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28 Posts

03-11-2016

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ECC Memory Does Not Work

2016-04-14, 14:04 PM

Amy, please address this with the engineers.  Just having the BIOS/UEFI show that ECC memory is installed but not working is useless.

 

I primarly run Linux on my P70 with two M.2 drives in RAID with UEFI, Windows, and /boot partitions.  I also have two 2.5" SSDs in a ZFS Mirror.  ZFS utilizes memory much more than other file systems.  It relies on the absolute integritiy of the memory to ensure the data is correctly written to storage.

http://zfsonlinux.org/faq.html#DoIHaveToUseECCMemory

 

I'm running the 2.0 system firmware.  I following this thread to check on the status of the memory:

https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/How-to-Check-ECC-RAM-Functionality-462/

 

ECC memory is detected:

# dmidecode 3.0
Getting SMBIOS data from sysfs.
SMBIOS 2.8 present.

Handle 0x0008, DMI type 16, 23 bytes
Physical Memory Array
Location: System Board Or Motherboard
Use: System Memory
Error Correction Type: Single-bit ECC
Maximum Capacity: 64 GB
Error Information Handle: Not Provided
Number Of Devices: 4

 

 

Testing if the ECC memory is working shows that it in fact does not like many others have reported:

./ecc_test
5004-5007h: 10 31 0 0
5008-500Bh: 10 31 0 0

 

One of the crucial pieces of my decision to purchase the P70 with a Xeon processer was to run ECC memory with ZFS.

 

The engineers need to communicate more with you regarding this.  ECC memory is not just a nice to have feature but absolute requirement for those that puchased a P series with a Xeon processor.

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7627 Posts

09-04-2014

SK

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  • Message 2 of 28

Re: ECC Memory Does Not Work

2016-04-18, 13:10 PM

Hello Ryushin,

 

thank you for asking and bringing your concern to our attention.  I've been assured by the product engineers that ECC memory is working as designed on P50/70 systems; this has been checked and validated by them and they added that some softwares used for checking this function on Skylake and Broadwell systems may return a false result giving customers the impression that ECC may not be functioning correctly.

 

Andy

 

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Lenovo eServices

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35 Posts

03-09-2016

United States

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Re: ECC Memory Does Not Work

2016-04-18, 14:55 PM

First confirmation from Lenovo. This is the same answer I heard from inside Dell.

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61 Posts

01-04-2016

US

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Re: ECC Memory Does Not Work

2016-04-18, 16:48 PM

Andy_Lenovo, did the product engineers say that ALL methods of checking Skylake ALWAYS return false results? Because using the "wmic MEMORYCHIP get DataWidth,TotalWidth" system command in Windows 7 still shows no extra bit for ECC available. Why would this report ECC not working? It's not a utility, it simply checks for the number of bits?

Additionally, not one utility or method yet produced shows ECC working, only the memo that you got from Lenovo Product Engineering.

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130 Posts

05-03-2009

USA

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  • Message 5 of 28

Re: ECC Memory Does Not Work

2016-04-18, 18:24 PM

wrote:

Hello Ryushin,

 

thank you for asking and bringing your concern to our attention.  I've been assured by the product engineers that ECC memory is working as designed on P50/70 systems; this has been checked and validated by them and they added that some softwares used for checking this function on Skylake and Broadwell systems may return a false result giving customers the impression that ECC may not be functioning correctly.


Andy,

 

May I know what tools/utilities the product engineers used to validate the ECC functionality?  Are those tools available to the public?

 

For now, all publicly available tools (Memtest86, AIDA, Windows command line) showing ECC is NOT working.  If Lenovo could provide a tool that says otherwise, it'd be much appreciated!

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26 Posts

11-24-2009

Czech Republic

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  • Message 6 of 28

Re: ECC Memory Does Not Work

2016-04-18, 20:28 PM
Hello,
have you tested one of the latest MemTest86 tool? I.e. version 6.2.0 from Sept/2015 added support for Skylake ECC. There is even more new 6.3.0 from Jan/2016 where there are some fixes so perhaps this one may be used to detect Skylake E3/ECC functionality?
Thanks!
Karel
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26 Posts

11-24-2009

Czech Republic

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  • Message 7 of 28

Re: ECC Memory Does Not Work

2016-04-18, 20:30 PM

Hello Andy_Lenovo,

you write "they added that some softwares used for checking this function on Skylake and Broadwell systems may return a false result giving customers the impression that ECC may not be functioning correctly." -- this is interesting note since indeed support for Skylake/Broadwell Xeons were added in last two versions of MemTest.

As a thinkpad user hoping in working ECC support I hope this issue or misunderstanding gets solved finally. :-)

Thanks,

Karel

 

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130 Posts

05-03-2009

USA

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  • Message 8 of 28

Re: ECC Memory Does Not Work

2016-04-18, 23:10 PM

wrote:
Hello,
have you tested one of the latest MemTest86 tool? I.e. version 6.2.0 from Sept/2015 added support for Skylake ECC. There is even more new 6.3.0 from Jan/2016 where there are some fixes so perhaps this one may be used to detect Skylake E3/ECC functionality?
Thanks!
Karel

Tested both already.  Both showing "ECC supported, but disabled".

 

Thus I'm curious to see what tools Lenovo "product engineer" was using.  :)

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7627 Posts

09-04-2014

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Re: ECC Memory Does Not Work

2016-04-20, 12:14 PM

All, this is a method suggested by the engineers for testing whether or not ECC is working;

 

1.  We confirmed Memtest86 V6.2.0 and V6.3.0 does not work properly on ThinkPad P70 and identified root cause. It is not unique on ThinkPad P70 but for all products with Intel Xeon processor E3 v5 family. We requested Intel to communicate with Passmark and ask them to fix.
2.  Lenovo development validated ECC is correctly working by
i.  Make 1 bit error intentionally on memory module and perform memory test
ii.  Confirm memory test program does not report error. (It means data is corrected by ECC)
If ECC is not working, memory test report error or system hang happens.

 

Andy

 

English Community Administrator
Lenovo eServices

Please remember to come back and mark the post that you feel answered your question as the solution. 
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130 Posts

05-03-2009

USA

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  • Message 10 of 28

Re: ECC Memory Does Not Work

2016-04-20, 12:41 PM

wrote:

All, this is a method suggested by the engineers for testing whether or not ECC is working;

 

1.  We confirmed Memtest86 V6.2.0 and V6.3.0 does not work properly on ThinkPad P70 and identified root cause. It is not unique on ThinkPad P70 but for all products with Intel Xeon processor E3 v5 family. We requested Intel to communicate with Passmark and ask them to fix.
2.  Lenovo development validated ECC is correctly working by
i.  Make 1 bit error intentionally on memory module and perform memory test
ii.  Confirm memory test program does not report error. (It means data is corrected by ECC)
If ECC is not working, memory test report error or system hang happens.


So there is no publicly avaialble software/tools that can prove ECC is working or not on Xeon E3 v5 family?  Lenovo has a tool that can prove it but cannot be released to public?

 

Please keep in mind it's not just one software reporting ECC not enabled.  There are three different software from three different vendors reporting the same:

1) Passmark Memtest86

2) AIDA64

3) Microsoft

 

It could be that all those three are "not yet supporting Xeon E3 v5".  But again, what software/tools on the world can show otherwise (except for the one that Lenovo is unwilling to release to the public)?  Or can Lenovo at least release the technical details of their test method so customer can replicate that themselves?

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