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Windows 7: How often does RAm die?


18 Aug 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 x64
 
 
How often does RAm die?

Well today a stick of DDR2 1gb made by micron died on me. It happened this afternoon when I went to go turn on my computer it wouldn't post, only fans were spinning. After tracking down the issue I found out that 1 stick of RAM was bad.

I have tested this on 1 other computer and when the stick of ram is used the computer wont even get to post, it just hangs with the fans on, no video output and a dead keyboard.

So how often does this happen?

Also the spec of ram: 667 CL5 OEMed to HP
Probably manufactured in 04'-07'

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Aug 2012   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Hard to say.
It could depend upon how the RAM is used.
RAM can last longer than the motherboard.
The great thing is that it's replaceable and cheap right now.
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18 Aug 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 x64
 
 

Just bought a new 1gb stick PNY optima. I might maybe buy a second one that way all sticks will end up having the same timings.

The thing that bothers me about the old ram that died is that there were never any issues, no bsods, or anything, just today it died while turning on the computer.
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18 Aug 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home premium 64bit SP1
 
 

I wouldn't know the answer,I have some old ddr ram in my other pc which is from 05 and still working with no problems and another pc thats from 02 and everything is still working including the ram sticks.
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19 Aug 2012   #5

 
 

ram can fail rather quickly, issues that could cause it to fail are things like power surges, or it could have already had the fault and it just didn't arise call it a manufactering defect if you want.
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19 Aug 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

It's rare enough that the prominent manufacturers offer lifetime guarantees---unlike the rest of the internal components in a PC, which typically have 1 to 5 year warranties.

Google "RAM failure rates" for some insight, but I couldn't quickly find an authoritative study that gives the statistical probability, such as 1 in 1500 or whatever.
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19 Aug 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ionbasa View Post
The thing that bothers me about the old ram that died is that there were never any issues, no bsods, or anything, just today it died while turning on the computer.
I would guess with RAM, it either works or it doesn't. There isn't any in between. One day it just didn't work. Kinda like when a person has a heart attack, it is just their time..................
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19 Aug 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

So far, that never ever had happened to me. Seems like the RAM modules are among the longest living computer parts. Of course can fail at any time, but it's not that common. Considering that it don't contains any mechanical parts, and it don't overheat, it may last very long.
Which made my remind, my 386's 4MB SIMM-30 RAM modules are still working if I turn it on
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19 Aug 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 x64
 
 

So an Update,
I took the apparently dead RAM module to work were we have a workstation motherboard that supports semi-hot swapable RAM, meaning we can add ram at any time, but can only take ram out while it is off.

So one of my co-workers mentioned that the actual RAM chips usually have a ROM portion, just like a BIOS. We then ended up dumping the contents off the bad RAM stick, and as it turns out there was 'bad' data on the ROM portion of the chip that got stuck somehow, ie even after power cycles a portion of the memory couldn't be cleared.

The WS mobo we had had a bios option to do a low level clear of ram, it apparently works by providing power and then writing 0's until all address spaces were used up, then it cuts off the power to the RAM and grounds the entire bus letting all the transistors return to the off state.

After going thorough this 2 hour process at work with my colleagues, the RAM now works.
Although I wont put much faith in it until I run some memset tests and see if it truly does hold up, if it does then I will re-use it, if it doesn't then I'll just not use it.

Overall this has been an interesting journey!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2012   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

I've built a lot machines and fix quite a few and ram problems are very rare.
I've had one stick go bad in 16 years.
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 How often does RAm die?




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