How to fix annoying broken onboard RAM :)

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Hi all

Just got this annoying Gericom laptop to work, finally. It had the
infamous bad onboard RAM fault where one of the chips fails, causing
instability. This can be heat related, in fact one or all of the chips
can overheat noticeably in this failure mode.

Unfortunately, most if not all laptops do not allow you to disable
onboard RAM, requiring an expensive motherboard replacement or SMD

A simple fix however is to download the datasheet for the RAM chips,
in this case Winbond W942516AH-75, and locate the CS or /CS line on
pin 24. Connect this to Vdd via a resistor or wire link and all the
onboard RAM should be disabled.

If this works but there are still odd memory faults but less
frequently, try a lower speed module. If this works fine then remove
all four bad chips, as they may be interfering with the data lines
even with CS disabled and all should be well.

On this one, I found that 256MB PC2700 would fail but 128MB would work
fine, am going to try the chip removal technique to see if this has
any effect.

So far so good, although the laptop will now only work with a stick

Hope this helps some Toshiba/Gericom/Compaq/etc owners.

Regards, -A

Re: How to fix annoying broken onboard RAM :) wrote:

If this is from 2000/2001 it might be from the lead-free solder used in
many notebooks.  Unfortunately, unless you can find someone to reflow
the minuscule solder connections on the ram slots, you are probably
going to have another ram failure real soon now.


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