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memory or motherboard at fault?

Posted on 2007-04-09
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
I have an Abit IT7-MAX2 v2.0 mobo.  It has 3 mem slots.  I have successfully for several years run two 1-GB mem sticks (Crucial) - one in each of slots #1 and #2.  I have a mem tester that i downloaded from microsoft.  it is a bootable cd-rom often referred to as "mtinst.exe".  I  recently began seeing the blue screen, ran the mem tester, receiving many errors.  took PC to a shop a couple times.  the technician never questioned the memory.  He finally flashed the bios, and the PC was OK for a week or so.  then the blue screen returned.  I ran tester again.  The tester dies consistently at the same time during the "stride-6" portion of the test.  

I removed the second 1-GB mem stick, leaving the first 1-GB mem stick in slot one.  mem test ran fine going successfully past the failure spot.  I swapped mem sticks to repeat the test on the remaining 1-GB stick (with no other stick in place) in slot #1.  the test ran fine.  Next I left the current 1_GB stick in slot #1 and placed the other (which had tested OK minutes ago) in slot #3, hoping there was a problem maybe isolated to slot #2 on the mobo.  this test failed in exactly the same spot - during the "stride-6" subtest.  the failure symptom, again, was that the tester died.

One time the blue screen reported trouble with the DLL file "atidvag".  I have a Radeon 9550 video card.  i read a bit on the net, and went to ATI site.  i downloaded and installed latest driver set for this card.  blue screen still returned.  

the blue screen occurs from ten min to 1 hour after boot at times when i am calling heavily on the memory, by the way.

I think the mobo is at fault, but i am not sure enough to spend the money without advice.  maybe something else i am unaware of could cause these symptoms. The technician, however, said he found no hardware faults - power supply, e.g.   i would appreciate any opinions.

thanks,
Hank
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Question by:richarwi
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by:xr1140
ID: 18876089

did you overclock ?  try relax the memory timings if you do. I had a problem similar to yours some time ago when a MB was giving me error ... i have fixed the problem by relaxing the memory timing ... in my case the memory controller was not able to handle a big quantity of RAM with tight timings

if you are not overclocking and taking into account that you MB i`ts kind of old it is possible that your memory controller is starting to die ...
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by:PUNKY
ID: 18876589
Can you take a look on motherboard see if any capacitor blown up or leaking? Also, download diagnostic utility from hard drive vendor website to test the drive too.

Post back when you can.
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Author Comment

by:richarwi
ID: 18876966
the processor is an intel 2.67 GH.  I can't remember the core name, but it was one that was known for running at cooler temps.  I never intentionally overclocked it.  It ran at 2.6 GH.  I didn't think that was overclocking, since it was designated as a 2.67 processor.  
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by:richarwi
ID: 18877161
punky,  i will look for a bad capacitor when i get home from work tonight.  i am aware that this mobo has had that problem, but i assumed the technician looked for that.  i will also download some diagnostic software for my two hard drives.

thanks
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xr1140 earned 1000 total points
ID: 18877172

then my opinion is that your memory controller is dying
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by:PUNKY
PUNKY earned 1000 total points
ID: 18877212
Please do that.

I suspect the motherboard since you said, memory test fail, and then video error message. Those could be multiple issues, but sorting out step by step before rule out conclusion. This is long shot aanyway.
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by:richarwi
ID: 18879994
punky & xr1140,

thanks for your comments.  due to my job responsibilities, I have only had time tonight to run a basic vendor, diagnostic test on my maxtor and WD hard drives.  both pass the "quick" test.  I think it is imp't to report that I have used my PC heavily for about 4 hrs. tonight without incident.  this is with the single 1-GB mem stick in slot #1.  so the problem clearly follows after inserting a second 1-GB stick in either of slot 2 or 3, while the first stick is in slot 1.

with no failure in 4 hours when last night I saw an average of 1 failure per 15 minutes in original configuration, it must be the motherboard, right?  To xr1140, my question/comment is:
if the mem controller is going or gone, isn't that on my Abit IT7-MAX2 v2.0 motherboard as opposed to the intel processor?  Then, this would point to the mobo as well.

thanks,
hank
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by:xr1140
ID: 18880609

memory controller for Intel CPU it is on the MB northbrige, in AMD case it`s situated inside the CPU
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by:nobus
ID: 18880857
you can also run from a knoppix cd, to see what info you get there when it crashes; or run some tests :
http://www.passmark.com/download/index.htm                        Burnin test
www.tufftest.com/tt01-lite.htm                              TuffTest lite
ftp://ftp.uni-kl.de/pub/linux/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V5.0.1CD-2006-06-01-EN.iso
alternatively, you can run dxdiag from the run box, to see if all is ok for audio and video      
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Author Comment

by:richarwi
ID: 18891413
thanks to all of you for the help.  i have closed the question.  for a couple evenings, the PC has functioned perfectly with only one memory stick.  i am trying to decide whether to spend $ for new motherboard for that PC in order to regain my access to 2 GB mem, or pass this box on to my spouse (with 1 GB, this PC is much better than the one she uses) and buy myself a new box.  thanks again.

hank
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