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Defective Ram Or Motherboard?


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#1 Silivar

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 07:36 PM

I just built a computer recently, and while it had various problems for a while, it got serious recently.

I've been running Windows Xp,it was working fine for a week or so, then randomly restarted with a quick flash of a blue screen. Apparently, I forgot to set it not to automatically restart, so I didn't catch what it indicated. Anyway, since then, it regularly crashes to a blue screen, with a varying message. First thing I thought to do was run Memtest and Windows Memory Tester.

When running Memtest86 or Windows Memory, it gives a load of errors. On the Microsoft test, it'll usually pass one or two tests, and fail the rest. The really odd thing is, it changes what addresses are showing to have a problem. I know of RAM problems, but I've never seen this happen before. I'm not sure if it's a regular occurance, so maybe I just haven't studied it enough.

There were various problems with the system from the beginning. The motherboard was mounted incorrectly. I didn't study up on that enough before doing it, and didn't think to use the brass standoffs that came with the case. First time using the PC, aside from a case wiring-related problem, it worked fine. There was an issue with the IDE channel. The system wouldn't pick up my IDE CD-ROM, or an IDE hard drive, at first. After adjusting a screw, everything seemed fine. It was working all right for about a week, then randomly started doing what was mentioned above.

The motherboard has since been mounted the correct way, but I'm not sure if any damage has been done. the problem is whether the RAM issue is coming from the motherboard, or the RAM itself. With the way the defective addresses change, I would think it has to be the motherboard, but I really don't know. I've tried putting the RAM in a different slot, but it doesn't make any difference. At first, I thought it changed the Memtest results, but it doesn't. Oddly, running Windows Memory, I let it run through the basic 6 tests twice. It failed MATS+ the first time, then completed it the second time. Which tests it completes, and which it fails, spontaneously changes. I've never seen that before.

In case it's necessary, the PC specs are...

Gigabyte GA-945P-S3 motherboard

Intel Core 2 Duo E6300

1GB DDR2 533 Buffalo RAM

160GB Western Digital Caviar SE SATA HDD

3DFuzion GeForce 6600

JPac 512 Battle case w/ 500w PSU


I've got no idea what would cause the problem. I plan to get another 512MB of RAM. If it tests okay, then the other stick of RAM is likely defective. Just return the 1GB stick, and end up with another 512MB overall. If that shows up defective, then it would likely be the motherboard, and I can get the motherboard replaced. Either way, I'd like to know for sure what the problem is before doing anything at all. It's not a problem I'm familliar with.

Any help would be really appriciated. Whatever cuts down the time trying to figure it out. especially if there's a sure-fire way to know where the problem is coming from.

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#2 usasma

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 07:58 PM

Can you try the RAM test in another computer? That will tell you if there's a problem with the RAM.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#3 Silivar

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 08:03 PM

Can you try the RAM test in another computer? That will tell you if there's a problem with the RAM.

I wish I could. However, mine is the only modern computer around. I was upgrading from an Optiplex GX150, and that was new compared to the other computers in this house.

The others take old SDRAM, nothing will take DDR2, or even standard DDR.

#4 usasma

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 08:29 PM

Maybe you can get a local computer shop to run a test for a minimal charge? Because of the history that you relate, I suspect the motherboard (both the brass standoff thing and the changing addresses of the RAM test).

If the RAM is still new, can you RMA it? At least that'll give you another try. I'd hate to recommend a new mobo without at least testing the RAM.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#5 Silivar

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 08:36 PM

Maybe you can get a local computer shop to run a test for a minimal charge? Because of the history that you relate, I suspect the motherboard (both the brass standoff thing and the changing addresses of the RAM test).

If the RAM is still new, can you RMA it? At least that'll give you another try. I'd hate to recommend a new mobo without at least testing the RAM.

Local computer shop in this town? No way. I'm fairly sure this town hasn't even discovered PCs yet.

I plan to RMA the RAM. It was bought less than two weeks ago. There's still time to RMA it. I wouldn't want to buy a new motherboard until I'm sure there's a problem with this one. I'm thinking it's the motherboard, but I'd perfer not to take a loss until I know for sure. If it is the RAM, at least I can return it and have it replaced.

#6 usasma

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 08:40 PM

Yep, definitely try the free options first!

But, looking at the errors that you've received - most, if not all of them relate directly to components on the mobo. But, not only mobo's cause mobo errors. I've had mobo type errors with a TV Card, a NIC card, memory, and one unknown item that's taken my FTP server down for a long while now.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#7 Silivar

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 08:11 PM

Well, I think I have it worked out. I remounted the motherboard again, and everything shows clear on Windows Memory Diagnostic. It seems to be working pretty well now. Not sure what I did differently, but as long as it works, I'm happy. At least I got some valuable building experience out of it. Go first time builders!

On a random note, the layout on this motherboard absolutely sucks. It's terrible. I've got a mess of wires going in every which way, because ports are placed in horribly awkward places. Nothing I can do about that, but oh well.

Thanks for the help, Usasma. I appriciate it.

#8 usasma

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 10:08 AM

Aha! Now it all makes sense! (ain't it wonderful how simple things sound in restrospect?) I'm glad that you found out the problem!
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#9 Mr Alpha

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 01:39 PM

On a random note, the layout on this motherboard absolutely sucks. It's terrible. I've got a mess of wires going in every which way, because ports are placed in horribly awkward places. Nothing I can do about that, but oh well.

That's the kind of stuff you suddenly get a real appreciation for, after having built a system or two. Next step is to try out an ASUS Q-Connector Kit. After that you'll never go back. :thumbsup:
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