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I know that cleaning your PC parts is important. But if I don't clean my RAM every two months or so, my PC begins to show random freezes and blue screen with the following error: "VIDEO TDR FAILURE".

Is this normal? And if not, what can be causing this? Once I clean it up, it all dissapears, and the cicle repeats again after two months.
 

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Define cleaning? Are you talking about physically taking the memory out and cleaning it? It sounds a lot like you have marginal RAM and when it gets too warm it starts to fail.
 

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I have to believe you have a marginal motherboard or RAM, that's certainly not normal behavior.
 

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Visiting Tech
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I clean the contatcs with an eraser, and after that use a contact cleaner spray for electronics.
I have NEVER done this as part of any routine cleaning process. If the contacts on the RAM and in the slots are clean to begin with, then once the RAM is properly inserted, you should NEVER have to remove the RAM for cleaning ever again! This is because RAM slots are specifically designed to maintain proper mechanical connections (essential for proper electrical connection) at the contact points to prevent any dust from getting in between those contact points.

While RAM slots are designed to allow the insertion and removal of RAM sticks, they are NOT designed to support this action over and over, and over and over again. Nor are the contact pads on the RAM sticks themselves designed for that sort of wear and tear. The spring tension in the slots will weaken, and you can wear down (even cut grooves - not good) the contact pads on the sticks too.

Not to mention, every time you handle RAM sticks, you risk damaging the sticks through dropping or mishandling and even ESD (particularly when the sticks are out of the slots).

You have not told us anything about your hardware, but I personally don't see how this can be a marginal motherboard or RAM - other than the possible contact wear and weakening of the tension in the slots I mentioned above. Otherwise, it seems to me the system would not work for several months after cleaning.

I do, however, suspect your case. A decent case will have removable, washable air filters, and proper cooling that pulls a sufficient supply of cool air through those filters. Even when I had two dogs and the kids were still living at home, running around and stirring up dust, dander and hair, I didn't need to clean the interior of any of my computers but once a year, if that. And even then, I never pulled the RAM. I just lugged the systems outside and blasted them out with my filtered air compressor. I certainly had to pull and wash the filters 3 or 4 times a year, but I didn't have to clean the interiors.

I am not against using a clean pencil erasure on the RAM sticks. I do this often as part of a repair job - or when the RAM has been sitting on the shelf for awhile and the contact points have been exposed to air/oxygen and a bit of corrosion has formed. And for sure, electrical contact cleaner (and perhaps even a little scrub with an acid brush in the slots can do wonders. But again, once clean, and the sticks are inserted, you should never have to do that again. Just an occasional blast of compressed air should be enough.

Assuming permanent damage (to include excessive contact wear and weak tension) has not been done, I suggest you look at a new case, one that has removable, washable air filters, and lots of large (120mm or larger) fan support. I like Fractal Design cases.
 

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You should never use a pink pencil eraser on the gold contacts of any PCB. The gold flash is only microns thick and can easily be erased right off the fingers! If you use an eraser, a Mylar eraser (white) is the best choice.
 

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Game Team Tech
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Based on the issue description, it appears that you are getting an error video tdr failure on the computer.

To guide you in the right direction, I need a few more information from the computer that has the issue. Please help me answer the following questions:

1. When do you get this error message?
2. Were there any recent changes made on the computer prior to the issue?

I will certainly help you out with this issue.

TDR is the Timeout, Detection, and Recovery component in Windows. What happens is the Graphics Display driver for the installed graphics card stops responding. When this happens, windows will stop and restart the driver to fix the problem.

The most common reason for this issue is that the graphics device is being overloaded or used beyond its capabilities.

This happens most often when playing graphic intensive games, but can happen with any process that uses a large amount of graphic resources, such as when editing or creating videos.


Some things you can do to avoid these problems:

a. Make sure you are using the latest graphics device driver.

b. Manage your time working with programs that are graphic intensive, exit any other programs that might also use a large amount of resources.

I would suggest you to download and Install the latest graphic card drivers from the manufacturer’s website.

I know that cleaning your PC parts is important. But if I don't clean my RAM every two months or so, my PC begins to show random freezes and blue screen with the following error: "VIDEO TDR FAILURE".

Is this normal? And if not, what can be causing this? Once I clean it up, it all dissapears, and the cicle repeats again after two months.
 

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Visiting Tech
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You should never use a pink pencil eraser on the gold contacts of any PCB. The gold flash is only microns thick and can easily be erased right off the fingers! If you use an eraser, a Mylar eraser (white) is the best choice.
I've never heard this (about "pink" erasers) in nearly 50 years as a technician. Gold contacts are not 24K gold, but a gold alloy to increase its strength and durability. And it is applied via electroplating which further increases is durability. In fact, it was in electronics tech school where we were taught to use an eraser.

It seems to me, if the gold contacts where that fragile, simply inserting the RAM sticks into the RAM slots would scrap the gold off. It doesn't, In fact, reseating RAM (and other connectors) is actually one of the best way to clean those contacts. Just don't do it frequently.

The contacts in ZIF (zero insertion force) connectors, such as used for CPUs may be that fragile but I would never suggest using an eraser on a CPU or socket pads anyway.

I am NOT saying gold contacts are indestructible. Far from it! Gold is still soft and in these applications, as you noted, very thin. I am just saying it is the rubbing force that matters, not whether the eraser is pink, green, purple or white (see exception below). The "trick" is to make sure the eraser is clean and to press as lightly as possible. A few swipes of the eraser on a pair of blue-jeans works great to clean it off. Then a "soft" touch on the electrical contacts will clean them up fine. If the grime does not come clean, do NOT keep rubbing or press harder. Use contact cleaner, perhaps with a soft cotton swap, or a gentle rub with an alcohol pad (those used to clean your skin before an injection) should do it.

That said, the very purpose gold is used in many contacts (besides being a better conductor than most metals) is because it does not oxidize (tarnish) like other metals. So if users would simply and properly care for, store and handle their RAM sticks, there should never be a need to use an eraser.

We have found that one of the biggest problems, and one that is easy to prevent, is if users would just quit putting their dirty, oily fingers on the contacts and ONLY hold the sticks by the PCB edges. Skin oils are great for promoting corrosion (on aluminum, copper and tin contacts) and attracting dust. This is why, when replacing your CMOS battery, you should never touch the new battery with bare fingers.

Eraser exception: Do avoid using a eraser made to erase ink. It often contains tiny grains of sand. You don't want to sand or scratch the contacts.
 

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I've never heard this (about "pink" erasers) in nearly 50 years as a technician. Gold contacts are not 24K gold, but a gold alloy to increase its strength and durability. And it is applied via electroplating which further increases is durability. In fact, it was in electronics tech school where we were taught to use an eraser.

It seems to me, if the gold contacts where that fragile, simply inserting the RAM sticks into the RAM slots would scrap the gold off. It doesn't, In fact, reseating RAM (and other connectors) is actually one of the best way to clean those contacts.
...snip...
What can I say, just because you haven't hard it, that doesn't mean it's not true. Also, all the stuff that's taught in tech schools isn't necessarily 100% correct. The gold fingers are very thin, and they are indeed easily damaged by using the incorrect cleaning procedure. I've been an electrical engineer for over 50 years. In my many years in avionics design, any tech wielding an eraser over gold contacts would get a severe reprimand at a minimum!

It's also been widely known and publicized not to use a pink eraser to clean the gold connectors. Here's just a few quotes on the topic, there are hundreds. I've also personally seen PCB's ruined by use of a pencil eraser on the gold fingers with the gold plating destroyed.

"The soft, beige-colored erasers made of pure natural rubber only will not do any physical damage to your PCBs (except when you apply too much force). But often, some abrasive material like pumice or quartz is added. For example, the common type of eraser contains some abrasive material in the red part and a lot in the blue, used to remove Indian ink. Also, the rubbers of pencils usually contain some abrasive material. While a slight grinding effect may be intended to remove oxides, you can easily remove too much, e.g. from the gold plating of the contacts. The contact will corrode very fast making it very unreliable."
===
"Warning: do not clean lens contacts on either a Canon lens or the camera body with an eraser! It’s incredibly easy to rub off the gold plating on these contacts, and end up with data communication problems, even if that wasn’t the original source of the problem! It’s obviously a good idea to clean the contacts if a lens communication error is reported, but our strong recommendation is to use a soft, clean cloth, perhaps moistened with isopropyl alcohol if you feel the contacts are smudged with fingerprint oil or similar debris and really need a cleaning agent. Again, do not use anything abrasive, and to repeat: do not use an eraser!"
===
"Gold plated contacts have VERY thin gold plating. Gold is very soft. Gold does NOT oxidize under any normal circumstances.
Gold plating is not only extremely thin on most contacts, but it's a porous plating. So the base metals under the gold are accessible through the pinholes in the gold plating.=
When you use an eraser on a gold-plated contact, you can very easily just rub the gold off because many erasers (standard pink pencil erasers, for example) contain small abrasive particles so that they can literally erode paper away as you erase.
Many erasers also contain substances that are corrosive to metals and can penetrate through the porous gold and attack the base metal beneath. The sulfur used to make many rubber compounds is an example, and sometimes corrosive chemicals are added on purpose to aid in erasure.
"
 

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Visiting Tech
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It's also been widely known and publicized not to use a pink eraser to clean the gold connectors.
It would have been nice to include links to those quotes and to those publicized cautions.

I note none of your quotes specify "pink". Only erasers in general, mentioning "pink pencil erasers" as just an example.
and they are indeed easily damaged by using the incorrect cleaning procedure.
I never said or implied they could not be damaged - especially when using "incorrect" cleaning procedures. I did say, repeatedly, to be gentle.

As far as being taught in tech school, you are right, not all taught in tech school is 100% right. Same can easily be said for engineering classes too - where theory is typically taught, not practical applications. But to that, we were NOT simply told, "to clean contacts, rub vigorously with a pink pencil eraser." :rolleyes: We were taught to rub gently, with a "soft" touch and a clean eraser - as I indicated above.

Not seeing the point of this debate. I certainly am not, and have not promoted using a eraser as the best method of cleaning. In fact, I suggested proper handing and storing is best, and even reseating.

I think it time to move on.
 

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I don't see the point in a debate either, I posted a simple statement that cleaning with the eraser is likely bad for the gold contacts and you started pumping out paragraphs as to why you considered me wrong.

You're right, time to move on, we've beaten this dead horse long enough.
 

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and you started pumping out paragraphs as to why you considered me wrong.
Wow! Sorry you take an opposing viewpoint so personal - I note it was you who came in after I suggested a clean pencil eraser with your comments to never use pink, only white, then you justified your comments with "quotes" that say never use any eraser at all! :rolleyes:

Let's please note my comments were about using an eraser as part of a "repair" process. NOT as part of routine/regular or frequent maintenance - as the OP was doing.

In fact, I specifically said in the very first sentence of my first reply here, "I have NEVER done this as part of any routine cleaning process."

I assure you, johnwill, nothing personal was meant on my part. Sorry you apparently feel otherwise.
 

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OK guys. We can all agree not to use a soap eraser unless we want paticles left behind. :devilish:
 

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...I've never heard this (about "pink" erasers) in nearly 50 years as a technician. Gold contacts are not 24K gold, but a gold alloy to increase its strength and durability. And it is applied via electroplating which further increases is durability. In fact, it was in electronics tech school where we were taught to use an eraser....
I've seen engineering specs on some connectors in modern electronics that have a connect/disconnect cycle lifetime measured in the TENS of cycles. As one person said, they are not all designed for repeated install/removal cycles. As with many devices however, the difference between theoretical/design (e.g. n-sigma points) and real-world results can be surprising. Plus, one might not see hard failures, but "soft" failures that change symptoms, don't stick around or may repeat at unpredictable intervals e.g. failures due to corrosion can be affected by temperature, contact pressure, voltage, current, humidity, vibration, etc which can vary all over the place in a given application.
 

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I know that cleaning your PC parts is important. But if I don't clean my RAM every two months or so, my PC begins to show random freezes and blue screen with the following error: "VIDEO TDR FAILURE".

Is this normal? And if not, what can be causing this? Once I clean it up, it all dissapears, and the cicle repeats again after two months.
Last time I saw that error it was caused by AMD graphics drivers that didn't play well with the pop-up that asks you to authorize software installation - if the system was set to black out the screen. Drivers were awful, but turning off the black out helped.

Do you have a video card? Is your PC in a dirty area? Does the case have filters, and how good is cooling?
 
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