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Crashes. Awhile back....

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Jim Thompson, Oct 12, 2007.

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  1. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Awhile back I reported random crashes.

    Testing memory for hours on-end using the latest version of Memtest86
    found nothing.

    With some time on my hands this week, I pulled the machine out,
    swapped out the second bank of memory... problem solved.


    Is there a REAL memory test out there?

    ...Jim Thompson
  2. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    Isn't that what you just did? :)

    D from BC
  3. Chuck Harris

    Chuck Harris Guest

    The flip answer is linux. The real answer is no. Memory
    gets accessed in so many different ways that a memory test
    that is entirely CPU driven is not going to be able to smoke
    out all of the flaws. For instance, your computer's memory
    is driven by the CPU, the CPU's cache controller, the video
    card's DMA, the network card's DMA, the disk controller's DMA,
    .... . If your memory is running a little too slow, or too fast,
    one of these memory access methods could exercise the flaw
    sometimes, and others may never exercise the flaw.

    Additionally, the temperature of the computer box varies with
    load, room temperature, disk activity.... The CPU's temperature
    varies depending on what you are doing with it (idling, CPU
    intensive routines, ...).

    So, the only real test for a memory card is to use it heavily
    loaded in the system it is going to be deployed in.

  4. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Yep ;-)

    ...Jim Thompson
  5. Not with any software. Take the module(s) to a local PC repair shop. Some do have the sophisticated memory testers.

  6. Jim Stewart

    Jim Stewart Guest

  7. Jamie

    Jamie Guest

    Memory testing programs don't always test the memory in the
    all its failing.
    it could be a specific order of bit values and address
    location change rate that causes the memory to fail.
    I've seen a very unique tester module that have an elevation
    board that plugs into your memory socket. you then plug your
    original back into this carrier board which has enough memory
    already on it to accommodate with what your testing.
    You run the PC for a while to wait for a crash, if an error
    in memory occurs, an LED on this module lights up with a mini
    LCD display giving you the address and byte values of the failure.

    Basically, as the bus is addressing your memory via the jumper
    card, the onboard memory is also being written to and then compared
    with your memory at some point to test for verification of integrity.

    this is suppose to be a better test to insure the memory is working
    correctly in your MB with the settings you have selected. It does not
    mean the memory is permanently bad. it just may not be able to operate
    at the speed of your settings.
  8. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Is your power supply going 'iffy'on you ?

    It's a classic symptom of the 'bad caps' problem.

  9. IAmTheSlime

    IAmTheSlime Guest

    Boot a Knoppix live DVD disc or even some distros, like Suse Linux or
    Ubuntu have memory test selections right from their boot menu, without
    even needing to boot into the OS first.

    Also, the MS test feature has many switches that allow one to make it a
    more comprehensive test. You didn't just select "GO" did you?

    You need to look through the set-up menus for it, and make it at least
    the animal it might be able to be first.
  10. IAmTheSlime

    IAmTheSlime Guest

    Another way to "test" it is to OC the machine in the BIOS. THEN run the

    A bad stick will show up pretty quickly.
  11. Clint Sharp

    Clint Sharp Guest

    Right up to the point where you posted that, I would have recommended
    MemTest86+ to you wholeheartedly, I suppose the only 'real' memory test
    is a dedicated hardware ram tester but it's far cheaper to swap out for
    occasional use. FWIW, I've not found a problem with memory that Memtest
    didn't also find but obviously it's not infallible.
  12. Clint Sharp

    Clint Sharp Guest

  13. "IAmTheSlime"
    What's OC?

    Mobos should have some memory test hardware. Some like mine even have TDR's
    to tell you how long your ethernet cable is, which is useless.

    For comparison, here's part of an interview with the devolopers of the Alto
    at PARC.

    The Analytical Engine, Volume 2, Number 1, July 1994 Page 20

    CS: They had this neat software that would run every night,
    called DMT. And we had a dedicated Alto called Peeker, remember?
    And each machine would be left with a kind of screen saver
    running, a square that moved around and checked the memory in
    all these different locations. And if it got an error when it
    was doing this little test, the Peeker would log it.

    HY: It was a memory diagnostic that ran overnight. I'll tell
    you this. The first Altos had these Intel.... I didn't think it
    was going to make it. The 4K chips when they came out were
    really okay, reliable, but the 1K Intel chips -- 1130's --

    CS: Every morning we would check, and anyone who had a bad
    chip, we'd go in. The nice thing about it, so many of these
    software people didn't know they had a bad or a flaky memory
    chip, and a lot of times we'd say "We have detected a bad chip
    in your computer and we'd like to change it." And they'd say
    "Oh, wonderful!"
  14. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Orange County?
    Open Collector?
    Occasional Carnality?
    Odd Circuit?
    Of Course?



    [Ox Cocks? -- Rich the Newsgroup Wacko]
  15. Guest

    Try cleaning the bad memory module's contacts with a pencil eraser,
    and also blow a bit of compressed air into the memory slots. Let us
    know if the memory module is now working.

    (Trick I learned from my brother-in-law, who got several computers
    back to working this way)

  16. Oh, over-clock.
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