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RAM put in wrong way but now PC won't boot - making long bepping sounds & no screen

Posted on 2006-07-10
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
Customer called me yesterday to tell me he had removed RAM to see what type he needed to upgrade & accidentally had put it the wrong way - said he didn't force it but it mustn't have been in properly but before he realised, he turned PC on & nothing would come on screen but there was a long loud beep that lasted approx 6+ seconds repeatedly. I picked up PC to take back to workshop & I put RAM in the right way after that & same problem.
I then pulled out RAM altogether & same problem. I also had found a loose screw in sytem. Nothing comes up on the screen whatsoever.
Does it sound like, I only need to replace the stick of RAM or is it worse? I've ordered the RAM & hopefully will have it tomorrow. But I could do with some suggestions, if anyone's got any.

Cheers!
Teresa - BV   I didn't think it was possible for RAM to go in wrong way but there ya go!
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Question by:Teresa_B
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by:sugarfreeless
ID: 17078823
Well, I would just pull every thing you can.  Vid card, memory, pci cards, etc.  Until there is nothing left but the cpu & fan.

power it back on and see if you get the same beeping.

Check the mobo manufacturers web site for a beep code listing.  See if you can decode it.  If you can find that then good chance you'll know what it is complaining about.

sugarfreeless
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by:garycase
ID: 17078858
Well ... it's NOT possible to fully insert RAM the wrong way;  but if you partially inserted it (pushed one end down with the other end angled upwards -- like a teeter-totter) and then actually powered up the system (sounds like this is what happened) you could easily short some pins that aren't designed to be shorted !!  

The result could be a blown memory module;  blown motherboard; or blown power supply.   If you have an available power supply, that's probably the easiest to check.   If you have another system it will work in, the memory's easy to check.   ... and if they both test good you need a new motherboard.   The difficult thing is if you blew more than one -- but in this case you'll find that out after you install a new motherboard :-)
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by:sugarfreeless
ID: 17078868
Sorry I need to continue my first thought...

>>> "Well, I would just pull every thing you can.  Vid card, memory, pci cards, etc.  Until there is nothing left but the cpu >>> & fan.  power it back on and see if you get the same beeping.

If the system comes back with no issues, then begine to add one piece of hardware at a time until you get the same issue again.  That is a good indicator what piece of hardwar is the problem.
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by:Teresa_B
ID: 17078960
After I pull everything out, PC still has persistent beeps. Ugh! I don't want it to be the motherboard. It's an Asus motherboard but I can't find any other info on it to determine what model it is.
Power Supply seems to be functioning - all fans are running, I can hear HDD & CD-ROM and there is a green light on motherboard that lights up.
I'll try pulling everything out again including memory module & see what happens...
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by:garycase
ID: 17079049
Well ... as I said, there are 3 most-likely possibilities:  memory; motherboard; power supply.   ... and from what you just posted the motherboard is sounding like the most probable.

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by:Teresa_B
ID: 17079065
I'm starting to think motherboard too. Bugga! I put memory module in another PC & no beeping. As soon as my monitor is free (being currently used on another system), I'll connect it to see if there are any error messages. I'll keep you informed.

Because learning is for the greater good...!
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by:garycase
ID: 17079086
I'm not surprised the memory worked in another PC.   ... MOST incorrectly inserted memory (happens more than you'd think) does not get damaged.  What happens is that since the module doesn't fit, the traces on the memory (the little copper connections) "cross over" two of the connections in the DIMM slot -- shorting them.   This has no effect on the memory (since it never "sees" either connection -- it just shorts them), but can have BAD effects on the motherboard.    Although I've seen cases where it just blew the power supply, it is MUCH more common that it "fries" the motherboard.
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by:Rsulliv1
ID: 17079094
Here's something I found:

http://www.houseofhelp.com/v2/showthread.php?t=49456

Could be corrupted CMOS?

The above link has the following link to some Award BIOS beep codes:

http://www.bioscentral.com/beepcodes/awardbeep.htm


Hope this offers some sort of lead!

-ryan.
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Author Comment

by:Teresa_B
ID: 17079100
Thanks Ryan. The beep is about 6-7 seconds long & continual. It's a Phoenix Bios and I've looked at Beep codes but to no avail.
Does anyone know how to obtain motherboard info off the board itself to find out what would be the best replacment? All I know at this stage is that the PC is about 6 yrs old and the brand is ASUS motherboard with an Intel Celeron CPU. Mmm I'm learning lots today.
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by:sugarfreeless
ID: 17079118
Can you post a picture of the mobo?
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by:garycase
ID: 17079128
Is it a Socket 423 or Socket 478 motherboard?

What chipset is used?  (look at the large Northbridge and Southbridge chips)
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by:garycase
ID: 17079148
With sufficient details or pictures we can identify what replacement motherboards might allow re-use of the memory and CPU.   But with a system that's six years old, your customer may want to consider simply replacing the motherboard/CPU/memory and keeping the rest.  In fact, you can get barebone kits with case, power supply, motherboard, CPU, and memory for under $200 that would most likely represent a significant upgrade to this PC.   For example:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2302468&CatId=333

The only downside of this is the need to reinstall and re-activate XP.   But as long as he has an XP install CD for the computer, this should not be a problem.   In fact, a "Repair Install"  (see http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm) will allow all of the current programs and data to be retained intact.
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by:Teresa_B
ID: 17079156
How do I post a picture of MoBo?

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by:sugarfreeless
ID: 17079166
1 a. If you have a digital snap a shot, and save to your pc.  

1 b. If you don't then nevermind.

2. Create a login on http://www.photobucket.com, and upload the pic.  then select the pic and click on generate html then post the link here.
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by:sugarfreeless
ID: 17079186
$200,  heck for around $800 you could have a new pc with 3 year business standard plan etc, etc.

I just looked this up and it's a nice system with great warranty.

SYSTEM COMPONENTS
   Dimension 1100  Qty     1    
  Intel® Celeron® D Processor 325 (2.53 GHz, 533 FSB), Genuine Windows® XP Professional Unit Price    $897.00    
 $170 OFF Dimension 1100 special offers from Dell Small Business!
Special offer        
     - $170.00  
 
Catalog Number:   4 2D11DD4  
 Module   Description  Show Details
Processor Intel® Celeron® D Processor 325 (2.53 GHz, 533 FSB)
Operating System Genuine Windows® XP Professional
Memory 256MB DDR SDRAM at 400MHz
Keyboard Dell USB Keyboard
Monitors 19 inch E196FP Analog Flat Panel
Video Cards Integrated Intel® Extreme Graphics 2
Internal Hard Drives 80GB Ultra ATA/100 7200RPM Hard Drive
Floppy Drive No Floppy Drive Included
Mouse Dell® 2-button USB mouse
Network Interface Integrated 10/100 Ethernet
Modem No Modem Requested
Document Management Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 6.0
Optical Drive Single Drive: 48x CD-RW / DVD-ROM Combo Drive
Sound Integrated 2.0 Channel Audio
Speakers No speakers (Speakers are required to hear audio from your system)
Productivity Software Pre-Installed No Productivity Suite - Corel WordPerfect® word processor only
Security Software Pre-Installed No Security Subscription
Digitial Music Musicmatch by Yahoo! Music - Basic music software
Digital Photography Photo Album™ SE Basic
Dell Service & Support Plans 3 Year On-site Business Standard Plan
Internet Access Service 6 Months of America Online Membership Included
Mail-In Rebate None
Miscellaneous Dimension 1100 Cel
Operating System Re-Installation CD PC Restore recovery system by Symantec
Purchase Intent Purchase is not intended for resale.
 
TOTAL:$727.00  
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by:Teresa_B
ID: 17079188
[IMG]http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n301/teresa_b/ASUSMoBo001.jpg[/IMG]

<center>
<img src="http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n301/teresa_b/ASUSMoBo001.jpg" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"><br><br>
</center>
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by:sugarfreeless
ID: 17079242
this board looks a little newer than 6 years.  I noticed a 12v 4pin adaptor just below the cpu.  That's probably about 3 - 4 years out.

I would recommend if the pwr supply has a adapror for you you plug it in.  other than that I can't see the other markings very well.  Look at the chip that says SIS on it and google the chipset.  It will give you an idea of the time range the mobo was made.

other than that I need to call it a night.  i have to be up in a few hours.  Good luck!

Sugarfreeless
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by:sugarfreeless
ID: 17079266
oh one last thought.

were there two dimms of memory?  Or just one?  Some mobo's require a single dimm be placed in a specific slot.
if you look closely at the mobo next to the dimm slots they should be labeled dimm0 or dimm1 and dimm1 or dimm2

make sure the memory is in dimm1 or 0
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by:Teresa_B
ID: 17079302
Thanks for your help. It is much appreciated. There was only 1 dimm of memory and I did try both slots - just in case.
The chipset says SIS 961 SIS'01 PMA2091 - will do a Google on it. Cheers!
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dooleydog earned 500 total points
ID: 17082242
If the ram was forced into the slot incorrectly, then either the ram or the MB is toast, or perhaps both.

I would suggest getting a new MB and RAM, or testing the existing set with other HW if possible.

Good Luck,
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by:Teresa_B
ID: 17082305
Thankyou. I'm still having no luck finding info on as to what model Asus motherboard I've got. But I think I'll advise a new CPU anyway.
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by:garycase
ID: 17082379
As I noted last night, a new motherboard/CPU/memory (the memory MAY be reuseable -- what kind of memory module is it??) probably makes sense economically, and will provide a nice upgrade.   As long as your client has an XP installation CD, you should be able to use his existing XP version (unless it's an OEM tied to a specific BIOS).
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by:DoTheDEW335
ID: 17082440
In that picture I don't see the 4pin ATX plugged in... Is that plugged in now?
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by:Teresa_B
ID: 17082460
Thankyou garycase. I've spoken to customer and she likes the idea of motherboard/cpu/memory upgrade. She only had 128Mb DDR 333 anyway. As for WIn XP, she was never given the disc for it and she's unsure of the source of it so she realises she may have to purchase WINXP.
Today's my first day on experts-exchange and so far it is well worth it's money!

Well it's 1am here in South Australia - my bed time so I can get up fresh in the morning to start shopping for a great deal for my customer.
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by:Teresa_B
ID: 17082493
No it's not plugged in& I never pulled it (I think). Do you think that may be the problem? I'll laugh it is!
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by:garycase
ID: 17082733
The 4-pin aux power connector HAD to be plugged in originally.   If your customer unplugged it to gain access to the memory slots and forgot to plug it back in, that could certainly be the whole issue here ==> perhaps the memory didn't get pushed in enough to short anything !!
(cross your fingers)    ... of course you may have simply unplugged it to get access and forgotten about it (easy to do).   Plug it in and see what the system does then !!

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by:Teresa_B
ID: 17082811
I plugged in connector - same problem. But what I did do was put in another stick of RAM out of another system. DDR 400 512Mb. I was able to get into BIOS settings but system hung when I tried to boot Windows XP. When PC turned back on, BIOS settings came up with message that I need to choose correct CPU/ PCI frequency to match CPU, DIMM or other device. The setting was on 100/33. Well what a day hey! Does anyone have an idea as to what the frequency should be? There was a lot to chose from and there aren't any books etc I can go to as the customer didn't have any.

I better go to bed so if I don't reply in the next 8 hrs, please forgive me.
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by:garycase
ID: 17083047
Unplug the system;  then remove the CMOS battery for a few minutes (10 minutes is fine).

Then replace the CMOS battery; plug in the system; and boot ==> see if it then correctly autodetects the CPU, etc.   It's been quite a while since you had to manually set the parameters for the CPU/memory/etc.   ... and I don't think that motherboard is that old.

... if that doesn't do it, post back.    "See" you in 8 hrs or so :-)   (sweet dreams -> don't think of computers)
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by:brent6699
ID: 17084563
I would have to say the mobo is bad.  Another thing that I try is to pull the mobo out of the system and plug everything into it sitting on some cardboard or something and see if it gives you the same error.  Sometimes mobo can ground itself from pushing too hard while installing the ram.  try all common bench tests in troubleshooting.  Try a new power supply.  
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by:DoTheDEW335
ID: 17085414
You should check a few things,
Pull the CPU and see exactly what it is so you know what the BUS speed should be (you can look it up or post what the Processor is and someone will tell you) Also Check the temp, see if it's getting too hot, if you have time before it freezes. The Error you got was due to Asus's BIOS protection, If it thinks it's hung do to overclocking it will Reset the CMOS(BIOS) and you get that. (I've done it from overclocking my PC's and I only use Asus boards) Just for kicks I'd make sure the CPU fan seems to be clean and working good . If possible see if u can find another stick of memory to try out. Maybe it doesn't like that one
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by:Geisrud
ID: 17085427
Usually the version of the MOBO is screen printed in really small hard to read lettering on the bottom of the board - beneath the PCI slots.  If not there, should be somewhere...
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by:Rsulliv1
ID: 17085446
I'm sticking with the CMOS problem.

Did the bios screen display any error code on-screen?

I'd do what garycase mentioned and hope for the best.

-ryan.
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by:sugarfreeless
ID: 17087529
Teresa_B,

Wow I can't believe I saw the adaptor unplugged, and that was what kept the system from coming up initially!
congrats!

>>> snippetydodah "I noticed a 12v 4pin adaptor just below the cpu. ... I would recommend if the pwr supply has a adapror for you you plug it in."

Have you gotten the new memory to work yet?
If not then look at the boot screen when the system comes up and the asus board info should be there.  If you only see a graphic then press the ESC key and you will see boot information.

Use that info to download the asus board info from the asus site.

Once you have the manual you should have two frequecy cpu setting options.

1. Setting jumpers manually to get the frequency you desire.
2. Set a jumper to allow you to set the frequency from the bios.

Currently I'll bet the jumper is set to manual, meaning the jumpers control the frequency.

And since the frequency is wrong you are asked to set it correctly in the BIOS.

However setting the frequency in the BIOS will not work because the jumpers are overriding the BIOS.  Kind of a catch 22.

So find in the manual where you can configure the jumpers and make you choice.  I prefer using the BIOS for the frequency settings but some asus boards will not give you all available frequency settings in the BIOS which means manual settings are a must.

Good Luck!
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by:willcomp
ID: 17094199
My 2 cents worth.  Most likely motherboard is a goner but everything else is usable.  Probably only affected memory controller.
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by:garycase
ID: 17094443
willcomp -- your opinion's worth a lot more than 2 cents !!  ... at LEAST a nickel :-)
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by:Teresa_B
ID: 17095655
everybody who's given me advice has been valuable. I appreciate it! I hopefully should have new RAM delivered today and see if we can put this issue to rest. I'll keep you informed. Cheers!
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Author Comment

by:Teresa_B
ID: 17119853
I wanted to let you know that I finally got some RAM - must've been on the slow boat from...
Anyway, nothing was wrong with the motherboard - phew!
To all of you who helped me and gave me advice - THANKYOU! Cheers mate!
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Expert Comment

by:Marik88
ID: 27278115
Hey guys just to let you know i did the same thing today, inserted the memory the wrong way. Beeping noises... I soon realised what happened and took it out fast. It was super warm. I reinserted it back the right way and now my computer works all right but half the memory (whatever was on that stick) is being constantly "used". But bios still shows that i have 2gb (each stick is 1gb). So yeah, im screwed :)
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