Dimm issue?

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Diana BB, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. Diana BB

    Diana BB Guest

    Okay, I ran the Prime95 stress test overnight(9hours 19 minutes). There
    was no error,tested ok.
    I had tried prior to asking the question here to download and test with
    memtest. But the burn kept failing and I got frustrated.
    I did download one that was just called memtest(no version numbers after
    it) and I can get it to run straight out of the zip and opens up in the
    command prompt. From memory I think I let it run to tread 46.....
    I also disabled rapid boost in the BIOS as this stops it from running
    all the usual tests at boot. As far as I could tell(screen went too
    fast) memory tested ok, but I did note it said it was running in single
    channel memory...DDR400....sorry I didnt get more than that before the
    screen was gone. Has this changed since the problem occurred....I do not
    know. Maybe when I did as the instructions told me for my motherboard re
    adding memory it changed it to this setting?

    I dont know what type of battery it is as per w_toms request.But this is
    what Everest and SpeedFan tell me about my voltage readings....

    Will get my husband to check it with the multimeter as suggested.

    I do know this for a fact.....256+256+1024. I only have the three.The
    two originals and the one I purchased and added myself...well my husband
    did it. I have a lot of static in my body so he always does it.
    The machine doesnt crash...well not the whole thing....but quite often I
    have periods of time where programs crash over and over again but think
    that is a problem between Vista and other software/hardware. Not really
    all that compatible even if they say they are.
    So I do not appear to be having a memory problem, is that right?
    And maybe I fixed the issue by doing as the motherboard manufacturer
    suggested and it reset it back to single channel?

    Again this is what Everest says about my computer and motherboard.
    Everest does give debug info but as it is just a block of numbers that I
    have no idea about. Assuming that if I ever took it to a tech they would
    understand it. The only only that I can read says that my graphics card
    has no power supply and that I need to plug it in....there is nowhere TO
    plug it in and I was told that if it is working ignore that message.

    But I still need to check the battery.

    And if I may, just one more question? Seems I have a multi cpu. If I
    were to turn off hyperthreading would this improve anything. The reason
    for the multi was,again, to run the editing program. But that program
    does not run under Vista(frustrating) and I have not as yet purchased
    another program and if I do may not add it to this machine.
    Thanks again
    Diana in Aus.
    Diana BB, Mar 6, 2008
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  2. Diana BB

    Diana BB Guest

    Hi w_tom.
    I dont know what type of battery I have right now. But will get my
    husband to check it with his multimeter when he can.

    Voltage Values:
    CPU Core 1.46 V
    +1.5 V 1.46 V
    +3.3 V 3.32 V
    +5 V 5.16 V
    +12 V 11.75 V

    Meantime, as I stated to Paul. I turned off rapid boost in the BIOS and
    let it run the usual testing on boot. Memory seems to have checked out
    ok but I noted that I am running in single channel memory mode.Ran the
    prime95 program under stress test for over 9 hours and got no error
    results, tested ok. I was also running the SETI program at the same time
    during part of that test as it was suggested to do this to truly test
    the memory.
    Only issue I had was the CPU temp got very high and SpeedFan is telling
    my that one of my fans is only running at 29RPM.
    Diana BB, Mar 6, 2008
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  3. Diana BB

    Paul Guest

    Diana BB wrote:

    Some SuperI/O chips, have 8 inputs for measuring voltage. But the
    programs that read out the voltages, may not bother to show them
    all. And I'm not aware of any mechanics, for automatically declaring
    what voltages are available for monitoring. The BIOS itself, may not
    display all available voltages, instead choosing to display the
    ones related to the PSU. A program you could try, is Speedfan from
    almico.com, as another potential readout tool.

    A multimeter can also be used to check the battery. I would expect
    2.4V to be the lower limit for the battery. That is based on 2.0V
    for the chipset itself, plus another 0.4V dropped across the Schottky
    diode that prevents current from flowing backwards. So if the
    multimeter says the voltage is below 2.4V, then I'd replace the

    A new battery should register over 3.0V. The coin
    cell is not rechargeable, and the motherboard is not allowed
    to charge the battery. It lasts from 3 to 10 years, depending on
    usage pattern.

    For RAM, you have 256+256+1024, and if it was my computer, I would
    buy a matching 1024 to go with the other one. Then, you can choose
    to run 2x256 + 2x1024 matched, or retire the 2x256, and just use
    2x1024 in the computer. You can test, with a benchmark like this
    one, to see the impact of the changes. Try with just the 1024 stick
    present. Then test again, after the 2x1024 is installed. My 3GHz P4
    with PC3200 RAM (2x512MB), will compute 1 million digits of PI in
    50 seconds. (I used to be able to do it in about 45 seconds, before
    I added antivirus software to my computer.) You can do your own
    testing, to see what kind of improvement matching the RAM can bring.


    Since you already have a matched set, you can start by testing with
    just the 2x256MB present. Make sure they're installed with one stick
    in each channel (like A1 and B1 slots). Then, try a second run with
    just the single 1024 present, and use SuperPI again. That may give
    you some idea, what kind of performance improvement to expect, by
    purchasing another 1024 stick.

    Intel has a guide here, with info on memory and the 865 chipset.
    Page 13 Table 4, shows two double sided sticks in dual channel
    mode, as having the best performance.


    Paul, Mar 6, 2008
  4. Diana BB

    Diana BB Guest

    I did mention above that I had SpeedFan. And when I checked it against
    Everest the readings were almost the same.

    I will do as you suggest and test them all and then maybe get another
    1024 stick.

    I did ask at the ONLY computer shop in town if I should get two sticks
    or would one do it as I already knew I had two installed. I explained
    why I had it set up that way and they said no just get one.Oh well. I
    could have waited the 3 months and 3 weeks it would have taken for them
    to get through the work they already had so that they could do it for me
    but I was impatient to get my computer back up and running.

    Thanks for all your input. I am a lot wiser about whats inside the case
    now and how it all works.
    Will let you know when I get it all sorted.

    Diana in Aus.
    Diana BB, Mar 6, 2008
  5. Diana BB

    Neil Green Guest

    The RAM won't run dual channel with the configuration
    you have.
    Some boards will run dual channel with three sticks,
    but the larger stick usually must be equal to the sum
    of the two smaller ones, so in your case you would
    need a 512Mb stick to run dual channel with your 2 x
    256Mb sticks.
    Not many chipsets support this anyway, and it's often
    problematic getting it to work.
    As Paul has said, you would do better to buy another
    1Gb stick and junk the 2 x 256Mb, just make sure the
    new 1Gb stick is a match for the one you already have.
    Plenty on Ebay if you only have one local store.

    Neil Green, Mar 6, 2008
  6. Diana BB

    Diana BB Guest

    Thanks Neil,
    I have decided that is what I will do.And I do buy via the net more
    these days as our services are very limited out here,but then so is the
    postal service......so there is still a long wait.
    I would like to know if there is some way to have my computer stay off
    in the event of power outages. If the power goes off for a long time
    then I turn the computer off at the wall. But the short ones dont even
    affect the lights and there is no time to react before the computer is
    booting again. Our air conditioners dont restart and I would really like
    to find a way to have my computer do the same.
    And I am still not sure why I only got the message after the spikes and
    never at any other time.....not even after other such events.
    Oh well at least I now know there is a problem and thanks to all of you
    I can fix it.

    Thanks so much
    Diana in Aus
    Diana BB, Mar 6, 2008
  7. Diana BB

    Neil Green Guest

    A UPS will help with your problem.
    There are plenty on the matket.
    Neil Green, Mar 6, 2008
  8. Diana BB

    w_tom Guest

    First, the Prime95 is really not a useful stress test. MemTst86 is
    by far a more useful test. Neither test is definitive until hardware
    is tested again while heated by a hairdryer on highest heat.
    Overnight testing is nice but says very little. 5 or 10 minutes of
    diagnostic with hardware (memory) heated by a hairdryer is
    definitive. Heat is a diagnostic tool. Based upon previous posts, no
    memory failures aer expected.

    Second, meter is so easy to use that you should read that battery
    voltage. Appreciate that an Ipod is even more complex than the meter.
    Set meter to 20 VDC. Touch leads to battery. Read number. Best
    readings are when battery is under maximum stress. That is when
    computer is powered off, disconnected from wall receptacle, and
    battery is attached to motherboard.

    Third, I assume voltage numbers are from the BIOS. Bios is a
    voltage monitor. Its purpose is to report voltage changes; does not
    report an accurate voltage number. It must be first calibrated by
    using the meter. Your reported numbers are so marginal as to need
    confirmation (value calibration) by a multimeter.

    Voltage numbers are informative only when system is under stress.
    Prime95 does no such stress testing. Stress is created by
    multitasking to all peripherals simultaneously. IOW display complex
    graphics (ie a movie), while outputting sound from the sound card,
    while downloading a file from the internet, while hard drive is being
    defragged, while reading from the floppy, while the CD-Rom is playing
    that movie, while, ... That is the only useful stress test -
    multitasking. Now voltages are ready to be read.

    Using the multimeter, record a voltage on one of each color wire
    from power supply to motherboard. Voltages on any one of orange, red,
    purple, and yellow wires while system is under test reports something
    useful. Values must exceed 3.23, 4.87, or 11.7. Then compare those
    multimeter numbers to what BIOS voltage monitor reported.

    Fourth, 29 RPM is not a valid fan speed; number should be in
    hundreds of RPM. CPU getting very hot (and fan going to maximum
    speed) is completely normal. However that actual number in degrees C
    is the only useful observation.

    Fifth, providing actual part numbers from memory boards would go a
    long way to making every further post definitive. Do you have three
    memory boards; or four? What exactly are those memory cards?
    Currently we are only guessing based upon the Bios report. Confirming
    the report with memory part numbers is helpful.
    w_tom, Mar 6, 2008
  9. Diana BB

    w_tom Guest

    In simplest terms, computer asks for data at a memory address.
    Memory takes time to retrieve that data. Computer is designed to wait
    long enough so that data will be available. Then computer reads that

    For example, assume we use a memory that has a data access delay of
    150ns when computer reads data in 100 ns. Therefore computer might
    read all zeros - wrong data - because data has not yet been retrieved.

    Your memory is selected for a computer. But if the memory is even
    faster, then data is waiting (and stable) long before computer reads
    it. This is OK. Computer does not care how long that data was
    available; only that data is there when computer reads its.

    One way memory can fail is to be too slow retrieving data or taking
    too long to get those logic voltages up or down stable. A faster
    memory that was slightly defective would work just fine in a 'slower'
    computer interface. Therefore data would be stable even though memory
    was actually defective (too slow).

    Now put this in perspective. Memory that is faster than required
    rarely provides any useful advantage and often costs more money. That
    higher cost provides almost no benefits. But if it is the only SIMM
    available, spend the money (ie your one Simm that is faster).

    Newer technology memories use tricks. For example, if computer
    gives memory the data address 100 ns earlier, then 150 ns memory would
    have data available in only 50 ns. Computers do this by assuming the
    next sequential memory location will be needed. Computer asks for the
    next memory address hoping it will need data from that address.
    However, if the computer program jumps so some other memory location,
    then computer must stop, ask memory for data from this new location,
    then wait 150 ns for that data to arrive. Now computer is executing 3
    times slower.

    Is the glass half full or half empty. Was computer running three
    times slower or was it actually running 3 times faster sometimes? An
    example of how computer designers get more speed out of slower parts
    such as memory.
    w_tom, Mar 6, 2008
  10. Diana BB

    w_tom Guest

    A UPS has one function. To protect from data loss due to blackouts
    and extreme brownouts. Too many computer assemblers have no idea how
    electricity works. Therefore these UPSes get promoted by the naive as
    solutons for everything - except maybe Category 3 hurricanes.
    w_tom, Mar 6, 2008
  11. Diana BB

    Paul Guest

    Yes, a UPS is a good solution for brief power outages.

    I use one here, and I have trouble with wind related power outages.
    I see short outages, less than one second, but mostly when the wind
    is high.

    The other kind of outage I have, is longer term. There don't seem to
    be any intermediate outages. The last long one, came when a local drunk
    drove into a power pole on an adjacent street to my home. Power was out
    for three hours, until another pole could be put in place. The UPS
    battery will not stay up that long. A cheap UPS may last for 5 minutes
    or so, depending on how many devices are plugged into it.

    UPSes have a connector on the back, for connection to the computer. Once
    the UPS flips over to its internal battery (when the power goes off), the
    UPS watches its battery level. When the battery is getting low, the
    UPS signals the computer. If the computer has software installed, to
    listen to the UPS, the computer can be instructed by the software,
    to do a controlled shutdown. By doing that, the computer can be
    safely in the OFF state, just as the battery has run out of juice.
    That allows the computer to be shut off automatically, when no
    one is home, and a power outage occurs. If the power outage is
    of such a short duration, that the battery is not drained, then
    the UPS won't need to send "shutdown" to the computer, and it
    will remain running.

    There is a primer here, on UPS types. My only advice, would be to
    stay away from the lowest price tier. The low priced ones, compete
    on price, and some are not that reliable. (We bought some like that
    at work, and 10% of them failed to perform correctly. No equipment
    was damaged, but some UPSes didn't flip to battery when they
    were supposed to.)


    The advantage of purchasing a unit locally, is you can inspect the
    box for shipping damage, before completing the transaction. There
    are reports, like on Newegg, where a UPS is shipped and roughly
    handled in transit. The batteries can be heavy, and can crush the
    chassis of the UPS, if dropped. Depending on the reputation of
    local shippers, an Internet purchase of a UPS, could leave you
    with a pile of rubble, in a cardboard box.

    If you have to purchase the UPS over the Internet, purchase it
    as a separate purchase. If other items are thrown into the same
    shipping box, they won't survive the trip. A UPS is like a
    "bull in a china shop", when shipped across country, crushing
    any smaller, softer items as it goes.

    As for your RAM, try to buy the 1GB stick from your local
    supplier, so that the stick has the same rows/columns/banks/ranks.
    Buying from an entirely different source, may mean getting something
    inappropriate. On Ebay for example, there are some high density
    1GB DIMMs you should stay away from. They have a "restricted chipset"
    list in the advert.

    See "known to work with" here - this is an example of a product to
    stay away from. When you buy RAM, it should work in as many systems
    as possible. And Intel chipsets are not in their list anyway.


    When I buy RAM, it is "known to work" in everything :)

    Paul, Mar 6, 2008
  12. Diana BB

    Neil Green Guest

    A UPS has one function. To protect from data loss
    due to blackouts
    and extreme brownouts. Too many computer assemblers
    have no idea how
    electricity works. Therefore these UPSes get promoted
    by the naive as
    solutons for everything - except maybe Category 3

    A good quality UPS will prevent the PC from resettting
    under the condition described, and if the dropouts are
    as frequent as the OP has suggested it will almost
    certainly pay for itself as she is bound to damage
    Hard disks, flash drives, cameras etc., not to mention
    RAM, don't handle power failures too well when they
    are writing or reading data.
    Neil Green, Mar 6, 2008
  13. Diana BB

    w_tom Guest

    Power off does not harm hard disks, flash memory, and cameras. That
    myth is common where electrical knowledge does not exist.

    For example, how does a disk drive power down? Does the computer
    send a message warning a disk drive that power will be removed? No.
    Disk drive learns about the power off only when power is cut off.
    Disk drive powers off same way whether powered down by a 'shutdown' or
    by a blackout. When reading or writing data, the disk drive computer
    sees the power dropping, finishes, and shuts down. Disk drives did
    this even when heads were driven by motor oil (a blunt little hint as
    to how much knowledge and experience is behind this post).

    A UPS has one function. To protect data loss from blackouts and
    extreme brownouts. If a Windows computer is not using an FAT
    filesystem, then blackouts, et al will not cause data loss on that
    drive. Typical UPS prevents loss of unsaved data.

    The OP has defined problems not related to AC power blackouts or
    extreme brownouts. With basic electrical knowledge, that would be
    obvious. A UPS does nothing to solve Diana BB's problems. Sorry Neil,
    I don't mean to sound mean. But too many people with no electrical
    knowledge somehow *know* a UPS will save the world. Even your reasons
    for a UPS - protection of components from damage - is not solved by a
    computer grade UPS. You should have known this before recommending
    any UPS.
    w_tom, Mar 7, 2008
  14. Diana BB

    Neil Green Guest

    Thanks for taking the time, and I don't profess to
    have a wide knowledge of electronics, but I can recall
    a hard disk of mine being damaged due to a power
    failure, either that or it was a fantastic
    It was an IDE drive, so not ancient.
    Neil Green, Mar 7, 2008
  15. Diana BB

    w_tom Guest

    Power loss may have been a factor. But to understand that, another
    example. I autospied a video monitor failure. Power supply had
    failed after being power cycled. A power supply is a closed loop
    controller meaning anything defective in that loop can make everything
    appear defective. Eventually traced the failure to the very last
    thing I suspected: a pull-up resistor. This resistor had only one
    function; to boot the power supply controller during power on.

    Resistor probably failed sometime during normal operation when it
    dissipated most power. But the failure did not appear until the next
    time that resistor had to perform its only function; when power supply
    was repowered.

    All electronics typically have some circuits that only do productive
    work during power up. If those circuits fail at other times, then
    electronics may appear to fail during powerup. Observation would
    blame power cycling when failure was created at another time.

    Another example is the incandescent light bulb. Light bulb life
    expectancy is determined by operation time and operation voltage.
    Power cycling does not affect light bulb life expectancy. However,
    when those two significant parameters (time and voltage) cause
    excessive filament vaporization, then the next power on (a very gentle
    shock) is sufficient to cause filament failure. (BTW 120 volt light
    bulbs operating at 127 volts should fail twice as quickly.)

    Observation would blame power on for bulb filament failure. But not
    observed was blackening inside the bulb due to excessive filament
    vaporization; failure created only by normal operation and not by
    power cycling. Also missing from that observation is why light bulbs
    fail. The point - observation alone is never sufficient to know
    something. Also critical are fundamental (theoretical) knowledge -
    how / why it works. Also, best evidence is the dead body.

    In that video monitor, an autopsy revealed a defective bootstrap
    resistor that most likely failed during normal operation. In the
    incandescent bulb, well published industry information says what
    causes light bulb failure (filament vaporization created by time and
    voltage). With essential information, the same observation results in
    a completely different conclusion. In the details is a devil.

    Output details about a typically UPS is also informative. For
    example, 120 volt output from this computer grade UPS is two 200
    square waves with a spike of up to 270 volts between those square
    waves. This voltage is so 'dirty' as to maybe damage some small
    electric motors.

    The UPS manufacturer calls this a 'modified sine wave'. Well
    yes. The expression implies 'clean' electricity when reality is
    'dirtiest' electricity. But the same expression causes the ill
    informed to assume 'cleaner' electricity. It is a computer grade
    UPS. Computer power supplies are so robust as to make that 'dirty'
    electricity irrelevant. The computer grade UPS means 'dirty' power
    when in battery backup mode.

    Myths created by speculation claim the UPS provides cleaner power.
    'Cleaner' power occurs when UPS is not in battery backup mode because
    power is a direct connection from 'cleaner' AC power mains. UPS power
    is only 'dirty' when provided by its battery. This is contrary to
    popular myths. The manufacturer may claim that UPS 'clean' power but
    does not define 'clean'. Manufacture uses 'modified sine wave' and
    'computer grade UPS' to promote myths. Details say otherwise. This
    'dirtiest' AC power (when in battery backup mode) is why UPSes should
    not power a power strip protector or AC motorized appliance.

    In this case, no or insufficient details resulted in myths that
    UPSes provide 'cleaner' AC power. A third example of myths created by
    using observation and assumptions; by not first learning the
    underlying fundamentals, details, and numbers. One damning source is
    numeric specs. Some manufacturers whose products are missing
    essential functions will not provide those specs or some numbers will
    be missing. Then the very few who actually have technical knowledge
    cannot 'blow the whistle'. Be very suspicious of any product that
    does not routinely provide and make readily available those numerical
    w_tom, Mar 7, 2008
  16. Diana BB

    Neil Green Guest

    Fair points, and you are obviously well versed on the
    subject so I recognise your gretaer knowledge.
    My recommendation of a UPS in this case was made in
    good faith, but I could well have been in error.
    Thanks for taking the time.
    Neil Green, Mar 7, 2008
  17. Diana BB

    Baron Guest

    I agree with you Neil.
    Like myths don't you !
    Not much obviously.
    Actually a UPS would probably be of great benefit to Dianne. It would
    pay her to have a look at
    This twurp knows enough to be dangerous ! He's right, everybody else
    is wrong.
    Baron, Mar 7, 2008
  18. Diana BB

    w_tom Guest

    Previous Baron myth was that earth ground eliminated static electric
    And again Baron does not provide a single reason 'why'. No 'whys'
    is how, for example, Saddam's WMDs existed. Baron also knew earth
    ground eliminated static electric charges without knowing 'why'. And
    now he knows that a UPS would solve Diana BB's memory mismatch

    How to quickly identify the naive or a scammer? He never provides
    reasons why. Always missing are numbers. Baron's proof is to insult;
    ie "twurp".

    A UPS does nothing for Diana BB's problem. But one would promote a
    UPS as a solution to everything - even static electricity.
    w_tom, Mar 7, 2008
  19. Diana BB

    Neil Green Guest

    Pardon my ignorance, but I have always been under the
    impression that static can be discharged by touching
    something condictive which is connected to ground.
    Am I wrong?
    Neil Green, Mar 8, 2008
  20. Diana BB

    Baron Guest

    No you are not wrong ! But some would have you belive otherwise.
    Baron, Mar 8, 2008
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