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Upgrading Memory


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#1
SteveMiller

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Hi everyone

I'm having a nightmare with my PC and i'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction.
cut a long story short, it was running slow, taking about 6 minutes to boot up to the log in screen (after freezing a few times before getting their), and basically running rubbish, so i backed everything up, formatted and re-installed windows.
But now i have nothing on the PC after a fresh install an its still starting up slow etc.

After hours of searching i put it down to a memory problem. Downloaded Memtest and got hit after about 10 minutes with 40 faults. so im guessing this is my problem.
Now to own up, I didn't know too much about memory an thought the more you put in the better, so i just lashed it in, but now im reading about this ddr2 and 3 etc, I've got 6gb RAM running on Windows XP x64, but feels like 500mbs of ram running on a treadmill, uphill.

Here is my motherboard,

http://www.asrock.co...ullHD-hSLI R3.0

am i right that i can install 16gb of RAM? (mines a ddr2 800 if that means anything to anyone)
the PC needs to be quite powerful as it records midi and sound direct into recording programs and needs to mix a lot of effects etc.
16gb of ram sounds a little overkill to me, but then im supposed to be running 6gb now an its rubbish. do i install 16gb? if i can? haha

hopefully this is the route of the problem, any other suggestions would be appreciated too, its got to be a hardware problem hasn't it?
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#2
phillpower2

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:welcome: SteveMiller

There are a few other things that can slow down the computer such as heat, a HDD that is running out of free storage space, a weak PSU and a HDD that is ready to fail mechanically for example.

Please provide information about your computer, this includes is it a custom build or brand name such as Dell or HP, if it is provide the model name or series number (not serial).
If you have an add on video card what is the brand and model name or number, the same for the PSU (power supply unit) providing these details will enable us to better assist you.
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#3
SteveMiller

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Thanks for the welcome :)
It was a custom built PC, but i didn't do it, so my knowledge of its pretty low.

looking at the PSU, it says sumvision p4-400W (load of numbers for input/output, if you need them i'll copy them down)
The video card is a GeForce 9500 GT
OS is Windows XP x64 edition

C drive is 232 gig (empty almost as i re-formatted
D Drive is 275GB free of 372GB
My C: drive is SATA whereas D: drive is not (whether that makes any difference (when you said about the hard drive - shall I Un-plug the D: drive an restart it? see if that drive is failing? if thats the case it should start up ok no?

the soundcard is on board and i have a network card in too.
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#4
phillpower2

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Thanks for the update :thumbsup:

Before we look at your other components can I ask whether you are willing to upgrade anything other than your Ram, I will explain why I ask when I know the answer.

Use the Crucial system scanner tool to find the best recommended Ram for your system, no need to purchase from there, write down the details and shop around for the best deal http://www.crucial.c...ner/?click=true let us know what is suggested and we can also look for you.

You are welcome BTW :thumbsup:
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#5
SteveMiller

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I'm willing to upgrade whatever needs upgrading, i was actually wondering whether to buy a new hard drive on the way in to pick up dog food just then :D

right, scanning..
I'll just paste everything

Your K10N78FullHD-hSLI R3.0 System Specs;

Memory:

Memory Type: DDR2 PC2-8500, DDR2 PC2-6400, DDR2 PC2-5300, DDR2 (non-ECC)
Maximum Memory: 8GB
Currently Installed Memory: 6GB
Total Memory Slots: 4
Available Memory Slots: 0
2GB
DDR PC2-6400
1GB
DDR PC2-6400
2GB
DDR PC2-6400
1GB
DDR PC2-6400

Storage:
SATA 2 - 3Gb/s


To upgrade, its told me to go to 8GB buy removing the two 1GB memory's
and to update my harddrive to;

Seagate Barracuda HDD 1 TB SATA-300
3.5" x 1/3H • Serial ATA-300 • 7200 rpm • 300 MBps • Part #: ST310005N1A1AS-RK

I'm starting to wonder if my hard drives on its way out now :wacko:

thanks for your help so far Phill!

Edited by SteveMiller, 29 April 2013 - 03:19 PM.

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#6
phillpower2

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Hi Steve

Can you copy and paste the results url for us please, your MB is showing that it will hold 16GB (4X4GB sticks)

For now I would disregard the HDD upgrade suggestion made as it may only have been made because it is faster than your present HDD and not that yours is failing.

You are welcome BTW :thumbsup:

Got it http://www.crucial.c...0-upgrades.html

Edited by phillpower2, 29 April 2013 - 03:59 PM.
Link added

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#7
SteveMiller

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yep that looks about the same
heres my link anyway

http://www.crucial.c...ED575DF31D926C3

I wonder why its saying its only 8GB max?

so do you think that the ram is the underlying problem? I disconnected the D: drive and restarted and it still starts slow, but it could be the C: drive yet? I'd have to install windows on another HD to test that wouldn't i.
I did notice that when on the start up screen (where you press f2 etc to enter bios) that it lists my drives etc .. pauses for about 15 seconds then adds another one that says;

sata ii_1: MAXTOR STM3250310AS 4.AAA
ULTRA DMA Mode 6, s.m.a.r.t capable but disabled

then the computer beeps and thats when it seems to struggle for abit before starting. That give any clue to anything?

thanks again, im going to have to retire for the night, hard days work ahead of me tomorrow. thanks for all your help so far Phill, much appreciated. :)
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#8
phillpower2

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Sorry Steve been very busy with work but will be back online tomorrow :thumbsup:
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#9
SteveMiller

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Thanks Phill, appreciate it.

Quick update - downloaded seatools disk checker, created a boot disk and booted from it, but for some reason it didn't find my C: drive (operating drive) - only my D: drive - not sure why it didn't pick the SATA(?) drive up. just had the 1 drive in the drop down menu which was my D: drive, scanned that tho an it was fine.

downloaded CPU-Z to check the memory too - still going through the instructions for it tho - some strange numbers and readings on that but from what i can tell it all seems ok - ish :lol:
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#10
phillpower2

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Sorry for the delay getting back to you Steve :blush:

Couple of quick checks for you to do if you will please;

Go to Start then to Run/Search
Type in compmgmt.msc and click Enter
On the left side click on Disk Management
On the right side you will see your hard drive.
Now I need you to take a screenshot and attach it to your next reply.
Do the following to take a screenshot while the above is open and showing on your desktop.

To capture and post a screenshot;

Click on the ALT key + PRT SCR key..its on the top row..right hand side..now click on start...all programs...accessories...paint....left click in the white area ...press CTRL + V...click on file...click on save...save it to your desktop...name it something related to the screen your capturing... BE SURE TO SAVE IT AS A .JPG ...otherwise it may be to big to upload... then after typing in any response you have... click on browse...desktop...find the screenshot..select it and click on the upload button...then on the lower left...after it says upload successful...click on add reply like you normally would.

Screenshot instructions are provided to assist those that may read this topic but are not yet aware of the “how to”.

Next do a Windows memory test http://windows.micro...n-your-computer
Memtest is more conclusive but it can take many hours to run the 4 or 5 passes that you need to run so I have suggested the quick test to see if it immediately reveals anything.

You are welcome BTW :thumbsup:
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#11
SteveMiller

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Hi Phill, no problemo, thanks for the reply. :)

I've attached the Screen shot labeled "Disk Management"

I tried doing a windows memory test, but i haven't got a search box to type in memory, maybe thats a windows 7 feature? I don't know, unless im being blind :unsure:
so i went onto help and support an typed in memory in that search, the only relative thing i could find in that was "View the Status of my system hardware and software".
So I did that and attached a screen shot labeled "memory"

is that any good?

Attached Thumbnails

  • Disk Managment.JPG
  • Memory.JPG

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#12
phillpower2

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Hi Steve

Thanks for the update :thumbsup:

The HDD is not showing any problems in the screenshot as in it is shown to be healthy and there is plenty of free storage space available.

Can I ask you to check the boot sequence in the BIOS next;

To check the Boot Sequence in the BIOS;

Reboot the system and at the first post screen (when it is counting up memory) start tapping the appropriate button that allows you to access the BIOS (Esc - Del – F2 etc)
This will enter you into the BIOS/CMOS
Find the Advanced area and click Enter
Look for Boot Sequence or Boot Options and highlight that click Enter
Now highlight the first drive and follow the directions on the bottom of the screen on how to modify it and change it to DVD/ CD drive First (This helps if you ever need to boot from the XP or a Recovery Disk).
Change the second drive to the C: Main Drive
Change the third drive to the D: Media Drive
Once that is done then click F10 to Save and Exit
You will prompted to enter Y to verify Save and Exit.
Click Y and the system will now reboot with the new settings.

Let us know what the sequence was set to, if you have changed it and if there is any change before you test the Ram.
RE: The Ram configuration, the 2 X 2GB sticks should be in the 2 yellow slots and the 2 X 1GB sticks in the orange slots on the MB.

BTW yes silly me the Windows memory test is only available from Vista onwards :whistling:

To test your Ram in XP http://www.ehow.com/...windows-xp.html
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#13
SteveMiller

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Hi Phill, thanks for the reply :)

Right, my boot sequence was defaulted to this;

1st Boot Device - SATA 3M - Maxtor STM
2nd Boot Device - CD/DVD
3rd Boot Device - 1st Floppy Drive (I don't even have a floppy Drive :lol:)
4th Boot Device - USB

So i Changed it to

1st - CD/DVD
2nd - Sata 3M
3rd - USB
4th - disabled the floppy drive as i don't have one

I didn't have the option to put my D: drive their, their was an option underneath the boot sequence listing hard drives - but when i selected my D: drive it just replaced my C: drive in the boot sequence list instead of adding it as an option, so i went with the above setup,

but it didn't speed up the process, it still paused on the first screen after listing my harddrives etc then displayed the ;
sata ii_1: MAXTOR STM3250310AS 4.AAA
ULTRA DMA Mode 6, s.m.a.r.t capable but disabled

seems to struggle with whatever that is.

also when it gets to the log in screen, i type in my password, press enter, the log in music plays but the screen doesn't change to my desktop for a good 20 seconds.

I then checked my Memory sticks, I had just bunged them in like an idiot :blush: - so i've now put the 2Gig and 1Gig sticks in the set up you said.
I thought i'd broke my PC at this point cause it wouldn't boot up at all, the monitor was on but wasn't turning on with the PC - i typed in my password and pressed enter and heard the log in sound so i knew the pc was fine, so i tried another monitor - nothing - tried a different cable - nothing - gave up for a bit and took the kids out - came back and it started fine? not sure what all that was about :wacko:
It still started slow tho.

I tried to do the memory test phill, but under resources where you download the program - i just get the following;

404 - File or directory not found.
The resource you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.


so couldn't do the memory test. I'll keep trying it to see if its just a temporary thing.

2 new updates (sorry Phill :lol:) but it might help you diagnose the problem

I've also noticed its taking a while to shutdown also, and sometimes failing to shutdown, it will turn off and the screen will go blank, but the computer will stay running (fans etc still going) - i have to switch it off at the mains.

and also, now its popping up telling me its found new hardware - i went into device manager and theirs a "multimedia audio controller" with a yellow mark on it, I have sound but i re installed the drivers again anyway from;

http://www.asrock.co...ullHD-hSLI R3.0

had no luck - so thought I'd re-install all the drivers again from that site, but it still comes up with new hardware found, i just don't know where to find the driver.
I did however have a problem when i tried to install the "VGA driver ver:171.23" from the above link, it told me it couldn't locate drivers that are compatible with my current hardware"

I seem to be digging a bigger hole Phill :surrender:
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#14
phillpower2

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You are welcome Steve and thanks for the update :thumbsup:

Please confirm whether or not you only have one HDD fitted in the computer.

Can you go back into the BIOS and enable SMART please, this should always be enabled if available as it gives advanced warning of HDD problems and failure.

C: and D: are partitions on a single HDD and that is why they swapped places BTW.

If you have data on the HDD that you wish to keep I suggest that you back it up a.s.a.p as a precaution, once the data is secure I will provide testing details for the HDD.
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#15
SteveMiller

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Hi Phill, thanks for the reply :)

no I have 2 HDD's connected, My media player is my 2nd drive (D: drive) where i have everything backed up, my C: drive is empty besides programs i've downloaded to try and fix this so i don't mind losing them, everything i need is all backed up on my D: drive from my re-install of windows.

and i've now enabled S.M.A.R.T :cool:
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