• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

Question Need more ways to test for a memory problem seemingly!

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
14,017
3,997
136
A computer that I built ten years ago (AM3, ASUS M4A78T-E) is showing copious signs of memory problems: Different BSODs (classics like MEMORY_MANAGEMENT, PFN_LIST_CORRUPT, among others), loads of app crashes (improbable stuff like iTunes, LibreOffice), but none of these happen often enough, for example it's BSOD'd twice this year, something like six times for each of the previous years.

It has 4x 1GB DDR3 modules, two are matching modules. I started with memtest86+ 5.01 on all four simultaneous, 6 passes no errors. I followed up with memtest86 4.3.7 overnight, another 8 or 9 passes, no errors. I ran prime95 (the one that tests RAM more) for an hour, no problems/warnings.

The BIOS could do with an update but it's not an early revision. The CMOS battery needed replacing as it had lost the CMOS settings so at least we can fairly rule out a dodgy BIOS setting.

I've just run memtest86 4.3.7 on each module in turn for one pass, no errors. A couple of the modules inadvertently have had a few passes, no errors.

I'm tempted to replace all four modules (based on the logic that a mismatched module could be flipping out from time to time), but in my experience mismatched modules are rarely problematic and I'm also unlikely to see this computer for another couple of years so I'd rather nail this problem conclusively rather than stab in the dark.

The Windows event log didn't show anything particularly interesting otherwise. The only other thing I've done (late on) is clear out the CPU heatsink, but it wasn't getting desperately hot during testing (early 50s celsius).
 

MalVeauX

Senior member
Dec 19, 2008
342
16
81
I wonder if it's the memory or if it's actually the storage media the OS and swap file is running from?

Very best,
 

Jimminy

Member
May 19, 2020
33
10
41
Maybe try installing one new, known good module if you suspect memory problems. Then move it to different sockets and retest.

Could it be some of the programs running ? Apple tunes etc. You could try uninstalling lots of this rubbish and retesting the machine. Best to get it cleaned down as much as possible for testing.

With all the testing you've done, it sounds like it probably isn't memory. Sometimes old systems have other problems and can be very hard to find. You may find one memory socket is the culprit.
 
Last edited:

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
49,232
5,468
126
A friend of mine has an AM4 rig, with an installation that originally came from an AM2+ ASRock board and an Athlon II X4, running Win7 64-bit. We moved the install over to the Ryzen R3 1200 rig, and upgraded to Win10. He has since done the upgrade to 20-04, and it has been giving him BSODs.

I suspected the RAM might be flaky (he can't run XMP for some reason on his board, whereas with an identical model board and RAM, I can run XMP). But six or eight months ago, we tried setting XMP, and at least boosted the DRAM voltage to 1.35V, and he claimed recently that that fixed his appcrashes and browser tabs crashes.. until installing the 20-04 upgrade. He wants to roll back to prior version of Win10.

I helped him the other night, un-install unneeded NV drivers (he's running an RX 570), downloading and installing AMD chipset drivers, GPU drivers, and un-installing Via audio drivers from old AM2+ mobo that were still on there, and un-installing his RealTek LAN and audio drivers, and installing the most recent ones from the mobo vendor's site (Gigabyte X370).

I have another kit of RAM to swap in, for testing, to see if these issues all go away.

But it could be Win10 20-04.

PS, what about talking the owner into upgrading to 2x8GB (16GB) DDR3? Honestly, it's time for that, or a whole platform upgrade.

I finally talked my friend into stepping up from his AM2+ (AM3 Athlon II X4) DDR2 (4x4GB) rig, when it started to flake out.

His AM4 hasn't been all roses, though. He's had issues since nearly day one, but some of that could be because we migrated a positively ancient Win7 64-bit install over, and massaged / upgraded it into a Win10 install.
 
Last edited:

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
14,017
3,997
136
Win7 :)

Storage: SSD SMART stats are fine, no disk/ntfs warnings/errors in the event log. It's no skin off my nose to run a full chkdsk just in case though.
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
4,614
619
126
What SSD are you using in that rig? How old? Also, what is the board controller set to? (RAID, AHCI, IDE) I would do some storage tests next, and as mentioned, check the software / OS.

It may be time either for chkdsk + sfc, or maybe a fresh windows install (in which case this would be a good time to upgrade to windows 10)
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
14,017
3,997
136
With the CMOS reset it had gone back to IDE, but I originally had it on AHCI. I don't know when the CMOS reset occurred.

Samsung 850 PRO 256GB.
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
4,614
619
126
Ok, for the sake of your SSD, be sure to set back to AHCI or RAID.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY