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My parents' computer kept crashing a few weeks ago, so I ran MemTest86 to see if memory was the problem. There were multiple errors, but I figured they could deal with the frequent reboots and such. So anyway....about a week ago their hard drive crashed as well, so I took one of my old hard drives pre-installed with Linux and swapped it in to give them a little taste of Linux. Despite the bad memory, Linux has not crashed since I powered on the computer for the first time.
A long story short....does Linux somehow flag bad sectors in memory and pretend that they do not exist? I have not read about this anwhere, but this is the only conclusion that I can draw from what has happened.
maybe it's not bad memory after all, just your parent's hard drive going bad. or could be that you had bad sectors on your parent's hard drive and they never ran scandisk to flag the bad sectors. if your memory goes bad, linux isn't any different than windows, and most likely would exhibit the same instability. i could be wrong though, but i still think since the hard drive died, it most likely was a hard drive going bad.
Originally posted by erikwebb
A long story short....does Linux somehow flag bad sectors in memory and pretend that they do not exist? I have not read about this anwhere, but this is the only conclusion that I can draw from what has happened. [/B]
You are right. Linux can do that together with memtest86 and BadRam. Some of the errors are very specific and may not cause instablitiy depending on the way the memory is used
if memtest gives you failing patterns (run it for one/two days) you'll need to patch your kernel. iirc the last one is for 2.4.24
i ran an old pc successfully for a time with the bad ram patch. however, i found the layout of these patterns quite tricky. i posted a solution here on LQ and at LG. search for "badram pattern".
to be sure it actually is a faulty rammodule do a few kernel compilations and find in the root and check for kernel oopses in your /var/log/messages.
Thanks everyone, I'm replacing their computer soon, I was just curious about if this protection existed. It's an old Athlon 1400, so it's "going the way of the dodo" soon. Thanks all for the information, I guess this is just one more reason to love Linux!