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Wow, in 18 years, I have never had RAM go bad.

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
30,811
3,923
Portland, OR
So my game machine has been great since I built it over a year ago now. Then the other day, I get a CRC error while extracting an archive. I download the package again, same result. I figure the archive is just f-ed.

Then yesterday, I am trying to extract a new driver and it tosses a CRC error again. Now I know something is wrong. So I start the routine.

Scan all the drives, do some cleanup, run a heavy virus scan, run a check for spyware and nothing comes up. So I get my memtest CD and run that. It says everything is fine. Check the video card, it says it's fine too. I finally decide to pull a stick and see what happens.

First stick, same result, CRC error in driver archive. Swap sticks, no more error. Man, in all my years of building, breaking, upgrading, and abusing machines, I have NEVER had an issue with memory.

Guess since I have to replace the one stick, might as well fill it up. I was running 1G (2x512). My board supports 4G, so I will pick up 4 new 1G sticks on Monday.

What a bitch.
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,700
506
NC
Yeah, RAM problems are a pain, especially because a lot of people, like yourself, have never had problems with it before so it ends up being the last thing you check.

MemTest86 will let you create a boot disk that'll scan your RAM for errors. Takes a little while so sometimes it's more effective to just swap sticks but I've just tossed it in, rebooted and left for a while to just let it work.

Sucks, though, I hate dumping money into broken computer parts. At least it's a good excuse to upgrade :D
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
51,075
4,326
In a van.... down by the river
<snip>
MemTest86 will let you create a boot disk that'll scan your RAM for errors. Takes a little while so sometimes it's more effective to just swap sticks but I've just tossed it in, rebooted and left for a while to just let it work.
jimmydean said:
So I get my memtest CD and run that. It says everything is fine.
:think: Am I missing something?
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
30,811
3,923
Portland, OR
No, but apparently I was. :p

Memtest is only worthwhile if you let it run several passes - not sure how many passes were run, but if it's bad RAM, it'll find it eventually.
I let Memtest86 run for over 2 hours and it found nothing. I guess I have never had that problem before, so I wasn't sure how long it "should" take :D

The only problem I have is the stupid motherboard configuration. It's a prototype 865GBF and the way they put the RAM up against the AGP slot, I have to pull my video card out to take out or install memory. Maybe that's why it was a prototype :poster_oops:
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,700
506
NC
No particular length of time (that will vary depending on amount of memory and speed), but it shows the number of passes. I'd say, for a suspected problem, let it run 4-5 passes. More is always better, since sometimes memory issues don't actually crop up consistently.

Before you chuck your old stuff, you might want to let Memtest run overnight on it, see if it finds anything.
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
30,811
3,923
Portland, OR
No particular length of time (that will vary depending on amount of memory and speed), but it shows the number of passes. I'd say, for a suspected problem, let it run 4-5 passes. More is always better, since sometimes memory issues don't actually crop up consistently.

Before you chuck your old stuff, you might want to let Memtest run overnight on it, see if it finds anything.
I put the "bad" stuff back in because my machine was running so damn slow on 512M. The only time I notice any issues are during extraction and on few websites, I got some real random errors I don't see on my other machine and have never seen before.

I will let the tests run overnight just to see. But when I get an error on an archive, pull the second stick, then get no error on the same archive, it has to be something wrong with that stick.

I also swapped slots to see if it was an issue with the board.
 

Connundrum1

Monkey
Mar 11, 2005
336
0
Gold River, Sac Town, CA
don't leave bad RAM in ur system, it might kill the OS. what brand ram you have there? if its a good company it will have a lifetime warranty on it. even if you want to upgrade, get that replaced and put it in a different system.

for new ram i would suggest OCZ, the ram is highly overclockable and stable. the customer service is impeccable as well. they upgraded my RAM free because what i bought was incompatible with my motherboard.
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
30,811
3,923
Portland, OR
An update from hell.

So I replaced the memory and everything "seemed" ok for about a day (even though I never did get errors in memtest with the old memory). then the crap started happening again. It seemed to only be happening with split archives.

So just for the hell of it, I plugged my NIC in and tried the same set of files again. Turns out it was the crap wireless card the whole time! I went to Enu and got a new card and BAM! It's all good now. Not to mention the fact my machine is insanely fast with all this memory.

So the Airlink card I bought some 2 years ago on sale for $12 worked great the first 2 years of it's life. Now, not so much. I got a D-Link card for $24 and if I get 2 years out of it, I'll be happy. So far the throughput on the D-Link is great.
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,700
506
NC
Well, sorry you spent the bucks on new RAM but at least you got an upgrade out of it.

At least my faith in Memtest86 remains unshaken. Yours would have been the first case I've seen of bad memory not showing up on a scan.
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
30,811
3,923
Portland, OR
Well, sorry you spent the bucks on new RAM but at least you got an upgrade out of it.

At least my faith in Memtest86 remains unshaken. Yours would have been the first case I've seen of bad memory not showing up on a scan.
The upgrade was long overdue. As for Memtest86, I have used it many times and never seen an error, so I'm not sure I have any faith in it at all. :D
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,700
506
NC
jimmydean said:
Wow, in 18 years, I have never had RAM go bad.
jimmydean said:
As for Memtest86, I have used it many times and never seen an error
What more do you need for faith? It has simply proved many, many times how lucky you are in regards to your memory :D :p