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Thread: "Parity Check 2" - what?!???!!!

  1. #1
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    Question "Parity Check 2" - what?!???!!!

    Compaq SFF PC, 256MB RAM, 10GB HDD.

    Trying to install Windoze 2000.

    Boot-up goes fine, system loads eveything and installs everything from the CD, then asks for reboot.
    When I do, I get this odd message.

    My first thought would be "Bad RAM", what with a message like this, but MEMTEST reports no problems at all when run.

    Next, as an experiment, I run XP SP2 setup, and the same thing happens - I can start the install from the CD, reformat the HDD, perform all the copy stuff, and when the system restarts: "Parity Check 2" shows in the top-left of the screen, and the system halts.

    Next, I tried a Knoppix CD, which boots, loads and runs just fine.

    I'm lost - what is going on?????
    "An expert is someone who will tell you why you can't do something." - Alec Issigonis (designer of the Mini)

  2. #2
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    This can also be caused by resource conflicts, or likewise a bad or flaky PCI card.

    Also try simply things like reseating the ram and cards.
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  3. #3
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    Parity Error 2 = Expansion Slot Parity Error?
    RAM on a board in an expansion slot failing its parity check?

    Seen suggestions on the web that this can be caused by a virus.

  4. #4
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    I'd probably try a UBCD4Win or a Bart's PE to see if they'd actually run, since they are using a Window's environment.

    Also, are you just formatting the drive or did you zero fill it?

    How about pulling all the PCI cards?
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  5. #5
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    Well, this is INTENSELY interesting - looks like it was a PCI card, but the only one in there was a SB sound-card. When I removed the card, and rebooted, the machine boots up(and finishes the XP install in this case), and everything is now fine.

    The odd thing is, that a soundcard does not have any on-board RAM, so how can there be a parity error, in a device which has no RAM of it's own?


    Card in question is a PCI soundcard, SB CT4810 with Creative CT2518 chip.

    ADDITIONAL: After the XP install completed, I put the card back in, and it boots up fine, detects and installs the card, and everything is happy. EXCEPT when I try to play something, then the whole system crashes. I now officially suspect that sound-card as a cause of problems. Will try another card and post results...
    Last edited by Mini-Me; 01-12-2009 at 08:59 PM.
    "An expert is someone who will tell you why you can't do something." - Alec Issigonis (designer of the Mini)

  6. #6
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    Actually, it does...well, sort of. Most Creative cards do have a little bit of 'straight' RAM, some cache RAM and at least some sort of PROM (where do you think they keep the SoundFonts?)...not even in the MB range on many of the older cards, but still there.
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  7. #7
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    Hokey pokey, mjc - fair comment.
    I have just tried an external USB soundcard, and it works fine, and importantly DOES NOT crash the system when you try to play something on it.

    The bit that was really throwing me, was the fact that the report was a parity error, and naturally, your first thought is system memory issues, hence my running of MemTest.

    Having run MemTest and let it run right through, and no errors reported, it was really starting to confuse me big time, especially as if there really WAS a problem with the system memory, all sorts of horrible things should be happening during the setup process...

    Oh well - another day, another dumb computer problem.
    "An expert is someone who will tell you why you can't do something." - Alec Issigonis (designer of the Mini)

  8. #8
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    I don't think it necessarily has to do with ram. Some of the things I saw about it said it could also be an IRQ problem. Doesn't mean it isn't ram, but that there are other possibilities.

    It is an interesting problems though, and one I have never run into before.
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  9. #9
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    Parity errors make most people think RAM problems and although RAM does use parity bits so do other pieces of hardware such as CDROMs and Hard Drives and as already pointed out resource allocations as well as PIO v DMA access modes and even wrongly jumpered hard drives can set things astray as well.

    If swapping RAM sticks (and slots if the mobo allows it) doesn't help then I would look first very closely at the way the hard drive is jumpered and how it is configured in the BIOS settings. Resetting the CMOS and using failsafe defaults would be other things to try.
    Take nice care of yourselves - Paul - ♪ -
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  10. #10
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    I think there must be a problem with this computer's motherboard. I tried to install a SB Live 24-bit card today, and am getting parity errors again. This time, the system boots up fine, but when you try to install the drivers, the whole system falls over with a BSOD:

    *** Hardware Malfunction

    Call your hardware vendor for support.

    NMI: Parity Check / Memory Parity Error

    *** The system has halted. ***
    "An expert is someone who will tell you why you can't do something." - Alec Issigonis (designer of the Mini)

  11. #11
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    Did you try a different slot than the other card was in?
    8 Pro 64bit
    AMD FX 8350
    Asus Sabertooth 990FX R2.0
    24GB GSkill/Corsair 1866MHz
    2x XFX 6870 1GB
    SSD - OCZ V4 128GB/Kingston 120GB
    HDD - 3TB/2x 750GB/500GB/250GB
    Corsair TX850M
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    12x BD-ROM
    Logitech X540 5.1 Surround
    2X Acer 23" LED - Eyefinity: 3840x1080
    Microsoft Sidewinder x4 KB

    "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
    - Albert Einstein

  12. #12
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    There are two slots, tried them both, both generate the error. I am now setting up another box to see if the same error shows up there. Will keep the thread posted.
    "An expert is someone who will tell you why you can't do something." - Alec Issigonis (designer of the Mini)

  13. #13
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    Hokey pokey, PC Guide boys and girls:

    Another box does not have this problem.
    I can install the live 24-bit card no problems in another box I have now setup. I have put a sticker on the old box to mark it's PCI slots as "Suspect".

    Enough computer stuff for tonight.
    I've fixed my FM transmitter tonight also(dead final transistor - no wonder it had no range!), so am back on air enjoying the soundz(if that does not sound conceited!) and a few suds aswell...

    ...just thought I would check in with the results...
    "An expert is someone who will tell you why you can't do something." - Alec Issigonis (designer of the Mini)

  14. #14
    Hi all
    I had 2 rams in my desktop..128mb and 256mb. i removed the 128mb and fitted another 256mb ram but now when i boot I get "parity check 2" error message on top left of otherwise black screen.

    I removed the new ram and fitted the other 2 rams (even seperately) but am getting the same thing.

    Please help me guys .

  15. #15
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    Welcome To The PC Guide!!!
    In my case, it appeared to be tracked down to a crook motherboard.
    Assuming you have done the other things suggested on this thread, I would think you also have a suspect motherboard. It is also possible you are just unlucky and have more then one crook RAM module...
    "An expert is someone who will tell you why you can't do something." - Alec Issigonis (designer of the Mini)

  16. #16
    I took out a tuner card and can boot pc now wit old rams but the screen goes all black wen i use the new ram !!!!!!

    and no the ram is not bad cos it works fine in my other pc .

    wonder why my pc rejects this ram when other pc's dpnt.

  17. #17
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    If you read my earlier post you will see that it is not only RAM that causes parity errors.

    I would try resetting the CMOS and doing a bare bones boot to further troubleshoot the exact culprit.
    Take nice care of yourselves - Paul - ♪ -
    Help to start using BiNG. Some stuff about Boot CDs & Data Recovery Basics & Back-up using Knoppix.

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