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Old 2006-11-17, 14:32   #1
R.D. Silverman
R.D. Silverman's Avatar
Nov 2003

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Default Memory Diagnostics under XP?

I have had my NFS linear algebra fail several times on my home PC.

Always with the same error. I suspect a memory problem of some kind.

This PC has XP *home* edition, and I can't find any memory diagnostic
tools (including within the bios).

Does anyone know of such tools under XP Home Edition???
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Old 2006-11-17, 14:45   #2
paulunderwood's Avatar
Sep 2002
Database er0rr

74358 Posts

memtest86+ is good. Amongst its boot types is a CD which is burnt to CD as an "iso". Iso burning is a special feature of burning software. (The CD has to be booted and maybe you have to set the boot priorities in BIOS to get the CD to boot before the hard drives.)

Last fiddled with by paulunderwood on 2006-11-17 at 15:03
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Old 2006-11-17, 15:19   #3
Xyzzy's Avatar
Aug 2002

8,311 Posts
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Old 2006-11-17, 16:06   #4
dsouza123's Avatar
Sep 2002

2·331 Posts

Prime95 is very effective for determining stability,
ie getting repeated correct results,
(it uncovers errors, sometimes a combination of RAM/CPU,
that memtest misses),
use the torture test option for 24 hours,
there have been many posts on the appropriate settings
for the torture test depending on what on your trying to stress test
certain settings will test the CPU and Caches, correct instruction results
and data transfers from/to the Caches
others will test constant transferring of data from/to RAM, if one or more
RAM sticks have a problem they will eventually corrupt the data.

Possible causes of errors:
a stick of RAM is marginal (very likely),
the automatically detected bios settings are wrong (happens alot),
the speed/timing settings are too aggresive (lower them in bios),
the voltage settings are too low (also falls under power supply),
the memory is overheating,
the memory socket is marginal,
the memory and motherboard aren't fully compatible
(that is why there is recommened/certified/approved RAM for some motherboards),
RAM stick damaged by static electricity

marginal CPU (some CPU has to be the bottom of it's bin),
the CPU is overheating
(mutiple causes: fan and heatsink coated/filled with dust,
too much/too little thermal compound, poor contact between heatsink and chip),
undervoltage because the power supply isn't supplying enough (can boost in bios)

Power Supply (PSU)
marginal PSU,
voltage sent to RAM, CPU to low boost settings in bios,
insufficient PSU, total system energy W/VA too close to PSU rated amount
many systems come with PSU with the minimum W/VA rating needed,
modular PSU are problematic sometimes the connections aren't good and other issues,
overheating (they collect/filter alot of dust)
not regulating the voltage well (out of tolerance or producing
spikes, brownouts etc)

Motherboard (MB)
marginal MB,
some MB have known hardware problems or need bios updates for fixes

insufficient airflow, dead spots (flow blocked by cables etc), not enough fans,
Removing the cover/side panels can reduce the heat build up.

the power from the outlets is suffering
surges, spikes, brownouts, or a grounding problem
a good UPS will alleviate most of that and some have
ground fault detection,
static electricity
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