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Old 2007-08-27, 13:08   Link #1
grey_moon
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Bad RAM

My lappie's 1 gig sodimm failed after I moved over to HK and I believe it just about out of warrenty.

So I noticed it failed since Windows XP would BSOD with a unhelpful error so I thought lets check the memory and sure enough with memtest386 it had errors around the 600ish MB mark. I would generally get a BSOD when I had video conferencing with skype on. Anyways I put in a spare 256 in to leave me with 600ish (after shared gpu). With XP it would dog slow as soon as I fired up my normal apps which were ff, thunderturd, trillian, goodletalk, skype, outpost, nod32, avg av and ssm. It would grind to a near halt when I started serious browsing and start skype voice chat, video chat would kill it.

So then I switch to ubuntu and it was sooooo quick, but the other day after opening 40 ish images in firefox to bazzacuda down it started getting sluggish (it has also been on for over a month). I checked the memory and it had used about 400mb and has about 200 of swap in use. It was no where as bad as my windows with my normal startup. I do run the equivalent programs but missing all of the security software.

So after our interesting discussion about swap I thought I'd see when it starts swaping and sure enough when it hit about 350 to 400 mb it started swapping.

I thought hang on most kits nowadays have 1gb in so I'll chuck in my buggered 1 gig mem to see how much I could throw at it before it starts to swap or crash.

So after loading up every program installed, I had over 60 images opened in firefox and then in the gnome image display I had a further 30 2MB jpegs open and a few gimp ones, I finally got it to swap at about 850 MB. It was chubby but due to the CPU being at 100%, i think I should have stuck to all images.

At that point I thought hey it isnt crashing so I kept loading up more and more images until it no longer filled any physical ram but just kept swapping and it was painfully slow and still no crash.

So I thought maybe it has fixed itself, but memtest still shows errors.

So after that long winded story here is the question. Is it safe to use RAM which has errors? Could it cause data corruption?
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Old 2007-08-27, 14:47   Link #2
arcadeplayer987
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Join Date: Apr 2007
As long you don't receive crash, BSOD, restart...you are fine
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Old 2007-08-27, 19:51   Link #3
grey_moon
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Cheers for that, at work I've always just changed bad memory so never really thought about it. So data only corrupts on a crash? That is good to know
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Old 2007-08-27, 22:59   Link #4
Claies
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Join Date: May 2007
Age: 25
Since you're in Hong Kong (...HK, right?), go to Apliu Street's Golden Computer Centers in Sham Shui Po and get yourself some RAM - and some cheap computer accessories while you're at it. Do check on brands. They have everything, so take some time to look around and get the best deals.

Good luck!
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Old 2007-08-28, 07:04   Link #5
TakutoKun
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Age: 29
One of the main reasons why RAM becomes damaged, per say, is usually because it was mishandled. Even if you are careful installing RAM, you could still have a static charge or you might have placed the RAM somewhere it should not be - ie on top of a anti-static bad - and it gets damaged. One cell out of x cells is damaged and you will mainly notice that one time you hit that cell and your computer crashes. The best way to handle RAM would be to ensure you are properly grounded and are using an ESD band.
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Old 2007-08-28, 07:57   Link #6
grey_moon
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Join Date: Dec 2004
I did a 8 hour burn in test with memtest386 when I installed it and it was fine. It went through airport scanners about 5 times since and the humidity here is quite high. So I guess that could have caused it.

This to be honest if the first time I've had memory die on me that didn't involve a power spike or PSU failure.

I think HK hates me, I've lost one laptop the board that handles the power blew, a hard drive full of data went and then this dimm . I've never lost so much of my own stuff in my lifetime, I guess I am paying back for it now.

*edit*
I've had a hard drive fail, but in such a way that I've gotten a warning and I made sure I had a backup. With this failure it was sudden and due to me moving I didn't have a recent backup (bad moon)
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Old 2007-08-28, 08:07   Link #7
TakutoKun
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Age: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by grey_moon View Post
I did a 8 hour burn in test with memtest386 when I installed it and it was fine. It went through airport scanners about 5 times since and the humidity here is quite high. So I guess that could have caused it.

This to be honest if the first time I've had memory die on me that didn't involve a power spike or PSU failure.

I think HK hates me, I've lost one laptop the board that handles the power blew, a hard drive full of data went and then this dimm . I've never lost so much of my own stuff in my lifetime, I guess I am paying back for it now.

*edit*
I've had a hard drive fail, but in such a way that I've gotten a warning and I made sure I had a backup. With this failure it was sudden and due to me moving I didn't have a recent backup (bad moon)
I think your are "technology" cursed! :P
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Old 2007-08-28, 16:28   Link #8
Ledgem
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Northeast USA
Age: 28
I think it's a Hong Kong conspiracy so that he'll be forced to buy new stuff, will subsequently notice that there's cheap electronics available locally, and will then proceed to spend his money there ;P
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Old 2007-08-28, 22:09   Link #9
grey_moon
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
I think it's a Hong Kong conspiracy so that he'll be forced to buy new stuff, will subsequently notice that there's cheap electronics available locally, and will then proceed to spend his money there ;P
But the thing is it is not as cheap as it used to be any more. In the old days uk was expensive, so to buy a new processor I might have saved 30 to 40%, but now I saved only 15% *cry*. The same when I brought some hard drives.... The main issue is I am no longer using the good old GBP to purchase and I am missing their mokkori purchasing power
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