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How can I determine the exact specs of the RAM modules in my server while the server continues to run?

I have a server with three 2GB sticks of DDR2 running a custom linux distro based on debian. I'd like to bump this up to 4 2GB sticks and gain dual-channel mode while I'm at it. That means I need to make sure I get a new stick that's a precise match for what's already there. I'd rather not take this particular server offline to visually inspect the RAM. From prior inspection during downtime I do at least know that I have two sticks of HP branded RAM and one stick of Samsung, and I know that the server shipped stock with the Samsung and the HP was ordered later (which seems odd, but it's the way it is).

This server is cli-only (no real gui), and I can't find docs from the original purchase.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I would try the following command which might you give you the information you need depending on the motherboard:

sudo dmidecode -t memory

For example on one of my Dell servers I get the part number (but no so lucky on my workstation):

Memory Device
        Array Handle: 0x1000
        Error Information Handle: Not Provided
        Total Width: 72 bits
        Data Width: 64 bits
        Size: 2048 MB
        Form Factor: DIMM
        Set: 1
        Locator: DIMM_A2 
        Bank Locator: Not Specified
        Type: <OUT OF SPEC>
        Type Detail: Synchronous
        Speed: 1066 MHz (0.9 ns)
        Manufacturer: 00CE000080CE
        Serial Number: 423C357E
        Asset Tag: 01101700
        Part Number: M391B5673FH0-CF8  
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Bummer - manufacturer and part number came back "not specified". This was a good suggestion, though. –  Joel Coel Feb 27 '11 at 20:16
    
The one thing I did learn is that it's running at 1332 mhz (probably a rounding error from 1333), and I was probably mistaken and it's ddr3 instead (and no complaints about that :) –  Joel Coel Feb 27 '11 at 20:20

How about using lshw?

http://ezix.org/project/wiki/HardwareLiSter

http://ezix.org/project/wiki/HardwareLiSter#Exampleoutput

http://packages.debian.org/search?keywords=lshw

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Second thing that came to my mind would be using IPMI standard to poll HW status if you are running on some known brand. –  M_1 Feb 22 '11 at 20:17
    
+1 for the lshw link. Hnady little summary, that. –  SmallClanger Jul 29 '11 at 15:34

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