I bought 4GB (2x2GB) of RAM during Amazon\’s pre-Black Friday sales last week. I got it on Monday and installed it, and things ran smoothly…until I popped into Left 4 Dead today and my computer turned itself off. Twice.

One quick run of memtest86 later, and the result was clear – one of the sticks was bad. In fact, ONE BIT on that stick was bad. It would have passed the complete test suite had it not been for the random number test where that bit failed to get flipped correctly.

The aggravating part is that this happened to me one year ago with the RAM I originally bought to build this machine. The same exact problem – one bad stick of RAM.

On top of that, my five-year old Creative speakers finally gave up the ghost this week, so it looks like I\’ll be needing a new set. I\’m not into 5.1 or 7.1 setups that much (I used to have a 4.1 setup way back in 1999 but I kept tripping over the rear satellites), so I\’ll probably pick up a cheap 2.1 set. There\’s a Logitech set on Amazon going for $30 that\’s gotten some good reviews.

Fortunately we have a pretty good returns service, so I\’ve already asked for a replacement, and will be shipping this dud RAM back to Amazon for a refund. I hope they don\’t mind that I snipped off the bar code to submit for my mail-in-rebate, though…

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