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Corsair XMS PC3200LLPT v1.1, random reboots - Pretty sure it's the RAM.


kabo

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Hello,

 

RAM: Corsair XMS CMX256A-3200LLPT XMS3205 v1.1 0312744 TWINX

XMS3200 256MB 400Mhz 2226-T1 (Both sticks say the exact same thing)

Settings: 200Mhz @ 2-2-2-6 and 200Mhz @ 2.5-2-2-6

 

After almost two years of service, I think these chips are finally failing - something I didn't think would ever happen :(. Anyway, I was experiencing problems with Windows. The system would randomly reboot out of no where. I suspected a number of things:

 

1) I thought it was Windows. Since I was in the mood to play with some Linux distributions, I figured it was a good time to format. So, I formatted my hard drive and installed Linux. Unfortunately, the problem started happening again even in Linux. The operating system would just restart when doing random tasks. I installed Windows again and the problem was still occurring. So, I know it's not a software problem.

 

2) Then I suspected my motherboard. I took out the motherboard and took a good look at it, trying to see any buldging capacitors or leakage. The motherboard is an ECS 848p v2.0 motherboard. The thing is, this motherboard is really new, not even six months old. In addition, the capacitors all looked fine to me.

 

3) Finally... I decided to look at the RAM. I figured "What the heck, you never know.." When I downloaded memtest86, my original intention was to just run the tests on the memory so that they can pass all the tests with flying colors and I can set my sights on the motherboard once again.

 

Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Within 10 minutes of testing, there were five errors. At this point, I was running the RAM at 200Mhz 2-2-2-6. I decided to change the CAS from 2 to 2.5. I re-ran the tests at 200Mhz 2.5-2-2-6. This time, I let the tests run for 30 minutes. Within 30 minutes, there were 47 errors. (I don't think the CAS changed anything, I just wanted to see if the errors would go away with more relaxed timings)

 

I cancelled the tests after that. I put a stick of 256MB generic RAM from another computer into one of the two RAM slots that are on my motherboard. I ran Memtest86 on that stick of RAM for 40 minutes, and there were zero errors. I moved that stick of RAM into the next slot and ran the test again. After 40 minutes, zero errors again. With those tests done, it was clear the motherboard was not the culprit. I put the my Corsairs back in, ran the test for 40 minutes, and it returned 377 errors. Obviously, the RAM is problem.

 

I went to the Corsair website to see the process for an RMA. The site suggests to first contact the retailer - I haven't contact NewEgg, yet (the retailer who I purchased the ram from) but I don't see the point as I've purchased this RAM quite some time ago. I went to the RMA form and it suggests pursuing technical support options first. And here I am.

 

Anyway, I'm pretty sure now that the RAM is the problem. Are there any other tests that I should do before making a request for an RMA?

 

Thanks.

 

kabo

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Now typing this for the second time, as FireFox crashed as soon as I was about to hit submit. Most likely due to the RAM. :(

 

I'll make it quick before the RAM makes me crash again - the max voltage settings for the RAM on my mobo is 2.7. I left it at that, then I set the CAS to 3. And rebooted, got a long *beeeeeeeeeeeep* Cleared BIOS, went to voltage to 2.7 again and set the CAS to 2.5. Rebooted.

 

With one stick in, I ran Memtest86. Within 6 minutes, there were 5 errors. I switched sticks, and ran Memtest86 again. I just watched the screen until errors popped up. Within 2 minutes, 5 errors. I took the Memtest86 bootdisk out, rebooted.

 

As soon as the Windows login screen was about to pop up, the system restarted. I let it try again and it rebooted once again. I put the other stick back in, now running two sticks, and rebooted. It finally made it back into windows.

 

Then I came to type this. While typing it the first time, some .EXE program error popped up and I clicked "OK." I continued typing and finished the post. Moved the mouse over to submit and couldn't click it. Firefox wouldn't respond. Here's my second time typing it - hope it gets through.

 

SOS.... drowning.

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Please let me know, but this MB is not dual channel so it may not be able to run at Cass 2-2-2-6. Especially if you cannot up the voltage.

 

They were working fine only up until about two weeks or so ago.

 

EDIT: I also tested them at 2.5-2-2-6 (see first post).

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Please let me know, but this MB is not dual channel so it may not be able to run at Cass 2-2-2-6. Especially if you cannot up the voltage.

 

Odd, it seems that it is the case. I put the Corsairs in my Asus A7N8X and they tested just fine after a 20 minute test. So, I guess it's not the memory anymore. I put in a pair of 2700 sticks into the ECS motherboard and ran a test for another 20 minutes (Settings: 160Mhz, 2.5-3-3-7) and they tested fine.

 

Now I'm just left wondering why the problems have just recently began to show. Maybe the ECS capacitors were finally running out of gas when it came to running at 2-2-2-6? For a many weeks, I was even running at 200Mhz @ 2-2-2-5 with perfect stability and 220Mhz @ 2-2-2-6, both passing hours of Prime95 stress testing. I guess I was pushing my luck with a motherboard that was basically free. :o: Ah well, I needed a reason to upgrade to an Asus P4P800-E, anyway.

 

Hopefully it's not out of your realm of tech support, but do you know if something like that is possible?

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Well it's not uncommon for a MB to settle or as they get older the tolerances will change slightly and sometimes they just will not over clock as well as when they are new. But I think the quality of the MB has a lot to do with that! No offence.

 

And I think you would like the ASUS P4C800-E a bit better, but yes it is doable and should run great in either Springdale or Canterwood. However, the suggested timings would be Cass 2-3-2-6 with the Rass to Cass set to "3" at 2.75 Volts!

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Well it's not uncommon for a MB to settle or as they get older the tolerances will change slightly and sometimes they just will not over clock as well as when they are new. But I think the quality of the MB has a lot to do with that! No offence.

 

Hah, none taken! I figured I'd hit the wall eventually. I'd gotten the motherboard in a bundle deal with a retail box Pentium 4 3.0E for $179. At the time, Pentium 4 3.0Es were retailing for $230 on NewEgg. I planned on just tossing the mobo after I play with it and get my Asus. But I figured since it was running pretty good with a minor overclock, I'd run as far as I could go with a basically free motherboard. And well.. I guess I know how far I can go now.

 

I'm now running the ECS w/ a pair of 256MB generic PC-2700s I had in another PC. Running memtest86 for 12 hours and counting (to 24), zero errors. The Corsairs are now happily in the A7N8X now, it's original home. Anyways, everything is fine now, thanks for the help!

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