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ES45 Memory Configurations

Occasional Contributor

ES45 Memory Configurations

I have a couple of Alphaserver ES45's that each came configured with 4gb of memory. I needed to move 2gb from one server, adding it to the second. I downloaded and followed the memory configuration guide, adding the additional memory to sets 4 and 5. During power up, every dimm in MMB1 and MMB3 fails at power up, and does not register with the system. Thinking there might be something wrong with the additional memory, I reverted back to the original configuration. I am still getting a failure on all dimms in MMB1 and MMB3. Is there something I am missing here?
Honored Contributor

Re: ES45 Memory Configurations

What is the text of the failure diagnostic(s) you're receiving?

Are you mixing memory types or capacities? (Lower- or higher-powered DIMMs? Stacked or unstacked?)

Installing DIMMs in sets of four?

Are the sets the same size across the arrays? When you get to sets 4 and 5, those have to be the same size as sets 0 and 1, respectively.

Is the memory known to be good?

Have these servers ever worked, in your experience?

32 gigabytes max? I'd forgotten how little memory these things hold.
Occasional Contributor

Re: ES45 Memory Configurations

All dimm's are the same, including size and speed, and are known to work before attempting the reconfiguration. The systems cam with sets 0 through 3 fully populated with 256mb dimms. On the first system, I pulled sets 2 and 3, and added to sets 4 and 5. The error I am getting is "Error - Dimm J9 on MMB3 Failed Powerup Diagnostics". I get this on all Dimms on both MMB1 and MMB3. I am getting this on both systems, and even in the original configuration.
Bob Blunt
Respected Contributor

Re: ES45 Memory Configurations

Have you pointers to information like this:


That Adobe doc has, on pages 6&7 memory configuration guidelines:

o DIMMs in an array must be the same size and type. For example, suppose you have populated Sets 0, 1, 2, and 3. When you populate Set 4, the DIMMs must be the same
size and type as those installed in Set 0. Similarly, Set 5 must be populated with the same size and type of DIMMs as are in Set 1, and so on, as indicated in the following

Array System
0 Set 0 and Set 4
1 Set 1 and Set 5
2 Set 2 and Set 6
3 Set 3 and Set 7

o For optimum memory utilization and performance, memory DIMMs should be installed in the following order: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 5, and 7.

I'll agree that this doesn't sound at first like a DIMM mismatch issue, but its good info to have for reference.

For starters I'd drop back to original configuration after reseating the DIMMs on each individual MMB and then reseat each MMB in the system. If that fails I'd pull the MMBs out and try self-test with zero memory. I remember that our lab's ES45s were really painfully sensitive to any modifications I made so installing or changing giblets always required several attempts to get it just right. Sometimes it took more than one power cycling event to get one or both of them stable.

Which reminds me... Are you relying on the "power switch" on the front panel only or are you literally pulling the plug(s) at the back? I'd pull the physical plug before static strapping and attempting any reconfig.

Andy Bustamante
Honored Contributor

Re: ES45 Memory Configurations

Adding to Bob's note:

>>> For optimum memory utilization and performance, memory DIMMs should be installed in the following order: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 5, and 7.

The ES-45 has best memory performance with symetrical memory options in powers of 2. To get the full performance benefit of interleaving memory, you want to go from 4gb to 8gb of memory. The standard "It Depends" applies for your application and users on whether this will be a noticeable performance hit or not.
If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over? Reach me at first_name + "." + last_name at sysmanager net
Occasional Contributor

Re: ES45 Memory Configurations

This is the documentation I have been following. Yes, I was just relying on the power switch in the front. I will give the total unplugging a try while reseating all Dimms and MBB's again.
Occasional Visitor

Re: ES45 Memory Configurations

I know this is more than year old thread, but I have same problem.

Couple of ES45 with 2CPUs and 2GB RAM (total) pair of 256MB in each MMB.

I have pulled out MMB3 to check memory modules - I got servers yesterday and know nothing about them except HDDs and PSUs.


When I put MMB3 back I'm getting Error during check on MMB1 and MMB3 and total RAM is only 1GB.


I have tried changing modules and switching MMBs but everytime I got error on MMB1 and 3. Before pulling MMB3 out everything was working fine.


Thank you for any help.