Casey Bralla on 30 Dec 2009 07:11:44 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] How To Diagnose System Instability?

On Wednesday 30 December 2009 10:06:46 am Mike Leone wrote:
> Casey Bralla had this to say:
> > Lately my computer has started showing signs of instability.   I get
> > rather frequent SegFaults which pop up windows in KDE and (usually) allow
> > me to restart applications.  The computer is about 8 months old, and had
> > been completely fine up until about a month ago.
> >
> > At first I thought this was just goofiness with the latest version of
> > KDE, but after I removed half my RAM, the stability improved
> > tremendously.   Also, my BIOS includes the memtest86+ program and it
> > shows errors (sometimes).
> >
> > I use Gentoo, so am compiling a lot of software.  I've read that
> > recompiling the kernel is a great way to identify hardware problems since
> > it exercises the whole system so thoroughly. <sigh>
> >
> > So I'm struggling to identify which component(s) of my system are causing
> > the instability.   Here are the things I've tried, with very limited
> > success:
> >
> >  - run memtest86+.  (Sometimes shows errors, but sometimes can run
> > overnight without any problems)
> >  - Removed half the 4 memory chips. [I had 8 GBytes, so could spare the
> > RAM] (This helped, but not 100%)
> Sure sounds like the RAM is your problem.
> So throw out that RAM, and buy all new. It's cheap, and less frustrating.

But wouldn't RAM issues to isolated to individual chips?  It bothers me that I 
can remove half the RAM and the problem gets better, but doesn't completely go 

Also, is it possible that I've built a bunch of defective system libraries 
since they were built with bad RAM?


Casey Bralla

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