Memory problem

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by CliveS, Jul 27, 2005.

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  1. CliveS

    CliveS Registered Member

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    Taking up the memory issue raised in other threads, I have reported on this forum that I have had system freezes using all versions of TI and a few whilst not using TI. On the advice given in these other threads, I have just carried out a memory test using the Microsoft Windiag utility on my DDR 400 PC3200 400Mz CAS 2.5-3-3-7 512Mb mem stick. I did approx 10 passes and on each pass a failure ocurred on WMATS+ test.
    I decided reset my memory in bios from auto to manual and I changed the CAS to 3-3-3-7 and re-ran the test. This time all tests passed OK on 10 passes. My conclusion is that my memory stick is not up to spec. Also, I have noticed that an increase of ambient temperature, causes the system freezes to increase in frequency, so I think it is likely that a out of spec memory, set to auto timing configuration in bios, is a recipe for problems with TI, especially if this is coupled with an under cooled PC!
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2005
  2. pjb024

    pjb024 Registered Member

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    Yes bad memory can cause system instability and make applications such as TI appear to be faulty when it is the memory that is causing the fault not the application. This is well documented in other threads but thanks for your input.
     
  3. CliveS

    CliveS Registered Member

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    Many users could like me not have realised that they have out of spec memory as opposed to faulty memory and this is an important distinction because out of spec memory may not cause obvious problems until something like TI is used. As a relative newbie to this forum, I do not see all of the hard work being contributed by presumably non- Acronis individuals being channelled by Acronis into well documented advice to new users. As an example, the memory issue is well documented but not even mentioned in the 'sticky' thread - 'Please read before you post'. I think it is essential to include a warning about this and not just assume that everyone who buys TI is competent enough to automatically understand this. In fact it might be sensible to include a memory checking utility as part of the Acronis setup procedure! More official advice on the USB issue would also be helpful. Unless the issues are dealt with in a more professional manner, there is a real risk that TI will earn a warning label as being 'unfriendly to most PC users'!
     
  4. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello CliveS,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Thank you for your suggestions.

    This feature has been already placed in Acronis True Image enhancement list and has been forwarded to our Development Team.

    Thank you,
    --
    Oleg Shegay
     
  5. CliveS

    CliveS Registered Member

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    Since derating my CAS settings, I have been able to make images without freezing. However, occasionally I was experiencing a freeze, so I have as suggested in other threads, made a habit of setting my BIOS to its default settings and derating CAS settings before imaging to my Freecom 80Gig USB HD using build 903 of TI, which interestingly is the only version that reliably links to my HD on boot-up. Since doing this I haven't had any further problems and always get uncorrupted images when checked.

    Has anyone else found that this course of action has provided more reliability in imaging and restoring?
     
  6. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Anyone remotely concerned about the integrity of their data should periodically carry out a RAM test, particularly after increasing the amount of memory in their system.

    One of the most widely used and respected utilities for testing RAM is <Memtest86+>. It's a free download that's been released under the terms of the Gnu Public License (GPL). Therefore, irrespective of whether the Acronis Development team decide to include a memory tester with their software, I too believe it would be worthwhile if Acronis Support included some form of recommendation and link to <Memtest86+> in their Sticky titled <Please Read Before You Post>.

    Regards
     
  7. tachyon42

    tachyon42 Registered Member

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    I consistantly have problems with corrupted images on my ASUS A7V133 motherboard / AMD CPU computer. Memtest86 doesn't find any problems with memory. I don't have any problems with any program other than TrueImage. If I move the hard disk being imaged to my DELL 4600 motherboard / Pentium 4 machine then I can create and verify images OK. Even some, but not all, of the images which are supposedly corrupt verify successfully on the DELL. Neither machine is overclocked. Problems occur with both the bootable CD and Windows versions of TrueImage.
    Obviously the problem is something to do with the configuration of the ASUS machine conflicting with TrueImage. If Acronis is going to do something about a memory check utility (as mentioned above) then it needs to check memory against the memory characteristics/requirements for TrueImage not just some copy of a utility like Memtest86. If memory is in fact the issue then TrueImage must have some special or unusual memory usage since no other program on my computer has any corruption problems.
     
  8. CliveS

    CliveS Registered Member

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    My board is an ASUS A7N8X-X / AMD CPU with one strip of Corsair 512Mb. Running Memtest 386 V3.2 causes my PC to freeze midway through the test. However, running the Windiag memory diagnostic utility gives me an error free result when tested overnight. I'm now not convinced that my problems have been purely as a result of memory, or even that my memory itself is in fact faulty or even out of spec. As tachyon42 comments, there may well be an issue with some ASUS boards / chipsets. I use DDR400 as specified for my board but I'm convinced that this is not compatable, so I have derated frequency in BIOS from 200Mhz to 166Mhz. What I am quite sure about is that I stand a much greater chance of a successful image creation / restoration if I default CPU settings and severely derate memory settings in BIOS. I suspect that there could be a number of hardware related issues preventing TI from working faultlessely on all PC's but these will be difficult to overcome unless users are capable or prepared to experiment with their PC settings. The dilemna for Acronis, is that it is looking increasingly unlikely that TI will ever be 'plug and play' for all users.
     
  9. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello tachyon42,

    I'm more inclined to think that it's a specific problem with your particular system and nothing at all to do with True Image. The only thing "special" about TI is that it will show up any weakness in your hardware. After all, how many programs do you use that move multi-gigabytes of pure data (as opposed to multimedia) files around, whilst at the same time calculating complex compression and checksum algorithms? Yes, you have eliminated your memory as the likely cause but there are many other subsystems associated with your system that could be failing under the stress.

    Regards
     
  10. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello CliveS,

    You were right to alter the clock frequency to 166Mhz, thereby derating your memory from DDR400 to DDR333. Be aware that, despite what Asus say, Kingston Technology (amongst others) do not recommend DDR400 memory for use with this particular motherboard. Check out this link for <Kingston's statement regarding the Asus A7N8X-Xmotherboard>.

    Also this previous thread titled <Corrupt Image files and Memory Timing > shows you're not the only user of this family of motherboard to have had the same problem.

    Regards
     
  11. CliveS

    CliveS Registered Member

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    Hello Menorcaman

    Thanks for your comments. I did read the thread you posted about DDR400 memory and it was this that prompted me to derate my settings. However, although I have proved to myself that DDR400 is not compatible in my board, other than with TI, I have never experienced problems using DDR400 for normal large file transfers and DDR400 seems to only become a problem when the PC is working in higher than normal ambient temperatures, so clearly TI does considerably stress the system. Do you think that an option in TI to reduce the data transfer / increase image and restoration times help to combat this particular problem for TI users? An increase in time would be a small price to pay for increased reliability and I would think quite acceptable to the average PC user, given the importance of imaging for security.
     
  12. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hi CliveS,

    The only thing I can readily think of that would reduce the stress on the system is to select less or no compression during image creation. This would also have a benificial effect during image restoration because there would be less or no need for decompression. Depending on the speed of your CPU versus the data transfer speed of hard drive sub system, this may or may not increase the time taken to create or restore an image.

    Regards
     
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