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Semaj

Laptop won't boot with 2 ram slots used. Is my 2nd ram slot broken?

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I'm sorry for making another topic. I just think there's a lot of knowledge regarding Dell here and despite my experience in ICT I don't understand this at all.

 

Currently the laptop has 1x 4GB, it came like that from Dell. I wanted to place 2x 2GB as dual channel might improve performance. Somehow the bottom slot isn't working at all.

 

- 1x 4GB in top slot: laptop boots

- 1x 4GB in bottom slot: laptop gives me 2 solid and one blinking led which according to the manual means "the memory modules are detected but has encountered an error"

- 1x 2GB in top slot: laptop boots

- 1x 2GB in bottom slot same blinking error code as above

- 2x 2GB occupying both slots, same error code

- no ram at all, different error code indicating no ram was found

 

If it was just the ram slot being broken it shouldn't give me the memory models detected error code right? It should give me the no memory installed error instead. Yet with any combination of ram sticks the laptop won't boot as soon as the bottom slot is used. How is this even possible? And if the slot is actually broken it means Dell has never even tested the 2nd slot cuz it has never been used since it was bought. 

 

I hope the speed gain running dual channel vs. single channel isn't that much cuz I also have some 8GB sticks laying about. 16GB dual channel would be so nice but impossible as of now. I can't run 2 sticks of ram at all in this laptop. 

 

Anyone have a clue what's happening and how to sort this out? 

 

I did check the pins of the slot and they all seem fine. I also cleaned it with some alcohol but to no avail. 

 

Update:

Took the whole laptop apart to check the motherboard, all seems fine and nothing indicating the slot itself is broken, yet my ram modules are all just fine too. Guess I got a lemon where the 2nd ram slot is broken, never worked and never tested by Dell. Kind of annoying but nothing I can do other than buying a new motherboard for it which isn't worth the time or money.

Edited by Semaj

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Good tip, thanks. Running the latest bios on it, but I will try to downgrade and see if it helps.

 

Update:

Downgraded to A08 and then upgrade to A15 but none of them makes the bottom ram slot work so I'm back at A20. I wonder if there's a way to get details about the exact "error" the laptop sees. The blinking pattern means there was ram detected but I have no clue how to get details like some (debug) log. But maybe the slot is just dodgy or broken after all. 

 

Update2:

The ram slot works if I push down the module a bit while turning it on. So it's dodgy and can work. Guess I need to dust off my soldering iron or place something between the two sticks so the bottom one gets pushed down enough. Progress lol.

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well make sure the slot is clean and the ram contacts as well. you can use a pencil eraser to clean the ram contacts as for the slot make sure the spring clips are locking onto the ram card properly and use a can of compressed air to make sure there isn't any dust bunnies in the corners of the slot preventing the ram from being fully seated it might be slightly cocked preventing the retainer clip from fully locking it in.

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Those are some great suggestions again, thanks. I did check the brackets and they seem to seat it properly, I will try the others too. It only takes a tiny bit of force to the module work. A piece of cardboard in between them also works, but it's not stable enough. Tried that. Ran some benchmarks to see if dual channel is faster in Geekbench. Only got about 400 points more with dual channel. Ran the benchmarks a few times to make sure. The speed difference (at least in Geekbench) is not that much. 

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