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Thread: Major Computer Fault - Any help would be appreciated!

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    Senior Member Workaholic's Avatar
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    Question Major Computer Fault - Any help would be appreciated!

    Basically my old computer (and currently my dad uses it) has had a problem for a long while now where it would randomly restart either during the boot process after getting into windows with a random timer (sometimes seconds and sometimes days after!) It definetaly not a driver conflict as they haven't been touched for about a year, and the start random restarts occur in Linux (Mandrake 2006.)

    As the computer randomly restarts in both windows and linux it doesn't appear to be a virus attack unless I have the start in both operating systems and each of the AV software failed to catch it.

    To date my ideas and actions taken include:

    Using Memtest86 on Ubunti and Kubunti Live CDs to test the RAM (2*512MB Geil Value Select DDR3200 Ram) which came up with 20,000+ errors! Oh crap, my memories appears dead so I then take steps to test the memory one by one in each of the different three memory slots on the motherboard. Again the errors appear all over the memory chips starting around the 100MB and ending around 500MB (mainly concentrated in the middle!) and so I think that the motherboard may be goosed and therefore showing incorrect RAM test results as both blocks can't be complately dead! Can they?

    I then thought that I could use my dad's older computer to test the memory but after reading the manual that computer's motherboard can only support up to DDR PC2700 (333Mhz) and my own computer only takes DDR2!
    Or will the memory work backwards at the 333Mhz speeds instead of 400Mhz?

    Therefore I cannot test the memory further unless I ask a friend to do so for me.

    **********************************************************

    My other ideas on the fault(s) may be a failing HDD in which case I could install windows/linux onto a secondary drive and boot off that instead (to be tried soon!)

    **********************************************************

    Otherwise replace the motherboard (last resort as I'm not sure if that's faulty!)

    **********************************************************

    Finally get a sledge hammer and go wack as it's getting on my nerves every night when my dad's asks when it will be fixed......

    Are there any tools for testing these hardware and what else can I try?
    Woohoo now Assistant Manager!


  2. #2
    Moderator chuckskull's Avatar
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    • chuckskull's system
      • Motherboard:
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    Sounds like the RAM is dead. Try giving it a 0.1 or 0.2v boost in the BIOS, this can sometime cure aging chips.

    DDR2 and DDR and not compatable btw. Different number of pins.

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    • Choo Choo's system
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    I think most likely the memory controller on the motherboard is faulty. Either that or the RAM slots are bust.

    I've had perfectly good memory produce many thousands of errors in memtest on a bad motherboard.

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    Senior Member Workaholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckskull View Post
    Sounds like the RAM is dead. Try giving it a 0.1 or 0.2v boost in the BIOS, this can sometime cure aging chips.

    DDR2 and DDR and not compatable btw. Different number of pins.
    I think that you misunderstood what I was saying - I have access to a few computers at home:
    1) Current faulty computer - uses DDR PC3200 (400Mhz) memory
    2) My own - uses DDR2 memory
    3) Dad's old computer - uses maximum DDR2700 (333Mhz) memory
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    Getting older teachmech's Avatar
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    You can check the ddr400 in the old machine, it will run it at 333 ok. If it still gives errors then you know what to blame.

    Just be aware it may pass at this slower speed but fail at the higher speed.

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    • blueball's system
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    If you put fast RAM in a SLOW computer it should work at the slow speed (as long as the format is correcr i.e DDR )

    Edit: beaten to it by seconds

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    Senior Member Workaholic's Avatar
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    Does the same apply to DDR2 memory i.e. a 667Mhz chip can be tested in a 533Mhz slot?
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    Senior Member charleski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Workaholic View Post
    Does the same apply to DDR2 memory i.e. a 667Mhz chip can be tested in a 533Mhz slot?
    Of course.

    You didn't say what CPU and chipset you're using. If it's an AMD CPU it might be possible that the processor is dying and showing faults in its mem controller.

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    Senior Member Workaholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charleski View Post
    Of course.

    You didn't say what CPU and chipset you're using. If it's an AMD CPU it might be possible that the processor is dying and showing faults in its mem controller.
    The CPU is an Athon Socket A 2.6Ghz (333Mhz Front Side Bus) and the chipset on that computer is nForce2. One of the boards by XFX.
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    Senior Member Workaholic's Avatar
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    Whoops, just realised that this thread should be in Hexus.help...

    Could one of you lovely mods please move it there so that I could get some more feedback on the problem.

    Cheers
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    Try formating might help not sure though

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    Senior Member Workaholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patata View Post
    Try formating might help not sure though
    Doesn't appear to be the fault of the HDD's as any of the LiveCD won't boot anymore... Crashed within 5 seconds of loading.

    I've not had the chance to get to the second copmuter to test the memory yet. Will post results here when I do.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Workaholic's Avatar
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    UPDATE: My 400Mhz (2 blocks of 512MB) Memory has been tested in an older computer (mainly supporting DDR2100 memory blocks) and one passed fine with no problems at all, but the other had a single small fault on at the 103MB mark (using Memtest 86.)

    By only placing the "good" memory in the faulty computer it still works fine for a while but then went back to its state of constant restarts.

    PSU ratings seem fine in the BIOS and so it appears that the fault lies in the CPU/motherboard.

    Unless you guys can think of another thing that may be faulty.
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    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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    Have you at least tried doing a CMOS clear? It might be that your ram timing was set too tight or the system was overclocked unintentionally.

    You could also try using some compressed gas to blow on the ram slot, could have been dust getting in. Also clean the golden fingers on your ram sticks.
    Workstation 1: Intel i7 950 @ 3.8Ghz / X58 / 12GB DDR3-1600 / HD4870 512MB / Antec P180
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    Senior Member Workaholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurleung View Post
    Have you at least tried doing a CMOS clear? It might be that your ram timing was set too tight or the system was overclocked unintentionally.
    No one should have played with the BIOS, and I don't overclock it.
    I'll try it anyway...
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