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Dodgy memory stick?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Baba O'Riley, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    Hi guys, a little help needed here.

    I am upgrading a system with 128MB PC 133 SDRAM with another stick of 128MB. Now, I was doubtful if this was going to work at best as the stick has been sitting on a relative's desk for over year doing nothing.

    When I install it the PC starts the POST, I get the messgae 256MB System RAM passed and then it totally locks up. There are no error messages and I can't get into the CMOS because the keyboard hasn't been initialised by this point.

    It's definitely the "new" stick as I tried the old one on its own in both slots with no problems. I get the lock up both with the new stick on its own and both sticks together in all combinations of slots.

    I'm pretty sure there's not much I can do but I am curious as to why the POST is reporting the RAM as good when clearly it's not.

    Anyone with any ideas?

    Cheers,

    Baba.
     
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  2. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Yep, sounds faulty to me Baba. Is it PC100 or PC133?
     
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  3. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Get hold of the Ultimate Boot CD which has some great memory tests on it (although this does rather depend on getting past the POST )

    If it doesn't help you, it's still an opportunity to post a link to this great FREE tool for all. :D
     
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  4. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    Both sticks are PC 133 Boyce.

    Thanks for the confirmation :) .
     
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  5. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    yeah, sounds as if the one recenlty tried is duff. :(

    Thanks for the link Gav :biggrin
     
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  6. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    Thanks Jak but like you say, it wont get past the POST anyway. The UBCD is a cool piece of kit though, nice one.
     
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  7. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    There is a difference in manufacturing processes used now in the PC 133 and PC 100 ram modules. If you get the wrong one it won't work, even if there is nothing wrong with the ram. I've run into this a couple of times.

    What I've found as a general rule of thumb is that if existing ram has IC's on both sides of the stick, a new one with IC's on only one side won't work. The same goes for the reverse situation too.

    Make sure your ram is compatible before condemning it.
     
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  8. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    Freddy, both sticks are single sided, but the original has eight chips and the new one has four, will this be a cause of the problem? I will keep the stick anyway just in case.

    Cheers,

    Baba.
     
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  9. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Take a look at the two links I'm putting here. Pay close attention to the two model numbers of ram. The better ram manufacturers will tell you exactly how the ram is constructed, and these two tell you the exact memory structure of the chips in the model number. That's really what you need to look at to see if ram is going to be compatible on all motherboards. Some motherboards aren't as picky as others and you can get away with mixing and matching more, but some are very picky and you basically have to match the existing ram very closely.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820136114

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820136116

    Take a look at the tags on your ram and see if they tell you how the ram you have is constructed.

    I was looking for a good site that has all the particulars about ram but couldn't find one immediately. I used to have a good link to this but have lost it somewhere and can't remember the name of the site.
     
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  10. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    The reason is that POST doesn't actualy *test* the memory - it is more of a presence-detect. It hits a few spots up the memory range to size it and that's it.

    If the memory is faulty at positions other than the few places that POST checks then you will get the effect you have seen.

    It is notoriouly difficult to *properly* test memory without the test taking hours.

    Harry.
     
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  11. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Regardless of whether the stick is dodgy or just the wrong type, it obviously isn't going to work on that computer. Time to go shopping.
     
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  12. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    Nah, no point, it's just a test machine. Thanks for the replies.
     
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