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Memory Failure: Detection and Prevention

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Memory Failure: Detection and Prevention

Post  Admin on Mon May 24, 2010 8:19 am

Let's begin.

Short beeps with 2-3 seconds interval is the usual and obvious indication of a problematic memory. Memory problems may vary from minor to replacement of the unit.

List of memory failure symptoms by experienced
  • PC restarts unexpectedly
  • PC can't properly start-up, restarts after windows loading screen(usually happens on windows xp)
  • PC can't finish operating system installation. This due to temporary files memory loading failure.
  • PC can't finish or error on software installation. A pop-up message window will require you to locate missing files which isn't normal when you know that your installation disk is fine and working on other PC.
  • Matrix and distorted display on PC Start-up. Well, this is sometimes mistaken a videocard problem but if it occurs when your using a fully functional videocard onboard(built-in motherboard) or separate, suspect its your memory.
  • PC no display, no boot-up beeping. Intermittent pc start-up, meaning it's ok now but not later kinda problem. At times a mismatch two memory module is causing this type of trouble. The 2 memory capacity ratio is 1:2 meaning for example even with the same brand, frequency clocking and voltage requirement, 1GB the other 512MB, the buy now upgrade later issue, this type of memory mismatch will cause this error. One or both will degrade performance and rest in pieces. Keep in mind that it's always ok to upgrade but be vigilant to know your devices capacity from the motherboard, power supply unit, videocard & etc before making the upgrade.
  • PC performance is a bit sluggish. Dust accumulation and without proper maintenance is a possible culprit.
  • PC memory incompatibility to bios installed on the motherboard. Rarely happens but it happens.

  • Clean your PC. Have a pc maintenance scheduled quarterly. If your area is dust prone, at least once every 2 months.
  • Keep the temperature down. Nowadays, temperature is very unpredictable and at times depending on your area, its like earth turned mercury by distance. hahahaha. I've experience this at home recently. After almost 6-7 hours of work, when I turn-off my computer it hanged on me. After a hard restart it could not load and matrix displays on windows 7 welcome screen. So I turned it off and let it cool off for at least 30 minutes then test if the heat wave damage was permanent but it turned out fine. Change your PC location to a much cooler place. Add some thermal insulator on heat wave affected areas at room place it on the ceiling, near windows and etc. Adding more fan depends on your power supply unit output capacity and airflow design. Installing a pc cooler like you see on this type of sites will also help but cost a lot of bucks. Minimal PC usage or scheduled PC usage also helps both your budget and device. Become a Nocturnal person. Twisted Evil

Troubleshooting advice
  1. When any of the pc problem symptoms occurs, turn-off pc and unplug power cord on the back of the pc power supply unit
  2. Open the PC's side cover. If a fume of dust covers you immediately then it's time for a general PC cleanup. Grab your gears and start cleaning. (eraser, clean paint brush used only for PC cleaning maintenance, vacuum or blower /optional/). Usually, 90% of memory problem were fixed by pc general cleaning, 8% of that can be solved using the procedure below and 2% of it means meet the new memory line up. cheers
  3. Let's assume it's squeaky clean. If you have 2-4 memory card occupying all the memory slots then you need to take out aside from one of them to test each memory for performance and consistency.
  4. For obvious reason, detach ide/sata and power cable of the harddisk.
  5. If the motherboard had other attached cards like videocard(if onboard videocard is available), modem, lan card and etc. Take it out for a while and place it on a clean dry non-conductive & non-static surface(carton, plastic, wood and etc). This is to avoid other complications and eliminating usual suspects. Just The PSU, motherboard and memory will be used for this test.
  6. After leaving only one memory card attached to the motherboard. Supply power and test it's performance. The last thing you'll see on the screen is the boot disk error prompt.
  7. Now press ctrl+alt+del keys to restart pc. After the second boot disk error prompt, hard turn-off pc by steady pressing the power button until pc is off.
  8. Disconnect power supply cord at the back again. Now replace or transfer the memory attached to other empty slots. and repeat step 5-7 until all memory slot is tested. Do this to all memory cards that wasn't tested yet. This is to find out the worst memory that is causing the problem. At times the defective memory will not be noticeable or you'll still have a working pc but then intermittent or unexplainable problems might occur and will leave you baffled.
  9. Discard or stop using malfunctioning memory if found. Replace it in your most convenient time if no spare is available.
  10. Bring the defective memory as a sample in finding a replacement. This is to avoid the worst Q&A portion on the PC shop.

God Bless to all!

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