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Kilobyte Kid
87ninefiveone
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎01-15-2012
0
Accepted Solution

Crucial Ballistix Sport Causing Boot Loops?

Hi,

 

I built my system this past June and ever since I've had problems with boot looping where the machine will turn on for 3-5 seconds then off for 3-5 seconds and repeat ad-nauseum until the power button is held. It can usually be resolved by removing power and the CMOS battery or a CMOS reset but frankly it's a fight to get the machine to turn on. When it does turn on performance is rock solid stable with no problems running memtest on any of the sticks (done individually for 4+ hours each), and no problems running Prime 95 for 8+ hours on the blend test with 8 threads. This has driven me nuts, I've replaced the PSU, RMA'd the motherboard and disconnected all external devices including HDD, SSD, DVD, USB devices, front panel connectors etc...

 

So basically this leaves RAM and CPU as possible issues. So today I went out and bought a cheap **bleep** no name DDR3 module and bam, no issues on startup the two dozen times I've tried today. I also suspect the RAM at this point because all of the sticks do it and I've got two different batch codes (I bought a tripple channel kit originally because I'm a moron, and followed that up a couple months later with another single stick).

 

So how does this work? Since it seems to be a clear compatability issue will Crucial send me some different stuff if I start a tech support case?

 

System Specs

Motherboard: MSI Z68A-GD80 B3

CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K

RAM: Ballistix Sport 4 x 2GB PC12800 (part number BL256648A160A.16FG)

 

 

Dual Channel Surfer
norepli
Posts: 423
Registered: ‎11-17-2011
0

Re: Crucial Ballistix Sport Causing Boot Loops?

[ Edited ]
in reply to 87ninefiveone

Hello 87ninefiveone,

 

Very interesting story! However, would you mind clarifying a few of your statements before starting the RMA process because its very hard to conceive that all of your new triple-channel modules are defective. My questions are in bold blue:

 

IMHO, a nice to know piece of info would have been a clarification that you did not have to change any memory-related BIOS options after installation. It would also be nice to know your OS because there might be some boot option available for additional testing. 

  

I built my system this past June and ever since I've had problems with boot looping where the machine will turn on for 3-5 seconds then off for 3-5 seconds and repeat ad-nauseum until the power button is held. It can usually be resolved by removing power and the CMOS battery or a CMOS reset but frankly it's a fight to get the machine to turn on.

After this BIOS reset, do you go back into the BIOS and try to re-enable any non-default options?

When it does turn on performance is rock solid stable with no problems running memtest on any of the sticks (done individually for 4+ hours each), and no problems running Prime 95 for 8+ hours on the blend test with 8 threads.

The above is why I don't think the RAM is actually defective. I think its more of a triple channel configuration problem that is somehow getting reset when you clear the CMOS and somehow reappearing (maybe by auto-detect on next boot?).

This has driven me nuts, I've replaced the PSU, RMA'd the motherboard and disconnected all external devices including HDD, SSD, DVD, USB devices, front panel connectors etc...

The above was an unfortunate process of elimination but helpful in better understanding the potential source of the problem.

 

So basically this leaves RAM and CPU as possible issues.

OR possibly a BIOS configuration problem.

So today I went out and bought a cheap **bleep** no name DDR3 module and bam, no issues on startup the two dozen times I've tried today.

Did you install just one stick of the cheap RAM? If so, did you try the same strategy by installing only 1 stick of the triple channel kit at a time to see if all modules failed exactly the same way individually?

I also suspect the RAM at this point because all of the sticks do it and I've got two different batch codes (I bought a triple channel kit originally because I'm a moron, and followed that up a couple months later with another single stick).

Hmm.. IMHO different batch codes from the same manufacturer could be a problem but I seriously doubt it.

 

So how does this work? Since it seems to be a clear compatibility issue will Crucial send me some different stuff if I start a tech support case?

I cannot answer that question because I am not an employee of Crucial; however, if you feel like you have done everything possible to confirm all modules are defective, you can start the RMA process here (see request RMA number link) and/or speak to a Crucial rep first to find out what you options are at this point. Anyway, if we don't hear back from you, good luck in making progress towards a permanent resolution.

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If a specific post answers your question(s), please "Mark it as the Accepted Solution."

About me:  I do not work for Crucial but I trust and use their memory (exclusively) when upgrading.
Dual Channel Surfer
norepli
Posts: 423
Registered: ‎11-17-2011
0

Re: Crucial Ballistix Sport Causing Boot Loops?

[ Edited ]
in reply to norepli

Update: I just started to read your mobo specs and I found that it only supports dual-channel, so now I understand why you bought that 4th module; therefore, please disregard my references to a triple channel configuration problem.

 

The first thing I read (in your manual) is that only speeds up to 1333 are supported without overclocking; yes?

 

Also, could you please confirm that your part # is BL25664BA160A and not BL256648A160A?

 

I also ran your mobo throught he Crucial Advisor and it came up with a slightly different recommendation for an MSI (Micro Star) Z68A-GD80 Motherboard than the one you purchased. See CT2KIT25664BA160B.

 

Ok; I'm all done reading and commenting. I hope something in my responses will be of benefit to you in your quest for a solution.

Did someone help you today? Please click the star (on the left) to "Thank them with a Kudo!"
If a specific post answers your question(s), please "Mark it as the Accepted Solution."

About me:  I do not work for Crucial but I trust and use their memory (exclusively) when upgrading.
Kilobyte Kid
87ninefiveone
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎01-15-2012
0

Re: Crucial Ballistix Sport Causing Boot Loops?

in reply to norepli
Thanks norepi, you win the "Most Helpful Person on the Internet" award as far as I'm concerned. My replies are below in red. 

 

I appreciate the reply, now the real question is if I buy some different Crucial memory will it have the same problem in my system. MSI publishes a "Supported Memory" list on their website, but all of the stuff they list is no longer available from newegg or tiger direct (crucial's site is a bit pricey so I haven't checked here yet). So, that said, I'm a bit nervous to waste another $100 or so on RAM that may or may not work.

 


norepli wrote:

 

Hello 87ninefiveone,

 

Very interesting story! However, would you mind clarifying a few of your statements before starting the RMA process because its very hard to conceive that all of your new triple-channel modules are defective. My questions are in bold blue:

 

IMHO, a nice to know piece of info would have been a clarification that you did not have to change any memory-related BIOS options after installation. It would also be nice to know your OS because there might be some boot option available for additional testing. 

 

I can tell you that the board selects the appropriate timings and speed by itself with XMP both enabled and disabled. I've tried both with no luck. I've also tried bumping the voltage up a bit since the board undervolts the RAM at stock settings (setting for 1.53V get me an indicated 1.50 by multi-meter and BIOS reporting). Additionally, I've attempted to bump the voltage up to 1.65V with little or no improvement. Other than that I've left the timings at stock settings 10-10-10-28, 2T.

 

  

I built my system this past June and ever since I've had problems with boot looping where the machine will turn on for 3-5 seconds then off for 3-5 seconds and repeat ad-nauseum until the power button is held. It can usually be resolved by removing power and the CMOS battery or a CMOS reset but frankly it's a fight to get the machine to turn on.

After this BIOS reset, do you go back into the BIOS and try to re-enable any non-default options? Yep. Default or non-default settings don't much matter, it loops either way.

When it does turn on performance is rock solid stable with no problems running memtest on any of the sticks (done individually for 4+ hours each), and no problems running Prime 95 for 8+ hours on the blend test with 8 threads.

The above is why I don't think the RAM is actually defective. I think its more of a triple channel configuration problem that is somehow getting reset when you clear the CMOS and somehow reappearing (maybe by auto-detect on next boot?). The board is dual channel, I just messed up and ordered a tripple channel kit, and later got another single stick to complete the set for dual channel opperation.

This has driven me nuts, I've replaced the PSU, RMA'd the motherboard and disconnected all external devices including HDD, SSD, DVD, USB devices, front panel connectors etc...

The above was an unfortunate process of elimination but helpful in better understanding the potential source of the problem.

 

So basically this leaves RAM and CPU as possible issues.

OR possibly a BIOS configuration problem. Certainly possible, but MSI can't tell me what up, and I've tried every BIOS setting under the sun.

So today I went out and bought a cheap **bleep** no name DDR3 module and bam, no issues on startup the two dozen times I've tried today.

Did you install just one stick of the cheap RAM? If so, did you try the same strategy by installing only 1 stick of the triple channel kit at a time to see if all modules failed exactly the same way individually? I have tried each stick of Ballistix memory individually in each slot with the same boot looping behavior. I've even tried a stick of the Ballistix in slot 3 in combination with the el-cheap-o stuff and get the same behavior.

I also suspect the RAM at this point because all of the sticks do it and I've got two different batch codes (I bought a triple channel kit originally because I'm a moron, and followed that up a couple months later with another single stick).

Hmm.. IMHO different batch codes from the same manufacturer could be a problem but I seriously doubt it.  I doubt this as well, that would be pretty poor quality control. Plus each individual stick has a problem no matter which lot it's from.

 

So how does this work? Since it seems to be a clear compatibility issue will Crucial send me some different stuff if I start a tech support case?

I cannot answer that question because I am not an employee of Crucial; however, if you feel like you have done everything possible to confirm all modules are defective, you can start the RMA process here (see request RMA number link) and/or speak to a Crucial rep first to find out what you options are at this point. Anyway, if we don't hear back from you, good luck in making progress towards a permanent resolution.


 

Dual Channel Surfer
norepli
Posts: 423
Registered: ‎11-17-2011
0

Re: Crucial Ballistix Sport Causing Boot Loops?

[ Edited ]
in reply to 87ninefiveone

Wanna try something else? Hang in there, I'll be right back after I check your manual!

 

Now, If you are looking for speed, this may not suit you; however, it could save you the effort of returning the RAM and possibly encountering another no-go:

 

Download and run one of these free utilities HWInfo32 or HWInfo64 while you are just running your cheap-o RAM. I recommend downloading the portable version so you can just unzip it and run it. Once done, there will be two screens available for viewing. Ignore the smaller screen and go directly to the "report" screen which is sometimes hidden behind other windows. Look for the memory section of the report and print it out for reference. Now, use that information to manually adjust a single stick of your new RAM after installation. I guess you would do this by disabling the DRAM Timing Mode and selecting "Link" to set the individual timings; yes? (NOTE: I'm not sure of exactly how to do this on your particular mobo)

 

***IMPORTANT*** The report will also readout the complete SPD profile and show you all supported timings so maybe you can use a different supported timing to see if that works too.

 

Also, what is the speed that your new RAM is trying to run at by default (shown as current DRAM frequency I believe)?

The other thing you can try is disabling the DRAM Timing Mode and selecting "unlink" to see where that leads. (again, I'm not sure about your mobo). You also mentioned XMP settings but I don't see where your mobo supports XMP profiles (maybe I missed it); however, what I am referring to in the above would be the primary SPD profile.

 

And finally, I'm not asking for an elaborate response to my latest suggestions unless you absolutely feel that one is warranted. IMHO, you've already been through enough with this issue and I don't want to add to the grief.

 

Good luck!

Did someone help you today? Please click the star (on the left) to "Thank them with a Kudo!"
If a specific post answers your question(s), please "Mark it as the Accepted Solution."

About me:  I do not work for Crucial but I trust and use their memory (exclusively) when upgrading.
Kilobyte Kid
87ninefiveone
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎01-15-2012
0

Re: Crucial Ballistix Sport Causing Boot Loops?

in reply to norepli

norepli wrote:

Update: I just started to read your mobo specs and I found that it only supports dual-channel, so now I understand why you bought that 4th module; therefore, please disregard my references to a triple channel configuration problem.

 

The first thing I read (in your manual) is that only speeds up to 1333 are supported without overclocking; yes?

 

Also, could you please confirm that your part # is BL25664BA160A and not BL256648A160A?

 

I also ran your mobo throught he Crucial Advisor and it came up with a slightly different recommendation for an MSI (Micro Star) Z68A-GD80 Motherboard than the one you purchased. See CT2KIT25664BA160B.

 

Ok; I'm all done reading and commenting. I hope something in my responses will be of benefit to you in your quest for a solution.



1333 is indeed the officially supported speed from Intel, but the motherboard officially supports up to 2133MHz in OC mode (2133MHz is preselectable in BIOS).

 

The listed part number is correct, it's BL25664BA160A which is on the "compatible" list.

Dual Channel Surfer
norepli
Posts: 423
Registered: ‎11-17-2011
0

Re: Crucial Ballistix Sport Causing Boot Loops?

in reply to 87ninefiveone

Not to be contrarian but if you look at your first post you used an 8 instead of a B when trying to identify you RAM. That is why I asked for that clarification. Now, this is the first I've heard you use the term "overclocking" and yes I am aware that your mobo supports those speeds; however, one has to "effectively" match the supported RAM speed with the overclocking function. Now, your mobo may have some presets available and I am quite sure you have done your homework on this issue but all that you have said before never mentioned overclocking and that's a whole new ballgame IMHO. 

Did someone help you today? Please click the star (on the left) to "Thank them with a Kudo!"
If a specific post answers your question(s), please "Mark it as the Accepted Solution."

About me:  I do not work for Crucial but I trust and use their memory (exclusively) when upgrading.
Kilobyte Kid
87ninefiveone
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎01-15-2012
1

Re: Crucial Ballistix Sport Causing Boot Loops?

in reply to norepli

Sorry, I read your post wrong. You are correct, it should be a B and not an 8. Chalk it up to small print and a tired poster.

 

As far as I'm aware that Intel doesn't officially support anything beyond 1333Mhz operation on its boards. Anything beyond that is technically overclocking which is why I said that. That said, my memory is rated at 1600MHz at 1.50V. So using those settings with the proper timings (10-10-10-28 at 2T) should work fine since thats what Crucial designed it to do and the motherboard has native support for it (and detects it correctly).

 

I’m not trying to get my memory to perform beyond what it was designed for. I’d be happy if it would even work right at 1333MHz with stock timings, but even that doesn’t work between 1.50V and 1.65V.

Dual Channel Surfer
norepli
Posts: 423
Registered: ‎11-17-2011
1

Re: Crucial Ballistix Sport Causing Boot Loops?

[ Edited ]
in reply to 87ninefiveone

Hi again,

 

I cannot disagree with anything in your last reply and I don't blame you for wanting to return it so it sounds like its RMA time to me.

 

Best regards,

 

norepli 

Did someone help you today? Please click the star (on the left) to "Thank them with a Kudo!"
If a specific post answers your question(s), please "Mark it as the Accepted Solution."

About me:  I do not work for Crucial but I trust and use their memory (exclusively) when upgrading.
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