Bad Memory

A few weeks ago, I placed an order with MCM Electronics for several things, mainly related to upgrading my wife’s computer as our DVR setup, including a 500GB hard drive, a cable distribution amplifier, a gigabit network card for my computer (which had an on-board gigabit NIC that broke), some cables to wire everything together, and 2 GB of memory for my wife’s computer (to add to the 1GB it came with). (They were having a 20% off sale at the time, so they seemed like pretty decent deals.)

Everything worked great, except for the memory. The computer wouldn’t start up if it was installed. This make me think I was doing something wrong at first, but installing memory is one of the simplest things you can do inside of a computer, and I thought I was doing everything right. Eventually, I tried it with just one of the new 1GB modules, and it would start up, and with just the other module, it wouldn’t. So, it looks like I got a bad memory module.

Well, that’s unfortunate, but the people at MCM were great, and had me send back the bad kit to send out a new one. When the new memory kit arrived, I installed it, and the system booted up. The system reported 3GB installed. Then things seemed to freeze a bit (things like Task Manager), but I thought that maybe I just hit too many buttons right when the computer started up, so I rebooted, and things seemed to work well. We watched a TV show, and that worked, so I figured that everything must be hunky-dory. Although, commercial detection on something it recorded crashed, but that could be unrelated. And in the morning, the DVR software had crashed. Hmm. The next day, while I was at work, Jessi dealt with a variety of crashing programs, blue screens of death, and basically couldn’t run anything more complicated than Spider Solitaire, and even that didn’t always work. So when I got home, I ran the Dell memory diagnostics (which I really should have thought to run previously).

There’s nothing quite like getting messages saying something to the effect of “I put FFFFFFFF into that memory address, and I got FFFF3CFF back out.”

So that memory’s going back as well, and I don’t think I’ll be buying memory from PNY for a while. The 1GB seems to meet our needs reasonably well as it is.

But, I do have to give MCM credit for answering the phone immediately when I call, giving me an RA number right away, and just generally dealing with the problems very well.

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