View Full Version : Help needed with memory testor.

Your Old Dog
10-05-2005, 10:21 PM
The compuker that I read this machinist forum on has been acting up. One day while running my lathe it occured to me the harddrive might be bad so I replaced it but to no avail.

While running my milling machine I remembered years ago my problem turnned out to be a bad memory stick.

Anyone know of any freeware available on the web for checking memory either from a machinist forum or maybe just a computer web site?

Any money I save on this project can be applied directly to my humble machine shop!

The computer is not booting reliably. Or, it will boot and then maybe 5-10 minutes later it will just shut off and then it may not boot again till you try it several times. If it does anything after you hit the power switch it will boot me to bios. Sometimes it will just sit there without the normal harddrive bumps and grinds that are normal. I'd like to test my two 500meg strips before giving in and taking it to somebody.

The power supply is about 6months old. It's a 550watt Antec, I didn't want to ever have to wonder if my ps was bad again! The cpu is an Athalon xp2000 at 1.6 gig's I believe mounted to a ASUS A7V266e motherboard. Maybe someones got some suggestions. Thanks for taking the time.

[This message has been edited by Your Old Dog (edited 10-05-2005).]

10-05-2005, 11:04 PM
There is a free software called AdAware by
lavasoft that you can download and scan your computer with that may solve your problem. Nothing to lose, its free and only takes a few minutes.
Regards Chuck

3 Phase Lightbulb
10-05-2005, 11:09 PM
It sounds like you need to level it with a precision level.

10-05-2005, 11:25 PM
The ASUS BIOS has a built-in memory test which executes at power-up if it's enabled, before the machine even accesses the peripherals.

Cycle the power, and when the first screen comes up, press the delete key (DEL) to get into the BIOS setup. There will be an option on one of the pages to enable/disable memory test on boot. Enable it, press F10 to save the options and exit, and you'll see the addresses counting up on the splash screen as it comes up.

Did these problems start when you put the new power supply in? A 350-watt would be typical unless you have a lot of peripheral devices. You may be loading the 550-watt supply too lightly and it's not holding regulation.

And why the boldface??? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif

Leigh W3NLB

[This message has been edited by Leigh (edited 10-05-2005).]

10-05-2005, 11:34 PM
Your computer does a memory test on start up. Do you get any beep tones?

Check to make sure your keyboard connection is tight.

Download the free verion software here:

10-05-2005, 11:37 PM
Hi yod,
Try this site:

Hope this helps with your computer

10-06-2005, 01:45 AM
Look for blown or leaking capacitors on the mainboard near the processor. I don't know how old your board is but there was a run of bad caps install on several manufacturers boards awhile back. I had two boards go south this way and they both acted up like you describe.

-Christian D. Sokolowski

10-06-2005, 02:28 AM

The capacitor problem is very real and a big problem. It affected about 1/3 of all boards made from 1999 to about 2002. Look for any of the bypass caps on the motherboard that show even the slightest bulging of the top. The top of each cap will have a couple of score marks in it and should be dead flat. If even one is bulging you need a new motherboard.

Memtest 86 will show up these problems. You just make up the boot floppy according to their instructions and boot the computer with it. Let it run all day to complete at least 6 or more passes.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 10-06-2005).]

Norman Atkinson
10-06-2005, 02:45 AM
I ran into this problem some months back.
The time wasted was enormous. I tried everthing- and tried it again.

Finally, I realised that life was too short and bought a new box complete with new motherboard processor etc etc. I kept the keyboard, monitor and whatever. I finally added a few short four letter words and bought a bigger hard drive- and slowly started to swop the contents of the old hard drive to the new one.

So far, I may have lost a lot of stuff but the new gear is still working OK.

Last night, I was supposed to Myford ML7-ing and my phone stopped the work. It was another model engineering mate asking me to get details from my PC. His had died- and his cheap replacement was also acting up.

My mind raced- or moved a little faster- and I thought if you- matey- have two Myfords and more lathes , you can afford a better computer life with a better machine than the two you have.

I commend the idea to you as well.


Your Old Dog
10-06-2005, 06:51 AM
Thanks for all the help guys.

CCW, the beep tones are part of the issue on startup. Sometimes I get them, may even get to the XP screen before all goes black and we start all over automatically until at one point the beeps do not occur and it just sits there seeming with nothing happening but power on it.

rsr911 & Evan, thanks for the heads up, this board was old stock in 2003, not state of the art, so I could easily have the one you're talking about. Having built a Ham xmtr when 16 yrs old and blowing 3 electrolytics I got some insight on what you're talking about. And Evan I ran across the memtest86 and wasn't sure it that's what I needed. Thanks again

3Phase, I gave away a Starrett 12" precision level before I knew it's value to me. I gave it to a great guy (machinist,friend) who up and died on me. But thanks for keeping us "on topic" !

Leigh, thanks for the heads up. I never gave that a thought. Because of the ratty power system in the neighborhood I had to put a UPS on the system. It even reports dirty power when I'm stick welding. Maybe that will help with the regulation?

Norman, I got a pretty nice system right now and that's how I ended up with it!! It's time to square off and fight back !! I understand everything your saying and would like a new toy but I just can't justify it. This edits video beautifully and that's the most demanding task I'll likely ask of a computer. Enjoy your new compker and keep working on Sir John, you nearly got him broken and civilized http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

CCW, why the bold on machinist? Was trying to slide a off-topic subject I needed help on past the TopCop's (topic police)!! I knew I could get the answer I was looking for here and I believe I did.

Thanks all, I got plenty to chew on now and I'am sure this will help. If not I'll load it in the car and take it for a ride...........

Best regards to all.......

[This message has been edited by Your Old Dog (edited 10-06-2005).]

[This message has been edited by Your Old Dog (edited 10-06-2005).]

10-06-2005, 10:26 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by NORMAN ATKINSON:
. ....

My mind raced- or moved a little faster- ....

That's a good one! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif
I can sure identify with that!


10-06-2005, 12:37 PM
There is a story behind the capacitor problem. In about early 1999 a lab worker at one of the largest Japanese manufacturers of low ESR capacitors that are used on motherboards "defected" to the competition in Taiwan. He took with him the formula for a new capacitor electrolyte. It looked very good and had passed all the tests with flying colors except one that had not yet been completed.

He sold the formula to six of the top Taiwanese capacitor manufacturers that were responsible for making about one third of the low ESR caps in the world and seriously undercutting the Japanese prices at the time.

As it turned out the test that was not complete was life testing. The electrolyte will only last about 3 to 5 years before it begins to break down. This debacle affected nearly every single motherboard manufacturer and every PC seller on the planet.

What we will never know is whether this was a case of industrial espionage or industrial sabotage.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 10-06-2005).]

10-06-2005, 02:53 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by rsr911:
Look for blown or leaking capacitors on the mainboard near the processor. I don't know how old your board is but there was a run of bad caps install on several manufacturers boards awhile back.</font>

This problem was well-documented in the electronics trade press a while back. It's the result of an industrial espionage incident.

One of the Japanese capacitor manufacturers came up with a new formulation for the electrolyte that's used in electrolytic capacitors, which enabled them to substantially reduce the size of the parts. Somebody stole the design and sold it to several other manufacturers who used the stolen information. Problem is, the information was incomplete, and one key ingredient was not mentioned.

The result was a huge number (tens of millions) of capacitors from several manufacturers which reached the consumer before the problem was identified and corrected. These improperly-manufactured parts have a very high failure rate.

Leigh W3NLB

[This message has been edited by Leigh (edited 10-06-2005).]

10-06-2005, 09:54 PM
Here's a link to a MS memry tester:



10-06-2005, 10:09 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Evan:

The capacitor problem is very real and a big problem. It affected about 1/3 of all boards made from 1999 to about 2002. </font>

i guess i lucked out. i built one PC in 1997, and didn't build up my current one until late 2003.

andy b.

Fred White
10-07-2005, 12:31 AM

Go here and look for diagnostic software.

HeavyLoad v. 2.0 by JAM Software
Size: 518 k Windows 16-Jan-2003

Heavyload is inteded to stress all resources of a PC (like CPU, RAM, harddisk, network, operating system, etc.) in order to see if it will run reliably under a heavy load. This is useful for testing important NT file or database servers before using them productively, or just to check if your new PC might get too hot when used intensively.


[This message has been edited by Fred White (edited 10-06-2005).]