RAM compatability

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by smackedass, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. smackedass

    smackedass Guest

    Hello again,

    A while back, someone posted here, their problem was that they were having a
    problem finding compatible RAM. I admit, I snickered to myself, they just
    haven't tried hard enough.

    "Reality is when it happens to you"

    My customer has a HP 7915 that was running dog-ass slow. I did the
    obligatory spyware cleanup, the system was not faster, at all. I suggested
    a RAM upgrade...and all hell broke loose.

    That box has got 2 slots, one held 256, one held 128, total 384. Windows
    saw 384, too. Windows XP HE.

    Mr. Big Shot (me) went to the local Staples, picked up another stick of 256
    PC 133 SDRAM, advised the customer that we'll try the 256, at the expense of
    "sacrificing" the 128. I stuck in the 256, and it started to boot, but only
    "looped" between the BIOS startup screen and the "Welcome" screen.

    Bummer...then I stuck the original 128 back in the same slot, and it
    wouldn't boot at all.

    Took the computer back to my shop. Tried every possible configuration of
    those 3 RAM sticks inside of those 2 slots, 12 in all. Now, the only one
    that works is the original 256, inside of either slot, 0 or 1.

    That stick DOES work within either of those slots; my conclusion is that
    both of those slots are ok.

    As far as any other configuration, such as:

    1) The new 256 in slot 0, nothing in slot 1
    2) The new 256 in slot 1, nothing in slot 0
    3) The old (good) 256 in slot 0, the old 128 in slot 1
    4) The old 128 in slot 0, the old (good) 256 in slot1
    5) The new 256 in slot 0, the old 128 in slot 1
    6) The old 128 in slot 0, the new 256 in slot 1
    7) The old 128 by itself in slot 0
    8) The old 128 by itself in slot 1
    9) The old 256 in slot 0, the new 256 in slot 1
    10) The new 256 in slot 0, the old 256 in slot 1

    ....fails, I've seen different and same error messages for similar
    configurations. Because the failure messages have been inconsistent, it
    probably wouldn't be relevant to list them all here. However, if there are
    any takers, I'll let you have 'em.

    WHAT HAVE I DONE:

    -Flashed the BIOS
    -Flashed the firmware
    -Reinstalled XP HE
    -Reinstalled SP2
    -Downloaded and installed all MS updates

    My conclusions:

    -Both slots work

    -Most likely, all 3 sticks of RAM work, but are not compatible with this
    box.

    -It was a fluke that my customer's 128 worked at all to begin with. This
    computer, the HP Pavillion 7915, has stringent compatability requirements
    for its RAM. I've just got to find compatible RAM, and then find a good
    reason to explain to my customer that his 128 suddenly failed.

    Thank you, to anyone who has had the patience to read this post, from
    beginning to end. If you care to agree, or disagree, or have anything else
    to chime in about, please do.

    Thank you, again,

    smackedass
    smackedass, Sep 14, 2005
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. On Tue, 13 Sep 2005 19:20:03 -0700, "smackedass"
    <> wrote:

    >Hello again,
    >
    >A while back, someone posted here, their problem was that they were having a
    >problem finding compatible RAM. I admit, I snickered to myself, they just
    >haven't tried hard enough.
    >
    >"Reality is when it happens to you"
    >
    >My customer has a HP 7915 that was running dog-ass slow. I did the
    >obligatory spyware cleanup, the system was not faster, at all. I suggested
    >a RAM upgrade...and all hell broke loose.
    >
    >That box has got 2 slots, one held 256, one held 128, total 384. Windows
    >saw 384, too. Windows XP HE.
    >
    >Mr. Big Shot (me) went to the local Staples, picked up another stick of 256
    >PC 133 SDRAM, advised the customer that we'll try the 256, at the expense of
    >"sacrificing" the 128. I stuck in the 256, and it started to boot, but only
    >"looped" between the BIOS startup screen and the "Welcome" screen.
    >
    >Bummer...then I stuck the original 128 back in the same slot, and it
    >wouldn't boot at all.
    >
    >Took the computer back to my shop. Tried every possible configuration of
    >those 3 RAM sticks inside of those 2 slots, 12 in all. Now, the only one
    >that works is the original 256, inside of either slot, 0 or 1.
    >
    >That stick DOES work within either of those slots; my conclusion is that
    >both of those slots are ok.
    >
    >As far as any other configuration, such as:
    >
    >1) The new 256 in slot 0, nothing in slot 1
    >2) The new 256 in slot 1, nothing in slot 0
    >3) The old (good) 256 in slot 0, the old 128 in slot 1
    >4) The old 128 in slot 0, the old (good) 256 in slot1
    >5) The new 256 in slot 0, the old 128 in slot 1
    >6) The old 128 in slot 0, the new 256 in slot 1
    >7) The old 128 by itself in slot 0
    >8) The old 128 by itself in slot 1
    >9) The old 256 in slot 0, the new 256 in slot 1
    >10) The new 256 in slot 0, the old 256 in slot 1
    >
    >...fails, I've seen different and same error messages for similar
    >configurations. Because the failure messages have been inconsistent, it
    >probably wouldn't be relevant to list them all here. However, if there are
    >any takers, I'll let you have 'em.
    >
    >WHAT HAVE I DONE:
    >
    >-Flashed the BIOS
    >-Flashed the firmware
    >-Reinstalled XP HE
    >-Reinstalled SP2
    >-Downloaded and installed all MS updates
    >
    >My conclusions:
    >
    >-Both slots work
    >
    >-Most likely, all 3 sticks of RAM work, but are not compatible with this
    >box.
    >
    >-It was a fluke that my customer's 128 worked at all to begin with. This
    >computer, the HP Pavillion 7915, has stringent compatability requirements
    >for its RAM. I've just got to find compatible RAM, and then find a good
    >reason to explain to my customer that his 128 suddenly failed.
    >
    >Thank you, to anyone who has had the patience to read this post, from
    >beginning to end. If you care to agree, or disagree, or have anything else
    >to chime in about, please do.
    >
    >Thank you, again,
    >
    >smackedass



    Go to CRUCIAL.COM. I have never had a problem with any of the RAM I
    have ordered from them.

    They have a utility where you enter your machine's make & model, and
    it will tell you specificall what you need. It also lists the specs,
    so I suppose you can find it elsewhere if you want.

    Their prices may be a little higher than the bargain off brand generic
    stuff, but I have never regretted spending a little extra for quality
    (and HAVE regretted "cheaping out"). Especially when a customer's
    machine is involved. If the RAM is flaky, you lose your valluable
    time tracking it down and "re-fixing" it, plus, you lose the customers
    confidence.

    M
    mhaase-at-springmind.com, Sep 14, 2005
    #2
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  3. smackedass

    smackedass Guest


    > You cannot go at this too naively ... and using the wrong type of memory
    > can damage the motherboard.


    You are so right. I've just never had negative results, with "newer" (5
    years and <5) computers, when I just grabbed PC 100, PC 133, or PC 2700,
    everything worked. A pox on me.

    The other thing that had be baffled here, and that I'm still going to have
    to figure out how to explain to my customer, is why did the 128 work until I
    yanked it, and then didn't work any more?

    Thank you for your advice/opinion.

    smackedass
    smackedass, Sep 14, 2005
    #3
  4. smackedass

    smackedass Guest


    > This may have been alluded to by Barry but you needed to consider the
    > RAM's
    > timing(i.e, CL)as well as the density. When I once purchased more RAM to
    > add to my own computer, I didn't take this into account and the addition
    > of the second chip caused all kinds of trouble. Yet each stick working
    > independent was perfect in either slot.


    I plead GUILTY of ignorance in the 1st degree. Never again will I
    replace/add memory without doing more research than I have been.

    I'm still wondering why my customer's original 128 doesn't work, but the 256
    that he added on, does. As I mentioned, before I let my grimy little
    fingers touch the mobo, the 384 were working together.

    smackedass
    smackedass, Sep 14, 2005
    #4
  5. smackedass

    SBFan2000 Guest

    If the customer knows your replacing the 128 with 256 why do you have to
    explain that the 128 is bad? But the new chip in and be done with it.
    Unless he has another system hes going to but it in?


    "smackedass" <> wrote in message
    news:t%ZVe.16796$626.13626@trndny08...
    >
    > > This may have been alluded to by Barry but you needed to consider the
    > > RAM's
    > > timing(i.e, CL)as well as the density. When I once purchased more RAM

    to
    > > add to my own computer, I didn't take this into account and the addition
    > > of the second chip caused all kinds of trouble. Yet each stick working
    > > independent was perfect in either slot.

    >
    > I plead GUILTY of ignorance in the 1st degree. Never again will I
    > replace/add memory without doing more research than I have been.
    >
    > I'm still wondering why my customer's original 128 doesn't work, but the

    256
    > that he added on, does. As I mentioned, before I let my grimy little
    > fingers touch the mobo, the 384 were working together.
    >
    > smackedass
    >
    >
    >




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    SBFan2000, Sep 14, 2005
    #5
  6. smackedass

    Linker3000 Guest

    smackedass wrote:

    > I've just never had negative results, with "newer" (5
    > years and <5) computers, when I just grabbed PC 100, PC 133, or PC 2700,
    > everything worked. A pox on me.


    Never worked on Gateway PCs then eh! ;-)
    Linker3000, Sep 15, 2005
    #6
  7. smackedass

    Linker3000 Guest

    smackedass wrote:

    >>This may have been alluded to by Barry but you needed to consider the
    >>RAM's
    >>timing(i.e, CL)as well as the density. When I once purchased more RAM to
    >>add to my own computer, I didn't take this into account and the addition
    >>of the second chip caused all kinds of trouble. Yet each stick working
    >>independent was perfect in either slot.

    >
    >
    > I plead GUILTY of ignorance in the 1st degree. Never again will I
    > replace/add memory without doing more research than I have been.
    >
    > I'm still wondering why my customer's original 128 doesn't work, but the 256
    > that he added on, does. As I mentioned, before I let my grimy little
    > fingers touch the mobo, the 384 were working together.
    >
    > smackedass
    >
    >

    Wrist strap?
    Linker3000, Sep 15, 2005
    #7
  8. smackedass

    smackedass Guest


    > It might be worth considering the slim chance that what has failed, what
    > is keeping things from working, is not the motherboard, but the 128MB
    > module. Perhaps IT became damaged in the handling that has occured in
    > this "episode".


    "episode"? Oh, rub it in, ok, I might deserve it. FTR, the old 256 mod
    works in either/both of the slots, so I think it's unlikely that the slot,
    or the mobo, is damaged. Everything clicked in and out just fine, and I'm
    well aware of the dangers of static electricity, and was well grounded.

    AND, I just got back from the customer's house, the good news is, the
    computer is now FLYING on the good 256 mod, faster than it ever did w/ the
    384. Amazing what a reinstall can do...so, although the customer is as
    curious as I am about what's up with the 128, he's quite pleased with the
    machine's new responsiveness.

    And, I told him that I'd continue to work on figuring out what's wrong with
    the 128, if it's damaged, or if it was a fluke that it ever worked, to begin
    with.

    On that note...

    What is the chance that it was a fluke that the 128 ever worked correctly,
    to begin with? Stranger things have happened...

    smackedass
    smackedass, Sep 15, 2005
    #8
  9. smackedass

    smackedass Guest

    "SBFan2000" <mocaveboyNOSP#> wrote in message
    news:...
    > If the customer knows your replacing the 128 with 256 why do you have to
    > explain that the 128 is bad? But the new chip in and be done with it.
    > Unless he has another system hes going to but it in?


    The new 256 mod doesn't work, either. However, the old 256 mod works in
    either/both of the 2 slots.

    smackedass
    smackedass, Sep 15, 2005
    #9
  10. On Thu, 15 Sep 2005 00:20:11 +0100, Linker3000
    <> wrote:

    >smackedass wrote:
    >
    >> I've just never had negative results, with "newer" (5
    >> years and <5) computers, when I just grabbed PC 100, PC 133, or PC 2700,
    >> everything worked. A pox on me.

    >
    >Never worked on Gateway PCs then eh! ;-)


    Some Compaq's also.

    Tom
    Tom MacIntyre, Sep 15, 2005
    #10
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