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Memory fault or motherboard?

Posted on 2010-09-08
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Last Modified: 2013-11-08
Ok so i have a computer in that was hit by 3 power spikes in a row. Well i thought the memory was at fault but i am out of ideas The  computer has four 2 gigs sticks. It is an hp, It is blue screening. Also the system had to have the os reinstalled. windows vista x64. Also the video card had to be replaced.
So far i pulled out all the memory and tested them one by one. stick 0 works fine in bank 4 and 2. stick 1 did not work in any slots, the same goes for stick 2 and 3. If i put stick 0 in bank 4 and stick 1-3 in bank 2 the system boots. I tried every slot with every memory stick and it wont boot if i have more than 1 memory stick in at a time, of the original memory. I can how ever put a memory stick 512mb of the same speed and type, in any slot with any of the stock memory and it will boot, as long as it is one stock stick and the 512mb stick. If i do more than that it blue screens.  
Now the wierd thing. I reinstalled vista 64, with all 4 memory sticks in, so the full 8gigs, and the install went perfect. Until 5 minutes into the desktop,and the system rebooted and blue screened. That is when i started testing the memory. The video card is good. The blue screen error is 0x00000e7 i believe. I am away from the computer, and wont bee in to work until tomorrow.
Now upon reading it could be a video adapter, driver, etc... But why would it boot when changing the memory.
Now, could there be a short that happened when the computer was hit by the power spikes? Or could the voltages be causing the issues? I have not checked the voltages yet, nor did i test the power supply yet. I will test that tomorrow, but i really need help because we are stumped.
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Question by:kalkaskageek
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dbrunton earned 168 total points
ID: 33632168
Are you testing with a memory tester or just by replacing?

For a memory tester get the UBCD http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

Download links are the icons at the top of the page above Overview.  Browse the page and see what utils are there for you.  Check the memory utils especially.

I'd run memtest and let it go through your memory about twice and see if there are any errors there.


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Author Comment

by:kalkaskageek
ID: 33632199
Well yes i forgot to mention that. I ran memtest86, prime 95 and pcCheck and all the memory passed those testing but it still blue screened trying to go into windows. Thats when i changed the memory out one by one.
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Author Comment

by:kalkaskageek
ID: 33632206
althouh i could only run prime 95 one stick at a time because it wont boot with more than one stock memory stick.
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by:kalkaskageek
ID: 33632215
Also again i do have UBCD and tried that. I also can use memory base programs such as UBCD, ERD 05, and Spotmau
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by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 168 total points
ID: 33632280
Can you use the UBCD with all memory in the computer and test it that way?  That part wasn't totally clear.
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by:Caracena
Caracena earned 83 total points
ID: 33632329
Hi kalkaskageek,

My guess is that both some or all memory sticks are damaged and the motherboard. It's not uncommon to see more than one component being damaged with a power spike. If the power supply doesn't stop it (burns it's fuse or burn the whole power supply), then something get's damaged inside and again, could be more than one component.

Take out the power supply, smell it and if it doesn't smell burned, then you have to replace your components. Try replacing the motherboard first and test again (reinstalling the OS) and cross your fingers. If it's still unstable, change your memory too. One thing is for sure, you won't waste your money by replacing your motherboard... it's one of the most sensible components in your computer.

Where I live we have power spikes all the time and I replace 1 or 2 motherboards every year and that's just from my personal computer.
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by:nobus
nobus earned 166 total points
ID: 33634093
since the pc was hit by 3 spikes, i suppose you can have a bad mother board - in fact, all components are suspect.
So test all devices on another pc - disk, cd drives, ram, cpu   and add-on cards...and try with another Power supply too
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Author Comment

by:kalkaskageek
ID: 33636881
Ok. I can use all the memory and run UBCD. I am going to right now test the power supply for correct voltage. Also i am not sure if the customer will want to replace the motherboard. We are hoping that it was not a motherboard issue, though it looks like it, and more. I will post back when i completed more tests.
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by:kalkaskageek
ID: 33636905
Ok so last night i left stick 2, in memory bank 4 and it worked fine and i ran the system overnight and it did not bluescreen.
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by:kalkaskageek
ID: 33636957
Check Disk just completed and recovered a lot of orphaned files. And applied attributes to a few.
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by:kalkaskageek
ID: 33637514
Ok. I have another computer in shop that uses ddr2, so i put so far 2 of the memory sticks in that computer that i know is good, and it booted into windows fine and i will be running UBCD shortly.
The power supply voltage is good and not flucuating. Infact 12.1v 5.2v and 3.4v resectivly.
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Author Comment

by:kalkaskageek
ID: 33637594
Ok so i tested the new video card in the other computer WITH the memory in question and a red vertical bar appeared on the righ hand portion of the screen. Bad memory? Testing the ram 1 by one with the video card in the other system
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by:Alex_W
Alex_W earned 83 total points
ID: 33637640
If you can get all memory dimms working in another PC and run memtest with no errors then it sounds very much like the motherboard because it's not working with a number of different sticks.  If you've tried other memory dimms that where not in the PC when you had the power surge and there are still issues then again it seems to be the board.
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Author Comment

by:kalkaskageek
ID: 33637689
You see though the computer in question works with a kingston 512mb stick that I know is good.
I just tested 2 sticks of memory in the other computer with the video card and those passed so far.
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by:nobus
nobus earned 166 total points
ID: 33637711
it looks like something is weird with the video card - you installed the driver for it? and it has enough  power ?
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Author Comment

by:kalkaskageek
ID: 33637968
Ok, so i tested ll the memory with that video card and it passed. The video card itself is fine. I will now test the memory in the known good system with the onboard video card. Will test the memory in pairs of 2. starting out like this 0,1 0,2 0,3 1,2 1,3 2,3.. Ok thats it i am calling it. Bad motherboard. I will tll the customer to make an insurance claim. WIll refund his money for the video card. I took too much time on this and made no money working on it. All the memory is fine in other systems. Ty for the help.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 33638848
tx for the feedback
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