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Re: Additional RAM brings Lenny to a slow-down

Andrei Popescu wrote:
On Sat, Mar 01, 2008 at 07:33:05PM +0000, andy wrote:

both occasions. I've just pulled the second RAM chip for now.  Despite 
spending the better part of the afternoon running searches on google 
and reading info grub-doc I have come across nothing that is remotely 
useful. My board is set up to take 2GB x DDR2 pc533 RAM. Assuming that 
nothing is wrong with the hardware (and really, how does one check 
that?), it looks like this may be a kernel issue for the 2.6.22-3-686.  
Unfortunately, I cannot find out whether any bugs have been filed.
I would run extensive memtests (with each of the two memories and then 
with both installed). I haven't done this in a while, but my guess is 
you need to install one of memtest86 or memtest86+ (if not already 
installed) then reboot and choose the 'memtest' option in the grub menu.


I installed memtester, memtest86, and memtest86+. Added the second RAM chip and booted up into single user mode. Ran memtester and allocated 2040MB of memory. It ran for a while and went into kernel panic. I copied the following down by hand from what I could read from the screen. I hope that something might be useful as a diagnostic, but as most of this is way beyond my ken, I ask for some help in deciphering this:

    501 pages pagetables
    512000 pages of RAM
    282624 pages of HIGHMEM
    4995 reserved pages
    29 pages shared
    416955 pages swap cached
    0 pages dirty
    0 pages write back
    0 pages mapped
    1747 pages slab
    501 pages pagetable
    Out of memory
and a list of processes being killed
    kernel panic - not syncing: out of memory and no killable processes

I have yet to run either memtest86 or 86+ because from reading some notes on the web it looks like it can take up to 12 hours to run and I don't have that kind of time right now, so will have to do it overnight during the week so it can run into the next day. I do know that memtest86 is already in my /boot/grub/menu.lst, but perhaps I am supposed to uncomment it?

This does seem to be making surprisingly heavy weather of an issue that given today's cheapness of additional memory would have been factored into a modern kernel. As far as I can establish, the fault is not a hardware fault - I have used 1 RAM chip in either of the 2 slots (there are only two slots on the board), and have used three different RAM chips singly as well as in combination across both slots. There may well be other hardware tests to conduct, but I would have thought that my simple exercise of switching the chips around and using different slots would have brought up any immediate errors. The boot process (is that pre-GRUB or GRUB stage 1?) shows the correct amount of RAM each time, and there doesn't appear to be anything in the BIOS settings that would allow me to change RAM-related configuration. Finally, when I bought this machine, the specs stated that it was upgradeable to 2 GB DDR2 pc533 RAM, which is what I am using.

I appreciate your sticking with me on this Andrei.




"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." - Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

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