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Date:      Mon, 27 Apr 2015 09:30:47 -0500 (CDT)
From:      "Valeri Galtsev" <>
To:        "Dave B" <>
Subject:   Re: Debugging bad memory problems
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <>

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On Mon, April 27, 2015 8:56 am, Dave B wrote:
> On 26 Apr 2015 at 23:05, Fernando Apesteguía wrote:
>> I booted from a memtest CD-ROM. It passed a couple of tests fine and
>> then it rebooted while doing a "bit fade" test at around 93%.
>> Removing the modules is tricky since this laptop has screws all
>> around in dark corners (even removing the battery needs a screw
>> driver). I will try to limit physical memory with hw.physmem and see
>> if it makes any difference.
>> Thanks!
> Check for CPU cooling problems too, such as an obstructed cooler or
> grumbly
> fan.  (Also if you can, check for bad power supply issues.)
> Older AMD CPU's don't take kindly at all to running too hot, unlike some
> Intel
> devices that will start to cycle skipping to lower the disipation, just
> slowing down
> in effect.

AMD might have been slightly behind Intel on this one: stepping down the
clock (or diminishing clock multiplier to be more precise - "power now"
they called the feature related to effectively changing the CPU speed).
However, as far as I know, AMD chips were always more robust than Intel
ones. You can boil water on it, and it still will keep running without
glitches - as someone once put it.

I do agree with your advice make sure the heat sink in not clogged: even
though you will need more effort to heat AMD CPU to start on the chip
memory controller failing compared to Intel CPU, still it well may be the


> "Supliment the cooling" when running such tests, RAM can disipate quite a
> bit of
> power when worked hard (as Memtest86 does.)   Elevate the laptop and waft
> air
> under it, but not in such a way as to oppose it's own intended airflow.
> Hope you find the trouble.
> Dave B.
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Valeri Galtsev
Sr System Administrator
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
Phone: 773-702-4247

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