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2 GB DDR2 + 1 GB DDR2 = RESTART ?

Posted on 2007-08-08
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
Hello, I am running a WinXP pro x32 system, and i recently bought another 2GBs of DDR2 RAM. So I removed the old GB, and inserted the new sticks (because I thought that my RAM was faulty). Later, I found that there was nothing wrong with my RAM, and stuck that one extra GB in there again. Now, when I start up my computer with the 3GBs of DDR2 RAM inserted, I come straight to the boot menu. So I choose to start windows normally, and the computer just reboots.. and ends up in that menu again, in an endless loop.
Anyone got any good ideas? Appreciate.. Thanks
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Question by:Rusch
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:PUNKY
ID: 19657323
You should not mix both types of memory, it could cause a lot of issue.
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Will Szymkowski earned 120 total points
ID: 19657494
First off it would be a good idea to get the documentation for your Motherboard and see if it can register 3GB's. I would also agree with PUNKY that you shouldn't mix RAM. Also, does the RAM itself get registered in the BIOS when you have all 3 Gigs installed? Have you tried to boot into safemode? You can check the manufactures website of your motherboard and see if you can find a BIOS upgrade (BIOS upgrades can be risky). Have you tried to move the RAM into different banks on the motherboard?

Give those suggestions a shot.
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Author Comment

by:Rusch
ID: 19657504
It is the SAME type of RAM, even same brand.
Two 1024MB Modules Corsair DDR2 Twin2X Matched memory Pair (2 GB)
Two 512MB Modules Corsair DDR2 Memory Module Kit (1 GB)
Stand-Alone both work fine. But together I get the problem described above.
Thoughts anyone?
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Author Comment

by:Rusch
ID: 19657540
I have a very basic motherboard, MSI K9NU Neo-V (MS-7270).
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by:PUNKY
ID: 19657557
Could you list what is your motherboard brand / model?
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Author Comment

by:Rusch
ID: 19657754
K9NU Neo-V; Main Memory:
" Supports Dual DDR II 400/533/667/800
" 4 DDRII DIMMs (240pin / 1.8V)
" Supports a maximum memory size up to 8GB.

more info at: http://global.msi.com.tw/index.php?func=proddesc&prod_no=261&maincat_no=1
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by:PUNKY
ID: 19658580
You can do with four single-rank DIMMs, or two dual-rank DIMMs on this motherboard.  And your system supports dual channel memory, then you might either have to have 4 ranks (single channel ram) or dual channel RAM on same color slots for each pair.

The way you setup is mix single and dual rank DIMMS, that will tend to reduce performance, or worst case, the chipset will not be able to uniformly distribute addresses.
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Author Comment

by:Rusch
ID: 19658999
Ok, maybe the terminology is messing with my head but im confused. You're saying i have to use either 4 stand-alone ram sticks (no 2x modules) OR i have to make sure that both the 2xmodulekits are on the same colord RAM slots. E.g. the two 1024MB sticks, should be together on green, and the two 512MB sticks should be together on orange? Cuz that is how I had it set up.
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by:_
ID: 19659784
Different mobo's use the colors differently. You need to check the manual to see how your mobo does dual-channel, and make sure the matched sticks are in the correct slots.
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Assisted Solution

by:Gary Case
Gary Case earned 80 total points
ID: 19660471
Your motherboard manual indicates you can use either single or double-sided modules;  but it is always best with motherboards that use unbuffered memory to use single-sided modules if installing more than two --> or at least one pair should be single-sided.   That MAY be part of the issue here ... but it should not normally cause the issue you've described.

Another possibility is that you've mixed memory speeds.   The specs you referenced above are for two different speeds --> 533MHz and 667MHz.   If your different pairs are rated at difference speeds, you may have an issue whereby the motherboard is not correctly setting the speed via the SPD (it SHOULD use the lower-rated speed if multiple speed modules are detected).    If the system boots okay to the BIOS, go into the BIOS and choose "Load Optimized Defaults" and see if that resolves this.
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Expert Comment

by:zubin_kharas
ID: 19667604
Hi rusch, a quick thing to check here is that you did NOT hibernate ur PC the last time before you inserted the extra memory? Simple reason, windows may somtimes not even prompt you to 'delete restoration data' when in reality thats whats goofing it up.
Check that the same size/type of ram chips are in the same coloured slots, thats how u should have them. Unfortunately, I have found MSI to be a very sensitive brand with memory in the olden days, to the point where I always prefer Gigabyte to MSI.
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Expert Comment

by:zubin_kharas
ID: 19667605
And yes, try to see what happens when loading in safe mode etc... same problem?
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Author Comment

by:Rusch
ID: 19668953
Ok, feelin kinda stupid and confused now. But I changed slots for the RAM. Put the 2GB in the green slots, and the 1GB in the orange slots, and now it loaded without any problems. Seems retarded if you ask me. But it works, so I am happy. Thanks a lot for all of your help. Dont know how i'm gonna give the points for the solution here, but Im gonna try to give you all points if it is possible. Thanks again lot!
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by:_
ID: 19674883
>> Seems retarded if you ask me. But it works...

LOL.  Ain't hardware fun.   : )
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Expert Comment

by:Gary Case
ID: 19674908
Not as unusual as you might think.   Note my earlier comment, "... you may have an issue whereby the motherboard is not correctly setting the speed via the SPD ..." ==> sometimes when you mix speeds the SPD's will only be correctly recognized if the relative speeds are in a specific order (which order depends on the BIOS's detection and polling algorithms for the SPD info).   That's very likely what happened here.
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Expert Comment

by:zubin_kharas
ID: 19688545
Thanks for the points. Cheers
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