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Thread: Can wrong memory damage a mobo?

  1. #1
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    Can wrong memory damage a mobo?

    I have a computer that uses an ASUS M4N98TD EVO mobo. Someone else put it together. While doing so, they used PC3 12800 memory. The mobo calls for a max of PC3-10600 memory. They said it ran for a short time but now will not boot.

    I cannot get into the BIOS but did uninstall/reinstall the battery to restore defaults.
    A post code device shows a code of FF but it is instantaneous like it is not running thru a cycle.

    Can this memeory damage the mobo or CPU?

  2. #2
    Administrator Steve R Jones's Avatar
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    I doubt the mem did damage. Have you trippled checked everything under the hood to make sure its all seated properly?

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    Re-checked everything. This thing just won't post. Do I need memory in to post? I have tried both ways. Unfortunately, I do not have the correct memory yet. Just want to make sure the computer isn't fried before putting another $150-$200 into memory.

    The fans work but when I install the incorrect memory, they pulsate. I am starting to think video card as I have seen that prevent posting. Sort of grabbing for straws here.


  4. #4
    Administrator Steve R Jones's Avatar
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    Does the mobo have a speaker so you can hear the beeps?

    You won't be able to tell much of anything without sticking some ram sticks in.

  5. #5
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    Also, forgot to say there are NO beeps whatsoever. I believe by reading the manual I downloaded there should be.

  6. #6
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    A smart man once told me (Steve Jones in this case) you gotta have a system speaker in order to hear beep codes. Whoever built this system did not put one in. I salvaged one from an old computer and came up with this:

    1. With the wrong memory installed - No beeps

    2. With the memory left out - 1 long and 2 shorts. Since this is an AMI BIOS, it sort of indicates a video card I think.


  7. #7
    Administrator Steve R Jones's Avatar
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    Look on AMI BIOS web site for beep codes...Me thinks with no ram you should be getting a beep or three about the ram.

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    An error was encountered in the video BIOS ROM, or a horizontal retrace failure has been encountered

    Bad video card will cause not BIOS beeps.

  9. #9
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    If it is a bad video, I installed a different video just to see. Still no boot, no screen, no ability to get to BIOS.

    Could the problem actually be related to the fact that DDR3 12800 memory is being used instead of DDR3 10600? The owner said it ran for about a week.

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    That would be my next thought.

    Get a stick of the old ram and see if it will boot.

  11. #11
    Ultimate Member Ol'Tunzafun's Avatar
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    The memory issue may be a red herring. Have we already swapped out the power supply?

    You probably already know this, but when you pull the battery to clear the CMOS, the power should be pulled from the back of the power supply. It is also a good idea to push the start button to drain whatever is left in the capacitors. Let it sit for about 10 minutes then, to be sure that it has been cleared.
    EDIT: Shift the jumpers too. They should be right near the battery.
    Last edited by Ol'Tunzafun; 08-25-2010 at 04:57 PM.

  12. #12
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    You may have hit on something here. I was put on the wrong track by the owner when he started talking about incompatible memory. That coupled with:

    Quote Originally Posted by jmhcs View Post

    1. With the wrong memory installed - No beeps

    2. With the memory left out - 1 long and 2 shorts. Since this is an AMI BIOS, it sort of indicates a video card I think.

    really sent me down the wrong trail.

    I put a cheap PSU tester on the system and I did not get a response from the -5v indicator. This may indicate a bad power supply. Thinking back, we had a number of bad storms rolling thru about that time and the computer may have gotten a surge. The PSU is an ANTEC TP-550 which seems decent but looks like it may be bad. I will try a different PSU.

    As a side issue. What is a good PSU tester?


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    Since all of them do not test under load, they can misguide a person, but they are a excellent starting point.

    More Examples:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ester&x=9&y=28

  14. #14
    Ultimate Member Ol'Tunzafun's Avatar
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    -5v is only required for the ISA bus, so unless you have a really ancient machine, it should not make any difference. Most current PSUs do not even have a -5v rail, which would explain the test result.
    That said, those PSU testers are not reliable. They can confirm that a PSU is bad, but they cannot confirm that a PSU is good. You really have to swap it out with another unit of appropriate capacity to be sure.

  15. #15
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    Therein lies the problem. New PSU ($100), or new MOBO ($200), or new memory. Pretty much a **** shoot.

    I am thinking memory because of:
    Quote Originally Posted by jmhcs View Post
    Someone else put it together. While doing so, they used PC3 12800 memory. The mobo calls for a max of PC3-10600 memory. They said it ran for a short time but now will not boot.

    However, I am trying to be sure so as not to buy parts that are not needed. Decisions -decisions!

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