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