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I have a gateway MA3 MX6453 that will not boot if both memory chips are installed. It starts up, fan runs briefly then shuts down, all panel lights stay on...but nothing else. Found that it doesn't matter which memory module I put in the slot closest to the mb it will boot and run normally but won't run if a second module is installed or if I install either module in second, upper most slot. It did work normally for several years with both slots in use. Is it time to replace the mb?

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Sounds like you're definitely having an issue there, hardware-wise, but the question is whether you have a bad RAM chip or bad motherboard. Since you say the same chips have worked fine for a while then you've answered some of my questions.

What made you suspect this in the first place? RAM Error?

If you can, find someone with the same memory and try your chips in their machine, or see if you can try theirs in your machine. That way you can identify whether it's the motherboard or the RAM for sure.

If you don't have access to that, you might see if you can take the RAM (remember they're static-sensitive so see if you have one of the anti-static bags around so you don't 'zap'em in the meantime) to somewhere like Best Buy so they can slip them into a machine to see if either doesn't work.

Seeing as how either works when you put 'em in, but just not both, I would be inclined to think the problem is on the motherboard. On a handfull of motherboards, there's a setting for how much memory/how many banks to use, so if someone wanted to mess with you they could turn off one bank (jumper), but that's a lot less likely.

Check your BIOS and the memory settings there. You might reset that to "default" just in case something got changed.. electronics can be fickle. since it's "several years" old as you state, it may very well be time to shop around and see if another motherboard, or another computer would be a better investment of time and funds.

Remember, you'll need to match the RAM to the motherboard requrements, so if you decide to replace the mboard pay attention to what kind of controllers you have now (IDE perhaps) versus what kind of controllers the mboards today have. There are many on the market, so pay close attention to the details.

(mine is 5 years old and I'm backing up my essential for when (not if) it finally gives up the ghost)

Good Luck!


Posted on Jan 02, 2011


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