How could a bad DDR2 module lead to a HD boot crash?

c-squared August 12, 2011
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So how does a bad DDR2 module lead to a HD boot crash?

This was on a Windows 7 Ultimate 7 SP1 system.

Any links to enlightenment also appreciated.

  1. Anonymous
    August 22, 2011 at 7:54 am

    If you tried to boot Windows without RAM then you will get errors messages and possible this can corrupt bootloader. Well Datas are copied from Disk to RAM to be calculated by CPU, so NO RAM? then CPU waits. I think somehiw Bios was corrupted so when windows bots starts to check all necessary components and do a little Memory Test, so if no memory then Windows will assume a modification in Boot Order hence errors?

    Even when you disconnect the cable that connect windows installed har drive to the motherboard and you try to boot then on the screen you will get error message that something was modified.

    To be fully compliant with all applicable Intel® SDRAM memory specifications,
    the board should be populated with DIMMs that support the Serial Presence Detect
    (SPD) data structure. If your memory modules do not support SPD, you will see a
    notification to this effect on the screen at power up. The BIOS will attempt to
    configure the memory controller for normal operation.http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/dp43tf/sb/CS-029150.htm

    • Craig
      August 29, 2011 at 12:01 am

      Thank you, again, ha14, for continuing this conversation.
      Yes, it is too late to boot into Last Known Good Configuration.
      (IIRC this option failed).

      The computer in question is a workstation at work and is now "restored" so I can resume CAD projects. 

      I am still curious to prevent a re-occurrence.

      I will follow your links and hopefully gain some insight.

      Peace and good will,

      Craig

  2. Anonymous
    August 13, 2011 at 7:24 am

    If RAM is damaged badly enough, your system will fail to boot at all; it won't even show a POST screen, where it loads the low-level hardware controls needed before the operating system loads. The telltale sign is when the motherboard makes a series of long beeps, usually three or four of them, or continually making them. This is the standard BIOS signal for unresolvable memory errors.

    http://www.ehow.com/info_8760101_effects-bad-ram.html

    If CPU wants Something from RAM ,First, the chip set accesses the ROW of the memory matrix by putting an address on the memory's address pins and activating the RAS signal. Then, we have to wait a few clock cycles ( RAS-to-CAS Delay). Then, the column address is put on the address pins, and the CAS signal is activated, to access the correct column of the memory matrix. Then, we wait a few clock cycles. This is what we all call CAS latency. Then the data appears on the pins of the RAM.

    • Craig
      August 22, 2011 at 2:53 am

      Thank you, ha14 for your reply.

      I regret that I should have been more clear.

      In my case, a 2Gig DDR2 stick malfunctioned while the system Win7 was up and running.
      The defective DDR stick was then replaced.
      So I should be able to power up and go, right?
      But I NOW have a PERMANENT problem - something has corrupted the boot sectors on the HDD and I had to re-install Win7, etc.

      How is this even possible?

      BTW, thanks for the links. It was nice review for information that I already knew.

  3. Mike
    August 13, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Your memory is utilized as soon as you turn on your computer ~ it starts with the POST (Power-on-Self-Test) Memory check and goes all the way until you shutdown your system again.

    Depending on which memory blocks are damaged errors will occur earlier or later.
    It's like filling up a bottle of water which has a whole in it: 
    If the leak is at the very bottom water will come out at the very beginning. If it is half-way to the top it will work some time before you see water leaking.

    The same applies to your memory: 
    If the bad blocks are at the very beginning you may see errors even before something Windows related shows up on screen. If it's somewhere at the end of the memory you won't notice it until you load up several applications within Windows and memory utilization reach this blocks.

    • Craig
      August 22, 2011 at 2:35 am

      Mike, thank you for your reply.
      I regret that I should have been more clear.

      "The same applies to your memory: 
      If the bad blocks are at the very beginning you may see errors even before something Windows related shows up on screen. If it's somewhere at the end of the memory you won't notice it until you load up several applications within Windows and memory utilization reach this blocks."

      Your answer is true, yet in which case case I can hit reset button and then start over.
      In my case, how can a PERMANENT damage to the boot sectors be caused?

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