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Possibly modules gone bad.


BobXFett

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Hi,

 

I've been using my self-built system for quite some time and I love the Corsair Memory Modules I'm using. I run a 2.6 Ghz Pentium 4 CPU on an Asus P4C800-E Deluxe motherboard. I initially built the system with a single 512 MB Corsair XMS RAM module (Purchased here: CMX512-3200C2PT). After a while I decided to upgrade to 1 GB of RAM, so I purchased another identical module from Newegg.

It turned out the second module I purchased was a newer revision than the original purchase, so the two were not compatible. I ended up having to RMA the older module so I could get two identical modules (and since there was a slight mix-up with the RMA, I ended up getting a brand new twin-pack and sending the two originals back to Corsair). That situation was all handled perfectly, and I've been running the system fine for the past few months.

 

Recently, I had a system failure (turned on the PC one day and it wouldn't load windows), so I went through and formatted the computer. I had purchased a brand new Serial ATA Hard Disk, so I used that for the system, and used the original IDE HDD primarily for backup purposes.

Everything seemed to be running smoothly, but then when I tried installing a PC game (Knights of the Old Republic), I got a CRC Error message (stating that the file copied to my HDD did not match the size of the original file on the CD). Looking around for support (both on the game's support site and other message boards), I found that commonly this is a bad disc issue, otherwise it is probably hardware failure of some sort. Since my discs are spotless (and this error also came up for every other game I tried installing, also with discs in perfect condition), I went through a series of tests to see if I could determine the point of failure.

 

First, since I was running two HDDs and two Optical drives (CD-RW and DVD-/+RW), I decided to simplify things. I unhooked the newer SATA drive, formatted the older IDE drive and put a fresh install of Windows XP on it. The install went smoothly, but I continued getting the CRC Error message -- Definitely not the new HDD causing the problem.

 

Secondly, I tried installing from the newer Optical drive (the DVD-/+RW), but I still got the CRC Errors. I then tried unhooking each of the Optical drives one at a time and installing with only one of them hooked up, but both still gave CRC Errors on each of those two tests.

Just to be thorough, I tried hooking the SATA drive up by itself with just the DVD-/+RW drive (since it's newer) and did another fresh install on that. Windows once again installed fine, but once I tried the install of any of my games, I started receiving CRC Errors again, so I've pretty much determined that either all four of those components (two Optical drives plus two HDDs) have gone bad at once, or none of them are the culprit. Obviously I hope the former is not the case.

 

That leaves me with two likely candidates for my issue: Either my Motherboard is to blame, or the RAM modules are. I was considering an RMA on my Mobo (which is still a possibility), but with all the headaches I've had in the past with Asus (good products, bad support), I decided I would test the RAM first.

I downloaded the latest version of Memtest86 and am running that right now. So far on the screen I have the following information, and the program appears to have locked up with the top "Pass" field reading 78%. I'm typing this up by hand since it appears to have frozen and I won't be able to generate a log file for it. I'll try the program again tomorrow since it's late.

 

 

Pass 78% #################
Test 49% ###########
Test #7 [Random number sequence]
Testing: 0K-632K 1023M Relocated
Pattern: c1cc3c70
----
WallTime: 17:40
Cached: 1023M
RsvdMem: 864K
MemMap: e820-Std
Cache: on
ECC: off
Test: Std
Pass: 0
Errors: 1155
ECC Errs: 0

 

Everything below that information is in red, indicating an error. An example of one line is:

Tst Pass      Failing Address    Good       Bad  Err-Bits   Count  Chan
7    0      001881f1a8 - 392.9MB 4757953b 4756953b 000100   2         1

 

The one question I have is: With this kind of report from memtest, is it likely a Memory Module issue, or is it still possibly the Mobo?

 

I'm hoping this issue is something as simple as bad Memory Modules, and if so that this can be taken care of as swiftly as my other small issue. If not, I'm going to have to RMA the Motherboard with Asus, which will take me about three years to get done, if my past experiences with them are any indication ;).

 

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide. I'll be checking back tomorrow for any response.

 

Mark F

 

[Edit]

By the way, I haven't yet tried removing one of the modules at a time to test them independantly, I only just ran Memtest86 for the first time tonight, so I will try each of the Modules one at a time tomorrow night and run Memtest on each of them.

[/Edit]

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Hi,

 

Sorry about the delays in my posts. Working second shift I don't get home until late.

 

All my BIOS settings are at the defaults for the Mobo I listed. The only thing that has been changed in BIOS is the on-board audio controller is disabled. I haven't ever done any overclocking on this system.

 

Under JumperFree Configuration I have:

AI Overclock Tuner : Standard
Performance Mode   : Auto

Under the Advanced CPU settings menu I have:

CPUID Maximum Value Limit  : Disabled
Hyper Threading Technology : Enabled

Under Chipset Settings I have:

Configure DRAM Timing by SPD  : Enabled
Performance Acceleration Mode : Auto
DRAM Idle Timer               : Auto
DRAM Refresh Rate             : Auto

The other settings there have to do with the AGP video card slot and have not been changed.

 

I don't believe any other menus on the BIOS relate to this, but if there is anything else you might need me to look for, I will check the BIOS menus and the manual to see what I can find.

 

Thanks again for the quick responses,

 

Mark F

 

[Edit]

Also, still haven't had a chance to test the modules independently. I'll hopefully get to that tomorrow night after work.

[/Edit]

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  • Corsair Employees

Please try these settings and test the modules one at a time with http://www.memtest.org.

AI Over clock Tuner: Manual

Performance Mode : Auto

DDR Reference Voltage: 2.75 Volts

Legacy USB: Disable

Configure DRAM Timing by SPD: Manual/User Define

SDRAM Bank cycle time (or tRAS): 6

SDRAM Bank Interleave: 4

SDRAM Row Precharge (tRP): 3

SDRAM RAS-to-CAS Delay (tRCD): 3

SDRAM CAS Latency: 2 (2.5 on AMD platform)

Performance Acceleration Mode: Auto

DRAM Idle Timer : Auto

DRAM Refresh Rate : Auto

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Hi again,

 

I've just had the chance to do as you asked, and I believe we may have found the issue. I set the timings you specified in my BIOS (The menus were a little different than the terms you gave, but I looked them up with ASUS documentation and made sure to set the correct settings). I ran the RAM tests with Memtest86 (and I've only just realized that the link you gave was for a slightly different version. If you need me to run that specifically I will download Memtest86+) for about an hour on the module that was originally in Slot 1 (we'll call it Module A) without the other module connected at all. I had five total passes and zero errors at the end of that time.

 

I just swapped out the Modules (removing A and putting Module B in slot 1 on the mobo) and am running Memtest86 again. As of right now I am five minutes into the test and I have over one thousand errors. I'm going to try putting Module A back into the system without Module B connected and see if I have any CRC errors when installing programs in Windows.

 

Let me know if you need any more information. Since it's looking like I have a faulty module, where do we need to go from here? If we replace the one module, will I need to send only that one or both modules together (since they were part of a TwinX Pack)?

 

Thanks once again, and I await your response.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi again,

 

I just received my RAM modules today--I'm not sure if the turn-around was normal, but it took two weeks for me to get them back--and so far they are not passing on Memtest. I have inserted both modules into my system and am running Memtest. I am not receiving nearly as many errors as I was with my original modules, but so far I have two errors received. The program has ceased to respond at 17 minutes, 47 seconds. This is the first time I have run it since installing the modules, so I will run it again a few times to see what happens and edit/post if the results are different.

 

The errors I received are as follows:

 

Error 1 - 
 Tst: 5
 Pass: 0
 Failing Address: 0003c1f3d58 - 961.1MB
 Good: c0000000
 Bad: 40000000
 Err-Bits: 80000000
 Count: 1
 Chan: <Empty>

Error 2 - 
 Tst: 5
 Pass: 0
 Failing Address: 0003d1f3d38 - 977.1MB
 Good: c0000000
 Bad: 40000000
 Err-Bits: 80000000
 Count: 1
 Chan: <Empty>

 

Also, the modules I received appear to be either defective or refurbished parts. The latter is not a concept I inherently have anything against as long as the work is done well--I do admit that as most people, I do prefer new products to something that has been repaired, I guess--but the heat-spreaders on the modules do not appear to have been attached properly. I presume they were removed for work to be done on the modules, or the modules did not originally have them and they were added after the fact. They (the platinum colored outer shell of the heat spreaders) are pressed tightly to the module in the middle, but at the edges there is a noticable separation between the plastic board that makes up the "body" of the module and the appearance is quite dissatisfying, and I worry about the effeciency of the heat-spreading effect since they are not tightly clipped onto the modules.

I can post pictures of the modules if you would like.

 

I'm sorry to say both these factors are thus far giving me a very bad experience with getting my issue resolved--my computer has been out of comission for two weeks now, and that is fairly disabling to me since I keep track of my finances via computer. Please get back to me and let me know what needs to be done to resolve this issue--primarily since the RAM modules that were sent to me are giving errors as one of the original two I sent were.

 

Thanks,

 

Mark F

 

P.S. As writing this post I have run Memtest three times. Each time it is locking up (the time counter stops counting at apparently random intervals and the program ceases to respond, though so far the errors are at roughly the same memory addresses).

 

[edit]

Also, I don't know if it makes any difference, but the modules I received were inserted into a TwinX package, but neither had the TwinX sticker on them, so I'm not sure if that means anything--such as them not actually having been packaged together originally and perhaps they were not tested at the same time as I have been led to understand the TwinX packs are.

[/edit]

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Hi,

 

To answer your question, no I do not currently own another PC that I can insert the modules into to test them (I only own laptops other than the main PC). Honestly at this point I'm kind of confused. I ran the test three or four times yesterday with both modules and it kept getting errors and locking up after around 20 minutes. As of right now I'm running the test and it's about 45 minutes into it, no errors, 2 passes.

 

[edit]

Ok, I take that back. I'm currently 1 hour 11 minutes into the test. 3 passes but 1 error. This one is on Test 6.

[/edit]

 

Do you have any idea why I might get random errors like that? I honestly find it kind of hard to believe that the issue lies anywhere else in the system, ss the previous posts in this thread show that with my two original modules, if I tested with both modules inserted I got numerous errors (immediately and basically constantly). If I inserted only ONE of the two modules and tested them independantly, I received errors on one module and no errors on the other module, regardless of how long I ran the tests (I let the system run for a couple hours on each module to be thorough, the results showing hundreds of errors on the bad module, and numerous passes on the good one).

 

Since one of those modules did not receive any errors at all, I don't see how the issue could lie somewhere else in the system. If something else were wrong (like something with my motherboard), it would have shown up even when I tested that one good module by itself--the module I sent to you along with the bad one I sent. It should also be constantly evident.

 

Also, I know nothing has happened to the PC or any of its components while the RAM was shipped to you. After I took the RAM out of my PC, I simply left the computer sitting on my desk--not attached to any cables such as the power cable, Ethernet cable or monitor cable. I didn't even have my mouse or keyboard attached, since I had to remove everything to get the RAM out to send to you.

 

Any input would be greatly appreciated. And I still have the concerns over the poor appearance of the heat-spreaders on my current modules.

 

Thanks,

 

Mark F

 

[edit]

As of right now, the test has been running with both modules for 5 hours, 48 minutes. I have Pass: 16, Errors: 7. I'm only being shown four errors in red at the bottom, and they are as follows:

 


Error 1 -
 Tst: 6
 Pass: 3
 Failing Address: 0000b135d90 - 177.3MB
 Good: 04000000
 Bad: 14000000
 Err-Bits: 100000
 Count: 2
 Chan: 1

Error 2 - 
 Tst: 5
 Pass: 8
 Failing Address: 0003c2d39d8 - 962.1MB
 Good: c0000000
 Bad: 40000000
 Err-Bits: 80000000
 Count: <Empty>
 Chan: 1

Error 3 - 
 Tst: 5
 Pass: 8
 Failing Address: 0003d2d39b8 - 978.1MB
 Good: c0000000
 Bad: 40000000
 Err-Bits: 80000000
 Count: <Empty>
 Chan: 1

Error 4 - 
 Tst: 6
 Pass: 8
 Failing Address: 0000b135d90 - 177.3MB
 Good: 04000000
 Bad: 14000000
 Err-Bits: 100000
 Count: 3
 Chan: 1

Not sure if that will tell you anything else useful, but I hope so.

[/edit]

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