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Bad memory or something else?

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June 23, 2010 11:43:00 PM

Last Nov. I built a PC and everything ran great until about the beginning of May. At that point I started getting random freezes and BSODs.

The errors on the blue screens change almost everytime but most of them relate to memory errors, USB something (I forget what exactly), occasionally a driver, or just a stop error.

The strange part is it can go a few days to a week and it won't crash at all, but then when it does it will do it multiple times over the course of a few days and then stop again for awhile. During these "episodes" I have also had the occasional BIOS freeze. Also when these events occur I sometimes have to press the power button multiple times until the PC will start to boot up (there is no beep codes when it don't boot, the fans spin but it simply don't boot up.)

I have run MemTest86+ and WMD and both have reported memory errors. However, I'm concerned that it is something else because not everytime I run them do they report errors, and when they do the errors only appear on the first pass. I have tried testing the modules seperatly and when I did the one stick had errors (on the first pass) but the other did not. So I tried running for awhile with what I presumed was the good stick, but sure enough a while later I had another BSOD.

So I my question is, is it the RAM or something else?

PS: It's not the PSU, I replaced it with a known working one.

More about : bad memory

June 24, 2010 3:25:48 AM

Well MemTest showed errors when they were both in. Did you run it with one memory stick in (so, twice altogether)? If you can conclude that both sticks have errors, this could be decisive data.

Also in the mean time, you wouldn't happen to have any other compatible sticks of RAM you could put in to see if your system becomes stable? If you do, try that!

Hope this helps.
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June 24, 2010 4:06:09 AM

Yes I ran MemTest86+ again with just one stick in and it showed up with errors. So I figured that stick was bad and took it out. However, even with that stick out and only the stick I presumed was good in I still got freezes and BSODs.

I mean what are the odds that both sticks went bad at the same time?

No, I don't have any other compatible RAM to put in.
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a b } Memory
June 24, 2010 5:17:46 AM

If you run the memory test program and the errors are at the same memory location every time you run the test then the fault is probably faulty memory. If the results occur at random locations in the memory then the fault is probably a faulty power supply or the memory is running at too low a voltage or worst case a faulty motherboard.
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June 24, 2010 5:20:40 AM

So if it's the same error each time then its both sticks of memory but if it's random locations then it's the motherboard?
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a b } Memory
June 24, 2010 7:31:08 AM

Quote:
So if it's the same error each time then its both sticks of memory but if it's random locations then it's the motherboard?
This is not a hard and fast rule but more of an indication as to where the fault is, in my experience of memory random fail locations, it is not the memory that is faulty but that either the power supply is faulty or the memory voltage is to low or the memory timings are wrong or that the motherboard is faulty (unlikely). In your case as the computer was previously working correctly if you are getting random memory errors then the probability is that it is the power supply that is causing your problems.
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June 24, 2010 6:18:02 PM

Quote:
This is not a hard and fast rule but more of an indication as to where the fault is, in my experience of memory random fail locations, it is not the memory that is faulty but that either the power supply is faulty or the memory voltage is to low or the memory timings are wrong or that the motherboard is faulty (unlikely). In your case as the computer was previously working correctly if you are getting random memory errors then the probability is that it is the power supply that is causing your problems.

Quote:
PS: It's not the PSU, I replaced it with a known working one.

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