TechSpot

Dying memory

By CrustyOldGeezer
Feb 6, 2009
  1. I have a homebuilt (2005) desktop with a 450 Watt PS, Intel D875PBZ MB, Intel 2,6 Ghz Processor.

    Originally I installed two 512 meg Kingston chips for a total of 1 Gig.

    Shortly before Christmas my screen would go blank and stop sending any signals to the monitor. Samsung SynchMaster 2232 BW.

    I assumed (bad me) that it was a problem with overworking the video card. During the troubleshooting process I found the cooling fan on the video card to be locked up.

    I replaced the video card with a HIS Radeon HD 3650 512 meg card.

    Shortly thereafter, it locked up again, but on the reboot, I got a message of an 'memory error' (timing has been reset) and required an F4 tour of CMOS.

    Great, now I can upgrade to a pair of 1Gig memory chips.

    Again, Kingston DDR from Crucial.

    After a month of pure bliss.....

    POOF same thing.

    I am using the recommended memory both from Crucial and Intel's manual that came with the MB.

    I haven't changed any setting in CMOS, much less any alterations to the system or memory timing.

    Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Download and run MemTest86 on your existing memory modules, one at a time, for four hours or seven passes. If no problems found there, you have some cable issues that are difficult to trouble shoot...
    I cannot believe it is "dying memory" but have you thoroughly considered an infestation. You might want to run the 8 Steps described elsewhere on this forum. You may derive clues that will point in another direction.
     
  3. CrustyOldGeezer

    CrustyOldGeezer TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    I couldn't find MemTest86 listed anywhere in the downloads.

    I did find and DL MemTest 3.8 dated Otc 2008.

    I run PCTools Spyware Doctor, AVG, and occasionally update SpyBot S&D and run it.

    Nothing ever shows up,

    But that just tells me that nothing shows up, not whether or not I have an infestation.

    I do keep the temp monitors running in both the processor and ram areas of the unit.

    No high temps are showing up, and the same problem with different ram modules make me suspicious.

    I'll go do the 8 steps, and get back with you.


    I usually can't keep this up for more than a couple of hours before the crash.

    Thanks,
    Drew
     
  4. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

  5. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    A bargain at $12.95... It has always been free, but not perfected, it is easily worth the money.
     
  6. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    have you tested the PSU with a tester tool and multimeter? That is more likely the cause.
     
  7. CrustyOldGeezer

    CrustyOldGeezer TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    Sorry guys, been distracted and frustrated.

    When I found the 8 steps, I found what I thought was an updated list from "M0ntG0M3rY TechSpot Member"

    I found numerous dead links, "castlecops" are no longer online.

    Combofix is no longer available, PCTrends UK is not answering up with the requested file, etc.

    Probably not a big problem, but my wife also thinks she deserves some of my time on her days off....

    She said something about a license, and rights, and or else, and finished with "I know where you sleep at night".

    The "stopzilla" program found some really neat stuff, then mentioned that it would 'fix' the issues just as soon as I paid and registered the product.

    I don't have a problem with paying for good software, but this just sounded a lot like a popular scam going around these days.

    questions...

    Does HJT run in safe mode?

    AdAware 2008?

    Vmundo? Ccleaner, etc?

    In normal mode this doesn't last too long.

    Can I have internet access through a cable modem in Safe Mode?

    Sorry I'm being such a pest.

    I'll go checkout the MemTest link.

    Thanks again, I really do appreciate your efforts.

    Drew

    You may have wandered into a little more technical that I can do.

    I have a multimeter, does that help? :)

    I have recently swapped out the memory and the video cards.

    Would reseating the CPU, or any other components possibly help?

    Pavark scanned 5415 files and found 0 infections.

    TedSter, Thank you for the link to memtest.
     
  8. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    A power supply tester will cost between $8.95 and $29.95 depending on the complexity, and is a worth while purchase... though most do not test for fluctuations in power.
    Another worthwhile test, is to trade out the power supply with another known good, and of good quality.
    CPU's are hardly ever the problem, but if the CPU fan is bad (wobbly or slow) there is a chance it could be a cause... as can ANY card in a PCI slot, whether in use or not. Anything plugged into a power circuit can theoretically be the problem.
    But you are asking for trouble in "reseating" the cpu, as they are hardly ever the problem, and the removal and reseating can ruin one if you have never handled on before.
    Tell us the power supply installed, and we can tell you whether it is a brand with reliability problems.

    Unless you are very proficient in use of a multimeter, and unless the multimeter is of very high quality, you will not learn much, if anything. Remember, some power supplies have 20 sockets and that array, and others have 24. The power supply tester tests all circuits that plug into the motherboard.
     
  9. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Here is Memtest that all should quote to help members:

    Please run Memtest on your Ram
     
  10. CrustyOldGeezer

    CrustyOldGeezer TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    Well, upside down and looking in a mirror....

    Future Power 500W Model LP 6100E.

    The power monitors showed no voltage spikes or other discrepancies.

    HOWEVER, suddenly, it the last couple of days, the monitor is no longer showing in the system tray.

    Kimsland, thank you for the link.

    As soon as I hit the print page button it locked up and went away again, but this time after maybe 10 seconds it rebooted and came back up for about 30 seconds before going away again.

    I had this problem before with the matched 512 meg chips. I swapped them out for a matched set of 1 gig modules, along with the new video card which I assumed was the original culprit.

    I have blown out all the slots with canned air with the unit unplugged to prevent any possible shorts from specs os dust or other stuff.

    The power supply didn't kick out much dust either.

    A 4 hour run time won't work, the last attempt was only about 30 minutes from power on to POOF!!!, all gone...

    I have the files and will create the CD the next time I bring it up.

    Mommas laptop doesn't have much for niceties on it...

    But, to quote her, 'it works'....
     
  11. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    We get, "...We're sorry, but the page you requested could not be found..."
     
  12. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    As this thread is strange, I decided to read it
    What are you talking about?

    CrustyOldGeezer what is the result of Memtest?
    You don't need to purchase any power supply tester yet (if ever)
    You need to possibly benchtest the motherboard, remove all internal data cables and test, and so forth. This is discussed here in detail

    I think you are best to describe the issue clearly again
    Does it start (or does it start in Safe Mode or even POST)
    What have you tried (disconnecting or replacing things)
    What is this computer exactly? ie what's attached, what's plugged into it

    Edit:
    What?
    Memtest is free
    Please follow my link above (the TechSpot Memtest guide)

    Lets try to resolve this before deciding on purchasing stuff
     
  13. CrustyOldGeezer

    CrustyOldGeezer TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    I'm in favor of narrowing the list of possibilities down.

    First question.

    Is there a trojan, or other type of infection that can alter the memory timing settings?

    I ask because when I power up afterwards I get a message that there was a "memory problem detected, timing has been reset to auto."

    #2, could it be the BIOS? I am still using the original BIOS listed with the readout of the Intel Monitor readings below.

    I N T E L (R) A C T I V E M O N I T O R

    System Information Report
    2/9/2009 08:26:05

    ***************************************************************************
    General Information
    ***************************************************************************
    Product name Intel(R) Desktop Board D875PBZ based system
    Board model Genuine Intel(R) D875PBZ system board
    OS version Windows* XP version 5.1 Service Pack 3 build 2600
    OS memory 2,095,852 KB RAM

    ***************************************************************************
    Processor
    ***************************************************************************
    Processor Genuine Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 Processor
    Processor speed 2.60 GHz
    Bus speed 800 MHz
    L1 cache Data Cache 8KB, Execution Trace Cache 12K Micro-ops
    L2 cache Advanced Transfer Cache 512 KB
    Form factor Socket 478
    Stepping 9

    ***************************************************************************
    System
    ***************************************************************************
    Physical memory 2,048 MB RAM
    Memory speed DDR400
    Memory type DDR, Synchronous
    Form factor DIMM
    BIOS date 04/23/2003
    BIOS size 1024 KB
    BIOS version P05 (BZ87510A.86A.0026.P05.0304231448)

    #3 Could it be a variation in the power supply or temperatures? Again, list below.

    Sensors
    ***************************************************************************
    Sensor Name System Fan 1
    Current Value 2757
    Upper Threshold not applicable
    Lower Threshold not applicable

    Sensor Name System Fan 2
    Current Value 2361
    Upper Threshold not applicable
    Lower Threshold not applicable

    Sensor Name System Fan 3
    Current Value 4515
    Upper Threshold not applicable
    Lower Threshold not applicable

    Sensor Name Processor Zone
    Current Value 90
    Upper Threshold 154
    Lower Threshold not applicable

    Sensor Name System Zone 1
    Current Value 82
    Upper Threshold 122
    Lower Threshold not applicable

    Sensor Name System Zone 2
    Current Value 82
    Upper Threshold 122
    Lower Threshold not applicable

    Sensor Name +12 V
    Nominal Value 12.000
    Current Value 12.000
    Upper Threshold 13.200
    Lower Threshold 10.800

    Sensor Name +5 V
    Nominal Value 5.000
    Current Value 5.182
    Upper Threshold 6.000
    Lower Threshold 4.000

    Sensor Name +3.3 V
    Nominal Value 3.300
    Current Value 3.111
    Upper Threshold 4.300
    Lower Threshold 2.300

    Sensor Name CPU Core (+1.5 V)
    Nominal Value 1.500
    Current Value 1.471
    Upper Threshold 2.300
    Lower Threshold 0.700

    Sensor Name CPU I/O (+1.5 V)
    Nominal Value 1.500
    Current Value 1.432
    Upper Threshold 2.300
    Lower Threshold 0.700

    I have created a BOOT CD with Memtest as instructed.

    The CD drive is listed 2nd, and CMOS has, so far, refused to let me alter the boot drive sequence, which until now was not a problem.

    I do not play games, and the computer is not set up for anything more fun than picture editing, freecell, and business software.

    I have a 160Gig SATA HD inside the unit with 2 additional 160 Gig USB SATAs drives in externa enclosures.

    Kensington cordless keyboard and mouse.

    The AGP graphics card originally listed, a Creative sound card.

    A ZIP drive that is no longer used, but kept for rare events that may require something from the "wayback machine."

    The CD writer 48X

    And a DVD ROM drive.

    The Power Supply is the Future Power 500W Model LP6100E.

    Does any of this help?

    And, once again, I may get frustrated and fussy, but that in no way is meant to be disparaging of your efforts to help, and all help is greatly appreciated, and...

    I do appreciate the time and energy you guys put into helping others.

    Thank You.

    I also have SIW.exe installed if you would like any of the reports from that.

    Fresh update.

    I sat here and watched the Power meters.

    While the 12v, 5v, and the two 1.5v CPU stayed pretty consistent in the appropriate ranges with minor fluctuations.

    The 3.3v never made it all the way to 3.3v but ranged from 3.059v to 3.194v.

    Sometime big jumps, but usually incremental drops to the low end before low increments back up.

    Does this help?
     
  14. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Wow, I'll remember not to ask that again :suspiciou

    As I'm pretty sure this thread will go to post #50, if it takes its same course. Here's what I'd like you to do.

    Please put your System Specs information in your Profile
    Also make sure you answer Yes, in your Profile, to let others view your System Specs

    If you feel you must create big long posts full of system information again, just attach this info, using a Notepad txt file. But your System Specs must go in your Profile only

    Further: Do not reply to yourself, instead use EDIT, located at the bottom right of your last post, only if your post is still the last post in the thread (presently it's not)

    Doing the above, should save a few extra (not required) future replies by you ;)


    Now regarding the fault issue, can you please detach your extra HardDrives, even the Zip drive, as, at this stage Memtest has still not been done. Pretty sure that needs to be done still. Even though, it's looking more and more like a Power Supply issue that requires replacing.

    You will need to go back to my last reply ^^ way up there! And answer the questions clearly again. (Does it POST? What have you tried? What is the fault condition specifically? No display :confused: )
    If it does not POST, refer here: http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic113137.html
    I'm not positive yet if it's the Power Supply, as it could be any number of the hardware parts fitted. You will need to begin detaching parts to confirm
     
  15. CrustyOldGeezer

    CrustyOldGeezer TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    The answer to the memtest question has already been answered.

    "A 4 hour run time won't work, the last attempt was only about 30 minutes from power on to POOF!!!, all gone..."

    If I provided too much information, please feel free to edit my post and take out what you don't need so , in the future other users will have an idea of what you don't want.

    I have already disconnected the externals during my own troubleshooting prior to logging on with my problem.

    I also asked questions that may help me to find what areas I should be looking at that you neglected to respond to.

    The first portion of the long post...


    "I'm in favor of narrowing the list of possibilities down.

    First question.

    Is there a trojan, or other type of infection that can alter the memory timing settings?

    I ask because when I power up afterwards I get a message that there was a "memory problem detected, timing has been reset to auto."

    #2, could it be the BIOS? I am still using the original BIOS listed with the readout of the Intel Monitor readings below."



    I am not only trying to cure this problem, but also learn what could be related or unrelated to this problem.

    You want a 4 hour memory test. I would love to give you a 4 hour memory test, but I can't run a 20 minute SpyBot S&D before it all disappears.

    You want all this information, but when I try to comply, you throw a grumpy face and change the rules about where you want me to place the info.

    With your help, I can probably get back up and running.

    With your attitude I would be better off building a new computer from scratch again, simply for the stress factor.
     
  16. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    First thing we do is get rid of SpyBot. There is nothing useful provided by SpyBot... and it does a lot of bad stuff out of stoopidity.
    In fact, I would try a clean install on another drive to see what you get.
    Otherwise, you likely have a hard ware problem with your board, or your video graphics, or your CPU setup.
     
  17. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    No



    Although it is always best to have the latest Bios revision (to eliminate past fixed issues) I do not believe the old or original Bios revision would cause this issue



    As the Memtest scan is performed outside Windows, doing so will basically help eliminate if it also happens doing this, then Spybots inside Windows is not relevant



    #1 No rules have changed, they have just been made clearer
    #2 I agree, if I spend the time on the thread
    #3 If you follow what I state exactly, you will be likely out of stress more quickly, and not spend as much money on not required tools.
    I think you are also hinting about "BenchTesting" noted in the guide I supplied
    Certainly following the guide and reporting if something fixed it would help. We are in the process of elimination, at this stage checking and diagnosing hardware is highly preferred

    Please do this, for your benefit
    If you re-read above, I have helped you already, it is your choice to follow all recommendations I state

    I am also happy to hear from any other support, providing any extra steps
    Note I have also stated that this could be the Power Supply, as in the guide test with a known working one, or continue checking all free alternatives first.

    :)
     
  18. CrustyOldGeezer

    CrustyOldGeezer TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    Thank You.

    Spybot will soon be gone.

    No, it doesn't POST, but it will.

    It all goes away in safe mode, but "safe mode" was written by MS so it's always suspect.

    In order to have a known good PS, I would have to go out and buy one, then assume it is good..., Isn't that what caused some of these problems? :)

    Do you have any recommendations on a 'good' brand?

    Have a very nice day guys.
     
  19. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    If everything works when using Safe Mode, then it's not hardware. Although it could be a faulty Video card, it sounds more likely a faulty Windows version

    Edit: it could still be hardware( ie Harddrive; Ram; Video card)
     
  20. CrustyOldGeezer

    CrustyOldGeezer TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    I apologize. What I meant was the problem still exists in 'safe mode'.

    The video card and the RAM modules were both replaced in December to cure the identical problem.

    It worked nicely until earlier this months when the problem returned.
     
  21. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

  22. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Not too likely that it is a failed Windows Version when Windows has been working?
     
  23. CrustyOldGeezer

    CrustyOldGeezer TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    I don't think it is a windoze issue.

    When I reboot after a crash I get a "memory error detected, timing has been reset to auto, press F4 to ".... I forget the exact wording, but it takes me to CMOS.

    Memtest86, pass #8 is where it crashed this time.

    I'm not convinced the basic problem is ram because the same problem on different modules of different capacities would be very odd.

    This MB apparently does not have a sensor for 2.5 volts for the RAM.

    With every other voltage running low, I'm inclined to lean that way.

    Moab isn't that far away and I'm getting bored..... :)


    I found, and downloaded, a "Ultimate Boot CD" program. Ever heard of it? It does contain a couple of versions of Memtest along with numerous other utilities.

    Well, any ideas come to the fore?

    It no longer boots up. Not even to CMOS
     
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