RAM Weirdness

mubs

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I bought my daughter a Lenovo IdeaPad Z580 in the fall of 2013. It came with 4GB RAM. I meant to add more, but forgot. Got to it now.

Lenovo lists a bunch of SODIMM sticks that are compatible, and I bought one of them, a 4GB Hynix. I opened the laptop up, and whew, one slot was still free. Popped it in, ran Memtest86+ 5.01.

The test appeared to hang at one spot; First pass, Test #7, 73% completed on the test, 21% completed on the pass. No errors reported.

I suspected the Hynix, so I pulled out the other stick and ran the test on the Hynix. It completed 8 full passes over about 5 hours with no errors. BTW, surprise, the stick that the laptop came with is a Transcend, and it's not on the HCL. But its specs match the Hynix; 4GB DDR3-1600, 798 MHz, CAS 6-6-6-20 @ 64-bit is the spec for each one as per Memtest.

I put the Hynix back in as the second stick and ran the test again. Hung at the same exact spot. I switched slots for the two sticks and it hung again at the same exact spot.

I pulled out the Hynix and tested the Transcend; it completed two passes without errors or problems. I had to abort because daughter needed the laptop for college assignments.

So individually, they pass, Together, they don't.

The BIOS has never been updated; I will do that tomorrow and see if the two sticks play nice with each other. Currently on ver. 91; latest available (released 08/2014) is ver 95 (these are the only characters different in the BIOS version which is a gobbledygook set of alphanumeric).

Lenovo says for RAM: DDR3 up to 1600 SODIMM (× 2), and the web says 8GB should work.

Could it be Memtest 86+? Shouldn't it say RAM is defective instead of hanging? What I find odd is that even switching slots made no difference. If one of the sticks is defective, it should have hung at a different place I would think.

Something common to all the runs was that I told Memtest to use all the cores (2) and threads (4) on the i3-3110M. Should I try without this option? Incidentally, Memtest shows the CPU temp going as high as 83C. Gave me angina!

Ideas, recommendations? Thanks.
 
E

Edwin009

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Hi,

Along with the BIOS update, also make sure that the frequency of both the RAM stick matches. Both should be on either 1333 or 1600. All the best.

Edwin.
 

Mercutio

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Send that module back and get a different one? I've never found IBM/Lenovo notebooks to be super picky about RAM, but I usually go out of my way to buy Kingston or Corsair or (most often) Crucial-branded sticks.
 

Stereodude

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First, don't use the multithreading option in memtest86+. Second, use two matching sticks. My HP Elitebook came with one 8GB stick. I bought an identical matching 2nd stick on eBay and the two work perfectly together.
 

Tannin

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Tea, for all her abruptness, is perfectly correct in essence. There is nothing weird abot RAM acting weird. RAM is only weird when it doesn't act weird. Put some in, try it, if it doesn't work asndesired, put some different RAM in. Annoying? Of course it is. It was annoying in 1979 too, only then it cost a lot more.
 

Tea

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Do you have a french keyboard, or did that take a lot longer than it should have?
No, yes, and (to Merc's point) no it isn't. That, in fact, was a World First. Yes, espevially for you, that was the first time I have ever tried to copy-paste on a tablet. It took more than one Google search tnough, first I had to do a search to find out how to copy-paste when you don't have a proper keyboard. :)
 

mubs

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Along with the BIOS update, also make sure that the frequency of both the RAM stick matches. Both should be on either 1333 or 1600. All the best.Edwin.
But its specs match the Hynix; 4GB DDR3-1600, 798 MHz, CAS 6-6-6-20 @ 64-bit is the spec for each one as per Memtest.
Send that module back and get a different one? I've never found IBM/Lenovo notebooks to be super picky about RAM, but I usually go out of my way to buy Kingston or Corsair or (most often) Crucial-branded sticks.
I'm getting sloppy because I don't do as much hw / sw work as I used to. I should have opened the laptop up to see what was there before ordering. My fault.

After the BIOS, check the XMP settings and make sure the speed is indeed correct.
Ain't no XMP settings in the BIOS, sir. Hardly anything I can change - only boot order, security password and stuff like that.

First, don't use the multithreading option in memtest86+. Second, use two matching sticks. My HP Elitebook came with one 8GB stick. I bought an identical matching 2nd stick on eBay and the two work perfectly together.
I tested with multithreading off, and voila! no hangs! I ran 3 full passes (4.5 hours) with zero errors and decided all was good. Kid is using the laptop now with all 8 GB of RAM.

Regarding BIOS:

Lenovo does a pretty good job of listing the hashes for all the driver files one can download. But guess what? No hashes for the BIOS files! The most crucial ones!

Further, the BIOS files are .exe files that must be run in Windows. And they're not signed. The downloaded exe self extracts and runs Flash.exe which is written by Phoenix. It terminates with a cryptic message that "Flash.exe terminated with exit code 255". So I couldn't update the BIOS. Good job, Lenovo!

Thanks all for your help.

Next project for this laptop is to install an SSD as the boot drive and move the spinner to the optical drive bay. The caddy for this is on order from Ali Express, as is a USB 3.0 external enclosure to house the optical drive in.
 

ddrueding

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For all the ThinkPads the Lenovo Windows application handles BIOS updates along with drivers and their utilities.
 

sechs

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I would suggest trying Memtest86 instead of Memtest86+. I've had problems with + crashing or expressing errors with memory that passes Memtest86 and has no apparent issues.

Memtest86+ doesn't appear to be supported anymore.
 
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