What would cause a memory failure?

Discussion in 'Memory and Storage' started by NeoPTLD, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. NeoPTLD

    NeoPTLD Platinum Member

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    Once the memory is installed and it gets along with the computer, it is usually maintenance free.

    I've never seen a module go bad on its own without being provoked by something such as overclocking, mishandling, etc.

    On my old office work computer, it's been working fine for years with 3 x 128MB SDRAM PC100 modules. It memtest86'ed fine at the time.

    The computer was acting up, so I ran Windows Memory test and found one of the modules is consistently giving errors. I moved the module to a different box and tested in that box. Same failure pattern. fffffff shows up as ffffbf or something every time.

    How common is a memory failure of this type and what causes it?
     
  2. mindless1

    mindless1 Platinum Member

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    Considering the age of the system, I'd suspect either motherboard or PSU capacitor rot allowed high ripple that killed the weakest cell(s), but would keep doing it more and more over time. Might be something else, random power surge or other one-off anomoly which we can't so easily speculate about. Might've been that one in a million that had a defect, it was just subtle enough it took years to surface.
     
  3. Yellowbeard

    Yellowbeard Golden Member

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    All Electronic components eventually die :brokenheart:

    I can only guess how old those modules are.
     
  4. techfuzz

    techfuzz Diamond Member

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    Sometimes memory just goes bad. I just had 1 stick out of a matched pair in my computer at home go bad all of a sudden. I bought the pair ~15 months ago and had been working flawlessly. Then one day last week, one stick just dies and Windows will not longer boot. Memtest throws about 20k errors within 20 seconds.

    Gonna have to RMA both sticks now. Thank god for lifetime warranties!

    techfuzz