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Question Newly built Computer stopped sensing one memory stick, won't boot, reinstalled windows, and now the screen goes black when attempting to reinstall

jxchow

Junior Member
May 3, 2020
9
1
41
Hey all facing some issues with my computer not booting.

My specs are:

CPU: Ryzen 5 3600
Graphics Card: MSI AMD 5700 XT
MOBO: Msi B450I Gaming Plus AC Mobo
NVME SSD: ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 1 tb
Power Supply: Evga SuperNova 650W GM, 80 plus gold
Memory: Patriot Viper Steel 16GB 4000 Mhz Cl 19 b-die ram

For a run down of the issues:
1. Was rendering videos when I notice in task manager that only one of the 8 gb of ram is being detected (I have 2x 8 gb sticks). I shut down the computer properly and then attempt to reboot computer with only 1 stick at a time.
2. I reboot with 1 stick and it reboots and gives me an overclocking failure so I attempt to reset my ram back to defaults in the bios. Call this working stick of ram (RAM 1). So i assume the other stick may be fried?
3. Attempt to reboot with the "fried" stick (RAM 2), computer turns on but screen stays black. Can't go to BiOS at all. Also the VGA light on the mobo is stuck lit up. I use a MSI B450i AC Gaming Plus board with Ryzen 5 3600.
4. Then attempt to go back to using (RAM 1), the working ram stick), and boot up again. Screen stays black and can't go into bios. All the fans and lights are still on.
Attempt to reset the CMOS by shorting it out and removing battery. No luck.
5. Go to a friend's place and test my ram on his computer. The computer boots and senses both sticks of ram. We also run a memtest on the ram and no issues are found.
6. I need the files on my nvme ssd and I try and put it into my friend's computer. The friend's computer doesn't turn on even when we have another ssd being used as the boot drive and not mine. Put my nvme ssd as a secondary drive into another computer my friend owns, now I can boot up that computer and pull the files off of it.
7. Now back to my computer, I put my nvme 1 tb ssd back into mine with a different set of ram. The computer boots up and says the BIOS has been reset. However when I try to boot up past the bios, the screen goes black but the pc remains on.
8. I attempt to reinstall windows from a usb drive. During the set up of a clean install of windows, (part where you select language, keyboard layout, country, login to microsoft account etc), the screen goes black and the pc remains on. None of the debug lights are on in the mobo.

Now, I'm stuck here and cannot get past this clean install of windows. I don't think it is a ram issue nor a GPU issue since it was able to reach the windows set up screen. Any ideas on how to fix this or what the issue may be? Thank you all!
 

Mike_R

Junior Member
May 3, 2020
7
1
36
I'll say this to start: it sounds tough and I doubt I have an answer for you, but I have a thought on the problem. Or two. Maybe more, we'll see:
1. Your RAM is probably good since it checks out on your friend's machine.
2. The video goes out, but it's intermittent. The VGA light went on one of the times you booted up. This gives me a clue that it's possibly the video card. Can you swap out for a different one or try yours in your friend's machine? That would likely be my next step in your boots. If the video card checks out fine, it could be something motherboard related, or maybe cpu? Have you been able to check the temps in bios?
3. The SSD thing is weird. The running system all of a sudden having a stick of RAM drop out is weird. Weird in my experience has been caused by motherboard or cpu.

Really, all you can do is swap components out to a known good system to figure out what's working and what isn't. If everything else checks out, the motherboard must be the culprit. How long was this system running when you noticed a problem?
 

jxchow

Junior Member
May 3, 2020
9
1
41
I'll say this to start: it sounds tough and I doubt I have an answer for you, but I have a thought on the problem. Or two. Maybe more, we'll see:
1. Your RAM is probably good since it checks out on your friend's machine.
2. The video goes out, but it's intermittent. The VGA light went on one of the times you booted up. This gives me a clue that it's possibly the video card. Can you swap out for a different one or try yours in your friend's machine? That would likely be my next step in your boots. If the video card checks out fine, it could be something motherboard related, or maybe cpu? Have you been able to check the temps in bios?
3. The SSD thing is weird. The running system all of a sudden having a stick of RAM drop out is weird. Weird in my experience has been caused by motherboard or cpu.

Really, all you can do is swap components out to a known good system to figure out what's working and what isn't. If everything else checks out, the motherboard must be the culprit. How long was this system running when you noticed a problem?
Hm I unfortunately don't have a spare GPU at the moment, but I can potentially try it out on a friend's computer. I have been using this computer for a little less than 2 weeks. Worked fine before that. I have bought the GPU new and the Mobo refurbished so I am leaning towards it being the mobo? Would a faulty mobo also cause a ram stick not to be sensed? Thanks for the reply!
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
14,000
4,624
146
I have bought the GPU new and the Mobo refurbished so I am leaning towards it being the mobo? Would a faulty mobo also cause a ram stick not to be sensed?
I generally avoid refurb motherboards, but some users (like VirtualLarry) have had luck with them. They are responsible for a lot of things, so I generally don't trust them if they've failed and have been repaired.

That said, a motherboard can absolutely have DIMM slot issues. And if it does, it can easily cause the issues you have experienced.
 
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jxchow

Junior Member
May 3, 2020
9
1
41
I generally avoid refurb motherboards, but some users (like VirtualLarry) have had luck with them. They are responsible for a lot of things, so I generally don't trust them if they've failed and have been repaired.

That said, a motherboard can absolutely have DIMM slot issues. And if it does, it can easily cause the issues you have experienced.
Got it, I guess my steps will be to test if the GPU is still functional on my friend's computer and if it is, then it is likely my mobo. Super appreciate the help!
 
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Mike_R

Junior Member
May 3, 2020
7
1
36
Man, it's been so long since I built a computer I forgot - are there still bios beep codes to help diagnose this?
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
14,000
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UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
14,000
4,624
146
I am not sure, I haven't heard any beeps? How do I enable it on my specific mobo?
Your particular board has "EZ Debug LED" lights on page 34 of the manual which would be used instead of relying on a speaker.

Here's the screen shot of what and where it is:

5.jpg
 
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jxchow

Junior Member
May 3, 2020
9
1
41
Your particular board has "EZ Debug LED" lights on page 34 of the manual which would be used instead of relying on a speaker.
Ah yes. The light was originally stuck on VGA but now no lights turn on when the PC boots and then randomly switches off.
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
14,000
4,624
146
Ah yes. The light was originally stuck on VGA but now no lights turn on when the PC boots and then randomly switches off.
Yeah, check the GPU next like you said, and see if it your problem.

If it checks out OK, the issue is either going to be the motherboard (or much less likely the CPU).
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,097
5,880
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I generally avoid refurb motherboards, but some users (like VirtualLarry) have had luck with them.
My luck with refurb mobos has been a bit hit or miss. Mostly good, with the occasional issue.

I bought four Gigabyte X370 Gaming ATX mobos. The first one, I was mining on and overclocking. The primary GPU slot went out. (Thought it was the GPU, but it worked in the secondary slot.)

I've still got one other one working (not overclocked), as well as in a friend's PC. (Although, we also both have the same model kit of GSkill DDR4-3000 2x8GB RAM, and it runs just peachy in mine @ XMP settings @ 3000, and won't boot at XMP in his, and resets to 2133 after three failed boot attempts, and another POST beep after a reset. Haven't figured that problem out. I have a 1600 "AE" in mine, he has a 1200 in his, that was overclocked, when his prior board died.)

I just sold the last one to a member here, and he said that it's up and running OK. (I told him ahead of time it was a refurb, and I priced it right. Hopefully it keeps working like mine is, I offered a 30-day non-DOA limited warranty on it.)

I've also bought brand-new mobos, like the one in my main PC, an Asus B450-F ROG STRIX Gaming ATX board, which is IMHO "Great", but it burned out a 10GbE-T Asus NIC in the bottom-most PCI-E slot, and then it burned out the onboard 1GbE-T Intel NIC too a week later. Bad luck? Ground loop? I have no idea. Thankfully, PCI-E x1 2.5GbE-T RealTek NICs from China are or were cheap, before the "human malware" hit, so I stocked up on a few of those. Also, you can get CableMAtters or Cable Creations 2.5GbE-T NICs with RealTek USB3.0 chipsets for $30 @ Amazon. So I'm not too bothered by it overall. Just a minor hassle. Not as bad as a whole slot going out.

Note that I particularly prefer "mfg refurbs", to "seller refurbs", and "used, in good condition", sometimes to "seller refurbs".

I bought a refurb 1440P Acer monitor, turns out it was "seller refurbished", and it had lines through it, then I bumped it and it didn't, then I bumped it again and it did, and then I bumped it and it didn't. Weird stuff. I gave that monitor and a "HP Power Gaming PC" to a buddy for his kids. If they bump the monitor the "wrong way", I guess they can trash it and replace it, it was free after all. (I paid like $110 for it, I think, which was a pretty fair price for a refurb 25" or 27" 1440P display, I thought.)

Wouldn't buy any future refurb PSUs, though. That seems like just asking for trouble.

Refurb routers on the other hand, I have VERY good luck with. The worst was an Asus AC68U-family one, that was a refurb from Newegg, with a bad power brick. Bought a new replacement power brick off of ebay for $20, back in business. Those routers really never quit, they are great. Occasionally, I'll get some drop-out on the 2.4Ghz band or whatnot, and maybe that's down to the refurb condition, but on the whole, they work great for me, especially with 3rd-party firmware, and they were around half the price of new. (IF you can even get them "New" any more, that is.)

Edit: Sometimes I get lucky, like when I bought "open-box" 1TB Intel 660p NVMe SSDs, they were still in sealed boxes from Newegg. Apparently, customer purchased, returned for whatever reason, and never opened them? Saved me a good chunk of change, I've got both of them running in RAID-0 (2TB!) on my main rig here.

If I had it to do over again, I would have just purchased a 2TB EX950 NVMe SSD instead, but that was a bit more expensive than what I paid. I paid like $168 + tax for both of mine combined. Try getting a 2TB NVMe capable of 3200MB/sec read and 3000MB/sec write for that price. Yeah, that's what I'm talking about.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,097
5,880
126
Man, it's been so long since I built a computer I forgot - are there still bios beep codes to help diagnose this?
There should be. But most boards these days have "diag LEDs", four LEDs, one for "boot", "VGA", "RAM", "CPU", to help show errors. Also some really deluxe mobos include the dual-digit POST code readouts, and then display the CPU temp after boot is successful. I love that feature, but it's becoming more rare, even on more "deluxe" (read, over $200 mobos, X570 I'm looking at you), instead, mobo maker put RGB and even little mini LCD/OLED displays on the chipset heatsink and I/O shield cowl.
 

jxchow

Junior Member
May 3, 2020
9
1
41
Yeah, check the GPU next like you said, and see if it your problem.

If it checks out OK, the issue is either going to be the motherboard (or much less likely the CPU).
GPU ended up being clean and functional on my friend's pc after running a stress test. Going to RMA the motherboard. Do you recommend also RMAing the CPU while I'm at it? (bought the CPU new off Newegg so should still be under warranty)
 

Meghan54

Diamond Member
Oct 18, 2009
9,675
2,519
136
GPU ended up being clean and functional on my friend's pc after running a stress test. Going to RMA the motherboard. Do you recommend also RMAing the CPU while I'm at it? (bought the CPU new off Newegg so should still be under warranty)

One change at a time.
 

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