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How do I know if I have installed memory correctly?


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TreeFrog TreeFrog is offline
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12-Jun-2011, 11:18 AM #1
How do I know if I have installed memory correctly?
Dear Tech Support Guy,

I have a Dell Dimension E510, running Windows XP, and it came with 1GB of RAM. It was fine for a few years, but recently it began to freeze up, so I bought 1GB to add to it. Someone at Best Buy helped me find the right one to install. He said a PNY DDR2 (PC2-5300) 1GB would do fine.

So, I unplugged the computer, opened it up, installed the RAM (I think) and started it up again, but how do I know whether I have done everything correctly? When I go to Control Panel --> System, it still tells me I have 1GB. When I go to Accessories--> System Tools --> System Information, it seems to (may) say the same thing; it says:

Total physical memory: 1,024 MB
Available physical memory: 403.45 MB
Total Virtual Memory: 2GB
Available Virtual Memory: 1.96 GB

I read that the first two on that list are the relevant ones, that Windows uses hard disk space for the virtual memory--is that correct?

I read also that if I didn't install it correctly, the system would beep, but it didn't. It hasn't frozen yet, so perhaps it is okay, but I haven't used it much since installing it, so I can't really tell. How would I know whether I have installed it properly?

Thank you,

TF
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12-Jun-2011, 12:38 PM #2
If it doesn't show 2GB of RAM then its not installed correctly.

Make sure the RAM is fully seated in the slot, also note that there is a notch in both the RAM and the slot, those need to line up and the memory should click into place. If it still doesn't show up then remove the original stick and try just the new one.

Also note that a lack of memory does not cause a complete lockup; slow down yes, lock-up no.
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12-Jun-2011, 05:07 PM #3
Assuming you seated the new memory securely in one of the slots, there is another consideration.

Installing memory in this computer's mobo may be a bit tricky. I believe you have four slots that require pairing of memory modules.

The recommended memory configurations are:
– A pair of matched memory modules installed in DIMM connectors 1 and 2
or
– A pair of matched memory modules installed in DIMM connectors 1 and 2 and another matched
pair installed in DIMM connectors 3 and 4
NOTICE: Do not install ECC or buffered memory modules. Only unbuffered, non-ECC memory is supported.
• If you install mixed pairs of DDR2 400-MHz (PC2-3200) and DDR2 533-MHz (PC2-4300) memory,
the modules function at the slowest speed installed.
• Be sure to install a single memory module in DIMM connector 1, the connector closest to the
processor, before you install modules in the other connectors.


How was the existing memory configured? a 512 MB module in connectors 1 & 2?

Did you add a 1 GB module in slot 3? This may be an incorrect way of adding memory. Check your service manual or call dell for more information.
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12-Jun-2011, 09:35 PM #4
In addition to the above, I recall some Dell computers display a message at power on that system memory size has changed, and you need to press F1 or F2 (I don't remember which) before the added memory will be recofnized.
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13-Jun-2011, 05:01 AM #5
Here is a link as to how the memory should be correctly installed.

http://support.dell.com/support/edoc....htm#wp1370145
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13-Jun-2011, 09:55 AM #6
These are the 1 GB module specs for the Dell Dimension E510 - which supports up to 4 GB of RAM:

240-pin DDR2 PC2-4200(DDR2-533), Unbuffered, Non-ECC, CL=5, 1.8V, 128Meg x 64

240-pin DDR2 PC2-5300(DDR2-667), Unbuffered, Non-ECC, CL=5, 1.8V, 128Meg x 64

240-pin DDR2 PC2-6400(DDR2-800), Unbuffered, Non-ECC, CL=6, 1.8V, 128Meg x 64

It's recommended to install them in matching pairs.

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13-Jun-2011, 06:05 PM #7
Triple6, wolfworx, Frank4d, win2kpro, and flavallee, thank you very much for all that great information, the great link, advice, etc. I did indeed install it wrong the first time, with just one rather than a matching pair. I am going to go back and get a matching pair of one of those that flavallee mentioned and try it again. I will let you know how it goes.

Thanks again,

TF
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13-Jun-2011, 06:11 PM #8
Keep us posted on the outcome.

That motherboard has 4 slots for adding modules, correct?

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13-Jun-2011, 06:19 PM #9
Yes, that's right. There are four of them with two different colors of clips. Right now there is one module in the first slot from the bottom and one in the third slot from the bottom. I'll let you know how it goes.

Best,

TF
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13-Jun-2011, 06:30 PM #10
I'm assuming then that it currently has 2 - 512 MB modules.

Are you adding 2 more 512 MB modules to fill all 4 slots with 512 MB modules, or are you adding 2 - 1 GB modules to go with the 2 - 512 MB modules?

I'm just wanting to clarify for all of us exactly what you're trying to do.

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13-Jun-2011, 07:03 PM #11
Thank you very much for your interest, flavallee. Yes, right now it must have two 512 modules. Whether I add two more 512 modules or two 1 GB modules will depend partly on the cost. What do you think the difference in performance would be between adding two 512 modules versus adding two 1 GB modules?
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13-Jun-2011, 07:14 PM #12
If it already has 2 - 512 MB modules, adding 2 more 512 MB modules would be fine.

That would give your computer 2 GB of RAM - which is plenty for Windows XP.

If you want to add 2 - 1 GB modules to the 2 - 512 MB modules and increase it to 3 GB, that's fine too.

From what I can tell, there's very little cost difference between the 512 MB module and 1 GB module.

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29-Jun-2011, 11:09 PM #13
Hey, thank you for your help, flavallee, everyone. I installed 2 1GB of memory--because the store didn't have 2 512s--and it worked! It took a little more force to get them in than I expected, but it works. Thanks a lot; you were a big help.

TF
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30-Jun-2011, 09:45 AM #14
Thanks for advising us of the outcome and that you've successfully gone from 1 GB to 3 GB.

Yes, the modules do require a certain amount of force to firmly seat them in the slots and for the white locking levers to swivel up into the side notches.

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