Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I own a Dell Studio 1535 laptop with Windows 7 64bit which came with 3 GB RAM (2 GB + 1 GB DDR2 modules). Recently I changed the memory to Kingston Value 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 800 SO-DIMM memory. The laptop seemed to work fine, the memory was available to the system and the on-board Dell-supplied diagnostic tool reported no errors.

However, since the memory upgrade I've been getting BSODs related to memory (PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA, BAD_POOL_HEADER, IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL, BAD_POOL_CALLER). These aren't frequent, I get one in about 3 days of normal usage but it's still very annoying. Before the upgrade I wasn't getting any BSODs at all.

I thought the memory I bought is faulty and thus run Memtest for 16 hours (about 15 passes) and it showed no errors. This keeps me puzzled - should I return the memory as faulty or is the problem something else I am overlooking? What could possibly be wrong except for the memory?

System info:

Dell Studio 1535
Processor: Intel Mobile Core2Duo T5750 @ 2.00 GHz
Mainboard: Dell 0M263C (Intel GM965 chipset), bios Dell version A05
Original memory: 3 GB 332.5 MHz, 5-5-5-15 DDR2 1.8V Dual Channel
New memory: 4GB Kingston DDR2 (also shows 332.5 MHz and 5-5-5-15 in CPU-Z)
share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

There are other possibilities regarding your memory (e.g. incompatible timings, or a bad memory controller), but by far the most likely is that it has slightly faulty componentry that won't fail Memtest every time, but still doesn't work on your system. I have had memory that is known bad (visibly had a cracked diode, or whatever those tiny little things below the chips are), and failed periodically running Windows, pass Memtest86+ again and again with flying colors.

share|improve this answer
Is there a way to specifically rule out incompatible timings as a possible cause? – Karel Petranek Oct 16 '12 at 17:33
That depends. Check the manufacturer's website, to see if there are any recommended timings/compatible RAM manufacturer listings, and if your RAM is compatible with them. If your BIOS/overclocking utility allows it, you could try reducing your timings to the next-lowest level (e.g. 5-5-5-15 to 4-4-4-12) and see if that helps over the long run. Realistically, though, if you bought it new and have the option, I'd just RMA the RAM. – Zac B Oct 16 '12 at 17:36
Ok, thanks for the help :) – Karel Petranek Oct 16 '12 at 17:46

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.