Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. #1
    ROG Member Array
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Reputation
    10
    Posts
    6

    G74SX-BBK9 and -BBK11 memtest86 failures

    Hi everyone,

    This is my first ROG post because I'm at my wit's end.

    I had an ASUS G71G for about a year. It worked well, but the WiFi card was dead and SMARTtools red-flagged the hard drive with 22 million soft errors. ECC was still correcting them, but the drive was not long for this world.

    Fine. I had bought the extended warranty. I returned it for replacement, but instead got a credit at N*wEgg. OK, great. I'll upgrade.

    I picked out a refurbished G74SX-BBK9 as the closest equivalent to the G71G. It cost more, but I'd gotten one heck of a deal on the G71G and I couldn't afford a new G74.

    The laptop arrives and it looks brand new. Nice. I've bought refurbished laptops from N*wEgg before, and always had really good luck. They have been in good condition, no dead pixels or anything.

    As always, I run memtest86+ (v4.20) on it. I watched it up to test #3, then left to do errands. When I return an hour later, there's a zillion red errors in low memory (about 131 Meg) for test # 7, Random 32 bit patterns. When I reboot, the BIOS gets stuck in POST, rebooting itself over and over. What the-?

    I swap out the memory for known-good RAM. No luck. It still fails in test # 7 at around 130 Meg. I try the G74SX's memory in another laptop. It runs the full 3 passes in memtest86+ just fine.

    OK, RMA time. the G74 goes back and after a couple of weeks, I get a replacement.

    This time, I get distracted and it slips past the BIOS into Windows 7 Setup ... and hangs there. Uh oh. I reboot and run memtest86. Once again, an unending stream of red errors in test 7 in low memory, around 130M. I swap RAM. Still got errors in test # 7 on the G74SX with known good memory.

    To add insult to injury, its slash key and right shift keys are sticky. Whoever refurbished it hadn't tested the keyboard very well.

    RMA: This time I wait the hour or so on hold and talk to a person for a RMA. They apologize, send me a free return voucher for UPS, and say that there is no known memory problem with the G74SX.

    After 10 days, the G74SX clears the RMA process and I can get a replacement. But wait! They've discontinued the G74SX-BBK9. They do have -BBK11s for $60 more. I spend more time on the phone before they agree to discount me a BBK11.

    Several days later, my BBK11 arrives. This time I change memtest86+'s error reporting mode to Summary. Surprise! Memory errors start only in test 7 at precisely 0x8100000 (129 Meg) and heading up towards the end of low memory.

    (Side note: memtest86+'s default error reporting mode is supposed be 1) Error Summary, but instead looks like 2) Individual Errors. If I switch from 1) to 2), then I get an error summary. This looks like a bug in memtest86.)

    I stop it and put in one known-good 2 Gbyte SODIMM. Memtest86 shows errors from 0x8100000 to the top of low memory, where ACPI's tables, etc, are. I let run, but all it can add is that the number of bad bits vary from 1 to 32.

    Those bad addresses on all three laptops are too close to be coincidence. Maybe there's something weird about the G74 series that memtest86 doesn't know about.

    I run a Linux Live CD (Ubuntu 12.10 64-bit) and write a program that grabs and tests all user-available memory. It runs overnight without error.

    OK, I let Windows 7 finish its setup, which completes correctly, as far as I can tell. I install some apps and games. Still fine.

    I repartition the disk and install Ubuntu 12.10 for dual booting. All good. I install several gig of apps from the repositories, then reboot onto the Live CD and check all Linux filesystems for corrpution. No errors.

    Huh. Maybe it is memtest86 somehow. So, I reboot into Windows and do a Skype video call. About 45 minutes in, video starts getting weird. Its not the usual rectangular blocks of blotchy color that you get from dropped packets, but oddly scrolling, almost Arabesque curly-cues that stretch diagonally across the screen.

    A minute later, the G74 takes a BSOD, does a memory dump, then reboots. And gets stuck in another reboot loop. It can display the ASUS logo, but doesn't get much further before it reboots again, just like BBK9 # 1, above.

    I've been reading the ROG forums during the two months that I've been without my main laptop. I read with pleasure fostert's posts on the "G74 and 8GB Memory DIMMs..." thread.

    G74 and 8GB Memory DIMMs...

    If nothing else, it meant that a G74SX is supposed to be able to run three full passes of memtest86+.

    I'll be RMAing the BBK11, for the reboot loop if nothing else. But I have to ask:

    Has anyone ever heard of something that would make three different G74SXs fail memtest86+ in test # 7, but not in earlier tests, starting at roughly the same address of 0x8100000?

    (I wish I had turned on summary mode in earlier memtest86 runs.)

    My working hypothesis is there was a bad batch of G74SXs and rather than junk them, some unscrupulous refurb company is selling them to vendors like N*wEgg. But, I could easily been wrong.

    With regards to N*wEgg, the people on the phones have been great. They've been very helpful in trying to sort out my troubles.

    As far as the G74SX goes, it is an excellent laptop, until it crashes. I wish mine was working and I didn't have to go through the RMA-grinder yet again.

    Thanks for reading this far through my tale of woe, and thanks for your time!

  2. #2
    ROG Guru: Gold Belt Array dstrakele's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Reputation
    89
    Posts
    4,437

    Can you confirm the outlet you're using is properly grounded?

    I typically recommend users reporting crashes to run memtest86+ to confirm RAM is sound. I can count on one hand those who reported memory test failures.
    Last edited by dstrakele; 01-08-2013 at 10:51 PM.
    G74SX-A1 - stock hardware - BIOS 202 - 2nd Monitor VISIO VF551XVT

  3. #3
    ROG Member Array
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Reputation
    10
    Posts
    6

    Can you confirm the outlet you're using is properly grounded?


    I just checked with an outlet tester. Yes, the outlet I usually power it from is correct. Is there a known problem with G74 series power supplies?


    I typically recommend users reporting crashes to run memtest86+ to confirm RAM is sound. I can count on one hand those who reported memory test failures.


    Then I must be unlucky. Before this I had seen two dead memory sticks, one in a micro-BTX system.

  4. #4
    ROG Guru: Gold Belt Array dstrakele's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Reputation
    89
    Posts
    4,437

    The fact that you have seen more than your fair share of bad memory led me to ask about your power supply. It's more common to see defective power adapters reported among all G Series models than bad memory.

    It seems to me that refurbished laptops appear to have a greater share of hardware failures that require RMA's. But I think it is probably because they are never correctly repaired (see http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread...even-after-RMA to understand how that may be possible) .
    G74SX-A1 - stock hardware - BIOS 202 - 2nd Monitor VISIO VF551XVT

  5. #5
    ROG Guru: Green Belt Array fostert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Reputation
    54
    Posts
    706

    @zartan: I am very sorry to hear of your persistent woes with your G74s. I am at a loss to understand what is happening...however, memtest not only tests your memory, but also the northbridge (memory controller), which in current intel chips is on-die. A failure, nine times out of ten is usually due to a bad memory stick(s), but in this case, I'd say the IMC on the CPU is the cause. Memtest is a pretty rugged test for the integrated memory controller (it will stress the cpu for sure), and can reveal a weak one just as effectively as it can reveal a bad stick. Check with intel and/or newegg about the CPU warranty remaining. It should be still honoured since the cpu has never been overclocked (which you can't do with a G74).
    --
    G74SX-CST1-CBIL, i7 2630QM 2GHz
    32GB DDR3 RAM @1333MHz
    GTX560M 3GB DDR5 (192 bit)
    17.3" LED 1920x1080
    Sentelic TP, BIOS 203
    Debian Linux Wheezy (Testing) Kernel 3.2, NVIDIA 295.40

  6. #6
    New ROGer Array
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Reputation
    13
    Posts
    2,441

    how many RAM do you use? are there same mode and type? are yoru laptop able to use normal? what is your really problem now without memtest fail.

  7. #7
    ROG Member Array
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Reputation
    10
    Posts
    6

    Quote Originally Posted by dstrakele View Post
    The fact that you have seen more than your fair share of bad memory led me to ask about your power supply. It's more common to see defective power adapters reported among all G Series models than bad memory.

    It seems to me that refurbished laptops appear to have a greater share of hardware failures that require RMA's. But I think it is probably because they are never correctly repaired (see http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread...even-after-RMA to understand how that may be possible) .
    Sorry, let me clarify. I've seen two bad memory sticks, but neither one was in a G74SX. In fact, they weren't even in the same state, so power and outlets don't apply.

    The first was in my G71G. It was present upon arrival and found by my usual acceptance tests for refurbs. A quick replacmenent fixed that.

    The other in a micro-BTX system. It passed memtest86 when I was building it, but failed about 7 months later.

    I'm quiite willing to believe that whoever is refurb-ing these systems isn't doing very thorough tests. I have a friend who used to refurb audio equipment. He said that there was nothing wrong with about 25% of the returns, probably a mix of buyer's remorse and ID10T problems. The next 25% had very simple problems, like loose wires, defective switches, etc, so he fixed them. He didn't bother with the other 50%. They weren't worth his time to diagnose and he sold them to an electronic scrap dealer.

    What I fear is that whoever is refurbing the G74SXes may not be scrapping the ones with difficult problems. They may be assuming that if the problem is hard to find, then it may go away, or perhaps the customer will blame themselves until the warranty is up.

    In my opinion, if a laptop won't pass an overnight run of memtest86, then it hasn't been properly refurbed. If a new box doesn't pass, that's even worse. Manufacturers are supposed to run functional tests before shipping.

  8. #8
    ROG Member Array
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Reputation
    10
    Posts
    6

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_Lu@ASUS View Post
    how many RAM do you use? are there same mode and type? are yoru laptop able to use normal? what is your really problem now without memtest fail.
    It came with 2x4Gbyte PC3-10600 Hynix Semicunductor HMT351S6CFR8C-H9.

    As I mentioned above, I was able to run the laptop long enough to complete Win7's setup, install some apps, then do a Linux setup and install a couple Gig of apps. I ran a simple Linux program that allocated a big block of memory, wrote in different 32-bit patterns, then read them back. That ran overnight without error.

    But later I ran Skype and it failed after about 45 minutes.

    My problem is that I can't rely on the laptop. Sometimes it works, sometimes it fails rather quickly.

    Memtest86 exercises the RAM and Northbridge hard. The G74SX-BBK11 has yet to pass Test 7. It always fails there.

  9. #9
    ROG Member Array
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Reputation
    10
    Posts
    6

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_Lu@ASUS View Post
    how many RAM do you use? are there same mode and type? are yoru laptop able to use normal? what is your really problem now without memtest fail.
    It came with 2x4Gbyte PC3-10600 Hynix Semicunductor HMT351S6CFR8C-H9.

    As I mentioned above, I was able to run the laptop long enough to complete Win7's setup, install some apps, then do a Linux setup and install a couple Gig of apps. I ran a simple Linux program that allocated a big block of memory, wrote in different 32-bit patterns, then read them back. That ran overnight without error.

    But later I ran Skype and it failed after about 45 minutes.

    My problem is that I can't rely on the laptop. Sometimes it works, sometimes it fails rather quickly.

    Memtest86 exercises the RAM and Northbridge hard. The G74SX-BBK11 has yet to pass Test 7. It always fails there.

    And then there's that reboot loop. I've seen that twice, in the first-BBK9 and with the BBK11 after the Skype crash. A laptop that reboots forever during POST is not a working laptop.

  10. #10
    ROG Guru: Gold Belt Array dstrakele's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Reputation
    89
    Posts
    4,437

    Quote Originally Posted by Zartan View Post
    In my opinion, if a laptop won't pass an overnight run of memtest86, then it hasn't been properly refurbed. If a new box doesn't pass, that's even worse. Manufacturers are supposed to run functional tests before shipping.
    I believe the ASUS refurbished laptops receive far less testing. I bet they glance at the system for any obvious defects, check accessories are present, press the Power On button, and if it starts successfully and displays the Windows Setup Wizard, it goes out the door. If it doesn't display the Windows Setup Wizard, they do a Factory Recovery and send it out the door.

    In my wildest dreams, I can't see them running ANY test overnight. It wouldn't surprise me if new laptops get the same quick "startup and out the door" treatment.
    Last edited by dstrakele; 01-09-2013 at 07:20 PM.
    G74SX-A1 - stock hardware - BIOS 202 - 2nd Monitor VISIO VF551XVT

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •