Why Does Reseating RAM Fix a Computer?

On two different desktops (one XP, one Win7), there was no video signal going to the monitor, although the power lights came on. The problem was ultimately solved by removing and (in some cases) reinserting the RAM sticks.

On the Win7 computer, I found that the "no video signal" issue returned IF I put either ram stick into slot 3 of 4. So we avoided using that slot, and so far, computer's working fine.

On the XP computer, after I put BOTH ram sticks back into the slots they used to be in, I still could not get the issue to recur; even after I put the ram back into the same slots as before, the computer starts up fine.

Likewise, on a THIRD computer (XP), the startup process was getting stuck on the BIOS screen, UNTIL I removed and reinserted the RAM.  Now it starts up fine.

So in the first computer (Win7), I'm assuming the motherboard / ram slot is going bad, probably more problems may come in the future, if the mobo is failing.

But what could account for the 2nd and 3rd computers?  Where removing and reinserting the ram fixed a "no video signal" or a "stuck/fixed video image" issue? This article
http://www.fixcleaner.com/blog/index.php/virtualmemory/264-reseat-ram-to-fix-bluescreens
suggests reseating ram as a fix, so I'm not alone. I guess I"m asking:

(1) How often do you guys try reseating RAM as a fix for such issues?

(2) What accounts for this? Static buildup?

thx
dgrrrAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Paul SDesktop Support Manager / Network AdministratorCommented:
possible reasons for symptons:

1) possibly bad memory. I have seen bad memory cause weird issues and a unpredictable way.

2) memory that is not compatible with all three systems or mother boards that do not support certain configurations (ex: slot 1+3, but not slots 3+4, etc...)

3) failing motherboard or unstable PSU or unstable building electrical power

I don't see bad memory very often. I just deployed 300 computers and we added 4 GB of memory to each one (8gb total).  only 1 of the sticks was bad out of the 300 we ordered.
0
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Although the gold fingers are not supposed to oxidize, sometimes the connection between the fingers and the memory socket seem to become poor to the point of not working.  And dust that might collect on the socket and fingers can be somewhat conductive so that can compromise operation.  If dust has collected, it should be removed before you plug the memory back in.  And since the memory just plugs in and out, it's something easy to check.  In a study for the military on electronic failures, connectors of all kinds were at the top of the list.
0
nobusCommented:
there is  "creeping" which occurs after many cycles off power on/off (heating, cooling) causing bad contacts.
these were known issues , mostly in older equipment - XP style and earlier
nowadays it is rather nonexistent.
another cause can be dust, creeping in the the contacts by vibration sometimes, or just contacts that are not applying the contact force needed
all above is cured in most cases by removing and reinstalling the ram sticks

**to be sure, test the ram though
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
PC

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.