 1600mhz. I did so and the computer booted fine and I made it to my desktop. I opened task manager and it said I was running 8gb of ram at 800mhz. I knew this wasn’t right as I had 2 8gb sticks in. As I was shutting it down I noticed one of the sticks was not fully plugged in, hence the pc only showing 8gb instead of 16gb. As it was shutting down I pushed the stick all the way in. I began to smell a bit of burning so I let the pc rest before attempting to boot again. This is where I discovered the pc would not boot. I’ve done plenty of research, I tried resetting the CMOS with a jumper cap. I’ve tried removing the battering and touching the back of the battery to the prongs for about 5 seconds. I tried taking he batter out for 20 minutes. I tried switching out to different ram sticks in every imagineable configuration. And yes, the power cable was unplugged for all of these procedures. I’ve had absolutely no luck, just spinning fans. At this point I’m trying to figure out if we can pinpoint exactly which piece of hardware is fried. I don’t want to go replacing every single part on an outdated pc. Obviously this is upsetting but I’ve had this pc less than a month and it’s already died. This is my first pc and it was bought used on eBay for cheap. Yes I am a complete newcomer to gaming PCs. Any information will help.
 
Jan 20, 2020
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Basically just trying to figure out which part is broken. I’m assuming since the fans are working and plugged into the mother board then the motherboard is working? I also tried other ram that wasn’t plugged in when I overclocked and still nothing. Is my cpu fried? I really don’t know how to find out what’s broken.
 

zx128k

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Nov 23, 2019
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Does not sound good... Burning smell is always the worst sign. CPU IMC, RAM and motherboard likely targets for this one. Like rgd1101 states, once the system is dead it's really hard to do an autopsy if you are not well trained in electronics. Swapping parts is just much easier.

I would completely guess that the CPU is dead or more precisely the IMC on the cpu is dead but I would be happy to be wrong. The motherboard just provides traces to the CPU which has the memory controller. So if the RAM that did not smoke is okay and the system does not boot with the potently doggy RAM stick removed.

Then I would try another cpu and hope the RAM socket on the motherboard survived.
 
Jan 20, 2020
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Does not sound good... Burning smell is always the worst sign. CPU IMC, RAM and motherboard likely targets for this one. Like rgd1101 states, once the system is dead it's really hard to do an autopsy if you are not well trained in electronics. Swapping parts is just much easier.

I would completely guess that the CPU is dead or more precisely the IMC on the cpu is dead but I would be happy to be wrong. The motherboard just provides traces to the CPU which has the memory controller. So if the RAM that did not smoke is okay and the system does not boot with the potently doggy RAM stick removed.

Then I would try another cpu and hope the RAM socket on the motherboard survived.
I’ve replaced the mobo to no avail. Some spare ram sticks didn’t do the trick either so I’m guessing it’s not a ram problem. From here I suppose it’s time for a new cpu
 

bryanc723

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Jan 1, 2015
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A burning smell seems like it would come from the PSU. To me it sounds like you shorted something out on your mobo which caused a short in your PSU which caused the smell. You could always smell your PSU and see if you can identify if it came from there. Electronics tend to have a very distinct smell when burning, kinda like ozone. And it will leave a residual odor for a time.
 
Jan 20, 2020
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A burning smell seems like it would come from the PSU. To me it sounds like you shorted something out on your mobo which caused a short in your PSU which caused the smell. You could always smell your PSU and see if you can identify if it came from there. Electronics tend to have a very distinct smell when burning, kinda like ozone. And it will leave a residual odor for a time.
The fans and lights receive power so I don’t see how the psu could be the problem. Maybe I’m wrong.
 

zx128k

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Nov 23, 2019
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The fans and lights receive power so I don’t see how the psu could be the problem. Maybe I’m wrong.
It's worth giving it a go if you have a spare PSU. Normally if the PSU is fine then the motherboard will power up but the system will not boot if the CPU is dead. Swapping components will give the definitive truth.
 
Jan 20, 2020
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I’ve swapped the cpu the motherboard and the ram and I don’t have a spare pau to try. The small research I’ve done says the fact that the psu powers the fans and all peripherals means the psu isn’t fried. Id welcome any opinions on that.
 
Jan 20, 2020
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please note that all these things I’m replacing I’m buying new. I don’t have spare parts whatsoever besides those ram sticks.
 

zx128k

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Nov 23, 2019
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This is the problem with troubleshooting without parts. It's a good sign if there are lights on and fan spin. Normally I get a motherboard LED display error code for the CPU if its dead or a single error light on the board. Some motherboards give beep codes, so you will need to connect a speaker. The motherboard should give some sign as to what point it failed to boot at. Your motherboard manual will help you. https://asrock.pc.cdn.bitgravity.com/Manual/970M Pro3.pdf Clear CMOS is page 17, if jumper is enabled = black screen and no post. Make sure its at default if you are trying to post.

Remember to clear the cmos on the motherboard (sometimes removing the battery helps). Put one good RAM stick in a good RAM slot. Re-seat the Graphics card and ensure connections (power/display cable etc). Check power cables for the motherboard and unplug every other device like hard disks, DVD drives and SSD's from your motherboard. See what error messages the motherboard gives you when you try to post. Goal is just to see the BIOS post screen.


Question (Q&A-84|286): What's the meaning of AMI UEFI BIOS Beep code?(4/1/2011)

Answer:please refer to below form for the beep code and debug code of AMI UEFI BIOS.

NormalNo beepWith goodnight LED enabled, debug code will disappear after the beep.
Bad CPUNo beepNo debug code
Bad memoryNo beep45
Without memory3 long beeps53
Without CPUNo beep(No Power)No debug code
Without VGA card5 long beepsBeeps at"d6", then show "0d"

[TD]Condition[/TD]
[TD]Beeps Code[/TD]
[TD]Debug Code[/TD]​


Source :- https://www.asrock.com/support/faq.asp?id=286

Or
Question (Q&A-1|2): What's the meaning of AMI BIOS Beep Codes?(10/29/2002)

Answer:The following are AMI BIOS Beep Codes that can occur.
Beep CodeDescriptions
1 shortMemory refresh timer error.
2 shortParity error.
3 shortMain memory read / write test error.
4 shortSystem timer failure.
5 shortProcess error.
6 shortKeyboard controller BAT test error.
7 shortGeneral exception error.
8 shortDisplay memory error.
9 shortROM BIOS checksum error.
10 shortCMOS shutdown Read/Write error.
11 shortCache Memory bad.
Source - https://www.asrock.com/support/faq.asp?k=Beep+code
 
Last edited:

bryanc723

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Jan 1, 2015
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The fans and lights receive power so I don’t see how the psu could be the problem. Maybe I’m wrong.
There's a bunch of wires coming out of the psu, and if any one of them are fried it could cause trouble with some components and not others. Things like a broken solder weld in a connector and such is what I'm talking about compared to the while PSU crapping out. Sorry.
 
Jan 20, 2020
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So I took the pc to a tech. He says the motherboard is fried. That means the brand new mother board I installed fried when I attempted to boot it. Any idea what might cause this? Do you think this is a sign that the PSU is faulty? The guy wants $270 to install a $50 mobo so unfortunately I’m on my own again. I’m hoping the fact that a brand new mobo also frying even though the pc never reached POST will narrow down the possibilities.
 

zx128k

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Nov 23, 2019
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Use can test the PSU with a tester (easy) or a multi-meter (not so easy). What is the make and model of PSU?


EVGA Power Supply Paperclip Test (Does my PSU turn on, be very careful. Use the tester if not sure)

Multi-meter testing

Hopefully you did not install the bad RAM stick, the one you got the burnt smell with when you pushed it into the DIMM slot. You need to remove that if you have and try again.

Also how far through the boot process do you get? Does the PSU turn on? Are the LEDs lit on the motherboard? Do any fans spin? Does the display turn on? Do you get to the BIOS screen? Are there any beeps comming from the motherboard? Do any error lights come on or does the boot stop at one error code?


Cheap PC PSU tester is about £9 (link just as an example, read reviews first) https://www.amazon.co.uk/DIGIFLEX-Power-Supply-Tester-Diagnose-Black/dp/B004IO5CT8

Or get abetter more expensive one Thermaltake Dr Power II PSU Tester ATX2.3 LCD Display
 
Last edited:
Jan 20, 2020
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Hey guys I have an update. I’ve managed to install a working motherboard and now I can enter into bios but can’t get past there. The led on my motherboard display an Ab error code. Or it could say A6 I really can’t tell the difference. I boot my computer, I get into bios, and when I click “save changes and exit” it just reloads the bios menu and the Ab code displays. Any ideas what this could be? Is my hard drive damaged?
 

zx128k

Upstanding
Nov 23, 2019
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Question (Q&A-102|334): What is Dr. Debug and how do I troubleshoot with these codes?(2/1/2013)

Answer:Dr. Debug is used to provide codes that represent different errors that your system has encountered. Please see the diagram below for reading the Dr. Debug codes and how to troubleshoot.
00​
Please check if the CPU is installed correctly and then clear CMOS.
0d​
Problem related to memory, VGA card or other devices. Please clear CMOS, re-install the memory and VGA card, and remove other USB, PCI devices.
01 - 54 (except 0d), 5A- 60​
Problem related to memory. Please re-install the CPU and memory then clear CMOS. If the problem still exists, please install only one memory module or try using other memory modules.
55​
The Memory could not be detected. Please re-install the memory and CPU. If the problem still exists, please install only one memory module or try using other memory modules.
61 - 91​
Chipset initialization error. Please press reset or clear CMOS.
92 - 99​
Problem related to PCI-E devices. Please re-install PCI-E devices or try installing them in other slots. If the problem still exists, please remove all PCI-E devices or try using another VGA card.
A0 - A7​
Problem related to IDE or SATA devices. Please re-install IDE and SATA devices. If the problem still exists, please clear CMOS and try removing all SATA devices.
b0​
Problem related to memory. Please re-install the CPU and memory. If the problem still exists, please install only one memory module or try using other memory modules.
* For X79 models, please try installing memory to DDR3 A1, B1, C1 and D1 slots.
b4​
Problem related to USB devices. Please try removing all USB devices.
b7​
Problem related to memory. Please re-install the CPU and memory then clear CMOS. If the problem still exists, please install only one memory module or try using other memory modules.
d6​
The VGA could not be recognized. Please clear CMOS and try re-installing the VGA card. If the problem still exists, please try installing the VGA card in other slots or use other VGA cards.
d7​
The Keyboard and mouse could not be recognized. Please try re-installing the keyboard and mouse.
d8​
Invalid Password.
FF​
Please check if the CPU is installed correctly and then clear CMOS.
[TD]Code[/TD]
[TD]Description[/TD]​

https://www.asrock.com/support/faq.asp?id=334

Check your hard disk cables. Problem related to IDE or SATA devices. Please re-install IDE and SATA devices. If the problem still exists, please clear CMOS and try removing all SATA devices.
 
Jun 10, 2019
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Hey guys I have an update. I’ve managed to install a working motherboard and now I can enter into bios but can’t get past there. The led on my motherboard display an Ab error code. Or it could say A6 I really can’t tell the difference. I boot my computer, I get into bios, and when I click “save changes and exit” it just reloads the bios menu and the Ab code displays. Any ideas what this could be? Is my hard drive damaged?
Pc will still boot past post with a bad hdd. It'll just tell you that there is no operating system to boot to. Whats the new mobo you installed?

Just found this;
According to my research, it looks like just plugging the HDMI into the GPU should allow your pc to boot.
I also found this:
"Wow... I just had an "are you serious?!" moment.

I had a sinking suspicion that the A6 code was really Ab (AB), which means the BIOS is waiting for my input. The real issue was my freaking monitor not displaying the BIOS screen properly. I'm using an old HP CRT through the VGA. I found that if you have the monitor plugged into the Mobo BEFORE powering on, the monitor displays a blank blue screen. I had to actually turn the Mobo on first, let it POST, and THEN plug the VGA cable in. The monitor then displayed the BIOS instead of just blue emptiness. So everything seems good now. Man, I was really worried too..."
Good luck.
Also seen something about incompatible RAM speeds with CPU causing the same issue. Although your RAM should be fine.
 

zx128k

Upstanding
Nov 23, 2019
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Pc will still boot past post with a bad hdd. It'll just tell you that there is no operating system to boot to. Whats the new mobo you installed?

Just found this;


Also seen something about incompatible RAM speeds with CPU causing the same issue. Although your RAM should be fine.
A bad sata device can stop post. Example

I have tried every Sata port it wont start, as soon as i plug the sata cable of any hdd or ssd in the motherboard it wont turn on....
You will love why.

Example 2
I can not turn on pc when the SATA cables are connected. In addition, PC will only turn on when SATA cables are disconnected.
It's why with no post you disconnect all hdd's, ssd's and CD drives.
 
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Jan 20, 2020
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Thanks for all the help everyone, my pc is functioning again. I upgraded to a slightly beefier motherboard (asrock 970m pro3 -> asrock 970 extreme4) and everything runs perfectly. I suspect my set up may be creating a bit of extra heat now so I’ll be using some better fans I have lying around. Ultimately I had a psu that seemed to be frying any mobo I installed so I got a new psu and the aforementioned mobo and everything runs fine. Costed more than I’d ever hoped to spend on this pc but it’s better than having no pc at all. As for the error codes, I had been using incompatible ram in the new MOBO and the hard drive wasn’t fully plugged in.
 

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