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[ The PC Guide | Troubleshooting and Repair Guide | The Troubleshooting Expert | Troubleshooting Specific Components | Troubleshooting the Motherboard and System Devices | Secondary Cache ]

There is a suspected failure of the secondary (level 2) cache, or the system locks up or crashes after adding cache to the system

Explanation: The secondary cache is suspected of failing. This may or may not have occurred after adding more cache to the system.

Diagnosis: Outright failure of the cache is unusual, especially on an existing system. The most common problem when adding cache to a system is using the wrong kind of cache, or adding it and not setting jumpers that the motherboard requires. You may also have accidentally jarred something else inside the PC.

Recommendation:

  • Try disabling the secondary cache in the BIOS setup. If the problem goes away, then the problem is most likely the cache or the motherboard.
  • If you added more cache, make sure that you used the right sort of cache for your motherboard. Cache "COASt" modules may all look similar, but they are not universal. Consult your manufacturer.
  • Ensure that the cache is inserted correctly into the board and is all the way into the socket or slot.
  • Check the motherboard manual for any jumpers that you may be required to set or change when adding cache. Check in the BIOS setup for a BIOS setting that you may need to change (though this would be unusual).
  • If you added cache, or recently worked inside the machine on something else, check out this section that describes possible causes of problems after working inside the PC, some of which may be unrelated to what you were doing.
  • If the system is acting unstable, diagnose this here. It is possible that the problem is unrelated to the cache, even if it showed up after adding more cache to the system.
  • After the PC has been on for a few minutes, touch the chips on the cache module. If they are very hot, this is a signal that the cache module itself may be bad. If you can't keep your finger on the chip for more than a couple of seconds without pain, the chips are hot! If you replace the module and the chips on the new module get hot also, the motherboard is implicated.
  • Try to replace the cache module with another one. If the problem goes away, then the module was bad. Otherwise, you should treat this as a motherboard problem.

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