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Thread: grease on RAM?

  1. #1
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    grease on RAM?

    I've been have on-going issues with what i believe to be my RAM.

    the problem is consistent in that it occurs every 2-3 months, the symptoms are that of loose/unslotted RAM-- it will just plain shut down, the screen would go 'fuzzy'(all different colored streaks running through it). i reslot the RAM and everything will be fine for another 2-3 months.

    originally, the problem was caused by bumps, going over rail road tracks and such.. i started suspecting it had to do with my board mounting and flex, so i reinforced the RAM slot by adding a little bit of a folded towel below it to keep it from flexing.


    now it's been 2-3 montsh since i've done this, and i'm back to a similar issue, though it's odder.. it now freezes/stutters at random, and is perfectly fine over bumps. now it won't just shut off, it will just freeze at whatever screen it is on-- the music will stop, and it will become completely unresponsive. just tonight, the screen streaked like it had before, so i am confident that reslotting the ram would fix it..

    but i'd like to kill the problem once and for all..

    so my next theory is that the ram is becoming slightly corroded just from being in the car environment, and i am wondering if it would be a good idea to apply some of that 'anti-corrosion' die-electric grease like they sell for turn signal bulbs and such.

    good idea or not?

  2. #2
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    Hi
    no not a good idea to put anything on the contacts...the best method is to use a pencil rubber to clean them up
    heat can be a problem the chips get hot and can work loose over time (..Im assuming its laptop ram )
    Maybe some fishing line tied around the chip and retaining clips or very tiny cable ties
    Last edited by Wozza; 10-01-2012 at 10:37 PM.

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    Hi soundman, this problem in common to a lot of electronic equipment and is one of the more common conditions I have come across in repairing/rebuilding equipment for the past 30 years. The condition resulted in design changes in materials and contact design in the early years of computers but the problem still exists in some equipment.

    I use CRC “Switch Cleaner Lubricant” to remove the environmental contaminants and corrosion film that build up on the contacts.

    Clean the contacts on the ram and spray the socket, then plug the ram in/out a few times to get the contacts wiping. Leave for about 10 minutes so the stuff evaporates. Some products can leave a sticky residue which will only attract more dust and cause more problems. I haven’t had a return fault when using this unless it’s related to an intermittent problem on the MB/ Ram and unseating the Ram sometimes temporarily hides the problem.
    Last edited by Mickz; 10-02-2012 at 12:09 AM.
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    How is your computer positioned? Is the motherboard facing up, or is it mounted side-ways, or upside-down? I'd play around with positioning, if you can, or put the computer on some foam to dampen the shock from bumps. That is, of course, if the problem is due to vibration. It's strange, since ram usually clips into the motherboard, and it doesn't come out easily, unless those clips are released.
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    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    thanks for the responses!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wozza View Post
    (..Im assuming its laptop ram )
    no, it's a mini-itx board-- a zotac 9300 to be exact. if i remember correctly, it uses standard DDR2 memory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mickz View Post
    Hi soundman, this problem in common to a lot of electronic equipment and is one of the more common conditions I have come across in repairing/rebuilding equipment for the past 30 years. The condition resulted in design changes in materials and contact design in the early years of computers but the problem still exists in some equipment.

    I use CRC “Switch Cleaner Lubricant” to remove the environmental contaminants and corrosion film that build up on the contacts.

    Clean the contacts on the ram and spray the socket, then plug the ram in/out a few times to get the contacts wiping. Leave for about 10 minutes so the stuff evaporates. Some products can leave a sticky residue which will only attract more dust and cause more problems. I haven’t had a return fault when using this unless it’s related to an intermittent problem on the MB/ Ram and unseating the Ram sometimes temporarily hides the problem.
    thanks, i'll have to give that a try-- i tinker with a lot of older audio gear where the potentiometers and slides get sticky or make poor contact and disrupt the audio signal, so i've already got some similar spray on-hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by nivanov View Post
    How is your computer positioned? Is the motherboard facing up, or is it mounted side-ways, or upside-down? I'd play around with positioning, if you can, or put the computer on some foam to dampen the shock from bumps. That is, of course, if the problem is due to vibration. It's strange, since ram usually clips into the motherboard, and it doesn't come out easily, unless those clips are released.
    my computer is positioned horizontally under my passenger seat. unfortunately, there just isn't enough space to reposition the board in different orientations to try to fix it.

    i do know that my car/install location has vibration issues-- i blew through 3 platter-based hdd's in the first year of my install, 2 were damaged to the point of needing to be warrantied, and 1 would intermittently skip and cause audio/OS issues, so vibration is a very real concern, though i'm not entirely sure how it could affect a properly seated ram slot...

    i do know that the ram is securely locked in by the clips-- being that this is a recurring issue, i've become even more anal about making sure that it is fully seated every time i have to reseat it..

    i've got 3 different sticks of ram that i've tried at different times, all 3 are different brands and are verified to be correctly working using one of the memory testing programs(a name that escapes me at the moment.. memtest?)..

    i guess there could be a issue with the ram slot it's-self-- if it's warped or loose, i guess it could be the root cause, i just don't know how i could prove that.. i don't want to replace the hardware unless i can prove it's faulty..

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