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  • That computer issue... again

    OK...

    Fails to boot sometimes, coming up with parity error.

    If it boots and gets into a program solidly, it runs OK for hours. Once in a while it will give a problem right after boot, when running a program.... about as much time as it takes to open FF and check email.... right about the time one opens the first email is when if it is going to do anything, it does.

    Memtest 86 ran about 16 or 20 hours, never at any time had an error. Not sure if the version 4.x.x was testing cache, do not see a setting for that in the manual. Does NOT run the UEFI, just defaults to 4, so the M6300 presumably does not support it.

    Did run with the setting to use both processors sequentially for each test.

    Seems not to do anything bad if it gets through boot and into running a program.

    Almost looks as if there is a problem with the teat, and not the hardware, except for the problem right at the first run of a program after boot, which looks like a real issue.

    To recap the background, is the only unit with Win7 (and the Win 7 is OEM, so it is hardware tied), which is required for some of the programs, Win 10 is not acceptable for at least one, Win 8 might be. So there is a bit of a premium on making it work, as opposed to just bagging it. Anything new will have 10, and may not be able to be "downgraded" to 7.

    Also, the display on the M6300 is larger than nearly any other machine except really high-end stuff that I cannot justify.

    Sound like anything in particular?
    Last edited by J Tiers; 12-29-2017, 12:41 AM.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  • #2
    Ask on a Dell forum or get a real copy of Win7 and install it fresh.

    Comment


    • #3
      Switch out your dimms (memory sticks)go to crucial and run a system checker to see what ram works on your laptop. Parity error is a serious ram error. If it’s doing that, just buy new ram sticks. Should be old enough that they are cheap.

      Comment


      • #4
        Does the problem still occur when you boot in safe mode?
        Pretty much every squirrely problem like this I have had, ended up being the motherboard.

        Comment


        • #5
          If it fails with parity error during POST, the memory location should be posted. If that is a consistent location you can find the bad memory from there. Does the 6300 use on board memory in addition to memory on sodimms? That can be a hassle.

          I'm assuming that you ran the "extended tests" available from the "Test Selection" option. If you have not, you will want to run it with all the tests that your version supports enabled. Will probably take a LONG time for each pass, as in most of a day.

          If it is passing the tests but fails after post, then a corrupted copy of the OS or drivers is a possibility. Reloading drivers is a option in that case.

          Without hands on, I'm about out of suggestions. My son has been in desktop support, and often recommends clearing the disk and doing a fresh install first in order to make troubleshooting easier. That may be your next step.

          Dan
          At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

          Comment


          • #6
            I am NOT seeing a location, I get a "parity error, system halted", and that is all, IF and WHEN it fails, which is NOT every time, obviously, since I am using the machine now, and have been for a couple hours, including the biggest cad files I could find, as a test.

            I THINK I selected all the tests... it took well over an hour per pass, this is a 2.5 GHz machine, so it may be faster than many older units.

            I am not averse to a reload, but it takes about 2 days to do, and I would not want to do it without a good chance that fixes things.... I do have backup images, but of course anything recent may have the same issue, and older are a problem because a lot of things were recently updated with new versions (FF, Alibre, keyshot, and several others).

            Looking at the windows logs did not provide any special info. The same things are noted in logs most of a year old, when these problems were not occurring.

            Lakeside:
            It IS a "real" copy, it just happens to be an OEM version that has never been installed anywhere other than this machine.... OEM versions are what comes on your computer when you buy it, the license "dies with" the computer, but one CAN replace the MB as far as I know, without losing the license.

            RB211:
            re-read the report... It passes all the tests in "Memtest 86", which is intended specifically to test the memory modules. They had no errors, so it seems the ram is OK......

            Joel: Seems that way, and may BE that way, but it does not seem quite right..... I don'f want to bag it for a fixable problem.

            NOT pointing this at any present company here, all you all seem to be intelligent and sensible..... but my experience with computer repair folks has been dismal.... The usual responses are: "wipe the disk and reload everything" or "it's the motherboard, that will cost you $xxx.xx", and other such drastic options that seem designed to be equal to "go away kid, yuh bother me".

            In the corporate world, "we have to wipe it and reload, we can't save your data, and we can have it back in 10 days, no we have not got any loaner with the engineering package on it"....
            Last edited by J Tiers; 12-29-2017, 02:16 AM.
            1601

            Keep eye on ball.
            Hashim Khan

            Comment


            • #7
              Try to find out exactly what the software is doing when the problem occurs.

              Comment


              • #8
                There's good reasons why those are the typical responses - they work Put another HD in it and reload. Worst case you can just pop your old drive back in.

                You could also have messed up hardware and the parity error is just a red-herring.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by lakeside53 View Post
                  There's good reasons why those are the typical responses - they work Put another HD in it and reload. Worst case you can just pop your old drive back in.

                  You could also have messed up hardware and the parity error is just a red-herring.
                  They SOMETMES work..... I've had the corporate monkeys do that, only to find that afte the whole hassle and productivity slam, that the problem was ELSEWHERE, and those things did not help at all, they just wasted time and delayed a project for no reason. More than once.
                  1601

                  Keep eye on ball.
                  Hashim Khan

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A few hours per memtest86 pass seems awfully fast. Please bear in mind that I have not had to use it for several years, so I have no memory of the time needed for a multi core 4GB machine. I recall it being on the order of 18 hours or so per pass with all tests enabled. Maybe someone else can comment?

                    Here's an easy thing to do. I've seen it make an unstable machine work for years between reboots. Drop the CPU speed from 2.5Ghz to somewhat less. 20% less for testing purposes would seem prudent. The idea is to bring ALL the components down to a speed that is lower than their ratings. When I say unstable, I mean a system that would fail daily with random errors that became stable enough to act as a specialized internal server that was only rebooted when the power failed and the UPS died and the battery pack died and the generator did not start.

                    Dan
                    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It's numbers game. Most of the time it does work. Sure.. sometimes the problem is elsewhere. In my case we have we have over 1000 machines "working well", and maybe a handful on the donation pile at any point in time. A very small IT and OPs group.. but it all work very well. YMMV.

                      In most Corporations IT doesn't have the time to mess with things and your portable data is your responsibility to back up. They are responsible for giving you a clean protected working machine. If they don't, or don't have your configuration "same day" as a loner, that is a policy issue that needs to be addressed.

                      Referring to your IT as "monkeys" projects an attitude that will certainly be noticed, and is bound to drive you to the bottom of their heap.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Parity errors are associated with ram. Memtest86 results should be discarded then.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you experienced problems with the display as well as the parity error, it might be the video hardware memory. I found a few items that might help:

                          https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/...9-c8057cd5093d

                          https://de.pcdrivers.guru/dell-power...ad-621945.html (in German)

                          http://www.dewassoc.com/support/bios...ess_errors.htm

                          http://www.tech-faq.com/nmi-parity-c...ity-error.html

                          http://winload.org/hardware-malfunct...heck-dell.html

                          I know you have probably already tried some of these, and you can Google as well as anyone, but there might be something here that might help. Good luck!

                          [edit] There is also a memtest86+
                          http://download.cnet.com/Memtest86/3...-10912366.html
                          Last edited by PStechPaul; 12-29-2017, 04:36 AM.
                          http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                          Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                          USA Maryland 21030

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            RAM chips.

                            Regards Ian.
                            You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RB211 View Post
                              Parity errors are associated with ram. Memtest86 results should be discarded then.
                              A very interesting and rather rash statement. You seem to disagree with danlb rather directly and violantly. And with many others.

                              Of COURSE parity is a matter of the ram... anyone with sense knows that. But that fact does not mean that the ram is bad.... as you assume.

                              First, there is the chance that the ram being checked was NOT the ram that causes the problem.... could be cache that Memtest does not seem to touch.

                              Then also, it might not be ram at all.... many other parts are associated with the ram. The error could be in another related part, it could be a spurious error that does not even exist, it could be caused by a completely different issue, such as a loose solder connection to the ram socket which is loose for only a short time, until thermal effects jam it into contact again...... It might be (as it seems very likely to be) that the error is very transitory, dependent on certain conditions, because it seems never to occur (so far) when in use, just at boot.

                              Originally posted by lakeside53 View Post
                              ........

                              Referring to your IT as "monkeys" projects an attitude that will certainly be noticed, and is bound to drive you to the bottom of their heap.
                              Not likely, since the company we worked for does not even exist anymore.... bought out a decade ago..... And there are no "corporate monkeys" that I need to deal with now.

                              But you are correct.... they were not interested in what the problem was, only in making it go away. So they did what any auto repair shop does, and swapped parts until the complaints stopped. With the addition that they first tried to make sure it was a problem by threatening long delays and data loss to discourage people (of course data was backed up by anyone with sense, and official data was on a server). They knew that management would support them even if they were in the wrong.
                              Last edited by J Tiers; 12-29-2017, 12:21 PM.
                              1601

                              Keep eye on ball.
                              Hashim Khan

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