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[ The PC Guide | System Optimization and Enhancement Guide | System Optimizations and Enhancements | Improve the Reliability of the System ]

Enable Memory Error Detection and/or Correction

One of the features available on memory subsystems is the ability to perform memory error checking as the system operates. This requires the use of parity memory in a system capable of parity checking.

While many newer systems today do not use parity memory and therefore are incapable of doing error detection, some systems are capable of doing it. I occasionally find, however, that I have ordered a PC with parity memory and it has been delivered to me with error checking turned off! This usually happens due to ignorance or neglect, but I have also seen it done on purpose, in order to cover up a problem with the memory or motherboard that shows up when parity checking is turned on.

If your system has parity memory in it, you will want to see that parity checking is enabled by looking at this BIOS setting and ensuring that it is set to "Enabled". If you get parity errors after enabling it, see this section of the Troubleshooting Expert for help in resolving them. You should also try enabling ECC, if the system has it, by using this BIOS setting, which toggles between straight parity checking and ECC mode. If the system works fine on the parity setting but gives immediate and consistent errors in ECC mode, this is a signal that you may have been sold false parity memory.

Next: Safeguard Your PC Investment and Your Data with Backups and Preventive Maintenance


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