Memory Bank Failure Question

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Boris, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. Boris

    Boris Guest

    My son's E520, Win7HP (originally Vista, then clean custom installed
    Win7HP using Win7 Upgrade DVD in Nov. 2010...all legit) , 2GB RAM, had
    been intermittently going blue screen with memory dumps scrolling down
    the screen, for about a week. Last night, it was more or less continuous
    on every reboot.

    The front panel diagnostic lights, page 47 of the Owner's Manual, did not
    show any problems.

    Owner's Manual:
    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dime520/en/OM_en/NH730A01.p
    df

    A Safe Mode boot worked intermittently, but would crash in a minute or so
    after reaching the desktop. I finally got a stable desktop with a normal
    boot, and put the Win7 Upgrade DVD in the DVD drive. I ran setup.exe
    from that drive, and did a custom install of Win7. The machine even
    spent an hour doing Window Updates, and started to work fine again, no
    crashes. But ten minutes later, memory dumps began.

    Now, a 1-3 diagnostic front panel light combination appeared, and
    indicated "Memory modules are detected, but a memory configuration or
    compatibility error has occurred"

    Memory connectors 1 and 3 are occupied with the original dell shipped 1GB
    RAM sticks each, totaling 2GB. In the picture on page 68, these are the
    memory connectors with the white connecting tabs.

    Per page 68:
    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dime520/en/OM_en/NH730A01.p
    df

    I removed one stick at a time, and each one worked independantly in
    connector 1. If I installed both, one in 1, and one in 3, I got the 1-3
    error lights. This indicated to me that the memory modules were ok, but
    the memory connector 3 was bad.

    Question:
    Do memory connectors 1 and 3, both, have to be occupied before installing
    any memory in connectors 2 and 4? I could have just tried last night,
    but didn't think of this until now.

    Any other comments?

    I also have an E510, which is nearly identical to the E520, except that
    the E520 has SATA optical connectors, can use the next fastest RAM, and
    has the next level Intel chipset.
     
    Boris, Oct 7, 2011
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. On 10/7/2011 12:01 PM, Boris wrote:
    > My son's E520, Win7HP (originally Vista, then clean custom installed
    > Win7HP using Win7 Upgrade DVD in Nov. 2010...all legit) , 2GB RAM, had
    > been intermittently going blue screen with memory dumps scrolling down
    > the screen, for about a week. Last night, it was more or less continuous
    > on every reboot.
    >
    > The front panel diagnostic lights, page 47 of the Owner's Manual, did not
    > show any problems.
    >
    > Owner's Manual:
    > http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dime520/en/OM_en/NH730A01.p
    > df
    >
    > A Safe Mode boot worked intermittently, but would crash in a minute or so
    > after reaching the desktop. I finally got a stable desktop with a normal
    > boot, and put the Win7 Upgrade DVD in the DVD drive. I ran setup.exe
    > from that drive, and did a custom install of Win7. The machine even
    > spent an hour doing Window Updates, and started to work fine again, no
    > crashes. But ten minutes later, memory dumps began.
    >
    > Now, a 1-3 diagnostic front panel light combination appeared, and
    > indicated "Memory modules are detected, but a memory configuration or
    > compatibility error has occurred"
    >
    > Memory connectors 1 and 3 are occupied with the original dell shipped 1GB
    > RAM sticks each, totaling 2GB. In the picture on page 68, these are the
    > memory connectors with the white connecting tabs.
    >
    > Per page 68:
    > http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dime520/en/OM_en/NH730A01.p
    > df
    >
    > I removed one stick at a time, and each one worked independantly in
    > connector 1. If I installed both, one in 1, and one in 3, I got the 1-3
    > error lights. This indicated to me that the memory modules were ok, but
    > the memory connector 3 was bad.
    >
    > Question:
    > Do memory connectors 1 and 3, both, have to be occupied before installing
    > any memory in connectors 2 and 4? I could have just tried last night,
    > but didn't think of this until now.
    >
    > Any other comments?
    >
    > I also have an E510, which is nearly identical to the E520, except that
    > the E520 has SATA optical connectors, can use the next fastest RAM, and
    > has the next level Intel chipset.


    i would suggest that your first try to remove and reinstall the two
    existing memory modules. if you still experience the problem then you
    should try just one of the two modules at a time to see if one or both
    demonstrate the bad behavior (helping to identify if a module is bad).
    if both then you could trying one module at a time using alternate
    memory socket (to try to identify if a socket is bad). and yes, you
    could try alternatively use the memory from the e510 in the e520 to see
    if the problem is with the memory. you can use any single memory socket
    or combination of sockets, but for optimal performance matching modules
    should be installed in paired sockets as this enables dual channel mode
    (simultaneous read/write operations to two modules simultaneously
    resulting in some performance enhancement).
     
    Christopher Muto, Oct 8, 2011
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Boris

    Boris Guest

    Christopher Muto <> wrote in
    news::

    > On 10/7/2011 12:01 PM, Boris wrote:
    >> My son's E520, Win7HP (originally Vista, then clean custom installed
    >> Win7HP using Win7 Upgrade DVD in Nov. 2010...all legit) , 2GB RAM,
    >> had been intermittently going blue screen with memory dumps scrolling
    >> down the screen, for about a week. Last night, it was more or less
    >> continuous on every reboot.
    >>
    >> The front panel diagnostic lights, page 47 of the Owner's Manual, did
    >> not show any problems.
    >>
    >> Owner's Manual:
    >> http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dime520/en/OM_en/NH730A0
    >> 1.p df
    >>
    >> A Safe Mode boot worked intermittently, but would crash in a minute
    >> or so after reaching the desktop. I finally got a stable desktop
    >> with a normal boot, and put the Win7 Upgrade DVD in the DVD drive. I
    >> ran setup.exe from that drive, and did a custom install of Win7. The
    >> machine even spent an hour doing Window Updates, and started to work
    >> fine again, no crashes. But ten minutes later, memory dumps began.
    >>
    >> Now, a 1-3 diagnostic front panel light combination appeared, and
    >> indicated "Memory modules are detected, but a memory configuration or
    >> compatibility error has occurred"
    >>
    >> Memory connectors 1 and 3 are occupied with the original dell shipped
    >> 1GB RAM sticks each, totaling 2GB. In the picture on page 68, these
    >> are the memory connectors with the white connecting tabs.
    >>
    >> Per page 68:
    >> http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dime520/en/OM_en/NH730A0
    >> 1.p df
    >>
    >> I removed one stick at a time, and each one worked independantly in
    >> connector 1. If I installed both, one in 1, and one in 3, I got the
    >> 1-3 error lights. This indicated to me that the memory modules were
    >> ok, but the memory connector 3 was bad.
    >>
    >> Question:
    >> Do memory connectors 1 and 3, both, have to be occupied before
    >> installing any memory in connectors 2 and 4? I could have just tried
    >> last night, but didn't think of this until now.
    >>
    >> Any other comments?
    >>
    >> I also have an E510, which is nearly identical to the E520, except
    >> that the E520 has SATA optical connectors, can use the next fastest
    >> RAM, and has the next level Intel chipset.

    >
    > i would suggest that your first try to remove and reinstall the two
    > existing memory modules. if you still experience the problem then you
    > should try just one of the two modules at a time to see if one or both
    > demonstrate the bad behavior (helping to identify if a module is bad).
    > if both then you could trying one module at a time using alternate
    > memory socket (to try to identify if a socket is bad). and yes, you
    > could try alternatively use the memory from the e510 in the e520 to
    > see if the problem is with the memory. you can use any single memory
    > socket or combination of sockets, but for optimal performance matching
    > modules should be installed in paired sockets as this enables dual
    > channel mode (simultaneous read/write operations to two modules
    > simultaneously resulting in some performance enhancement).
    >


    Hi, Christopher,

    I did just at you suggested. I determined that both e520 modules were
    good by using them independently in socket 1. When either module is
    placed in socket 3, I get the 1-3 indicator light error, indicating
    memory error. I also placed the e520 modules in the e510, and they also
    work fine there.

    But, even though socket 1 on the e520 shows ok, and I put known good
    memory in this socket, sometimes the machine still will not start. When
    the power cord is plugged into the back of the machine, the system fan
    spins extremely fast, and all I get is a black screen, and I can't hear
    any POST activity. If I unplug the power cord, and keep trying,
    sometimes it will start. Also, if I put known good memory in sockets 2
    and/or 4, the same thing happens...fan runs really fast and gives black
    screen, AND I get the 1-3 indicator light error.

    When I did a Win7 clean install on the e520, I was not asked to
    format/partition, etc. I wonder if I have a bad boot record.

    This thing has got me stumped. Now I'm wondering about an intermittent
    power supply problem. Guess I could swap the e510 ps with the e520 ps,
    but I'm getting tired of this, and I don't really need the e520 now.

    Finally, I'm wondering if this is indeed a socket problem on the e520,
    what do I eventually do with the machine. I like the machine, and I hate
    to junk it. New mb? Is it worth it?
     
    Boris, Oct 9, 2011
    #3
  4. Boris

    dg1261 Guest

    Boris <> wrote in
    news:Xns9F7980A72BDEDnospamnospaminvalid@46.4.102.18:

    > Finally, I'm wondering if this is indeed a socket problem on
    > the e520, what do I eventually do with the machine. I like the
    > machine, and I hate to junk it. New mb? Is it worth it?



    The E520 was one of the short-lived models using a BTX form factor, in
    which the mobo is anchored to the opposite side (the right side when viewed
    from the rear). Finding a replacement mobo is extremely difficult and
    expensive. If you can find one at all, it may cost more than buying a new
    computer.
     
    dg1261, Oct 9, 2011
    #4
  5. Boris

    dg1261 Guest

    One other thought is bad capacitors. They could cause that kind of
    symptoms, and there was a big lawsuit over Optiplex models with that
    problem. I've seen a handful of mid-decade Dells with bad caps, but I
    think the E520 models may have shipped after the bad-cap supply chain was
    remediated.
     
    dg1261, Oct 9, 2011
    #5
  6. Boris

    Boris Guest

    dg1261 <> wrote in
    news:Xns9F798A8267612dgREMOVETHIS1261csco@88.198.244.100:

    > One other thought is bad capacitors. They could cause that kind of
    > symptoms, and there was a big lawsuit over Optiplex models with that
    > problem. I've seen a handful of mid-decade Dells with bad caps, but I
    > think the E520 models may have shipped after the bad-cap supply chain
    > was remediated.
    >
    >
    >


    Hmmm...

    http://tinyurl.com/44qzopz
     
    Boris, Oct 10, 2011
    #6
  7. On 10/9/2011 3:38 PM, Boris wrote:
    > Christopher Muto<> wrote in
    > news::
    >
    >> On 10/7/2011 12:01 PM, Boris wrote:
    >>> My son's E520, Win7HP (originally Vista, then clean custom installed
    >>> Win7HP using Win7 Upgrade DVD in Nov. 2010...all legit) , 2GB RAM,
    >>> had been intermittently going blue screen with memory dumps scrolling
    >>> down the screen, for about a week. Last night, it was more or less
    >>> continuous on every reboot.
    >>>
    >>> The front panel diagnostic lights, page 47 of the Owner's Manual, did
    >>> not show any problems.
    >>>
    >>> Owner's Manual:
    >>> http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dime520/en/OM_en/NH730A0
    >>> 1.p df
    >>>
    >>> A Safe Mode boot worked intermittently, but would crash in a minute
    >>> or so after reaching the desktop. I finally got a stable desktop
    >>> with a normal boot, and put the Win7 Upgrade DVD in the DVD drive. I
    >>> ran setup.exe from that drive, and did a custom install of Win7. The
    >>> machine even spent an hour doing Window Updates, and started to work
    >>> fine again, no crashes. But ten minutes later, memory dumps began.
    >>>
    >>> Now, a 1-3 diagnostic front panel light combination appeared, and
    >>> indicated "Memory modules are detected, but a memory configuration or
    >>> compatibility error has occurred"
    >>>
    >>> Memory connectors 1 and 3 are occupied with the original dell shipped
    >>> 1GB RAM sticks each, totaling 2GB. In the picture on page 68, these
    >>> are the memory connectors with the white connecting tabs.
    >>>
    >>> Per page 68:
    >>> http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dime520/en/OM_en/NH730A0
    >>> 1.p df
    >>>
    >>> I removed one stick at a time, and each one worked independantly in
    >>> connector 1. If I installed both, one in 1, and one in 3, I got the
    >>> 1-3 error lights. This indicated to me that the memory modules were
    >>> ok, but the memory connector 3 was bad.
    >>>
    >>> Question:
    >>> Do memory connectors 1 and 3, both, have to be occupied before
    >>> installing any memory in connectors 2 and 4? I could have just tried
    >>> last night, but didn't think of this until now.
    >>>
    >>> Any other comments?
    >>>
    >>> I also have an E510, which is nearly identical to the E520, except
    >>> that the E520 has SATA optical connectors, can use the next fastest
    >>> RAM, and has the next level Intel chipset.

    >>
    >> i would suggest that your first try to remove and reinstall the two
    >> existing memory modules. if you still experience the problem then you
    >> should try just one of the two modules at a time to see if one or both
    >> demonstrate the bad behavior (helping to identify if a module is bad).
    >> if both then you could trying one module at a time using alternate
    >> memory socket (to try to identify if a socket is bad). and yes, you
    >> could try alternatively use the memory from the e510 in the e520 to
    >> see if the problem is with the memory. you can use any single memory
    >> socket or combination of sockets, but for optimal performance matching
    >> modules should be installed in paired sockets as this enables dual
    >> channel mode (simultaneous read/write operations to two modules
    >> simultaneously resulting in some performance enhancement).
    >>

    >
    > Hi, Christopher,
    >
    > I did just at you suggested. I determined that both e520 modules were
    > good by using them independently in socket 1. When either module is
    > placed in socket 3, I get the 1-3 indicator light error, indicating
    > memory error. I also placed the e520 modules in the e510, and they also
    > work fine there.
    >
    > But, even though socket 1 on the e520 shows ok, and I put known good
    > memory in this socket, sometimes the machine still will not start. When
    > the power cord is plugged into the back of the machine, the system fan
    > spins extremely fast, and all I get is a black screen, and I can't hear
    > any POST activity. If I unplug the power cord, and keep trying,
    > sometimes it will start. Also, if I put known good memory in sockets 2
    > and/or 4, the same thing happens...fan runs really fast and gives black
    > screen, AND I get the 1-3 indicator light error.
    >
    > When I did a Win7 clean install on the e520, I was not asked to
    > format/partition, etc. I wonder if I have a bad boot record.
    >
    > This thing has got me stumped. Now I'm wondering about an intermittent
    > power supply problem. Guess I could swap the e510 ps with the e520 ps,
    > but I'm getting tired of this, and I don't really need the e520 now.
    >
    > Finally, I'm wondering if this is indeed a socket problem on the e520,
    > what do I eventually do with the machine. I like the machine, and I hate
    > to junk it. New mb? Is it worth it?


    so you have determined that your motherboard has a bad memory socket.
    this is a hardware problem that has nothing to do with the software
    installed on the machine. the fan usually operates momentarily at high
    speed as part of the power on self test (post) but since the machine is
    often failing the power on self test it seems to get stuck at a point
    where the fan is running at the high speed instead of the normal slower
    speed. you can keep using your machine with just the one memory module
    installed (without anything installed in the bad socket). that of
    course would mean having less memory but it is better to have less
    memory and a working computer than more memory and an unreliable
    computer. and depending on what size modules that you have you may be
    able to get a single large memory module that provides the same total
    memory as your two original modules provided. of course you could also
    look into replacing the motherboard but your money is probably better
    spent on an entirely new system.
     
    Christopher Muto, Oct 10, 2011
    #7
  8. Boris

    Boris Guest

    Christopher Muto <> wrote in
    news::

    > On 10/9/2011 3:38 PM, Boris wrote:
    >> Christopher Muto<> wrote in
    >> news::
    >>
    >>> On 10/7/2011 12:01 PM, Boris wrote:
    >>>> My son's E520, Win7HP (originally Vista, then clean custom
    >>>> installed Win7HP using Win7 Upgrade DVD in Nov. 2010...all legit) ,
    >>>> 2GB RAM, had been intermittently going blue screen with memory
    >>>> dumps scrolling down the screen, for about a week. Last night, it
    >>>> was more or less continuous on every reboot.
    >>>>
    >>>> The front panel diagnostic lights, page 47 of the Owner's Manual,
    >>>> did not show any problems.
    >>>>
    >>>> Owner's Manual:
    >>>> http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dime520/en/OM_en/NH730
    >>>> A0 1.p df
    >>>>
    >>>> A Safe Mode boot worked intermittently, but would crash in a minute
    >>>> or so after reaching the desktop. I finally got a stable desktop
    >>>> with a normal boot, and put the Win7 Upgrade DVD in the DVD drive.
    >>>> I ran setup.exe from that drive, and did a custom install of Win7.
    >>>> The machine even spent an hour doing Window Updates, and started to
    >>>> work fine again, no crashes. But ten minutes later, memory dumps
    >>>> began.
    >>>>
    >>>> Now, a 1-3 diagnostic front panel light combination appeared, and
    >>>> indicated "Memory modules are detected, but a memory configuration
    >>>> or compatibility error has occurred"
    >>>>
    >>>> Memory connectors 1 and 3 are occupied with the original dell
    >>>> shipped 1GB RAM sticks each, totaling 2GB. In the picture on page
    >>>> 68, these are the memory connectors with the white connecting tabs.
    >>>>
    >>>> Per page 68:
    >>>> http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dime520/en/OM_en/NH730
    >>>> A0 1.p df
    >>>>
    >>>> I removed one stick at a time, and each one worked independantly in
    >>>> connector 1. If I installed both, one in 1, and one in 3, I got
    >>>> the 1-3 error lights. This indicated to me that the memory modules
    >>>> were ok, but the memory connector 3 was bad.
    >>>>
    >>>> Question:
    >>>> Do memory connectors 1 and 3, both, have to be occupied before
    >>>> installing any memory in connectors 2 and 4? I could have just
    >>>> tried last night, but didn't think of this until now.
    >>>>
    >>>> Any other comments?
    >>>>
    >>>> I also have an E510, which is nearly identical to the E520, except
    >>>> that the E520 has SATA optical connectors, can use the next fastest
    >>>> RAM, and has the next level Intel chipset.
    >>>
    >>> i would suggest that your first try to remove and reinstall the two
    >>> existing memory modules. if you still experience the problem then
    >>> you should try just one of the two modules at a time to see if one
    >>> or both demonstrate the bad behavior (helping to identify if a
    >>> module is bad). if both then you could trying one module at a time
    >>> using alternate memory socket (to try to identify if a socket is
    >>> bad). and yes, you could try alternatively use the memory from the
    >>> e510 in the e520 to see if the problem is with the memory. you can
    >>> use any single memory socket or combination of sockets, but for
    >>> optimal performance matching modules should be installed in paired
    >>> sockets as this enables dual channel mode (simultaneous read/write
    >>> operations to two modules simultaneously resulting in some
    >>> performance enhancement).
    >>>

    >>
    >> Hi, Christopher,
    >>
    >> I did just at you suggested. I determined that both e520 modules
    >> were good by using them independently in socket 1. When either
    >> module is placed in socket 3, I get the 1-3 indicator light error,
    >> indicating memory error. I also placed the e520 modules in the e510,
    >> and they also work fine there.
    >>
    >> But, even though socket 1 on the e520 shows ok, and I put known good
    >> memory in this socket, sometimes the machine still will not start.
    >> When the power cord is plugged into the back of the machine, the
    >> system fan spins extremely fast, and all I get is a black screen, and
    >> I can't hear any POST activity. If I unplug the power cord, and keep
    >> trying, sometimes it will start. Also, if I put known good memory in
    >> sockets 2 and/or 4, the same thing happens...fan runs really fast and
    >> gives black screen, AND I get the 1-3 indicator light error.
    >>
    >> When I did a Win7 clean install on the e520, I was not asked to
    >> format/partition, etc. I wonder if I have a bad boot record.
    >>
    >> This thing has got me stumped. Now I'm wondering about an
    >> intermittent power supply problem. Guess I could swap the e510 ps
    >> with the e520 ps, but I'm getting tired of this, and I don't really
    >> need the e520 now.
    >>
    >> Finally, I'm wondering if this is indeed a socket problem on the
    >> e520, what do I eventually do with the machine. I like the machine,
    >> and I hate to junk it. New mb? Is it worth it?

    >
    > so you have determined that your motherboard has a bad memory socket.
    > this is a hardware problem that has nothing to do with the software
    > installed on the machine. the fan usually operates momentarily at
    > high speed as part of the power on self test (post) but since the
    > machine is often failing the power on self test it seems to get stuck
    > at a point where the fan is running at the high speed instead of the
    > normal slower speed. you can keep using your machine with just the
    > one memory module installed (without anything installed in the bad
    > socket). that of course would mean having less memory but it is
    > better to have less memory and a working computer than more memory and
    > an unreliable computer. and depending on what size modules that you
    > have you may be able to get a single large memory module that provides
    > the same total memory as your two original modules provided. of
    > course you could also look into replacing the motherboard but your
    > money is probably better spent on an entirely new system.
    >


    Hi again,

    Socket 3 consistenty tests bad, so I can't use 3. Socket 1
    intermittently tests bad, as mentioned in sentence one of paragraph two,
    and neither socket 2 nor 4 will let me boot on a regular basis. I had
    hoped to, as you suggest, put a larger module in any good socket, but it
    looks like there's no dependable socket.

    I appreciate the feedback, Christopher.
     
    Boris, Oct 10, 2011
    #8
  9. Boris

    dg1261 Guest

    Boris <> wrote in
    news:Xns9F7A52EB197A5nospamnospaminvalid@46.4.102.18:

    > Hmmm...
    >
    > http://tinyurl.com/44qzopz



    Wow, good price! I tried to find a replacement E510 mobo a couple years
    ago, and the only thing I could find was a used eBay part for well over
    $300. (Needless to say, the owner decided to buy a new computer instead.)
     
    dg1261, Oct 10, 2011
    #9
  10. On 10/10/2011 5:43 PM, Boris wrote:
    > Christopher Muto<> wrote in
    > news::
    >
    >> On 10/9/2011 3:38 PM, Boris wrote:
    >>> Christopher Muto<> wrote in
    >>> news::
    >>>
    >>>> On 10/7/2011 12:01 PM, Boris wrote:
    >>>>> My son's E520, Win7HP (originally Vista, then clean custom
    >>>>> installed Win7HP using Win7 Upgrade DVD in Nov. 2010...all legit) ,
    >>>>> 2GB RAM, had been intermittently going blue screen with memory
    >>>>> dumps scrolling down the screen, for about a week. Last night, it
    >>>>> was more or less continuous on every reboot.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> The front panel diagnostic lights, page 47 of the Owner's Manual,
    >>>>> did not show any problems.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Owner's Manual:
    >>>>> http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dime520/en/OM_en/NH730
    >>>>> A0 1.p df
    >>>>>
    >>>>> A Safe Mode boot worked intermittently, but would crash in a minute
    >>>>> or so after reaching the desktop. I finally got a stable desktop
    >>>>> with a normal boot, and put the Win7 Upgrade DVD in the DVD drive.
    >>>>> I ran setup.exe from that drive, and did a custom install of Win7.
    >>>>> The machine even spent an hour doing Window Updates, and started to
    >>>>> work fine again, no crashes. But ten minutes later, memory dumps
    >>>>> began.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Now, a 1-3 diagnostic front panel light combination appeared, and
    >>>>> indicated "Memory modules are detected, but a memory configuration
    >>>>> or compatibility error has occurred"
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Memory connectors 1 and 3 are occupied with the original dell
    >>>>> shipped 1GB RAM sticks each, totaling 2GB. In the picture on page
    >>>>> 68, these are the memory connectors with the white connecting tabs.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Per page 68:
    >>>>> http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dime520/en/OM_en/NH730
    >>>>> A0 1.p df
    >>>>>
    >>>>> I removed one stick at a time, and each one worked independantly in
    >>>>> connector 1. If I installed both, one in 1, and one in 3, I got
    >>>>> the 1-3 error lights. This indicated to me that the memory modules
    >>>>> were ok, but the memory connector 3 was bad.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Question:
    >>>>> Do memory connectors 1 and 3, both, have to be occupied before
    >>>>> installing any memory in connectors 2 and 4? I could have just
    >>>>> tried last night, but didn't think of this until now.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Any other comments?
    >>>>>
    >>>>> I also have an E510, which is nearly identical to the E520, except
    >>>>> that the E520 has SATA optical connectors, can use the next fastest
    >>>>> RAM, and has the next level Intel chipset.
    >>>>
    >>>> i would suggest that your first try to remove and reinstall the two
    >>>> existing memory modules. if you still experience the problem then
    >>>> you should try just one of the two modules at a time to see if one
    >>>> or both demonstrate the bad behavior (helping to identify if a
    >>>> module is bad). if both then you could trying one module at a time
    >>>> using alternate memory socket (to try to identify if a socket is
    >>>> bad). and yes, you could try alternatively use the memory from the
    >>>> e510 in the e520 to see if the problem is with the memory. you can
    >>>> use any single memory socket or combination of sockets, but for
    >>>> optimal performance matching modules should be installed in paired
    >>>> sockets as this enables dual channel mode (simultaneous read/write
    >>>> operations to two modules simultaneously resulting in some
    >>>> performance enhancement).
    >>>>
    >>>
    >>> Hi, Christopher,
    >>>
    >>> I did just at you suggested. I determined that both e520 modules
    >>> were good by using them independently in socket 1. When either
    >>> module is placed in socket 3, I get the 1-3 indicator light error,
    >>> indicating memory error. I also placed the e520 modules in the e510,
    >>> and they also work fine there.
    >>>
    >>> But, even though socket 1 on the e520 shows ok, and I put known good
    >>> memory in this socket, sometimes the machine still will not start.
    >>> When the power cord is plugged into the back of the machine, the
    >>> system fan spins extremely fast, and all I get is a black screen, and
    >>> I can't hear any POST activity. If I unplug the power cord, and keep
    >>> trying, sometimes it will start. Also, if I put known good memory in
    >>> sockets 2 and/or 4, the same thing happens...fan runs really fast and
    >>> gives black screen, AND I get the 1-3 indicator light error.
    >>>
    >>> When I did a Win7 clean install on the e520, I was not asked to
    >>> format/partition, etc. I wonder if I have a bad boot record.
    >>>
    >>> This thing has got me stumped. Now I'm wondering about an
    >>> intermittent power supply problem. Guess I could swap the e510 ps
    >>> with the e520 ps, but I'm getting tired of this, and I don't really
    >>> need the e520 now.
    >>>
    >>> Finally, I'm wondering if this is indeed a socket problem on the
    >>> e520, what do I eventually do with the machine. I like the machine,
    >>> and I hate to junk it. New mb? Is it worth it?

    >>
    >> so you have determined that your motherboard has a bad memory socket.
    >> this is a hardware problem that has nothing to do with the software
    >> installed on the machine. the fan usually operates momentarily at
    >> high speed as part of the power on self test (post) but since the
    >> machine is often failing the power on self test it seems to get stuck
    >> at a point where the fan is running at the high speed instead of the
    >> normal slower speed. you can keep using your machine with just the
    >> one memory module installed (without anything installed in the bad
    >> socket). that of course would mean having less memory but it is
    >> better to have less memory and a working computer than more memory and
    >> an unreliable computer. and depending on what size modules that you
    >> have you may be able to get a single large memory module that provides
    >> the same total memory as your two original modules provided. of
    >> course you could also look into replacing the motherboard but your
    >> money is probably better spent on an entirely new system.
    >>

    >
    > Hi again,
    >
    > Socket 3 consistenty tests bad, so I can't use 3. Socket 1
    > intermittently tests bad, as mentioned in sentence one of paragraph two,
    > and neither socket 2 nor 4 will let me boot on a regular basis. I had
    > hoped to, as you suggest, put a larger module in any good socket, but it
    > looks like there's no dependable socket.
    >
    > I appreciate the feedback, Christopher.


    oh that is too bad. it was worth a shot to troubleshoot. at least you
    know the memory modules themselves are ok, as is the processor, power
    supply, hard drive etc. but looking at $70 or more for a replacement
    board may not be the best way to spend your money. the problem with the
    dell btx cases iirc is that the case does not have a removable i/o panel
    for the motherboard... meaning you need another board with the exact
    same compliment of i/o ports in the same locations or it won't fit (or
    you will be cutting the case to make it fit). if you are inclined to
    replace the motherbaord then you may be inclined to build your own from
    scratch. newegg.com has many dyi kits or you can pick and choose your
    own components. whatever you choose to do, good luck.
     
    Christopher Muto, Oct 11, 2011
    #10
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