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Tech Helproom

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RAM and Qualified Vendor List


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When I built my computer 14 months ago, I picked my motherboard (Asus P8P67 Evo), then I picked out my 8GB of RAM that was compatible with the motherboard. Everything works.

But every now and again, I get BSOD. I used to brush these aside as a symptom of building ones own computer. After restarting the computer, everything continues working as normal.

But, I am not thinking that this is not the right way of thinking. BSODs should not happen. Although a variety of reasons have come up over the months, the most common is MEMORY_MANAGEMENT.

I have checked and double checked that my motherboard is able to handle the type of RAM I have put in, but, the RAM I have is not on the qualified vendor list (QVL).

I always thought that the QVL was just a marketing thing. Just because a RAM is not on there, it does not mean it won't work, it could be that it was not even tested, right?

So my question is, if I picked RAM from this list would it make a difference? I wouldn't imagine so, because the RAM I have is definitely compatible. Also, it works for hours on end without BSODing.

Furthermore, when ever I try to copy large amounts of data to my external hard drive (i.e. during a backup), eventually, it blue screens. I have tried: copy and paste, windows backup, Acronis and now Norton 360. It gets so far and then gone. I have done the relevant checks on all drives and it is clear. Could this be linked to the RAM?

Sorry for the very long essay. Thanks for any comments!

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Ian in Northampton

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Your symptoms sound like an intermittent fault with one of your memory modules. As you have plenty, I'd suggest taking one module out and letting the system run for a few days. If you don't get a BSOD, that's the faulty memory module. If you do, replace the one you took out and remove another one. Repeat until you identify the faulty module. It's nothing to do with QVL, although memory from suppliers like Crucial tends to be of better quality than 'no name' memory. My son had a similar problem with his PC, and the memory module eventually failed completely, preventing it from booting.

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"Although a variety of reasons have come up over the months, the most common is MEMORY_MANAGEMENT"

As you're getting different BSODs every time then it's unlikely to be a driver or other software issue but rather a hardware problem - faulty RAM could be the culprit.

You haven't said whether you've tested your RAM for errors. If the affected PC is running Vista or 7, have a look here for instructions on how to use the built-in Windows Memory Diagnostic tool.

I'd recommend you start with the default "Basic" set of tests and then move onto the "Extended" one if no problems are found. If you run the latter test then it may be best to leave it running overnight as it could take a very long time to complete with 8GB of RAM.

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Chronos the 2nd

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You could also run this bit of software:Memtest.A useful tool aimed at memory failures detection.

I was struck by your statement: But every now and again, I get BSOD. I used to brush these aside as a symptom of building ones own computer. I have been building for years and have always strived to build a perfect working PC and a BSOD,no matter what the cause,should never be ignored, as it would be a reflection on my competence. Also by solving the cause of a BSOD you are increasing your knowledge of the inner mysteries of the PC.

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