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Bad Module?


sdchew

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Hi Guys,

 

need some advise. I built my system about 8 months ago and this is my first attempt at using Corsair RAM as all my previous systems used Kingstons. What attracted me to Corsair was their so called 'matched memory pair' which is supposed to be better for Dual Channel operation.

 

Anyway, to cut the story short, I get BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) off and on, typically only while the system is under heavy load (multiple applications running, video encoding, etc). The BSOD symptom isn't 100% repeatable, doesn't always BSOD, just once in a while and sometimes at random, but when it happens, it is normally under heavy loading.

 

Anyway, the error reporting page at Microsoft claims that the problem is memory related and asked me to download a diagnostic software called Windows Memory Diagnostic (http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp)

 

After running it a couple of times, I observed that I was able to repeatedly obtain errors during the extended (Press T to do extended testing) MATS+ and another test.

 

After looking at my Corsair box and reading that I should test using MemTest86+, I downloaded it and ran it over night. 17 pass later and still no error. Any suggestions on what is going on?

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Ok, I finally got back from out of town to try your suggestions. I have updated the BIOS but the Windows Memory Diagnostic software still fails. Please note that this software is not windows based and it seems very similar to Memtest86 in look and operation. It also boots from a CD.

 

Pushing up the voltage up by 0.2 V caused reboots in Windows. It seems more stable at 0.1V increase but it still fails the Windows Memory Diagnostic MATS+ extended test. Interestingly, I noticed that the failure location is consistently at 1C8D8000 and it seems to be failing only one bit (Expected FFFF FFFFF, Actual FFFF FF6F)

 

Any suggestion?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Most interestingly, after I upgraded the BIOS, have not had a single BSOD. The Microsoft RAM Diagnostic still fails, but the system seems stable. I guess I'll just ignore it unless I get additional BSODs.

 

Thanks Guys!

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Well, + 0.2V didn't seem to help as it caused reboots and + 0.1V doesn't help at all. So I'm guessing that +0.3V won't help. Besides, I haven't had a single BSOD since I flashed my BIOS to the latest version and I think I know why.

 

There is an interesting piece of information about a problem with the Intel Core/Core 2 Duo processors and it requires a microcode update to fix it. The problem causes random hanging and unpredictable behavior. It is to my understanding that the BIOS update contains this microcode fix, so that might be causing the problems I had previously faced and Windows falsely reports it as a memory error.

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To be frank, I don't know what to think.

 

Let me just state the facts:

 

- Windows Memory Diagnostics still reports a March Error

- MemTestX86 says no problem even after extended runs overnight

- Have not suffered a since BSOD since the BIOS update

 

Anyway, if you are interested in the problem in the Intel Core/Core2 Duo microcode issue, you can look at the Intel Errata notes at:

 

http://download.intel.com/design/processor/specupdt/31327914.pdf

 

Some information is provided on the last few pages.

 

Major PC companies like HP, Lenovo and others are also rolling out BIOS updates to address this issue. They all claim that this problem will cause unresponsiveness on the machines, erratic behavior and hangs.

 

As for me, I'm not going to down my PC anymore and investigate into whether I have a faulty module unless I get another BSOD. Besides, I just bought a Dominator RAM cooler and I hope it will help to further enhance stability on my machine. Looking forward to upgrade my PC to 4 GB of RAM the day I switch to Vista thou.

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Nope. I did not install the patch. I believe that the patch is for people who either cannot update their BIOS (no BIOS update, etc) and thus Microsoft provides a way to upload the microcode to the processor during Windows start up.

 

Since my motherboard has an updated BIOS which already takes care of this, I see no point in adding another patch to Windows.

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  • Corsair Employees
If you continue to have problems I would suggest doing that patch and see if it helps. Microsoft is so patched as it is I think it would crash if it were not patched or updated every few months.
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  • 5 months later...
  • Corsair Employees
Thanks for the update! Keep in mind that with your 965 motherboard you will most likely need to drop the memory frequency to DDR667 when populating all four slots on the motherboard. This is a limitation of the chipset.
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