Linux can be a lot more fussy regarding memory than windows, and any little fault that might slip past windows will be picked up by linux.
A good case in point, I bought some memory for my Intel boards, not realising that Intel use Gold plated contacts and the sticks I bought are tin plated. Now Tin and Gold dont like living together and about six months later I was having unusual problems with Linux but not Windows. Apparently the Tin and Gold react after about six months and form high resistance points - not good for memory
Now this may NOT be your problem but you really do have to check your hardware compatibility. These are the sorts of problems that drive newbies nuts with Linux so they go back to Win, blaming Linux where the real problem was hardware.
Dust can be another source of funny error messages - moral of the story keep the insides of your gear clean, especially as I notice you are using old gear. Dont be afraid to lift the lid and go beserk with a vacuum cleaner with those little attachments for getting into small / tight places.
And if I can give some advice here, re dust, if you have unused PCI / ISA slots or any other slots then cover them carefully with sticky ( not too sticky ) tape so that dust doesnt settle in them. I'll say again " carefully" and "not too sticky" - you dont want to create more problems than you solve - unsure ? then get someone who knows what they're doing to do it.
When you've eliminated these culprits then you can go looking for software problems. Good Luck !
live long and prosper
edit : correction
not all intel boards use gold, some use tin
here cut and pasted from Intels own Q's and A's
# Will gold plated SIMMs work with my Intel motherboard?
Most Intel motherboards use tin-lead SIMM sockets and Intel recommends NOT mixing dissimilar metals in your memory solution. Studies show that fretting occurs when tin comes in pressure contact with gold or any other metal. Tin debris will transfer to the gold surface and oxidize. Continued transfer will build up an oxide film layer. Tin surfaces always have a natural oxide. Despite this, electrical contact is easily made between two tin surfaces. Oxides on both soft surfaces will bend and break, ensuring contact. The resistance of the oxidation layer builds up over time when one surface is hard. Increasing the contact resistance will ultimately result in memory failures.
live long and prosper
Last edited by floppywhopper; 12-13-2004 at 08:07 PM.