Author Topic: RAM failure  (Read 2744 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline RickOR

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
RAM failure
« on: April 27, 2017, 11:21:34 PM »
I know this problem has probably been addressed, but when I do a search, I either get several pages of scrambled info. or Not Found. 
I was given a Dell Dimension (E520). with a dead hard drive.  I installed a new HD and reinstalled 64 bit Vista.  The PC has been working great for a few weeks, till this past Thursday when it would not come out of sleep mode. When I rebooted the diagnostic lights 3 & 4 were on which indicated defective RAM, so I did as instructed and started removing RAM strips one at a time.  When I removed #4 and rebooted the PC everything was great till Sunday when it crashed again, this time all the RAM showed up bad.  After inspecting all the modules, I found that slots 1 & 3 had 2GB PC2-6400U-555-13-E1 and slots 2 & 4 had 512MB PC2-5300U-555-12-D3 modules.  This unit has a 400 watt PS. Is it safe to assume that the mismatched RAM self destructed, if so why did it work for several cycles, and would it be safe to follow through with my plans to install 2GB modules in slots 1 & 2 and 1GB modules in slots 3 & 4?    Thanks

Offline Pierre75

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 410
    • View Profile
Re: RAM failure
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2017, 03:13:54 AM »
IF IT AIN'T BROKE -  DON'T FIX IT

Offline RickOR

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: RAM failure
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2017, 03:23:57 AM »
Thanks for the response but I don't see where either of these manuals come close to answerinf my concerns.

Offline Pierre75

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 410
    • View Profile
Re: RAM failure
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2017, 03:40:34 AM »
Thanks for the response but I don't see where either of these manuals come close to answerinf my concerns.

Check page 69 of the manual. It goes into detail there regarding RAM types and plugins.
IF IT AIN'T BROKE -  DON'T FIX IT

Offline MikeW

  • LzD Friends
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 554
    • View Profile
Re: RAM failure
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2017, 09:28:22 AM »
Or you can visit this site = http://uk.crucial.com/gbr/en/memory-info
Win 7 Home Premium  IE11 MSE  Mbam Pro

Offline techie

  • LzD Friends
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 597
    • View Profile
Re: RAM failure
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2017, 12:21:33 PM »
I know this problem has probably been addressed, but when I do a search, I either get several pages of scrambled info. or Not Found. 
I was given a Dell Dimension (E520). with a dead hard drive.  I installed a new HD and reinstalled 64 bit Vista.  The PC has been working great for a few weeks, till this past Thursday when it would not come out of sleep mode. When I rebooted the diagnostic lights 3 & 4 were on which indicated defective RAM, so I did as instructed and started removing RAM strips one at a time.  When I removed #4 and rebooted the PC everything was great till Sunday when it crashed again, this time all the RAM showed up bad.  After inspecting all the modules, I found that slots 1 & 3 had 2GB PC2-6400U-555-13-E1 and slots 2 & 4 had 512MB PC2-5300U-555-12-D3 modules.  This unit has a 400 watt PS. Is it safe to assume that the mismatched RAM self destructed, if so why did it work for several cycles, and would it be safe to follow through with my plans to install 2GB modules in slots 1 & 2 and 1GB modules in slots 3 & 4?    Thanks

The fact that it has two different types of ram shouldn't affect the PC. The PC2-5300U is 667MHZ, the slower ram speed and the system will default to the slower speed, were as the PC2-6400 is 800 MHZ speed. Is the ram bad or is the motherboard connection bad???  Sometimes just cleaning the the ram connectors, on the memory sticks with a pencil eraser will help. The U indicates unbuffered Ram.

Have you ran a Memory Diagnostic Tool memory test? In Vista follow these directions. This test is available all the way up to and included in Win 10.

https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/test-your-computers-memory-using-windows-vista-memory-diagnostic-tool/


Offline techie

  • LzD Friends
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 597
    • View Profile
Re: RAM failure
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2017, 01:26:39 PM »
To add to the above, odds of all memory sticks being bad, not very good. Odds that new new memory will fix it???

Quote from Dell Manual

"NOTICE:
If you remove your original memory modules from the computer during a memory upgrade, keep them separate from any new modules that you may have, even if you purchased the new modules from Dell. If possible,
do not pair an original memory module with a new memory module. Otherwise, your computer may not start
properly. You should install your original memory modules in pairs either in DIMM connectors 1 and 2 or DIMM connectors 3 and 4."

"Memory Type 533-MHz and 667-MHz dual DDR2 unbuffered SDRAM Memory connectors four Memory capacities
256 MB, 512 MB, or 1 GB non-ECC Minimum memory 256 MB Maximum memory 4 GB"

Memory modules 800 in one set and 667 in another set i.e. 1-2 and 3-4. Dell states that the board supports 4GB

The Dell manual also indicates 533MHZ and 667MHZ, not 800MHZ memory. It doesn't always hold true, but the limitation is the CPU and OS most likely. Max memory 4GB.

You can also run a Dell diagnostics and update your drivers to official dell drivers.

http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/04/product-support/product/dimension-e520/diagnose

Has the system bios been updated?

Offline satrow

  • LzD Friends
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 212
    • View Profile
Re: RAM failure
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2017, 01:49:54 PM »
The machine is ~10 years old; a HDD dying and 2x instances of RAM sticks 'failing' could be indicative of the voltage regulator on the motherboard and the PSU being faulty.

I'd suggest that if it has a quad CPU installed and it's passed a thorough testing routine, it might be worth investing $60 on new RAM and getting maybe another 2-3 years of useful online life out of it. A lesser CPU really isn't worth investing in except for offline usage of older software.

So it mostly boils down to where your limits are set in terms of costs, testing time/ability and the expected usage of the machine. Cleanup the RAM sticks/slots first, test them thoroughly then have a think about it :)

The Windows Memory Diagnostic tests aren't trustworthy, I'd use 8 full passes of MemTest86+ on each memory stick/slot.

The 'board was capable of running 8GB of RAM, though which RAM that was, and whether it's still available, I don't know. Probably better to stay with the Crucial 2x2GB set if you decide to buy, unless you can track down specifics of the 4x2GB set(s) that work. (I've owned, and worked on other, older Dell machines which could also use double the memory capacity that was stated by Dell, my guess is that their QVLs were never updated once the machines were released, or that some were released during the early days of a specific RAM type, later improvements and minor changes then led to newer/larger capacity sticks becoming compatible.)

Offline techie

  • LzD Friends
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 597
    • View Profile
Re: RAM failure
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2017, 02:39:04 PM »
As you stated satrow it can usually support twice the memory stated, not always. I agree that before you spend money, make sure it's worth it and you really need to buy it. That is why I recommended testing it. The E520 has a number of cpu configurations. I have no idea what this system has installed. Normally if 667MHZ is max speed, a 800MHZ memory chip will only perform at 667MHZ regardless of rated speed. Your error could be mixed 667 MHZ and 800MHZ in paired slots. Your Bios error could be 800MHZ not being recognized. It's a process of elimination.

Try only the 667 MHZ memory in slot 1-2 and nothing else installed. If it works then try only 800MHZ memory in same slots, again only those installed. Run it awhile to see what happens, each time. If it works then try 667MHZ slot 1-2 and 800MHZ slot 3-4.  A process of elimination, just don't mix different memory in paired slots, 667 and 800MHZ.

The specs were originally based on a XP 32-bit OS.

Are you using a 64-bit OS or 32-bit OS?  32-bit can only support 3.06 GB ram, anything above 4GB is not used. 64-bit can support 4GB or more.

If you don't have a memory tester, it can be hard to eliminate it.

As satrow said age could be a number of problem, a bad capacitor on the motherboard could cause the same problem.

Offline satrow

  • LzD Friends
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 212
    • View Profile
Re: RAM failure
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2017, 04:35:14 PM »
Sorry, I messed up the MemTest86+ link in my earlier post, here it is in a simpler format :)
https://www.sysnative.com/forums/hardware-tutorials/3909-test-ram-memtest86.html

Techie: in the OP, RickOR said: "I installed a new HD and reinstalled 64 bit Vista."

*How much RAM is available to a 32-bit Windows (outside of it being purely an MS licensing limit; there have been x86 Windows Server versions that can use up to 128GB) is mostly down to firmware, and especially graphics, allocations; it might be as much as ~3.25 - 3.5GB but the greater the memory installed on, or allocated to, the graphics card/component, the less there is available. Fit 2x 1GB graphics card and Windows will likely show less than 2GB system memory available (as Russinovich discovered).

Quote
For example, I purchased one from a boutique gaming rig company that came with 4GB of RAM and two 1GB video cards. I hadn’t specified the OS version and assumed that they’d put 64-bit Vista on it, but it came with the 32-bit version and as a result only 2.2GB of the memory was accessible by Windows.
https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/markrussinovich/2008/07/21/pushing-the-limits-of-windows-physical-memory/

Offline RickOR

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: RAM failure
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2017, 08:02:44 PM »
Thanks guys for all the information, I think I now know what I will be doing with my spare time LOL, for the next day or so.  In the short time I have had this machine up and running, it has been a good one, and I have used it quite a bit, so I hate to think about scraping the old girl.  Thanks again.