I have been building PCs for 10 years. I basically never had anything arrive DOA or even fail after years of use. Only thing I ever had to RMA has been hard drives.
That was until six months ago. Since then, I have had bad SATA ports on new mobos, RAM arriving inop, bad SAS cables, flaky backplanes, you name it.
Over the weekend I assembled a machine for my neighbor. Asus B85 Vanguard mobo, 4 sticks of Crucial Ballistix RAM, Pentium processor.
No POST on first power on. DRAM LED lights up red. Okay, remove all four sticks. Stick #1
in slot 1 - system in power cycle loop = bad stick.
, 3 or 4 in slot 1 - system runs fine. So those sticks are good.
Any combination of sticks #2
-4 in slots 1 and 2 - system runs fine.
Any stick(s) in slot 3 and/or 4 - no POST, red DRAM LED.
So we have one bad memory module and two RAM slots inop. Great.
Went to local store (above gear came from Amazon) and bought a new identical motherboard and 2x4 GB of Kingston Hyper-X RAM. Transferred CPU to new board.
Result: No POST, red DRAM LED, with the new mobo, with every combination of Ballistix and/or Hyper-X memory. This board flatly refused to work.
So back with the CPU onto the first board, which boots fine with any 2 sticks of either RAM brand (except the dead Ballistix one) in slots 1 and 2. But slots 3 and 4 are dead.
So I can leave it there and run with two RAM sticks in single channel mode, or RMA the board to Amazon. But how do I know a third board will work?
Of course the CPU could be flaky as well, but why different symptoms on two identical motherboards?
And no, I haven't bent any pins in the 1150 socket(s).
Have I just had bad luck with the parts? Or have I made two slightly different versions of some obscure mistake in the same day?