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Is My Memory Or Motherboard Bad?


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#16
superstar

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I've never tried running the pc with just one of the new sticks installed to see if I ever got any crashing/reboot issues with my XP OS.

I asked you to try that a few days back


I'll have to try that later on than! I must have missed you saying that.

I set my bios to default when I first built this pc, than tweaked each setting to my own liking after researching each BIOS option with google. I felt as if these were the optimal settings to choose. Mind you my weakest area of expertise is a computer BIOS but I still went ahead and tweaked it this way.

my money is on this is the source of your problems...your tweaking...
your movie sucked by the way...dawdled on unimportant things and shot by the critical things ...
go back into the bios and set it to safe settings or default...set the ram speed to auto...
its F5 and then F10 to save your settings...
also take a pic of the video card section in the bios...all the settings and post them


Actually I didn't pass by anything... The entire movie filmed every last section of my BIOS. There is nothing I missed! I slowly shot every single option and section available in the BIOS. The video card section was SHOWN. There is no "AUTO" setting for the ram. I have the BIOS set to "SPD" in the memory section because it is supposedly supported by the new Patriot sdram modules. Here's the product page for the ram I purchased.

http://www.canadacom...cid=RAM.346.407

Isn't that the same as auto??? Because "SPD" tells the BIOS what timings to set no? Anyways here's an excerpt from my motherboard manual's ram section.

I'll test both ram modules installed with default BIOS settings as you suggest and see if I get any errors. I believe I did this long ago in the past and it did still get errors. But we'll see again... Because I can't remember. & than I'll try using the pc with just one stick installed. But that still wouldn't help since I need to use a second stick of ram.

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For the sake of knowing here's a link to the entire pdf motherboard manual if it interests you. I uploaded it myself.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/2vqpdo
[Official Asus TUV4X Manual - 3MB size PDF]

Thanks for your help! :)

Edited by superstar, 04 April 2010 - 06:20 PM.

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#17
superstar

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Ok now I know you told me to go ahead and install Xp, than install the latest Via 4-1 drivers, but I'm extremely paranoid when it comes to computers so I did some more tests on my ram. Proper system stability is a must for me. It's something I don't take lightly. By the way sorry for writing back a few days later... You'll understand why I took so long to get back to you as you continue reading.

Here's a recap [as you know - just refreshing your mind] :). After building my pc out of new and used parts I experienced frequent reboots, and freezes. Sometimes this would occur every everyday, every few days, or once a week. The problem would arise while using the system, and on rare occasion at boot during the Windows XP logo. Every component in my system is new with the exception for my motherboard, cpu, video card, and hard drive. I assumed it was a ram issue and did testing with Memtest86+ on the two new Patriot brand 512mb Pc133 Sdram modules in my system. Their position was slot 1, and 2 on the motherboard. Testing them in that position always generated a lengthy list of errors. Which is why I started this thread... Since that points to the obvious sign of my ram causing the reboots, and freezes.

You and I than tested/tried/checked/researched many things. & After being sure that the bios had the correct ram timings/settings, you suggested we get to work in solving this matter by trying to swap the ram around on the motherboard slots. The following chart shows our tests results by using the two new Patriot brand 512mb Pc133 Sdram modules, and two old generic brand Sdram modules to draw a comparison with:


--------------------------
Test Results:
[Note: Each test item below is the result of a 24 hour Memtest86+ test on the module(s)]

- Slot 1 & 2 position w/both new ram modules "Total of 1024MB" = Massive List Of Errors (24 Hour Test Runs = 8-10)
(Swapping ram in the opposite position generates the same results. A 24 hour test would pass on rare occasion, though yield failures soon thereafter, or upon a new test run)

- Slot 1 position w/one new ram module "Total of 512MB" = No Errors (24 Hour Test Runs = 5-8)
(Testing with the other stick of new 512MB in the same position generates the same results)

- Slot 2 position w/one new ram module "Total of 512MB" = No Errors (24 Hour Test Runs = 3-4)
(Testing with the other stick of new 512MB in the same position generates the same results)

- Slot 1 & 2 position w/both old ram modules "Total of 192MB" = No Errors (24 Hour Test Runs = 4-6)
(Swapping ram in the opposite position generates the same results)

- Slot 1 & 3 position w/both new ram modules "Total of 1024MB" = No Errors (24 Hour Test Runs = 1-2)
(Surprisingly no errors were reported in this position although this is just the result of a couple tests)
--------------------------



Ok so I was just surprised/curious as to why the new ram passed in slot 1, & 3 position. I thought this could have been the cause of me optimizing my bios, and making sure SPD [aka AUTO] was set for ram timings. So I reran an old slot test sure to give errors, in order to be confident that SPD wasn't something I just missed by accident when the new ram was in slot 1, & slot 2 position at the beginning of my problems. I made sure SPD was set and sure enough the tests FAILED with errors TWICE in a row as you can see below:



TEST ONE - Slot 1 & 2 position w/both new ram modules "Total of 1024MB"
(100% positive SPD bios setting selected)

Posted Image


TEST TWO - Slot 1 & 2 position w/both new ram modules "Total of 1024MB"
(100% positive SPD bios setting selected & ram swapped in opposite slots)

Posted Image

Now I was completely sure that this wasn't the fact that I missed the SPD setting in my bios. These two new tests above were also done with less hardware connected to the power supply [eg: hdd, front & back 120mm fans]. So I said to myself what else is left for me to really test? How can I really be sure that placing the new ram in slot 1, and 3 position will always be fine? Heck it they only passed Memtest86+ in that position a couple of times. I figured it was all too good to be true. SO I RAN THE MOTHER OF ALL TESTS!!!!

I put the new ram in slot 1, and 3 position again. Made sure SPD was set in the bios, and ran those suckers for 70 HOURS STRAIGHT!!!!!! Indeed the longest test I've ever ran on ram. This was the result:



70 HOUR TEST - Slot 1 & 3 position w/both new ram modules "Total of 1024MB"
(100% positive SPD bios setting selected)

Posted Image

Wow well as you can see the test resulted in just one single error! I continuously checked the test run and that single error you see occured somewhere after 24 hours... I don't know what to make of this...

Questions:

1) Does this mean my system is now stable and I should go ahead and install XP, and the Via 4-1 drivers you asked me to?

2) What does a single error mean? I read on some other forum that a user ran a long test and he didn't get errors for a very long time. When he did he assumed it was just a random error that almost anyone would get after running ram for so long. Now he wasn't an expert but this was his comment.

3) Give me any opinions and insight into why only a single error would occur.




Thank You
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#18
happyrock

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there are no testing tools out there that are 100% perfect...
so generally if you get even 1 error you have to replace the ram...
but since you ran memtest for 24 hours without any errors using slots 1 & 3
BTW that is the correct positions when you only have 2 sticks installed
have you tried running the system using Slot 1 & 3 position w/both new ram modules
or tried running the system with 1 stick of the new ram in slot 1 all by itself yet like I asked a long time ago
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#19
Digerati

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Ok now I know you told me to go ahead and install Xp

Whoa! I don't see where anyone recommended or even hinted at that. Nor should they - this is not an OS issue.

Any error with the RAM tester indicates bad RAM. You don't have to get consistent results for it to be bad. The failing module may be just that, failing, and not failed. Meaning it may work this time, but not next, depending on the program, temperature, or how you hold your tongue. But the point is, if you get errors, even 1, replace the RAM.
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#20
DaffyKantReed

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2) What does a single error mean? I read on some other forum that a user ran a long test and he didn't get errors for a very long time. When he did he assumed it was just a random error that almost anyone would get after running ram for so long. Now he wasn't an expert but this was his comment.

3) Give me any opinions and insight into why only a single error would occur.


Soft errors perhaps?

http://en.wikipedia...._of_soft_errors

I've recently caused a single error in non-ECC RAM by plugging in a USB stick while Memtest was running. Subsequent tests on the same RAM config produced zero errors.
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#21
Digerati

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Do make sure you are not mixing single and double-sided RAM modules on the same board. Some boards like all modules to have the same number of chips.
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#22
superstar

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there are no testing tools out there that are 100% perfect...
so generally if you get even 1 error you have to replace the ram...
but since you ran memtest for 24 hours without any errors using slots 1 & 3
BTW that is the correct positions when you only have 2 sticks installed
have you tried running the system using Slot 1 & 3 position w/both new ram modules
or tried running the system with 1 stick of the new ram in slot 1 all by itself yet like I asked a long time ago



You clearly didn't read my previous post. I ran each new stick in slot 1, they never gave errors. Also the test that resulted in one error was while the ram was in slot 1, and 3. Before I turned the pc off it was at 90 hours without repeating the same error or having other errors.

Someone I know told me it could have been a psu hiccup. Told me to test again from the jump. Your suggestion that I test in slot 1, and 3 is irrelavant. I DID THAT ALREADY!!!

:)

Do make sure you are not mixing single and double-sided RAM modules on the same board. Some boards like all modules to have the same number of chips.


I am not mixing them at all. They are both double sided modules, same specs, same brand. [Patriot]

Whoa! I don't see where anyone recommended or even hinted at that. Nor should they - this is not an OS issue.

Any error with the RAM tester indicates bad RAM. You don't have to get consistent results for it to be bad. The failing module may be just that, failing, and not failed. Meaning it may work this time, but not next, depending on the program, temperature, or how you hold your tongue. But the point is, if you get errors, even 1, replace the RAM.


Geez here goes my wallet again. Any other possibilites as to why that one error occurred and never happened again before I dish out my hard earned cash?


Thanks

Edited by superstar, 14 April 2010 - 06:37 PM.

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