Hardware Malfunction

  User-361D919A-9369-49DD-BB21C57F113ABA43 08:20 13 Sep 2009

Me again:
When using my Toshiba A100-027 laptp and error comes up when I've login. The whole screen goes Blue
The error says:
Hardware Malfunction
Call your hardware vendor for support
NMI: Parity Chech/ Memory Parity Error
The system has halted.
My Specs are:
Windows vista HP
Pentium T2500
80Gb hdd
The laptop is only 3 years old (3years 1 Month)

  ened 08:24 13 Sep 2009

Try re-seating the memory.

Are you aware of any event prior to this happening?

Ened I'm not aware of any event at all leading up to this. Never to the memory. Use laptop as Desktop Replacement.

  mooly 08:36 13 Sep 2009

Might be worth taking the battery out, totally disconnecting AC adapter, dongles etc and holding the power button on for 20 seconds or so.
Always worth trying so try that first, if that does nothing maybe as do ened suggests remove and replace the RAM to be sure it's located OK.
Failing that, do the battery thing again this time leaving it all disconnected overnight, and again keep pressing the power button to make sure all is discharged before trying again.

Will try taking the battery out now. Keep replying because I'm on another PC. Already checked RAM

  ened 10:54 13 Sep 2009

"Might be worth taking the battery out, totally disconnecting AC adapter, dongles etc and holding the power button on for 20 seconds or so"

Without wishing to hijack the thread. I am new to laptops (bought my first one only a couple of months ago), what does this action do?

  DieSse 11:16 13 Sep 2009

NMI: Parity Chech/ Memory Parity Error

NMI = Non-Maskable Interrupt. Which in this case is a Parity Error - it's non-makable because the only way to handle a catastrophic error is to halt.

However, your laptop will almost certainly not have Parity RAM fitted, so a RAM fault cannot produce this error.

The possibilities thus are

The BIOS has been accidentally set as if there was Parity checking RAM fitted (which would produce Parity errors),

You do, unusually, have Parity RAM fitted, have Parity checking enabled, and the RAM is faulty.

The memory referred to is maybe cache RAM on the processor chip. I'm not sure if this is checked for parity - if it is, and it's giving errors, then the processor may be faulty.

The motherboard is faulty and producing these errors when it shouldn't be.

The BIOS is faulty, and producing errors it shouldn't.

First step - double check that you don't have parity RAM fitted, as well as Parity checking enabled in the BIOS -

Secondly - check the BIOS to see if it had been corrupted to set Parity RAM in use.

Thirdly - reset the CMOS in case there is a temporary corruption in it's settings.

Fourthly - reseat the processor to see if there's a bad connection.

Fifthly - start replacing suspect parts.

  mooly 12:12 13 Sep 2009

What happens is this, and I'm speaking as an electronics tech now.
Easy bit first, removing the battery etc and pressing the power switch discharges any capacitors that may be holding a charge and keeping the "logic" in a fault state. I'm sure most of us have experienced that whereby the only fix is to unplug something for an hour or two and then it's OK, and all for no apparent reason. You only need half a volt or so "remaining" on a component and it may never reset normally, you have to totally remove all charge.
A further problem is that "internal capacitance" on some components like I/Cs etc can hold charge and prevent them "resetting" at power on and working normally... bit hard to explain really, even after 24 hours or so with no power applied.
I have seen time and time again equipment that malfunctions, and sometimes the cure is drastic, so don't try this unless you know what you are doing. For example covering the entire PCB in aluminium foil pressed hard onto all the components etc to remove charge. Another good trick is to heat the PCB etc to around 70 degrees C as this causes internal charge to dissipate as semiconducter junctions become "leaky" at high temperatures.
One very famous make of remote control does just this, locks up and won't work. It takes 3 to 4 days with no batteries in for it to reset and recover, or an hour on a really hot radiator :)

  ened 12:24 13 Sep 2009

Thanks for the explanation.

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