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Please help !! My System Has A Memory Error But It's Not The RAM's Fault !!

 
 
Penang
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Posts: n/a
 
      28th Aug 2004
I need help !!

I have a PIII system, 1.3 GHZ - actually it's a Celeron. I have 3 RAM
modules on it, each 512 MB, for total of 1.5 GB.

Lately my system acted strangely, so I ran a battery of memory tests,
both the Norton Diagnostic and Memtest told me that the sytem RAM is
faulty.

The faulty memory location is at 14XXXXXXX - sometimes 144XXXXXX,
sometimes 145XXXXXX, sometimes 146XXXXXX, everytime I reboot the
machine, the "exact location" changed.

Since it supposed to be the RAM fault, and I wanted to see which one
is at fault, I change the location of the RAM module. To my surprise,
the "faulty location" stationed somewhere 14XXXXXXX - even when I have
switched the location of the 3 RAM modules.

Now I got curious. So I plug in a 256MB module, and unplug the 3 512MB
module, and ran the memtest (and Norton Diagnostic) again.

Lo and behold, the "faulty location" is at 14XXXXXXX !!

So, now I am facing with a "faulty memory" problem but it ain't the
RAM !

Can anyone please tell me what's going on ?

I've even eye-balled and cleaned the RAM module sockets, but the fault
is STILL THERE, at 14XXXXXXX !

What else I should do to locate the origin of the error ?

I know that it may be my MOBO, but I just want to know WHICH part of
the MOBO is acting up.

Many, many thanks in advance !!
 
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Will Dormann
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Posts: n/a
 
      28th Aug 2004
Penang wrote:
> I need help !!
>
> I have a PIII system, 1.3 GHZ - actually it's a Celeron. I have 3 RAM
> modules on it, each 512 MB, for total of 1.5 GB.
>
> Lately my system acted strangely, so I ran a battery of memory tests,
> both the Norton Diagnostic and Memtest told me that the sytem RAM is
> faulty.


Run memtest86 on your system with a single stick of RAM in it at a time.
Then try two.
Then all three.

You should be able to track down where the problem lies.

http://www.memtest86.com/


-WD
 
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CJT
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Posts: n/a
 
      29th Aug 2004
Penang wrote:

> I need help !!
>
> I have a PIII system, 1.3 GHZ - actually it's a Celeron. I have 3 RAM
> modules on it, each 512 MB, for total of 1.5 GB.
>
> Lately my system acted strangely, so I ran a battery of memory tests,
> both the Norton Diagnostic and Memtest told me that the sytem RAM is
> faulty.
>
> The faulty memory location is at 14XXXXXXX - sometimes 144XXXXXX,
> sometimes 145XXXXXX, sometimes 146XXXXXX, everytime I reboot the
> machine, the "exact location" changed.
>
> Since it supposed to be the RAM fault, and I wanted to see which one
> is at fault, I change the location of the RAM module. To my surprise,
> the "faulty location" stationed somewhere 14XXXXXXX - even when I have
> switched the location of the 3 RAM modules.
>
> Now I got curious. So I plug in a 256MB module, and unplug the 3 512MB
> module, and ran the memtest (and Norton Diagnostic) again.
>
> Lo and behold, the "faulty location" is at 14XXXXXXX !!
>
> So, now I am facing with a "faulty memory" problem but it ain't the
> RAM !
>
> Can anyone please tell me what's going on ?
>
> I've even eye-balled and cleaned the RAM module sockets, but the fault
> is STILL THERE, at 14XXXXXXX !
>
> What else I should do to locate the origin of the error ?
>
> I know that it may be my MOBO, but I just want to know WHICH part of
> the MOBO is acting up.
>
> Many, many thanks in advance !!


Look at the capacitors (those tall, and not so tall, cans), especially
those near the memory slots. If their tops are bulging, or brown goop
is oozing out, then that's your problem.

http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/WEBONLY...eb03/ncap.html

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Robert Redelmeier
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      29th Aug 2004
In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips Penang <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> I have a PIII system, 1.3 GHZ - actually it's a Celeron. I have 3 RAM
> modules on it, each 512 MB, for total of 1.5 GB.
>
> The faulty memory location is at 14XXXXXXX - sometimes 144XXXXXX,
> sometimes 145XXXXXX, sometimes 146XXXXXX, everytime I reboot the
> machine, the "exact location" changed.
>
> Since it supposed to be the RAM fault, and I wanted to see which one
> is at fault, I change the location of the RAM module. To my surprise,
> the "faulty location" stationed somewhere 14XXXXXXX - even when I have
> switched the location of the 3 RAM modules.


Sounds like a bus error. Is your PSU good? Mobo properly grounded?
Bad caps? or noise on the 3.3V line?

-- Robert

 
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CJT
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      29th Aug 2004
Robert Redelmeier wrote:

> In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips Penang <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>>I have a PIII system, 1.3 GHZ - actually it's a Celeron. I have 3 RAM
>>modules on it, each 512 MB, for total of 1.5 GB.
>>
>>The faulty memory location is at 14XXXXXXX - sometimes 144XXXXXX,
>>sometimes 145XXXXXX, sometimes 146XXXXXX, everytime I reboot the
>>machine, the "exact location" changed.
>>
>>Since it supposed to be the RAM fault, and I wanted to see which one
>>is at fault, I change the location of the RAM module. To my surprise,
>>the "faulty location" stationed somewhere 14XXXXXXX - even when I have
>>switched the location of the 3 RAM modules.

>
>
> Sounds like a bus error. Is your PSU good? Mobo properly grounded?
> Bad caps? or noise on the 3.3V line?
>
> -- Robert
>

Most of the things you identify would not always point to the same
location.

--
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minimize spam. Our true address is of the form (E-Mail Removed).
 
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cquirke (MVP Win9x)
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      30th Aug 2004
On 28 Aug 2004 07:22:55 -0700, (E-Mail Removed) (Penang) wrote:

>I have a 1.3 GHZ Celeron. I have 3 RAM
>modules on it, each 512 MB, for total of 1.5 GB.


>Lately my system acted strangely, so I ran a battery of memory tests,
>both the Norton Diagnostic and Memtest told me that the sytem RAM is
>faulty.


>The faulty memory location is at 14XXXXXXX - sometimes 144XXXXXX,
>sometimes 145XXXXXX, sometimes 146XXXXXX, everytime I reboot the
>machine, the "exact location" changed.


Can be. Not all errors are within set locations - the error may be at
another level within the addressing logic, rather than within the data
of certain address cells.

>Since it supposed to be the RAM fault, and I wanted to see which one
>is at fault, I change the location of the RAM module. To my surprise,
>the "faulty location" stationed somewhere 14XXXXXXX - even when I have
>switched the location of the 3 RAM modules.


>Now I got curious. So I plug in a 256MB module, and unplug the 3 512MB
>module, and ran the memtest (and Norton Diagnostic) again.


>Lo and behold, the "faulty location" is at 14XXXXXXX !!


OK. At this point it's worth mentioning that the memory system isn't
just the RAM itself, but also L1 and L2 cache (in processor) and the
support logic of the motherboard's chipset, etc.

>So, now I am facing with a "faulty memory" problem but it ain't the RAM !


SiS mobo chipset? Specifically, SiS 650 I think? Always test 5 in
MemTest86, and OK in tests 0-4 and 6-7? BT, DT.

>What else I should do to locate the origin of the error ?


Swap-test processor, if possible, and check things like:
- RAM timings in CMOS
- exclude overclocking
- bad motherboard capacitors
- inadequate PSU (<235W, for Socket 370)

>I know that it may be my MOBO, but I just want to know WHICH part of
>the MOBO is acting up.


Unless it's capacitors, the parts involved will be surface-mounted and
not amenable to soldering-iron-mediated replacement.



>-------------- ---- --- -- - - - -

"I think it's time we took our
friendship to the next level"
'What, gender roles and abuse?'
>-------------- ---- --- -- - - - -

 
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cquirke (MVP Win9x)
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Posts: n/a
 
      30th Aug 2004
On Sat, 28 Aug 2004 10:38:35 -0400, Will Dormann
>Penang wrote:


>> I have a 1.3 GHZ Celeron. I have 3 RAM
>> modules on it, each 512 MB, for total of 1.5 GB.


>> Lately my system acted strangely, so I ran a battery of memory tests,
>> both told me that the sytem RAM is faulty.


>Run memtest86 on your system with a single stick of RAM in it at a time.
>Then try two.
>Then all three.


I thought he'd done that, but if not; check mobo's manual - not all
will tolerate the electrical loading of 3 x 512M DIMMs.

Also, try putting the slowest DIMM in Slot 0. If mobo auto-adjusts
timings as per the first SPD it sees, you want that to be the slowest
one, so that timings will be conservative enough for the slowest RAM.



>---------- ----- ---- --- -- - - - -

NNA Tech Support, 2037:
"Double-click 'My Silo', click Map..."
>---------- ----- ---- --- -- - - - -

 
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Will Dormann
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Posts: n/a
 
      31st Aug 2004
cquirke (MVP Win9x) wrote:

> I thought he'd done that, but if not; check mobo's manual - not all
> will tolerate the electrical loading of 3 x 512M DIMMs.


Another issue is whether or not the RAM is registered. Usually when
systems have lots of RAM, it's required that it be registered to avoid
timing issues.


-WD
 
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Robert Inkol
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      31st Aug 2004
The DDR memory bus on a PC is not ideally terminated - there will be
reflections and other transmission line effects. I've seen quite a few
boards where the maximum memory bus speed that could be used without
errors would change noticeably depending on which slot(s) were used
for one or two memory modules was placed. With three modules, the
memory bus will be relatively heavily loaded and this is something of
a worst case situation, especially if the modules are double sided (a
common case for 512 MB modules). I think one of the other posters
pointed out that sytems that require large amounts of memory generally
use registered memory as this allows more time for the data signals on
the memory bus to settle.

Robert


"cquirke (MVP Win9x)" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<(E-Mail Removed)>...
> On 28 Aug 2004 07:22:55 -0700, (E-Mail Removed) (Penang) wrote:
>
> >I have a 1.3 GHZ Celeron. I have 3 RAM
> >modules on it, each 512 MB, for total of 1.5 GB.

>
> >Lately my system acted strangely, so I ran a battery of memory tests,
> >both the Norton Diagnostic and Memtest told me that the sytem RAM is
> >faulty.

>
> >The faulty memory location is at 14XXXXXXX - sometimes 144XXXXXX,
> >sometimes 145XXXXXX, sometimes 146XXXXXX, everytime I reboot the
> >machine, the "exact location" changed.

>
> Can be. Not all errors are within set locations - the error may be at
> another level within the addressing logic, rather than within the data
> of certain address cells.
>
> >Since it supposed to be the RAM fault, and I wanted to see which one
> >is at fault, I change the location of the RAM module. To my surprise,
> >the "faulty location" stationed somewhere 14XXXXXXX - even when I have
> >switched the location of the 3 RAM modules.

>
> >Now I got curious. So I plug in a 256MB module, and unplug the 3 512MB
> >module, and ran the memtest (and Norton Diagnostic) again.

>
> >Lo and behold, the "faulty location" is at 14XXXXXXX !!

>
> OK. At this point it's worth mentioning that the memory system isn't
> just the RAM itself, but also L1 and L2 cache (in processor) and the
> support logic of the motherboard's chipset, etc.
>
> >So, now I am facing with a "faulty memory" problem but it ain't the RAM !

>
> SiS mobo chipset? Specifically, SiS 650 I think? Always test 5 in
> MemTest86, and OK in tests 0-4 and 6-7? BT, DT.
>
> >What else I should do to locate the origin of the error ?

>
> Swap-test processor, if possible, and check things like:
> - RAM timings in CMOS
> - exclude overclocking
> - bad motherboard capacitors
> - inadequate PSU (<235W, for Socket 370)
>
> >I know that it may be my MOBO, but I just want to know WHICH part of
> >the MOBO is acting up.

>
> Unless it's capacitors, the parts involved will be surface-mounted and
> not amenable to soldering-iron-mediated replacement.
>
>
>
> >-------------- ---- --- -- - - - -

> "I think it's time we took our
> friendship to the next level"
> 'What, gender roles and abuse?'
> >-------------- ---- --- -- - - - -

 
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Penang
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      1st Sep 2004
Will Dormann <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<(E-Mail Removed)>...
> Penang wrote:
> > I need help !!
> >
> > I have a PIII system, 1.3 GHZ - actually it's a Celeron. I have 3 RAM
> > modules on it, each 512 MB, for total of 1.5 GB.
> >
> > Lately my system acted strangely, so I ran a battery of memory tests,
> > both the Norton Diagnostic and Memtest told me that the sytem RAM is
> > faulty.

>
> Run memtest86 on your system with a single stick of RAM in it at a time.
> Then try two.
> Then all three.
>
> You should be able to track down where the problem lies.
>
> http://www.memtest86.com/
>
>
> -WD


I ran memtest86, and did what you say. Ran ALL the tests, standard and
extended, and memtest86 reported NO ERROR.

And when I went back to Windows, it acted strange again. Ran the
Norton Utility Diagnostic, and the memory error still appears.

Dunno what's going on. Just running out of options here !

Thanks for your help !!
 
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