I'm looking for a way to force an ECC error in a DRAM DIMM to test some code associated with recovering from these errors. I believe Intel makes a test jig for several thousand dollars, but I'm looking for something a bit cheaper.

I've tried buying a Beta emitter (Strontium 90, 0.01uCi) attached to the DIMM to force a "bit flip" in the hardware. After two weeks of running, I'm not getting any ECC errors reported.

My next step is to either buy a stronger emitter... or see if anyone else has solved this some other way.

Question: Has anyone found a way to force ECC failures in a DIMM for test purposes (other than finding a failed DIMM and using that.. which was our old technique until the DIMM gave up the ghost completely)

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    You're going to need something a bit stronger than that. Pop up to Fermilab and see what they've got. :) – Michael Hampton Mar 8 '16 at 0:51
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is not a system administration question. It is suitable for migration to another SE site, though I am not entirely sure which one would be appropriate. – kasperd Mar 8 '16 at 13:55
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    Do these error injection examples help? Or do you need real hardware faults? – ckujau Mar 10 '16 at 7:48
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    Would it be possible to simulate ECC errors with a virtualisation layer of some kind? Just a thought – Molomby Mar 11 '16 at 0:21
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    @Molomby it would. Fault injection for virtual machines is a research discipline in CS. Some decent work has been published over the course of the years. – the-wabbit Mar 11 '16 at 7:48

The issue was resolved by adding wires to a single DIMM (destroying it for normal use) and generating random ECC errors with the DIMM which allowed us to test the system.

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