View Full Version : Fried RAM

03-10-2012, 10:16 AM
Just looked at this PC, owner said they turned it on and when they came back to the room it was making a weird noise and smelt like burning. First thought was the PSU, but noticed both sticks of RAM are slightly melted!
Would this be caused by the flaky Dell PSU? Not sure whether to risk installing new PSU/RAM in case it happens again. Then there's a chance other components are fried as well. Board looks ok on the surface.

03-10-2012, 10:28 AM
Nasty, it's possible the RAM voltage was set incorrectly. Either because it didn't detect properly or someone set it wrong.
If not then I'd be concerned about both the motherboard and the PSU. If it's a Dell PC they tend to be all factory set up correctly and should theoretically not do this unless something is definately faulty.

03-10-2012, 10:46 AM
Just switched it on with no RAM and it is powering up. Don't know if I'm game to put some RAM in.

03-10-2012, 11:41 AM
Wow, cant say I've ever seen anything like it before. Tis very nasty indeed. I think Dugi is on the right track. See if you can check your voltages from the PSU. I think if it was me I would be trying a different PSU before putting more RAM in it. If that checks out, put a single module in and see what happens (inform the owner its at his expense if it burns out). If it burns out, the owner is going to be looking at a lot more than a stick of ram. Good luck with that one Ren, I'd be interested to hear the outcome of it.

03-10-2012, 11:58 AM
If there was ever a good time for an new PC, this is it.

Alex B
03-10-2012, 12:05 PM
No raised caps on the motherboard? Never seen anything like that before.

The Error Guy
03-10-2012, 12:22 PM
Strange indeed, looks like something massively short circuited or there was a big overvolt on that RAM, like all others, never seen anything like it.

Always wondered why gamers had RAM heatsinks :p

03-10-2012, 05:01 PM
On closer inspection one cap looks to be bulging so I'll move straight to data recovery (as is usually the case, no backup, so hopefully the drive is ok to retrieve their data).
They have a new laptop, so not too worried if this thing has had it.

03-10-2012, 08:05 PM
Bulged capacitor could be a symptom or cause.

You'd need a fairly high voltage to burn RAM like that I think, perhaps the RAM VRM is dead shorted to a PSU power rail?

You could check the power pin on the RAM slot, see what's coming out, would be interesting I guess. But I wouldn't trust that board as far as I could throw it.

03-10-2012, 08:27 PM

Any coins or loose screws sliding around in the base of the case? Possibly creating a short somewhere?

Personally, I'd ditch the entire machine. Well, mobo, RAM, PSU... so for a Dell buyer, it's just best to trash the whole thing.

RAM cooling is often thanks to air flow off the CPU cooling, or just air pulled through the PSU. Are CPU and PSU fans both functioning normally?

03-10-2012, 08:28 PM
put more ram in to soak up the extra voltage... voltage in parallel works like that ya know.

03-10-2012, 08:33 PM
put more ram in to soak up the extra voltage... voltage in parallel works like that ya know.


Except, voltage drop occurs in series.