ram memory problem - only one at a time works

Geil Geil 2gb (2 x 1gb) ddr2 800 (pc2 64...
November 19, 2010 at 13:05:31
Specs: Linux i686 and windows 7, e6600 c2d 2.4 ghz, geil 800 mhz 4-4-4-12 512 / 1 gb
memtest86+ returns error whenever i plug in more than 1 ram memory. i've tried all 4 memories on their own, they all came through fine. trying any two in both single channel and double channel returns errors in memtest. what could be the problem? the setup of these 4 memories has ran fine for 3 years, suddenly i started getting bluescreens a couple of days ago.

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#1
November 19, 2010 at 13:09:40
try cleaning the memory contacs with rubbing alcohol and then test them...if that doesn't help looks like your motherboard may be at fault

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#2
November 19, 2010 at 13:17:19
ive tried every ram socket on its own as well and it worked.

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#3
November 19, 2010 at 13:21:52

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#4
November 19, 2010 at 13:42:11
each memory works fine on its own, and in any slot of the motherboard.

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#5
November 19, 2010 at 16:00:37
You are going in circles and didn't answer my question, maybe someone else has some input to this

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#6
November 19, 2010 at 16:07:27
sorry, i thought that if it works when only one is inserted, then dirt would not be the problem - but just to make absolutely sure, ive cleaned it using alcohol. unfortunately, it has not helped.

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#7
November 19, 2010 at 16:43:01
" the setup of these 4 memories has ran fine for 3 years, suddenly i started getting bluescreens a couple of days ago."

Blue screens are NOT necessarily caused by ram problems !

What do you see on the blue screens ?

E.g.

STOP: 0x000000xx (we usually don't need the stuff in brackets beside that)

A_TEXT_STRING_IN_CAPITALS_WITH_UNDERLINES_BETWEEN

A problem file may be named at the end of the text.

There may a link to "More info" or similar - if so. click on the link - if it names a problem file, tell us the name of it.
.....

Some ram manufacturer's modules do not strictly adhere to the JEDEC standards that most mboards bioses use to determine ram settings.
In that case, the ram settings in the bios Setup that the bios has automatically chosen may not be correct.
Check the ram settings in your bios - the ram voltage, and the ram timing numbers - those should be the same as for the specs for the modules themselves. Often the ram voltage and timing numbers are printed on the label on the modules.

If the voltage setting or timings settings in the bios are different from the specs for the ram, change them in the bios. The timing numbers must be as close as you can get to the same, or slower timings (higher numbers = slower) - you won't notice the difference the slower settings make.

If you have a mix of different modules
- don't mix ram that different voltages are specified for - the bios will force the ram to use the lowest voltage, if "by spd" or similar is used (default settings) - ram that a higher voltage is specified for is more likely to not work properly in that situation.
- the bios settings must be those for the slowest timing settings of all the modules, or slower (higher numbers = slower).
..........

Not all ram that might think should work in your mboard is 100% compatible with using it in your mboard.

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:
http://www.computing.net/hardware/w...
Correction to that:
Mushkin www.mushkin.com

Once you know which module ID strings (part numbers) 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 (part number) 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.
.....

Incompatible ram can sometimes test fine for each module individually, but may NOT test fine when more than one ram module is installed.

Did you ever test the same modules when they were all installed before this ? If not, and if you're only getting a relatively small number of ram errors, then the problem may have been there all along. Some people don't find out they have a problem until they try to run Windows Setup - it "freaks out" and produces all sorts of errors (can't find a file on the CD, etc., over and over again) if you have a small number of ram errors.

If you DID test the ram with memtest86 before when all modules you have now were installed and they passed, if you are only getting a relatively small number of errors, your problem is most likely caused by a poor connection of the ram in it's slots. Wipe the ram module's contacts off, make sure they are seated properly, and try testing the ram again. I've even had a few cases where I also had to blow out the ram slots, or wipe the contacts in them with alcohol, in order to get rid of a relatively small number of errors.
.....

Any one ram testing program may have bugs that produce false errors in certain circumstances. E.g. - the memtest86 site says memtest86 v 3.5 has bugs that prevents more than 4gb of ram from testing properly - you're supposed to use v 3.4 or lower for more than 4gb of ram installed. Memtest86 in general produces false errors in certain tests when you mboard has certain Athlon cpus or AMD compatible chipsets - e.g. test 5 may be the only test to find a few or many errors , and another test may find infinite errors, in v 3.4.

Try more than one ram test.

If you want to try a memory diagnostic utility that takes a lot less time to run a full pass than memtest86 does, this one is pretty good - Microsoft's
Windows Memory Diagnostic:
http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag...
Windows Memory Diagnostic is limited to testing only the first 4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM.
It can be toggled (press T) to do a standard or a more comprehensive set of tests - use the default 6 test one first - if it passes one pass of that, use the latter one. A few of the tests in the latter set are intentionally slower.
If you don't have a floppy drive, see the Quick Start Information at that Microsoft link for how to make a bootable CD of the Windows Memory Diagnostic (you need Windiag.iso - you don't necessarily need to use the program they mention to add it to the CD).


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#8
November 20, 2010 at 02:40:14
the memories i use are geil 44412 2x1gb ddr2 800 mhz
i also have 2x512 geil 44412 ddr2 800 mhz, but to eliminate compability problems, i was just testint the 2x1 gb, in all possible slot variations. The number of errors i get is huge, once it starts finding errors, it keeps going. When ive last stopped the memtest, it was at about 150 000 errors. The thing is , it has ran fine on this particular bios configuration for ages. Ive tried resetting the bios settings to default, changing the RAM voltage, timings and frequency to the manufacturer specified one. none of that helped. Linux also crashes when more than 1 ram is used - so its definitely not a windows issue. I have not made any hardware modifications to my PC lately, and the mobo im using is asus p5b. the blue screens in windows gave a different message each time.

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#9
November 20, 2010 at 06:41:33
'the blue screens in windows gave a different message each time.'

DUH, why not post the EXACT errors?

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#10
November 20, 2010 at 08:06:05
im sorry, i didnt note them down and i dont remember what they were... one of them said something with usb, the other... i dont remember.. sorry :(

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#11
November 21, 2010 at 11:16:09
Have you tried wiping off the contacts on the modules yet ?
You may also need to blow out the ram slots, or wipe the contacts off in those too.

By the way, do not touch the contacts on the modules with your bare fingers after you have wiped them off - deposits left by fingerprints can cause problems. If you think you may have touched them with your fingers, then use isopropyl (rubbing), methyl (wood), or ethyl (drinkable) alcohol on them when you wipe them, but be careful to NOT get the alcohol on the chips.

You also MUST make sure the settings in the bios Setup are appropriate for the ram you're using, BEFORE you run ram diagnostics, otherwise the results of tests may be FALSE ! You may need to have only one module installed in order to be able to get into the bios Setup.

See the part in response 7 starting at:
"Some ram manufacturer's modules do not strictly adhere to the JEDEC standards.."

The ram timing numbers and ram voltage the module was designed to use are usually printed right on the label on the module.

"the memories i use are geil 44412 2x1gb ddr2 800 mhz
i also have 2x512 geil 44412 ddr2 800 mhz,"

You didn't state the voltage they're specified to use. What is much more significant is the part number on the module.

NOTE that 800mhz DDR2 ram - PC2-6400 ram , and faster, can often have a non-standard voltage specified for it. The voltage would be the same for a matched pair of modules, or two modules with the same part number, but the two pairs may use two different voltages.
.....

"The number of errors i get is huge, once it starts finding errors, it keeps going. When ive last stopped the memtest, it was at about 150 000 errors."

As I said above
"Any one ram testing program may have bugs that produce false errors in certain circumstances. E.g. - the memtest86 site says memtest86 v 3.5 has bugs that prevents more than 4gb of ram from testing properly - you're supposed to use v 3.4 or lower for more than 4gb of ram installed. Memtest86 in general produces false errors in certain tests when you mboard has certain Athlon cpus or AMD compatible chipsets - e.g. test 5 may be the only test to find a few or many errors , and another test may find infinite errors, in v 3.4."

It's quite possible memtest86 bugs also can result in the same thing for Intel cpus and mboards compatible with them in some circumstances - "....another test may find infinite errors...".

Think about it.....that doesn't make sense.....
- If the ram actually had infinite errors, there's no way that the computer could work at all.
- In my experience, it probably passes all other, or all but two of memtest 86's set of tests fine, at least the ones before the one with infinite errors. If your ram was actually faulty, it would probably fail all tests.

You have the option of running only specific tests of memtest86's set of tests - see the Help in memtest86, or the web site, for more info.
.......

Try testing the ram with something else, such as Microsoft's Windows Memory Diagnostics.
......


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#12
November 21, 2010 at 15:25:05
'Have you tried wiping off the contacts on the modules yet ?
'

probably not, I mentioned that a few times ;-)

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#13
November 21, 2010 at 16:10:23
i have done that... on all the memories, it still behaves in the same way.

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#14
November 22, 2010 at 07:39:50
We've already supplied you with more than enough info for you to be able to probably fix your problem. If you didn't or don't follow or check out all the suggestions, if you don't supply the blue screen info, then you may never fix your problem.

DO NOT rely on only the memtest86 test results. Try other ram diagnostics tests, such as the Windows Memory Diagnostics

I had a problem similar to yours with one mboard - the thing that finally fixed the problem after everything else was done and checked out was to blow out the ram slots - I had already tried wiping the ram slots (with a tissue with isopropyl alcohol on it wrapped around thin cardboard).
......

Your could check out your mboard for this problem, but other than this, I do not have any more to say to you at this time.

Some mboards develop this problem - electrolytic capacitors were installed on them that were not properly made, and they fail eventually - the mboard manufacturer didn't know they were improperly made at the time the mboard was made.

Open up your case and examine the mboard to see if you have bad capacitors, and/or other findable signs of mboard damage .

This was the original bad capacitor problem - has some example pictures.
History of why the exploding capacitors and which mboard makers were affected:
http://members.datafast.net.au/~dft...

What to look for, mboard symptoms, example pictures:
http://www.badcaps.net/pages.php?vid=5
Home page that site
- what the problem is caused by
- he says there are STILL bad capacitors on more recent mboards.
http://www.badcaps.net/

Pictures of blown capacitors, other components, power supplies, Athlon cpu's, etc.:
http://www.halfdone.com/Personal/Jo...


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