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Problematic RAM

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  • Problematic RAM

    No question, just a FYI for anyone searching for a solution to an obscure problem I overcame recently.

    I have a Via EPIA EN12000 with 1x1GB KingMax DDR2 SDRAM @ 533MHz, 80GB 2.5" SATA HDD, Lilliput 7", Pioneer slot-load CD/DVD etc. All hardware is new.

    The Lilliput never worked properly with the motherboard. It would have large blocks of red, blue or gray appear on screen, but worked perfectly when attached to the VGA port of my laptop.

    When I attempted to install XP I would get an error that the BIOS was not fully ACPI compliant. The BIOS was from Feb this year, however there was a newer version available, so I tried that with no change to the end result. XP would install and run if I pressed F7 during the 'Press F6 to install Mass Storage Devices' part of the XP text-mode setup, As this is known to enforce an ACPI-less HAL.

    After replacing every piece of hardware I discovered that the problem was actually the RAM. To this day I'm not too sure what the problem was, as I just swapped it for the RAM in my work PC (same RAM specs) and the VGA problems immediately disappeared and the ACPI problems were also cured.

    The questionable RAM now works perfectly in my work PC. I can confirm that the RAM was seated perfectly in my CarPC, as I tried may times to use my more expensive KingMax module over the generic crap from work. I even went to the trouble of removing the motherboard from the case to make sure it didn't crack if too much pressure was applied.

    I ran some exhaustive (Mem86+) memory tests on the KingMax RAM and nothing problematic was revealed.

    Suffice to say that it's working much better now. I know it's obscure , but maybe it will help someone else.