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Bad stick of VS512MB400


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I purchased a set of 2 VS512MB400 sticks of RAM from NewEgg over a month ago. When I first installed Windows, I had to remove one of the sticks to get Windows to install. I didn't think too much of it (I've seen weirder things have to be done to get Windows to install). Got done installing, put it the stick of RAM back in, and away I went.


Over the past month I've been noticing oddball things - mostly files that do not copy correctly from DVD or CD to the hard drive. I've also had a large number of "corrupt" zip files. The kicker was when I went to access my backup copy of Visual Studio .NET from DVD and it told me the archive was corrupt when extracting it. Assuming the DVD was bad somehow, I dug out the originals. They would not install for anything - I was getting constant errors for files that were bad or could not be read. I switched drives - from the internal CDROM to an external CDRW to another external DVDRW. No help. Cleaned the disks. No help.


Finally, something happened last night when trying to install it for the umpteenth time and my PC crashed. Couldn't get it into Windows. Try to do a repair installation and, guess what? Can't copy certain files. I started taking notice of what files couldn't be copied. It changed every time. Different versions of Windows yielded the same results.


Remembering the problem I had before, I removed one stick of RAM. Same problem. Moved it into the second, and then the third slot. Same problem both times. Removed that stick of RAM and put the one that I removed back in. Bingo! Windows installed fine. Dug out the DVD with the "corrupt" archive one it. Extracted the files and installed VS.NET without a hitch.


This stick of RAM is just bad. I don't need Memtest to tell me, either. With that stick of RAM in I have difficulties transferring files, with the other stick in everything works fine.


For the record here's my current configuration. All hardware is known good and was working fine previous to installing the new RAM:

  • MSI K7N2 Delta 2 mb
  • AMD Athlon XP 3200+
  • 1 x 512 VS512MB400 (the other one is out of the PC)
  • Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro
  • Lite-On 48X CDROM
  • TDK 4X External Firewire DVDRW
  • HiVal USB 20. 40x CDRW
  • Some generic Firewire card
  • WD 80GB and WD 40GB hdd
  • Windows XP SP1a

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I'll do that and get back to you. I'm still convinced it's bad...I think the RAM deteriorated slightly, because the issues I was having that made the system unusable Sunday, Tuesday and yesterday are gone now that stick of RAM is out.
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  • 2 weeks later...
Well, I've tried that stick of RAM by itself in two PCs and neither will boot into Windows with that stick installed. The other stick works just fine at the RAM timings you suggested. Is it really necessary to run MemTest86? Shouldn't two PCs not booting into Windows with that stick of RAM installed be enough?
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