Memory died, what could cause this?
Before going to sleep last early morning I left EasyLFS to compile. Sometime later as I woke up I saw the kernel configuration interface loaded waiting for me to configure it and let it continue with the compiling.
However, when I tried to do anything, it didn't respond. Typing on the keyboard produced no result. I even change its battery, but that didn't seem to help. I really didn't want a yet another EasyLFS install to go uncompleted, but that's what happened after all.
It turned out to be quite a disaster so to speak although I didn't let myself much time to despair. What was happening is that I couldn't boot into anything, my main Ubuntu install, any livecd I had and even Windows. GNU/Linuxes always said the same thing:
Kernel panic. Attempted to kill idle process.
Finally I decided to run the memory test from Ubuntu's grub and what I saw wasn't nice. It's as if everything it checked had an error in it. Everything was red. Apparently my RAM got bad..
Since I have a 3 year warranty on it (and it's quite new) I went to replace it, but I brainlessly forgot to take my bill of purchase (I only took the warranty paper and the memory in its original box) which is why I could only get it tomorrow if I bring them the bill. In the meantime, although with some hesitation I bought a 512 MB memory stick of the same type, only different manufacturer, to serve as a reserve memory for today (and if I don't manage to get a replacement tomorrow and as long as necessary) and any other times that may happen for a memory module to go bad. It just feels safe, after this, to have two modules in there than one. And a 512MB module isn't too expensive, while having more RAM once I rejoin my old 1GB can never hurt!
So I'm wondering what could cause memory to go bad so suddenly? Could it be the increased stress from compiling EasyLFS or running KVM with 512MB being dedicated to it? Could it be overheating? Or is this sort of thing happening randomly under any load?
This is the first time in my life I've had a bad memory.