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BSOD, Black screen w/ blinking underscore when using XMP profile on 4x2GB RAM

Hello,

I just built a new PC for my little brother, and it's running okay apart from these problems in chronological order:

1. Initial fresh usb install of Windows 8.1 Pro N on new 1TB WD Blue took multiple tries because of crashing/BSOD with different errors such as "SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED" "DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS OR EQUAL" "MEMORY_MANAGEMENT"....I suspected a bad memory module, removed one of the 4gb G.skill sticks and the install went to 50% then crashed again. Restarted and the install went through all the way and booted to desktop. Everything looked stable for a while. Updated graphics drivers, motherboard drivers. Installed a few apps.

2. When I put the 2nd memory stick in, the computer won't boot. My brother somehow got the 2nd stick in and working in the same slot. Computer reads 8gb @1600mhz. Began getting random blackout "signal losses" on screen that last about a second. Suspect faulty GPU, but this only happens on desktop/web surfing and not in-games. Screen is an LED tv connected by HDMI.

3. With everything running relatively smoothly, I decided to check the timings on the RAM and upped it to manufacturer's timings 9-9-9-24 using MSI Intel Extreme Tuning Utility. Voltage on "Auto." It worked, and computer booted. Crashed a bit later stating overclocking settings were the cause and that the computer is back to default settings. It goes on to crash a few more times after I tried to install a chipset (Intel Smart connect). So I decided to System Restore to before the intel extreme tuning utility install.

RAM back to 11-11-11 timing, system seems stable apart from the 1 second "screen signal losses"

I decided to run Windows Memory Diagnosis to make sure the memory isn't faulty. It was like 5% complete then I saw a message saying Hardware Failure.

So is it for sure the memory even though games seem to be fine? Should I replace? Does this rule out the GPU, HDD, CPU, PSU?

SPECS:
CPU: Intel G3258 @ 3.2 Ghz
MB: MSI Z97 PC Mate
PSU: Seasonic S12II 520W Bronze
RAM: G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) F3-1600C9D-8GAO
HDD: 1 TB Western Digital Blue WD10EZEX
GPU: Sapphire Dual-X R9 280

TLDR; Installed 8gb (4gbx2) ram in new pc build. started up, but BSOD until removing one module allowed windows install (1 crash). worked okay until timings upped to OEM specs. BSOD. manually ran Windows Mem Diag, got hardware failure. For sure memory fault or something else? replacing memory = profit?
9 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about bsod black screen blinking underscore xmp profile 4x2gb ram
  1. Best answer
    I'd suspect the RAM is causing the problems as well. This could cause BSODs, POST problems, and OS corruption over time as well. Maybe try running a bootable copy of Memtest86+ on a CD/USB and test each stick individually outside of the Windows environment. Also, instead of setting up XMP, have you tried manually settings the timings and voltage in the UEFI?
  2. Do you have the latest BIOS? Might be the mobo if the rig isn't working with either stick of DRAM individually
  3. 1LiquidPC said:
    I'd suspect the RAM is causing the problems as well. This could cause BSODs, POST problems, and OS corruption over time as well. Maybe try running a bootable copy of Memtest86+ on a CD/USB and test each stick individually outside of the Windows environment. Also, instead of setting up XMP, have you tried manually settings the timings and voltage in the UEFI?


    thanks for the reply 1LiquidPC! I will try testing one RAM stick at a time. So it's safe to rule out the other components for now? I'm not sure how to use Memtest86+, but will try that. I used the Windows Memory Diagnosis and it showed a hardware failure, is that trustworthy? thanks again for the help, ill get back when I am able to test it. he is using the computer right now. Also, I haven't tried using the UEFI. I only see profiles when I'm in the BIOS menu.
  4. Tradesman1 said:
    Do you have the latest BIOS? Might be the mobo if the rig isn't working with either stick of DRAM individually


    thank you for the post Tradesman1, I haven't updated the BIOS. Never done that before, I'm a noobie lol. I have the same MOBO on my rig and it's working fine :/. I'll try that if both memory sticks fail testing. One stick seemed stable when I had only that one inside. How come the computer is still able to boot and work in games if the memory is messed up? It's just weird that I had to install Windows with one stick, and now with both sticks it is still able to start and run programs such as Arma 3.
  5. Are you using the black slots?
  6. Win is weird, I've had to drop to a single stick for installs numerous times, under XMP with the two sticks try raising the DRAM voltage to 1.56 and see, the MC in the CPU may be a tad weak, or may have a stick going bad
  7. gskill support said:
    Are you using the black slots?


    ty for reply. nope, i'm using the blue slots. are the black ones better? computer officially won't start now. it just says reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key.
  8. They should be in black..
  9. Is the HDD being recognized in the BIOS anymore?
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