Computer boots to Windows only once when moving RAM

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Goldenwinged

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Oct 8, 2020
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OS: Windows 10 Home Edition, Version 2004 (OS Build 19041.508)
CPU: Intel Core i5-4460 LGA 1150 - BX80646I54460
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B85M-DS3H
Primary RAM: Patriot 16GB(2x8GB) Viper III DDR3 1866MHz (PC3 15000) CL10 Desktop Memory with Black Mamba Heatsink - PV316G186C0K
Secondary RAM used in testing: Patriot Viper 3 Series, Black Mamba, DDR3 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit - PV38G160C9K
Third RAM used in testing: G.Skill 8GB DDR3-1600 8GB DDR3 1600MHz memory module - F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
PSU: Corsair CX Series 430 Watt 80 Plus Bronze Certified Non-Modular Power Supply - CP-9020046-US
GPU: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 Windforce OC 3GB GDDR5 Graphics Card - GV-N1060WF2OC-3GD
SSD (Windows is installed here): Crucial MX500 500GB 3D NAND SATA 2.5 Inch Internal SSD - CT500MX500SSD1
HDD: Western Digital 1TB WD Blue PC Hard Drive - 7200 RPM Class, SATA 6 Gb/s, , 64 MB Cache, 3.5" - WD10EZEX
HDD: Western Digital 4TB WD Blue PC Hard Drive - 5400 RPM Class, SATA 6 Gb/s, , 64 MB Cache, 3.5" - WD40EZRZ
Optical disk drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST-28
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 88R MicroATX Mid-Tower Case - CC-9011086-WW

Hello, I hope you are well. For a long time, I’ve been getting various blue screen errors and I’ve never been able to diagnose the culprit. So about a week ago I decided to run Driver Verifier after I read on a Microsoft forum that is a way to diagnose bad drivers. After I set it to run, it bluescreened after restarting and restarted again. It took me to a Windows Repair screen with the option of either ‘Restart’ or ‘Advanced settings’. I chose restart.

Upon restart, the computer entered a boot loop, it would start and after about 8 seconds it would shut down and the cycle would repeat, no BIOS available or anything. It would start, shut down, start, shut down, forever. One of the things I tried to get to BIOS was reset CMOS by taking out the battery for 10 minutes but that didn't help. After lots of trial and error I found that after taking out one of my two sticks of RAM (this RAM is the Primary RAM I have listed at the top) it would boot and I could get to the BIOS. Hooray! I went to the BIOS and used Windows Repair by booting from a Windows image on a USB and completed a System Restore to before I started Driver Verifier. So now I could get to Windows again.

After doing some testing, here’s the problem: with the Primary and Third RAM listed at the top, the computer only boots to Windows after I move a stick of the RAM to another slot. I’ve tested single sticks at a time with no GPU in in all slots, and the computer boots once to Windows, however after a shutdown and powering on the computer boots but nothing shows on the monitor. It turns on and the lights come on, but nothing appears. Sometimes instead of this, it will instead boot loop in the fashion described in the above paragraph after the initial successful boot. I also tested with the Secondary RAM (that I have described at the top of this post) and surprisingly I have gotten it to boot consistently with this RAM, booting to Windows every time either in single sticks or with both and in any slots. However the booting seems finicky, sometimes I will have to pull out a RAM stick and reboot for it to boot consistently with the secondary RAM. The presence or absence of a GPU does not seem to affect the boot consistency with any of the RAM.

I have tested all RAM with Memtest86, all return 0 errors.

As an addendum:
Since the computer boots to Windows with the Second RAM tested, I have been using it with the GPU mentioned at the top. I’m having display issues, occasionally the screen will go black briefly and when the screen comes back I can’t interact with the apps I have open. I have to force close them through Task Manager and start them again. I have updated the display drivers through Nvidia GeForce Experience, removed them and updated them again. I’ve tested with both my monitors together and the monitors alone, and with different cords for one of them. I've even tried with a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti that I have lying around. But it keeps happening anyway. This makes it quite annoying to use the computer, as this will frequently crash apps.

Not sure what to make of all this. Sorry for the essay. I appreciate any response. Feel free to focus on one issue at a time! Thanks!
 

Goldenwinged

Thread Starter
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
Messages
2
In short, I have solved this problem. I had put this on the back burner for a while while I was focusing on the GRE and did not wish to put the time into fixing this, but it did not take so long after all.

I updated the BIOS for my motherboard from F2 to F3 (the most recent version). This fixed the booting issue. It now boots with the original RAM sticks like before. It boots to Windows every time and does not boot loop. Hell yeah.

While I was at it, I did a clean install of Windows 10 Home (which was technically unrelated to the original issue). This was due to a CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED blue screen I was continually receiving after making a copy of files off the SSD (I think I accidentally screwed with some Windows files in the process). This fixed that issue, and now it boots perfectly to Windows every time.

So I am now using my computer with two of the original RAM sticks and the GPU in, and I haven't had any problems so far. I am currently reinstalling programs. My fingers are crossed that this issue never returns. Needless to say, I am never using Driver Verifier again.

Thanks,
Goldenwinged
 
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