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DRAM lights are becoming popular in high-end motherboards that indicate the computer’s dynamic random access memory status during boot-up. Usually, these LED lights illuminate during system boot-up and then go off immediately. This indicates a regular system boot.
However, sometimes the DRAM lights remain lit, meaning there could be an issue with your RAM or other motherboard components. This article will explore the problem and outline its leading causes. Additionally, I will provide some simple solutions to resolve the issue without requiring any technical expertise.
DRAM and DRAM LEDs: An Overview
DRAM refers to Dynamic Random Access Memory found in computers and used to store data. Current motherboard models typically include a DRAM light positioned in close proximity to the DRAM slots on the board. Observe the area surrounding the DRAM slots during the boot-up process to determine whether your computer has a DRAM LED.
The light will either remain illuminated or blink. If the LED is visible but fails to light up, this may suggest an issue with the DRAM or that the DRAM has been improperly inserted.
What is the DRAM Light Problem?
After the Power-on Self Test (POST) sequence, these lights typically remain illuminated if a problem exists with the DRAM. During the POST, the motherboard examines the RAM and other hardware components. If everything is in order, the lights will go off, and the computer will usually turn on.
Advanced DRAM lights often display a distinctive pattern, making it easy to identify specific DRAM-related problems, such as compatibility issues, incorrect installation, malfunctioning modules, and more. The lights can also signal problems relating to DRAM voltage or timing.
Illuminated DRAM Lights: How to Fix the Issue at Home?
1. Re-Insert the RAM Sticks
If the DRAM lights on your motherboard remain illuminated even after the boot-up process is complete, try to remove and reinsert the RAM stick. However, please be cautious to avoid scratching the RAM or harming the module while performing this action. Additionally, be sure to employ the appropriate techniques and orientation when reinstalling the RAM stick.
2. Try Different RAM
If you own another RAM stick, you can try them out to determine whether the issue lies with the RAM stick or the module. Furthermore, if your computer has multiple RAMs in the modules, you can try swapping them, as this makes it more convenient to identify the malfunctioning RAM or module.
Furthermore, if you are employing a multi-RAM setup, you can start your computer using just one RAM and examine whether the DRAM LED remains illuminated.
3. Check RAM Modules
If the issue persists, it is advisable to inspect the RAM modules. Dust or debris accumulation can cause these small slots to malfunction. Additionally, the wear and tear of the material may cause old modules to begin misfiring.
Thoroughly inspect each module and delicately clean them using a soft cloth or brush. Avoid using sharp objects as they could cause further damage. You can also test each module by inserting a RAM stick into each slot and powering it on the computer each time. If the light remains illuminated, it indicates that the current module is defective.
4. Try Cleaning the RAM
It is recommended to clean your RAM sticks, as they are easily exposed to dust and debris, just like other motherboard components. These dust particles can cause RAM sticks to malfunction or damage the modules.
To clean your RAM(s), remove them carefully and wipe them with a soft cloth. A slightly damp cloth can be used for a more thorough cleaning, but ensure it is completely dry before reinserting it into the module. It is essential to avoid inserting a damp RAM into the module as it can be hazardous.
5. Reset the System BIOS
The DRAM lights may indicate a system issue that could be related to the BIOS. Resetting the BIOS can resolve not only this issue but also others related to malfunctioning hardware devices. The methods used to reset the BIOS may vary depending on the type of computer or motherboard. The following are some common ways to reset the BIOS:
- Restart your computer and access the BIOS setup menu by pressing the designated key during boot-up.
- Depending on the computer brand, the key can be F2, F10, Esc, or Del.
- Navigate to the Exit or Advanced menu based on the Computer brand.
- Select Reset BIOS to default settings or a similar option.
- Save the changes and close the BIOS menu by selecting the Exit option.
Check out this video tutorial to learn how to access the BIOS menu and reset the settings to default:
If you find it tricky to access the BIOS menu, you can use this alternative method to reset the BIOS:
- Turn off your computer and unplug the power cord.
- Open the computer cabinet and locate the CMOS battery on the motherboard.
- Carefully remove the battery and wait for 3-4 minutes.
- Put the battery back in its place.
- Close the cabinet, plug in the power cable, and start the computer.
This video will explain how to reset BIOS using a CMOS battery:
6. Approach a Professional
However, if you are not tech-savvy, it is recommended that you refrain from making any changes to your computer and instead seek professional advice. Before taking your device to a service center, remember to back up your data.
Here is a comprehensive video outlining the DRAM LED problem and providing instructions on resolving it.