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Ohnoes! Bad RAM!

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  • Ohnoes! Bad RAM!

    I built a few years ago a machine with an Asus something-or-other motherboard, a Socket 754 (yeah, oldschool) AMD 3000+, two 1GB sticks of DDR400 RAM, and an eVGA nVidia GeForce 6800, which was replaced by an eVGA nVidia GeForce FX 5200 later on. The machine works fine as of Christmas, 2006. I bring it home from school and just now, today, an hour ago, set it up again to get it running. I have solely Gentoo Linux on this machine at this point, so I boot it up, and I note that at the bottom of my GRUB menu, I have an item called "Memtest86+". I thought it might be a good idea to run this before playing around with the machine.

    The very first test, "Address test, own address", runs quickly and works fine up until 74%, at which point it appears that every single address fails. Right now, about a half hour after I started the test, it's at 76%, and the red is still pouring out on my screen.

    What are the chances this is due to some fixable problem like, say, a loose stick or dust? It definitely didn't do this when I turned it off right before Christmas break.

    Also, since it started at "1024 MB" and is working its way up in tenths, I'm guessing it's just one stick that's acting up, and it's the whole stick.
    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. ~
    I have a tendency to key out three or four things and then let them battle for supremacy while I key, so there's a lot of backspacing as potential statements are slaughtered and eaten by the victors. ~
    Feel free to quote me. ~

  • #2
    Re: Ohnoes! Bad RAM!

    Hmm, are you running the memory in dual channel mode? If so, try taking out one module and running memtest on the single dimm of memory. Usually RAM will encounter address mem errors when running in dual channel mode (different manufacturer, settings, etc.).
    |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
    TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
    Former 9th & 13th

    Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
    Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





    SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

    TG Primer and Rules

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Ohnoes! Bad RAM!

      Well, swapping the order of the sticks should then change the order that the errors start popping up if one of the sticks is bad.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Ohnoes! Bad RAM!

        Funny story: I rebooted to make sure I didn't just screw something up in the BIOS and it worked fine--no errors were reported at all. I think the heat burned the gnomes out of my machine and recaptured the magic smoke.
        The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. ~
        I have a tendency to key out three or four things and then let them battle for supremacy while I key, so there's a lot of backspacing as potential statements are slaughtered and eaten by the victors. ~
        Feel free to quote me. ~

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Ohnoes! Bad RAM!

          Well the best way to be sure if there is memory errors is to leave memtest running for a period of a few hours. Or run another stress test for several hours on your system.

          Either way, I'm glad you didn't have to chase errors around the circuits or spend dough buying more ram. :)
          |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
          TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
          Former 9th & 13th

          Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
          Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





          SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

          TG Primer and Rules

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Ohnoes! Bad RAM!

            Well, the problem wasn't fixed. It hung as soon as it tried to mount /proc. I booted it again and this time and the next three times it didn't pass the BIOS and Memtest86+ tests. Luckily it seems that it's just a whole stick that's bad; I'll experiment some more to find out if it's the stick or the slot or my imagination.
            The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. ~
            I have a tendency to key out three or four things and then let them battle for supremacy while I key, so there's a lot of backspacing as potential statements are slaughtered and eaten by the victors. ~
            Feel free to quote me. ~

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Ohnoes! Bad RAM!

              Test each stick individually using Memtest86. If both check out fine by themselves, I would swap in a paired (dual-channel kit) modules of RAM and test again to see if the errors happen in the new pair of RAM.
              |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
              TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
              Former 9th & 13th

              Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
              Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





              SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

              TG Primer and Rules

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Ohnoes! Bad RAM!

                I can't afford to purchase new RAM. If I can't figure out what's wrong with it, I'll just give up until I can.
                The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. ~
                I have a tendency to key out three or four things and then let them battle for supremacy while I key, so there's a lot of backspacing as potential statements are slaughtered and eaten by the victors. ~
                Feel free to quote me. ~

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Ohnoes! Bad RAM!

                  At least you can check each stick individually and run the good one alone. Sure it'll be slower but at least its running til you can replace the bad stick. And how do you like Gentoo? I'm using the newest version of Ubuntu and love it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Ohnoes! Bad RAM!

                    Gentoo has been my favorite since I discovered it. The Portage system blows all other package management out of the water. Unfortunately, the project is dying. I generally used Gentoo as a desktop distribution before, but it's viable as a server, too, if you don't mind not upgrading software to the latest available in the Portage tree. To be honest, I'm going to end up using Ubuntu as a desktop distribution and stick with OpenBSD for my servers if Gentoo dies.
                    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. ~
                    I have a tendency to key out three or four things and then let them battle for supremacy while I key, so there's a lot of backspacing as potential statements are slaughtered and eaten by the victors. ~
                    Feel free to quote me. ~

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Ohnoes! Bad RAM!

                      I'd heard the Gentoo community was kind of dying out, losing its drive if you will. That's just too bad, because I've always heard good things about that distro.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Ohnoes! Bad RAM!

                        I'm not involved in the community anymore; I was when I first started it. I started getting "in" on it, and then realized I was being confronted with extremely complex politics (see http://www.bash.org/?771846). I decided I was just there for the technical support.

                        We can only hope that Aptitude is reworked to operate exactly as Portage did, since the system is vastly superior.
                        The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. ~
                        I have a tendency to key out three or four things and then let them battle for supremacy while I key, so there's a lot of backspacing as potential statements are slaughtered and eaten by the victors. ~
                        Feel free to quote me. ~

                        Comment

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