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Old 11-15-2009, 02:05 PM
Romain Francoise
 
Default Bug#556365: Please enable CONFIG_MEMTEST

Package: linux-2.6
Version: 2.6.31-1
Severity: wishlist

Please enable CONFIG_MEMTEST on x86. It shouldn't have any impact by
default, and can be useful to boot a system with bad ram.

--
Romain Francoise <rfrancoise@debian.org>
http://people.debian.org/~rfrancoise/



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Old 11-15-2009, 03:23 PM
Ben Hutchings
 
Default Bug#556365: Please enable CONFIG_MEMTEST

On Sun, 2009-11-15 at 16:05 +0100, Romain Francoise wrote:
> Package: linux-2.6
> Version: 2.6.31-1
> Severity: wishlist
>
> Please enable CONFIG_MEMTEST on x86. It shouldn't have any impact by
> default, and can be useful to boot a system with bad ram.

The in-kernel memory test is nearly useless - it writes the same pattern
to all of memory and so can't detect faults that cause interference
between memory cells at different addresses. You can use memtest86+ to
find bad memory regions and the memmap kernel parameter to disable it.

Ben.

--
Ben Hutchings
The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.
 
Old 03-16-2011, 04:32 AM
onlyjob
 
Default Bug#556365: Please enable CONFIG_MEMTEST

Hi,

As a matter of fact MEMTEST is a quite useful feature.

We ask to enable it not for what it cannot do, but for what it can.

For example ECC in hardware is not useless even though it doesn't
catch all possible errors.

As I demonstrate in
http://onlyjob.blogspot.com/2011/01/memtest-explained-linux-kernel.html
MEMTEST successfully detects and isolate problems.

It write 17 patterns, not one.

Bootable memtest86+ utility cannot be a substitute for in-kernel
feature in production/mission critical systems which cannot be stopped
to perform memory test.

Memory modules broke unexpectedly.
When it happen, there is a time when data corruption occur before
problem discovered.
MEMTEST can proactively and automatically isolate such problem and
therefore protect from silent data corruption.

Real MEMTEST's value in preventing or minimizing damage from
undetected memory failure which [typically] lead to silent data
corruption.
Particularly storage systems will benefit from it, because MEMTEST
increases reliability.

MEMTEST is a powerful feature despite its limitations.
Data integrity matters - MEMTEST is much better than nothing.

Enabling It cost almost nothing - it will be very handy to have it
when needed.
Enabling MEMTEST is safe because It should be activated with boot-time
parameter.

Regards,
D.

P.S. I've seen cases when memory corruption was discovered months
later. Obviously it is very hard to say when it happened and therefore
evaluate how much damage is done.



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