Won't boot with 4 GB

mubs

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Y'all will recollect that I aborted my attempt to build a new system because of the job situation.

I had purchased 2 sticks of RAM from Clocker in fall 2007 with the intention of adding them to this PC, but had never got to it (inertia is the most powerful force in the universe).

I decided that now was the time to up the RAM in my 6 year old PC and install Win 7 on it.

I first removed my two sticks: OCZ PC4000 EL DUal Channel Gold Edition, CAS 3-4-4-7. They were running in dual-channel mode.

Then stuck in Clockers 2 sticks: OCZ PC 4000, CAS 2-3-2-5 in dual-channel mode. Ran Memtest86+, all tests ran ok.

Added my sticks - no boot. Swapped dimm slots, no boot. Things went downhill fast after that, and I thought I'd lost the motherboard. After much wringing of hands and troubleshooting, clearing CMOS and replacing the 6-year old dead CMOS battery and monkeying around, got it to boot with 2 sticks - any pair of them, in dual channel mode.

Net, it'll boot with any of the two sticks in dual channel mode. In 4 dimm mode, with each pair in dual-channel mode, the initial boot screen with the bios info will display and then hang - no beeps. This is regardless of which pair is in which slot.

When I put each pair on its own single channel (i.e., each pair in single channel mode), I get continuous long, spaced out beeps - sign of a memory problem.

Memtest identifies each pair identically, except for the CAS values I listed. The transfer rate is 2203 MB/s for my RAM, and 2346 MB/s for Clocker's.

According to the motherboad manual, 4GB is supported, but in DDR-333 mode instead of DDR-400.

All BIOS values for RAM were set to Auto. The one value that has to be selected and does not have an Auto option was set to Fast with my (slower) RAM. This didn't work with 4 dimms at Fast and at Slow as well (the slowest setting).

Now it looks like I'll have to run Win 7 on 2 GB.

Crucial says the MB will support 4GB. But spending about $135 (including shipping) for a solution that may still not work, to upgrade a 6 yr old system, doesn't make sense.

Each pair individually works fine. I'm currently using Clocker's RAM because it's faster. Mine are sitting on the desk.

Any ideas?

Thanks.
 

BingBangBop

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You have fast sticks and slow sticks so make sure the RAM bios settings (if you have the capability to change them) are manually set to the slowest speed allowable (rather than depend on Auto or the SPD values. i.e. DDR 333 (CAS 3-4-4-7). Also, you may consider trying to under-clock the RAM. Many MB's are very iffy when populating all four slots but if you give the timings extra slack it sometimes works.
 

mubs

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In case people didn't click the link, the motherboard is a DFI LANPARTY UT NF4 SLI-DR Expert.

Thanks BBB, but I'm lost as to how / where to do it. The options on this MB are binary: either you pick auto for everything, or there's a trillion options that are meaningless to me.

In case anybody has the patience to help me, I list them. The actual value currently set is shown first, and in parenthesis, the range of values available for that settting.

Thanks.

Code:
DRAM Frequency Set (MHz):      By DRAM SPD Value (100=RAM/FSB: 01/02 ... 250=RAM/FSB: 05/04)

Command Per Clock (CPC):       Auto (Enable, Disable)

CAS Latency Ctrl (Tcl):        Auto (1.0 ... 4.5)

RAS# to CAS# delay (Trcd):     Auto (00 Bus Clock ... 07 Bus Clocks)

Min RAS# active time (Tras):   Auto (00 Bus Clock ... 15 Bus Clocks)

Row Precharge Time (Trp):      Auto (00 Bus Clock ... 07 Bus Clocks)

Row Cycle Time (Trc):          Auto (07 Bus Clock ... 22 Bus Clocks)

Row refresh cycle time (Trfc): Auto (09 Bus Clock ... 24 Bus Clocks)

Row to Row delay (Trrd):       Auto (00 Bus Clock ... 07 Bus Clocks)

Write recovery time (Twr):     Auto (02 Bus clocks, 03 Bus clocks)

Write to Read delay (Twtr):    Auto (01 Bus clock, 02 Bus clocks)

Read to Write delay (Trtw):    Auto (01 Bus clock ... 08 Bus clocks)

Refresh period (Tref):         Auto (1552 cycles ...4708 cycles, 0128 cycles)

Odd Divisor Correct:           Disable (Enable)

DRAM Bank Interleave:          Enabled (Disabled)

DQS Skew Control:              Auto (Increase skew, Decrease skew)

DQS Skew Value:                0 (minimum 0, maximum 255)

Dram Drive strength:           Auto (Level 01 ... Level 15)

Dram Data Drive Strength:      Auto (Reduce by 0%, 15%, 30%, 50%)

Max Async Latency:             Auto (0 ns ... 15 ns)

Dram Response Time:            Fast (Slow, Normal, Fastest)

Read Preamble Time:            Auto (2 ns ... 9.5 ns)

IdleCycle Limit:               Auto (000 cycle ... 256 cycles)

Dynamic counter:               Auto (Enable, Disable)

R/W Queue Bypass:              Auto (2x, 4x, 8x, 16x)

Bypass Max:                    Auto (0x ... 7x)

32 Byte Granularity:           Auto (Disable {4 Bursts}, Enable {2 Bursts})
 

Mercutio

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I don't recall DFI motherboards as being exhaustively documented, but your board supports manually selecting a CAS latency of 4 or 4.5, and based on BBB's comments that might be a place to start.
 

MaxBurn

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Did you try to manually lock it to DDR-333 speeds?
 

mubs

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Merc, I don;t think setting CAS speed alone will help. There are more issues at play here.

Maxburn: I don;t know how to do that, unless you';re referring to the CAS setting alone.

Thanks BBB. I'll check them out. It appears that 4 sticks is a rarity on this board for obvious reasons - it is a nightmare to get it to work. So there are very, very few people using 4 sticks on this board. ALl of them seem to be using a custom bios modded by a hacker, which is no longer vailable for download, it looks like, since the board is quite old.

I'll play around with the settings in the links you provided and report back.

Thanks again.
 

MaxBurn

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It's a memory speed setting could be just a multiplier number. The goal is to get it down to 166MHz if it is running higher than that. The first setting you listed in the code comment.
 

mubs

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Thanks.

I spent *all* day yesterday googling. Found a thread where a guy got it running stable with 4 x 1GB dimms. Fortunately he posted his bios settings. Unfortunately, I don't know the specs of his RAM. This was in 2008.

I also downloaded some tools and printed out how my system treats each pair of dimms with respect to settings when all options are on auto. Taking the conservative number of the two pairs for each setting, plus considering the settings of my google find, is the setting I'm using for each option right now. I have only two dimms in place, but the system ran memtest fine and booted fine (using it right now).

Next step is to add the second pair of dimms and see what happens.

I think I can get it to eventually work. The problem is that this is my main machine with all my data (banking, etc.), and downtime hurts. I'm also getting too old to be doing this sh*t. The last time I spent this much time messing with things was overclocking the Celeron 300.
 

mubs

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Don't think it'll work. I got it to boot once with 4 dimms, but BIOS and memtest saw only two. Got into Windows, then hung.

Of the 4 slots / 2 banks it has, DFI explicitly recommends using only the orange bank. When I use only two dimms and put them in the yellow bank, system won't boot. With my pair, it does not even see RAM. With Clocker's, the BIOS info will display on the monitor, then the system hangs.

I played around with the settings a lot! The dimm slots are under the huge cpu heatsink, and it's a nightmare to put them in and take them off. There's hardly any clearance. I've already broken off three of the lock tabs that lock the dimm in the slot.

Kind of at an impasse now.
 

MaxBurn

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I don't know what to say if the memory isn't working at DDR-333/166Mhz. All the other details could be auto if you set the speed down to that manually, maybe hit the master BIOS reset to get everything back to default before manually setting the speed?

I don't remember reading a lot of good things about nforce and just recalled this thread I had.
http://www.storageforum.net/forum/showthread.php/5354-Having-USB-KVM-compatability-with-Nvidia-difficulty?highlight=nforce
I remember a friend had problems with certain disks not working on nforce as well. With failures in basic places that other chipsets got right I think everyone agreed that nvidia needs to stick to video.
IMO this is another example of wasting time with a bad product, personally I'd use it with the memory that works or replace it.
 
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