Why my DRAM light on motherboard blinks? What Does It Mean?

You might have noticed the DRAM light on motherboard inside your PC case and might be wondering what it is. It can be of different colors but is typically off. However, is it always supposed to be that way? If there’s no problem with your PC and the DRAM light is off, then everything’s good and you can keep using your PC as you always did.

However, if it is on, there is something goes wrong. But don’t worry, it’s not all bad news.

In this article, you will learn to decode the information the DRAM light is telling you and the simple no-special-tech-knowledge-required steps you can take to fix the errors.

What Is The DRAM Light on Motherboard, What Does It Indicate?

The DRAM light indicates that your computer hardware has encountered a problem; the culprit is most likely the RAM modules or, in other cases, the CPU, motherboard, or PSU. 

When you start your computer for the first time after a good night of sleep, the DRAM light comes on for a while and then turns off. This is your computer checking the integrity of your memory modules.

However, if there’s a faulty module, the DRAM light will stay on, and your PC won’t boot up. The DRAM light can come on in orange or yellow; it can also be static or blinking, and each state communicates a specific problem, which you can fix by reading the troubleshooting section. 

1. Orange DRAM Light

If the DRAM light on your motherboard has turned orange, it can be in one of two states: static or blinking.

a. Static Orange DRAM Light 

A static orange light indicates a problem with the RAM part. It can also be triggered by a too tightly screwed CPU heatsink – the component attached to the CPU cooler. Loose wire connections or hardware can also cause a static orange DRAM light.

b. Blinking Orange DRAM Light

If the orange DRAM light blinks, it suggests that the problem is most likely with the power supply. Either the PSU is becoming unstable or is not supplying the appropriate power to the system.

2. Yellow DRAM Light

A yellow DRAM light can mean one of two things. One, it is a problem with your memory stick. It can indicate a loose RAM stick or a bad memory module. 

Second, an incorrectly installed CPU can trigger the yellow DRAM light. Turn off the computer and unplug it so you can take out the CPU and reseat it correctly (all the while hoping that you have not messed up the tiny pins on the socket – don’t worry, you’ll be alright). 

Ahead of this article, there are some extra steps you can take to troubleshoot your DRAM problem associated with a faulty CPU.

Troubleshooting And Diagnosing Hardware Issues With The DRAM Light

The main culprits of the DRAM light are RAM, motherboard, and CPU. Sometimes, PSU or a buggy BIOS might also trigger the DRAM light. It is easily fixable, and in most cases, you will get away with as little as just reseating the RAM modules or simply cleaning your system. So, here’s how you diagnose hardware problems that have activated the DRAM light.

1. Check The RAM Modules

The RAM modules are the main culprits triggering the DRAM light on motherboard. Double-check if they are seated properly – sometimes, they can come loose over time. 

Reseating the RAM sticks

If that doesn’t fix it, remove all the RAM modules and insert only one. Now, boot the PC to see if the problem is solved. If the PC boots up, the inserted RAM is alright. Now, turn off the PC and remove the RAM stick and repeat the process for all the remaining RAM sticks. 

2. Check The Power Supply

As mentioned earlier, a DRAM light can also indicate a problem with the PSU (a blinking orange DRAM light is another indication pointing towards a faulty power supply).

Here are some steps you can take to address a power supply problem:

  1. Make sure all the PSU cables are plugged correctly and in at both points – the power supply unit and the motherboard.
  2. Check and replace the PSU if there’s any indication of damage or fraying on the cords.
  3. Make sure your PC is receiving the right amount of electricity. Use a stabilizer or, even better, an automatic voltage regulation UPS. 
  4. Try resetting the CMOS battery, as incorrect configurations can cause DRAM problems. 

3. Turn Off Overclocking

DRAM light on motherboard can be caused by overclocking because overclocking can be unstable at times. Additionally, it can cause overheating, which is unsafe for components. 

With overclocking, you are pushing your hardware beyond its designed limits by passing extra voltages through the systems. And as we know from high school physics, more voltage means more current – which means more heat and further thermal throttling

So, turn off overclocking if you are getting DRAM light issues. You can do this by resetting the BIOS settings.

4. Reset The DRAM

Now, if there are some buggy or incorrect configurations in the Legacy BIOS or UEFI Boot mode, resetting the DRAM might be the solution. These incorrect configurations can be caused by overclocking. Here’s how you can reset the DRAM with the help of CMOS.

CMOS reset
  1. Look for a tiny button labelled “CMOS” or “Clear CMOS” on the board.
  2. Turn off the computer and open the PC case to access your motherboard.
  3. Press and hold this button for about 5 seconds. This will reset the CMOS.
  4. Now, put everything back to see if the problem is solved.

5. Reset The CMOS

If clearing the CMOS doesn’t work, as a last resort, you can try to hard reset the CMOS. Here’s how you can reset the CMOS:

  1. Unplug your entire PSU from the motherboard and press the power button about 5-6 times to completely discharge the capacitors.
  2. Look for the CMOS battery on your motherboard – it looks like a flat coin – and remove it from the board. 
  3. Wait a few minutes before putting the battery back. 
  4. Now, replace the CMOS battery type back in and power on the PC to check if the DRAM issue is resolved.

6. Check The CPU and The CPU Cooler

Sometimes CPU or an incorrectly installed CPU heat sink can cause DRAM errors. Therefore, first, check the CPU and ensure it is installed correctly. Also, check no debris is preventing it from making proper contact.

Now, check the CPU cooler. As overheating is a serious problem, ensure the heat sink is nice and clean, and the fans are spinning properly with no loud noise of fan. If needed, reapply fresh thermal paste between the CPU and the cooler.

Do I need to replace my motherboard or RAM if I get a DRAM error?

In most cases, a DRAM light error won’t require you to replace either the motherboard or RAM. One should consider replacing the motherboard or RAM only after trying all the above-mentioned troubleshooting tips.

If none of them works, try cleaning the slots with an eraser and reseat the RAM sticks to fix any connection issues. If this doesn’t work, try using a different set of RAM sticks in the same slot. And if that doesn’t work either, you have to replace the motherboard.

What color should the DRAM light on Motherboard be?

The color of DRAM lights and their meaning may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. For example, if there’s no LED color, it means normal operation. However, some typical color configurations for DRAM light are as follows:

  1. Green: no errors – memory modules are working normally.
  2. Red: error – incorrect configuration, faulty modules, or compatibility issues.
  3. Orange: memory is functioning but not at optimal conditions.
  4. Yellow: memory is not fully functional yet (the process is still in detecting).
  5. Blue: the system is in a low power state – during sleep or hibernation.

What steps can I take to avoid DRAM issues?

You can adopt some preventive maintenance measures to prevent the DRAM light from appearing. And these are the typical recommended practices for any PC. These include:


The DRAM light can be activated due to various reasons. However, depending on their color and state (static or blinking), you can easily zone in on the root of the problem.

Typically, the RAM modules are the main culprits behind the DRAM light, with an issue as little as a loose connection. Therefore, recheck and secure all connections and wires, starting from the memory modules. Clean your PC regularly and make sure no component is being overheated. Such steps will prevent DRAM light errors from ever arising.

And if DRAM light on motherboard still do, you now know how to troubleshoot them.


Is it normal for the DRAM light to stay flashing for a long time?

No, it is not. The DRAM light on a motherboard should only flash for a few seconds during the boot process and then turn off. If the DRAM light stays on longer than that, this usually indicates an issue with your RAM.

What is the common reason behind the DRAM light on Motherboard?

The DRAM light will likely light up because one of the RAM modules is not functioning properly. Either it has been installed incorrectly by the factory or the user, or it simply has a defect at its origin. To verify this problem, reinstall the RAM, clean its connectors and the socket, and mount it again

Why does the Motherboard have a light for DRAM, BIOS and CPU?

Many times our PC may have a serious hardware error that prevents us from starting it normally. When this happens, we won’t be able to access any error information since we can’t interact with the computer. To solve this problem, many motherboards have LED indicators with a labelled that refers to a specific component, generally CPU, RAM, Boot and VGA.

What should I do if the boot light is on?

Beside the DRAM light is the boot light. If it is on, it means there is a problem with the storage devices – the SSDs, HDDs, and even the RAMs. Perhaps your system is booting from the wrong drive, so you must fix that from the BIOS settings. Also, if the storage drive is not connected properly, you might still get the boot light. Therefore, recheck the connections on all your storage devices.

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