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204 ram error

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HP xw6600
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

Good evening. I have a RAM problem with my HP xw6600 workstation. The other day it failed to boot and gave the 5 beeps with flashing red led warning. I think I narrowed the fault down to a faulty 2GB Dimm. (there are 8 x 2 gb DIMMs fitted) I ordered a replacement 2 gb DIMM (same part number as the others)

After fitting the new Dimm I am getting a 204 memory load incorrect slot 4 error. The new DImm was not fitted to slot 4 .

To try and fault diagnose the problem I fitted the new DImm on it own as a single DIMM fit and the machine booted fine. I next used the new DIMM  in a 2 dimm fit slots 1 and 5  and again it booted fine with no errors.

I then tried a 4 dimm fit in slots 1,3,5 and 7 and get the 204 error again for slot 4 although no dim fitted to that slot.

I have put all 8 dimms back and still getting the slot 4  error.

Has anyone any thoughts on this problem as I think the new DIMM is fine and compatible . I cant figure out why I am getting a slot 4 error when nothing is fitted in it and only when I go to more than a 2 dimm fit. Any thoughts much appreciated. Thanks

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the xw6600 used FBDimms (Fully Buffered) and these dimms are available in 533mhz and 667mhz and 800mhz

 

they are available in several sizes 512k  1m /2m/4m/8m  (m=meg)

 

what is also important is the "rank"  which is how the memory on the dimm module is organized common ranks are 1/2/4/8

 

so it's possible to have a 4meg module that is available in both 2 and 4 rank versions

 

you can not mix "ranks" in a memory bank, and the xw660 has 4 banks of ram with each bank being two dimms

make sure each bank has the same sized dimm and the same "rank"

 

as for dimm speed, the system will downclock to the slowest ram modules that are installed

 

FBDimm ram is usually listed like this:

 

46C7418 46C7421 1 GB 1Rx8 DDR2-667 PC2-5300 555 FBDIMM with AMB+ version of Advanced Memory Buffer device. 46C7419 46C7422 2 GB 2Rx8 DDR2-667 PC2-5300 555 FBDIMM with AMB+ version of Advanced Memory Buffer device. 46C7420 46C7423 4 GB 4Rx8 DDR2-667 PC2-5300 555 FBDIMM with AMB+ version of Advanced Memory Buffer device.

 

https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c01319077

 

https://support.hp.com/rs-en/product/hp-xw6600-workstation/3432821/manuals

 

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Hi DGroves, thank you for your comprehensive reply which i think i understand except for the Rank  explaination. All the dimms fitted asre as per it was purchaced. 8 x 2 GB. They all have part number SUN FRU. 371-3086-01 on them as does the replacement I  purchased. Is there any easy way to identify the dimms RANK . These DIMMS are encased in what i can only describe as a metal case so I cannot easily identify how the memory on each is organised.. they all say 667 MHz and memory type DDR2FB and all 2048 MB. Would the part number on each DIMM not change if it was a different RANK and have you any thoughts on why error 204 memory load incorrect Slot 4 is appearing on boot. I have tried various DIMMs in slot 4 and the error remains. I   booted  with only 2 dimms fitted the replacement one in slot 1 and an existing one in slot 5 and that worked which I assumed proved the replacement DIMM was compatible with the existing DIMMS but as I say it is only when I fit 4 DIMMs or more that the 204 memory load incorrect slot 4 appears during boot.

The whole machine seems to be really slow at the minute so I am not convinced that the main board isn't packing up. I have ordered some 4GB DIMMs and will try those before giving up on it. Thanks again for your help.

Steve

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you have OEM memory from a SUN system, as such it may not show the rank

 

if i understand you right you currently have  8 sticks of 2GB ram installed for a total of 16GB

 

for your FBDimms

---------------------

most 2 GB modules are 2 rank

 

most 4 GB modules are 2 rank

 

most 8GB modules are 2 rank but can also be 4 rank

 

see the link below, it shows a retail FBDimm label and lists the "rank" as 2 for a 4GB module

 

https://www.ebay.com/c/1422435410?iid=154047223964

 

the xw6600 has 4 memory banks, each bank is two modules  = 8 dimm slots

 

IE- bank 1, two 4GB modules that are rank 2

      bank 2,  two 8GB modules that are rank 4

 

read the link i sent on xw6600 memory placement, and make sure EACH memory bank has FBDimms that are the same size/rank installed

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Thank you yet again for your patience DGroves,

I have removed the DIMMs again and found a second label on them which shows the replacement as a 2GB 2r x8 whereas the existing are 2GB 2r x 4 . I hadnt noticed this before as i assumed that two items with the same part number would be the same. I am now assuming that this 2rx x4 and 2r x 8 are referring to the rank you were trying to explain to me and will not work together. To try and salvage something, i have found some 4gb DiMMs on ebay,  which i am assured are a matching set. I will try fitting those 8, 4GB Dimms. Fingers crossed and thanks again for your valuable information. Being from an aircraft maint background where part numbers are very specific and will either change completely or recieve dahk number additions if modified I thought the IT  components would have similar control. I cannot say that I yet fully understand the RANK system but I shall google it and try to get my head round it. I did not see RANK mentioned when researching DIMM replacement for my HP xw6600 but may well have just skipped over it. Thanks again

Steve

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This reminds me of an experience with an xw8600 years ago.  The person with this workstation had bought a set of 8 RAM sticks for it from a company, not HP, and all was well until one went bad.  We contacted the company and they sent out a replacement stick.... same specs as the other 7 but now a year later, different batch.  Numerous issues with memory resulted.  Finally convinced the company to take back all 8, and send us a new set of 8.  That worked.

 

Look at true HP sticks on eBay.  It is chump change to get 8 matched 2GB official HP sticks.  I'd even look at 8 4GB sticks.  I can get you the part numbers if you want.  I'd get matching HP-brand used Samsung sticks off eBay no matter what size you choose.  We had some issues with the Micron sticks from that era.  Hynix and Elpida were good too, but match all 8 and only get ones with the HP stickers on them.  More recently for the ZX00 and ZX20 era workstations the memory from all sources has been less picky if you matched all. 

 

The experience we had proved to me that no-name sticks were not the same, and that there was a delicate timing balance that needed to be taken card of for that generation of HP workstations to be happy.

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Thanks SDH for your informative post.

Unfortunately I have already ordered 8 x  4gb dimms off ebay. Not sure what make but am told they are all matching and suitable for a HP xw6600.  As they were not too expensive I will hopefully get a 4 or 6 fit DIMM fit to work if not the full 8. Even the 4 fit would give me as much RAM as my current 8 x 2Gb dimms. Thanks again you your help though and i shall try to post an update on what worked or not by the end of the week. Cheers

Steve

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"Rank" in this case refers to how the chips are organized via the data access lines of the memory chips used on the dimm

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memory_rank

 

https://www.transcend-info.com/Support/FAQ-294#:~:text=According%20to%20JEDEC%2C%20a%20bank,be%20cal....

 

 

as for the part number issue, you have to understand that your memory is from a SUN system, and that system was sold/serviced  as a complete unit so the sun number on the dimm is not really a memory part number but the part number of the sun system itself, and if you look at said systems internal maintenance specs there is where the memory specs will be listed

 

you can use the 2x8/2x4 dimms just make sure each is in the same memory banks

 

IE- banks 1/2 = 4 dimm modules can use the 2x4 dimms

 

and banks 3/4 can use the 2x8 dimms

 

see the xw6600 service manual for which memory slot(s) conforms to which bank(s)

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Hi DGroves, thanks again for the further update. I had tried to replace a single Dimm so only had 1,  r2 x 8 Dimm.  All the originals were r2 x 4 so i could not match up the x 8 with anything of these . It did work when only put i the same bank as an x4 Dimm but only as p[art of a 2 DIMM fit. I have now ordered 8 x 4 gb DIMMs on ebay and will just have to hope that they work when they arrive. Seller tells me they will all be matching and suitable for a HP xw6600. We shall see eh! Thanks again and i shall try to post an update later this week when the other DIMMs arrive . Cheers again for now

Steve

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