Is My Memory Failing?

  Kerrso05 16:23 12 Jan 2007

I bought a new computer about 6 months ago. It is an AMD Athlon 64 Dual Core Processor 3800 + 1Gb ram but unfortunately from day one it had problems in that it would intermittently freeze about 10 minutes into a session and also a fan was very noisy (like a banshee wail......this was fixed by my local Computer Dealers who I bought the computer from replaced the graphics card which had a noisy fan) then it developed a problem with a warning coming up on the screen on shut down. I phoned the dealers and they said that it was probably a software problem (which I had installed and therefore was my responsibility......not very helpful) I couldn't find the software problem but in my efforts to find the problem I downloaded a Memory Tester called MemTest and on running the tester it found numerous faults in my installed memory.

" Pair 14799252 does not store values accurately. MemTest has detected that your computer cannot accurately store data in RAM. You need to fix it"

How reliable are these testers? and do you think my memory ram is failing and should I return the computer to the dealer for them to replace the ram under the one year warranty ( even though they have been very reluctant to help me, sighting software problems) Your suggestions on solving this problem would be appreciated


  johndrew 17:15 12 Jan 2007

I have found MemTest very good and it is often recommended in the PCA Helpline section of the magazine.

I would suggest that as your PC is under warranty you take it back and tell them what MemTest revealed. They can also run the test while you are there to prove your findings.

There is a possibility that a module needs re-seating (bad contacts) but equally memory modules do fail. It may also be worthwhile finding out who manufactured the units in your PC as there are `cheap` items that sometimes don`t work very well.

  Kerrso05 17:47 12 Jan 2007

Thanks for that johndrew

I thought the test might be reliable. I ran it for about an hour and it discovered 19 faults. The only problem, is I ran Microsoft's own memory tester (using it I had to boot from a Floppy disc)but it didn't show up any faults. Do you think MemTest is more reliable than Microsoft's memory tester?
I think the ram is made by Kingston. It is a 1024mb 3200 DDR far as I know Kingston would be a good reliable make of memory. Would that be the case? Maybe as you say the module needs to be re-seated but as I say the problems have been nearly from day one with computer freezing and hanging. Nothing would work until I pushed the re-set button on the computer. They had the computer in their workshop when they replaced the Graphics Card (which they were reluctant to replace...sighting that most graphics cards are noisy.....which I replied "like a banshee wail. I don't think") I hate confrontation with dealers, as I don't know enough about the inner workings of computers to argue and that's why I have left it so long to go back to them to get this sorted.
Thanks again for your help


  archir123 18:10 12 Jan 2007

you didnt run memtest whith windows did you? that version isnt really reliable.

im sure you already have but just incase make sure you run the version on a bootable floppy or cd , it works much better outside of windows.

memtest is an industry standard test , i never used windows version so i cant comment.

click here

run it over night , its no good for just a few hours , you should have NO errors , but read memtests faq's page as some amd cpu's do throw out a certain error.

if your fsb is overclocked that could be throw up errors too

  Kerrso05 18:52 12 Jan 2007

Hi there

I didn't use the memory test that you linked too I used MemTest which can be found at this link:-
click here

So you think that this tester is not reliable? and you don't think there is anything wrong with my memory? even though this tester is showing 19 faults
Thanks for your help.


  Kerrso05 19:18 12 Jan 2007

"if your fsb is overclocked that could be throw up errors too"............I don't understand what fsb means but I haven't done any overclocking to this machine at all.....I wouldn't know how to do it!!!
It is very frustrating and I want to get this resolved once and for all, as I have had this computer 6 months and there hasn't been one session in those 6 months that the computer hasn't been "hung free" or hasn't developed a freeze up. Everything just stops, I can' t use the mouse or the Windows Task Manager to free up the fault...I just have push the re-set button. The computer is very unreliable. I have a older Dell computer of 8 yrs old, less speed and less memory and it never Hangs or has problems like this new computer. It has more software and I do more things on it than this new one.

I thought I had found the solution to my problem, a faulty memory module and now you are putting doubts in my head. The dealer will probably blind me with science and dismiss my theory of a faulty memory module and go back to his original (dismissive) answer of "it's your software'll have to sort it out put software on the it's your fault the computer is unreliable" This dealer is happy in taking my money (£1300) but not very helpful in sorting the computer out
Oh dear, I am in a predicament and quandary of what to do next!!!

  archir123 19:48 12 Jan 2007

run memtest mate the version on a bootable floppy , if it shows up errors and your not overclocked (which i assume your not) then its faulty , simple as that.

he will have to rma your ram to kingston , thats his problem not yours , he should just replace yours like for like.

memtest tests your ram and thats it , if its faulty and i mean failing in ANY way then he cant dispute it , he will by the sounds of it but he aint a leg to stand on.

he may say its due to the mobo or the cpu or whatever but either way its a hardware fault , he sold you the hardware , he has to sort it.

you need to do your research , look up all the faq on memtest , learn all yuo can , then when you go to him and he tries to fob you off you'll be well armed (you'll probably know more than him by then ;0) )

he wont be out of pocket at the end of the day , Kingston will refund him if its faulty so everyones a winner

as i said learn all you can , blind him with a little science of your own , hes ounds like a prat anyway.

by the way fsb is front side bus , put simply you up the frquency to increase the speed of your ram and cpu

  archir123 19:52 12 Jan 2007

oh i seem to have missed some of your questions

im not saying the memtest you ran was unreliable but when windows is running it can be affected by too many variables , the bootable version will test your ram and nothing else , giving you a clear case to take to yuor dealer , run it over night , as mentioned there should be NO errors , if you want take a wee pic of your errors with a digital camera (theres no way to do a screen shot) and show it to him , he cant dispute that.

but if memtest shows up no errors then im afraid you problem lies elsewhere.

  archir123 19:55 12 Jan 2007

i will eventually remember to put everything in one post lol

goto control panel/admin tools/event viewer look under application and system , see if there are any errors around the time of yuor crashes (an error will be a red crossed item)

post the error here if there is one

  skeletal 19:59 12 Jan 2007

When people talk about “memtest” they usually mean memtest86:

click here

In essence, you need to download this and create a bootable floppy or CD. You can then run this outside of Windows which is more reliable. Basically, you don’t want anything else to run at the same time as the tester, because they could conflict and give misleading results.

The problem with your problem (!) is it could be hardware or software and it could take time to sort out (which is why dealer will try to blame you, they don’t want to spend the time).

Try running the new memtest. If that shows a problem, you WILL have one! (But Kingston is a good make, but even the best can fail).

Depending on your confidence, it would be worth checking every connection around your mother board (all the cables to hard drives/CD drives etc etc) all the memory modules, graphics cards etc.

It is quite common on a new machine, for one or more of these to come loose in transit.


  johndrew 20:01 12 Jan 2007

I agree with archir123. I thought you were referring to MemTest 86 when you posted - must admit I was unaware of the other one - certainly it is the one PCA recommend. It`s easy to use and you can make either a floppy or cd.

If you haven`t run a test with this I suggest you do so before going back to the supplier.

Many suppliers try it on if they think they can get away with it. The easiest way to call their bluff is to only have the same software loaded as they supplied the PC with. When it shows a fault they can`t say it`s down to software you`ve loaded.

If you feel confident you could remove the memory modules yourself and re-seat them, but there is a risk that the supplier will say you have negated the warranty.

As for the fsb overclocking, if you have changed no setting then again it`s down to the supplier.

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