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Shircoon
Bronze

Memory parity error : any solutions?

Hello together!

 

About two months ago I bought a Dimension 5000 with a 3.2GHz processor, a GeForce 6800, 1GB RAM, Sound Blaster Audigy 2ZS and a wireless keyboard/mouse from Logitech. I added a 'Fritz!card DSL' (PCI) to connect to the internet. The system works quite stable so far, but I get problems when I do some gaming. When I play games like 'Rome: Total war'

or 'World of Warcraft' for about an hour or more the system freezes with a blue screen reporting:

 

NMI: Parity Check / Memory Parity Error

*** Hardware Malfunction

Call your hardware vendor for support

*** The system has halted

 

After that I only can turn off the power supply and restart the system. If I decide to game on after a crash like this the time till the next crash permanently decreases. This goes like one hour - thirty minutes - 15 minutes - 10 minutes - 5 minutes. After some crashes in a row it can also happen that the system crashes while I’m on the desktop, what normally never happens when I don’t play games and crash before.

 

To solve the problem I tried the following things:

- Ran Dell diagnostics: no errors (except I can't pass the mouse test, maybe because of the wireless keyboard/mouse that doesn't work properly on standard drivers)

- Ran memtest86+: no errors

- Ran system with each of the two 512MB RAM-DIMMs alone: Blue screen again

- Flashed BIOS from A02 to A04

- Tried various drivers for the GeForce 6800 (Forceware 71.24/ 71.89)

- Complete new system setup

 

I know that the 'Memory Parity Error' is a classical RAM-error. But neither Dell diagnostics nor memtest86+ found any problems with my RAM. Could it also be possible that the RAM on the GeForce 6800 is damaged, although dell diagnostics doesn't find any problems and the system runs stable most of the time? Or can there be other (compatibility) problems?

 

I really spent a lot of time on this annoying problem, but am simply not able to remove it.

There are some threads with similar problems in this forum, but most of them aren't solved.

Is it now time to contact dell support?

Any suggestions are welcome! In advance thank you for your trouble.

 

P.S.: Please apologize my poor English writing.

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15 Replies
ejn63
Diamond

Re: Memory parity error : any solutions?

Call Dell and report the error - they should replace the memory. It sounds like it is heat-intolerant - as the system heats up, the problem arises.
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tuxedocats
Silver

Re: Memory parity error : any solutions?

Shircoon:

This video card has had it's issues!  Memory parity errors are usually memory related although I received this error when I installed the omega drivers and attempted to capture video from a mini DV camcorder.  When I went back to the Nvidia drivers, this problem disappeared.  I had other problems with the card causing system instability until I finally replaced the card which solved the issues.  It is probably not your memory causing the error.  I would suggest removing all the video drivers through add/remove then using a driver cleaner (driver cleaner 3 or something similiar) to remove any remnants.  Then turn off the system, physically remove the card from the slot and reseat it.  Reinstall the latest Nvidia drivers ( I still believe are the 71.89's) and see if the error still occurs.  If it does, I would suggest having Dell replace the card first before the memory. 

TuxedoCats   

 

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Shircoon
Bronze

Re: Memory parity error : any solutions?

Thanks for your answers.

@ tuxedocats:

Yesterday I cleaned the video drivers and removed the card as you suggested. Then I played 'World of Warcraft' for about two hours without any problems. The next performance tests can't be made before Tuesday, but I will report the results.

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Shircoon
Bronze

Re: Memory parity error : any solutions?

Yesterday I had a 'World of Warcraft' session for over four hours.

I'm still a little bit sceptical if things stay good like this, but we'll see...

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Shircoon
Bronze

Re: Memory parity error : any solutions?

Sad, but true: memory parity errors again yesterday.

I'll contact Dell support tomorrow.

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PD.2005
Copper

Re: Memory parity error : any solutions?

If you haven't been here already you may find the Error Reports section at http://simone.seeto.com/NMI_error/index.html helpful.

One guy solved the problem by disabling the PCI Bus Mastering Option AND the PCI Serial Generation Option in his BIOS - but not all BIOS allows this.  Another simply used a different PCI slot.

For me this blue screen has been occurring for ages on shut-down (Dell Dimension PWS330, Win2K), but I have just ignored it until now.  Diagnostics on my PC RAM report no issues, but now I am pretty sure it all started after I added a NetGear WG311 PCI wireless adapter, which I need to investigate further.

PD.

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Shircoon
Bronze

Re: Memory parity error : any solutions?

Hey PD.2005!

Thanks for your answer. I didn't expect to get anything out of this thread anymore. Btw, I still didn't contact Dell support up to now.

Unfortunately, a search of the BIOS has revealed that neither the PCI Bus Mastering or Serial Generation options exist. (Dell BIOS A04). I've also tested switching PCI slots for my SB Audigy ZS and my Fritz!Card.

My latest experiences look like there is a relation between the error and the temperatures on my system. Because of my Dell mainboard has no temperature sensors I manually installed a diode near the GeForce 6800 and the CPU. When temperatures rise above 49° C the error occurs, if temperatures are lower I usually don't have any problems. I suspect the Geforce 6800 RAM to cause this problems, so I will replace the standard cooler by a Zalman VF-700 AlCu the next weeks.

If it helps, you'll hear from me . . .

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PD.2005
Copper

Re: Memory parity error : any solutions?

Hi Shircoon,
 
I seem to remember that those BIOS changes prevented the error occuring during power-down, whereas your situation is altogether different as its hitting you during normal operation.
 
I'm impressed that you've narrowed it down to a temperature issue.  Have you tried taking the back of the PC and blowing the boards with a regular fan to test your theory - might be an idea before splashing out on new cooling unit.
 
I assume you've considered switching the GeForce card?  It should be under warrenty if its under 12 months old.  I guess the trouble here is: 1) convincing the supplier its a card issue, 2) having no PC while you wait for a replacement card
 
PD.
 
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Shircoon
Bronze

Re: Memory parity error : any solutions?

Hi PD.2005,
 
Thank you for staying with me. Smiley Happy
 
Taking the back off the PC and blowing the board with a regular fan is what I did when I crashed the last time with about 49,5 °C. With an open case and a regular fan nearby the temperature went down to about 47,5 °C and I was able to game on for over two hours until I finished my session. This was never possible in sessions before when temperatures stayed permanently over 48,5 °C with a closed case.
 
To me it seems quite obvious that one of the system components gets problems when the heat rises to high. But I still ain't sure which one because I don't know which parts of the system is generally able to cause a 'memory parity error'. This error is a custom error for RAM problems, but is RAM affected by heat in a big way? Can RAM on a graphic card cause this errors or even PCI-devices as a friend of mine mentioned?
 
The problems you mentioned with the replacing the GeForce card are exactly the worries I have. Easiest (for Dell and me) would be they send me a new GeForce and I send them back the old one, but I think they won't do that.
If they take away the whole PC I fear they won't even be able make the error happen and I'll get it back some weeks later with no result and the same problems.
 
As I mentioned I am considering replacing the standard fan (not cooler as I wrote before in my stupid English) by one with more cooling effect and lower noise. So even if the 'memory parity error' still remains after that the GPU should be cooler and the whole PC a bit more silent. So this 20 EUR should be not be spent too bad except I kill the card by badly installing the fan with my two left hands.
 
Shircoon
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