Did a new SDRAM stick kill 2 motherboards?
Posted on 2003-03-23
I installed a cheap 512MB SDRAM stick into my computer alongside an old 256MB one, and on the first boot the BIOS only reported finding 512MB of RAM - not the 768MB as expected. I assumed that the old stick was slower, and it was only using the faster one. Booting into Windows XP failed - nothing happened after the Windows XP logo screen - everything went blank. Booting into safe mode worked fine, and so did booting Linux. I assumed this was just Windows being stupid, so I tried removing my old 256 ram stick (thinking it was conflicting).
From this point onwards, not even the BIOS screen would come up. The hard drives and CD rom drives would spin up, the fans would come on, the hard drive light would come on (solidly - not flickering), but there were no beeps, and wasn't anything on the screen.
I tested all the components in the other computer - monitor, video card, hard drives, etc. so I thought the motherboard must have died.
£60 later, I installed a new motherboard, and the troublesome 512MB ram stick. Exactly the same thing happened - no beeps or anything. Putting the old 256MB chip back in didn't work either. I then suspected the CPU...
£50 later, with a new CPU installed, still with the new motherboard and 512MB ram stick - same problem - nothing on screen, no beeps.
Is it possible that this SDRAM stick could have destroyed 2 of my motherboards, or am I missing something painfully obvious?