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Problems adding RAM

by alidickson / January 20, 2006 12:17 AM PST

I'm running an HP desktop w/Win XP Home/SP2. I had only 256MB of RAM, so purchased an additional stick of 256MB. When I first installed the 2nd stick, my monitor would not come on. Take the stick out, monitor comes on. Put the stick in, monitor won't come on. Tried this 3 times. The PC would power up fine. Somewhere in all this in and out stuff, I accidentally broke off the top clip on one of the slots, which holds the stick in place. (I'll get to that in a sec.)

My PC refuses to recognize the additional RAM (even before the clip broke). I've tried figuring out my problem with the company I bought the RAM from, from HP, from various friends, etc. My BIOS and drivers are all up to date. But my PC still does not recognize the additional RAM. HP (via online chat) finally decided that the broken clip was the problem, stating that the RAM could not be seated firmly in the slot. However, the RAM in my opinion IS securely seated - doesn't wiggle in the slot etc. Incidentally, I bought the RAM recommended by

So now I have two problems - no monitor when the 2nd stick of RAM is inserted, and the broken clip which can only (per HP) be fixed with a new motherboard. $140 just for the board. The motherboard is a Trigem.

What else would I have to buy in addition to the mobo? I understand there are additional components? I know this sounds silly, but why can't the RAM stick just be superglued in place :-o), or something else simple? There's nothing wrong with the stick or the slot. I know this because I've tried both sticks individually in both slots. They both work fine in either slot, just not together.

Is replacing the mobo a DIY project for someone with intermediate skills in installing hardware?

And what the heck is the issue with the monitor/RAM?

Any advice would be appreciated!


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Just because it fits...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 20, 2006 12:32 AM PST
In reply to: Problems adding RAM

Does not mean it will work. For example the Intel BX chipset would not work with many 256MB sticks of ram. The fix was to get a different architecture of 256MB stick (techy stuff) or from which will send out the right stuff.

The Trigem or Cognac boards were known to be troublesome and would not take "generic" stick. figured this out long ago so try their offering.

In closing, no fix was planned.


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Pleeeeeze don't think this is rude......
by alidickson / January 21, 2006 10:33 PM PST

I don't mean it that way, but this is going to sound bad. *As stated in my initial post*, the stick IS the one recommended by It both fits AND works. It works in EITHER slot, as does the old stick. My BIOS are up to date. My mobo has worked just fine for 3 years, any problem just started with this new stick of RAM. So it appears to me there is no problem with the RAM stick, the slot, or the mobo.

So, the questions are: 1) why isn't it being recognized, and 2) why does my monitor go out when the stick is added? At least that DOES tell me that the slot works. Plus I've run the PC on JUST the new stick. As I said, I've run the PC on either stick in either slot with no problem -- they just don't work TOGETHER.


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by joe_smith / January 20, 2006 1:33 AM PST
In reply to: Problems adding RAM

Once upon a time, I actually pulled out one of the plastic clips for RAM. They can be put back in and function just fine. I've got 3 memory banks in my system, each with a 512MB stick in it, and it's working fine. With a little care and patients, you can get those clips back in, unless you really did break it. Of course those little plastic clips are really pretty tough, so my guess is you pulled it out rather than broke it.

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did you try to exchange the newer chip??
by bently / January 20, 2006 2:08 AM PST
In reply to: Also

Did you buy memory locally, or by mail? If locally, take old working chip in to get exact match for new mem stick, and Nonworking in for exchange.

Even if chip is exact match, the new chip can be defective.

I had a problem with 2nd stick of memory, but I bought mine locally from an independant dealer. ( he is more loyal to me )

I live in small town 25 miles for dealer so I called him and told him of my problem. He told me to bring in old chip that works, to get a perfect match, and he would exchange the malfunctioning chip for a new one.

LOCAL dealer... NO hassle, no shipping charges, no waiting weeks for replacement.

I suggest you attempt to get a refund on your chip if not bought locally, and go to a local dealer, let him know you will support him and he more than likely will support you with good service.



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I think you guys are ignoring him . . .
by pearljamkornfan / January 22, 2006 6:34 AM PST

He stated:
1.) The ram stick is the recommended one from
2.)The stick did not work before he broke the clip when both sticks were in place
3.)Both sticks will work *INDEPENDANTLY* in either slot
4.)The only time they don't work is when they are both in

Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's what I got from the original message. Try to answer his question with those statements in mind.

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Thank you!!!
by alidickson / January 22, 2006 10:03 AM PST

Couldn't have said it better myself! I think you're the only one who read the initial post.....;-o)

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I'm not sure if this will help..
by reedhave / January 22, 2006 7:45 AM PST
In reply to: Problems adding RAM

..but, If your video card on your computer deos not have its own RAM, so it shares it with the RAM on your motherboard, that could be part of the problem. I am jsut suggesting this to help the others, I am not sure how to deal with this problem btu I am sure that someone else would.


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Check Your Motherboard
by gerrymar / January 22, 2006 8:40 AM PST
In reply to: Problems adding RAM

Check Your Motherboard

Look up the specs for your motherboard.If it's an older board, it may not recognize 512M in Ram. You can probably fill both slots as long as it only adds up to 256Mgs or maybe even 384M in which case adding a 128M ram chip will work.

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recommended does NOT necessarily make it right
by bently / January 22, 2006 1:26 PM PST
In reply to: Check Your Motherboard

My PC refuses to recognize the additional RAM (even before the clip broke). I've tried figuring out my problem with the company I bought the RAM from, from HP, from various friends, etc. My BIOS and drivers are all up to date. But my PC still does not recognize the additional RAM. HP (via online chat) finally decided that the broken clip was the problem, stating that the RAM could not be seated firmly in the slot. However, the RAM in my opinion IS securely seated - doesn't wiggle in the slot etc. Incidentally, I bought the RAM recommended by

Just because recommended it, does not mean 100% that it is the right one. I found out the hard way. I was supposed to have the right chip when I bought my second chip. Had to change to another chip to make computer accept both at one time.

I still suggest, take the original memory stick and get an exact match for it. Or take both sticks and have a tech look to see if the new is compatable with the old.



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Right . . .
by pearljamkornfan / January 24, 2006 4:17 AM PST

So since the new piece works independantly (as does the original) its a possibilty that you just need the exact match for either one. Also, there is a possibilty that the speeds mis-match, but usually the MOBO adjusts this, so I dunno. Good luck!

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Just one more question:
by alidickson / February 4, 2006 11:51 PM PST
In reply to: Problems adding RAM

I suppose I could solve this entire problem just by buying a stick of 512MB RAM, or even 1GB. Is there any possibility that one stick of 512MB or 1GB won't fit in the same slot as the old 256MB did?

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By RAM limit, yes...
by John.Wilkinson / February 5, 2006 12:23 AM PST

A 512MB or 1GB stick of RAM is the same physical size as a 256MB stick of RAM, but your motherboard may have limits. For instance, mine can handle a total of 2GB, and a max of a 1GB stick in each of the two slots. I believe would tell you the overall max and the max per slot (though you may want someone else's opinion after your initial problems), but if you post your computer's model number we could tell you as well.

Hope this helps,

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Several options.
by chuckieu / February 5, 2006 2:00 AM PST
In reply to: By RAM limit, yes...

Since both sticks work correctly, there are several things that could be wrong. You didn't supply model of computer or MOBO, so this is only a guess. The Motherboard may not be able to use more than 256 MB of Ram (not likely unless it is over 4 years old). You have sticks in wrong slot (if you have more than two slots). Most MOBOs use Ram in certain ways, like a single stick only works in a certain slot (could be 1, 2, 3, etc). Multiple sticks have to be in certain slots, like 1 and 3, 2 and 4. Only the MOBO manual will tell you. Different speed sticks will usually run at speed of slowest one. chuck

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RAM limits
by alidickson / February 20, 2006 5:55 AM PST
In reply to: By RAM limit, yes...

Sorry, folks. I've been in hospital.

I"ve been told by and SMART report and I forget what else, that I can use up to 1GB of RAM.

Thanks for all your advice!

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Check you your HP website....
by BlackBart1955 / January 23, 2010 4:28 AM PST
In reply to: RAM limits

I had much the same problem when I was working on my dad's old HP computer. It ended up that I was trying to upgrade the memory from pc-2100 to pc-3200 and the motherboard would ONLY accept pc-2100 and nothing else. In addition, I was trying to upgrade from 512 MB to 3GB and it would only accomodate 2 GB. One more thing is that I was mixing brands. It originally had Crucial and I was trying to add Kingston, and the salesman told me that THAT could be a problem too.

You are not telling us WHICH HP it is, so I cannot find the information for you, so what you need to do is to go to the HP website itself and download the information. You need to go to and click on "Support & Drivers". On the number 1 Step, for this problem, you need to choose "See support and troubleshooting information". In Step 2, you can choose the option to have it automatically scan your computer to zero in on its model, or you can type that in yourself.

Once you go through all the steps to finally get to your correct make and model, you will notice that one of the options to click on is "Product Information". Then when you click on that, you will have the option of "Product Specifications". Click on that and when that opens, click on "Product Specifications", and when that opens, click on "Memory". That will tell you EXACTLY which kind of memory your model computer uses.

The particular model that I looked up comes with only 256 MB of PC-133 DIMM SDRAM, and it had maximum of only 1.5 GB (3 x 512 MB). The best thing to do is to take your existing memory into the store and show it to the salesman, or better yet, if they have a computer tech. That would help them to get an EXACT match as to what you need.

My dad's model said it used PC-2100 and they weren't kidding. I tried to use PC-2700 because I couldn't buy the 2100 without ordering from a website and even that didn't work. I ordered the 2100 from a website that still had that old model, and that worked like a charm.

~ Barry

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Did you notice the date?
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / January 23, 2010 7:46 PM PST

The post you have replied to was posted in 2006.

I would guess they have solved their problem now, or moved on.


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Thanks Barry
by rcbarse / January 23, 2010 8:35 PM PST

Very detailed reply, its not actually a HP is a TIME mobo 8366-8233, I ran the KINGSTON scanner they advised the correct memory and I bought 3 x 1Gb stick two for the wifes and one for mine. After about a month the wifes PC started getting many random error including BSOD, I suspected the new memory isolated it to one stick and put it and the other new 1GB stick into mine, replacing the original 256 I had been limping along with for years. Now only 1256 recognised by dxdiag, even though I have disabled BIOS quick start.

I will stick with it wondered if I had overlooked anything obvious

Cheers, Robin

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having same problem with addind sticks.
by roadsterbob / February 22, 2006 1:25 AM PST
In reply to: Problems adding RAM

I've been reading this post with great interest. I am also having problems adding ram. I have a Gateway (2000) that came as complete system with 128mb ram, intell III and Win 98. I wanted to upgrade to Win XP Home with SP2. I loaded the program and it works a bit slow but it works. The current stick is 128 PC100
I was told that I could upgrade my stick to a 512 PC133 and that the 512 pc133 stick would run at the 128 pc100 speed. I was hoping to use the 128 stick to help me launch the 512 stick into memory. When I put the new 512 stick in I have the same problem as Ali, the monitor doesn't work. I take new stick out and put old stick in and all is fine.

So I put both sticks in and looked up my bios. The bios recognized that I had both sticks in place and that I had 640 ram however the computer wouldn't boot past that point. What step am I missing??

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Re: having same problem with addind sticks.
by Tufenuf / February 22, 2006 1:40 AM PST
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2nd stick RAM problem...
by Papa Echo / February 22, 2006 9:53 AM PST
In reply to: Problems adding RAM

Some mother boards have switches (jumpers) for different configurations of RAM, HDs, etc. (maybe for power or performance management purposes), whereby you have to switch to a different position for more RAM, etc. I suggest checking that out with the manual for the mother board, or open the case and look for ''information stickers''.

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I'm not sue what you are referring to
by alidickson / February 23, 2006 11:00 PM PST

My PC has 2 slots for RAM. Where would I find the information stickers? How can I tell if there are switches or jumpers? I don't have the manual.

Re: the prior post, my system BIOS doesn't even recognize the extra RAM, so he's gotten farther than I have!

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Mother Board switches...
by Papa Echo / February 24, 2006 9:14 AM PST

...they are tiny weeny slider toogle switches, usually having positions marked ''0'' and ''1''. (As such, they work like jumpers.) They are for mother board configurations, e.g. support for amount of RAM memory used; HD type,space, or file system or even the OS used, e.g. Windows/Linus. Not all Mother Boards have them. There is usually a small sticker- found on the board itself or on the Case inside panel- explaining what the switch positions stand for, or where the switch is located.

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found the problem...
by roadsterbob / March 2, 2006 1:16 PM PST
In reply to: Problems adding RAM

i was unable to add 512 pc 133 sdram. the problem for some stupid reason was the pc133. i popped in another stick of 128 pc100 and a stick of 256 pc100, bth pc1oo. problem fixed and memory upgraded.

if your still having problems try it.
good luck.

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XP recognising new RAM stick
by rcbarse / January 22, 2010 7:31 PM PST
In reply to: Problems adding RAM

I am having an almost identical problem to the initial poster, but not sure anybody actually knows exactly what the issue is so If I find it elsewhere will post back here. But removed the original manufacturers 256 and put in 2 x 1Mb. Now on boot and using dxdiag the system only shows 1.28Mb. I have been told to take BIOS out of quick boot, run once to recognise the 2MB re-tick quick boot. None of which works. I have suspicions one of the sticks from Kingston albeit only 2 months old is suspect. Will try to locate a Memory thrashing program if anybody knows of one please post the link. Just about to swap the slots over will report back.

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I have such a machine.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 22, 2010 10:25 PM PST

It is not XP, it's not what you think and no change in make of RAM will fix this. It's a combination of motherboard, bios and the CPU in that case. Example? The board with the AMD 3700+ will report 2GB. Put an earlier model and you get 1.25ishGB.

A course in computer design is needed to explain why but this is proper for that gear.

How to make it simple for the rest of us?

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Thanks for the response
by rcbarse / January 23, 2010 12:27 AM PST
In reply to: I have such a machine.

Well that is strange because using the machine scanner for Cruicial and Kingson both reported machine will quite happily take 3Gb of ram and were happy to supply memory and take my money. So I guess I will be taking them to court for a refund. Thanks again

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They didn't quibble here.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 23, 2010 12:48 AM PST

And this forum could make suggestions about BIOS but has no reason to yet. No make, model, bios version to work with.

It's like taking a car to the shop but you have obscured the model details. The mechanics (like members here) may be stumped.

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BIOS upgrade
by rcbarse / January 25, 2010 2:49 AM PST

The mobo is a Micro Star MS 8366-8233 the BIOS version is currently 1.64 in fact here is chapter and verse Processor is AMD Athlon(tm) XP 1800_ MMX,3DNow 1280MB RAM System Manufacturere Time, Runnint Microsoft Windows XP HOme Edition (5.1 ) SP3.

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I have that CPU
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 25, 2010 3:06 AM PST
In reply to: BIOS upgrade
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Thanks for the Advice
by rcbarse / January 25, 2010 3:56 AM PST
In reply to: I have that CPU

Not a bad suggestion but still means buying new stuff when the Scanner did not make any indication that anything less than 2GB was the max. I have been searching without joy for a newer version of the BIOS but its like a needle in a haystack and lots of roundabouts. I will fire a snotagram off to Kingston and see what their advice is. I will run the scanner again and store the results to use as ammunition.

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