Toasted RAM

Corsair Platinum RAM module

Note to self, don’t toast the RAM.

Eventhough I was enjoying it, my time with the Vista RC1 was quite short lived. This was because my 75GB finally gave up the ghost and I installed the replacement 400GB drive this weekend.

As it turns out, in order to install the new hard drive into the drive bay, I have to first remove the memory from the motherboard. This is so they can slide in and not get caught. That part went fine: the memory came out and the HD’s went in.

Unfortunately I must not have been paying attention as I accidentally installed one of the RAM modules upside-down!

I noticed that it didn’t quite seat into the clips like normal, but I felt that it installed just like it was supposed to be.

Time to power up. Two full seconds pass…

“What’s that burning plastic smell? Why won’t the PC boot into the BIOS? My screen is still black. Uh oh…”

So I quickly unplugged the power cable from the back of the case and began my inspection.

A mark against the motherboard’s yellow plastic catches my eye. “What is that black spot along the RAM stick?”

Turns out that while the memory did not seat (it’s not supposed to when its upside down), it did happen to connect with the slot. It had apparently sparked across part of the slot to one of the contacts on the RAM stick. A tell-tale sign of a black starburst in both spots uncovered the source of the burning smell and my new found problem.

So, with little hope in my pessimist heart, I reseated the RAM correctly and booted back up.

I hear the motherboard beep.

“Wow, it’s on. And it’s doing the memory test… and it’s passing!”

Then quite normally, the Windows XP logo appeared and I was back online.

So surprisingly, I am currently working on said computer with said burnt RAM. My office did stink for a few hours after the “incident”, but the computer is back up and running with a clean install of XP.

I’ll just have to wait and see if the toasted RAM (and singed motherboard) can continue to perform in a normal fashion for the forseable future.