I have just added 2GB of RAM into my laptop and started getting problems with ext3 file system. I have tested the actual memory modules with MemTest86+, and they were fine.

This issue also happens when I add other 2GB module (different manufacturer), so it's unlikely that added module itself is faulty. Both modules are same frequency (PC2-5300).

If newly added 2GB module gets removed or replaced with 1GB one, issues disappear.

This is an example of error messages in dmesg:

[ 1113.347106] EXT3-fs error (device sda5) in ext3_reserve_inode_write: IO failure

[ 1113.347119] Aborting journal on device sda5.

[ 1113.348031] Remounting filesystem read-only

[ 1113.349228] EXT3-fs error (device sda5) in ext3_dirty_inode: IO failure

[ 1114.883303] EXT3-fs error (device sda5): ext3_readdir: bad entry in directory #1900599: inode out of bounds - offset=0, inode=1900599, rec_len=12, name_len=1

What could possibly be a problem and what are the ways to look for solution?


UPD: Strange thing - as soon as I go back to kernel 2.6.28-15 everything crashes again. However it's all fine on 2.6.31-020631-generic

Thanks for your answers.

  • Belongs on superuser.com – MDMarra Sep 27 '09 at 14:27

Memtest is software-based, and software memory testers can tell if if there is a problem, but can't tell you there isn't.

In other words if it finds an issue, there's a problem. If it doesn't, it might not have a problem. It's like asking your brain to objectively evaluate yourself. Doesn't work entirely well.

You don't mention the laptop manufacturer but you might want to doublecheck that it supports that much memory with that speed and size. Some laptops don't like it.

If it weren't the memory or the memory interface, you should continue to have issues when you remove the memory modules. That would mean you could look at filesystem or motherboard corruption issues.

If your hardware does indeed support that much memory then you may have an issue with the motherboard. Since it goes away when you don't have the additional memory in, then the hard drive and filesystem should be intact, leaving the culprits to most likely be the modules, the motherboard's memory interface for memory, or the motherboard itself has an obscure issue.

You might be able to check for BIOS/firmware updates for the laptop to see if this is an issue that is addressed with an upgrade.

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Try to reduce the so-called memory frequency in BIOS. If it is set to "by SPD", change it to "manual". If the resulting frequency is equal to 400 for example, change it to 333

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