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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    Boot problem- ecc error

    Upon booting, one of the PC's in our office (Dell Dimension Intel 667, running Win 98 SE) gets stuck, with an error message that says "multi-bit ecc error system halted". The monitor remains stuck with this message on an otherwise black screen, and nothing seems to change the state of the computer, the keyboard doesn't seem to work at all. Rebooting doesn't help.
    Any ideas? I'd try to reboot in safe mode, but can't remember how that's done, and wouldn't know what to do after it's in safe mode anyway.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Boot problem- ecc error

    Doesn't sound good, but may not be fatal.
    Whilst not the exact system you have, this page from Dell may give some pointers.

    Edited to add:
    The solution they give is:
    "Reseat or replace all DIMMs. If the problem still persists, replace the system board."

    (If I recall correctly, you hit F8 during startup to get the W98 start-up options - but I think this problem is affecting your pc before you get that far.)

  3. #3
    Lounger
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    Re: Boot problem- ecc error

    Leif- thanks for the link. This problem is starting to look like it's way beyond my limited abilities.
    Stoopid question- what are DIMMs?

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Boot problem- ecc error

    DIMMs are memory. It refers to the form factor of the memory cards installed in the system. What it sounds like is a failure of the system's RAM, which goes through a self test at startup - so it would seem your system's memory needs to be replaced. You didn't state where this error occurs in the boot process, but I doubt that it's even getting to where Windows is loading if this is the kind of message you're getting.
    -Mark

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Boot problem- ecc error

    DIMM = Dual In-line Memory Module
    ECC = Error Correction Code (at a guess)

    Your manual for the pc should have an illustrated guide to changing / adding memory - if not, I belive Dell have downloadable manuals in pdf format. If you can find your way inside the box, I think you should be able to remove and re-seat these little boards. (About 4" x 1" with a row of gold connector fingers allong one long edge - or they were the last time I fiddled with them! <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> )
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  6. #6
    Lounger
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    Re: Boot problem- ecc error

    The problem does occur during the boot process, and does not allow Windows to load.

  7. #7
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    Re: Boot problem- ecc error

    You might first go into BIOS setup and disable ECC Error Checking. If that doesn't do it you might have to get some new memory thats not ECC.

  8. #8
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    Re: Boot problem- ecc error

    Multi-Bit ECC Error:
    This message will only occur on systems using ECC
    enabled memory modules. ECC memory has the ability
    to correct single-bit errors that may occur from faulty
    memory modules.
    A multiple bit corruption of memory has occurred, and
    the ECC memory algorithm cannot correct it. This may
    indicate a defective memory module.

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