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Windows 7 Boot Failure - Repair Fail, Memory Fail

Last response: in Windows 7
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October 25, 2011 10:38:27 AM

Hello Interwebs,

I recently built a new rig and I had a problem with one stick of memory. The other stick worked alright, but I've been getting random failures. Can bad memory be inconsistent? Right now, I can't start my OS up at all. It goes straight to the Windows Repair Launcher, which fails. When it gets there, I can either find a restore point or let it 'attempt to fix' for as long as I can endure. The restore point option results in 'instruction xxx failed. memory reference xxx failed.'

This leads me to believe there is a problem with the memory. But, could it be the motherboard? I played a video game for hours last night, as well as surfed the web and ran other applications. Everything was fine, until I shut down. This isn't the first time this happened. Last time, I 'fixed' it by switching the 'good' memory stick with the bad. The bad resulted in getting the OS up, but lots of BSOD's. Then I put in the 'good' and we were on track, until I restarted. Here I am now.

What's up with this memory!?
October 25, 2011 10:46:05 AM

My question focused heavily on hardware, especially my memory, but I only did so because I think my Windows boot error is connected to that. I have new memory on the way. I'd like to think that it won't take new memory to fix this since I've logged hours and hours on my new rig before this happened.

Thanks for your support!
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a b $ Windows 7
a b } Memory
October 25, 2011 11:15:25 AM

you can try memtest

http://www.memtest.org/

if you get errors, you have bad ram or a bad memory setting. Some memory requires you to set voltage in the bios.

let memtest run at least overnight.
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Related resources
a b $ Windows 7
a b } Memory
October 25, 2011 12:48:17 PM

Big mistake, using memory that produced memory errors.
Memory holds not only Data, but also program instructions and also pointers. If the "bad" memory cell(s) just contains data then data is corrupted, if a instruction set then that instruction is bad - same same with a pointer.
If the pointer states where data is suppose to be stored, it could be corrupted and instead of putting data on the HDD it may get written into the File allocation table or the boot record - Worst case bad memory can cause a write to Bios which may require a RMA.

First FIX the memory error, as nukemaster suggested run memtest86 from a Boot CD.
Once memory is "declared" good. then and only then work on getting the HDD up and runing (windows 7. You may need to re-install windows to correct this, But feel lucky that it did not (rare, but does happen) kill the Bios so that the computer does not boot.
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October 25, 2011 2:55:59 PM

RetiredChief said:
Big mistake, using memory that produced memory errors.
Memory holds not only Data, but also program instructions and also pointers. If the "bad" memory cell(s) just contains data then data is corrupted, if a instruction set then that instruction is bad - same same with a pointer.
If the pointer states where data is suppose to be stored, it could be corrupted and instead of putting data on the HDD it may get written into the File allocation table or the boot record - Worst case bad memory can cause a write to Bios which may require a RMA.

First FIX the memory error, as nukemaster suggested run memtest86 from a Boot CD.
Once memory is "declared" good. then and only then work on getting the HDD up and runing (windows 7. You may need to re-install windows to correct this, But feel lucky that it did not (rare, but does happen) kill the Bios so that the computer does not boot.


Chief MSgt,

By fix the memory error, do you mean figure out if it's bad and then replace it entirely if it is? Is there anyway I can save the memory? At least the 'good' stick? I installed win7 with the 'stick,' but I'm not sure if there were errors left over from when I had both sticks in.

Any elaboration would be greatly appreciated.

Semper Fi(ly, haha)

LCpl L
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a b $ Windows 7
a b } Memory
October 25, 2011 3:45:44 PM

The problem could be a bad ram stick, or a MB problem (bad Memory slot).
If one stick is good, yes you can keep and just replace the "bad" stick.

To test:
Put just the one stick in, test. Replace with 2nd stick.
Then try both, one at a time in the 2nd slot.
If One stick test bad, by itself, in both slots then replace (RMA) it.
If both test good in first slot, but bad in 2nd slot, kind of indicates a MB problem.

Before testing verify that the Voltage, and timings are per the manuf specs)
Not sure then post the Brand/part number of the Ram you are using (also identify your MB).

Memtest86 Boot CD. Remember this is a ISO file do not just copy like a data file.
http://www.memtest86.com/download.html
Initially most likely for the above test a shorter 4 hr pass is probably enough time.
If both sticks test OK, then put both in and test using 6 + hours.

PS I quess you're in the Military. I retired in 1983.
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October 25, 2011 5:46:47 PM

RetiredChief said:
The problem could be a bad ram stick, or a MB problem (bad Memory slot).
If one stick is good, yes you can keep and just replace the "bad" stick.

To test:
Put just the one stick in, test. Replace with 2nd stick.
Then try both, one at a time in the 2nd slot.
If One stick test bad, by itself, in both slots then replace (RMA) it.
If both test good in first slot, but bad in 2nd slot, kind of indicates a MB problem.

Before testing verify that the Voltage, and timings are per the manuf specs)
Not sure then post the Brand/part number of the Ram you are using (also identify your MB).

Memtest86 Boot CD. Remember this is a ISO file do not just copy like a data file.
http://www.memtest86.com/download.html
Initially most likely for the above test a shorter 4 hr pass is probably enough time.
If both sticks test OK, then put both in and test using 6 + hours.

PS I quess you're in the Military. I retired in 1983.


Chief,

Is it possible to flash the sticks? Not sure if that's the right verb, but get the instructions/data off these two sticks? I have a gut feeling that there are bad instructions on the sticks, because on one of them, I logged several hours with different applications using it. It wasn't until I made some software changes that I couldn't get windows to restart. Any suggestions for the actuall memory?

LCpl L
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a b $ Windows 7
a b } Memory
October 25, 2011 6:10:28 PM

Short answer NO. When power is removed, memory is cleared.
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!