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Do I have hardware-failure?


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#1
oviedo7

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Having my c:drive formatted after an apparant malware attack I'm receiving a bunch of new crashes which I suspect to stem from RAM-trouble!

At the re-install of Windows I actually got a BSOD with ram-problems (from what I remember) - after a couple of tries though the computer was back running.

I intended to do a Memtest, and things were running fine with 5 or so tests with no errors, then however I was flooded with errors in "test 8" as well as in "bit fade test".

I was testing with both ram-sticks in, when I found that was wrong I wanted to try with one at a time. Before that however I let it boot to Windows though and after a while - now about 4 times - it crashes. Now when I start the computer it hangs for a while as the "Detecting IDE drives...".

Oh - while writing this I got a BSOD at boot saying : UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME

So - Is it Game Over for my computer or what? What needs to be said it about 10 years old...
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#2
rshaffer61

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Let's test the memory first before we do anything else.


1. Download - Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip)
2. Unzip downloaded memtest86+-2.11.iso.zip file.
3. Inside, you'll find memtest86+-2.11.iso file.
4. Download, and install ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/
5. Insert blank CD into your CD drive.
6. Open ImgBurn, and click on Write image file to disc
7. Click on Browse for a file... icon:

Posted Image

8. Locate memtest86+-2.11.iso file, and click Open button.
9. Click on ImgBurn green arrow to start burning bootable memtest86 CD:

Posted Image

10. Once the CD is created, boot from it, and memtest will automatically start to run.

The running program will look something like this depending on the size and number of ram modules installed:


Posted Image

It's recommended to run 5-6 passes. Each pass contains very same 8 tests.

This will show the progress of the test. It can take a while. Be patient, or leave it running overnight.

Posted Image

The following image is the test results area:

Posted Image

The most important item here is the “errors” line. If you see ANY errors, even one, most likely, you have bad RAM.
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#3
oviedo7

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I have been running the Memtest. The first couple of tests - about 6-7 of them, was running smootly. Then I tried a bit fade test which gave a lot of errors. Then later on I tried the default tests again and I got a whole lot of errors.
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#4
rshaffer61

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Bad memory and it needs to be replaced.
Go to HERE and run the Crucial online scanner.
This will give you the exact memory configuration for your system.
You do not have to buy the memory from there, but write down the information and if you need assistance in purchasing the upgrade memory GTG can assist with suggestions also.
You will have to manually put in your system type so that the results can be given since your system cannot do the online scan

Edited by rshaffer61, 07 January 2010 - 08:47 AM.

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#5
oviedo7

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I will try that.

The computer have 2 ram sticks (is it called that?) plugged in currently. Should I try having only one and try the Memtest again - 5-6 times on each one?

If so, which of the "openings" for RAM should I place the stick in? Is there a way to see which port is the primary or would any of the 2 ports do?
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#6
rshaffer61

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You can do one stick at a time and that may show you which stick is bad. The best ideal though is if you have to change memory is to replace both sticks with new matched pairs. That way they are from the same manufacturer and same specs. This would take away any compatibility issues.
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#7
oviedo7

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First of all, it's a old Medion PC some 9-10 years old - would it be able to handle any changes or upgrades? I know that it might not make much sense but then again, I've never been messing around with RAM and so - so in one way it could be good learning money - I think that once I buy a newer system I look into upgrading over time.

In the BIOS is describes the RAM like this - 256 MB (DDR 266 Mhz), on the back of the computer it states the model as "PC MT5", so I guess it's down to one of these 2.

http://www.crucial.c...asp...205 (DDR)

http://www.crucial.c...px?model=PCMT 5

The mention of DDR in the BIOS might indicate it would be the first one?

Would buying one of these be a total waste considering the age of the computer?

Thanks for your help so far! :)
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#8
rshaffer61

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I would upgrade to 1 gig using 2 of the 512 modules. This would give you the best memory for your system and at only 42.00 dollars plus shipping I think it would be a good investment.
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#9
oviedo7

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Is using 2 512 modules better than 1 GB if it was there?

Yes the price isn't that steep. What's your say on upgrading a computer that age?

I might try and look for the same RAM module from an european shop since it could easily a lot to the price buying stuff from the USA and having it shipped here... Know any european shops?
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#10
rshaffer61

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Sorry not familiar with European markets.
The max your system will take is 1 gig and that has to be in the form of two 512 megs modules.
As far as upgrading I would have to find the specs on the system to look at the motherboard for not only what it has but also for replacement capabilities.
What kind of budget would you be looking to spend for upgrades or maybe even a replacement system?
I can do the research for you if you would like. :) :)
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#11
Troy

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If you cannot run the Crucial scan on the computer, I suggest you call them and confirm with a sales rep your make and model (Medion "PC MT5"), they should be able to look it up and confirm exactly what type of RAM your computer supports and give you a price. As Crucial are a major brand name you should be able to find a local supplier near you who will be able to give you what you need (either have it in stock or get it for you).
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#12
oviedo7

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If the system could handle it I'd like to stick with it, only upping the RAM. Later on, when selecting or assembling a replacement your help, rshaffer61 would be gladly appreciated. :)

Since I'm not running any big systems on the pc, I feel it could still be handy, and if screwing up my very first update attempt, it wouldn't be that bad.

Is there a way for me to find the motherboard info to determine if it can handle the RAM?

Actually I just got my hands on another older system, it was on its way to the dumping ground, have been standing idle for quite a while. It's dead slow and I saw it's only 256MB. I made a lot of noise so I opened the box and it was crazy dirty. After a quick clean it's very low-noise (compared to my Medion) and I feel even a bit faster. Maybe a RAM upgrade would fit better here? Is there a way of determining which system would be most up for it?

The crucial scan came back with this:
http://www.crucial.c...BDEBD7A31D926C3

http://www.crucial.c.....20processors)

Thanks for all the help! :)
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#13
rshaffer61

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OK the Compaq would be a good investment but without knowing what exactly is going on with it at this moment i would be hesitant about that.
Do you know why the system has been given to you? I mean was there a reason it was just given to you other then supposedly being older?
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#14
oviedo7

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It belonged to friends of my sister. They bought a new computer some time ago, and this one was just put away intended to be thrown out. Then because the subject of my computer being down came up and they said I could see if it was of any use. They surely haven't cleaned it like forever - I thought the noise was from an old crabby fan. When I opened it the fan and so was completely clogged!

Also before I cleaned it, I had it running a couple of times and it turned off in the middle of nothing a couple of times. I suspect it was because of the bad ventilation, if that's possible?

Now it's quite silent and haven't turned off, even though I've tried throwing the book at it, trying to get it to work a bit.

Edited by oviedo7, 08 January 2010 - 07:29 AM.

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#15
oviedo7

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Okay, the Compaq was used as a work computer before it was laid off. Then they took it home for their kids. Then about 1½ - 2 years ago they bought a new computer putting this aside. That's what I could dig up. :)
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