LinuxQuestions.org
Support LQ: Use code LQ3 and save $3 on Domain Registration
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Hardware
User Name
Password
Linux - Hardware This forum is for Hardware issues.
Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 06-18-2013, 11:13 AM   #1
newbiesforever
Senior Member
 
Registered: Apr 2006
Location: Glendale, AZ
Distribution: Distro-homeless. Lost.
Posts: 1,868

Rep: Reputation: 62
what if some of my RAM slots don't work?


If some of my motherboard's RAM slots have stopped working for some reason, am I right in supposing there's nothing to do but replace the board?

I noticed my system memory was only 896 MB (and 128 MB shared memory, whatever that means)--which would seem to indicate that only one of my two 1 GB RAM sticks was detected or used. So I rebooted the computer twice, each time using only one of the sticks. With one of them, the computer wouldn't boot, so I was sure that stick was no good. But the flaw in this test was I never seriously considered that one or more of the RAM slots might have a problem. (When I tested the sticks separately, I may not have made sure to put them in the same slot--I don't remember, but I probably wasn't paying attention to that because I didn't think anything might be wrong with the slots.)
So I bought a replacement RAM stick, and was puzzled when it wouldn't work (in the slot next the one stick I thought was good). After the new stick wouldn't work in any of the empty slots, I suspected a worse problem, and tested all three sticks in different slots. They all work in one particular slot, but not in any of the others.


So it seems I have three non-functioning RAM slots, and bought new RAM for nothing.

Last edited by newbiesforever; 06-18-2013 at 11:16 AM.
 
Old 06-18-2013, 11:44 AM   #2
shane25119
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Illinois
Distribution: Linux Mint XFCE
Posts: 647

Rep: Reputation: 52
Did you ensure the new RAM is identical to the RAM you already have (ie: PC2700 in all slots)?

Try the new RAM in the slots that the current sticks are in- if they work, then it might be your board. If not, it might be the stick of RAM.

Shared memory is RAM that is shared by the system and the video card (I'm guessing yours is intergrated).
 
Old 06-18-2013, 12:26 PM   #3
newbiesforever
Senior Member
 
Registered: Apr 2006
Location: Glendale, AZ
Distribution: Distro-homeless. Lost.
Posts: 1,868

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by shane25119 View Post
Did you ensure the new RAM is identical to the RAM you already have (ie: PC2700 in all slots)?

Try the new RAM in the slots that the current sticks are in- if they work, then it might be your board. If not, it might be the stick of RAM.

Shared memory is RAM that is shared by the system and the video card (I'm guessing yours is intergrated).
Yeah, it's integrated (I've never owned a video card). Actually, the brand-new RAM stick is already in the one slot that I know works--sorry I didn't mention that. The last thing I tried was to put the new stick in the obviously working slot, and it worked, so I kept it there. The old sticks are sitting in two of the other three slots, doing nothing.

If I have to replace the board (I suppose so), I'm not going online like I did before, at least not first. I looked at some motherboards at a local electronics store recently, and decided that being able to examine them up close probably trumps an online retailer's larger selection, especially if the physical store has a good selection itself.

Last edited by newbiesforever; 06-18-2013 at 12:40 PM.
 
Old 06-18-2013, 01:57 PM   #4
shane25119
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Illinois
Distribution: Linux Mint XFCE
Posts: 647

Rep: Reputation: 52
How old is the board? Look at the manual for the board (or get it online if you don't have it any longer) and see if there is a requirement for how the RAM is put in. Some boards require RAM to be in matching pairs 1/4 and 2/3 or something to that effect.

I'd still order online- just match up the type of RAM the new board takes to what you have/what you order. You'll save a bundle going through Newegg rather than a brick and mortar.
 
Old 06-18-2013, 02:15 PM   #5
sundialsvcs
Guru
 
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: SE Tennessee, USA
Distribution: Gentoo, LFS
Posts: 5,230

Rep: Reputation: 1070Reputation: 1070Reputation: 1070Reputation: 1070Reputation: 1070Reputation: 1070Reputation: 1070Reputation: 1070
In Glendale (and the greater Phoenix area), newbiesforever would indeed be able to get hardware at good prices ... and to ask questions about "the board in the box in his hand" with people who actually know. (Fry's Electronics, in the day, was legendary for this, but I don't know the company now.) Therefore, it's what I would do also. Yeah, you'll spend a little more money, but not as much as you might suppose, and in any case it might well be worth it.

Yes, RAM slots sometimes do break ... there are a lot of physical connections. If you even suspect that the board has a hardware fault, I frankly wouldn't spend much more time on it. "Chuck-E Cheeze" it, buy a new one, and sell the old one (with its chips) on eBay or somewhere to someone who might be delighted to futz with it in exchange for a fully-depreciated bargain. The return-on-investment, for you, turns to zero almost instantly.
 
Old 06-18-2013, 09:02 PM   #6
jefro
Guru
 
Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 10,991

Rep: Reputation: 1355Reputation: 1355Reputation: 1355Reputation: 1355Reputation: 1355Reputation: 1355Reputation: 1355Reputation: 1355Reputation: 1355Reputation: 1355
If you fully tested it and also looked for obvious damage then no. Most home users can't fix a board issue.

You test ram on a known good system. It may be that you have double data rate ram and a memtest could fail on dual ram cards where one ram card alone would pass test.

Also bios could be an issue here. Any number or settings or choices could make some ram fail.


A damaged board is also now suspect at to other data issues. It can't be trusted.

Most of the time you end up buying an entire new system unless you can find a board that can still use all your old parts.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How to determine the number of RAM slots using dmidecode? pinga123 Linux - General 7 04-10-2011 08:29 AM
Asus mobo ram slots satimis Linux - Hardware 5 12-13-2009 09:04 AM
How can i see ram slots in the linux? epamuk Linux - Server 2 11-09-2009 08:11 AM
vt's don't work after suspend to ram notapplicable Linux - Laptop and Netbook 0 11-23-2006 03:08 PM
how to find out if im using 1 or 2 slots for ram? jfall Linux - Hardware 8 03-07-2005 07:44 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:32 PM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration