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Trouble with RAM


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#1
Angry Julian

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I've a Dell Vostro 200 which is about 2.5 years old. It shipped originally with 1gb of RAM - two 512mb sticks. Soon afterwards, I bought 1gb of RAM which was on one stick. So then I had 2gb of RAM in the computer and 3 of the 4 slots filled.

Last week I bought an extra 1gb of RAM for the machine, intending to bring it up to 3gb.

When I powered my computer back on, the Dell splash screen appeared but the computer froze. It also had black stripes on the display. I turned off the computer and restarted it. Same problem.

I took all the RAM out and put the brand new stick into the first of the slots. Turned on computer and Windows XP booted up happily. Happy that all was well again, I put the rest of the RAM in.

That's where my trouble started. When I powered up the computer again, I got two error beeps. According to Dell's website, it means it's not seeing memory. I've tried reseating the memory, taking it all out and even reverting back to the system's original configuration. In other words, 2x512mb. Obviously it's not working or I'd not be here. Any suggestions? :D
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#2
Angry Julian

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Just to being things up to date and hoping that someone will help me. I tried taking out the CMOS battery and restarted the PC using just one stick of RAM. It started up. Happy that I had something working, I put the computer back on the floor and hooked everything back up. Now I'm back to square one.

What I'm wondering now is what do you think is going on. Is my motherboard in trouble? RAM slots? Is it fixable?
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#3
RealWingsFan

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I found this in a Google search ( troubleshoot ram ) and hope it helps you... http://www.microsoft..._tshootram.mspx and http://oca.microsoft.../en/windiag.asp
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#4
Troy

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Hi Angry Julian,

I definitely agree with RealWingsFan - you need to run diagnostics on each memory module. The Windows Memory Diagnostic is fine. Another popular one is called Memtest86+.

I personally would run at least one full pass on each module (individually). If there are any errors - even one - then throw the module out (or get it replaced if it is under warranty).

Then once you are happy, you have modules that completely pass the diagnostic, then put them all in and try another diagnostic on all of them. It should pass this time also and you should be good to go.

Any dramas give us a yell back. :D

Troy
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#5
Angry Julian

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Thanks guys but I don't think these are going to help. My problem is that as soon as my computer is powered on, it beeps and refuses to go any further. The fan just continues to run at the rate it does when I turn the machine on first and the beeping continues in that fashion. Needless to say I can't get near the BIOS to change the settings.

This might give you a better idea


Edited by Angry Julian, 17 February 2011 - 02:55 PM.

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#6
phillpower2

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Have you got or can you loan a known good PSU you can try.
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#7
Angry Julian

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Afraid not :D
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#8
phillpower2

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I suggest getting the present PSU tested by a Tech who has the necessary equipment to do it.
If it is the stock 300W PSU that Dell use it will not be the best of quality as they tend to
use budget ones to keep build costs down.
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#9
Alzeimer

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In your manual this a notice you should take into account:

NOTICE: If you remove your original memory modules from the computer during a
memory upgrade, keep them separate from any new modules that you may have,
even if you purchased the new modules from Dell. If possible, do not pair an original
memory module with a new memory module. Otherwise, your computer may not
start properly. You should install your original memory modules in pairs either in
DIMM connectors 1 and 2 or DIMM connectors 3 and 4



Also it is said that you can install one module in DIMM 1 or in pairs 1-2 or 3-4 so you cannot have 3 modules installed (only 1 modules, 2 or 4)

Also it is recommended to clear your CMOS when upgrading your memory so that on the next boot your BIOS will reconfigure all your hardware.


Hope this helps.
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#10
Angry Julian

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@Alzheimer. I tried taking the CMOS battery out and reinstalling the original RAM. No luck but thanks for the information from the manual.

@Phillpower2 - I'll see if I can find a tech who can do this for me. What I don't understand though is that if it is a power supply issue, why did it only arise when I put in extra RAM?
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#11
phillpower2

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@Phillpower2 - I'll see if I can find a tech who can do this for me. What I don't understand though is that if it is a power supply issue, why did it only arise when I put in extra RAM?

It is possible it is a pure coincidence or that the additional Ram was too much for an already tired PSU.
Do you happen to know who the BIOS manufacturer is, AMI, Phoenix etc.
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#12
Troy

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Faulty RAM can cause a computer to not start also. Have you tried this with only one stick installed at a time, and tried each individual module that you have?
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#13
Angry Julian

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Yes, I've tried this.
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#14
Alzeimer

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Just to make sure when you say you took out the battery did you also short this jumper (no: 12) to clear your CMOS

http://i401.photobuc...vostro200ab.jpg

Edited by Alzeimer, 18 February 2011 - 07:00 AM.

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#15
Angry Julian

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Thanks Alzheimer. The jumper thing worked - I didn't know about that.

Thanks to you all for taking the time out to help me.
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