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Solved: Dell Inspiron 5000e only recognize 1/2 memory installed

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Pastaben, Sep 20, 2008.

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  1. Pastaben

    Pastaben Thread Starter

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    I am trying to revive an old Dell 5000e that was passed on to my by my father. Rarely used. It had 128mb ram on two chips installed. I upgraded it with crucial memory chips, 2X256mb. It boots up, and is faster than original, though still quite slow. Problem is, using crucial.com's memory advisor scan tool, it only sees one module, and lists the other as available. I confirmed using msinfo32.exe, and sure enough, lists 256mb as well. However, in Bios, it lists 512mb installed ram.
    Did I miss something? I did update the bios to the latest, but still no good.
    It is running WinXP Home Edition.

    Anyone can help?

    Thank you.
     
  2. arknorth

    arknorth

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
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    Wow - Dell had 19 different models of this one made... but the all seemed to have pretty much the same specs listed...

    Basic Model -

    Manufacturer : Dell
    Model : Inspiron 5000e C500GW
    Standard Memory : 32 MB (removable)
    Number of sockets for upgrade : 2
    Maximum amount of memory : 512 MB
    Memory must be installed in set(s) of : 1
    Bus Type : PC Card (PCMCIA)
    HardDisk Bustype : IDE
    CPU : 500MHz Intel Mobile Celeron
    Standard Videos : 4 MB SGRAM
    Max Video : 8 MB
    Video Comments : ATi Rage Mobility w/ 12.1 XGA Active Matrix
    HardDisk Comments : 6.0 GB Ultra ATA
    Model Comments : 66MHz FSB, Intel Mobile 440 BX chipset
    Native OS : Windows 98

    Top of the Line Model -

    Manufacturer : Dell
    Model : Inspiron 5000e R850
    Standard Memory : 64 MB (removable)
    Number of sockets for upgrade : 2
    Maximum amount of memory : 512 MB
    Memory must be installed in set(s) of : 1
    Bus Type : PC Card (PCMCIA)
    HardDisk Bustype : IDE
    CPU : 850MHz Intel Mobile Pentium III
    Standard Videos : 8 MB SGRAM
    Max Video : 16 MB
    Video Comments : ATi Rage Mobility 128 3D w/ 14.1 or 15.0 XGA Active Matrix
    HardDisk Comments : 5, 10, 20 or 32 GB Ultra ATA hard drive
    Model Comments : 100MHz FSB, Intel Mobile 440 BX Chipset
    Native OS : Windows 98/ME/2000

    In either case, the maximum RAM available is 512MB, as you know. The trick is making sure you have the correct RAM chip, and that it is mounted correctly - in most cases, it's the latter that gets us.

    Obviously, one chip mounted okay - the other didn't. This could be (from what you reported) either two things - a bad chip, or it just didn't seat properly. What you might want to do is see which socket is working properly - take one chip out and see what it reports. If you get your 256MBs, swap chips and see if the other reports as well. If it doesn't in the same slot, try reseating it again after wiping the contacts, leaving them moist when reinserting them. If this fails, then you probably have a bad chip.

    The second test, if both chips report good, would be to do the same moist insert in the second slot, since this might be a carbon or dust buildup interferring with insertion - remember, if this slot had not been used since the machine was new, its now almost 8 to 9 years old and had lots of time to build up crud inside it.

    Good luck!

    A-N
     
  3. Pastaben

    Pastaben Thread Starter

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    I tried all the trouble shooting methods. Each chip tests good in BOTH slots one at a time. They each report 256MB of ram on crucial.com AND msinfo32 and Bios. I did the moist test, and some things did change.

    However, when I put in both chips, Bios reports 512mb, but crucial only sees 256, w/ one slot still available. However, msinfo32 reports the following:
    Total physical memory: 256MB
    Available Physical Memory: 303.49MB (this would appear appropriate for a 512MB Ram machine). Where is windows getting this 303 from if only 256 mb are present (according to msinfo32)?
    System Properties now reports 512mb or RAM which yesterday reported 256MB.
    The system does seem somewhat faster today.
    Now I'm just curious as to why crucial only sees one slot being used.
    Thanks for your help. Any more help from anyone about the mystery of msinfo32 and crucial would be helpful. I want to know that I'm actually using all memory available.
     
  4. arknorth

    arknorth

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,099
    Have you put it on the Dell scanner? (http://support.dell.com/)

    I'm not sure if that ATi Rage video chip is integrated or not, but if it were, you'd be seeing 249MB max with 16MB removed for that. But since the system is now showing 512MB, then I would say it isn't.

    BTW, which chip is this beastie using?

    Are the two RAM chips the same manufacturer and type? Normally, I would say that if they were different manufacturers, but the same type, there wouldn't be a problem, but seeing that this is a Dell... and oh hell, it's a Dell... welll...

    As for Crucial, well, it could be a glitch in the internet feed, or something being blocked by a firewall, etc... Even Crucial's system isn't foolproof.

    A-N
     
  5. Pastaben

    Pastaben Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Messages:
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    The machine is running Pentium III.
    Properties show 512MB, Bios shows 512MB.
    MSINFO32.EXE shows 256MB physical ram. Crucial.com scanner also show 256MB ram.

    The two 256MB chips are both identical and from Crucial.com. I don't think the video is shared. When there is only one chip, the msinfo shows 1 chip as does crucial. when both chips are in, rather than show 512, it still shows 256.

    It may be running on 512, but somehow, not showing up. But I have no way of really knowing.
     
  6. arknorth

    arknorth

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,099
    Actually, yes there is, and you've already used it - the System Properties window is a live scan of your system, showing what is there and working. And, your video has its own memory, since the system properties are reporting the whole 512MB, rather than 498MB, which is what it would have said if it was integrated video.

    That's pretty much all you can do to this beastie - you've maxed out it's RAM - other than possibly getting a larger hard drive for it. The only other things you could do to make it any quicker would be to go through the list of background software (stuff that starts up at bootup) and see what's needed and what's not, and shut those programs down.

    A-N
     
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