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Questions on RAM timing and reboots

By Gibbon22
Jul 29, 2007
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  1. I have 3 sticks of RAM and am having random reboot issues. I have been searching the forums and cannot tell if there is a problem with my RAM or not. This is what I have:

    2 Geil DDR400 PC3200 1GB at 3-8-4-4
    1 Geil DDR400 PC3200 512MB at 2.5-6-3-3

    The rebooting issue began when I only had the 512MB stick. I added the two 1GB sticks and it continued. I removed the 512MB stick and it continued. My plan right now is to put in one 1GB stick at a time and see what happens. I think it will still continue. I am trying to strip my computer down to the minimum, and am removing the RAM, my second DVD drive and my floppy drive.

    ...But I have to reload Windows because things have become so fubar'd over the ensuing months of this problem and I don't have time to really get into what software could possibly be causing what problem.

    The real question I have is this: should timing make any difference?

    I was very careful to get almost the exact same RAM, but I could not find anything with the same timing. I seem to remember that the slower timing RAM should be in the first slot, but now I can't find anything that mentions that specifically.

    Anyways, this is starting to drive me crazy. I don't really have the money for a new computer at the moment, so I have to try and make what I have work.

    Thanks for any answer in advance!
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Put the largest memory module in the first slot for your first try, but the system should work at the speed of the slowest module, no matter what.
  3. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,554

    You're looking in the wrong place!

    Random rebooting can be caused by many different things. Two items you haven't pursued yet that I can think of are filesystem corruption and overheating.

    Run a chkdsk on your Windows partition. Either select it in Windows or from Recovery Console on the XP installation CD.

    From Windows -> My Computer -> Right-Click on C: -> Properties -> Tools -> Error Checking -> Check Now -> Select both options, then Restart

    From Recovery Console, boot to XP installation CD -> Select Recovery Console -> chkdsk /r

    To check for overheating, I recommend using Lavalys EVEREST Home Edition (get it here) Once you download/install/run it, select Motherboard then temp sensors. MOnitor the temperature as you run a video game or an anti-virus scan (ssome program that is processor intensive) See if the temp runs high and the system crashes at a particular temp.
  4. Gibbon22

    Gibbon22 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Interesting

    I am going to have to experiment a bit more with the temp thing. Everest is showing my Mobo running about 44 degrees almost always and my CPU running about 60 degrees. I assume those are all in celsius since it's the middle of summer! Anyways, my CPU did spike for about a second and half up to 124 degrees, but I have to assume that was a fluke because I cannot get it to do it again. I haven't crashed since removing everything I could (second dvd drive, floppy drive, bluetooth, external hard drive, and all but one 1gb stick of RAM). I have run chkdsk fairly routinely in the past, and since the crashing thing started, but not since it got bad. I will do that again as well. On a side note, one of the things that the constant crashing has fubar'd is my video game (DDO) so I am running a virus scan to check my temps. I will report back on the temps and chkdsk as I am able to work on this in my evenings.
  5. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    124c is 255.20 Fahrenheit. Water boils at 212F. The melting point of solders ranges from 180c to 190c, or about 361.4F on average.

    62c is the normal average temperature of properly working, properly cooled cpu. From the other stuff you report, your system is about average. A spike to 124c is most likely a reporting anomaly. Otherwise your system would have crashed.

    I see little to convince me your system is running that hot.

    Don't see how a virus scan helps you check temps.

    Timings should not make a difference unless you are diddling with them, but memory mismatch can cause stops.

    I think one would likt to take a close look at CPU fan qualtiy, heatsink, and temperature probes, as well as motherboard brand and design. You have told us nothing about the computer or the motherboard or the age of the unit.
  6. Gibbon22

    Gibbon22 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Small Update

    Chkdsk came back clean.

    I was able to spike my CPU temp up to 120 and 98 degrees, for about 2-3 seconds per instance, by running my AV, watching something on youtube, and listening to internet radio, while searching for a load test program. I found "heavy load" on downloads.com and ran that for about 10 minutes. CPU temp was around 75 the whole time. Meanwhile, the Mobo temp stays right in between 40-45 degrees no matter what I was doing.

    There could be something to the temp thing because my BIOS does have a failsafe at 70 degrees celsius. But I will have to look and see if that is for the CPU or Mobo. Either way, no crashes during testing. I did realize though that I have the sides off my case right now, so I am going to test the Mobo further tomorrow evening after I put the sides back on. My case temp is right around 80 degrees fahrenheit though, and usually with the sides on (extra fan on one side) it runs about 75 degrees fahrenheit. I am pretty sure that is the only temp that is being measured fahrenheit, I just don't know how to switch it to celsius!

    The only thing that bothers me about temp is that I have had crashes when the computer is doing nothing. It is just sitting there and I walk back into the room and it is crashed. But, when it does crash, it won't start up (stalls/freezes on bootup) until I have let it sit for 10 minutes or so, then it starts up like nothing was the matter. That is until the next time it crashes.
  7. Gibbon22

    Gibbon22 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    mobo is an ECS kt-600a, with an AMD athlon xp, 2400+. CPU fan is your basic run of the mill 3 LED fan with heatsink. I remember purchasing it separately when I bought the CPU, but I don't remember much about it. I can take a look when I shut down. I have a 400 watt antec PSU and two extra basic case fans in a full size case (x-infinity case). 200 GB Seagate SATA HD, and a no namer DVD burner are the only other things running currently. As far as temp probes go, I only have one that sits in the bottom of my case. I assume my mobo reports the rest to Everest...

    oh, and a GeForce 6600 GT and no namer 32 bit 6 channel sound card.
  8. Gibbon22

    Gibbon22 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    God bless newegg and their amazing record keeping! I purchased the mobo, fan, case, 512mb memory, and chip in 2004, replaced the mobo under warranty in 2005.

    Added the HD and dvd drive in 2005 and the other 2 gb of RAM at the end of 2006.

    The CPU fan is a TR2TT TR2 M1 80mm Ball CPU Cooler. i.e. thermaltake cheapo.

    and I am running winxp-sp2
  9. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    If you've got 2x1gb sticks of RAM, why would you want to try to add another 512mb? 2gb of RAM is not an unsubstantial amount, and a 512mb RAM upgrade isn't going to make any real difference, but may cause problems instead.

    I'd say just leave the 512mb RAM out of that system.

    As for your rebooting problem, 75 degrees Farenheit is pretty cool for a computer at full load, while if thats Celcius, it might be a little high, but nothing to be too alarmed about.

    Also, do not double post like this, use the edit function.
  10. Gibbon22

    Gibbon22 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Thanks!

    and the 512mb is the oldest stick. I probably will just pull it out.
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