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Thread: What Causes RAM To Become Faulty

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    What Causes RAM To Become Faulty

    Had major problems (HD corruption, unable to install Win XP etc.) with my brothers computer last year. After swapping out almost everything I found out the RAM was faulty.

    Friends computer started playing up - he had HD corruption (AFAIK). He swapped the HD but still had problems. Faulty RAM again.

    Now another friends computer's been playing up. XP Home was installed but would lock up once in a while (sometimes at the logo screen). I wiped the computer and couldn't get XP installed - it would BSOD at various stages during the install. Swapped the RAM and am installing XP now.

    Any ideas?

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    HEXUS.social member Agent's Avatar
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    Bad PSU's / Bad Mobo / Power spikes can also kill RAM pretty quickly.
    Were they overclocked?
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    Bad PSU's / Bad Mobo / Power spikes can also kill RAM pretty quickly.
    Were they overclocked?
    Thanks Agent.

    None of the systems were overclocked - they don't have a clue how to.

    I thought power spikes might have done the damage but bad mobo and bad psu .

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    radix lecti dave87's Avatar
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    I was going to say, over/under volting, dirty power supply to the modules - gunna kill it pretty quickly..

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    The King of Vague Steve B's Avatar
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    i had an abit motherboard that kept overvolting my sata drives, and killed 3 of them

    its annoying, its such an isolated incident too, theres nothing much you can do.

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    Late Night Ninja! CrazyMonkey's Avatar
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    Bad cooling, Dust (Taken a stick of mine..) Bad power. Power Cuts. Mostly power related.

    Oh yeh overclocking, all of the above really.

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    Flat cap, Whippets, Cave. Clunk's Avatar
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    Too much voltage, be it an over zealous overclocker, or a dodgy psu. Shudder.

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    Static electricity will also disable ram . Most people just touch the case to discharge static but your better to use an anti-static armband when putting in ram or working near motherboard. For 5 quid it could save you a fortune.

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    Nox
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    Quote Originally Posted by merdat View Post
    Static electricity will also disable ram . Most people just touch the case to discharge static but your better to use an anti-static armband when putting in ram or working near motherboard. For 5 quid it could save you a fortune.
    just make sure the case is plugged in but off on the socket on the wall, otherwise touching it will do jack.

    Nox

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    HEXUS.social member Agent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nox View Post
    justmake sure the case ss plugged in, but off on the socket on the wall, otherwise touching it will do nadda.

    Nox
    Its best to have it plugged in so its earthed properly, but even when its not, its still better than nothing (It will balance out the potential difference between you and the case IIRC)
    Last edited by Agent; 16-01-2007 at 03:05 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    I have some rubber mats for the floor so I don't get any static from the carpet. I also make sure I touch the psu regularly (if wrist band isn't plugged in) and ensure it's plugged in at the wall.

    In the instances listed above I think some power problem has caused RAM to go bad though.

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    Like all electronic devices, sometimes they just break. Cheap non branded stuff is more likely to break than a good branded item as the good branded stuff tends to have been selected with far tighter tolerances - with the left overs being sold off cheap to anyone who'll buy them.

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    Pedandic mo-fo IAmATeaf's Avatar
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    The reasons given above are all good but I've generally found that the main cause is a bit or bits that simply develop a fault causing them to stick on of off, this type of fault actually causes the biggest problems as the system (CPU, memory controller and RAM) isn't aware of the problem.

    More then likely a duff PSU or power spike passed to the system through a cheap PSU would simply kill the RAM plus other comps in the way such as the mobo.

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    I ran memtest on it for about 3 hours yesterday and it didn't report any errors.

    Was that time too short?

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    Depends how much confidence you need. If it's passed all tests then the RAM in it's current state is good. But it doesn't meant that poor motherboard regulation or PSU won't break it later.

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    Must admit I've not yet had ram thats developed a fault. I had a bad stick from Crucial before that was bad from the start. As said voltage would do it (but why didn't it fry anything else?) and I guess shoddy construction on cheap modules could cause it too.

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