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If some of my motherboard's RAM slots have stopped working for some reason, am I right in supposing there's nothing to do but replace the board?
I noticed my system memory was only 896 MB (and 128 MB shared memory, whatever that means)--which would seem to indicate that only one of my two 1 GB RAM sticks was detected or used. So I rebooted the computer twice, each time using only one of the sticks. With one of them, the computer wouldn't boot, so I was sure that stick was no good. But the flaw in this test was I never seriously considered that one or more of the RAM slots might have a problem. (When I tested the sticks separately, I may not have made sure to put them in the same slot--I don't remember, but I probably wasn't paying attention to that because I didn't think anything might be wrong with the slots.)
So I bought a replacement RAM stick, and was puzzled when it wouldn't work (in the slot next the one stick I thought was good). After the new stick wouldn't work in any of the empty slots, I suspected a worse problem, and tested all three sticks in different slots. They all work in one particular slot, but not in any of the others.
So it seems I have three non-functioning RAM slots, and bought new RAM for nothing.
Last edited by newbiesforever; 06-18-2013 at 12:16 PM.
Did you ensure the new RAM is identical to the RAM you already have (ie: PC2700 in all slots)?
Try the new RAM in the slots that the current sticks are in- if they work, then it might be your board. If not, it might be the stick of RAM.
Shared memory is RAM that is shared by the system and the video card (I'm guessing yours is intergrated).
Yeah, it's integrated (I've never owned a video card). Actually, the brand-new RAM stick is already in the one slot that I know works--sorry I didn't mention that. The last thing I tried was to put the new stick in the obviously working slot, and it worked, so I kept it there. The old sticks are sitting in two of the other three slots, doing nothing.
If I have to replace the board (I suppose so), I'm not going online like I did before, at least not first. I looked at some motherboards at a local electronics store recently, and decided that being able to examine them up close probably trumps an online retailer's larger selection, especially if the physical store has a good selection itself.
Last edited by newbiesforever; 06-18-2013 at 01:40 PM.
How old is the board? Look at the manual for the board (or get it online if you don't have it any longer) and see if there is a requirement for how the RAM is put in. Some boards require RAM to be in matching pairs 1/4 and 2/3 or something to that effect.
I'd still order online- just match up the type of RAM the new board takes to what you have/what you order. You'll save a bundle going through Newegg rather than a brick and mortar.
In Glendale (and the greater Phoenix area), newbiesforever would indeed be able to get hardware at good prices ... and to ask questions about "the board in the box in his hand" with people who actually know. (Fry's Electronics, in the day, was legendary for this, but I don't know the company now.) Therefore, it's what I would do also. Yeah, you'll spend a little more money, but not as much as you might suppose, and in any case it might well be worth it.
Yes, RAM slots sometimes do break ... there are a lot of physical connections. If you even suspect that the board has a hardware fault, I frankly wouldn't spend much more time on it. "Chuck-E Cheeze" it, buy a new one, and sell the old one (with its chips) on eBay or somewhere to someone who might be delighted to futz with it in exchange for a fully-depreciated bargain. The return-on-investment, for you, turns to zero almost instantly.