Question Yellow DRAM LED on Asus Motherboard won’t post

Jul 4, 2020
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Relevant Specs:
Intel Core i7 8700k
Corsair Vengeance LPX 2*8GB 3000MHz
HyperX Fury 2*16GB 3200MHz (i don’t mix the two sets of ram)
Asus Prime z390-A Motherboard
EVGA Supernova 550w G3 80+Gold PSU

Irrelevant Specs:
Zotac GTX 1080 ti
Cooler Master Hyper T2 CPU cooler
256GB SSD
1TB HDD
5T HDD


A bit of backstory: I had to replace my 2 year old motherboard from a MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon to an Asus Prime Z390-A. I think my MSI motherboard got fried(?) because i tried enabling XMP on my HyperX RAM sticks which resulted in a boot loop. When I’d press the power button, It turns on for a split second and turns right off, it does this repeating. I tried everything to fix it and even took it to a computer shop, they told me the motherboard no longer works.

Anyways, after i installed my new asus motherboard and everything else on it, the yellow DRAM LED on the motherboard stays lit and won’t post. I have two sets of ram (Two Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 28GB 3000MHz & two HyperX Fury 216GB 3200MHz) and i’ve tried using one ram stick and placing it on all other slots with all four sticks with no luck. I took the motherboard of the the case for troubleshooting leaving only the ram and cpu on the board. I’ve checked my CPU socket for any bent pins, they all look fine.

Could it be that my asus motherboard is faulty? Or could it be that my old MSI board fried all my sticks? Or could it be that my CPU is the root cause? I’ve checked my PSU’s voltages and i know for a fact it isn’t faulty.
 

boju

Polypheme
Ambassador
XMP alone wouldn't have fried the motherboard or ram sticks them selves so something else between setting XMP and to whatever else was done during the time of troubleshooting to visiting the PC shop that must've resulted in the motherboard's unfortunate demise. Clearing cmos at the beginning should have reverted memory to default settings.

Reasons why it boot looped could of been because of faulty/incompatible ram (Bios update may have addressed), incorrect ram placement (must use 2nd and 4th slot from CPU with two sticks) or XMP didn't set the correct dram voltage to 1.35v.

Why or if the motherboard died could have been due to static surge or working on the computer while it still had some power remaining. Always ground yourself and discharge system power first before working on computer hardware by holding the case power button down for a few seconds or leave the computer sit for a bit.

Now that you're dealing with a new motherboard, there could be different issues. See steps here;

Check things over, cables to and from the psu and check memory is seated properly.

If test one ram stick on Asus boards, use the furthest last slot (A2) on the outer edge.

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If nothing is working, troubleshooting with a different cpu and trying another set of ram would be your next step.
 
Last edited:
Jul 4, 2020
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XMP alone wouldn't have fried the motherboard or ram sticks them selves so something else between setting XMP and to whatever else was done during the time of troubleshooting to visiting the PC shop that must've resulted in the motherboard's unfortunate demise. Clearing cmos at the beginning should have reverted memory to default settings.

Reasons why it boot looped could of been because of faulty/incompatible ram (Bios update may have addressed), incorrect ram placement (must use 2nd and 4th slot from CPU with two sticks) or XMP didn't set the correct dram voltage to 1.35v.

Why or if the motherboard died could have been due to static surge or working on the computer while it still had some power remaining. Always ground yourself and discharge system power first before working on computer hardware by holding the case power button down for a few seconds or leave the computer sit for a bit.

Now that you're dealing with a new motherboard, there could be different issues. See steps here;

Check things over, cables to and from the psu and check memory is seated properly.

If test one ram stick on Asus boards, use the furthest last slot (A2) on the outer edge.

--

If nothing is working, troubleshooting with a different cpu and trying another set of ram would be your next step.
I did try clearing the CMOS on the MSI board with the jumper and even removing the battery several times, with the same results.

Just out of curiosity, i tried the msi board again to see if it’ll work, and surprisingly, it doesn’t bootloop, instead the DRAM LED is on like the ram doesn’t work. I could only assume all four of my ram sticks are dead when they were fully working before i enabled the XMP profile. That, or something else is causing the DRAM light to light up. I’m suspecting the CPU is the culprit. Would this be possible?
 
Jul 4, 2020
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Could be, hard to say if nothing was changed like excessive voltage to fry the processor. Unless the cooler is on way too tight?
I never really changed any CPU settings, so i don’t know if the CPU has anything to do with it. I have reseated the cooler a couple of times with no change
 
Jul 4, 2020
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Oh ok. Hmm bit of a tough one this. The cpu 12v is def connected yeah and if cable is modular, check the cable at the psu end hasn't popped out a bit.
The cables are plugged in all the way with good voltages on each pin. Yes i’ve had a stressful week trying to figure this out :(
 

boju

Polypheme
Ambassador
And ram are seated good? Both latches lock in the grooves on both sides of the stick? You've tested a single stick from the Corsair set yes? That'll be 2nd slot from cpu on the Msi board and last slot on the Asus.

Testing another cpu might be the only option left.
 
Jul 4, 2020
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And ram are seated good? Both latches lock in the grooves on both sides of the stick? You've tested a single stick from the Corsair set yes? That'll be 2nd slot from cpu on the Msi board and last slot on the Asus.

Testing another cpu might be the only option left.
Yes Every time I test the ram, i make sure they’re seated properly. I’ve tested every one of each ram set on every slot, with none of them working. I don’t have access to another CPU, but i am getting new ram sticks tomorrow. If those don’t work, it’ll probably have to be the CPU
 

boju

Polypheme
Ambassador
Strange and pretty much highly unlikely all four ram are a bust but good luck anyhow, hope you see improvement.

Cpu cooler is plugged to the cpu_fan header isn't it? Not that this'll cause dram issues but can cease the motherboard from operating properly to protect the cpu from thermal damage as it doesn't know it's being cooled.
 
Jul 4, 2020
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Strange and pretty much highly unlikely all four ram are a bust but good luck anyhow, hope you see improvement.

Cpu cooler is plugged to the cpu_fan header isn't it? Not that this'll cause dram issues but can cease the motherboard from operating properly to protect the cpu from thermal damage as it doesn't know it's being cooled.
Yeah the fan is connected

Thanks very much for the fast replies. :)
 
Jul 4, 2020
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Yeah it's looking like it.
There doesn’t seem to be any external damage on the CPU, the gold pins on the bottom look like new and the top and sides look clean.

I’m just confused as to how the CPU can be causing the DRAM LED to light up.
 
Jul 4, 2020
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I've asked for further advice and there's a good chance the IMC memory controller inside the cpu is shot.

Are you being totally honest when saying you've never done any cpu overclock?
Oh shoot, you know what. On my MSI motherboard i had a setting called “Game Boost” Does that overclock the CPU? If so, I’m embarrassed 😳
 
Jul 4, 2020
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Im not too familiar with Game boost but according to this thread, it or any automatic overclock program can be dangerous.

https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/is-msi-game-boost-mode-safe.3505479/#:~:text=MSI Game Boost overclocks the,much voltage to CPU Vcore.
woah, alright i’m never enabling that again haha
Probably bad that i had game boost on and XMP simultaneously.

Alright well i’ll be investing on a new processor. Hopefully this puts an end to this troubleshooting nightmare.
 
Jul 4, 2020
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Good luck! Let us know how you go.
I’ll let you know how it goes! :)

Also I forgot to mention, there’s a weird stain thing like something got fried and heat spread around that area. It’s on the back of my MSI motherboard, right above the CPU socket near the top of the board. I’m guessing it’s why the IMC was killed.
I think i won’t use that motherboard anymore for just in case it’ll kill my new CPU.

I would attach photos if i knew how :p
 

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