Bad Memory Stick


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I have 48gb of RAM. There is a bad 8gb stick in there somewhere. Most of the time my system shows 40gb on boot and all is well. Occasionally the system shows 48gb and the system is slow as molasses. How do I identify the bad ram?

 

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I'd just do a binary search.    e.g. install 3 of the modules (half of them), and run with those 3 until you're either convinced they're all okay or you have the same problem (i.e. one module isn't recognized).    Also run MemTest overnight to confirm it doesn't find any issues.

 

If those 3 are all good, install the other 3 and repeat the process -- this SHOULD find a bad module.    Then you can try using 2 of those modules and see if the bad one is one of those -- or if the one you removed fixes the issue.    When you're down to two modules, just run with one-at-a-time to isolate the bad module.

 

Note:  It's possible that you don't have a bad module, but a defective memory slot on your motherboard -- if that's the case, it will take more experimentation to isolate that ... essentially by removing one module at a time and running for a few days until you're confident that the problem has been resolved.

 

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So right now. My system is running perfectly. But it reports 40gb of RAM. Is there a tool that will tell me which slots the ram is in? Whichever one is not present should be the bad stick or slot, no? I just need something to tell me what slots my system thinks are currently in use.

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You should be able to shut down;  pull one stick of RAM; boot again, and see if it still shows 40GB.  

 

If so, you probably pulled the "defective" module -- or perhaps you removed a module from a defective slot ... but either would do what you want to do.

 

If not, shut down again; replace the module; and pull the next one ... and repeat the process until you find a module you can pull without reducing the memory size.

 

This will work as long as your defective module (or slot) doesn't suddenly decide to report the additional 8GB (as you indicated it sometimes does).   But any module you pull that REDUCES the memory by 8GB (to 32GB) is a good module.

 

 

 

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I think I have an approach.

 

The following command gives this output.  It shows I have 5 x 8GB sticks installed.  But I know I have 6x 8gb sticks installed.  The Locator field tells me the name of the DIMM Slot.  So it looks like P1 DIMM 3A is either a bad slot or had a bad stick.  Did I interpret this properly?

 

I have attached a diagram of the motherboard.

 

# dmidecode -t 17

 

# dmidecode 3.0
Getting SMBIOS data from sysfs.
SMBIOS 2.6 present.

Handle 0x0017, DMI type 17, 28 bytes
Memory Device
	Array Handle: 0x0015
	Error Information Handle: Not Provided
	Total Width: 72 bits
	Data Width: 64 bits
	Size: 8192 MB
	Form Factor: DIMM
	Set: None
	Locator: P1-DIMM1A
	Bank Locator: BANK0
	Type: DDR3
	Type Detail: Other
	Speed: 1066 MHz
	Manufacturer: Hyundai       
	Serial Number: C9B4A928
	Asset Tag:             
	Part Number: HMT31GR7BFR4C-H9  
	Rank: Unknown

Handle 0x0019, DMI type 17, 28 bytes
Memory Device
	Array Handle: 0x0015
	Error Information Handle: Not Provided
	Total Width: 72 bits
	Data Width: 64 bits
	Size: No Module Installed
	Form Factor: DIMM
	Set: None
	Locator: P1-DIMM1B
	Bank Locator: BANK1
	Type: DDR3
	Type Detail: Other
	Speed: Unknown
	Manufacturer:               
	Serial Number:         
	Asset Tag:             
	Part Number:                   
	Rank: Unknown

Handle 0x001B, DMI type 17, 28 bytes
Memory Device
	Array Handle: 0x0015
	Error Information Handle: Not Provided
	Total Width: 72 bits
	Data Width: 64 bits
	Size: No Module Installed
	Form Factor: DIMM
	Set: None
	Locator: P1-DIMM1C
	Bank Locator: BANK2
	Type: DDR3
	Type Detail: Other
	Speed: Unknown
	Manufacturer:               
	Serial Number:         
	Asset Tag:             
	Part Number:                   
	Rank: Unknown

Handle 0x001D, DMI type 17, 28 bytes
Memory Device
	Array Handle: 0x0015
	Error Information Handle: Not Provided
	Total Width: 72 bits
	Data Width: 64 bits
	Size: 8192 MB
	Form Factor: DIMM
	Set: None
	Locator: P1-DIMM2A
	Bank Locator: BANK3
	Type: DDR3
	Type Detail: Other
	Speed: 1066 MHz
	Manufacturer: Hyundai       
	Serial Number: 59833027
	Asset Tag:             
	Part Number: HMT31GR7BFR4C-H9  
	Rank: Unknown

Handle 0x001F, DMI type 17, 28 bytes
Memory Device
	Array Handle: 0x0015
	Error Information Handle: Not Provided
	Total Width: 72 bits
	Data Width: 64 bits
	Size: No Module Installed
	Form Factor: DIMM
	Set: None
	Locator: P1-DIMM2B
	Bank Locator: BANK4
	Type: DDR3
	Type Detail: Other
	Speed: Unknown
	Manufacturer:               
	Serial Number:         
	Asset Tag:             
	Part Number:                   
	Rank: Unknown

Handle 0x0021, DMI type 17, 28 bytes
Memory Device
	Array Handle: 0x0015
	Error Information Handle: Not Provided
	Total Width: 72 bits
	Data Width: 64 bits
	Size: No Module Installed
	Form Factor: DIMM
	Set: None
	Locator: P1-DIMM2C
	Bank Locator: BANK5
	Type: DDR3
	Type Detail: Other
	Speed: Unknown
	Manufacturer:               
	Serial Number:         
	Asset Tag:             
	Part Number:                   
	Rank: Unknown

Handle 0x0023, DMI type 17, 28 bytes
Memory Device
	Array Handle: 0x0015
	Error Information Handle: Not Provided
	Total Width: 72 bits
	Data Width: 64 bits
	Size: No Module Installed
	Form Factor: DIMM
	Set: None
	Locator: P1-DIMM3A
	Bank Locator: BANK6
	Type: DDR3
	Type Detail: Other
	Speed: Unknown
	Manufacturer:               
	Serial Number:         
	Asset Tag:             
	Part Number:                   
	Rank: Unknown

Handle 0x0025, DMI type 17, 28 bytes
Memory Device
	Array Handle: 0x0015
	Error Information Handle: Not Provided
	Total Width: 72 bits
	Data Width: 64 bits
	Size: No Module Installed
	Form Factor: DIMM
	Set: None
	Locator: P1-DIMM3B
	Bank Locator: BANK7
	Type: DDR3
	Type Detail: Other
	Speed: Unknown
	Manufacturer:               
	Serial Number:         
	Asset Tag:             
	Part Number:                   
	Rank: Unknown

Handle 0x0027, DMI type 17, 28 bytes
Memory Device
	Array Handle: 0x0015
	Error Information Handle: Not Provided
	Total Width: 72 bits
	Data Width: 64 bits
	Size: No Module Installed
	Form Factor: DIMM
	Set: None
	Locator: P1-DIMM3C
	Bank Locator: BANK8
	Type: DDR3
	Type Detail: Other
	Speed: Unknown
	Manufacturer:               
	Serial Number:         
	Asset Tag:             
	Part Number:                   
	Rank: Unknown

Handle 0x0029, DMI type 17, 28 bytes
Memory Device
	Array Handle: 0x0015
	Error Information Handle: Not Provided
	Total Width: 72 bits
	Data Width: 64 bits
	Size: 8192 MB
	Form Factor: DIMM
	Set: None
	Locator: P2-DIMM1A
	Bank Locator: BANK9
	Type: DDR3
	Type Detail: Other
	Speed: 1066 MHz
	Manufacturer: Hyundai       
	Serial Number: A37F4026
	Asset Tag:             
	Part Number: HMT31GR7BFR4C-H9  
	Rank: Unknown

Handle 0x002B, DMI type 17, 28 bytes
Memory Device
	Array Handle: 0x0015
	Error Information Handle: Not Provided
	Total Width: 72 bits
	Data Width: 64 bits
	Size: No Module Installed
	Form Factor: DIMM
	Set: None
	Locator: P2-DIMM1B
	Bank Locator: BANK10
	Type: DDR3
	Type Detail: Other
	Speed: Unknown
	Manufacturer:               
	Serial Number:         
	Asset Tag:              
	Part Number:                   
	Rank: Unknown

Handle 0x002D, DMI type 17, 28 bytes
Memory Device
	Array Handle: 0x0015
	Error Information Handle: Not Provided
	Total Width: 72 bits
	Data Width: 64 bits
	Size: No Module Installed
	Form Factor: DIMM
	Set: None
	Locator: P2-DIMM1C
	Bank Locator: BANK11
	Type: DDR3
	Type Detail: Other
	Speed: Unknown
	Manufacturer:               
	Serial Number:         
	Asset Tag:              
	Part Number:                   
	Rank: Unknown

Handle 0x002F, DMI type 17, 28 bytes
Memory Device
	Array Handle: 0x0015
	Error Information Handle: Not Provided
	Total Width: 72 bits
	Data Width: 64 bits
	Size: 8192 MB
	Form Factor: DIMM
	Set: None
	Locator: P2-DIMM2A
	Bank Locator: BANK12
	Type: DDR3
	Type Detail: Other
	Speed: 1066 MHz
	Manufacturer: Hyundai       
	Serial Number: 16373101
	Asset Tag:              
	Part Number: HMT31GR7BFR4C-H9  
	Rank: Unknown

Handle 0x0031, DMI type 17, 28 bytes
Memory Device
	Array Handle: 0x0015
	Error Information Handle: Not Provided
	Total Width: 72 bits
	Data Width: 64 bits
	Size: No Module Installed
	Form Factor: DIMM
	Set: None
	Locator: P2-DIMM2B
	Bank Locator: BANK13
	Type: DDR3
	Type Detail: Other
	Speed: Unknown
	Manufacturer:               
	Serial Number:         
	Asset Tag:              
	Part Number:                   
	Rank: Unknown

Handle 0x0033, DMI type 17, 28 bytes
Memory Device
	Array Handle: 0x0015
	Error Information Handle: Not Provided
	Total Width: 72 bits
	Data Width: 64 bits
	Size: No Module Installed
	Form Factor: DIMM
	Set: None
	Locator: P2-DIMM2C
	Bank Locator: BANK14
	Type: DDR3
	Type Detail: Other
	Speed: Unknown
	Manufacturer:               
	Serial Number:         
	Asset Tag:              
	Part Number:                   
	Rank: Unknown

Handle 0x0035, DMI type 17, 28 bytes
Memory Device
	Array Handle: 0x0015
	Error Information Handle: Not Provided
	Total Width: 72 bits
	Data Width: 64 bits
	Size: 8192 MB
	Form Factor: DIMM
	Set: None
	Locator: P2-DIMM3A
	Bank Locator: BANK15
	Type: DDR3
	Type Detail: Other
	Speed: 1066 MHz
	Manufacturer: Hyundai       
	Serial Number: 3F7F6001
	Asset Tag:              
	Part Number: HMT31GR7BFR4C-H9  
	Rank: Unknown

Handle 0x0037, DMI type 17, 28 bytes
Memory Device
	Array Handle: 0x0015
	Error Information Handle: Not Provided
	Total Width: 72 bits
	Data Width: 64 bits
	Size: No Module Installed
	Form Factor: DIMM
	Set: None
	Locator: P2-DIMM3B
	Bank Locator: BANK16
	Type: DDR3
	Type Detail: Other
	Speed: Unknown
	Manufacturer:               
	Serial Number:         
	Asset Tag:              
	Part Number:                   
	Rank: Unknown

Handle 0x0039, DMI type 17, 28 bytes
Memory Device
	Array Handle: 0x0015
	Error Information Handle: Not Provided
	Total Width: 72 bits
	Data Width: 64 bits
	Size: No Module Installed
	Form Factor: DIMM
	Set: None
	Locator: P2-DIMM3C
	Bank Locator: BANK17
	Type: DDR3
	Type Detail: Other
	Speed: Unknown
	Manufacturer:               
	Serial Number:         
	Asset Tag:              
	Part Number:                   
	Rank: Unknown

 

x8dtn-markup.jpg

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Slap face with palm -- hadn't even thought of using dmidecode ... and yes, I was aware of it.   I was thinking "what would identify an individual memory module" ... but all you needed was "which slots have memory installed in them" -- since the defective module clearly wasn't being recognized :D

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