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Upgrading RAM on Dell Dimension 8200

by bluecomet390 / February 12, 2007 6:37 AM PST

I have a five year old Dell Dimension 8200 with a Pentium 4 CPU running at 1.8 ghz. It is equipped with the original 256 meg of RAM. In a recent attempt to upgrade the memory I purchased a 512 mg memory with the following specs: SAMSUNG 512MB 800MHZ s51rnc NON-ECC 184PIN RAMBUS KIT(TWO 256MB NON-ECC MODULES) All my attempts to get this to work have been fruitless. I have installed the new memory in the RIMM1 and 2, and the RIMM3 and 4 slots, both with and without the existing 128 meg units. Each time I get a message that memory has changed and that the computer is reducing memory. I also get a set up screen which I have no idea how to configure. If I choose not to configure, I get a message that the new hardware is not working and I should remove it to avoid damage to my computer. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks.

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"I purchased a 512" = a question.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 12, 2007 6:44 AM PST

You did get a pair of these? I couldn't tell.


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Dell Dimension Memory Upgrade
by bluecomet390 / February 12, 2007 7:21 AM PST

Thanks, Bob. Yes, I did purchase a pair of 256 meg units to add up to 512 meg. Robin

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"If I choose not to configure" = likely problem.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 12, 2007 11:24 AM PST

Let it configure. Sometimes it takes you to the BIOS screen which all you need to do is save and exit.


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Installing RIMMs
by Darton Fury / February 12, 2007 7:11 AM PST

Sorry to say but RIMMs must all be the same speed and capacity. Also, you have to populate all RIMM slots. A RIMM slot not currently occupied by memory can be filled with a "Continuity RIMM" or "CRIMM" in order to maintain proper termination.

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Dell Dimension Memory Upgrade.
by bluecomet390 / February 12, 2007 7:26 AM PST
In reply to: Installing RIMMs

Thanks for the reply. I did have all slots occupied on each try - with the continuity modules or with matching memory cards. I was under the impression that you could match different capacity RDRAM's - for example two 128's in RIMM1 and RIMM2 and two 256's in RIMM3 and RIMM4. Even if I am wrong, that wouldn't explain why it wouldn't work with the two new 256's in RIMM1 and RIMM2 and the continuity cards in RIMM's 3 and 4. How would I determine the relative speed of the cards? Is this written on them somewhere?

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Checked with Dell website
by Darton Fury / February 12, 2007 11:18 AM PST

In order to upgrade, the customer must remove all existing system memory and replace completely. To upgrade the memory, a BIOS update is required. The latest BIOS revision and instructions on how to flash update the BIOS are located at

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the NS number must match also
by miltonhcopeland / February 12, 2007 12:34 PM PST

Look on your old memory sticks and check the NS number, it will probably be either 800-40 or 800-45. The new memory must be the same number.
Once I installed the correct memory, nothing else was required, my Dell 8200 recognized it immediately
Good luck

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The NS Number Must Match
by bluecomet390 / February 14, 2007 2:22 AM PST

Thanks for this. I think you may have found the problem. The existing memory is 800-45 and the new is 800-40. I am returning to the manufacturer with the specs from both the existing and new memories in the hopes they can match the speedsproperly.

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I agree the Ns numbers musmatch like pc 1066 or pc 800 !
by 1Web / February 16, 2007 5:37 AM PST

I agree the NS numbers must match like pc 1066 or pc 800 ! You have to match the speed of the pairs and the individual pairs have to have the same capcity i.e. 2 x 256 MB, with 2 x 128 MB match as well. Also Non EEC for the 8200 and 8250 (not cheap memory very expensive as memory goes if its 1066). Try Memory Suppliers they have a OEM Samsung memory and should supply a match for you at the best price i found. I just got 512 MB (2 x 256) 1066 Non EEC for 40 buck less then others wanted. I found them through http// I found only slightly better prices, but it was non name brand with shot term warranty, so try the other.

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The NS Number Must Match
by bluecomet390 / March 3, 2007 9:28 AM PST

While I wait for my memory supplier to ship me a correct speed of memory upgrade, I'm wondering if I should upgrade the BIOS on my computer before installing the memory. I have downloaded the file from the Dell web site but haven't yet run it. Should I do it now, before installing memory, after I install it, or not bother at all?

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Defer the BIOS upgrade...mfgs recommend not upgrading the
by VAPCMD / March 3, 2007 9:45 AM PST

BIOS unless it solves a known problem you're experiencing.


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dell dimension 8200 ram
by kendixon69 / May 17, 2009 9:14 AM PDT

i have owned and used this model desktop starting in 2002 when the eterans administrion purchased it for me the dell is the best assenbler of this type of system but not their monitor that goes to sharp. back to the computer my 8200 has a 533Mhz motherboard and the rambus memory is by all means two much money the facts of matching memory is not that complex they must be all 800-40ns NON-ECC MODULES if you want to use as an exanple two 512 mb and two 256mb NON-ECC MODULES put the two 512's first and the 256's second. as stated before remove all MODULES and then install from the #one slot thru to the #4. you can also read this in the dell web site. before you do any upgrades one should upgrade the power supply follow is a link NEW Power Supply DELL Dimension 2N333 4G456 HP-P2507F3C. i have nothing to do with this people just a site i have located over the years. dell is a very good machine but i like to put the parts i want together and build my own super machine.

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The NS Numbers Must Match
by bluecomet390 / March 20, 2007 7:00 AM PDT

Eureka! I got the replacement modules with the correct speed, and they worked first time like a charm. Thanks to everyone who posted suggestions. I'm back in business.

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Upgrade BIOS if you add larger HD
by MikeyD215 / March 20, 2007 3:12 PM PDT

If you decide to add a larger hard drive to your 8200 then you must update to the latest BIOS, which is A09, as I recall. The update is required to implement 48 bit Logical Bit Addressing, which is required for the larger hard drives now available. Otherwise your machine will be incapable of accessing the extra storage. (Though some hard drive vendors do provide a software workaround, e.g. Seagate.) I updated the BIOS and installed a 300GB drive and have had no discernible problems.

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You indicated RIMMs must be same speed and capacity .....
by VAPCMD / February 13, 2007 9:56 AM PST
In reply to: Installing RIMMs

I'd agree on should be same speed but where does it specify the capacity must be same for four RIMMs?

Here's some info from the Dell website on the 8200

Architecture RDRAM
Memory connectors four
Memory capacities 64-, 128-, 256-, and 512-MB non-ECC RDRAM
Minimum memory 128 MB
Maximum memory 2 GB with Microsoft

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Had no problems upgrading identically equipped Dell
by MikeyD215 / February 15, 2007 7:30 PM PST

I added 512 MB to the 256 MB originally installed at the factory several years ago without any problems whatsover. The additional memory was immediately recognized. Although I had already checked for a BIOS upgrade and had already upgraded to BIOS A9 earlier, the only other thing I did was follow the directions in the Dell Solutions Guide. As I recall, when I bought the memory (at Computer Builders Warehouse) I did take one of the old "sticks" with me to show them what was already there and the fellow who waited on me told me that the modules he was handing me would be the ones to install.

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I agree call and by Dell
by trashcrash / February 15, 2007 9:44 PM PST

I just upgraded the memory in a Dell Dimension 2400 with a gig of ram. After research and reading of problems with other memory I called Dell. Now it go's zoom zoom zoom.

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OR,,,,,Go To CRUCIAL's website.
by JR / February 15, 2007 10:39 PM PST

Crucial has a simple memory advisor which tells you what you need, also a system scanner that tells you exactly what is already in your system and is much cheaper than Dell. I have bought memory through for 6 years now for who knows how many computers that I have built or upgraded, including my own dell dimension 4200 which I purchased new in 2002. Never a problem!And they have a lifetime warranty.
Go to their site and try it!

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by Barrister33 / February 20, 2007 12:05 AM PST

I had a devil of a time upgrading my Dell 8200 from 512 RD Ram to 1 Gig, and Dell was of absolutely no help whatsoever. I decided to run the Crucial advisor, purchase the RAM form them and cross my fingers. It worked perfectly.

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Dell = evil
by emmiii31771 / February 15, 2007 11:32 PM PST

Every time I have called dell I have had nothing but trouble. Everything that I have eal with dell memory, if they are pair, is that slot 1&3 & slot 2&4 are the ones that are paired. and I agree with the person above let it config

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Ram for my 8200
by MarkTheSpot / February 16, 2007 5:20 PM PST
In reply to: Dell = evil

I added 512 mb (2 x 256) to my Dell 8200 years ago. I used the program CPU-Z to check the type of ram already in the computer.
PC800 (400 MHz)
Samsung part number for slot 1 & 2: MR16R 1628AF0-CM8 (2002)
Slot 3 & 4: MR16R 1628EG0-CM8 (2004)

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Can I change my RDRAM from 800-40 to 800-45?
by craw4dm / March 3, 2007 8:06 AM PST
In reply to: Ram for my 8200

I too am trying you add more RAM to my 8200. The two 256's in it now end w/ 800-40. I have access to four 256's, but they end in 800-45. How do I know if I can change all four slots over to these new 800-45's and have no problem what so ever?

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Uh oh
by towardthesea / June 26, 2007 12:19 AM PDT

This thread has made me a little paranoid. Wink

I have an 8250 that came with 256 MBs of 1066 RDRAM, I believe in a pair of 128 MB modules. Obviously, it's running pretty slow these days.

I made the mistake of shopping for RAM on eBay without doing sufficient research. I bought 1GB (2 x 512 MB) Samsung Rambus 800-45ns ECC, which also came with 256 MB (2 x 128 MB) Samsung Rambus RDRAM PC800-40ns. They're enroute now. I plan to pull my existing 1066s and put in these two pairs of 800s.

After reading this thread and some other information, I have several concerns:

1) In the manual for my 8250, it says RDRAM should be 40ns or faster. Will the 45ns modules even work in my system? Can they harm it?

2) I see now that 1066 RDRAM is superior to 800. Given this and the 45ns caveat, will I actually be sacrificing more speed than I'm adding by increasing the RAM to +1 gig?

3) Will the 40ns modules work with the 45ns modules? I've seen conflicting information on this. My understanding is that all the memory will be recognized, but at the slower 45ns speed.

4) The manual says the RDRAM needs to be non-ECC. I know the 512 modules ARE ECC. Not sure about the 128 modules.

Any help you guys could provide would be much appreciated!

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Uh oh...
by John.Wilkinson / June 26, 2007 11:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Uh oh

1.) Some older models would check the speed and refuse to boot if it's not recognized, but it sounds like it's a recommendation and not a requirement with the 8250. Thus, it should be fine.

2.) Speed vs capacity. In this case it's the difference between 256MB of 1600MB/s RAM and 1GB of 2133MB/s RAM. Unless you're using relatively little RAM at any given time with a demand for the highest response time I'd rather have the 1GB at my disposal with a little less speed.

3.) Yes, they should work together harmoniously provided #1 holds true.

4.) And there lies the problem. Some have reported being able to use ECC RAM in a computer that does not support it by running it in a non-ECC mode, but I wouldn't get my hopes up...Dell specified non-ECC for a reason.

Personally, I'd check with the seller to see if you can send it back for a refund, less S&H. If not you could try it out, but most likely you'll be reselling it on Ebay before long.


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Samsung 800-45 no not work on 8200
by EmmEmmBerlin / January 30, 2008 7:38 PM PST
In reply to: Uh oh...

Pre-Installed on my 8200 System are 2x 256MB 800-40. Removing those and REPLACING the two by Samsung 2x256MB 800-45 leads to the BIOS error message:
Used RDRAM incompatible, please install modules with 40ns or faster.

Since they are faster I am not sure what to do. Bios is up-to-date.
You have any ideas?

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(NT) In this case, 40ns is faster than 45ns
by VAPCMD / January 31, 2008 4:43 PM PST
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45ns Rimm in Dell 8250
by johnnyg / February 28, 2008 5:24 PM PST
In reply to: Uh oh...


I have similar problem. I rather stupidly looked at 45ns rimms being faster than 40ns when I decided to by 1gb of ram from ebay.
The Dell 8250 needs 40ns or faster. Clearly now I understand that 45ns is slower than 40ns!!
The PC does not boot, just returns the message that "incompatible memory in Rimm slots, replace with 40ns or faster".
(This I think has been mentioned elsewhere in this thread)

Does anyone have a solution to force the 8250 to accept 45ns rimms?
Everything else about the Rimm I have is compatible(non ecc, PC800 etc etc)
The BIOS setup has no menu for Ram options....maybe there a BIOS update which allows this?

Thanks to all and hoping there is a solution

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(NT) Why nog buy compatible RAM?
by Kees Bakker / February 28, 2008 5:30 PM PST
In reply to: 45ns Rimm in Dell 8250
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45ns in place of 40ns
by johnnyg / February 28, 2008 6:00 PM PST


Yeah thats a solution. However I have the 45ns rimms already at a good price.
To resell back on ebay is a hassle and costs
If there was a known way to make the 45ns rimms work then thought that would be best


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Re: memory
by Kees Bakker / January 30, 2008 7:51 PM PST
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