The PFE: SDRAM ECC Error message is reported in the system message file, whenever a SDRAM ECC error is detected by a system component (for example, FPC). This article provides a method to to troubleshoot this issue.

The PFE: SDRAM ECC error message is logged, whenever a SDRAM ECC error is detected by a PFE. This article describes the symptoms, possible causes and confirmations step to diagnose this issue.

The following excerpt is an example of the message that is displayed in the system message file or an FPC/FEB syslog:

The PFE components include error checking and correction (ECC) to protect their SDRAM. This ECC correction provides error detection of single-bit and double-bit errors and correction of single-bit errors for the SDRAM as follows:

  • If ECC detects a single-bit error, it logs the error, automatically corrects the error, and operation continues.
  • ECC errors have two main causes; hardware failure (bad memory, failed board components) or transient anomaly (transient noise, external radiation, and so on).

The following log data will help to confirm the cause of this system message:

Be sure to check the output of log messages and verify that it includes the time of the initial ECC errors message. If the messages log file does not contain this message due to the entries being after the event, then check the log messages archive file. For example, the previous messages file can be accessed with this command:

The output of log messages will show if the message has occurred only a few times or is being reported a large number of times. If the single bit error has only occurred once or a few times, it is most likely a one time event.

  • If the single-bit error has been reported only a few times, it is most likely due to a transient anomaly. Monitor the logs for a week to see if the message is repeated.
  • If the messages are frequently repeated or the ECC error count is increasing, reseat the PFE that is the source of the messages.
  • If the messages are frequently generated after the reseat, open a case with your technical support representative.

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