Black Screen with RAM in 2nd DIMM slot

Biostar Mcp6p-m2 desktop motherboard - n...
November 28, 2010 at 02:50:21
Specs: Windows XP, AMD Phenom II x4 / 2x1GB 667 DDR2
How do I fix my computer not booting when I insert DDR2 RAM in second slot (2 slot mobo)? The motherboard is MCP6P M2+ which I recently installed, and I am only able to run the system with 1 stick of RAM since this change. The RAM is fine, and I've tested with other DDR2 ram with the same outcome. I've narrowed the problem down to being the slot, but I highly doubt it is faulty, as its a new motherboard with no faults other than this simple problem. Basically, I'm looking for a fix with the BIOS or something along the lines of a software-related issue.
Does anyone know what I can try changing to get this working?

See More: Black Screen with RAM in 2nd DIMM slot

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November 28, 2010 at 04:20:24
have you seen this:

it looks like it only supports 512 or even 256mb, with some types of ram. Have you tried just 1 stick in the 2nd slot.


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November 28, 2010 at 07:25:02
It may be a new board, but it's based on an nForce 4 chipset that is at least 5 yrs old.

If you click on on the link in the above response, then click on the Specification tab, you'll see that the board supports up to 2GB per slot. DDR2-1066 is the best RAM to pair up with a Phenom II X4 but it looks like you're using DDR2-667 so you're taking a bit of a performance hit because of the slower RAM.

Is the new RAM the same as the old? same speed, same timings & most importantly, same voltage? Is it quality name brand RAM purchased thru a reliable vendor or the crap being sold on eBay?

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November 28, 2010 at 08:17:25
Ram that works in another mboard , or any ram you buy or have lying around, may not work properly, or sometimes, not at all - even if it physically fits and is the right overall type (e.g. SDram, DDR, DDR2, etc.; PCxxxx, xxx mhz) for your mboard. In the worst cases of incompatibilty your mboard WILL NOT BOOT all the way with it installed, and the mboard may not even beep - the ram has to be compatible with the mboard's main chipset, or in the case of recent mboards, compatible with the memory controller built into the cpu.

See response 5 in this for some info about ram compatibilty, and some places where you can find out what will work in your mboard for sure:
Correction to that:

Some ram manufacturer's modules do not strictly adhere to the JEDEC standards that most mboards bioses use to determine ram settings.
In that case, the ram settings in the bios Setup that the bios has automatically chosen may not be correct.
Check the ram settings in your bios - the ram voltage, and the ram timing numbers - those should be the same as for the specs for the modules themselves. Often the ram voltage and timing numbers are printed on the label on the modules.

If the voltage setting or timings settings in the bios are different from the specs for the ram, change them in the bios. The timing numbers must be as close as you can get to the same, or slower timings (higher numbers = slower) - you won't notice the difference the slower settings make.

You WILL have problems if the two modules have two different voltages specified for them.

If you have a mix of different modules
- don't mix ram that different voltages are specified for - the bios will force the ram to use the lowest voltage, if "by spd" or similar is used (default settings) - ram that a higher voltage is specified for is more likely to not work properly in that situation.
- the bios settings must be those for the slowest timing settings of all the modules, or slower (higher numbers = slower).

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Related Solutions

November 28, 2010 at 14:04:05
Yes, I've tried just 1gig stick of ram in the 2nd slot, and the same thing happens. I also tried using 1gig in the first slot and 512 in the 2nd and I get the same black screen. I see my hynix 1gb ram stick on the list that larry sent me, and I'll worry about the performance hit once I can get this system running with my 2 sticks of ram (they are exactly the same age/models). How do I know what voltage/timings to use?

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November 29, 2010 at 06:41:28
"How do I know what voltage/timings to use?"

They are usually printed on the stuck on label on the ram module.
If not, look up the part number of the module that's on the stuck on label on the ram manufacturer's web site or search with that part number on the web.

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