Memory error

Toshiba satellite / L350d-01h
February 17, 2010 at 12:35:27
Specs: Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit

Just started getting the blue screen of death
on this notebook. It had been fine for about a
year. Now it has a memory problem. Where
would be the first place to start when trying to
fix this? I tried to reformat but now I get the
blue screen during install of the OS. Ran a
memtest and everything failed.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

See More: Memory error

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February 17, 2010 at 14:27:48
The main problem is you have to go inside the machine and some Notebooks can be a bit fiddly..

Always worth cleaning RAM edge connectors with a pencil eraser then pulling the sticks in and out a few times to clear oxide off the sockets themselves. Notebooks get bumped around and this sometimes causes RAM to move very slightly onto an oxided area.

Otherwise try one RAM stick at a time (assuming there is more than one) and use Memtest to determine which one has gone bad. If it finds one (of more) you should be able to struggle along without it.

some other bloke...

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February 17, 2010 at 14:31:15
Do you have any advice on opening up the notebook? I have
never opened one before.

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February 17, 2010 at 14:43:21
Not much NoteBook experience myself but someone else might pop by to help you. In the meantime Google around with the model number or at Toshiba's website and you might find some info. I would say edge connectors are the most likely problem - same with PC's.

some other bloke...

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Related Solutions

February 17, 2010 at 15:01:09
Figured it out. There is a little easy-to-access hatch on the back
for memory. There is only one stick. I took it out and checked
the connectors(cleaned them off) and put the stick in the other
port. I am retrying the install. I will let you know if it works.

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February 17, 2010 at 15:50:26
Unplug the AC adapter AND remove the main battery whenever you unplug, plug in the ram !!

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February 17, 2010 at 16:11:56
Thanks Tubesandwires. I did that.

There is one stick of 2 Gig ram in it. I tried it in the other slot, ran
the memtest and it still failed. I tried a different stick of ram and it
worked so I will just have to replace the ram it looks like.

Thanks for all the help Derek and Tubesandwires. :)

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February 17, 2010 at 17:57:11
Glad to see you are on the way.

Thanks to T&W for making that important point. Apart from your own safety it protects the machine from getting zapped. Unnecessary this time but often folk don't think of it.

some other bloke...

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February 17, 2010 at 19:14:33
Usually when a ram module or modules fails a ram diagnostic test, it's not actually "bad".
Almost always, either
- it has a connection problem in it's slot(s)

You tried once but you could try re-seating the ram again; you could also try wiping off the contacts on the ram modules with a tissue, paper towel, or, best, a soft clean cloth.

- or - quite common - the ram is not 100% compatible with using it in your mboard.

Tell me the product part number(s) on the modules and I'll look them up to see if they ARE or ARE NOT listed as being compatible with your mboard model .

My usual info:

Ram that works in another mboard , or any ram you buy or have lying around, may not work properly, or sometimes, not at all - even if it physically fits and is the right overall type (e.g. SDram, DDR, DDR2, etc.; PCxxxx, xxx mhz) for your mboard. In the worst cases of incompatibilty your mboard WILL NOT BOOT all the way with it installed, and the mboard may not even beep - the ram has to be compatible with the mboard's main chipset, or in the case of recent mboards, compatible with the memory controller built into the cpu.

If you still have the ram that was installed when the system worked fine, try installing just that ram.

See response 5 in this for some info about ram compatibilty, and some places where you can find out what will work in your mboard for sure:
Correction to that:

Once you know which module ID strings work in your mboard, you can get them from anywhere you like that has ram with those ID strings.

If you have brand name ram, it is usually easy to look up whether it's ID string is in a list of compatible modules found by using your mboard or brand name system model number.
If the ram is generic, that may be difficult or impossible.

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February 17, 2010 at 21:58:43
The thing is, this ram worked in the notebook for about a year.
It was stock from the factory. I did clean off the connectors on
the ram and tried multiple times but nothing was working.
When I tried a different stick of ram it worked great. That is
what led me to believe that the ram just died on me.

I will give you all the info on the ram and also the notebook
Samsung 2GB 2Rx8 PC2-6400S-666-12-E3
S/N: RPF100J8XT02QE SPS: V000122210

This is a Toshiba Satellite L350D - 01H
Model number: PSLE8C-01H012

The notebook just started bringing up the BSOD and the error
codes pointed to a RAM problem. Is there is reason to think it
is not a problem with this particular stick of ram even though it
is the original stick that came with the notebook?

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February 18, 2010 at 00:00:31
Samsung ram is one of the few major brands that's difficult to look up.

According to this info, if it came with 2gb originally from the factory, it had 2 - 1gb modules, not 1 - 2gb module, unless you special ordered it to come with 1 :

I didn't say it was impossible that the ram is "bad" - I am just trying to point out it usually isn't.

If the ram worked fine previously, if it tests as "bad" now after trying re-seating it several times, it's a lot more likely it was damaged by something that happened to the ram than it is it spontaneously went bad.

I've never encountered ram that spontanously went bad, since SIMM modules were first released, but I'm not a technician, and I've fiddled with no more than maybe 100 computers in total.
Laptops do get dropped or otherwise physically jostled, and sometimes that loosens the ram or the chips on the modules, and the ram could damaged by that happening. If the computer's AC adapter has been exposed to a power surge or spike or power failure event while it was plugged into the laptop that could damage the ram. NOT unplugging the AC adapter AND the main battery while unplugging or plugging in the ram could damage the ram. Etc. Etc.

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February 18, 2010 at 00:06:58
This computer was bought in Canada. Could be why it came with
1 stick of 2 gig instead of 2 1gigs. There are a whole bunch of
things that could have made the ram go bad. That isn't really a
problem for me.

Anyway, thanks for all your help on the issue. Think I have it
sorted out now. Was my first time working on a notebook. I have
built, fixed, and upgraded countless desktops before this though.

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February 18, 2010 at 00:19:25
"This computer was bought in Canada. Could be why it came with 1 stick of 2 gig instead of 2 1gigs. "

I'm in Canada myself - Alberta.
I'm only going by that info I found.

I've only fiddled with a few laptops - three older ones, two fairly recent ones - they all came with two modules in two ram slots.
I've also frequently heard that's often the case.
When one only has only two slots and both are occupied, that can be a disadvantage in comparison to having one module when you want to upgrade the ram to more mb - sometimes you have no choice but to remove both original modules.

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February 18, 2010 at 00:26:30
Nice to hear a fellow Canadian. :) I am from Manitoba. Used to
live in Alberta.

Again, thanks again. :D

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