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General discussion

Random restarts

by Cycleman / December 23, 2006 7:51 AM PST

Over in the browser forum, I described an issue with Firefox not loading. I have a new problem. Don't know if it's related (I hope I can get through this note before the machine reboots!).

Computer: HP a730n, XP home, 1.5 Gb RAM, 400 Gb HD. All Windows updates installed, running AVG, spyware programs in place.

The machine just recently started rebooting on its own. Doing a quick search, I decided to turn off the "automatically restart" in the My Computer (advanced) tab. When the machine rebooted, there was an error screen that popped up (blue with white text).

It had this in it:

STOP: 0x0000007E (0x0000005,0x806FF94F,0xF78EEB54,0xF78EE850).

Did another search on this, and some say that this may be a bad driver? Not sure what to do.

Please advise. Thanks.


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more info...other programs are shutting down prematurely
by Cycleman / December 23, 2006 10:03 AM PST
In reply to: Random restarts

I've now had other programs shut down, while in mid-stream.

WORD, Photoshop Elements, Firefox.

I've had new memory installed in this computer, but it's been over a month. It's not given me trouble, but might this be an issue?

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Here are the normal steps to take for that error...
by Edward ODaniel / December 23, 2006 12:35 PM PST
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another error showed up....
by Cycleman / December 24, 2006 2:24 AM PST

Ed, thanks.

When the stop message appears, it doesn't say anything specifically. Just that it may be due to a hardware problem, or driver. Those lists show specific things, but it doesn't say anything other than it did a "physical dump of the memory."

This new error came with the latest shut down.

Your second link shows a number of things related to that.

I don't run any games on the computer.

I need to know some specifics on how to recognize a "driver" and if it is corrupted or doesn't belong there. I don't want to make any mistakes, and dig myself in deeper (I've done that in the past, with disastrous results...all my own doing!).

Should I follow the instructions in the first link?


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Configure your system to further diagnose the problem.
by Cursorcowboy / December 24, 2006 9:19 PM PST
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removed recent memory card, and....
by Cycleman / December 24, 2006 10:57 PM PST

after 24 hours of operation, the machine has not hiccuped, or restarted, or anything.

My machine has 4 slots for 184 pin DIMM. The original memory was 2-256 Mb cards. It was last year that I installed a single, 1 Gb card. It went bad over a month ago. I replaced it with another 1 Gb. I pulled this most recent memory card, and now the machine seemingly is stable.

I'm going to wait longer, but it's possible that this second (recent) card is damaged.

Is it unwise to install a much larger card with two smaller ones?

Since I have two slots left, I could install another 2-256. 1 Gb of RAM is more than enough for what I do with this machine.

What's the opinion on this?


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Before calling the 1 BG ram bad...
by Edward ODaniel / December 25, 2006 2:43 AM PST

I would suggest removing the two 256 meg chips and trying just the single 1 GB.

Rather than it being a case of "bad RAM" it could easily be simply a problem with incompatible SPD chips on your RAM. The SPD is the small chip on the stick of RAM that stores info about the RAM that the BIOS reads.

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memory removed
by Cycleman / December 25, 2006 1:25 PM PST

Well, I pulled the 2-256 Mb cards, and re-installed the 1 Gb one. I'll see what happens.

Is the a730n a "dual channel" system? When I looked in my manual, it didn't say anything about that. The manual says I can put in a third card, or a 4th, too. All it said was that they recommend that the third card be next to the other two.

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it shut down.....
by Cycleman / December 25, 2006 11:31 PM PST

With the single 1Gb DIMM in place, the machine closed one program (Firefox) with the usual message (experienced a problem and must close).

Within a few hours, the whole system shut down, with the blue screen, and another "stop" error message.

I pulled the card, and re-installed the 2-256 Mb cards.

I am quite certain that the 1 Gb card is the correct card (in terms of the configuration, etc.).

I'll let the machine run with the two smaller cards and if nothing happens in the next day or so, then all evidence points to the 1 Gb DIMM as the culprit.


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Best to check your MB manual or HP .. it should be addressed
by VAPCMD / December 25, 2006 12:54 AM PST
In reply to: Random restarts


Generally speaking, after looking at a number of MB manuals re RAM configurations in systems with dual channel memory architecture, I have observed warnings from several mfgs about using 3 DIMMs in dual channel systems. To be on the safe side, I always recommend using only 2 DIMMs in a dual channel architecture system vice 4 DIMMs to bypass potential problems.

Here's what Kingston (the RAM mfg) says:

"Standard Memory: 256 MB (Removable) or
512 MB (Removable) or
1 GB (Removable) or
2 GB (Removable)

Maximum Memory: 4 GB
Expansion: 4 Sockets (2 Banks of 2)
CPU & ChipSet: Intel Pentium 4 Intel 915G
Bus Architecture: PCI; PCI Express
Mfgr's System P/N's: PJ510AA


If 4GB is installed, the recognized memory may be reduced to 3.5GB or less (depending on system configuration and memory allocation)."

Let us know what you find.


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Random restarts
by Yirzm4 / December 25, 2006 11:09 PM PST
In reply to: Random restarts

1.Start your computer, and then press and hold down F8 until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears.
2.Use the UP ARROW and the DOWN ARROW keys to select Safe Mode, and then press ENTER.
3.From the Please select the operation system to start prompt, select the installation that you want. To do this, use the UP ARROW and the DOWN ARROW keys, and then press ENTER.
4.Log on as Administrator or by using an account that has administrative rights.
5.Click Yes in the "Windows is running in safe mode" window.
6.Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
7.In the System Properties dialog box, click the Hardware tab, and then click Device Manager.
8.In Device Manager, expand the Sound, video and game controllers node.
9.Right-click the Creative SoundBlaster Live (Value) device, and then click Uninstall.
10.On the Device Manager toolbar, click Action, and then click Scan for hardware changes to reinstall the device with an uncorrupted driver.
11.Restart your computer in Normal mode.
I hope this can help.

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it's behaving normally...
by Cycleman / December 26, 2006 11:14 PM PST
In reply to: Random restarts

since I pulled the one Gb card. No error messages, no programs shutting down.

It's been stable for nearly 2 days, while in use, and while setting still.


Collapse - memory and machine is stable
by Cycleman / January 1, 2007 11:43 AM PST

I have installed two additional 256 Mb cards (now, all 4 slots are full), and the machine has been running smoothly, and there have been no error messages, or shut downs, or reboots.

In my case, I'm confident it was a faulty memory card.

Just a little fyi.....


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Thanks for the update...
by VAPCMD / January 1, 2007 12:39 PM PST

The lesson for those following this thread is read the product manual and check with the major mfgs like Crucial, Corsair and Kingston to see what they recommend before adding RAM. As indicated above in an earlier post, 'Kingston' specifically recommends installing memory in pairs and some mfgs go as far as to specifically recommend NOT using 3 DIMMs in dual channel memory systems.

The other lesson is to test RAM whenever you add it your system. Memtest86+, DocMem and MS Memory Diag are all free memory diagnostics that'll tell you very very quickly if the RAM is bad or defective.



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