Any further use for corroded RAM? - Hewlett Packard

This is a discussion on Any further use for corroded RAM? - Hewlett Packard ; I was getting some persistent errors in my Pavilion A1130N. I ran memtest for a few days and kept getting occasional errors on test #7.So I took a look at everything and saw that there was some kind of corrosion-looking ...

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  1. Any further use for corroded RAM?

    I was getting some persistent errors in my Pavilion A1130N. I ran
    memtest for a few days and kept getting occasional errors on test
    #7.So I took a look at everything and saw that there was some kind of
    corrosion-looking substance on my 512Mb DDR 400, Micron
    Mt8VDDT6464AG-40BDB, that came with the PC when I first bought it. I
    can't tell exactly what the substance is, but it looks like a whitish
    corrosion.

    This "substance" is in the suspicious pattern of what looks like a
    thumb-print on one side and several fingers on the other. If they are
    fingerprints, then it was not I, the sole owner, that did it, since I
    have never even touched the stock modules before.

    Could this "stuff" just be the oils from someone's fingers that has
    chemically changed over the years to become something that can cause a
    short?

    I would just dismiss the apparent "finger pattern" as a coincidence,
    except for the fact that there is a "large" mass of the "stuff" on one
    part of the board that is far away from any corrodible metal.

    If this stuff is just some careless idiots finger crud, then would you
    think that I could clean the module in some way and possibly get it
    working reliably again? If so, then what kind of cleaning method would
    you recommend?

    I also noticed that there is a similar, yet not as noticeable,
    discoloration pattern on the other stock 512 module. I ran memtest
    with it for several days but never got any errors. Do you think I
    should just go ahead and toss it out? Or do you think it might be
    salvageable as well?

  2. Re: Any further use for corroded RAM?

    I would replace the corroded memory. Apparently in the "factory" where the
    computer was assembled, there are not policies and procedures in place to
    minimize mishandling of the electronic parts... Ben Myers

    On Tue, 12 Feb 2008 19:22:21 -0800 (PST), ShadowTek
    wrote:

    >I was getting some persistent errors in my Pavilion A1130N. I ran
    >memtest for a few days and kept getting occasional errors on test
    >#7.So I took a look at everything and saw that there was some kind of
    >corrosion-looking substance on my 512Mb DDR 400, Micron
    >Mt8VDDT6464AG-40BDB, that came with the PC when I first bought it. I
    >can't tell exactly what the substance is, but it looks like a whitish
    >corrosion.
    >
    >This "substance" is in the suspicious pattern of what looks like a
    >thumb-print on one side and several fingers on the other. If they are
    >fingerprints, then it was not I, the sole owner, that did it, since I
    >have never even touched the stock modules before.
    >
    >Could this "stuff" just be the oils from someone's fingers that has
    >chemically changed over the years to become something that can cause a
    >short?
    >
    >I would just dismiss the apparent "finger pattern" as a coincidence,
    >except for the fact that there is a "large" mass of the "stuff" on one
    >part of the board that is far away from any corrodible metal.
    >
    >If this stuff is just some careless idiots finger crud, then would you
    >think that I could clean the module in some way and possibly get it
    >working reliably again? If so, then what kind of cleaning method would
    >you recommend?
    >
    >I also noticed that there is a similar, yet not as noticeable,
    >discoloration pattern on the other stock 512 module. I ran memtest
    >with it for several days but never got any errors. Do you think I
    >should just go ahead and toss it out? Or do you think it might be
    >salvageable as well?


  3. Re: Any further use for corroded RAM?


    "ShadowTek" wrote in message
    news:a3aa26ce-e5c4-4c96-a0e9-9cbd000639b3@s8g2000prg.googlegroups.com...

    > If this stuff is just some careless idiots finger crud, then would you
    > think that I could clean the module in some way and possibly get it
    > working reliably again? If so, then what kind of cleaning method would
    > you recommend?


    I usually clean the contacts with a plain piece of paper (like laser printer or
    inkjet paper)
    It's abrasive enough to remove tarnish yet is gentle on the actual metal fingers.
    Some
    people use the Pink Pearl method. That's rubbing the contacts with an eraser.
    If you rub the contacts briskly with the paper, look at the paper afterwards. If
    it has a grey streak on it, you're getting off tarnish and corrosion. After
    cleaning, you
    should treat the contacts with a contact protector and lube (usually available at
    Radio Shack
    or similar stores. If your sockets are gold plated while your RAM board fingers are
    tin
    plated (or vice-versa) you will eventually have problems with corrosion. You should
    match
    gold to gold and tin to tin.

    Tom Lake



  4. Re: Any further use for corroded RAM?

    ShadowTek wrote:
    > I was getting some persistent errors in my Pavilion A1130N. I ran
    > memtest for a few days and kept getting occasional errors on test
    > #7.So I took a look at everything and saw that there was some kind of
    > corrosion-looking substance on my 512Mb DDR 400, Micron
    > Mt8VDDT6464AG-40BDB, that came with the PC when I first bought it. I
    > can't tell exactly what the substance is, but it looks like a whitish
    > corrosion.
    >
    > This "substance" is in the suspicious pattern of what looks like a
    > thumb-print on one side and several fingers on the other. If they are
    > fingerprints, then it was not I, the sole owner, that did it, since I
    > have never even touched the stock modules before.


    remove the module and clean it with a new toothbrush and hot distilled
    water. Let it soak for a few minutes. you can do this on a plate.

    Really, the distilled water part is key. Don't use tap water, it just
    makes electronics dirtier.

    Dry things off with compressed air, or a hair dryer. Reinstall the memory
    and try again.






  5. Re: Any further use for corroded RAM?

    There wasn't any corrosion on the socket connectors. The stuff was
    just on the upper two-thirds of the module.

    Is there any definitive way to tell if this stuff is, in fact,
    corrosion that has compromised the integrity of the metal? If the
    components of the module are still good, and all it needs is a "bath",
    then I would like to give that a try. But I don't want to waste my
    time on something that might result in my data files getting corrupted
    when I try and start using the module in my system again.

    I guess I could stick the it under my microscope after I clean it, and
    look over the surface for any signs of pitting or wear in the circuit
    pathways.

    Aside from that, what RAM manufacturer is know for the best
    reliability and chemical durability?

    This is pretty ridiculous that BOTH the Micron modules have been
    chemically degraded.

    I have owned several Kingston modules over the years, and have one 1Gb
    module in THIS system at the moment, and I have never had any problems
    with any of them. They still look as shiny as the day they were
    purchased. Once you blast em with a can of duster, that is.

  6. Re: Any further use for corroded RAM?

    ShadowTek wrote:
    > There wasn't any corrosion on the socket connectors. The stuff was
    > just on the upper two-thirds of the module.
    >
    > Is there any definitive way to tell if this stuff is, in fact,
    > corrosion that has compromised the integrity of the metal? If the
    > components of the module are still good, and all it needs is a "bath",
    > then I would like to give that a try. But I don't want to waste my
    > time on something that might result in my data files getting corrupted
    > when I try and start using the module in my system again.
    >
    > I guess I could stick the it under my microscope after I clean it, and
    > look over the surface for any signs of pitting or wear in the circuit
    > pathways.
    >
    > Aside from that, what RAM manufacturer is know for the best
    > reliability and chemical durability?
    >
    > This is pretty ridiculous that BOTH the Micron modules have been
    > chemically degraded.


    how did you conclude "chemically degraded"?

    > I have owned several Kingston modules over the years, and have one 1Gb
    > module in THIS system at the moment, and I have never had any problems
    > with any of them. They still look as shiny as the day they were
    > purchased. Once you blast em with a can of duster, that is.


    memory is not made to submerged in ****. PC magazine doesn't run tests on
    which memory works best under chemical x.

    Is it possible the stuff you're seeing is heatsink grease, that somebody
    maybe got all over their hands?

    distilled water is cheap and a powerful cleaner. Give it as shot.

  7. Re: Any further use for corroded RAM?

    > how did you conclude "chemically degraded"?

    Well, that's my way of saying "corroded", since corrosion is the
    result of a chemical process. This is, assuming that this stuff is
    actually corrosion.

    > Is it possible the stuff you're seeing is heatsink grease, that somebody
    > maybe got all over their hands?
    >
    > distilled water is cheap and a powerful cleaner. Give it as shot.


    That could very well be what it is. But don't they usually use
    nonconductive grease like silicone? I thought that the only people who
    used conductive thermal interface material where overclockers who buy
    that Arctic Silver stuff.

    I mean, wouldn't the substance have to be conductive, causing a short,
    to cause a problem? For what other reasons could a foreign substance
    cause a RAM error, if not for causing a short?

    Also, I have a can of some electrical contact cleaner lying around.
    Would this be safe to use on RAM?
    http://www.crcindustries.com/auto/co....aspx?PN=05102

  8. Re: Any further use for corroded RAM?

    I stuck the module under my microscope and, to my suprise, managed to
    get some decent pictures with my digital camera. I found a few places
    that could be causing shorts.

    40X magnification
    http://img145.imageshack.us/my.php?i...m000218ub6.jpg
    http://img164.imageshack.us/my.php?i...m000220ks5.jpg
    http://img204.imageshack.us/my.php?i...m000224cs2.jpg

    This picture, taken at 100X magnification, shows a little "hair-like"
    strand that reaches across from one metal "pad" to another. Could this
    be that "metal growth" that can cause shorts inside electronics? Or
    does this just look like a regular fiber or hair?
    http://img404.imageshack.us/my.php?i...m000222yo9.jpg

  9. Re: Any further use for corroded RAM?

    On Wed, 13 Feb 2008 06:43:19 -0500, Ben Myers wrote:

    >I would replace the corroded memory. Apparently in the "factory" where the
    >computer was assembled, there are not policies and procedures in place to
    >minimize mishandling of the electronic parts... Ben Myers


    http://www.caliburn.nl/topposting

    >On Tue, 12 Feb 2008 19:22:21 -0800 (PST), ShadowTek
    >wrote:
    >
    >>I was getting some persistent errors in my Pavilion A1130N. I ran
    >>memtest for a few days and kept getting occasional errors on test
    >>#7.So I took a look at everything and saw that there was some kind of
    >>corrosion-looking substance on my 512Mb DDR 400, Micron
    >>Mt8VDDT6464AG-40BDB, that came with the PC when I first bought it. I
    >>can't tell exactly what the substance is, but it looks like a whitish
    >>corrosion.
    >>
    >>This "substance" is in the suspicious pattern of what looks like a
    >>thumb-print on one side and several fingers on the other. If they are
    >>fingerprints, then it was not I, the sole owner, that did it, since I
    >>have never even touched the stock modules before.
    >>
    >>Could this "stuff" just be the oils from someone's fingers that has
    >>chemically changed over the years to become something that can cause a
    >>short?
    >>
    >>I would just dismiss the apparent "finger pattern" as a coincidence,
    >>except for the fact that there is a "large" mass of the "stuff" on one
    >>part of the board that is far away from any corrodible metal.
    >>
    >>If this stuff is just some careless idiots finger crud, then would you
    >>think that I could clean the module in some way and possibly get it
    >>working reliably again? If so, then what kind of cleaning method would
    >>you recommend?
    >>
    >>I also noticed that there is a similar, yet not as noticeable,
    >>discoloration pattern on the other stock 512 module. I ran memtest
    >>with it for several days but never got any errors. Do you think I
    >>should just go ahead and toss it out? Or do you think it might be
    >>salvageable as well?


    Barry
    =====
    Home page
    http://members.iinet.net.au/~barry.og

  10. Re: Any further use for corroded RAM?

    ShadowTek wrote:
    >> how did you conclude "chemically degraded"?

    >
    > Well, that's my way of saying "corroded", since corrosion is the
    > result of a chemical process. This is, assuming that this stuff is
    > actually corrosion.
    >
    >> Is it possible the stuff you're seeing is heatsink grease, that somebody
    >> maybe got all over their hands?
    >>
    >> distilled water is cheap and a powerful cleaner. Give it as shot.

    >
    > That could very well be what it is. But don't they usually use
    > nonconductive grease like silicone? I thought that the only people who


    not anymore. The standard white stuff, which is zinc oxide in a silicone
    doesn't conduct. It can separate or dry out though. It's usually not very
    running unless it hasn't beem mixed well. The stuff in your photos almost
    looks more like a grease than heatsink compound.

    > used conductive thermal interface material where overclockers who buy
    > that Arctic Silver stuff.


    The grey stuff is silver bearing, and while I've not tested it with a
    meter, probably has some conductive properties. They tend to use this for
    CPUs that use lots of power (basically anything these days).

    One use thermal pads are the rage now. They print them onto the heatsinks.

    > I mean, wouldn't the substance have to be conductive, causing a short,
    > to cause a problem? For what other reasons could a foreign substance
    > cause a RAM error, if not for causing a short?
    >
    > Also, I have a can of some electrical contact cleaner lying around.
    > Would this be safe to use on RAM?
    > http://www.crcindustries.com/auto/co....aspx?PN=05102



    that stuff should remove grease or heatsink compound. Worst case, you
    already have a dead DIMM with a value under $50 anways.


    If I had any left, I'd use "blue shower" spray on that DIMM.

  11. Re: Any further use for corroded RAM?


    "ShadowTek" wrote in message
    news:0db1241b-2633-4efb-8d59-533eb33898f0@l16g2000hsh.googlegroups.com...
    >I stuck the module under my microscope and, to my suprise, managed to
    > get some decent pictures with my digital camera. I found a few places
    > that could be causing shorts.
    >
    > 40X magnification
    > http://img145.imageshack.us/my.php?i...m000218ub6.jpg
    > http://img164.imageshack.us/my.php?i...m000220ks5.jpg
    > http://img204.imageshack.us/my.php?i...m000224cs2.jpg
    >
    > This picture, taken at 100X magnification, shows a little "hair-like"
    > strand that reaches across from one metal "pad" to another. Could this
    > be that "metal growth" that can cause shorts inside electronics? Or
    > does this just look like a regular fiber or hair?
    > http://img404.imageshack.us/my.php?i...m000222yo9.jpg


    Google for 'tin whiskers'



  12. Re: Any further use for corroded RAM?

    On Feb 13, 4:52 pm, Cydrome Leader wrote:
    > ShadowTek wrote:
    > > There wasn't any corrosion on the socket connectors. The stuff was
    > > just on the upper two-thirds of the module.

    >
    > > Is there any definitive way to tell if this stuff is, in fact,
    > > corrosion that has compromised the integrity of the metal? If the
    > > components of the module are still good, and all it needs is a "bath",
    > > then I would like to give that a try. But I don't want to waste my
    > > time on something that might result in my data files getting corrupted
    > > when I try and start using the module in my system again.

    >
    > > I guess I could stick the it under my microscope after I clean it, and
    > > look over the surface for any signs of pitting or wear in the circuit
    > > pathways.

    >
    > > Aside from that, what RAM manufacturer is know for the best
    > > reliability and chemical durability?

    >
    > > This is pretty ridiculous that BOTH the Micron modules have been
    > > chemically degraded.

    >
    > how did you conclude "chemically degraded"?
    >
    > > I have owned several Kingston modules over the years, and have one 1Gb
    > > module in THIS system at the moment, and I have never had any problems
    > > with any of them. They still look as shiny as the day they were
    > > purchased. Once you blast em with a can of duster, that is.

    >
    > memory is not made to submerged in ****. PC magazine doesn't run tests on
    > which memory works best under chemical x.
    >
    > Is it possible the stuff you're seeing is heatsink grease, that somebody
    > maybe got all over their hands?
    >
    > distilled water is cheap and a powerfulcleaner. Give it as shot.


    Regular water is great for removing green copper oxide. I have put
    stuff on memories and sockets. Blow out sockets first. I use Cramolin,
    Deoxit, CRC 2-26, etc. I prefer a lubricant since zero residue
    cleaners do little. Alcohol is as good as most but some plastics can
    be harmed.

  13. Re: Any further use for corroded RAM?

    Update:
    I cleaned that module with some of that electrical contact cleaner and
    a few q-tips. That did a very good job of removing everything on the
    surface, but some of that white stuff that was down in the crevices
    was just to far out of reach. But all the excess gunk that touched
    from one metal body to another, which looked like a potential short
    circuit path, was effectively cleaned up.

    After re-installing the module, I ran memtest for 68 hours, for a a
    total of 75 passes of tests 1 through 8, and no errors were ever
    detected. I have also been running this system for over a week
    straight and I haven't yet encountered any other odd behavior, so it
    looks like that problem has successfully been solved.

    Thanks for all the help.

  14. Re: Any further use for corroded RAM?

    On Mar 31, 4:17*pm, ShadowTek wrote:
    > Update:
    > I cleaned that module with some of that electricalcontact cleanerand
    > a few q-tips. That did a very good job of removing everything on the
    > surface, but some of that white stuff that was down in the crevices
    > was just to far out of reach. But all the excess gunk that touched
    > from one metal body to another, which looked like a potential short
    > circuit path, was effectively cleaned up.
    >
    > After re-installing the module, I ran memtest for 68 hours, for a a
    > total of 75 passes of tests 1 through 8, and no errors were ever
    > detected. I have also been running this system for over a week
    > straight and I haven't yet encountered any other odd behavior, so it
    > looks like that problem has successfully been solved.
    >
    > Thanks for all the help.


    Try some DeoxIT. Will dissolve any oxidation and corrosion on metal
    surfaces.
    Will improve connection performance without harm to other parts.
    Mike

  15. Re: Any further use for corroded RAM?

    > Try some DeoxIT. Will dissolve any oxidation and corrosion on metal
    > surfaces.
    > Will improve connection performance without harm to other parts.
    > Mike


    Well, I used the term "corrosion" before I had a good look at the
    module under the microscope, and, after seeing it close up, I didn't
    see any real corrosion of the metals. It appears that the entire
    problem was this white grease-like whatever-the-crap was the whole
    problem all along.

  16. Re: Any further use for corroded RAM?

    Good point. Corrosion or pitted metal contacts is a whole different ballgame...
    Ben Myers

    On Mon, 31 Mar 2008 21:30:12 -0700 (PDT), ShadowTek
    wrote:

    >> Try some DeoxIT. Will dissolve any oxidation and corrosion on metal
    >> surfaces.
    >> Will improve connection performance without harm to other parts.
    >> Mike

    >
    >Well, I used the term "corrosion" before I had a good look at the
    >module under the microscope, and, after seeing it close up, I didn't
    >see any real corrosion of the metals. It appears that the entire
    >problem was this white grease-like whatever-the-crap was the whole
    >problem all along.


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