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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    Memory Address Line Failure (XP Pro SP1)

    I have a Dell GX150, 256 Meg memory that began to reboot during use so we reseated memory with no change.

    During our examination we noticed a random error after a shutdown regarding "amount of system memory has changed" and the 256 would be reported as 16, we'd go into system configuration and then continue the boot which would immediately report that the memory was back at 256.

    Swapped memory from another GX150 with no change.

    Swapped a complete system board including the ram, cpu and all parts as a complete unit and we continued to get reboots and upon shutdown and restart random errors about "memory address line failure at 010B9938, read F474F4F4 expecting F4F4F4F4"

    Although we could make a case for the power supply causing the shutdown restart behavior we were having a hard time linking this to the memory error messages. We changed the power supply anyway and, as suspected, the behavior did not change.

    Reimaged the box after swapping the hardware as above and the "memory address line failure at....." remains.

    All info I have seen so far would indicate that these messages are linked to the memory or the system board but we have swapped out both.

    If anyone has seen this and has suggestions I would appreciate a fresh perspective.

    David
    I know enough to know I don't know enough

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Memory Address Line Failure (XP Pro SP1)

    There only seem to be two credible explanations for this behaviour.
    1. <LI>You made a mistake when swapping the system board or memory, and accidentally put the same one back in
      <LI>The system board or memory has a design flaw and your symptoms are a common failure mode for this component
    I can't judge which of these is most likely.

    StuartR

  3. #3
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    Re: Memory Address Line Failure (XP Pro SP1)

    Since I had to run the asset.com utility to change the Dell service tags / serial number on the boards I don't think the same board got put into the original box but I will verify that the serial numbers in CMOS match the case stampings.

    Someone elsewhere suggested a short somewhere in the wiring and to raise the system board up out of the case temporarily and see what happens.

    Thanks for the response.

    -David
    I know enough to know I don't know enough

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    Re: Memory Address Line Failure (XP Pro SP1)

    If there were a "short" on the system board, you would know it by the curl of smoke coming off the board and that unmistakable odor of burning electronic components.
    BOB
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  5. #5
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    Re: Memory Address Line Failure (XP Pro SP1)

    No such obvious faults and once initial message is cleared the system completes startup and XP runs fine.... until there is a spontaneous reboot. Then the machine (if unattended such as overnight) returns to the control alt delete login.

    If the box is shutdown, then restarted with the power switch it is then that we see (if it occurs) the message about memory address lin failure or amount of ram has changed.... yada yada

    -David
    I know enough to know I don't know enough

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Memory Address Line Failure (XP Pro SP1)

    Have I correctly understood that the system will restart correctly, but that a power cycle will cause the fault to occur.

    If so then another possible cause is that the power supply is taking too long to stabilise when you turn it on. Have you tried replacing this?

    StuartR

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    Re: Memory Address Line Failure (XP Pro SP1)

    Swapped out the power supply after the system board swap.

    Symptoms vary: cold boot at times gets the amount of system ram has changed message, entering configuration shows 16 Meg, exiting config then shows a change back to 256.

    Cold boot sometimes shows the error message about the memory address line failure, read this, expected that.

    The first symptom which prompted an investigation was a reboot during usage.

    I tend to think your very straight forward suggestion above about inadvertently taking out one board and then installing the same board may be the answer. I went in to the office today and after working on another issue took out the system board and set it aside, way aside. Then pulled another GX150 board out of a different box no involved in any of the previous swaps and installed that board.

    The several test boots were successful with no memory errors or hints of problems so I left the box up and running to see if it is back at the control alt delete screen or if it is still showing the virus scan menu and diskeeper menu. Good or bad I will check the event log.

    I will confirm status mid day Monday.

    Hopefully my face is red and the answer is plain as day.

    -David
    I know enough to know I don't know enough

  8. #8
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    Re: Memory Address Line Failure (XP Pro SP1)

    Apparently I pulled the classic switcheroo and the original board was replaced by the original board, explaining the presence of the memory errors after the change. I replaced the system board with a board from another GX150 and, once pulled, kept the old board far away from the PC. The replacement board resolved the issue completely.

    Thanks to all who asked questions and probed the situation.

    David
    I know enough to know I don't know enough

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