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I've lost RAM - Why?


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12 replies to this topic

#1 jleo

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 08:20 PM

Hi,

I am running an older computer (2004). Windows XP-Service Pack 3. It started running slowly recently....very slowly. I do not have a virus. I checked the compuer thru Control Panel and it says I only have 512 mb of RAM. I know I used to have 1G of RAM?

The other weird thing is that if there is a power failure .... the clock on my computer gets messed up.....

Can anyone help with simple instructions?

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#2 boopme

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 10:40 PM

The clock seems to imply ypu need to change the Bios battery.

You may still have malware .. But first test your Memory.

Try using Ram Probe
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#3 Eric ~ Computer Guy

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 10:59 PM

Be sure to check your memory with the Memtest86 program. Also check the memory settings in the BIOS. Something may have changed,defaulted, or reset, and your CMOS battery may need to be replaced. You can also run a scan on Crucial.com to check your memory banks to see if both sticks are being detected.

If all of that still reveals your total to be 1 GB, then by all means run a thorough malware scan, using Malwarebytes, in Safe Mode. Also be sure to check all active programs and startup programs. The first can be done in the Task Manager -> Processes Tab. The second can be done through Start->Run->Type MSCONFIG and press enter->Click Startup Tab, and from there you can alter the way Windows starts. Just rule out system overload.

I would venture to say it is a hardware or BIOS issue, though. Check that first.

#4 boopme

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 11:11 PM

Do Not run Malwarebytes here in this forum yet or in Safe Mode that is improper advice. If needed to run MBAM we will do it in the Am I infected forum.
.

Edited by boopme, 30 November 2009 - 10:08 AM.

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#5 Eric ~ Computer Guy

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 11:13 PM

Do Not run Malwarebytes here in this forum yet or in Safe Mode that is improper advice. If needed to run MBAM we will do it in the Am I infected forum.
Other than recommending a slightly outdated Mem test your post is redundant.


My apologies. I am just offering advice as I normally would. You hinted at malware, so I was just following up with that. I will keep that to the Am I Infected thread only.

No need to be rude, sir. I am new, as you can see.

Edited by Eric ~ Computer Guy, 29 November 2009 - 11:13 PM.


#6 boopme

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 10:10 AM

Hello my apologies for a hasty remark. Not intended as rude. So I apologize for that also. I've edited said comment.

Also for interupting the thread.

Edited by boopme, 30 November 2009 - 10:11 AM.

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#7 Eric ~ Computer Guy

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 01:25 PM

Just as a follow up to all others that may read this post: Memtest86 is still in use in Vista's boot/recovery disk. It is unwise to spread around that this program is outdated as it may give the wrong impression. I personally would prefer to recommend a tried-and-true program over a 3rd party program to make sure you get the accurate information. The main issue here is to make sure the RAM is being detected; not to push the latest and greatest software.

Also note, since Memtest86 is available on the boot disc, you can actually run the test outside of Windows' primary operating environment, further increasing the accuracy of your results. That is another reason to recommend its usage over another 3rd party program. If you have memory issues, installing additional programs can actually cause page faults (I've seen it happen many MANY times) which could cause severe damage to the registry if you do indeed have a bad stick of RAM. I have seen entire good installations of Windows get torn down because an installation using a bad stick of RAM went awry. It starts with a BSOD mentioning page fault, and then goes into an endless boot loop. Even Safe Mode fails. Please excuse me if I exercise caution when recommending programs, but I have been doing this professionally for 8 years and counting. I am not part of the "untrained masses" that you guys warn about in your T&Cs. For me, mistakes in recommendations or execution means losing money and losing customers.

Edited by Eric ~ Computer Guy, 30 November 2009 - 01:38 PM.


#8 hamluis

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 01:52 PM

FWIW: See Known Problems re Memtest86, Memtest86 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memtest.

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 30 November 2009 - 01:53 PM.


#9 Eric ~ Computer Guy

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 02:13 PM

FWIW: See Known Problems re Memtest86, Memtest86 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memtest.

Louis


I would still use the program as in my experience it works correctly most of the time. And, since there is a known track record with the program and not so much with the newer versions, I would still say I am comfortable using Memtest. As I said, the point is to make sure the RAM is being detected. Thorough analysis isn't needed if the RAM doesn't show up at all. Then you would just know that it isn't there and the BIOS needs to be adjusted.

As for 3rd party tools, the simple tool at Crucial.com will do the same basic thing: detect the RAM. If the results don't reflect the same amount of RAM and the same array of modules, then you know right away you have an issue. The issue the OP has isn't bad RAM, per se, but the fact that he cannot even see it. So the tools we would need would merely need to detect the RAM to see if it is picking up. If it does pick up, then we should pursue deeper RAM probing programs to run thorough analysis to verify it is error free.

All tools recommended will fulfill their purpose, so let's quit debating the tools and focus on helping the OP. How about it, guys?

Edited by Eric ~ Computer Guy, 30 November 2009 - 05:23 PM.
Removed unecessary comment~ groove


#10 hamluis

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 05:35 PM

For the record...you seem to be the only one debating anything.

I believe it's common procedure on any computer forum...for members/posters to post data which may help clarify what seems to be varying opinions about preferences.

I don't believe that you have the right to make an assertion...and then expect those who don't necessarily share your belief in your assertion...not to put data out there for the viewers to make up their own minds.

If that threatens you, it's not meant to...it's just the nature of the universe, I believe.

The readers/viewers will each decide what is appropriate for them, based on what they believe is pertinent. They have the have the right to know what wiki has to say about memtest 86. They have the right to ascertain reasons why others might not advocate running a program that you have a preference for.

That's not debating anything....merely providing info that is pertinent.

Louis

#11 Eric ~ Computer Guy

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 06:10 PM

There has been too much off-tangent posting, and most of it is my fault. I do apologize. I was up-in-arms due to a (what I found to be) rude comment by the moderator. I will say no more on this thread, as what has needed to be said has been said.

By the by, the fact that you are willing to write out a paragraph to rebuke me, Louis, is sign enough to show that I am not the only one debating. It has gotten out of hand and childish, and as I said above, I take responsibility.

Edited by Eric ~ Computer Guy, 30 November 2009 - 07:52 PM.


#12 Layback Bear

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 08:47 PM

Try a CMOS battery first and let us know what happened. You will have to reset your computers time and date. Right click on the time on the lower right corner and go to internet time. It will take about a minute.

#13 Layback Bear

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 08:55 PM

As for Memtest86 I have never used it but many O/C sites use it alot. You must get the one that fits your memory and system from what I understand. Memtest86 is also use on most reviews of memory all over the net.




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