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Author Topic: Before I head to the computer shop... (Memory slot problem)  (Read 3677 times)

Grorgy

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Before I head to the computer shop... (Memory slot problem)
« on: September 14, 2007, 01:31:58 PM »
I just got myself an extra gig of ram which I tried to install.  I got a continuous sort of beeping tell me something was wrong, so I check it was all installed ok sitting right that sort of stuff, still beeped, so on a first in last out basis i took out the last stick, and it booted ok.  So after a bit of playing I've determined that there is most likely a dodgy memory slot as the memory (all of it) works in other slots.  I presently have the new memory installed in the first 2 slots.

So has anyone got any ideas as to what I might try before I spend more money  :(

Any help and most suggestions accepted gratefully  :)


It's a gigabyte ga-m51gm-s2g mother board with an AMD 3800 x2 processor

mouser

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Re: Before I head to the computer shop... (Memory slot problem)
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2007, 02:06:38 PM »
two things:

1) memory chips must be installed in "matching pairs" -- im a total novice when it comes to such things and others will be able to elaborate, but definitely do some searching for that to see if it sheds any lights.
2) i have had very similar problems before -- and once i had to "reseat" a memory stick like 8 times before it started working, so i would encourage you to try putting the memory in the slot and removing it and trying that a couple of times, blow into the slots and try to clear out any dust (please be careful with compressed air, it short circuited a power supply of mine once -- always unplug power and wait a few seconds before sticking your hand in the case!).

Grorgy

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Re: Before I head to the computer shop... (Memory slot problem)
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2007, 08:06:32 PM »
Thanks mouser, your 8 attempts made me keep trying, must have put it in and out 30 times at least,  so after trying to get some compressed air, none within 50Km of me, i resorted to a straw and a bicycle pump lol.  I then turned to the trusty toothpick, figuring the slot was dead as it was, so a bit of butchery wont hurt a lot, dragged it up and down the thing shoved the stick in and it worked  :) 

steeladept

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Re: Before I head to the computer shop... (Memory slot problem)
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2007, 08:22:27 PM »
I am glad to hear it worked, but you also want to be careful that you can actually use that much memory.  I have no doubt you were fine with the amount you had, but I have often seen (usually with older boards) where there is 3 or 4 slots, but a max memory addressable of only 2 GB.  You have to look at the board manufacturer's manual to see what (and in what order) to place the memory.  With older (pre-DDR) boards, there were often 3 slots that may have a max size configuration of 1gb in slot 0, 512mb in slot 1, and 512mb in slot 2.  I haven't seen DDR boards in any strange configurations, but I wouldn't rule it out.  Everything I have seen so far would be something like max 1gb/slot or 2gb/slot.  However, I could imagine situations where it might be a matched pair 2gb chips in the first pair slot and 1gb chips in the second pair slot for a max capacity of 6gb.

Other good troubleshooting techniques include swapping memory in the slot to determine if one or more chips are bad, and swapping the configuration to see if the slot is bad - but by the sounds of it, that is what you did.  One last good thing to do if you suspect bad chips and you want to test it for certain (assuming you don't have issues that force you to determine the issues through beep-codes), you can use Memtest++.  This is a very good and very small program that you boot into and it will run several tests on every memory address in every chip that the motherboard recognizes.  All you need is one good chip plugged into the motherboard for it to load the program into memory.  The program will test them all after that.

Grorgy

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Re: Before I head to the computer shop... (Memory slot problem)
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2007, 08:41:13 PM »
Thanks for that steeladept, good tips.  Just for interest I now have 2 gb of ram, 512 in each slot and its purring away, even after all the abuse I hurled at it, that thread on expletives was most useful lol.

Edit, thinking about it and the way it was fixed, there must have just been a small bit of plastic sticking out in the slot, wouldnt stop it going in but stopped it getting a good connection
« Last Edit: September 14, 2007, 08:45:05 PM by Grorgy »

Armando

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Re: Before I head to the computer shop... (Memory slot problem)
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2007, 10:38:48 PM »
once i had to "reseat" a memory stick like 8 times before it started working

Why do these things happen. I don't know if some will remember my BSOD episode -- was driving me nuts -- but this is how it finally ended.
One week, after a couple weeks of complete calmness (I thought that a solved bug in farr also solved my BSOD problem -- naive I was), I got 4 crashes in a row. Once a day.
Out of despair, I pulled out my RAM sticks (not the first time I did that with that laptop, but...), put them back in, pulled them out again, and... put them back in.
Guess what? All is fine now. I can,t imagine that it was just that!!! How can that be????  :tellme:

Lashiec

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Re: Before I head to the computer shop... (Memory slot problem)
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2007, 09:32:19 AM »
Well, the RAM slots do have lots of contacts, and if one fails, everything goes nuts. So that's why you have to ensure they're properly connected, even if you have to use a hammer to do that. My old computer sometimes beep on startup complaining about no present RAM sticks. A reset usually solves the problem.

Just for you to laugh a bit, one teacher told us he had a AMD Athlon CPU in one computer which rebooted itself when he launched Photoshop. One day he was disassembling this computer, and found that the CPU was having these problems because of one the pins was bent, so it seems Photoshop somehow used a certain functionality only accessible via that pin. Who knows? Computers are so unpredictable...

EDIT: The word was bent, not torn :)
« Last Edit: September 15, 2007, 12:24:36 PM by Lashiec »

Armando

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Re: Before I head to the computer shop... (Memory slot problem)
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2007, 11:30:53 AM »
the CPU was having these problems because of one the pins was torn, so it seems Photoshop somehow used a certain functionality only accessible via that pin.

 ;D Wow. Thanks Lashiec.

mwb1100

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Re: Before I head to the computer shop... (Memory slot problem)
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2007, 02:41:47 PM »
Out of despair, I pulled out my RAM sticks (not the first time I did that with that laptop, but...), put them back in, pulled them out again, and... put them back in.
Guess what? All is fine now. I can,t imagine that it was just that!!! How can that be????  :tellme:

Way back in the days when Byte magazine was published on paper, columnist Jerry Pournelle used to rave about something called Stabilant-22 'contact enhancer' that was supposed to forever fix and prevent these types of problems. 

The stuff costs a fortune (like $50 for 5ml) and I've never used it (seems like snake-oil to me), but Pournelle swore by it. 

Has anyone here used it?

Armando

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Re: Before I head to the computer shop... (Memory slot problem)
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2007, 02:58:14 PM »
NEver heard of it, never used it...
50$? Well, if it could have solved one year worth of reboots and BSODs, why not... :) A bit much though...