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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:35 pm 
retrobike rider
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looking at a laptop for my mrs' sister.
tried starting it up and took ages to load up then gave me the safe mode/safe mode networking/normal mode options

tried loading it in safe mode and got to the log on page (there are 2 users setup, one for the sister and one for a 'work' user) but couldn't even log in as the cursor/track pad wasn't responding.
its an ex work laptop she's bought so unsure if she has the discs for a format and re-install.
however, i', running a 'pre-boot system assessment build 4122' and its already brought up an error code:

error code 0123
msg: error code 2000-0123
msg: memroy - integrity test failed.


i've continued the test, which is at 5% complete at the moment

anyone able to shed some light on this and what may need to be done to resolve it?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:40 pm 
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Looks like you've got at least one bad RAM module - open the RAM cover (usually got a pictogram that looks something like a comb, if you squint!) and see how many are in there.

If there's more than one, take one out and run the diagnostics again and see what happens, if not you'll need to source another from somewhere (crucial.com/uk for example) - RAM is cheap and a quick simple fix if that's what's wrong.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:42 pm 
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Sorry, re-reading that it looks like you didn't even find the diagnostics (the BIOS has obviously spotted something amiss early on)

If the laptop boots past this stage, by pressing F12 repeatedly immediately after turning on you will probably get a startup menu from which you can select "Dell Diagnostics" and from there, run the memory tests - should be quite self-explanatory


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:52 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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You could say that your latitude has developed an attitude :P



:oops: I know


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:52 am 
retrobike rider
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ajm wrote:
Sorry, re-reading that it looks like you didn't even find the diagnostics (the BIOS has obviously spotted something amiss early on)

If the laptop boots past this stage, by pressing F12 repeatedly immediately after turning on you will probably get a startup menu from which you can select "Dell Diagnostics" and from there, run the memory tests - should be quite self-explanatory


i did this which brought me to the initial 'pre boot assessment' thing i mention above.
it was running a lot of memory tests which brought up the error code above. (some beeping went off like an alarm and it asked me if i wanted to carry on running the tests - which i did). it completed without any other issues being reported.
i'll try have a look at the ram module.

would it be worth taking one out and running start up as normal? (i.e. if its 2GB RAM should it be able to start up on 1GB RAM module in place?)

this is probably the first time i've done this sort of troubleshooting, so bear with me on the lingo :?
i've replaced/upgraded RAM modules before, so i'm no stranger to opening these things up. jus tthe software side i'm very new to.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:15 am 
retrobike rider
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Have you tried taking both ram modules out and re-seating them? My old Dell had a strop once when I upgraded the memory and one of the modules wasn't quite in properly.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:32 am 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Dells are fussy about memory - take both out and see what happens (should be some loud beeping and no boot)

replace first module and boot etc etc. It should be a fairly easy fix.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:42 am 
retrobike rider
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ok, i'll start with the RAM and see what happens :)
thanks for the help


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:33 pm 
retrobike rider
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update:

so i did the following:

took both ram modules out - system wouldnt start up at all (just some flashing lights on the keyboard)

took 1 RAM module out (left one in slot B) - i could access diagnostics - ran the same system test as before and it found the same error code

took that RAM module out and put the other one in slot A - ran the system test and it didnt find any problems at all.

tried starting the system up on the RAM module in slot A. got to the same place as i was at the start of this (log on screen)but can't move the cursor to click, space bar doesnt do anything either.
wont start in safe mode - get to the log in screen but mouse cursor wont move.

went in to BIOS settings and the mouse cursors moves just fine......

have no idea what the problem is now.
gonna have the laptop sent back i think. i can't really do anything else myself. but i would like to figure out the problem...


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:33 pm
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Location: Highlands
It's very possible that both RAM modules are faulty - I don't believe the results of any memory test that lasts less than 12 hours.

That said, aside from the clearly dodgy stick of RAM your further problem could be all sorts of things; dodgy motherboard, dodgy PSU (which can often produce similar symptoms to bad RAM) or just a corrupted Windows install (which is quite likely given it's been running with bad memory.) If that weren't enough, you could also have a dodgy hard disk! Running Dell's full set of disk diagnostics would give you a good idea on that one though.

As with troubleshooting cars, people, anything... fixing computers is fraught with all sorts of frustrating, time consuming, multi-faceted problems and occasionally you never really do get to the bottom of it!


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