blue screen advice wanted

Hewlett-packard / PAVILION
January 1, 2009 at 07:21:51
Specs: Windows Vista, 1.5 MB
Been having numerous blue screens: "memory management & irq not less than" errors. Contacted HP support & did everything they advised: reset BIOS, restored pc to factory settings, updated OS to SP1, updated graphics chipset driver, changed RAM. Still getting blue screens. Anyone have any expert advice? I also tested RAM, individually in each RAM slot using MEMTEST. Got countless errors, so I think it might be that the memory slots are faulty on the motherboard. I doubt that all 6 RAM sticks are faulty, especially the new ones I bought. Just wondering if there's anything else I can try because I don't have the $ to sink into getting a new motherboard if that's not the problem. Thanx.

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January 1, 2009 at 07:44:11
You may have the BIOS settings for the RAM set wrong. With an HP I don't know what options, if any, you may have.

Have you tried all the RAM by inserting ONLY one stick at a time in the first slot?

You could try clearing the CMOS and then resetting values.

Seems odd that all slots would have problems. Is any of the current RAM original RAM that came from HP?

If not, the RAM may not be compatible. If you have 6 slots your computer may require EEC RAM. Is that what you are using?

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January 1, 2009 at 08:12:50
I already cleared the CMOS. The BIOS is very basic. There's no place to change the RAM timings, so there's no overclocking. I have tested individually both the original RAM (4 sticks: 2 512MB & 2 256MB) and the new RAM (2 sticks 2 1 gb) and get errors with all of them. There are 4 slots. The requirements are non ECC, non buffered, which is what I purchased. It's hard to believe that all the RAM would be faulty and that all 4 memory slots would be faulty. That's why I'm puzzled. Thanx for trying to help.

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January 1, 2009 at 08:29:33
OK, you have a total of 6 modules but only 4 slots.

Then the old RAM was working OK. Then what happened? Do all the installed sticks show in the POST screens at start up?

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Related Solutions

January 1, 2009 at 09:04:28
No -- got blue screens with the old RAM, so that's why I bought new RAM. Then, with the new RAM, still got blue screens. After I set the pc back to factory settings, I put back the old RAM. Got blue screens again. Then, I took out the old RAM and put in the new RAM. Got blue screens again. Currently, just using 2 memory slots. I also switched the RAM to the other 2 memory slots & still the same thing happens.

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January 1, 2009 at 09:26:25
You didn't state if any of the RAM modules are properly identified in the POST screens.

Did this issue happen suddenly or gradually?

You could try cleaning the RAM using a pencil erasure. Try installing the same stick in the same slot 4 or 5 times to clean off any oxidation. I don't hold alot of hope for that though because your problem is system wide.

The PSU may be faulty. Boot into the BIOS screens to PC Health and look at the voltages to see if they are close to what they should be.

Also, examine the motherboard looking for bulging or leaking capacitors.

Have you experienced any power outages or storms recently?

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January 1, 2009 at 09:30:00
What voltage does the bios give the RAM and can you change that ? What about the clock speed of the RAM and of the cpu ?

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January 1, 2009 at 09:34:20
The RAM modules are properly recognized in the POST screen. No power outages/storms. I think this happened over time.

I'll try to clean the RAM & re-seat them, as you suggest.

I also ran HP's hardware diagnostics program and all the tests "passed". I also ran Windows Memory Diagnostics on this and the tests pass.

I didn't think the problem would be because of a faulty PSU because the blue screens may occur even when the pc is just sitting idle and there are no intense programs being used. This pc is just basically for internet & wordprocessing.

Thanx again for your suggestions. I'll post back later.

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January 1, 2009 at 10:23:48
Lets go back to the original post.

The message you are getting can come from a hardware problem as well as RAM.

How frequent are the blue screens?

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January 1, 2009 at 12:38:27
The blue screens are pretty frequent. Maybe 2 to 3 times within 2 hours of usage.

I keep going back to the MEMTEST and as I mentioned previously, that gives so many errors that I just keep quitting the program. I read that even 1 error with MEMTEST indicates something is wrong with the RAM, so that's why I think it's a RAM issue. However, I don't think all 6 sticks would be faulty. I don't have any extra RAM to use as a test and I don't plan on buying additional RAM to test.

One more thing, I did a "check disk" to check the harddrive and that came up fine. I even downloaded a harddrive checking utility from the harddrive manufacturer and that also came out fine.

That's why I came here -- because I'm out of ideas.

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January 1, 2009 at 13:09:21
Download a utility called SIW.exe. Get the standalone version. Install and run. Look at the memory and sensors modules. Your RAM should be using 2.5V.

Check the voltages in the sensor module to see if all the voltages are close to what they are supposed to be.

Get SIW at the link below.

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January 1, 2009 at 14:48:23
Why have you not listed the model number of your HP or the type of RAM? It would also be helpful to know the specs of the RAM you're talking about.

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January 1, 2009 at 15:10:36
Model of HP is Pavilion a6013w. RAM is DDR2 - PC2 5300; 2 sticks of 1 GB using 2 slots of 4.

Memory timings are: 5-5-5-15-20 @ 333 MHz @ 1.8 volts.

ACPI Temperatures-THRM is 37 degrees C and HDD Temperature is 35 degrees.

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January 1, 2009 at 15:38:10
As I asked in response 6, what about the clock speed of the cpu in the bios ? And can you change the RAM voltage in the bios ? If yes, you might want to increase it a little-try 1.9 volts first.

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January 1, 2009 at 15:59:07

The OP indicated there are very few options in his BIOS screens. Probably can't adjust anything. HP don't want folks poking around in there and then calling for tech support.

I have often wondered if there is some secret way to unlock those BIOSes or if they are just plain written crippled.

I suggested SIW to see what voltages are in play.

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January 1, 2009 at 16:41:32
I agree that the OP probably can't adjust anything-I was just making sure since the OP said that there was no place to change the RAM timings, but didn't say anything about voltages, etc. Besides, you can check what the RAM voltage is listed at, which the OP did post, and also the cpu clock speed, which has still not been posted.

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January 1, 2009 at 17:03:26
One question I didn't ask is how long has the computer run without issue with the old RAM installed?

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January 1, 2009 at 17:24:56
Check every connector on that board. Maybe something else is "coming and going" which is fouling things up during the RAM tests.

some other bloke...

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January 1, 2009 at 20:31:21
kx5m2g -- can't change much in the BIOS; there are no options to change the voltage. The CPU info is: 3.00 GHz, 3000 MHz, 2 Core(s)

OtheHill -- I don't remember how long the old RAM was in use before the blue screen errors started to occur. But, if I put the old RAM back in the system, the errors occur about as often as with the new RAM.

Derek -- I haven't had a chance to open up the case and check every connector. I will try to do that soon.

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January 1, 2009 at 21:17:16
I thought the old RAM was HP original RAM. Yes, No? How old is the computer?

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January 2, 2009 at 04:38:39
OtheHill -- Yes, the old RAM is the HP original RAM. The computer is less than 2 years old.

Downloaded & ran MemTest86+. I only let it run 1 complete pass and it came up with no errors.

You mentioned something about the power supply. Could a weak power supply cause these blue screen errors?

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January 2, 2009 at 06:27:25
If the PSU were supplying the wrong voltage to the RAM for instance, you could get errors. Especially too low a voltage.

That is why I suggested downloading SIW. That program can tell you a lot about your computer, including the voltages.

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January 2, 2009 at 06:42:34
I guess I don't know how to interpret the findings in SIW. I reported that the timings were 1.8 volts. Is that considered low? And, since I can't change anything related to that in the BIOS, would putting in a new power supply increase that voltage to what is considered normal? I am clueless about this. Sorry. I do appreciate your help.

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January 2, 2009 at 07:16:22
No, 1.8V is what your RAM should be. I was thinking your computer was older when I said 2.5V above. DDR RAM runs at 2.5, DDR2 runs at 1.8.

What you can do is read the labels on all the RAM and see if all of it says 1.8V on it.

The standard is 1.8V but some manufacturers don't follow the standard and call for more voltage. That is where you can have trouble. Expecially mixing stick that require different voltages.

Look under the heading for sensors to see what the voltages that the PSU is supplying are. Post the numbers here. You only need to be concerned with positive voltages (+). There are three. 3.3V, 5.0V and 12.0V. There may be two additional voltages of interest. CPU Vcore and Vin1.

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January 2, 2009 at 07:57:04
The labels on the RAM doesn't say anything about the voltage, but in SIW, under Memory, it's listed as 1.8.

I can't find any info on the PSU voltages under "sensors". The info under "sensors" is just the temperatures which I posted earlier under Response #12. I can't find the other info either. I've looked under each heading in SIW under Hardware.

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January 9, 2009 at 03:41:50
I decided to change out the PSU. It's been a few days now & there haven't been any blue screens! I'm hoping that cured the problem. Thanx to kx5m2g, Derek & especially, OtheHill for your help.

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January 9, 2009 at 05:01:00
You are welcome. Thanks for getting back to us.

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