View Full Version : Help Troubleshooting a hardware/memory failure

06-22-2003, 06:00 AM

I have had a problem recently with my system. The system froze and I got the Blue Screen of Death indicating a memory failure. When I rebooted the system, I got a message indicating the amount of memory had changed. However, when I checked the memory (512) was the same.

A few days later, the problem occured again. I got the BSOD indicating there was hardware failure. Upon rebooting, I got the message of a memory failure. But when I check the system everything seems fine. I have had the machine for four years and I have never had this problem, so I assume something is on the verge of failing.

The machine is a Dell Precision Workstation 210. It is PIII Pentium (don't laugh) running at 500 mhz. It has the Intel i440bx chipset. The machine has a SCSI drive and an ATI Fire GL 8800 AGP video card. It also has a Audigy 2 sound card and a zoom USB modem.

As far as memory, it has four PC100, ECC, Unbuffered DIMMS of 128MB each (the max the system can handle). I am running Windows 2000 Professional - Service Pack 3.

I reseated all the cards and memory. I ran the Dell Diagnostics and Memtest. Both indicated there were no problems. It has been suggested to me that it could be a software related problem. The crashes, however, do not seem to be linked to any one specific software application. In both cases, the crash occured while surfing the net (which I have done many, many times without incident). I have not recently added or changed any software.

This is an old machine and I am due for an upgrade. But it has always been a good workhorse and I want to keep it running. Any ideas of what else I should try?

Many thanks


06-22-2003, 01:21 PM
My suggestion would be to see if you can get some more RAM for the system and see if the problem stops. If the amount of system RAM is changing and you are getting a lot of BSODs then it is generally a good indication that the RAM is dying.

06-22-2003, 06:58 PM
if all else fails, unplug EVERYTHING. Plug in just your hard drive and one slot worth of RAM. Then adjust ur settings and add stuff on one at a time to see where it happens.

06-26-2003, 09:12 AM
Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. The problem happens too irregularly at this point for me to swap out hardware as a test. For example, the machine ran fine for a week and then crashed on shut down.

I got the BSOD and it read:

Hardware Malfunction
NMI: Parity Check/Memory Parity Error
***The System Has Halted***

Upon rebooting I got the message:
"Single Bit Memory Error"

The message continued but was too fast for me to catch it all. Upon further reboots all is clear.

Is their a boot log that would have this error message?

I guess my memory is failing. Two of the DIMMS are less than 6 months old. The other two are 4 years old so I assume its the older versions.

Any other ideas before I start swapping memory?



06-26-2003, 07:02 PM
daaaaang..... that's some OOOOOLD MEMORY.... dude, just get a new board w/ some new DDR400!!!!!! =DDDD

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