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Author Topic: Memory probs ... any ideas?  (Read 3118 times)

Carol Haynes

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Memory probs ... any ideas?
« on: April 03, 2006, 06:40:29 PM »
I have been getting a lot of BSODs recently and began to wonder if it was a memory problem.

I ran a memory tester and it found some errors on one of my two memory cards (I had 2 x 512Mb DDR PC2100 cards in there).

The strange thing is if I put in either card by itself it tests fine, but if I put two in (in any slot combination) I seem to get errors.

I have just ordered a replacement 1Gb card (so that I only need one card installed) but wonder if anyone has any ideas how to fix the problem.

It doesn't seem to be a slot problem because I can move a single card around and it works fine!

All BIOS timings are set to conservative defaults.

Rover

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Re: Memory probs ... any ideas?
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2006, 07:01:59 PM »
Hey Carol,

You can test either DIMM in either slot and individually they work, but together they error?  That is way weird.
I remember a time when you needed matched pairs of RAM, but that was back in the 586 days.

What are you using to test?  Is it possible the testing tool is busted?

BTW, I miss your skating girl  :-*  ;D
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nudone

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Re: Memory probs ... any ideas?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2006, 02:59:35 AM »
i've had similar problems in the past. put two sticks of ram in a particular machine and whoops. take out a stick, it works. swap the sticks around, it works. swap the slots over, it works. put both sticks in another machine, it works. put back the two sticks in the awkward machine and whooops, blue screen when it feels like it.

there was a slight difference to your situation and that is neither stick displayed any errors when running ram tests using dos based scanning software. i just accepted it as just another of those weird pc problems that don't make any sense.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Memory probs ... any ideas?
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2006, 03:21:33 AM »
You can test either DIMM in either slot and individually they work, but together they error?  That is way weird. I remember a time when you needed matched pairs of RAM, but that was back in the 586 days.

What are you using to test?  Is it possible the testing tool is busted?

Early DDR am cards needed to be matched (I am using an MSI 6380 K7T266Pro2-RU mobo which is getting a bit long in the tooth now but I don't really need to upgrade it - and need to try and cut back on my spending!). It is odd that I have had lots of problems with the two cards (they were even swapped by the manufacturer under warranty to a different memory chipset) and only recently stuck the second card in again - hey presto the BSODs started again. Unfortunately the mobo doesn't support EEC memory as that would be the obvious solution!!

I am using memtest86, which is pretty tried and tested.

Quote
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Ah, that's because my Winter Olympic career is now on hold for 4 years ...

Carol Haynes

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Re: Memory probs ... any ideas?
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2006, 03:26:58 AM »
i've had similar problems in the past. put two sticks of ram in a particular machine and whoops. take out a stick, it works. swap the sticks around, it works. swap the slots over, it works. put both sticks in another machine, it works. put back the two sticks in the awkward machine and whooops, blue screen when it feels like it.

there was a slight difference to your situation and that is neither stick displayed any errors when running ram tests using dos based scanning software. i just accepted it as just another of those weird pc problems that don't make any sense.

I hadn't noticed memtest errors before - but then I hadn't let it soak test for hours. This time I left it running and went off to do other things for a few hours - it was quite a long way down the line that errors started to occur - and seemed to be restricted to a very small memory range.

Maybe it is a power issue (though I have a beefy enough PSU). It can't be power spikes or 'dirty' mains power as I runn my system through a battery backed power unit that cleans the signal (it is relatively new so should be working OK).

The only other thing I can think is that it must be a heat issue - but I have two large fans spinning all the time and the overall temperature is well within a reasonable range.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Memory probs ... any ideas?
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2006, 05:33:03 AM »
Just got a new 1Gb stick of memory ... if I don't reappear you know things have gone badly! In which case an ambulance and a bottle of scotch would help ;) Hope to see you all later!

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Re: Memory probs ... any ideas?
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2006, 05:40:06 AM »
Good luck :)
- carpe noctem

Carol Haynes

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Re: Memory probs ... any ideas?
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2006, 08:55:35 AM »
Thanks - I'm back with 1Gb.

I tried combining my three memory sticks (2Gb combined) and it passed almost all of the tests but then failed after 1hr 56 minutes.

I have come to the conclusion that it must be a mobo issue - doesn't matter now but next time I buy a mobo I'll make sure I test out all possible memory configuartions while it is still under warranty!

f0dder

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Re: Memory probs ... any ideas?
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2006, 04:15:53 PM »
I've got bad experiences combining different-sized sticks, even when the sticks were individually okay... depends on your motherboard and chipset. Even same-sized but different-{vendor,model} can be problematic, but that's not often a problem today, unless you're one of those tweaker guys.
- carpe noctem

Carol Haynes

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Re: Memory probs ... any ideas?
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2006, 06:18:24 PM »
I wasn't using different memory sizes before. The mobo just seems to have problems with good RAM sticks when they are in more than one slot. It is strange!

kimmchii

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Re: Memory probs ... any ideas?
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2006, 08:16:39 PM »
it could also be a software problem, were i you i'd image the drive, reintall xp and try to produce bsod in the new install.
If you find a good solution and become attached to it, the solution may become your next problem.
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Carol Haynes

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Re: Memory probs ... any ideas?
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2006, 03:01:37 AM »
It has happened in other installs of XP too in the past, but I thought it was working fine in the current install until recently - I was just trying to sort out why it was happening now.