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Memory failure – Symptoms and Troubleshooting

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When the PC is booted up, it does not show that it is detected all of the memory in the machine. Several megabytes, usually an amount equal to the size of a memory module or half a memory module, are missing.

  1. Beep Codes: 
  2. Error Code: 

Causes of Memory failure:

Memory failure is generally caused by the following:

  1.  Using the wrong type of memory, 
  2.  Incorrect installation, or incorrect configuration. 
  3.  Putting the modules into the wrong sockets, 
  4.  Forgetting to change jumpers that may be present, 
  5.  Using unsupported technology or unsupported module sizes 
  6.  Hardware failure of the memory itself 

Remedial procedure

Some of the steps involved in the remedy of the Memory failure are given below:

  1. Check for possible general problems associated with new systems. One of these could be causing the memory to appear to be bad when it is not. 
  2. Make sure to carefully check the memory modules, which sometimes appear to be inserted correctly when they are not. Make sure they are all sticking up at the correct height from the motherboard. Ensure that the modules have been pushed all the way into their sockets and that the spring clips have snapped into position properly to hold them. 
  3. Check for loose connections within the PC. 
  4. One of the most common causes of unrecognized memory is using an unsupported module size. Ensure that the size of memory modules you have selected is supported. Some motherboards will not support certain sizes of modules; in particular, 2 MB, 8 MB and 32 MB modules are composite and will not work in some machines. Consult your motherboard manual. 
  5. Make sure that you have used the correct sockets. Motherboards have multiple sockets and putting modules in the incorrect ones will often cause problems. For example, most Pentium motherboards have four SIMM sockets, which make up two banks. If you put the SIMMs in the middle two sockets then you have accidentally put memory into half of the first bank and half of the second bank, and the PC will not boot. Putting the memory into the full second bank instead of the first won’t work on many motherboards either (but it will on some). 
  6. Check the technology of the memory you are using. Use the type of memory suitable for the motherboard. Using unsuitable memory in some machines can cause the memory not to be recognized. 
  7. If you have an older motherboard, especially in a 486 or earlier system, there is a chance that your motherboard requires jumpers to be set when adding memory to the PC. If this is the case then failing to change the jumpers may result in either the memory not being detected. 
  8. There could be a motherboard problem. If double-checking all the settings and replacing the memory does not fix the problem, there may be a bad motherboard or a problem with how it is configured. 
  9. There could be something wrong with the memory modules themselves. Note that bad memory will often pass the BIOS memory test at boot time. If you can, try the modules in another PC that uses the same kind of memory. If you have performed all the checks listed in the points above, and the memory does not work in another PC, the memory itself may very well be bad. Try to replace the memory and see if the problem goes away. The figures below illustrate the procedure for removing and inserting a memory module.

a) Release the clips holding the memory module

b) Check the type of memory from its label.
c)Replace the memory module by gently pushing it on both the ends and securing the clip.

Sound Failure Symptoms

Some of the problems associated with the sound in computers are as follows:

  1. No sound from the computer’s speakers or headphones. 
  2. A sound seems to be played, but not heard. 
  3. A sound is played, but then stops suddenly. 
  4. The sound skips or misses in some areas. 
  5. The sound is distorted or scratchy. 
  6. The computer stops responding (hangs) when a sound is played. 
  7. The computer restarts when a sound is played. 
An error message is received when you try to play sound. For example, you may receive any one of the following error messages:

  1. MIDI output error detected. 
  2. No wave device that can play files in the current format is installed. 
  3. The CD Audio device is in use by another application. 
  4. WAV sound playback error detected. 
  5. Your audio hardware cannot play files like the current file. 

Troubleshooting procedure:

  1. If you added hardware or software to your computer immediately before the issue started, remove the added hardware or software. Be sure to turn off the computer before removing hardware. As with any problem that arises with computers, reversing a process that started a problem may correct the problem.
  2. Check the following points: Are the speakers turned on and have power? Try unplugging the speaker power adapter and keep it disconnected for 30 seconds or so, then plug it back in. Try plugging a known working item (such as a lamp) to check the wall outlet for power. 
  3. Check to insure that the Mixer Control volumes are set to 3/4 volume and are not muted. Analog or digital can be set in the Mixer Controls, depending on the type of sound card and speakers used.
  4. Make sure that all connections to all speakers are fully seated. Usually, these plugs click twice before the fully seat. 
  5. Try plugging in a known working set of head phones to ensure that the sound card is functioning. 
  6. Try plugging in the speakers to a known working portable CD player that will accept the same connection. This will determine if the speakers are working. 
  7. Go to: Start>> Control Panel>> Administrative Tools>> Component Services>> Services. Make sure audio is enabled. 
  8. Go to: Start>> Control Panel>> Sounds and Audio Device Properties. Be sure that the “Mute” checkbox is unchecked. 

Volume Control settings

The procedure for setting up the audio controls is outlined below:

  1. Click on the Start button and continue to the Control Panel section of  the Start menu 
  2. Control Panel Window will appear
  3. In the Control Panel window find Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices section, click on it 
  4. The Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices window will appear 
  5. In the Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices window find the Sounds and Audio Devices section, click on it 

How to Change Playback Options

The Sounds and Audio Devices panel will appear

Find the Audio section tab(top line of buttons), click on it
The Audio Settings section will open

In the Sound Playback section from the drop down menu, select the device

  1. Click on the Volume button below the drop down menu
  2. The Volume Control panel will appear
  3. Find the Options menu button, click on it Click on the Properties section 
  4. The Properties panel will appear 
  5. Find the Show the following volume controls: section 
  6. Check in all the unchecked boxes 
  7. Click the OK button

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