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Pc will only operate if half of mem slots are full.

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#1 mystique_childe


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Posted 27 September 2009 - 11:09 AM

My computer is a Dell OptiPlex SX270N that is currently running Windows XP sp3. I did buy the computer used and it has worked just fine for nearly a year. A few months back i started getting frequent stop error messages. I made sure the computer was free of all malware, spyware, etc and i cleaned the computer physically, removing the side panel and clearing the dust from the fans to cut down on heat if that was the problem. The errors seemed to point to a memory problem so I ran memtest86 and the Microsoft memory testing tool and neither came back with any errors. I also updated all the drivers from the dell website and the crashes continued, sometimes every few minutes.

A few weeks ago on a whim i removed one of the memory sticks and the computer has worked fine since. Problem is, the computer will only work if there is one stick in it. I've tried all the memory configurations, placing each stick in each slot individually and swapping places, vice-versa and both sticks will run the computer without interruption individually in either slot, but the moment i put the other stick back in then it goes back to crashing. I've even done a fresh windows install which still didn't solve the problem as it crashed on first bootup after formatting the HD and reinstalling windows.

I'm at wit's end with this computer. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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#2 hamluis



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Posted 27 September 2009 - 12:42 PM

You stated that you ran Memtest86....perhaps you ought to read what Wiki says about Memtest86, Memtest86 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memtest. Attention should be focused on Known Problems.

I would suggest running Memtest86+, in the varying combinations of RAM that you spoke of.

You don't say if the RAM modules are the same speed, type, etc.

I've experienced incompatible modules of RAM which were stated to be the same speed...but running Memtest86+ and playing with bus speeds...proved otherwise.


#3 mystique_childe

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 12:49 PM

The modules are exactly the same, down to size and brand. Like i said it all worked fine for nearly a year, about 9 months to be exact after i got it, then the errors started occurring. I'll try your suggestion and post back in a few hours.


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