One Stick Of Ram Not Working- How We Can Fix?


One Stick Of Ram Not Working

Many of us may face the issue of one stick of RAM not working from time to time. It can be due to different module RAM, or the RAM is not installed correctly. But some other reasons can be standing behind too.

Well, after our in-depth research, we have found out what can be the possible reasons and how to resolve.

Now, let’s get to know why one stick of RAM does not work and possible solutions for the situation.

Reasons Why One Stick Of  RAM Not Working

Usually, we don’t have to face many problems with the memory sticks as they are fixed in their slots. This is also the reason they undergo fewer diagnostics.

Let’s see some of the reasons that may cause 2 RAM sticks not working together:

Reasons for Not WorkingPossible Solutions to Try out
Not Properly InstalledInstall correctly
Incompatible with MotherboardGet the supported one
Too much dust on RAM StickClean the stick
Damaged RAMFix or replace
Software issueClear cache, restart PC

Let’s digest so,e of the reasons in detail. If you are in a hurry can jump over the solution section directly.

Faulty Installation

Installing the memory sticks in their slots is easy enough. First, fold both of the clips of the RAM slot and lodge the stick unwaveringly into them. And we can insert them only one way in the slots.

But if the RAM does not stick to its slot tightly, the RAMs won’t be working. Let’s say, you have installed one properly but the other one is not firmly seated, then one stick of RAM won’t be recognized.

Incompatible Motherboard

The manufacturers supply standard-issue memory sticks that we can insert and use both in our desktops and laptops.  We can’t interchange desktop RAMs with laptop RAMs or the other way around.

Then there are different generations of RAM available – like DDR3 or DDR4. RAMs from different generations have different types of sockets in the motherboard to be fitted in.

Sometimes it can also happen that the motherboard’s capacity is not on par with the RAM DIMM’s capacity.

Also, a motherboard has an upper limit for the maximum amount of memory. We can exploit this limit by using as little as two memory sticks or as much as eight. Let’s say, a motherboard’s maximum capacity for RAMs is 8GB and each slot can use a maximum of 2GB on each slot. So, using a memory stick higher than 2GB or a total of more than 8GB will not work.

All the above reasons can render both or one stick of RAM not working.

Dust Residue

There can be dust deposited in the contacts of DIMM. Some other forms of tiny objects can also obstruct the connection between motherboards and RAMs. That can cause both or only one stick of RAM not working in your system.

Physical Damages

For many reasons, there can be a power surge in the electricity supply. Power surges cause electrostatic discharge. This can damage the sophisticated components of the computer, including the memory sticks.

Excessive heat can be produced if the power supply unit cannot extinguish heat or airflow channels are blocked. Overclocking any part of the computer can also create excessive heat, which in turn, can physically damage components including RAMs.

How to Fix When Only One Stick Of Ram Recognized

Let’s try the physical fixes first to get one stick of RAM recognized and running.

Ensure Proper Installation of Rams

As we have mentioned earlier, incorrectly installed RAMs will not work in your system. To rectify this possibility, release each memory stick and then reattach one by one.

While you do it, snap the RAMs back down to the DIMM strongly and listen carefully for the ‘click’ sound. The sound will ensure the sticks are slotted properly.

Now check if each of the RAM sticks is recognized.

Check Motherboard Compatibility with the RAM

You have to make sure that you are not using a desktop version of RAM on your laptop. Because doing that will render your Laptop RAM slot not working. Then you should check if you are using the appropriate memory sticks – like you haven’t inserted DDR3 RAM when your motherboard is DDR4 compatible. Even older versions of the same model can cause problems.

Checking the memory capacity of the motherboard is also important.

All the above tests can clear the compatibility issue. Now all you need to do is use the appropriate memory sticks that the motherboard can support.

Hopefully, this will get one memory stick recognized.

Clean The Memory Sticks

Most cleaning products for computer components are some version of Isopropyl Alcohol. The 91% solution usually works best as they evaporate real quick. Dip a simple cotton swab into the solution and swipe each DIMM contact.

Check each contact dust residue. If you can get an air compressor, use it to blast each side of the DIMM.

Now re-attach the sticks and check.

Test The memory Sticks With Other Systems

Sometimes the RAM memory sticks can be a part of a faulty batch or the plastic tabs or metallic parts on the edge can be broken while being inserted. A power surge or overheating can also make them unusable.

To be sure about the above cases, try to get another system with a similar configuration. Remove the sticks from your computer and attach them to the other system. Now check if the sticks run.

If they are faulty or damaged physically, they won’t be recognized there either.

In this case, you have no option but to buy a new one.

When you have done each and every one of the above but still one of the sticks of RAMs not working, consider the following software approaches:

Check for Hardware Malfunctions

Run each RAM on the OS separately and then both together. It will single out the faulty one. You have to get a new one if you want your system fast.

Reboot into Safe Mode

To run the OS on safe mode, do the following:

  • Restart
  • Keep pressing F8
  • Then select Safe Mode

If you can boot the system into safe mode, this usually means there is no compatibility issue between the motherboard and the memory sticks.

So, to fix the issue, go to the official site of your RAM manufacturer and download the driver.

Hopefully installing the driver will get both of the memory sticks running.

Turn The Auto Repair System Off

You have to restart first. Then follow the steps carefully:

  • After rebooting, keep pressing F8
  • Select ‘Repair Your Computer’ to boot the system through ‘WinRE’
  • From there, get the ‘Command Prompt’ open.
  • Now, run the below commands in the ‘Command Prompt’:

‘Bcdedit /set {default} recovery enabled.no’

‘Bcdedit /set {default} recovery enabled.no’

This will disable the Auto-repair mode.

Hopefully, this makes both of the memory sticks recognized and running.

Clear Cache From The Memory Sticks:

 Go to the Run option from Windows Key and type the following command:

‘sfc /scannow’

‘Dism /Online’

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is one of my RAM sticks isn’t working?

There can be a few reasons for that. Physical damages, not compatible with the system, obsolete drivers, etc can render one RAM or both not working. Sometimes it can also happen that the RAM slot not working after cleaning it forcefully.

Does 1 stick of RAM work?

Yes, one stick of RAM can work perfectly for your system. We use more than one RAM stick to make the system run fast. As we have discussed earlier, RAM is more like the file folder for our running project. The more necessary info the folder contains, the faster it can be to complete the project.

What happens if RAM fails?

When the RAMs fail, many things can happen. The system won’t run smoothly and it will crash a number of times. The Graphics Card won’t be loading and often the system will freeze in the middle of a task. Failure of a Ram can leave important files corrupted.

Final Words

Using more than one memory stick can make our system perform optimally. But when we are stuck with one stick of RAM not working, it is indeed frustrating.

But there are a few ways with which you can check and fix the issue. We have discussed them above with as much clarity as we can muster. And we hope you can apply them without much difficulty. It is possible that implementing them can solve the problem for you.

So, our suggestions would be to apply them first before you think of purchasing a new memory stick of RAM.

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Brian Doe

Meet Brian Doe, our Windows expert,who loves to spend most of his time working with the systems and experimenting on different chips. Basically, he’s a software engineer,and his writing hobby helps him share his computing tips and solutions with you to make you a Windows DIY guy.

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