Most glitches are caused by physical memory

Make sure your memory and slots are clean. You can use alcohol or sand with white paper.

Also, make sure your memory sticks are as similar as possible, preferably identical.

Don't ask me how I know.


Moved to Tutorials & Guides because it fits that better than General Help.


I'm not sure how much truth there is behind this, if any, but I was once told that memory sticks very rarely fail on their own. It's worth running a system check whenever there's some potential damage done to the hardware i.e.: while traveling, sudden drops, etc. Cleaning the machine every once in a while is also a very good idea.

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Memory sticks do not often fail on their own. Memory Sticks (RAM) do not operate the same way that SSD or SD cards do.
But I do believe there is plenty of truth to how corrosion, sebum, or other contaminants being on the memory stick contact points can inhibit communication or even cause failure to communicate with the memory stick.
I would highly recommend that any user looking into this follow specific Guides and Safety Precautions to protect their investment before cleaning or handling Memory sticks or slots. Ensure you fully understand the procedures and what you are doing with careful research.

Slots can be usually cleaned with Compressed air - no fluids needed.


I thought you meant NES cartridges.

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Similar to NES cartridges, RAM modules (or sticks) have contact plates that can collect dust/debris, corrode or even oxidize because they are exposed. Even in the slot, bent metal pins about the thickness of a small paperclip, if not thinner, are contacting those pads in very specific positions. The pad size allows for a manufacturing tolerance in either direction.

Before attempting to service these yourself, ground yourself, and maintain that ground the entire time you handle the modules.

Any amount of static electricity can cause these chips to fail! Even if on an antistatic floor mat, use a grounding bracelet. You have been warned.

90% alcohol is recommended because of the lack of water. It also dissipates rather quickly, ensuring connections are dry when reassembled.

If the corrosion/oxidization is beyond rubbing alcohols capabilities to remedy, use emry cloth or sand paper with at least 120 grit. Higher is better as it causes less chance of scratching and the potential to remove this very thin layer of metal. Use light pressure and verticle motions to remove the corrosion.

When reassembling, ensure the modules are seated correctly, evenly and securely. To do this, there are two standard methods:

  • use one hand with the index finger and thumb making contact on the spine (edge of the module) a third of the way into the module on both sides, pushing down and toward the clips (usually processor side) firmly.

  • Use two hands, thumbs only, a third of the way in from either end on the edge of the module. Same motion, down and toward the clips pressing firmly.

  • This doesn't mean you have to stand on it. Use about the same pressure to close Rubbermaid plasticware.

  • It is best to start closest to the processor and work your way to the edge of the motherboard.

Ensure you don't introduce foreign objects or liquid to the slot. A cat hair can cause it to fail.

Take your time, it's a simple practice that can take less then five minutes for a practiced individual. You will most likely take fifteen to twenty, which is not unusual. Wipe it clean with rubbing alcohol and a microfiber towel when you are finished. Paper towels can work, but may leave behind pieces of paper that interrupt conductivity.

If you hear beeping when you boot (more than usual), power off the machine and check the modules again.

While different manufactured modules can work together, different sizes and definitely clock speeds do not. Get the exact same modules to be on the safe side. If you must mix sizes, clock speeds cannot be mixed. This will cause one or more of the modules to not show or even damage the other modules, possibly even the slots (This is electricity we are transferring. Different clock speeds means different amount of current and the potential to overheat the slot and module).

Make sure the motherboard supports the clock speed modules you are using. Anymore, motherboard support a wide variety, but it still doesn't mean they can be mixed.

Do NOT Use dielectric grease! It may preserve metals from corrosion, but it is very difficult to control how it spreads when inserted into a slot. As these pads are not separated by any physical barrier from each other, there is a high likelyhood that the grease will conduct electricity from multiple connectors to multiple pads. This will corrupt any data being moved through the modules.

Timeframe for this kind of maintenance: depending on your environment, air quality, filtration on the computer itself and use of the computer.... two to four times a year (it really has to be a humid or dusty environment to have to do this four times in a year).

i actually use 1500 grit... :expressionless:

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120 is the lowest my instructors said to go. Usually in a pinch, that is avaliable. Finding 1500 lying around someone's house, not likely.

Emry cloth is the preferred as it already starts at a very high grit (electronics quality anyway).

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This is very true. I do mechanical and polishing so I have ummm... up to 5,000 grit readily available.

Most people usually have 80 grit.