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I left on business for seven months, and my computer was off and unplugged the whole time. I got back and attempted to turn it on. The power turned on and all the fans started whirring, but the computer produced no video output, then repeated a one-short-one-long Beep Code.

I looked up the code, and it was listed as a "Memory Error," so I started troubleshooting. At one point, I took out all but one of the 2GB sticks of RAM, put it in the first slot, and tried to boot the computer. It started up without a hitch (aside from being a bit slow because it only had 1/4 of the RAM).

I shut it down and tried to load it with a second 2GB stick. I got the "Memory Error" beep code again; the computer refused even to load the BIOS.

I tested multiple sticks of RAM in all of the slots. The slots function perfectly individually, as does the RAM. But if I try to load more than one stick at a time, I continue to get the Memory Error beep, and no boot. I even bought new RAM and tried replacing it. No dice.

I read a bunch of stuff about altering the voltage to the RAM slots, but my BIOS doesn't seem to have that option. Please help!

Computer Stats:

HP Pavilion Elite HPE-400y

  • Motherboard: Foxconn N-Alvorix-RS880-uATX
  • BIOS: American Megatrends Inc. v6.04, dated 9/7/2010
  • Processor: AMD Phenom X4 945 (Quad-core)
  • RAM [current]: 1 x 4GB PNY DDR3-1066
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 550 Ti
  • PSU: Thermaltake TR2 (600W)
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2 Answers 2

I would recommend testing the RAM at the BIOS level. Usually there is a diagnostic utility built-in too the computer or you can make one with a CD.

Here is the tool from HP (x64 Windows 7):
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareDownloadIndex?softwareitem=pv-99336-2&cc=us&dlc=en&lc=en&os=4063&product=4311961&sw_lang=

  1. Download it and burn it to a CD.
  2. Hit Boot Devices in BIOS, and Select Start from CD.
  3. Run the utility, repeat with the other module.

It could be a bad memory module , RAM slot , or BIOS.

I am assuming the computer x64. If it isn't then the computer can't support more than 4gb.

Good luck!

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Quite possibly, something on the motherboard is gone awry. It is most likely NOT the memory itself. I wondered if you had a lightening strike in the 7 months, however since you left it "unplugged" even if that happened, it is s very highly unlikely to have caused any effect.

So that leads me to think of another possibility is that with no power for 7 months, some internal memory may have "faded" out due to battery loss. Quite possibly the BIOS has either ECC setting or some other setting that may have changed but it may not be obvious. Going through ALL the BIOS settings might help. Or consider using any built in option that "Resets BIOS config to Default". Note everything first, by just take pictures of screens. Then you can go back and specifically correct any individual setting that gives you a problem. Otherwise "Reset to Default" just might be the ticket to solve this problem.

If the above fails then you can run diagnostics as suggested in another answer. Or you can download/burn Hiren's Boot CD and use tools from a large collection of diagnostic tools on it.

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