How to guide: Detecting whether ECC is enabled from inside Windows!

Pri

Active Member
Jul 30, 2014
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52
28
As I'm sure quite a few of you are aware there are a few different ways to tell if ECC is working. Those ways include from your Motherboard BIOS, Memtest86, ESXi and various Linux distros.

But sometimes one or more of those ways won't be able to detect or report your ECC status. For example my own motherboard BIOS and IPMI had no ECC information and Memtest86 was unable to discern anything either. ESXi however was able to view the ECC status on my own server.

But some of us use Windows and maybe for whatever reason you are in a rush to deploy and can't check using ESXi or Linux to see the status and like me your BIOS and IPMI don't report that information.

So I looked around the internet for many ways to find the ECC status from within Windows and I actually couldn't find a single way to do it. Which is what brings me to this guide as I have discovered on my own a way to find this information and it's quite quick and easy.

For this to work you'll need a copy of CPUz [Link] which is a free program which reads the SMBUS of your system to determine information about it like your CPU, Motherboard and Memory make.

Inside CPUz itself however it won't list the ECC status. But at the bottom of the program you'll see a button called Tools. If you click the arrow next to that you'll get a contextual menu appear which has several options including "Save Report as .HTML" click this, save the report somewhere and then open that .HTML file in your web browser.

When you do this I want you to hit CTRL + F to search the file for the following search term: "DMI Physical Memory Array" and once you find that you'll see one of the following:

correction:Multi-bit ECC (Which means ECC is working!)
correction: None (Which means ECC is NOT working!)

And one more test you can do is if you slide down within the page just under the DMI Physical Memory Array portion you'll see each individual memory DIMM listed under DMI Memory Device (one for each DIMM).

If ECC is detected on the memory it will list the Total Width of the RAM as 72-bits and the data width as 64-bits. However if ECC is not enabled or detected then it will list 64-bits for both Total Width and Data Width. ECC has a larger total width for its detection and correction of bit errors.

I hope some of you found this information useful. I'll now just include some screenshots I have of two identical systems one with ECC RAM fitted and then one without the ECC RAM fitted. Both screenshots are from the .HTML file CPUz outputs.

Without ECC:
lo7fWYk.png
With ECC:
xwRQozl.png
 

herby

Active Member
Aug 18, 2013
187
53
28
Cool tip, unfortunately for me Xen lies to my VMs and always claims: "correction Multi-bit ECC."
_________
Xenservers
big-red: Asrock 970 Extreme3, AMD 1090T, 16GB non-ECC, old HDD as boot drive, AMD 6950
lil-red: Supermicro H8SCM-F, AMD 4171 HE, 32GB ECC, older HDD as boot driver, AMD 6450?
Freenas
blue: Supermicro H8SCM-F, AMD 4171 HE, 16GB ECC, USB boot, 4 HDDs in raid10, 3 SSDs raidz
 

xnoodle

Active Member
Jan 4, 2011
259
48
28
Cool tip, unfortunately for me Xen lies to my VMs and always claims: "correction Multi-bit ECC."
What flavor are you running as your hypervisor?

I can check it from my xen server.


Code:
[root@localhost ~]# dmidecode -t memory | head -40
# dmidecode 2.11
SMBIOS 2.6 present.

Handle 0x001A, DMI type 16, 15 bytes
Physical Memory Array
        Location: System Board Or Motherboard
        Use: System Memory
        Error Correction Type: Multi-bit ECC
        Maximum Capacity: 48 GB
        Error Information Handle: Not Provided
        Number Of Devices: 6

Handle 0x001C, DMI type 17, 28 bytes
Memory Device
        Array Handle: 0x001A
        Error Information Handle: Not Provided
        Total Width: 72 bits
        Data Width: 64 bits
        Size: 8192 MB
        Form Factor: DIMM
        Set: None
        Locator: CPU0
        Bank Locator: DIMM01
        Type: Other
        Type Detail: Other
        Speed: 1066 MHz
        Manufacturer: Samsung
        Serial Number: AC436485
        Asset Tag: AssetTagNum01
        Part Number: M393B1K70CH0-YH9
        Rank: Unknown
 

herby

Active Member
Aug 18, 2013
187
53
28
What flavor are you running as your hypervisor?
I run Citrix Xenserver 6.2.

The host this VM is running on is a consumer board with no ECC ram:
Code:
DMI Physical Memory Array  
  location   unknown
  usage   System Memory
  correction   Multi-bit ECC
  max capacity   6140 MBytes
  max# of devices   1
  
DMI Memory Device  
  designation   DIMM 0
  format   DIMM
  type   RAM
  total width   64 bits
  data width   64 bits
  size   6140 MBytes
Maybe it's the version of Xen Citrix is using. Are you running straight Xen with a Centos Dom0 or something?
_________
Xenservers
-big-red: Asrock 970 Extreme3, AMD 1090T, 16GB non-ECC, old HDD as boot drive, AMD 6950
-lil-red: Supermicro H8SCM-F, AMD 4171 HE, 32GB ECC, older HDD as boot driver, AMD 6450
Freenas
-blue: Supermicro H8SCM-F, AMD 4171 HE, 16GB ECC, USB boot, 4 HDDs in raid10, 3 SSDs raidz