ASUS P4C800 : WINDIAG shows memory errors, MEMTEST86 shows none

Discussion in 'Asus' started by Matthew Harrison, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. I have a P4C800 Deluxe motherboard with 2 x (2x512MB) paired memory.

    The last few weeks, Windows XP has been acting strange, so I reinstalled
    it freshly and it's still acting strange.

    So I ran some RAM tests....

    WINDIAG (from Microsoft http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp) shows
    thousands of errors in Dimm0 within minutes
    MEMTEST86 (http://www.memtest86.com/) shows zero errors anywhere after
    several hours.

    WINDIAG's errors remain in Dimm0, irrespective of the order of the chips
    (ABAB, BABA, AABB, AA, BB)

    Which memory test should I trust.... Windiag gives the errors on the
    simple r/w test (Test#1).
     
    Matthew Harrison, Apr 26, 2006
    #1
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  2. Matthew Harrison

    Rila Guest

    I have never tried the Microsoft memory test, but have never had MEMTEST
    find any problems even on known marginal memory. I know some people swear
    by it, but I only swear at it. Go buy a new memory module and install it.
    If it still fails the same way return it to the store for your money back.
     
    Rila, Apr 26, 2006
    #2
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  3. As I said in the original post, it's not a module issue (if there is an
    issue) ... if there is a problem it's a motherboard problem - and
    replacing the motherboard is a somewhat more expensive ($1000) task.

    After all, I will need new RAM, new video card and new CPU to go with it :(
     
    Matthew Harrison, Apr 26, 2006
    #3
  4. Matthew Harrison

    Paul Guest

    Think about potential mechanisms while an OS is running:

    1) If a broken DMA bus master is enabled, it could "splatter"
    memory it doesn't own.
    2) A program which does not follow normal programming rules,
    could try to write memory it doesn't own, crossing into
    the Windiag allocated test area.

    Memtest86 is a more pure test environment, because there is only
    one task running, and other than making the floppy boot loader
    work, there is little in the way of hardware that is being used.
    I would rate Memtest86 as more of a "stuck-at" tester, as it
    doesn't seem to do a good job of detecting stress related
    failures.

    While the evidence suggests some problem with a motherboard
    component on your board, there is no guarantee about (2).

    To aid in fault isolation, disconnect all regular disks. Take
    a spare disk and load Windows on it. Don't bother with a driver
    CD or driver downloads (Windows is going to have loaded some anyway,
    but just don't complicate matters by adding more of them). Load
    the Windiag program and repeat the test. Are errors still seen
    in low memory ? Since there would be less "cruft" in a new
    Windows install, then you are more likely to be looking at
    a broken DMA bus master as the cause.

    Potential bus masters on P4C800:

    1) AGP video card.
    2) Any PCI card.
    3) 3COM Lan chip
    4) ICH5R Southbridge (storage devices etc)
    5) I probably missed a few...

    You don't have to pay a lot for a replacement S478 motherboard. A
    P4S800D-X is $54, takes up to four DDR DIMMs and has an AGP
    slot. There are at least eight full motherboard products here
    for S478, with four DIMMs. It doesn't have to cost $1000 to
    fix.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...&description=&srchInDesc=&minPrice=&maxPrice=

    HTH,
    Paul
     
    Paul, Apr 27, 2006
    #4
  5. Matthew Harrison

    Digby Guest


    WINDIAG seems to have a problem with the Promise Controller, try
    disabling it and then repeat the WINDIAG memory test.
     
    Digby, Apr 27, 2006
    #5
  6. Matthew Harrison

    Rui Sá Guest

    I have recently tested two different DIMMs in my mobo which were both
    marginal. In the first module I used both windiag and memtest86: while
    windiag completed the full tests with a grand total of 50 errors,
    memtest86 was already showing 400,000+ errors when I aborted it, just
    halfway through the full test.

    Needless to say that when I tested the second module I didn't bother
    using windiag at all...
     
    Rui Sá, Apr 27, 2006
    #6
  7. Matthew Harrison

    Rui Sá Guest

    Paul, you're mistaken: windiag, despite its name, also runs from a
    floppy, before loading the OS, just like memtest86.
     
    Rui Sá, Apr 27, 2006
    #7
  8. Here there is only one .... and it doesn't have 4 SATA drive support.

    So it's fix this one, or spend $1000.
     
    Matthew Harrison, Apr 27, 2006
    #8
  9. Thank you ... WINDIAG now shows no errors ...
     
    Matthew Harrison, Apr 27, 2006
    #9
  10. Matthew Harrison

    Paul Guest

    Just for the record, Windiag runs from within Windows ?
    So it is an interference problem of some sort. Makes
    me wonder what would happen if you had disks on the
    Promise controller.

    If you want another test to run, there is the Prime95
    Torture Test (mersenne.org). The Torture Test carries out
    a calculation with a known answer, and is a good Windows
    level test that the processor, Northbridge, and memory
    are working well. Prime95 is used by overclockers, as
    a stability test. There is also a version compiled for
    Linux.

    Paul
     
    Paul, Apr 27, 2006
    #10
  11. No - it boots from a CD running as a completely stand alone program
    outside any operating system.

    Which is why it is even MORE bizarre that disabling the Promise
    controller (in the BIOS) stops the memory errors....
     
    Matthew Harrison, Apr 27, 2006
    #11
  12. Matthew Harrison

    Mark M Guest

    Not really bizarre. If the bios reserves/allocates to the controller
    a certain area of memory that Windiag thinks it has access to,
    that would easily cause a problem.
     
    Mark M, Apr 27, 2006
    #12
  13. Matthew Harrison

    Paul Guest

    I've never used Windiag, and I see the link here:

    http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp

    There is a link to give feedback to Microsoft, so maybe
    you can report your finding with the Promise controller here.

    http://www.hwdev.org/memory/survey.aspx

    I just prepped a floppy, and see a 247KB executable. It
    mentions WinNT inside it, implying perhaps a WinNT kernel
    of some description is run as part of boot loading. I'd be
    curious if Microsoft have set it up so it can test all
    memory, the way that memtest86 can.

    Paul
     
    Paul, Apr 27, 2006
    #13
  14. Matthew Harrison

    BC Guest



    Dear Matthew,

    looks like you are in Austalia: wish I was there with you.

    Regardless, these boards, with prices in US $$, fit your criteria:


    MSI 915GM Speedster-FA4R Socket 478 Intel 915GM Micro ATX Intel
    Motherboard - Retail
    Model #: 915GM Speedster-FA4R

    $144.00

    ASUS P4P800-E DELUXE Socket 478 Intel 865PE ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    Model #: P4P800-E DELUXE
    $108.00

    Server Motherboards:

    Intel INT-S875WP1LX Socket 478 Intel 875P ATX Server Motherboard - Retail
    Model #: INT-S875WP1LX
    $229.99

    SUPERMICRO MBD-P4SCT+II-O Socket 478 Intel 875P ATX Server Motherboard -
    Retail
    Model #: MBD-P4SCT+II-O
    $264.99

    Here is the link to Intel resellers in Oz:

    http://www.intel.com/cd/channel/reseller/apac/eng/products/desktop/board/32494.htm

    And, I notice that Supermicro boards are also sold through Ingram Micro,
    so maybe a call/email to them would be useful--for much less than $1000
    you can get a new server class motherboard with a full warranty, the
    well regarded 875 chipset, and, use all your current parts.

    HTH,

    BC
     
    BC, Apr 27, 2006
    #14
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