Increasing RAM from 2 GB to 4 GB causes blue screen

I have an Intel server with an SE7520BD2 motherboard.  It has 2 GB RAM, Intel SRCS28X Raid controller, 5x250GB drives in RAID5 Array, plus one hot spare.  OS is Server 2003 SBS.  This server is very slow and it's doing a lot of work - Exchange server, file server, OWA server, TrendMicro antivirus, backups, etc.  I would like to increase the RAM to 4GB to improve performance.  I ordered RAM from Crucial and installed.  The server would pass post settings, begin loading Windows, then reboot.  Crucial replaced the RAM - same problem.  Since the original two sticks are Kingston KVR333S4R25 / 1G, I decided to order the same part for the additional RAM.  But I get the same problem.  Do I have a defective motherboard?  I'm currently running Memtest 86 and have not found any errors yet.  Any ideas???
Who is Participating?

[Webinar] Streamline your web hosting managementRegister Today

brent_caskeyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
What is the BSoD that you are getting (with parameters). Also, could you post your boot.ini file?

From what you are saying, I think that there might be a RAM slot issue on the motherboard. If you are able to get the system to boot with either module set in DIMM1A/B, then it is most likely not the DIMMs - It is most likely the DIMM 2 A or B slot.

I double checked the specs / compatibility list on the motherboard and the modules are on their tested list. As long as they were in slots DIMM 1A/B and DIMM 2A/B, it should just work

You might also want to start swapping single modules with the new/old pair and put them in slots 1A/B but - I would expect that to give the same result (no problem)

Could you also list the part numbers (or check them) that are actually on the DIMMS. It would not be entirely unusual for a swap of "better" memory depending on where you purchased the RAM from (ie they gave you DDR400 instead of DDR333). - again that is a long shot....

Reference from the Intel Site on the compatibility list / supported configs: 
lamaslanyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If you swap the old RAM for the new RAM do get the same problem?   If not then I'd suspect the motherboard too.

Try to increase the virtual memory too and then check what happens. Do not limit the page file. Create a big page file.

SMB Security Just Got a Layer Stronger

WatchGuard acquires Percipient Networks to extend protection to the DNS layer, further increasing the value of Total Security Suite.  Learn more about what this means for you and how you can improve your security with WatchGuard today!

jhuntiiAuthor Commented:
If I put in just new RAM (2GB), the system will usually boot.  (I haven't tried this last set of RAM, but that's what the last set did.)  It's when I go to 4GB that I have the problem.  I've tried swapping the RAM into different slots (new sticks in banks 1 and 2, old in banks 3 and 4).  Same result.  

On the page file, I have it set for System Managed.  I think it's a little over 2GB.  Could it be the pagefile?  Should I set it to no page file, reboot, set a large page file, then add the RAM???

This is supposed to be a really good server, but I need to be able to add RAM... :|  ... and speed it up!   Thanks.
ded9Connect With a Mentor Commented:

Set the page file
min to 4000
max to 4000

and check


You shouldn't need to do anything with the page file.  

That said you might want to manually set it in the name of optimisation.  The exact figure is more an art than a science (actually it is a science but it is easier to be approximate!).  Most aim for x1.5 the amount of RAM.  I'd set it to be at least the amount of RAM + 11MB.  Don't make it too large as this can actually degrade performance.

I'm sure there will be a slew of people disagreeing with the size... ;)
Page file should have anything to do with this unless it has become corrupted when the OS makes it larger automatically (maybe due to the RAM increase)... Ive never seen this happen though. Hard setting it would eliminate this possible issue though...

Have you tried one of the other f8 boot methods to boot with the 4GB of RAM?

Are there any updated drivers / firmware for the motherboard that could be applied that might resolve an issue like this?

scrathcyboyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Remove the original RAM.  Put only 1 stick each of the new RAM in at a time.  Boot and run the system each time with a heavy application load, preferably for a day.  If it fails on either stick, the RAM is too slow for your motherboard chipset -- ie. the CAS latency is too slow, not the rated "PC-xxx" speed.

If fine, run with both new chips for a day.  If still fine, the problem is with your BIOS not handling 4 GB of RAM correctly.  Go to the website, and download a BIOS update for the board.  When you flash the BIOS, MAKE CERTAIN you do not power the system off after the flash, let it boot directly into the OS, and run it before shutting down.
PCBONEZConnect With a Mentor Commented:
This one is a slight chance kind of thing.
Each of your memory modules are around 7 watts.
If the PSU is marginal on the 12v rail and as heavy as you have that thing loaded adding more memory sticks may be just enough to put it over the edge when all the drives are spinning.
It would get through memtest because the drives aren't doing much then.
I don't know how your raid array is set up but if you can run the system with 1 or 2 less drives long enough to see if it will stay up with all the memory installed that would be one way to check.
Other than that borrow a PSU with at least 3 more amps on the 12v rail.
MarkMichaelConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I've seen this with a few mainboards when populating 4 banks. Check to see if there's a BIOS/firmware update for it.
jhuntiiAuthor Commented:
I called Intel tech support and they directed me to a document of certified RAM configurations for this board.  Apparently, some RAM was rated for single rank (SR) and some was rated for double rank (DR).  The RAM I am trying to install is SR and I'm trying to use DR to get the 4GB.  If I use SR, I probably do not get dual channel and I can only install three physical sticks (3 GB total with the sticks I have).  I plan to install the 3 sticks now and purchase some DR sticks to go to 4GB.  (BTW, even the same brand/model can be from different manufacturers and be listed in different SR/DR categories.  I've never heard of this.  We'll see how it goes.)
jhuntiiAuthor Commented:
I tried putting 3GB in single-rank (one stick only in each bank of two slots).  That worked.  So, for now, we have 3GB of RAM in the server.  It's not a good as 4GB, but it's certainly better than 2GB.  :)  Thanks for all your comments.
jhuntiiAuthor Commented:
Thanks again to all.
All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.