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 Post subject: Damaged memory question
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 4:35 am 
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Location: Frisco, TX
While trying to move a 256 stick of pc2700 memory from my old system to my new system I heard a "clink" sound as something hit the bottom of the case. I found a tiny rectangular piece of electronics that appears to have come from the side of the stick (sorry, I don't know what it is). I was going to replace the entire stick but I decided to check it out using the memTest. It ran for 1 full pass (1 hour) and found no errors.

I'm hesitant to use this stick because I don't want a random error to crash my system. But if it passes a memory check could it be ok? When I tested I had all 3 of my sticks in the mb - should I test that single stick and maybe let memTest run overnight?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 4:46 am 
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"should I test that single stick and maybe let memTest run overnight?"

That's exactly what I'd do.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 5:17 am 
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I would take not only the single stick in question but the other sticks in the system to your local computer repair shop. If they are worth their salt they will have a stand alone ram tester.

If you are already a regular customer I would say they wouldn't charge you. If not they may charge a buck or two.

Back in my life as a computer tech this deviced saved our bacon a million times over.



chucuSCAD

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 6:02 am 
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Well, if it's black, about 3mmx3mm and from the mem stick it's most likely the ROM which stores the SPD info (=mem timings) for the memory. It's not absolutely necessary. You could test if You can still access the SPD info, for instance the newest version of CPU-Z can show this info.

Hard to say what it is for sure unless You'd provide a picture. But since the mem is still working it must be a spare part. :lol: :lol:

Cheers,

Jan

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 7:32 am 
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Location: Frisco, TX
I suppose I could provide a picture. I'll see what I can do.

I usually use places like NewEgg for my purchases so I don't think a local place is going to work. I'm not even sure if there are any - places like Fry's and CompUSA have mostly put the small shops out of business in my area.

I will try MemTest overnight and see what happens.

I was going to replace it but the prices have actually gone up since I last bought memory. I was amazed that the 256mb 2700 stick was more than I originally paid for it about 1.5 years ago (at least at Crucial).

I'd like to save some $$$ but I REALLY don't want to risk losing data.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 8:24 am 
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Location: AB, Canada
PretzelB wrote:
I'd like to save some $$$ but I REALLY don't want to risk losing data.


well, it's ram so at worst you'd probably crash/freeze etc more often and not lose stuff outright. :P
if you can test it by itself with memtest or that sort of thing and it's fine for at least 12-24h i'd just go ahead and use it. depends what part it is too, it may or may not be useless. i knocked two tiny caps off my old GF4 4400 a long time ago and it still appears to work. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 10:32 am 
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Went home and took some quick pictures. I also isolated the one stick and kicked off Memtest which should run for a good 4 or 5 hours.

I have no idea where the part came from but I found a similar looking part so I included that in the picture. I also included my finger for scale although it's probably not necessary.

Any engineer types able to identify this?

Image

Image

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 10:48 am 
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To the best of my knowledge that's either a resistor or a cap. Hard to say as there are no markings. But from where has it fallen off - I see no solder marks on the stick? Or is the pictured stick one of the good ones?

Would this go under lifetime warranty?

Oh, nice pics, BTW. What camera?

Cheers,

Jan

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:04 pm 
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The stick in the picture is the damaged one. I'm not sure where it came off (no visible marks on the stick) so I just took a picture of a part of the stick that had a similar part. I would guess there should be a matching part on the other side of the stick but I'm not sure.

The camera is a Nikon 950 CoolPix. I am still amazed how good this little thing does. At the time it was high quality but that was many years ago. It was always good with macro shots but I find it does regular shots well too. It annoys me though ... I bought a Canon 10D and the 950 sometimes does better (and I know it can't be the photographer :roll: ).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2004 7:35 pm
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Are all of your sticks the same brand? How do they compare to each other?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:41 pm 
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looks like it came off pretty cleanly, look for solder pads on either side of the stick that have nothing on them, or compare to the intact DIMMs. if you look closely, next to the pads (on the DIMM) there might be a Cxxx or Rxxx, a lot of the time the caps/resistors are numbered... not that it's a big deal if it still seems to work fine. if you do have problems with it and it's an option for you you can just solder it back on, probably not worth the fuss if you haven't done stuff that small before though (especially since it sounds like the RAM isn't definitively broken yet anyways :P).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 3:28 pm 
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More pics. I found the problem. I took out the other 256mb stick and compared the two. Good one is on left and damaged on is on right.

You can see I did more damage than just the one piece that fell off. There is another that is falling off. I must have hit the snap in button or something nearby.

What's strange is that I ran Memtest for 4.5 hours and in 44 passes it said zero errors. You would think that having a missing piece or damage like that would affect the stick.

BTW, all 3 of my sticks are pc2700 from Crucial. I have two 256 and the other one is a 512 stick.

Image

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 5:48 pm 
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heh yeah that does look pretty bad, weird. well like i said my gf4 lost two caps and still seems to work too, and it's a lot more complicated, go figure. i think tiny caps like these are usually for power regulation/buffering so there's no reason why you'd need all or even most of them most of the time... important thing is that for that purpose the capacitor needs to be connected in parallel, and since power regulation is all the capacitor is doing, nothing much happens when it gets ripped off.


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