is it worth troubleshooting ?

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I have a 4 yr old desktop system, 2ghz processor and 1 mb ram,
home-built that works fine except that it is extremly slow when doing
certain medium memory intensive jobs. ie autocad raster insertion.

It will always crash when doing very memory intensive 3d rendering.

I also have a dellinspiron with 2mhz processor and 1 mb ram.
Same software, processor and memory.

a particular operation on the dell will take 10 seconds, while on the
desktop it may take 45 seconds.

Desktop Computer:    
Operating System    Microsoft Windows XP Professional
OS Service Pack    Service Pack 2
CPU Type    Intel Celeron 4A, 2000 MHz (5 x 400)
Motherboard Name    VIA P4MA Pro  (3 PCI, 1 AGP, 1 CNR, 2 DIMM,
Motherboard Chipset    VIA VT8751 Apollo P4M266
System Memory    1024 MB  (DDR SDRAM)
BIOS Type    Award (09/02/02)
Video Adapter    Matrox Graphics Millennium G450 AGP  (16 MB)

Disk Drive    HDS72252 5VLAT80 USB Device  (250 GB, 7200 RPM,
Disk Drive    Maxtor 6 Y080P0 SCSI Disk Device  (80 GB, 7200 RPM,
Disk Drive    Maxtor 6 Y080P0 SCSI Disk Device  (80 GB, 7200 RPM,

I ran chkdsk/f and defraged, with no improvement, cleaned up temp
files, etc.

the memory consists of 2 ea 512 sticks-ddr.
I ran a memory check and both sticks failed all tests.
I switched sticks and sockets and got the same results.
If I put  either single stick in socket #1 the computer would start.
If I put  either single stick in socket #2 the computer would not

This would indicate that the problem may be in the motherboard rather
than in the memory?
My problem is in making a decision to buy a new board and processor or
keep fiddling aroung with this old one. The board and processor bundle
are so cheap that I wonder if it make sense to trouble shoot.

Serial ATA. - A year or so ago, I replaced the hard drive with 2
serial ata drives along with a sata controller board, I'm wondering if
this might be slowing things down?

Any suggestions for anything else to check?
I'm really close to calling and ordering a new motherboard and

Re: is it worth troubleshooting ?

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let me get this straight...
you ran a memory test and both sticks of memory failed all tests...
so you concluded that the motherboard is bad???


Re: is it worth troubleshooting ?


If the memory sticks were in fact both  "that bad" the computer would
not operate at all or at least crash riwth some regularity. My
understanding is that a motherboard/processor problem can result in a
"failed memory test".  
What is more likely? Both memory sticks failing completly, but still
allowing the computer to run properly "most of the time, or a problem
in the motherboard that affects the control of the memory usage?

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Re: is it worth troubleshooting ?

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If you want to test it a bit more and you live in the US you could get
get another stick , there are $25 deals at CC this week 3200 512
Kingston and theres a 29 deal at Compusa this week I think.  These are
after rebates so the initial cost is hefty.  Of course if it fails you
can take it back. Not sure how stringent they are about returns
though.  Theyve all implemented restocking fees I think for a while
now but I dont think they test every stick of memory.

Around here they cant charge restocking fees and its a breeze to
return things so I have no idea what its like elsewhere.

Theres usually the FRYs 79-89 deal going on --- AMD 3100-2800 sempron
with ECS nforce3 board no integrated video though. I finally bought
two of them to get rid of my final really old system and upgrade
another persons system. They work fine so far. ECS is a cheapo board
maker but so far no problems.

Re: is it worth troubleshooting ?

The problem might be with the second memory slot. Try testing the memory in slot
one, with slot two empty.

Frank wrote:
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                   Mike Walsh
            West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.A.

Re: is it worth troubleshooting ?

Tthe mainboard is a VIA P4MA pro.
Memory slots are slot #1 ( bank 0&1) & slot#2( bank2&3)

the manual isn't specific about a requirement that single stick of
memoy must be in slot #1, so I assume (I know, dangerous) that I
should be able to use a single stick in either slot #1 or slot #2.

If I put a stick of memory in slot #1 the computer will boot up and
operate normally. If I put the same stick in slot #2 the computer will
not boot up.

Bear in mind that I ran a memory test and both chips failed all the
tests, with exactly the same readings.

The computer operates normally, but is very slow on memory intensive

The computer "sees" 1 gig of memory.

The sticks were purchased at different times, and are different mfg.
same specs though.

I've been living with this problem for quite some time not, it has not
been serious enough to worry too much about, the computer is

As I think back, I purchase the second stick after having a crash
while doing a memory intensive rendering.  After installing the second
stick, the problem persisted, I ran a memory test and thats when I got
the reading of both sticks failing.

Maybe tomorrow I'll pull a stick and see if I can get it tested. Hate
to buy another one until I've eshausted all the other possibilities.


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Re: is it worth troubleshooting ?

final follow-up
 I obtained a known good stick of memory today, installed it and ran
the memory test again, test showed a failure again. Looks like it is
something in the motherboard.

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