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Memory Parity Error on Windows XP Dell Inspiron

Posted on 2012-04-09
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
We have a Dell Inspiron with Windows XP.

We are randomly getting this error:

Screen Shot
We have done a fresh install and replaced the memory to no avail.  

Sometime it happens three times a day, sometimes three times a week, or even less.  No certain activities can be tied to this error occurring.  

Would you recommend replacing the video card?  Maybe putting the system on a UPS?
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Question by:gta2011
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by:Alan Henderson
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Have you cleaned the contacts in the RAM slots?
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by:gta2011
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Yes.
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by:Callandor
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If you know the memory is good (tested in other systems), I'd chalk it up to a bad motherboard.  That is not a video card RAM error.
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
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This is probably a systemboard or processor problem.
Have you got the Dell Diagnostics utility installed? If so does it show any other hardware error codes?
Which model Inspiron is this?
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by:Alan Henderson
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A UPS would be worth a try. Dirty power could be the problem. But I suspect callandor's correct and you have a motherboard intermittent fault.
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by:willcomp
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Does the error occur during bootup or while in Windows?
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by:gta2011
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In Windows.
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by:Darr247
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Check for a BIOS update on Dell's Drivers & Downloads for your specific model Inspiron.

Try booting with just a single stick of memory... if it still does it using only slot 0, try using only slot 1 instead.

Since Dell makes both desktop and laptop Inspiron models, without knowing the specific model any recommendations after that must be vague, as well.
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by:nobus
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you can test the ram with memtest86+ from www.memtest.org
BUT for a reliable diag (if it does not give errors) the diag must be run at least for 2x the period of the problem appearing (if it appears after 1 day - at least 2 days testing)

the error refers to memory - but it can be the ram controller also =  bad mobo
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by:willcomp
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NMI parity errors can also be caused by components and drivers as well as memory. In my experience, errors related to main memory usually occur during bootup. When you reinstalled Windows, did you load updated drivers? If a desktop PC, are there any add-on cards or separate video card?

Also try installing the latest BIOS and disabling Plug 'n Play in BIOS setup.
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by:gta2011
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How do I get to the Dell Diagnostics utility?
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
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If installed it will be a boot option so try F12 when displayed during the boot process and look through your options there.

If it's not available then you can download a installer from the Dell support site using the Service Tag to search by.

Which model is this?
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nobus earned 167 total points
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or just download the UBCD and run diags :   http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
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