Possible side-effects of a faulty memory stick

Possible side-effects of a faulty memory stick

Postby Kaidonni on 20 Jul 2009 22:32

Recently, my brother's computer started to act up (I was on holiday at the time, June 19th - July 4th, so I am absolved of any suspicion :ymdevil:). BSODing all of the time, for me mainly in games (for him at other times). That was only half the problem - you were lucky to get it to reboot in some instances, because it kept BSODing while it was booting back up. Sometimes I could get to the login page, but even then, it BSODed on that page (and after logging in, before finishing loading up Windows...). The problem has been traced to a faulty memory stick, and my brother replaced it.

----material unrelated to a "Hardware Problems" thread edited/removed. --Admin Nightwatch

What would the main effects be of a faulty memory stick? Aside from the horrendous randomness of it, which, two weekends ago, let me play Stalker, Jedi Academy and UT2004, all without issues (okay I crashed Stalker and Jedi Academy, but the latter was to do with lots of reloading). That was the calm before the storm... It has been replaced, like I said, and it was one of at least two (my brother would know more than me). We had to rely on the other until he got a new one to include in the computer.
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Re: Possible side-effects of a faulty memory stick

Postby Grump642 on 21 Jul 2009 02:16

I am not sure of the question. But there should not be any damage other then the memory stick itself. If you mean could faulty data have been written to the HDD from the bad memory, I do not believe so.
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Re: Possible side-effects of a faulty memory stick

Postby Kaidonni on 21 Jul 2009 13:09

Well, what would the effects be on games themselves, such as Stalker? I won't name mods (why Nightwatch edited my first post - my bad :ymblushing:), but I have noticed some oddities. It's a highly memory intensive game, and on various mods I've had problems with weather not changing. At all. At least three separate mods (okay, one did actually have an error, and it was fixed for the next version, but I digress). And certain things changing overtime - weapons not degrading any longer. Literally not degrading with use. When they did before. And then there's Civ III Complete which, after a while, kept locking up when loading, and it didn't even load the CD. That went back a year, in fact, and reinstalling seemed to fix it, but...it kept happening. Thought it was anti-virus scan related, but since it was exempted AFTER the memory stick was removed last week, I can't know for certain. But can faulty memory do that to games, you know, lock them up? Without the games being loaded, just at the .exe? How long can a memory stick be going before it actively manifests itself?

I've been told that faulty memory sticks are one of the biggest causes of hardware failure, and that is definitely right. The most extreme one, last week, was when the computer just turned off. In the middle of a game. Just turned off. Couldn't reboot because it keep BSODing after that. I'm no hardware guru though, so hence why I ask. Since as the only really intensive game I play is Stalker, I don't have much comparison on how it might affect games/software. I'm assuming it would have an effect. Firefox seemed to lock up last week, though, before the problem was solved.

Again, basically wondering how the fault could manifest itself aside from all those BSODs. And what time-frame we are looking at here, how long it could take to finally go from minor errors to hardware failure. Just for future reference and curiosity, plus I am in need of knowledge. I get put off playing games because of errors like these...I get put off of a lot of things sometimes.
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Re: Possible side-effects of a faulty memory stick

Postby VINTAR on 21 Jul 2009 14:18

First of all, with my new and limited knowledge of hardware, i would say that the psu is one of the biggest problem causes in a computer, especially one that has been dickied up for modern game awesomeness. Secondly yes BSOD usually means memory fault. But some of the things you describe happening in stalker are weird. Almost like its not updating while your playing.
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Re: Possible side-effects of a faulty memory stick

Postby Nightwatch on 21 Jul 2009 23:05

Although Vista offers what they call a ReadyBoots facility, which is supposed to help to boost the memory of a PC by means of using a USB flash drive, it is not a good idea to use USB drives in this fashion. It was another ill-thought idea from Microsoft while trying to appear original and try to sell rather problematic OS of Vista to the customers.

RAM is cheap, on many occasion, as cheap as a USB drive, and in many cases even cheaper. Although it requires a bit more trouble to install RAM in comparison to the accepted easiness of sticking a USB drive, it never gives the same stability what normal RAM can provide.

Also, PSU is a very major factor for CPU (and other component) malfunctions/low-performance levels which in turn will definitely cause numerous data processing faults, abandoned instructions, etc.

And when coupled with incompatible or corrupt memory (RAM+USB), then the matter worsens.
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Re: Possible side-effects of a faulty memory stick

Postby Grump642 on 22 Jul 2009 23:54

I believe he means a "stick" of memory, not a "memory stick". Having said that, bad memory can cause system lock-ups, "page fault" errors, or BSODs. If you suspect bad memory, run Memtest 86. Most people know about this program, but many do NOT know that memory errors found this way do not always mean bad memory. Too high an OC, high sys or memory bus voltage can also show as memory faults. Always "default" your rig before running Memtest 86.
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