Instability with 4gb ram?

Discussion in 'Windows 64bit' started by Zootal, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. Zootal

    Zootal Guest

    Has anyone noticed any instability with XP64 when 4GB of ram that goes away
    when using 2GB? I'm struggling with a random blue screen problem that seems
    to go away when I run with 2GB of ram - any 2GB. The actual error varies,
    and tends to be strange stuff like pfn_list_corrupt, etc., which usually
    points to hardware problems. So far it seems to work fine if I run with 2GB,
    and it doesn't seem to matter which memory sticks, or which slots they are
    in. This makes me wonder if my mobo just can't handle 4GB, or if there might
    be XP64 issues with that much memory?
    Zootal, Aug 10, 2008
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  2. There were some issues with Outlook and a couple of other applications and 4
    GB, but not with XP x64 itself. However, there are a LOT of motherboards out
    there that don't handle four DIMMs as well as they should. This can
    sometimes be improved by tweaking the voltage up a bit to the RAM. And
    motherboards that do fine with it today, may develop issues over time.
    Especially if the power supply is a bit marginal, and you start to add
    additional power using things to your computer. I'd also look for a BIOS
    update from your mobo mfg - sometimes that can help.
    Charlie Russel - MVP, Aug 10, 2008
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  3. Zootal

    Zootal Guest

    I'm currently playing with the memory voltage. I have another board, an Asus
    M2A-VM that won't run unless I manual set the voltage to 1.8. then it's rock
    solid. I'm not sure what "auto" means, it apparently isn't 1.8v. <sigh....>

    I'm wondering if I should get a set of 2GB sticks, instead of trying to use
    four 1GB sticks?
    Zootal, Aug 10, 2008
  4. Yup, if it will use 2 GB sticks, go that way. I've got an oldish A8V-VM that
    is the mobo for my Windows Home Server, and I had to swap out the 512 Mb
    sticks for a pair of 1 GB to get up to where I wanted to be for WHS - 2GB.
    Nothing I did would allow it to even boot with 4 sticks in.


    "Zootal" <Don't send me any freaking spam at zootal dot com remove the don't
    send me any freaking spam> wrote in message
    Charlie Russel - MVP, Aug 10, 2008
  5. Zootal

    Kerry Brown Guest

    With some motherboards it's a timing problem when all four slots are full,
    not a voltage problem. Try running the RAM at a slower speed.

    Kerry Brown
    MS-MVP - Windows Desktop Experience: Systems Administration

    "Zootal" <Don't send me any freaking spam at zootal dot com remove the don't
    send me any freaking spam> wrote in message
    Kerry Brown, Aug 10, 2008
  6. Zootal

    PH Guest

    seems like a board power distribution problem. some boards are notorious
    for that like foxconn.
    PH, Aug 14, 2008
  7. Zootal

    Zootal Guest

    It's an Asus board. However, that doesn't seem to mean much anymore - Asus
    boards aren't as good as they used to be. That could very well be the
    problem, since any two sticks run fine. Not sure what I can do about it,
    though, other then get a set of 2GB sticks. is a thought. the board comes with a set of memory heat pipes,
    but they only cool two sticks. I wonder if they would make a difference? I'm
    thinking not because I'm currently running the board with the cover off and
    a fan blowing inside. That dropped the internal temp by about 10+ degrees
    (telling me I have piss-poor circulation inside the box with the cover on).
    There was no problem before I took the cover off, I just didn't like the cpu
    temp hitting 130 degrees F.
    Zootal, Aug 14, 2008
  8. Time for a new (and better) box. A well designed enclosure should run cooler
    when all the covers are on, not when you've got the cover off and a fan
    blowing on it.

    There are quite expensive enclosures, such as Lian Li, that have been
    reported to be very good, and are certainly cool looking, but in a more
    reasonable range, the P18x series from Antec made a huge difference on a
    machine of mine that had heat problems. (see an old blog post of mine: for details.)
    Charlie Russel - MVP, Aug 15, 2008
  9. Zootal

    Zootal Guest

    Funny you should mention Foxconn. I've used their boards for years with no
    problems. The A79A-S, which I'm currently using, has an additional power
    connector near the pcie slots, as well as a power connector for the cpu and
    the main power connector. Maybe Foxconn finally got a clue? that they need
    more power connectors to start with?

    I'm finding the same thing as I found with my Asus board - two sticks are
    stable, four sticks are not. I have a set of two 2GB sticks on order, due to
    be delivered tomorrow, so I will find out soon if this fixes the problem.

    Anyone have experience with Crucial memory? I'm replacing it with Kingston,
    and I'm not 100% certain if a) one of the crucial sticks is bad/weak or b)
    the boards really can't handle four sticks at once or c) the crucial is just
    not a good design in that it is the reason I can't run four sticks at once.

    I'm leaning towards the sticks being bad/weak/poor design. I notice that if
    the case gets warm, but not unreasonably warm, they will fail diags and as
    soon as they cool off they run OK. They are not getting too hot - just warm,
    and they should work fine at the temps I've seen them fail at.

    IOW, I'm still not sure if it's a bad memory stick design (Crucial), a
    defective stick(s), or if the boards just can't handle four sticks, as
    others have mentioned.
    Zootal, Sep 3, 2008
  10. I've used Crucial memory for years. Very high quality, IME. And certainly,
    if any of their memory fails, it's covered.
    Charlie Russel - MVP, Sep 4, 2008
  11. Zootal

    Zootal Guest

    I talked to Crucial about it and interesting enough, they told me to
    increase the voltage on the sticks even higher, up to 2.2v, and said they
    would most likely not run at 1066 with default bios settings. I ran with
    2GB for a day, and at one time found my swap file was at about 800MB
    usage...and I remember when 640k was a lot of memory lol.
    Zootal, Sep 4, 2008
  12. LOL.
    Charlie Russel - MVP, Sep 4, 2008
  13. Zootal

    Zootal Guest

    I have 34 hours uptime on two 2GB sticks running at 1066. So far it seems to
    be rock solid.
    Zootal, Sep 7, 2008
  14. Zootal

    Zootal Guest

    I have 34 hours uptime on two 2GB sticks running at 1066. So far it seems to
    be rock solid.
    Zootal, Sep 7, 2008
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