How to check RAM and avoid database corruptions

RAM corruptions are often reasons for Firebird and InterBase crashes and corruptions (as well as any other software, of course).

From our experience, HDD problems are much clearer and easily recognizable than RAM problems, and there is not enough information on how to determine RAM problems.

One of the strong showings of RAM corruptions are "record fragment" and "decompression overran buffer" errors. Stop reading this and check your firebird.log (or interbase.log if you're an InterBase user) for such errors.

Do you have such errors? Congratulations, you have problems.



So, how to check RAM for errors?

It's easy with memtest diagnostic tool: (though it's Microsoft-related product, it is a bootable disk which will work with Linux too).

Follow instructions: download software, burn bootable CD, insert into your server and select test.

Tip: select long test sequence, short one does not check RAM good enough; once we have seen RAM chip which was Ok on short test sequence, but failed at long.

It will take about 2 hours and after that you'll see (or will not see) problem in your RAM chips. If there were errors, chips should be replaced.