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Could this be the cause of my memory issues?

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Last response: in Memory
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September 23, 2012 10:12:31 PM

System Specs:

OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, Service Pack 1, 64 bit
Processor: AMD FX(tm)-4100 Quad-Core Processor @ stock 3.60 GHz
RAM: 8190 Mb (2x4GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 MHz [PC3 12800] @ 1333 MHz)
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti, 1023 Mb @ stock
PSU: Blue Star 650w (craptastic $20 PSU)
Hard Drives: C: Total - 152624 MB, Free - 19003 MB;
Motherboard: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd., M68MT-S2

This is just a budget gaming PC I threw together while I was unemployed (I'm also 19, so not a whole lot of money to spend right now). So aside from being on the low end of the totem poll, all of the parts in this computer are almost brand new (July 2012), save for the PSU, which I've had since... I want to say 2009? Now my issues first started with random programs crashing to desktop. Firefox crashes constantly, but I thought nothing of it because I attributed it to addon instability. However, more symptoms started popping up and now I'm not so sure. Recently, Supreme Commander 2 keeps crashing to the desktop at random times, along with other games, such as StarCraft 2 and various others, but mostly SupCom2, as that is what I am playing these days. System temperatures are running far below critical, as everything is at stock, my case is actually open on one side (close to the wall, nothing collides with it to jar things loose), the room is cool, and I'm only running on a 1280x720 monitor, so my GPU has no trouble keeping up.

So I decided to run Memtest86+ to see if that was my issue. Lo and behold, 270,000 memory issues in 2 passes. I guess you could say that threw up about, I dunno, 270-thousand red flags? So I tried testing both sticks of RAM individually to see if I could localize the issue to one or the other. While doing that, I found one working perfectly. I then tried putting the other back in the second slot and came back with zero errors again. At this point, I figured it was probably just poorly seated ram. I tried a test overnight with about 8 passes, no errors. Then I left it off while I was at work, and tested again that night with zero errors again. This convinced me that it was just somehow poorly seated.

Rough summary of tests:

1) 2x4GB (stick 1 in primary slot, stick 2 in secondary), 2 passes, 270,000 errors
2) 1x4GB (1), 2 passes, 9 errors
3) 1x4GB (2), 2 passes, 0 errors
4) 2x4GB (stick 2 in primary, stick 1 in secondary), 8 passes, 0 errors
5) Repeat of above test at a later time, 1 pass, 0 errors.
EDIT:
6) Same conditions as 4 & 5 but done today, 71,000 errors so far, only at 67% tested.

Well, that was three days ago, and now my problems have come back. SupCom is crashing and errors are popping up all over. I haven't even done so much as bump my table the case is sitting on. I've also been experiencing another symptom lately; random shutdowns with no errors. Not even resets. Just on one second, off the next, as if I pulled the plug. This led me to believe my PSU was failing, which I wouldn't doubt at all, as it is three years old and was dirt cheap when I bought it.

So my question is this:

Could my PSU, likely on its last leg, be causing such random patterns of memory failure? My first step here is going to be to replace that PSU but I'd like to know if that could perhaps be all I have to do. I'd sure love to not have to drop another 25-55$ on a new kit of RAM.

More about : memory issues

September 25, 2012 3:12:33 AM

Ordered a new PSU, and just in time, as I just got an error that forced my computer to restart (with Windows warning me that I have 1 minute to save programs). The issues only happen at load, again, telling me it is power supply failure. I will update my post when it comes in to say if the issue is resolved, in case somebody has similar issues and comes across this thread.

This is my second time posting on these forums and my second time getting zero replies. What's up with that?
September 25, 2012 4:51:16 AM

well when i had that type of issues it was memory probs and i thought it was my gpu so i sold it lol that was long time ago
and whats the psu u ordered? It better be at least an 80 bronze certified
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September 25, 2012 4:38:32 PM

well that would be ok yeah
September 29, 2012 9:37:29 PM

The PSU came in and works great. The computer no longer randomly shuts off and the memory tests are now coming in with consistent results.

The problem was twofold; the RAM itself was still faulty. The bad PSU seems to have caused some phantom errors, along with somehow causing it to miss the real errors on previous tests. Now that the tests are coming back with the same errors each time, I narrowed it down to one stick. I am now running only 4GB, which should be just fine, and my problems are solved.
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