RAM upgrade problem

  Dumble452 02:54 31 Jan 2007
Locked

I'm running WindowsXP sp2 on a self assembled computer based on a Novatech bundle with 516MB of RAM in 2x256 sticks. The motherboard is a Matsonic MS8147C and only has 3 slots available for memory sticks. I used Crucial's scanner to check what compatible extra RAM I could install and bought a further 512MB stick from them. I followed Crucial's instructions and installed the new stick in slot 0 but then Windows would not start. I got a message along the lines of windows system 32 config system is missing or corrupt, attempt to repair using original installation disk. This failed. However when I removed the new stick of RAM and reverted to the original RAM the computer worked as normal.
I'll contact Crucial tomorrow (later today!) but I would be interested to know if:
1)the problem is likely to be a faulty stick of RAM?
2) can I just put the new stick of RAM in the only spare slot, without disturbing my existing RAM?
Suffering from a touch of insomnia.

  vinnyT 04:34 31 Jan 2007

"1)the problem is likely to be a faulty stick of RAM?" Possible, but did you make sure it was firmly inplace?

"2) can I just put the new stick of RAM in the only spare slot, without disturbing my existing RAM?" Try it, it won't do any harm, either it works, or not.

Just been on the matsonic site, not very helpful, the crucial site had more detail on what you can and can't install. Unless you brought a stick outside of these parameters, DDR memory with support for DDR PC2700,DDR PC3200,DDR PC4000 speeds, then it should work.

I'd def try installing the two original sticks in their original slots, boot up to make sure everything works, then install the new stick in the empty slot.

Hope this helps.

  ed-0 06:48 31 Jan 2007

Which is the spare slot, the one next to the IDE connectors on the motherboard?

If it is. Take the first stick of ram out, the one next to the cpu, move that to dimm number 3 slot. So you have both 256Mb sticks next to the IDE motherboard sockets.

Put the 512Mb of ram in the slot next to the cpu.

Clear the cmos by moving JP1 into the clear position, for 5 seconds, then place the jumper how it was, in the run position.
click here

manual click here
Boot up.

  Dumble452 06:50 31 Jan 2007

Its a 512MB 184 pin DIMM 64Mx64 DDR pc3200 unbuffered.

I'll try again when there's more light.
Thanks for your response.

  Dumble452 06:56 31 Jan 2007

Yes the spare slot is the one furthest from the CPU and next to the IDE connectors.
Can you explain about clearing cmos, what does this do?
Thanks

  ed-0 07:03 31 Jan 2007

The bios / cmos stores all the information about the hardware inside your PC. It is held on a small memory chip that is always powered, either by the motherboard battery or by the mains supply, when the machine is plugged in.

When you clear the cmos, you clear all the settings held by the computer. So when it restarts, it's just as if it were a new computer and all the hardware is being detected for the first time.

It maybe that the cmos is not refreshing it's self when you reboot and being confused over the extra memory. It can with older motherboards.

the only thing you have to check, after the clear cmos, is that the cpu and memory are correctly seen.

  Dumble452 09:50 31 Jan 2007

I've tried installing the new stick in the spare slot but again get the same result. I'll wait until I hear back from Crucial before I attempt to clear the cmos. Thanks for your help. Ian

  keef66 12:03 31 Jan 2007

what happens if you remove the original 2 sticks and start it with just the new one in?

  Dumble452 15:44 31 Jan 2007

Been to the pub! Will try that later. Worth a try.

  Dumble452 10:01 02 Feb 2007

This is the response I have received from Crucial:

"If I could ask you ensure you have the most up to date BIOS on your system.
This can be downloaded from the manufacturer's website. If you also download
the latest chipset and graphics card drivers.

If you then restart the machine with only the new module in the main slot, wait
for this to boot. If this loads OK, add the second module in the second slot,
and this should start up for you with no issues."

I am reluctant to flash the BIOS because I do not have the confidence to do it. As soon as I have time I will try with just the new stick and if that does not work I will attempt to clear the CMOS. Unfortunately the jumper is in a very awkward position to access unless I remove one or both of my HDDs

  keef66 10:38 02 Feb 2007

"If I could ask you ensure you have the most up to date BIOS on your system etc etc"

That's the standard response for most types of technical support. I'd just try the new stick on it's own first as they suggest

"If you then restart the machine with only the new module in the main slot, wait
for this to boot. If this loads OK, add the second module in the second slot,
and this should start up for you with no issues."

MAKE SURE YOU POWER IT DOWN BEFORE ADDING THE SECOND MODULE!

(I only say this because I have nearly fried myself while enthusiastically trying memory modules in different combinations)

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