My RAM behaves weird

By hahas
Jun 6, 2009
  1. Hi this is my first time here! Well, I have some problems with my ram memory and i found out that this is the best place in search results about this kind of matters.

    So the problem is that since last night, my laptop has this problem: the screen totally freeze after 10 minutes or at ramdom time. Then the pc opens with black screen and no respond. I desided to check the ram and everything seems ok, but now, though sometimes it starts normal, it still freeze or crash.

    Anyway I found out what's wrong: i have 2 memory slots, first is 256mb from an unknown copmany and second is 512mb from kingston. The second one is working fine, because when i removed the first one there was no crash. So the first one seems to have problem. It sometimes works, sometimes not at all. Also I did a memtest with the first memory installed and got this window:

    while a successful test should complete 100% without any errors, you can see there that there's unlimited errors at 3,9% with the same message always.

    So... I guess I have to replace it? But is there any way to do something before I get to that conclusion? Fix it somehow? Or is it temp????? What do you think?

    I use Windows XP sp3

    Thanks in advance, cool site ;) (btw this "links are not allowed for rookies" is not really nessesary)
  2. hahas

    hahas TS Rookie Topic Starter

    also check the picture above (look previous post)
  3. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    Hi hahas,
    its interesting that it boots and you can get 10 min +/- and then it freezes. laptops get notoriously hot due to space restrictions.and not being easily accessible get loaded with dust. I assume that this ram has been in the machine for a while? and are you sure that it is compatible with your machine? I would open it up and remove all dust, make sure your exhaust fan is working, and re-seat the ram modules. see if you get a better result and if its heat related. also put the larger module in the first memory slot. see if this changes how it operates.
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    Nope, the only solution is to replace the RAM. I would buy whatever you want to run all at once, don't buy another 512 to use with your good stick, mixing ram should be avoided if possible.

    And the no links for noobs is necessary, if it wasn't we wouldn't have that rule. It is a pain in the *** dealing with spammers, that rule cuts down on that significantly.
  5. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    Hi SNGX,
    im curious why you would be against a free check of the heat possibility?, laptops are notoriously neglected as far as dust buildup, ive seen a few of them that have been overheating and causing all kinds of errors, hangs, freezes, clean em up and they work fine, i think the module is probably bad as well, but it doesn't cost anything, and most laptops could use a good blowout as well.
  6. hahas

    hahas TS Rookie Topic Starter

    red1776, you are right. There was some dust in memory slot. I cleaned it, but the result was only one day without any problems. Now i experience freezes, crashes or some minutes of life with 2 mems installed. The first memory (256mb) was inside the pc since i bought it. It's a 3 years laptop but I never experienced that kind of problems. Though, i didn't try to change the place of mems in slots. I will try it and keep you know... Thanks for the tips!! Also i dunno if it has to do about the matter that recently i have it open for 5 hours continuesly...
    SNGX: what do you mean about mixing memories? if i get a new one, should i take higher or lower or? Well, ok there's not a big change in performance, but if i can keep it as it was always would be nice.

    Thanks a lot for your help guys! I hope that others with the same problem can get some help from here
  7. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    it sounds as if the memory module is shot, as SNGX said replacing it is in order. what he meant was always buy matching sets of ram to ensure they work together. most ram come in matching 'kits' if you want more than one module. if a motherboard for example supports 'dual channel' you will want to buy matching sets of ram (2 or 4 modules depending on how many memory slots your motherboard has) to activate the dual channel feature. If you purchase ram I would increase the amount to more than the 768MB you have now to 2-4GB kit, (depending on the maximum capacity of the motherboard). especially if you are running Vista. and check your machines manufacturers website for they're memory compatibility list. if you absolutely want to keep the 512mb module you have in there now, match it with an identical one from the same manufacturer if you can. good luck :)
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    Thats a valid point. I'm not sure you could use it to explain RAM errors though, typically the RAM is isolated in laptops from the processor or graphics processor where things would get really hot. So the RAM should still stay cool, and I don't know that anything else being dangerously hot would cause the mismatch errors that RAM checking programs use. But just in case, the way I'd avoid that in this situation is to boot up off the memtest cd and run it outside of the OS, that way you start testing RAM almost immediately on boot (before things get hot) and you also avoid the system using resources to run the OS and any other programs you haven't shut down.

    And hahas, red1776 answered what I meant about the RAM right above this post. Basically I'd look into buying 2 sticks of 512MB RAM or 2 sticks of 1GB RAM, this choice would be dependent on the max your system can handle. has an online advisor where you tell it the information about your computer and it tells you what you can put in it. You don't have to buy their RAM, but it will tell you what spec'd RAM your system takes.
  9. hahas

    hahas TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi again. Today I realised something even more strange...

    I tried to change the place of memories on slots (i put the 512mb at first slot and 256mb at second) and... the result was a "matrix" like screen:confused:

    Then i put the 256mb memory in second slot (leaving the first one empty) and memory works fine!!

    So can someone explain to me what's going on? It's like the first slot is... damaged? What to do? Well, if both of memories work fine at second slot, that means both memories are ok, right?

    OMG what to do?

    Also I consider to upgrade the memory of my notebook. the max it can handle is 2GB ram... but what to do with those memories if i do the upgrade? just wondering...:D and yeah it's weird the amount of 768MB ram... but the pc already had 256mb in the beggining:rolleyes:
  10. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    yikes, i assume you blasted the slot out? dust etc? do you see any areas that look like it was burned?
    and the 768mb of memory, donate it to a friends machine, new ram is really cheap....used in small modules is just about worthless.
  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    Yep, unfortunately there isn't much you can do with the old RAM. It does indeed appear something is wrong withone of your slots, so I'd now recommend just buying a single 1GB module. If it is DDR2 it should be cheap, if its DDR(1) then I might consider not upgrading and just running your 512 stick (because DDR1 is expensive).

    Definately keep your old RAM though (or donate it) because I often have found the need for old RAM for an older computer and came up empty or only tiny modules like 64MB (like PC100/133).
  12. Tedster

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

  13. hahas

    hahas TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well the slot looks totally normal. i cleaned as good as i could. i tested many times... the first time was successful (no errors, no crashes), and every next test was a failure! oh man... but i think i know what is it. maybe it was too hot while i was using it, and now? it got mad.

    hey, i forgot to say that sometimes i am using it on my it the material of my bed?

    well anyway i guess i don't have much to do. I like the idea about buying a 1GB memory, i found out at

    "Each memory slot can hold DDR PC2700 with a maximum of 1GB per slot" it says...

    but it's very strage... all those years it was working fine. i mean... why now:confused:

    (p.s. er, should i mark the topic as "[SOLVED]" sometime?)
  14. hahas

    hahas TS Rookie Topic Starter


    If you experience the same problem, actually you don't need to buy a new memory (in most situations, mostly like mine) if you can't. My pc works ok even with 512mb, only games have a little lower perfornance. I don't wanna make you go and buy new memory. If you use it just for work as me you just don't need to.
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