An Article from Aaron's Article ArchiveI've Lost Half My Memory
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I've Lost Half My Memory
Monday, 30 May 2005 5:46 PM MDT
Early this afternoon, while doing some work, I discovered that my server (the computer that runs this web site as well as performing other jobs for me at my house) had spontaneously rebooted last night. That should never happen. The server computer has run continuously for five months with no glitches or errors until recently.
Since the files I was working on are temporarily stored on this server, I had to stop what I was doing, shut the thing down, open it up, install a CD-ROM drive, then burn a Memtest86 CD and use it to run a test of the computer's memory. I wasn't sure what the cause of the problems were, so I figured a good memory test should be the first order of business.
After letting it run for about 30 minutes, I came back into the room and checked the progress. Sure enough, there were errors. I shut the power off and carefully removed one of the two sticks of RAM memory (the server had only 512 megabytes of RAM, two 256 megabyte memory sticks), then ran the memory test again.
Errors. Now the question was, was it the one stick of memory in the server that was causing the errors, or did I have a failed motherboard? I removed the possibly bad stick of RAM and replaced it with the other stick of RAM and ran the test again.
Fifteen minutes later there were no errors. I let the test run for another 30 minutes, and still no errors. Sweet! My motherboard was most likely fine, and the recent problems were most likely due to that bad stick of RAM.
Fortunately it's under warranty, but it will be an annoying pain to get the 256 MB RAM stick replaced. In the mean time, the server is running again, but with only half the memory.