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Triple Memory vs. Ability to Restart (Help!)

by nikonratm / February 15, 2007 6:07 AM PST

So I've had this problem for a little while now but only recently had the gumption to figure it out. Basically, my PC (Sony VAIO RB60G) was unable to restart under either XP or Vista. After some much dreaded investigative work, I've determined that its the extra memory (2GB PNY DDR2 533Mhz PC4200) I bought. If I take out the two 1gb dimms, she restarts like the good ol' days.

So now I have a dilemma?well, its really not much of a dilemma since I'd rather have the extra 2 gb of memory and just have to shut down instead of restarting?BUT, I would like to solve it if possible. I think I remember reading somewhere that this VAIO maxes out at 2GB memory, but there are four slots, and Windows (both XP & Vista) seem to register the extra memory fine, so why not, right?

Anyone have any ideas?

Any help would be very much appreciated, thanks!

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Have you noticed...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 15, 2007 6:16 AM PST

The number of posts about issues with 4GB memory in Windows based machines? I take it you are repeating this experience as well.

Bob

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re: Triple Memory vs. Ability to Restart
by ramarc / February 15, 2007 6:23 AM PST

you can try simply swapping the sticks so the new RAM is in the original slots.

that pc should be able to handle 4gb without problem. i suggest you download cpu-z from http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php and check your memory timings and SPD values for each stick. since your PC works fine with the SPD timings of the original RAM, go into the BIOS and manually configure your RAM to match the timings of the original RAM.

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progress...
by nikonratm / February 15, 2007 8:29 AM PST

ramarc?seems like you're onto something, the timings do differ in cpu-z. i tried switching the new/old dimms but no go. the other thing is, in my bios setup, i have no way of manually adjusting the timings on the memory. I have 4 options:

Main
Advanced->
CPU Config->
Single Processor Mode [Enable/Disable]
XD Technology [Enable/Disable]
Peripheral Config
USB Config
Power
Boot

And nowhere in there do I see anything about memory timings...I did find this: http://www.techpowerup.com/systool/ which claims to support changing memory timing on i945. When first I ran it, it said the program didnt support my motherboard, but then when I went to i915/i925/i955 Memory Timings it did allow me to read the timings, but only gave me two channels...since i really have no idea what im talking about, pictures!:

cpu-z for the original memory

for the new memory

systool's memory timing section

I tried changing the tRAS in systool to 11, to match the cpu-z info for the original memory, but after a restart it was back to 12.

thanks so much for your help, got any more left?

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i thought you had 4 sticks of memory
by ramarc / February 15, 2007 9:43 AM PST
In reply to: progress...

if so, cpu-z should show slots #1-#4 and slot #1 should report the same as slot #2. if they differ,you're not running in dual-channel mode and need to rearrange your memory. typically 2 of the 4 slots will be a different color and you'll load the original ram in one color and the new ram in the other color.

also your motherboard (mainboard) chipset should be i945 (i946/965/875) since the i915/925/955 chipsets don't support pentium-d.

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yea, i do have 4 sticks
by nikonratm / February 15, 2007 4:51 PM PST

and the new ones are now in the two blue slots (slots 1/3), the old ones in the two green slots (slots 2/4). It used to be the other way around but I switched em as per your suggestion.

I only posted pics of slots 1/2 because 3/4 are the same, sorry for not saying so...

thanks again!

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for the sake of full disclosure
by nikonratm / February 15, 2007 5:11 PM PST

if this helps, here's the full cpu-z dump (i took out system s/n):
html cpu-z dump

thanks

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hmmm
by ramarc / February 16, 2007 12:48 AM PST

dumb question: after swapping memory, does your pc still hang on restarting?

i noticed your bios is from 12/15/05. you might want to look for an update for your bios and check the release notes to see if any memory related issues have been addressed.

you might also consider getting the latest chipset software from intel: http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/sb/CS-020683.htm

lastly, are you running the final retail version or the release candidate of vista?

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re: hmmm
by nikonratm / February 17, 2007 12:44 AM PST
In reply to: hmmm

yea, it does still hang after swapping the sticks.

i looked at that chipset software page you posted but they didnt do the trick.

I thought to update the bios, but I cant for the life of me locate an update. Sony has a terrible support page, and dont give one there (they dont even have the original bios). And calling them won't help because they'll just say 'we don't support upgradese of that kind', they've done it to me before...

any other ways to change the timing? anywhere else to find the bios? this can't be the end of the road, say it aint so!

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doh!
by nikonratm / February 17, 2007 1:39 AM PST
In reply to: hmmm

i thought I had it, I think this:
http://www.intel.com/products/motherboard/D945GTP/index.htm
is my motherboard. i believe this because of a very scientific process called looking at the pictures (well, first i narrowed it down by chipset...). the bios doesnt identify itself according to Intel's spec, but it must be the one.

i even dried downloading the bios update exe, but it told me it wasn't made for my system...i suppose i could try the iso/bio files but that would be scary as all hell!

instead of restarting next time maybe ill just throw the computer out the window-ack! so frustrating!

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sorry, but it's sounds like its the new ram
by ramarc / February 18, 2007 2:09 AM PST
In reply to: doh!

and the limited bios support. your mobo is an oem model (prague) made for sony and intel won't have a bios for it. intel mobo's are very finicky and the ram must run at 1.8V (other mobos can run at 1.9V to 2.1V).

if you can run 2gb without hanging, then just ebay your original ram. 2gb is plenty.

if the new 2gb still hangs without the original ram, return (or ebay) the new ram. when you replace the new ram, goto crucial.com or kingston.com and use their memory configurator to determine the proper ram for your system.

http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.aspx?model=VAIO+VGC%2DRB60G

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