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Memtest failure when plugging or unplugging USB device.

by Michael Calkins (Login MCalkins)
ASM Forum

I'm working on a Dell Dimension 2400. I upgraded the RAM from one 256MB module to two 512MB modules. As a matter of routine, I run Memtest86+ after installing RAM. In this case, this computer refuses to boot from the CD-ROM drive, so I had to boot memtest off of a USB flash drive.

When I unplug or plug the USB flash drive while memtest is running, it usually reports failures on 2 particular addresses (always the same 2, I think). This does not happen when I plug or unplug my USB keyboard; only the flash drive. I tried it on my laptop (booting from the USB drive, then unplugging and plugging it) with no failures. I put the old RAM back in the customer computer, and it would fail the same way.

When I let memtest run without unplugging the flash drive, it can run for multiple hours straight with no failures.

I've worked on one other computer that did something very much like this. I believe it was a Dell Optiplex GX270, and it would have a hard time booting if the USB printer was plugged in and powered on. Likewise, plugging/unplugging or turning on or off the USB printer while memtest was running would result in failures.

This isn't normal, is it? Memtest isn't supposed to fail when you plug or unplug USB devices, is it? I would think not.

Btw, I found out later while working on yet another computer that Optiplex GX270 mainboards made during a certain time period were subject to a bad batch of capacitors. However, I don't think that that is related.


P.S. It does it with a different flash drive as well.

The failing addresses are 0x9fcf0 0x9fcec. And the computer occasionally makes a buzzing sound that I don't like.

This message has been edited by MCalkins on Mar 26, 2012 10:46 PM

Posted on Mar 26, 2012, 10:37 PM

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Response TitleAuthor and Date
It COULD be hardware-relatedChronoKitsune on Mar 27
 Re: It COULD be hardware-relatedMichael Calkins on Mar 30

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