Bad RAM or BIOS problem? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 09-17-2013, 02:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Short version - every so often I’ve noticed my HTPC has re-booted. Once it displayed a black boot screen when I turned on the TV. More info is here:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1404685/cheapest-ever-htpc-thats-decent-proud-of-myself/630#post_22243252

The Event Logs always said unexpected shutdown but there was never any cause stated, such as HDD, RAM, etc. I’ve run a few HDD tests & they were always OK. I finally did a couple RAM tests & got errors.

I’m using G.Skill 2 x 2GB RAM (4GB total) sticks & they give errors if both used no matter which stick in which slot. Individually there are no errors no matter which slot is used.

My HP desktop just happens to use the same exact spec RAM. So I tried these in the HTPC and they work no matter which configuration I use them in.

And the HTPC G.Skill RAM works in the HP desktop no matter how configured.

There’s obviously some compatibility problem using the G.Skill RAM in the HTPC. But is it a RAM problem or a BIOS problem? I’ve never updated the BIOS because the manufacturer’s website says not to unless you have a problem. Well I have a problem but I don’t know if it’s BIOS problem.

Is there a consensus of opinion if I should warranty the RAM or update the BIOS?
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post #2 of 11 Old 09-17-2013, 05:38 AM
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I'd update the bios and test again. If it fails then RMA the ram. The Ram is likely newer than you bios so sometimes these things clear themselves up with a bios update.

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post #3 of 11 Old 09-17-2013, 05:50 AM
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What came 1st, the chicken or the egg?

If you are comfortable with flashing the BIOS, I would say to do it.
Looking at the ECS website, I can't tell if there is an available windows tool (GUI) to allow the flashing to be done within windows, to make it easier/safer.

Flashing the BIOS nowadays is much simpler than in the past.

After that, check to ensure your chipset divers are up to date as well.

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post #4 of 11 Old 09-17-2013, 06:02 AM
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I think flashing bios is a good idea. Since you have the same ram in another system and you can test alternate ram, or the same ram in another PC it makes me think its a compatibility problem.

Plus your issue is only dual channel right ? Both sticks only? Not single sticks?

The H61 chipset in your board was not a great memory controller and its cheaper and older than the z68 or newer 77 chipsets. It's the original value chipset for socket 1155 long before Ivy bridge was born. It was almost obsolete when you bought it.

Not beating on your mobo ^ to be mean biggrin.gif. My point is your ram is newer. You probably need a bios update for compatibility.

If the ram still doesn't work it might just be incompatible but its also likely neither your ram or board are defective.

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post #5 of 11 Old 09-18-2013, 02:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiley165 View Post

What came 1st, the chicken or the egg?

If you are comfortable with flashing the BIOS, I would say to do it.
Looking at the ECS website, I can't tell if there is an available windows tool (GUI) to allow the flashing to be done within windows, to make it easier/safer.

Flashing the BIOS nowadays is much simpler than in the past.

After that, check to ensure your chipset divers are up to date as well.

I've never flashed BIOS because I've never needed to. I'll have to look into how easy/safe it is to do for my mobo.
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post #6 of 11 Old 09-18-2013, 02:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I think flashing bios is a good idea. Since you have the same ram in another system and you can test alternate ram, or the same ram in another PC it makes me think its a compatibility problem.

Plus your issue is only dual channel right ? Both sticks only? Not single sticks?

The H61 chipset in your board was not a great memory controller and its cheaper and older than the z68 or newer 77 chipsets. It's the original value chipset for socket 1155 long before Ivy bridge was born. It was almost obsolete when you bought it.

Not beating on your mobo ^ to be mean biggrin.gif. My point is your ram is newer. You probably need a bios update for compatibility.

If the ram still doesn't work it might just be incompatible but its also likely neither your ram or board are defective.

Yes problem is only when using both slots/channels & both sticks.

The G.Skill RAM is probably newer than the mobo chipset & BIOS, FWIW the RAM that I pulled out of the HP desktop is a couple years old & works in the HTPC.
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post #7 of 11 Old 09-18-2013, 02:36 AM - Thread Starter
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I emailed ECS if they knew of any incompatibility with some RAM & their BIOS. This is their reply.

“If you BIOS version is "2/11/2010" that BIOS is really old and need to be updated.
Please make sure to upgrade BIOS from oldest to newest one by one.
First try to upgrade BIOS using the BIOS provided on the following link:
http://www.ecs.com.tw/extra/22nmcpu/index.html

Then you can update to Version 09/07/2012 (2012/10/17 released) provided on the following link:
http://www.ecs.com.tw/ECSWebSite/Product/Product_Detail.aspx?DetailID=1228&CategoryID=1&MenuID=103&LanID=0#fragment-Download

It is possible that your issue is related to the BIOS.”

ECS says I should update the BIOS because it is old. But their 2nd link states “Do not update the BIOS if the system is running fine. Unsuccessful BIOS flash may cause the system fails to boot up. The manufacturer is not responsible for any BIOS flash failure.”

If I select my OS in that 2nd link it brings up 2 BIOS updates. One for Ivy Bridge which does not apply to me. The second is Version 09/07/2012 which is what ECS recommended, however it says for Windows 8 & I don’t know if that will cause my Win7 system any problems.

I’ve never had to update BIOS & am a little bit concerned about having an unsuccessful BIOS flash & bricking the HTPC.

Both PCS are running fine since I’ve swapped RAM almost 2 months ago. I do like to tinker & experiment but sometimes I agree with “if it ain't broke, don't fix it”. I've read through the ECS BIOS flashing instructions but will have to do so again to see if I want to go down that path. The fall TV shows are starting back up & I've really gotten used to having the HTPC handle some of the recording load. I'd really miss it if I screwed up the BIOS.
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post #8 of 11 Old 09-18-2013, 05:30 AM
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I flashed bios on that board and it worked fine biggrin.gif

I believe you got the $34 deal or $25 AR deal on that motherboard the same time I did.

If swapping ram fixes your problem that's good too. Otherwise flash away. I had occasional BSOD on mine that flashing BIOS seems to have fixed. it's just an office PC so no clue what the issue was it had no cards installed.

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post #9 of 11 Old 09-18-2013, 08:02 AM
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Is it really necessary to go one by one? Shouldn't all the previous updates continue to be on the newer versions? Just wondering.
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post #10 of 11 Old 09-19-2013, 04:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I flashed bios on that board and it worked fine biggrin.gif

I believe you got the $34 deal or $25 AR deal on that motherboard the same time I did.

If swapping ram fixes your problem that's good too. Otherwise flash away. I had occasional BSOD on mine that flashing BIOS seems to have fixed. it's just an office PC so no clue what the issue was it had no cards installed.

I got it for $25 AR.

ECS mentioned two updates. Their first link lists CPU EVO files for update version 03/06/2012 and says when finished the mobo will support both Sandy Bridge & Ivy Bridge.

They said to then update to Version 09/07/2012 (2012/10/17 released) & provided the second link. This says for supporting Windows8 OS.

The second link also lists update Version 01/04/2013 (2013/01/04 released) which says is for “1. Support New Intel P0 Ivy Bridge CPU”. ECS did not mention to do this update.

Do you recall which update(s) you did?
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post #11 of 11 Old 09-19-2013, 05:28 AM
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Probably the middle one it was a year ago ...

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