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Here are my specs

  1. Motherboard: Asus H81M-CS
  2. Processor: i5-4440 3.1Ghz
  3. Ram: Kingston hyperx fb-dimm (4GB)
  4. SSD: Kingston SSDNow 300 (128GB)
  5. HDD: WD 1TB
  6. Graphics Card: GTX 750Ti
  7. PSU: Antec VP450P

I recently got a new computer shelf for my system. However, the carpenter had not made enough slots for wires to pass by. He also did not budget enough space for the cabinet to fit in it's storage. I could basically place the case inside the storage. However if I attached the USB Keyboard and Mouse, VGA cable and power cord it could not fit in. As a quick fix, I asked him to create holes at the back of the storage for these wires to come out. He drilled holes separately post delivery.

For this he did the following things

  1. Took the measurements of the ports behind my machine (USB, VGA and Power)
  2. Accordingly he drilled large holes behind the storage
  3. During this process we placed the system in and out of the storage to test if the holes were drilled correctly

The storage was wooden and the drilling lead to quite some saw dust. I tried protecting the machine for it as much as I could.

After he left, I attached all cables etc and ran the system. It started to throw me boot loops. I tried removing part after part to find the culprit but nothing changed.

I then did a BIOS reset using CMOS. After this, my system boots only if I use RAM slot 2. If I insert the RAM in slot 1 it does not even post. I need to do a BIOS reset again to get it to work after using slot 1.

From all the reading I've done so far, I've concluded that there are two main suspects (feel free to add/correct if I am wrong)

The suspect are

1. CPU (mostly the IMC) - I heard a bent pin could cause such issues. Here is one such case I came across.

2. Motherboard (RAM or CPU socket) - Which seems to be the case 99% of the time.

Below are my challenges

  1. I have no idea how to test and narrow down on where the problem is
  2. I do not have a spare MoBo or CPU at my disposal. Being able to borrow one too seems unlikely as most of my friends use laptops or incompatible systems

Below are my concerns

1. Costs: I need to spend wisely and avoid any unnecessary expenses. My gut says, go ahead and buy a new MoBo. But then, if I find out the actual problem is with the CPU I'l have wasted some cash

2. Sustainability: One of the recommendations I have received is to use slot 2 if it's working fine and 'hope for the best'. I read somewhere that if the damage to slot 1 is a lose connection, it could heat up and damage other parts. I don't want to risk damaging any costly component especially the processor and the graphic card.

I currently see two options

  1. Use slot 2 and hope for the best: While this keeps cost low it affects sustainability. In the long run I might end up spending more (like on a processor tomorrow instead of a MoBo today)

  2. Figure out where the problem is and fix: While this is a sustainable solution. It might involve some cost (which I don't mind as long as I am 100%, it's spent correctly and not wasted). I also don't know where to get started.

I'm trying to find the best balance between these two (or even explore a third option).

So my questions are

  1. How safe is it to use the system with just slot 2. What are the risks associated
  2. What tests can I run to narrow down on where the issue could be
  3. What should my overall approach be going forward with this issue
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    @K7AAY sorry for missing that piece of information, I have updated the question with all spec information – TDsouza May 8 '19 at 12:46
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    @DrMoishePippik I have added some context to the question too. All this occured after I brought a new table and did some carpentry work to fit the machine – TDsouza May 8 '19 at 12:46
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    How did a CPU pin get bent if you were not installing and uninstalling the CPU? Once installed the pins cannot be bent, unless you remove the cpu, and then improperly installed the cpu – Ramhound May 8 '19 at 20:24
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    1) Sawdust? Suggest taking a light, a magnifying glass, and a can of compressed gas to inspect Memory Slot 1. If there's a foreign object blocking a ground pin, you well could be able to clear it. 2) Did you remove the CPU from its socket shortly before this happened? If no, very much doubt it is the CPU, though you could remove it to use the magnifying glass to look for bent pins on the CPU or the socket. It's about $180 on the hoof right now; the top i7-4970K for yr mobo asus.com/Motherboards/H81MCS/HelpDesk_CPU goes for $340 superbiiz.com/detail.php?p=I7-4790K – K7AAY May 8 '19 at 20:27
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    @K7AAY I'll check the slot for any dust particles and get back. About your second comment, are you saying that mostly there would be no further damage if I go on and use only slot 2? – TDsouza May 10 '19 at 9:40

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