Late night last night, because what should have been a simple upgrade turned into badness. The machine I’ve been running VMWare at home on only had 256MB of RAM. I’ve been wanting to give the Virtual Machines more RAM to work with, and finally, the computer store near me had a couple of PC100 256MB sticks. (You’d be amazed how hard it is to find those older RAM sticks.) So I picked them up and brought them home. After messing around with my very early birthday present, a GameCube (Yeah I know, it’s a lame system compared to what’s coming out next year, but it’s cheap and since I’m only going to play hockey and football on it, who cares?), I replaced the 2 128MB sticks with the 2 256MB sticks and bad things started to happen. Random program crashes, explorer.exe shell crashes, BSOD, etc. Obviously, troubleshooting 101 tells me to undo whatever change I just made, so back in go the 2 128MB sticks. Everything’s fine again, so I know the problem is definitely one of those 256MB sticks. I replace one of the 128MB with a 256MB, restart, and everything is still good. I replace the second 128MB and wham, badness begins again. Just to be sure it’s not some weird thing where it’s just that the 2 256MB sticks won’t work together, I then replace the first 256MB stick with one of the 128MB’s and the badness continues. I’ve found my bad memory stick, that second 256MB one. Guess I’ll be checking out the store’s return policy. In the meantime I’m up to 384MB of RAM, which should make those Linux VM’s run at least a little quicker.

Tags: MemoryUpgrades MemoryFailure troubleshooting

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