Boot failure after ram installation

Hello, first time poster, occasional lurker.

I've an interesting problem that has developed after I installed a third stick of 1gb ddr2 ram. Windows Vista will boot, and run the progress bar, but will never make it to the login screen. It stops dead at the black screen right before the login pops up and never proceeds any further. I've waited a while each time, in excess of 10 minutes and the hard disks stop accessing and the whole system stays on, but inactive at that black screen.

The ram I'm using is the same as one of the sticks of ram I already have installed (and have been using problem-free) for quite a while in this rig, so I'm fairly certain its not a compatibility issue. The store that I bought the stick from let me perform a swap after the first time this happened, and I'm getting the same results with a new stick, so I don't think its a simple corruption issue either.

I'm stumped, any ideas?

I'm using Vista Home Premium 64bit


Former Moderator
Have you tried pulling the video card and re-seating it? Sometimes, it can become dislodged. Also check the monitor plug. Or, maybe the memory matrix is not being satisfied. Verify with the manufacturer that you can add-- whatever with whatever (or the memory size you added) I'm assuming it's not a timing issue or bad RAM. I'm not sure if you need to update your bios or not.


Essential Member
Premium Supporter
If you have the motherboard handbook, look in it at the memory configuration. Alternatively, browse the web for the information.
Quite often, particularly on older motherboards, Ram can only be applied in pairs. You could well be one of the victims


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
You may need to check your original RAM. I know this may sound odd because you've been using it without any problems but it can happen. You need to test each stick individually using memtest86+.

Okay, I removed the videocard, dusted the connections, and reseated it. Similarly, I dusted the connections for ram cards on the mobo.

I tried a few different configurations for the ram on board, first trying to just add the new stick into the next open slot. Same result: black screen lock after windows loading bar. I tried booting the system on just the two identical sticks, omitting the stick that is from a different manufacturer. Same result. I swapped the position of the two identical sticks, same result.

After memtesting the sticks, there doesnt seem to be any corruption or reason they should not be working.

So I guess that I could sum up my findings as: the system will boot normally as long as my two original sticks of ram (one Patriot and one Cosair) are only plugged in. The system will not boot if both Cosairs or any combination of ram that includes the new stick is used, although they all test as being in normal working status.

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