Broken memory chip


I have a problem with a memory chip in my laptop. I wanted to add some memory, so I took a look at the chip. When I was putting it back (and I was doing it inappropiately - shame on me), I accidentally broke a small part that was sticking up from a surface. It looked to me as a capacitor. Eventually I put it back and surprisingly a computer works fine, but I wonder for how long. I tried starting plenty of programs to fill up the memory, but it did not freeze up. A system shows still the same amount of available memory.

How can I test whether it works fine or not? Should I get rid of this chip or can I keep it?

Any help will be really appreciated.
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More about broken memory chip
  1. Capacitors are usually used to avoid high-frequency load changes to propagate on the power lines. Components like these are required to ensure stability, reduce ems emmissions, avoid interference with other components. If the memory is functioning well you don't need to replace the memory; however, the memory may be less ocable, may induce errors in other components or may interfere with other components (for example the noise level in the sound card may be higher)
  2. Thanks for the answer. I took a second look at the memory and it looks like I broke a circuit while breaking that thing (I am not sure whether it is a capacitor or maybe a resistor), so I don't know why I didn't have any problems so far (touch wood).

    Should anyone have any more suggestions, I will be really glad to hear them.

  3. I doubt there would be a capacitor on your memory chip.

    There are many resistors on the memory chip to avoid interfearence and a dirty signal input (called reflection) they are not necissary if you are getting a clean frequency input but will definitly limit how far you can overclock your ram.

    If it isn't a P6 then it isn't a procesor
    110% BX fanboy
  4. Actually there are at least 2147483648 capacitors on a 256MB dRAM: every memory cell is a capacitor :wink: !

    I wouldn't know if those tiny things are capacitors, resistors, diodes or what. They could be pull-down or pull-up resistors, terminating resistors (I'd expect many more of those, I count only 10 per DIMM side, 1 per chip + 2 which are of another color). I didn't want the reply to be too complicated, since in either case the story is that these things are used to stabilize the system and/or to eliminate interference. Well, if the memory still works and he doesn't notice any side effects he can keep the thing; and if he has problems he'll know what to look for.
  5. yes i know that i was refering to capacitors physically on the memory board, but i would hope he wasnt forceful enought to break his memory chip!

    Now that i think of it, it probably was not a resistor but surface mount capacitor, it is the only thing that you could remove from a memory chip without shutting off a circut. If a resistor fell off the circut would be severed, but with a capacitor the electricity will still be able to complete its circut. Although i thought most of the elemination of interferance and stabilisation of current was done by the motherboard and not the dimm.

    If it isn't a P6 then it isn't a procesor
    110% BX fanboy
  6. Thank you for your help - I really appreciate that.

    I admit that I was being very careless while putting back my memory. I destroyed this little thing with my fingernail when I was putting too much pressure on a memory chip (I remembered that in desktops you have to apply a little force to put it in, so I did the same for the laptop). This is the first time in my life and hopefully the last one.

    I just registered to this forum and I can see that people here are very helpful. A lot of thanks to everybody who helped me.

  7. Could just run the memtest for a couple hours but if it works then dont worry much about it unless you plan on OCing which is a joke of a concept anyways on laptops.

    F-DISK-Format-Reinstal DO DA!! DO DA!!
  8. Can you suggest a program that can do a memory test for me?

    I would like to buy some memory for this laptop (PC2100 @ 266 MHz - 200 pin of course). Do you know any reliable stores on the Internet? I used to find a deal, but I would like to get some suggestions before I actually buy something.


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    If it isn't a P6 then it isn't a procesor
    110% BX fanboy
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