How to identify if your Dell PC supports the Memory DIMM Isolation diagnostics and what benefits this brings you

How to identify if your Dell PC supports the Memory DIMM Isolation diagnostics and what benefits this brings you



The following article provides information on what the memory DIMM isolation diagnostics are, on which Dell systems you can will find them installed and how they run and why this benefits you during any troubleshooting on your PC.


Table of Contents:

  1. What are the ePSA Memory Isolation Diagnostics?
  2. What systems support these diagnostics?
  3. What it looks like when the tests are possible
  4. What it looks like when the tests aren't possible
  5. What are the benefits of these new diagnostics?

What are the ePSA Memory Isolation Diagnostics?


There has been a useful new addition to the enhanced Pre-boot System Assessment (ePSA) memory diagnostics.

It is called the Dual In-Line Memory Module (DIMM) Isolation test.

DIMM Isolation will allow the ePSA diagnostics to isolate a faulty memory module in the system.

Note: This means that if you have more than 1 DIMM in your PC, the test will identify the individual slot with the fault memory error, rather than give a general memory error that could be in any of the slots. Although with only 1 DIMM fitted, it should be in Slot 1 as a best practice.

These new diagnostics are currently only available for select Intel Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge and Haswell based systems and started in June 2013. There will be further systems forthcoming as these tests become standard in newer systems. In order to enable these tests in compatible systems, you will need to download and install a version of the Basic Input Output System (BIOS) that will support the tests running.


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What Systems Support these Diagnostics?

The Tables below show the System Family, i.e. OptiPlex. the System Model, i.e. 7010. and the minimum BIOS revision required to run these diagnostics on your system, i.e. A0X. You will want to update the diagnostics partition once the BIOS is at the correct revision. Your can locate your updates here on our Support Site.

Note: Dell recommends updating your BIOS revision in jumps of only 2-3 revisions at the one time. (i.e. going from A04 to A06 or A07. this may mean several jumps until you reach the minimum required.) On the BIOS download page you will see a link that says see previous versions, if you click on this link it will list downloads for other revisions for your Machine.
DIMM Isolation capable system with a BIOS Update
(Alienware, XPS)
System Family System Model Minimum BIOS Required
Alienware DT Alienware X51 A13
Alienware DT Alienware x51 R2 A01
Alienware NB Alienware M14xR2 A13
Alienware NB Alienware X17xR4 A12
Alienware NB Alienware M18xR2 A11
Alienware NB Alienware 18 A01
Alienware NB Alienware 14 A01
Alienware NB Alienware 14 A01
Alienware NB Alienware 17 A01
XPS AIO XPS 2720 A02
XPS DT XPS 8500 A11
XPS DT XPS 8700 A01
XPS NB XPS15 / XPS L521x A14
XPS Portable XPS 18 A05
DIMM Isolation capable systems supported from the factory
System Family System Model As Shipped BIOS
Inspiron NB Inspiron 15 / 3537 A01
Inspiron NB Inspiron 15R / 5537 A01
Inspiron NB Inspiron 17 / 3737 A01
Inspiron NB Inspiron 17 / 5737 A01
Latitude NB Latitude E7240 A00
Latitude NB Latitude E7440 A00
DIMM Isolation capable systems with a BIOS update
(Inspiron, Vostro)
System Family System Model Minimum BIOS Required
Inspiron DT Inspiron 660s A10
Inspiron DT Inspiron 660 A10
Inspiron NB Inspiron 13z / 5323 A16
Inspiron NB Inspiron 14R / 5420 A17
Inspiron NB Inspiron 14R / 7420 A17
Inspiron NB Inspiron 17R / 5720 A17
Inspiron NB Inspiron 17R SE 7520 A15
Insprion NB Inspiron 15R / 5520 A14
Inspiron NB Inspiron 15R SE 7520 A10
Inspiron NB Inspiron 14z / 5423 A10
Inspiron NB Inspiron 14 / 3437 A02
Inspiron NB Inspiron 14R / 5421 A05
Inspiron NB Inspiron 15R / 5521 A08
Inspiron NB Inspiron 15 / 3521 A08
Inspiron NB Inspiron 17R / 5721 A08
Inspiron NB Inspiron 17 / 3721 A08
Inspiron NB Inspiron 15z / 5523 A05
Inspiron NB Inspiron 14 / 3420 A08
Inspiron NB Inspiron 15 / 3520 A07
Vostro DT Vostro 270s A10
Vostro DT Vostro 270 A10
Vostro NB Vostro 3360 A16
Vostro NB Vostro 3460 A17
Vostro NB Vostro 3560 A15
Vostro NB Vostro 2421 A05
Vostro NB Vostro 2521 A08
Vostro NB Vostro 2420 A08
Vostro NB Vostro 2520 A07
DIMM Isolation capable systems with a BIOS update
(Latitude, OptiPlex, Precision)
System Family System Model Minimum BIOS Required
Latitude NB Latitude E6540 A02
Latitude NB Latitude E5530 A11
Latitude NB Latitude E5430 A11
Latitude NB Latitude E6230 A10
Latitude NB Latitude E6330 A10
Latitude NB Latitude E6430 A12
Latitude NB Latitude E6430 ATG A12
Latitude NB Latitude E6430s A10
Latitude NB Latitude E6530 A12
Latitude NB Latitude 6430u A05
OptiPlex AIO OptiPlex 9020 AIO A01
OptiPlex AIO OptiPlex 3011 AIO A01
OptiPlex AIO OptiPlex 9010 AIO A12
OptiPlex DT OptiPlex 9010 DT A14
OptiPlex DT OptiPlex 7010 A14
OptiPlex DT OptiPlex 3010 A10
OptiPlex DT OptiPlex 9020 A12
Precision DT Precision T1650 A13
Precision DT Precision T1700 A01
Precision NB Precision M4700 A09
Precision NB Precision M6700 A10
Note : If your system is a newer model than those systems listed here, it will automatically support this memory testing as will any new revisions of the test diagnostics. However if your system isn't on this list and is an older model than the machines listed here, then it does NOT support these tests and never will.


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What it looks like when the tests are possible

For those systems that support the new memory feature, the location of a failing memory module is reported as the memory errors are detected.

The terminology used for the location of the failing memory device is pretty straightforward.

For example in a notebook there are usually two DIMMs in a system. The first one is called DIMM A and the second DIMM B. The memory test will indicate Slot: DIMM A if the fault is found in the DIMM in the slot labelled DIMM A. In notebooks the empty DIMM slots will have DIMM A and B printed in the empty slots.

For Desktops this is usually replaced with DIMM 1 through however many slots are on the motherboard. These are also marked on the motherboard next to the slots in very small white writing.

In some cases the memory diagnostic will indicate Slot: Motherboard when the error is thought to be caused by a defect in the motherboard instead of one of the DIMMs.

The image below shows an example of a memory failure in the memory device located in slot, DIMM3.


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What it looks like when the tests aren't possible

For those systems with multiple DIMMs that do not support DIMM isolation, the defective DIMM can only be identified through a manual substitution process to isolate the potentially failed DIMM.

That means you would remove all of the DIMMs from the system and confirm the system reports the correct error for no memory found. If it does then at that point you would test the DIMMs individually in each DIMM slot to identify if the error is with a particular DIMM or with a particular DIMM slot on the motherboard.

If you can substitute known working compatible memory into the system to confirm your troubleshooting, it is highly recommended to do so, in order to ensure everything is resolved as quickly as possible and is fixed first time.

The image below shows an example of an ePSA failure where DIMM isolation support is not available.


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What are the benefits of these new diagnostics?

The benefits of these new diagnostics are pretty much self explanatory. The tests will be much quicker to run through, than to complete the manual troubleshooting and they will mean you don't need to open the system and physically move components to narrow down your fault.

At that point you can contact your Technical Support to log a support call.

Note: Additionally once you've identified a faulty DIMM, you have the option that you can remove the DIMM temporarily to continue working on the system with the other DIMMs while waiting on a technical resolution.

If at any point what you experience doesn't match this guide, please contact your Technical Support for further troubleshooting help.


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Article ID: SLN151698

Last Date Modified: 01/23/2019 08:47 PM


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