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both memory sticks fail memtest - what are my options?

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May 9, 2007 1:36:40 AM

I have a pair of Corsair CM2X1024-6400 sticks of RAM (or TWIN2X2048-6400? numbering is confusing). The rest of my specs are below. I've been having big problems ever since installing Burning Crusade. The game will crash randomly, and often restart the entire computer in the process. When it doesn't, it gives an error relating to memory couldn't be "read" or "written". Oddly enough the computer, when not running WoW, seems to be just fine - though I'm almost always playing WoW when on the computer, so it's hard to say ; ) I should also note that I do not overclock and have always used the default BIOS settings with no problems up to this point.

Obviously I thought this was a Burning Crusade problem at first, but then I ran Memtest86+ and Windows Diagnostic on each stick of RAM individually, and both are producing errors. In fact, both pieces of software seldom run for more than 10 min or so without freezing up and forcing a hard reset.

This actually pleased me at first, as I figured this had to be the cause of the problem and I could simply RMA the RAM. But now I'm thinking what are the odds that both sticks of RAM would just happen to fail at the exact same time? Could it be a problem with the motherboard or some other component, and if so, how can I isolate the source?

Any help would be appreciated!

Asus P5B-Deluxe
Core 2 Duo 6600
2gb DDR2 800 RAM
X1900XT 256mb
X-Fi Xtreme music
150gb Raptor
May 9, 2007 2:12:05 AM

Quote:
What voltage are you running?


Originally I had it set on "Auto", then I tried changing it to 2.1 - both produced the same results. Keep in mind I know almost nothing about these memory settings, so I have never messed around with them too much, and I have never needed to up to this point :( 

It would be wonderful if I could simply change some BIOS settings and have everything be set right, but at the same time I don't know why it would have worked fine on default settings (ie, everything Auto) for 6 months and is only now causing problems.
May 9, 2007 2:24:28 AM

I've suffered a similar problem with Corsair ram. Last summer I bought 2 gig of PC3500LL Pro and had sporatic problems and memtest showed it bad. I RMA'd it, but since the PC3500 was out of production, Corsair sent me some PC3200LL Pro to replace it. It had problems as well. I talked to Yellowbeard about it, and arranged to send the PC3200LL Pro back. Corsair asked for a copy of my original purchase and I understood they were going to give me my money back. Instead, they sent me some XMS PC3200 ram. So now I have some ram worth around $150 for which I paid nearly $300. It still fails memtest and check-it diagnostics.

I suspect there is some type of compatability problem between the ASUS motherboards and the Corsair ram, but I can't prove it. I have some older, 512 mg Corsair ram that works fine, but the new stuff doesn't. I did switch my other computer to OCZ and so far it works fine.
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May 9, 2007 5:33:13 AM

Maybe a PS problem? What model number power supply are you using?

It would be useful to know what settings the RAM is running at. Download and run something like CPU-Z (look at Memory tab) or PC Wizard 2007 (look at "Chipset" section, NOT "Memory" section) to see what memory bus speed and latency timings the RAM is running at.

Your instinct about something having changed to cause this problem is probably a good one, but it remains possible that small memory errors caused slow corruption of files such as your system files, and now the system/driver/program files are corrupt enough that you are having obvious problems.
May 9, 2007 6:15:48 AM

stick em to something like 2.4 for a run, see if they are still pass, if they do, slowly lower it, if they don't just RA them
May 9, 2007 7:05:40 AM

I've had similar issues with some crucial sticks, also based on Micron D9GMH ICs like alot of the Corsairs.

Started with 3 sticks and one went bad, RMAed it and bought an extra giving me 4GB.

Now having an issue with 2 of them.....

Not sure if it is down to overclocking....
May 9, 2007 7:45:26 AM

Probably it's not your RAM but your MB... Have you tried different slots?
May 9, 2007 10:11:01 PM

Quote:
Maybe a PS problem? What model number power supply are you using?

It would be useful to know what settings the RAM is running at. Download and run something like CPU-Z (look at Memory tab) or PC Wizard 2007 (look at "Chipset" section, NOT "Memory" section) to see what memory bus speed and latency timings the RAM is running at.

Your instinct about something having changed to cause this problem is probably a good one, but it remains possible that small memory errors caused slow corruption of files such as your system files, and now the system/driver/program files are corrupt enough that you are having obvious problems.


The power supply is a Thermaltake TR2-430W. Here is what CPU-Z reports about my memory:

Frequency: 400 mhz
FSB:D RAM: 2:3
CAS Latency: 5.0
RAS to CAS Delay: 5
RAS Precharge: 5
Cycle Time: 18

Hope this helps!
May 9, 2007 10:28:19 PM

Quote:
Probably it's not your RAM but your MB... Have you tried different slots?


I tried testing each of the four slots individually. Still getting errors :'(  If it helps at all my Windows registry has been getting corrupted as of late. I had to restore it manually from the Windows Setup CD one time, and the other time Windows gave me a message about having to recover the registry, which was apparently successful. Both of these errors happened after running several sessions of Memtest.
a b } Memory
May 10, 2007 3:44:50 AM

Keep in mind that you must disable Legacy USB Support when running Memtest on ASUS boards as there is a conflict with the test and this setting. Try that and set your memory timings manually to 4,4,4,12 and keep the voltage at 2.1v. Then, with Legacy USB Support disabled, run Memtest on each individual DIMM for 3-5 passes each.

Also, how old is that PSU? Those TT 430w PSUs are notoriously bad.
May 10, 2007 11:37:02 AM

Quote:
Keep in mind that you must disable Legacy USB Support when running Memtest on ASUS boards as there is a conflict with the test and this setting. Try that and set your memory timings manually to 4,4,4,12 and keep the voltage at 2.1v. Then, with Legacy USB Support disabled, run Memtest on each individual DIMM for 3-5 passes each.

Also, how old is that PSU? Those TT 430w PSUs are notoriously bad.


Thanks for the suggestions. I have been running with USB Legacy turned off, as well as some other settings suggested on Corsair's own forums, though I have not yet tried setting the timing by hand. There is also the fact that Memtest (and Windows Diagnostic) will no longer run for more than a few minutes without freezing up and forcing a hard reset.

It was also suggested on Corsair's forums that my PSU may not be powerful enough for the computer, especially the video card. I'm surprised it has such a bad rep, given how highly it was reviewed on Newegg when I purchased it. Could that really be causing all of these problems?
May 10, 2007 12:39:07 PM

Quote:
Keep in mind that you must disable Legacy USB Support when running Memtest on ASUS boards as there is a conflict with the test and this setting. Try that and set your memory timings manually to 4,4,4,12 and keep the voltage at 2.1v. Then, with Legacy USB Support disabled, run Memtest on each individual DIMM for 3-5 passes each.

Also, how old is that PSU? Those TT 430w PSUs are notoriously bad.


Thanks for the suggestions. I have been running with USB Legacy turned off, as well as some other settings suggested on Corsair's own forums, though I have not yet tried setting the timing by hand. There is also the fact that Memtest (and Windows Diagnostic) will no longer run for more than a few minutes without freezing up and forcing a hard reset.

It was also suggested on Corsair's forums that my PSU may not be powerful enough for the computer, especially the video card. I'm surprised it has such a bad rep, given how highly it was reviewed on Newegg when I purchased it. Could that really be causing all of these problems?

Its your memory. I likely have the same model XMS2 6400C4D I am staring at right now. They failed after a week, second Pair. I have a 1Kw BFG PS so thats not an issue. Its the memory.

Just RMA, they are not going to correct themselves at this point regardless of voltage or speed settings. Just FYI from experience.
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