Why do I get a memory error on bootup?

I just got a Dell T5600 on eBay.   When I boot it up, I get the following error message:

Alert! Correctable memory error in DIMM3_CPU1

I tried re-seating the memory modules, but that did not help.   Does this mean one of them is bad?
DoctorK12008Asked:
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nobusCommented:
i would try every ram in that slot, to Ensure all are fine
then install the second - then the 3rd etc...till are are ok
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RaminTechnical AdvisorCommented:
Read the Motherboard manual to see if you have to install RAM modules in a specific order for example install RAM modules on slot 1&2 or 3&4,  other order can be 1&3 or 2&4.

Try Memory modules one by one and test each slot separately with all RAM modules to verify if the issue is related to RAM or the slot.

Also try with only one RAM module with DIM1 and check if you still get that error message.

Set BIOS settings to default values for Memory and CPU.  you may also want to Clear CMOD data by Resetting CMOS.


It can also be a Motherboard or CPU hardware problem.
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dbruntonCommented:
I suspect you've got faulty memory in the specified slot.

Now this Dell T5600 runs ECC (Error-correcting code) memory).  See  https://www.google.co.nz/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwign8Dxh4jYAhWJLpQKHSyiC0MQFggyMAI&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dell.com%2Fdownloads%2Fglobal%2Fproducts%2Fprecn%2Fen%2FDell-Precision-T5600-Spec-Sheet.pdf&usg=AOvVaw1kCSYo6lN8-RLuia7gLd-R  for the specification for this machine.

The machine can correct errors in the memory chip when in use (that's the ECC at work) but it is far better to replace the offending chip.  Warning!  ECC memory is NOT cheap.
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DoctorK12008Author Commented:
I tried only one RAM module in the DIMM 1 slot and the error message disappeared.   What should I do next?
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DoctorK12008Author Commented:
I also updated the BIOS to A15.
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dbruntonCommented:
Try the other RAM module and see if the error occurs.  (I'm presuming you have two).
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RaminTechnical AdvisorCommented:
I tried only one RAM module in the DIMM 1 slot and the error message disappeared.   What should I do next?

Try only that RAM on DIMM 3.
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DoctorK12008Author Commented:
If I get the error when I try the module in DIMM3, does that mean the DIMM3 socket is bad?
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RaminTechnical AdvisorCommented:
Try all your RAM modules on DIMM 3 ,  if you got the same message then it has problem.

But you can also try to clean DIMM 3 from dust,  and check if that helps.
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nobusCommented:
>>  If I get the error when I try the module in DIMM3, does that mean the DIMM3 socket is bad?   <<  only if you have the error with all modules + they work ok in other slots
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andyalderCommented:
The ECC correctable error count is stored permanently in the DIMM itself and there's no way you can reset that count. it may be that the DIMM itself is perfectly good... if you put a good DIMM into a slot on a dodgy motherboard with bad power rail stability you can get corrected ECC errors, you then transfer that DIMM to a good machine and the error continues to appear at POST.

For a second hand machine you bought on eBay I would just ignore it and press F1 each time you power up, I'd only replace it if the machine starts to crash.
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DoctorK12008Author Commented:
I tried all 4 DIMMs in slot 1, one of them had the error, so I guess it means I have a bad DIMM, rather than a bad socket.   I have installed the good 3 DIMMs and the system works fine.   Thank you.
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RaminTechnical AdvisorCommented:
You're welcome.
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