Browse Definitions :
Definition

soft error

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A soft error is an issue that causes a temporary condition in RAM that alters stored data in an unintended way.

Errors that change data stored in RAM are either soft errors or hard errors, which result from a hardware failure. Soft errors can be further divided into chip-level errors and system-level errors.

Chip-level errors are rare events in which a radioactive element in the memory chip decays, releasing a proton. If the proton strikes a memory cell, it can alter the value that the cell contains. Even cosmic rays can cause this phenomenon from time to time. System-level errors may be caused by power issues, running out of specification (overclocked too far, for example) and software issues that occur when memory is written to incorrectly.

Soft errors are caused by events rather than a persistent physical condition, as is the case with hard errors. While they can be frustrating, soft errors are generally resolved by a reboot. Sometimes, however, these issues recur because of a persistent software issue or a problematic setting.  Without careful testing, a soft error caused by persistent issues can be misinterpreted as a hard error.

Attempts to write to protected memory space reserved by another program or the operating system always create errors and are a typical cause of a blue screen of death (BSOD).

This was last updated in July 2015

Continue Reading About soft error

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • privacy compliance

    Privacy compliance is a company's accordance with established personal information protection guidelines, specifications or ...

  • data governance policy

    A data governance policy is a documented set of guidelines for ensuring that an organization's data and information assets are ...

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

  • telemedicine (telehealth)

    Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services, such as health assessments or consultations, over the ...

  • Project Nightingale

    Project Nightingale is a controversial partnership between Google and Ascension, the second largest health system in the United ...

  • medical practice management (MPM) software

    Medical practice management (MPM) software is a collection of computerized services used by healthcare professionals and ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchStorage

  • megabytes per second (MBps)

    Megabytes per second (MBps) is a unit of measurement for data transfer speed to and from a computer storage device.

  • zettabyte

    A zettabyte is a unit of measurement used by technology professionals and the general public to describe a computer or other ...

  • hybrid flash array

    A hybrid flash array is a solid-state storage system that contains a mix of flash memory drives and hard disk drives.

Close