Memory/Drive Question MemTest86 plus some other hardware stuff

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I have been having computer trouble (see below) and the first thing I
found during my tests was that memtest86 reports me as having only 1023
megs of ram.  I have always noticed that during boot-up the memory test
sort of goes normal speed to 1023 then sort of rolls as an afterthought
to 1024, but since it passed the boot-up test I figured that was okay.
I did find it weird that memtest reported 1023 though.  Is this normal?

Also, what prompted the tests was that I have a fairly new computer and
the hard drive has crashed twice this year.  The most recent time the
entire disk reported having cross-linked files.  I lost everything on
it, and had to reformat it.  I ran a disk scan utility to see if the
drive was defective (I had a hardware error reported during logoff
right before the data loss - when I rebooted everything was lost and
scandisk basically went sector by sector repairing cross-linked files)
and it reports that there is no problem.  I was dealing with very large
amounts of data right before the second, cross-linked issue occured.

I have read that perhaps the motherboard timing could be off (Would
overclocking cause cross-linked would I even play with the
timing).  Is there anyway to test whether this is the issue?  Should I
trust the harddrive test?  Any idea as to the cause?  


Re: Memory/Drive Question MemTest86 plus some other hardware stuff

On 5 Jan 2006 15:37:06 -0800, wrote:

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What is this computer like?  A brief list of all major
components make, model, etc, goes a long way.  Also if you
have multiple drive controller options on your motherboard
or system, describe how the drive(s) are hooked up.

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I wouldn't be concerned about it, that is close enough.
More important is whether memtest86+ ran for at least
several hours and found no errors.

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Define "crash".  Was the drive physically capable of working
(seemingly) fine afterwards or was it necessary to replace
the drive?  Did you run the HDD manufacturer's diagnostics
on the drive?  If not, do so.

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Overclocking could cause it, but with overclocking you would
of course expect to see speeds reported that are higher than
expected.  it would have helped to have the description of
the system up front, as an opening to your post.

If you have not personally overclocked it and trust the
seller, it probably isn't overclocked.  To determine this
you would need know the capabilities of the motherboard, the
correct speeds it should use then contrast with what it is
using (obvious enough).  Knowing correct speed comes from
prior exposure to the data or research per your specific
parts.  Finding actual speed can be done in the bios menu,
on the bios post screen, or though various utilities one can
boot to (like memtest86, it shows CPU speed) or in windows
or another OS, software such as CPU-Z, Sisoft Sandra,
Everest, WCPUID, and other titles.

If your CPU is overheating or instable due to motherboard
faults (it, itself might be overheating) that could also
cause corruption. After running memtest86+ for several hours
you might try Prime95's Torture Test for several more hours
to check that.  If your drive is running too hot you might
seek ways to cool it more.

Re: Memory/Drive Question MemTest86 plus some other hardware stuff

Thanks Kony,

I did run memtest86 for 8 hours with no problems reported.  At the time
of my drive errors I had the following configuration:

P4PXXXXE motherboard (I will have to get the exact model later) with a
hyper-threading 2.8 GHZ Pentium processor.  Dual-Channel OCX Ram.  2
DVD drives EIDE, 2 Hard Drives on another EIDE channel, and 1 SATA
drive (this is the drive that keeps crashing).  The drive is usuable
after scandisk and a reformat each time).  Also an ATI AGP video card.

I will gather more specific information system information once I get
home to take a look.

Another interesting thing, though I don't think it is related, is that
my computer will reboot when I put in certain DVD movies.  I don't know
why.  I figure it is some conflict with the ATI certainly
seems unrelated to this particular problem, but perhaps is worth

I will also take your advice regarding the torture test software.

Will post more info next week.  Thank you!!!!

kony wrote:
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Re: Memory/Drive Question MemTest86 plus some other hardware stuff

On 6 Jan 2006 11:07:12 -0800, wrote:

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I think that it is significant that it's on the SATA
controller.  Research bugs on the specific board or
controller chip (whether it be southbridge or discrete chip
like one from Silicon Image).  Either way, sometimes a newer
motherboard bios will incorporate this kind of fix, but
there should (likely would be) someone else also reporting
this kind of problem.

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There's a windows restart-on-error setting in the
System-advanced-Startup&Recovery section called
"automatically reboot".  If you disable it you may see a
bluescreen with some error codes.  This is most likely
unrelated and should be handled separately.  Yes I suppose
it could be a driver, or a media player setting if you had
changed those, or maybe a buggy codec or ... lots of
variables, the error code (if one results) might be good to
Google search.

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