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Dell "Tech Support" and memory

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by dpeters11, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. Feb 9, 2012 #1 of 10
    dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    I've been noticing random blue screens on a Studio XPS 8300 running Windows 7 Home Premium x64, including when the system is not in use. There have been no changes to drivers that coincide with this. I booted up to Memtest86+ and can get it to error, though sometimes I have to let it run a few passes. After getting errors there, I started up the Dell Diagnistics and ran a thorough memory test. I have not been able to get it to error. I still think it's memory, so called Tech Support. They claim at least, that the onboard memory tests are more sophisticated than Memtest86+ and to reinstall Windows, that it can't be hardware. They did suggest running diagnostics from the resource CD, that it has different tests.

    I booted to it, and got an option to press 1 for diagnostics. I hit one, and it doesn't go anywhere, just back to the prompt. I asked the tech if I could run the tool manually and was told that was not possible. I exited out of the menu and looked at the batch file. It called another batch file, which does not exist. I ran attrib to be sure it wasn't hidden, from the main batch, the missing one had to be in the root directory. They offered to send me a replacement disc, which I got but has the same problem. The called batch file does not exist.

    Is there any different memory check that Dell will accept? Is this batch file issue normal?

    I'm thinking it will just be simpler and less aggravation to buy new memory and replace it myself, but want to make sure I look at all options for replacement by Dell.

    I admit my A+ cert is, while valid, woefully out of date (though I do remember the big DMAs and IRQs :) ), but I just can't see this being software related...
     
  2. Feb 9, 2012 #2 of 10
    RasputinAXP

    RasputinAXP Kwisatz Haderach of Cordcuttery

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    It's calling a BAT file that exists on the hidden diag partition you probably deleted.
     
  3. Feb 9, 2012 #3 of 10
    dpeters11

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    Nope. The diagnostics partition is still there, I booted to it, hitting f12 at the bios screen and ran the memory test. The batch file I looked at had the command call dell_diag.bat using on errorlevel when you press 1. It had no path, and no path statement was previously defined. The CD label said it included diagnostics, but I booted into Windows to get an easier look at the structure...couldn't find anything related.

    The tech said tests were on the disc, but then also said it was impossible to run manually which really couldn't be true if a simple batch file could run it.

    I really wish I could have gotten Gold support on this box, that was fantastic on my old laptop.
     
  4. RasputinAXP

    RasputinAXP Kwisatz Haderach of Cordcuttery

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    Weird. That's usually where it called it from back when I was doing tech support. I found out because the first thing I do on my own machines is repartition the drive.

    Dell won't take any other memory tests than their own, which is pretty logical. Do you have the testers built into the BIOS when you boot into it? I know some of the Dells we see/saw had elementary memory and drive checks built in.
     
  5. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    I've run the test they provide in the diagnostics partition. Part of the problem is that you can't set it to loop, you run it once, then have to manually run it again.

    I can get Memtest86+ to error, on the same stick, but not every time. Last night I got errors on the second pass.

    I talked to a tech today, and he said that if I pull the bad stick out, and the errors go away, that they'll replace it. That's reasonable to me. I was in contact with a different tech that said there was no way the memory could be bad. I did find a post on their forums for that model dealing with lockups, and mentioned specific memory being an issue, but those were 1 and 4 gig sticks, mine has 2 gig sticks.
     
  6. Marlin Guy

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    Download and boot a live Linux distro. Mint and Ubuntu offer a memory check on boot, plus running the PC in Linux should help rule in or out any problems with Windows.
     
  7. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    I used the version of Memtest86+ included with the current version of the Ultimate Boot CD, which is Linux based.
     
  8. Marlin Guy

    Marlin Guy Hall Of Fame

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  9. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    I'll check it out. I've taken the stick that memtest errors on, and no crashes. Question is will Dell accept it. They are supposed to call me Monday.
     
  10. Marlin Guy

    Marlin Guy Hall Of Fame

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    Call them back tell them that you saw a crack in the stick of memory. ;)
     

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