Bad Memory or bad PSU ?

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View
Hi !

I'm working on a friend's HP Pavilion 511N system which showed signs on
failure in the last few days  (Windows restarting itself at any time,
not booting at all, so on..).

The first thing I made was to clone the HDD on another one (using
TrueImage - bootable CD) then perform a chkdsk on the drive.  Chkdsk
found a few bad entries in the MFT but no bad sector or other sign of
disk failure were found, either by TrueImage or Chkdsk.

At one moment, while booting to Bart PE from the CD drive, I had a BSOD
Stop C0000145 (0xC0000005): Application error, the application failed
to initialize properly.  On a second try, the application loaded and
executed correctly

Since a Google search seems to relate this Stop code to a faulty memory
chip, I fired up Memtest-86 bootable CD to confirm that.

I put the disk in the drive, power cycled the machine and let the test
run.  In the first testing minute, it found 1519 errors, all in the
same address area (73-77 Mb), all with the same error bit (00000040).  
In the following 23 hours, *no* other error was found.

My I conclude that the memory is bad ?    Since errors seems to occurs
only in the first minute after powering on the machine, can I suspect a
bad PSU causing this problem instead ?

As a side question: while chkdsk doesn't find any more errors, Windows
still won't boot :  the machine does it POST, I can see some disk
activity, the mouse pointer appears on the screen then the machine
reboots (before the Windows logo appears).  Any suggestion on the next
repairing steps ?


Re: Bad Memory or bad PSU ?

I was in a pickle the other day....!

Whether it's the same or not I dunno, mine would'nt boot turned out to
be the bios battery that was a wee bit low, I can't say if this
applies to you, it looked as though the HDD was duff as it kept
saying  disk failure, funny thing was the bios settings  was ok and
was getting the POST beep (Power On Self Test).

I even reformatted as I could'nt even do a repair install - for no
apparent reason as it turned out..!

A bios reboot corrected the fault but chose to replace the battery
which was on the low side.

You will get the POST beep with all the drives disconnected even the
HDD, the first thing to do then I'd say is to connected the HDD and
try again, keep repeating til all the drives are connected.

You can appreciate that there may well be many causes, like I did no
doubt you think the worse when it turns out to be something simple, I
reckon its the panic session what really does the damage.

As you may know, when you 'power up' the bios wakes up doing it's
POST, then if all OK tells the cpu to switch on and spin the HDD when
windows is loaded into RAM and then you get the Welcome screen.

I can't say if I am pointing you in the right direction, the best
thing is always 'try' to take the logical approach and to bear my
experience in mind.


Re: Bad Memory or bad PSU ?

Does it have more than one stick of ram inside?  Try them each alone, see if
it'll boot.  It memtest says it's bad, it's bad.  Restarts are a sign of
faulty memory.  I had a stick go bad, my machine would randomly reboot all
the time.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Re: Bad Memory or bad PSU ?


Quoted text here. Click to load it

Try the following, if you wish.
While running Memtest, the CD is not in use. Open its door a few
times (if the program allows that; I didn't try it!)
This causes extra power consumption and if your problem is PSU
related, you can expect an increase in error while the CD
mechanism is operating.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Windows CD, recovery console ?

Kind regards,
Gerard Bok

Re: Bad Memory or bad PSU ?

On Fri, 10 Feb 2006 06:21:14 -0500, "JG"


Quoted text here. Click to load it

Doubtful, it would seem more likely you have either a
temperature related problem like circuit board cracks (could
be in memory or motherboard itself) or your motherboard
capacitors are bad and do better after being warmed up.

Open the case and check all cards, cables, etc.  Examine the
board for failed capacitors- usually the ones  about the CPU
socket are the most prone to failure but also examine those
around the chipset and memory slots.

You might also consider letting the system stay off, cooling
down completely then gently warming the interior with a
hairdryer for a couple minutes before powering up & running

If all else fails, do you have any memory related settings
in the bios?  Doubtful being an OEM system but if you do,
try adjusting them to more conservative settings.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

No point in trying to run windows with that many memory
errors still present- perhaps better windows doesn't load as
if it did, you could end up with massive file corruption-
but then this may have already happened... so you need to
get those errors resolved and then see if windows will boot,
and if it never does, the OS /etc may need reinstalled.

Site Timeline