Weird RAM Problem

Emachines T3985 desktop
May 8, 2010 at 12:24:29
Specs: Windows 7

My computer has some issues.

At random times, sometimes I'm using it, sometimes I'm not, it just decides to put the BSOD up, and restarts. Upon Restart, only 971 MB of RAM shows up, when the computer has 2 GB. Usually, when the computer is not having problems, it shows 2032 MB RAM, because it has 2 GB. If I allow the computer to continue to boot when it's in the problem state, it comes up with a "RAM r/w failure".

I replaced the RAM once, and ran memtest for 2 days. No problems were found. I'm officially stumped.

Any help would be appreciated.

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May 8, 2010 at 13:49:04
Stuff I would try, in order of importance:

-First, make sure that the memory slots are free of dust.

-If there are more than two memory modules, try running each one by itself, and in both slots.

-Any bulging or leaking capacitors on the motherboard? If you can spot any, they're definitely causing problems. Hopefully you know someone who can solder.

-Run the machine without any add-on boards. Take out the video card, if you have one, and use the integrated video. Same with any modems, sound cards, etc. Disconnect all external peripherals except for the PS/2 keyboard. Run the system with the CPU, main hard drive, and ONE stick of RAM. If it works, install the extra components one at a time, till it starts acting up again.

-Try borrowing a spare power supply unit from a friend or local computer shop. Although this does not sound like a PSU problem, it's definitely worth a shot, as eMachines are known to have very cheap PSUs.

-Give it the finger and buy a new motherboard or system, as something's probably wrong with the core logic/chipset.

HTPC | Pentium M @ 2.82GHz | 4GB | 1.0TB | Radeon HD5750 | Blu-Ray | Win7 Pro | HDMI out to Onkyo TX-SR707

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May 8, 2010 at 19:49:26
I can't thank you enough.

I saw dust previously in the RAM slots, but it was not concerning to me. I took an air compressor to the inside of my system and you would not believe the amount of dust that came out. Now it runs much faster and much quieter. I'm not sure if the RAM problem has been solved, but it sure seems like it.

Who knew...darn dust.

Thanks for your help. I might be posting back here if the RAM problem comes back, but for right now, I'm happy.

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