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64MB RAM chip 32 of which is bad

Posted on 1999-11-24
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
Dealer upgraded our RAM a little over a year ago.  It's an ASUS Pentium II motherboard AT/style which says it's MMX capable.  Our RAM was then 128MB RAM.  Started getting weird intermittent out of memory conditions loading large files to discover that 32 MB disappeared.  Took the one 64MB Ram chip to them, they tested it.  They confirmed that this 64 MB chip had 32MB bad (looked like 4 little chips on the one big 64MB chip).  They sent it back to the factory to see what the problem may be.   We're hoping they'll cover this with warranty.

It used to be that RAM was guaranteed for years, no?  What would cause a 64MB chip to suddenly become 32?  No overheating problems, etc. that we could determine.  It's confusing as to what chip type this was, BIOS said SDRAM, invoice once said EDO RAM.  The boot test confirmed the same thing Windows said, 32MB lower.

Read that someone else had a similar problem, but not sure of the outcome.  Don't want to have to pay for something that should have been covered and functional longer than 1.5 years, given the high cost of RAM back then.  Right after the RAM upgrade, noticed lots of invalid page faults in specific address areas, kernel32 errors, etc.  They were intermittent though.  Wonder if these types of things could be around bad RAM.  Maybe RAM was bad from the start, and we didn't know it.

Thanks for your helpful comments in helping me make sense of this and what you'd do if you were in my shoes about this RAM issue.  Can factories fix RAM?  If they can't, and the 64MB chip only has 32 good, is it safe to install this 64MB chip and use only the good portion (assuming we can't afford to replace it and they can't fix the 32MB piece).

Any insight here is appreciated.
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Question by:knine
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kjanx earned 280 total points
ID: 2232274
it was that bad ram chip, if you got lots of errors.
most computer places guarantee them for a year.
i wouldn't use any damaged piece of hardware in any computer. it could cause other problems.
good luck, kj
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by:knine
ID: 2232367
So, if I understand you correctly, this means that I've purchased 64MB chip of which 32 went bad just outside a year and I'm out of luck?   It was quite expensive when we bought it; that's a real drag. Is it because of the type of RAM that was purchased, or is this true about all RAM?  Recall reading claims about RAM some time ago like "lifetime guarantee, etc"....

Also if that is the case, should I then buy only small, cheap increments of RAM so I don't lose $s just because a piece of it goes bad?  RAM has gone up a bunch, less affordable to fix.  Don't want to buy more bad RAM to fix prior bad RAM and curious about what cautions to exercise.

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by:knine
ID: 2232372
Perhaps not as easy as I thought (I guess), therefore increasing value some.
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by:rayt333
ID: 2232572
Recall reading claims about RAM some time ago like "lifetime guarantee, etc"....

This depends on the vendor or the manufacter, but you will pay more for it upfront. This one has lifetime warrenty:
http://www.crucial.com/
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by:Asta Cu
ID: 2232589
Like Rayt333, was going to post a site with similar claims; but didn't find any guarantee information (including on the www.crucial.com  site, which I had also explored).  Perhaps I missed something.  As was our situation, we had really expensive RAM when RAM was at premium, upgraded to different types of RAM modules when prices went down only to find that the new RAM had less warranty period (was cheaper) but in the meantime, the costly 2K RAM was gone.

Will stay tuned.
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by:Asta Cu
ID: 2232604
Any BEEPs at boot?  Any other unusual signs?  If beeps, how many and in what order.... ie... beep  beepbeepbeep, etc.

What motherboard and bios info; may be pertinent.
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by:rayt333
ID: 2232765
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by:Asta Cu
ID: 2244493
Thanks, Rayt333, checked it and it's the traditional "limited lifetime" of most.  Appreciate the input.  Any update or progress, knine?
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by:Barn_Owl
ID: 2244863
Viking and Techdata also provide lifetime warranty on memeory. Sorry i don't have there websites.
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by:knine
ID: 2253255
I appreciate the input and will advise when the supplier responds and will award points to the most helpful soon.
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by:rayt333
ID: 2254139
Actually knine this is a rare instance of memory failure, everytime I had memory go bad it was "all on none", there was no partial read of the memory chip. Are you sure there wasn't a setting changed in the CMOS setup?
I guess it may be possible for a chip to be only readable on half of it but I have never ran across it before. Maybe your vendor will just replace it with a new one with no questions asked.
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by:Asta Cu
ID: 2254410
I must chime in with a ME TOO on Rayt333's comments.  Had similar issue also on a 64MB chip where 32MB went bad; also outside the 'year' limited warranty.  Never in all the years of my PC experience did I have this occur before or since.  A real baffler!
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Author Comment

by:knine
ID: 2274075
Thanks to all for your input and help.  Since Kjanx's comment was quick, concise and each piece was correct based on the Dealer's input.  Unfortunately, the RAM was just over a year old; factory checked and wouldn't honor/replace since outside one year.

Again, thank you.
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by:Asta Cu
ID: 2274109
I'd agree with what's been said about the danger of using RAM that has any problems on the component in any increment.  Too bad about the timing.

Asta
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