Half of my RAM died

I got up early in the morning today determined to do something productive today. So I got into my office at MSU, started booting my laptop, logged into the JDS workstation and fired up Firefox to check my bloglines, gmail and twitter.

I use the JDS machine for most of the coding, running tests and browsing the web because it is lightning fast. Unfortunately JDS sucks, and there are virtually no binaries for it available anywhere. So if I don’t compile it from source, it won’t be running on that machine.

My Kubuntu laptop on the other hand is and ancient 700 MHz machine with 512 MB of RAM but it does have Kile which I use to write my thesis. As I was bullshitting online the laptop came up, so I logged in, and pulled up KMail. And then it froze. And I don’t mean a mild X freeze here. It was a complete, windows style freeze. Not even a kernel panic or anything. It just stopped and sat there. I had to power it down to regain control. I was stunned.

This was probably the first time this machine froze on me like this since I installed linux on it few years ago. I rebooted it and Grub came up fine. Then I got spammed with bunch of “Memory Read Error” messages, but the boot sequence didn’t stop, and went all the way into X. I logged in again, watched KDE load and then pulled up an xterm to see what was going on. Damn thing froze again. I rebooted again with the exact same results. So I decided to pull out one of the DIMMs and see if that helps:

Dead Ram

Funny thing is, the first one that I pulled out turned out the be the faulty one. Here it is:

Dead Ram

My machine booted just fine, and I could use it with no other problems. Other than running with half of the memory of course. Surprisingly enough KDE was still relatively usable with only 256 MB of RAM. Running just KMail and Kile was fine. When I fired up Firefox, SVN client and couple of xterms things started becoming really slow though.

My old and slow laptop just became even slower. I guess I have to order a new DIMM from Dell… I wonder if they even sell them for my model. Dell Inspiron 4000 from before the ubiquitous broadband access era – it has a win-modem but no eathernet card on the mobo. Anyone still has one of those?

I think someone up there is trying to tell me it’s time for a new laptop. Yup, that’s what it is – it’s a sign that I need to buy a MacBook. :P

Update 04/02/2007 09:29:09 AM

Awesome! I found a 256 MB chip in my “memory I will never, ever use” box. It was sitting there along with about 20 64MB chips, and bunch of 128 MB’s. I never know what to do with these things.

Back in business. I’m still treating this as a sign to get a MacBook though. :P

[tags]ram, dimm, dead ram, ram died, memory read error, memory[/tags]

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16 Responses to Half of my RAM died

  1. Fr3d UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    That’s too bad about the RAM… but perhaps it’s a a good thing too – Macbooks are great laptops :D

    Reply  |  Quote
  2. Matt` UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    RAM is model-specific?

    Reply  |  Quote
  3. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    [quote comment=”3686″]RAM is model-specific?[/quote]

    Well, no… But it is an old mobo and it takes big, clunky chips like the one in the picture. A 1GB chip that I installed in a new latitude the other day was about half that size.

    I actually found a 256 MB chip in my “memory I will never, ever use” box. It was sitting there along with about 20 64MB chips, and bunch of 128 MB’s.

    Reply  |  Quote
  4. Craig Betts UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Solaris Terminalist says:

    Darn good thing you aren’t running Vista!

    Gotta love Linux and it’s ability to change on the fly.

    If you decide on the MacBook, make sure you have at least 1 Gig of RAM. the 512 Meg is fine unless you run PPC binaries. Rosetta sucks a lot of resources. Then again, I can see you putting Ubuntu on there . . .

    Reply  |  Quote
  5. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Yup, I’m definitely getting at least 1 Gig. Last time I checked 2 Gigs was an option I think, so I would probably get that. :)

    I probably wouldn’t put Ubuntu on it though. I want to play around with OS X a little bit. Also, Ubuntu is a kick ass desktop system, but is still kinda flaky with the Laptop specific stuff like ACPI (suspend, hibernate), wifi and etc.

    Reply  |  Quote
  6. :) I am running vista Craig.
    Its not like the most wonderful thing known to man, but it is beautiful.. and beauty is THE ONLY reason i upgraded.. I missed all the comfert of my old mac… and now I *KINDA* get that back

    Oh yeah defiantly get a macbook

    Reply  |  Quote
  7. :) You know Luke, your a good looking guy, you should show your pictures more often.

    Reply  |  Quote
  8. un4scene UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Hey poodle, if you are desperate I have the old Dell 8300 that is acting like a paperweight. It is the one with the brand new hard drive, remember? It works fine, it’s just a bit slow ’cause I installed way too much stuff on it (photoshop, frontpage, office, etc, etc, etc.) and it gives me a couple of errors on start up I don’t know what to do about. I’m sure you’d be able to fix it up straight away though.

    You are welcome to it if you promise to strip all the saved passwords and stuff I have on it. Only reason I am not getting rid of it is because I don’t want people data mining in there and finding stuff they shouldn’t.

    Reply  |  Quote
  9. Wow luke, you bring the best out of people.. the most I got from anyone is a sieze and dissist letter from the RIAA :)

    apparently they didn’t like http://music.geeksparadox.com/personal/ that too much ;)

    Reply  |  Quote
  10. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Un4scene – if you have no use for it, I’ll take it. Is it the Dimension 8300? That’s still a pretty decent machine. I’ll shoot you an email.

    Travis – I can kinda see how RIAA would be upset about that. Oh man, you better watch out – you are on their list now. 8O

    Reply  |  Quote
  11. Matt` UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Stage 1: Start a blog
    Stage 2: ???
    Stage 3: Profit!

    (profit in the form of computers)

    Reply  |  Quote
  12. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Btw – just to clarify, me and un4scene have been friends forever. Not that I wouldn’t accept cool gifts from total strangers of course. :mrgreen:

    Also, un4scene is the most awesome person in life. It’s a fact. :D

    Reply  |  Quote
  13. Matt` UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    I was getting the feeling he knew you pretty much from when he called you poodle and onwards

    ..the part with the computer-giving was fairly conclusive too :P

    New plan:
    Stage 1: make friends with generous computer-owners
    Stage 2: ???
    Stage 3: Profit!

    Reply  |  Quote
  14. un4scene UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Got your email, poodle. Responding to you with system info…

    Btw, I used this icon today in your honor. :)

    Reply  |  Quote
  15. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    [quote post=”1506″]I was getting the feeling he knew you pretty much from when he called you poodle and onwards[/quote]

    Actually, he is a she. Only ladies are allowed to call me poodle. :mrgreen:

    [quote post=”1506″]Btw, I used this icon today in your honor[/quote]

    I can’t see the icon. I get a “Forbidden” page when I click the link. :(

    Reply  |  Quote
  16. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Ah, never mind. I had to log into LJ. Here is the icon:

    Futurama FTW!

    Reply  |  Quote

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