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Thread: ram not updating

  1. #1
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    ram not updating

    I recently have decided to install linux on an old 200mhz processor, 1gig hd dell desktop. I think these specs meet the minumum requirements for linux. I will upgrade the specs a little later so I can use other features. My question is that I have a 64 mb ram stick in it right now but it is only recognizing 16mb. Why is this happening. I can't install linux because I am getting the 'need more ram error'. I tried putting the ram stick in the other slot but it doesn't even get recognized when I do that. I have even tried a 128 mb stick but again only 16mb is loaded. Is there a limit or something on these older computers. Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member DeadAddict's Avatar
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    Some motherboards do have a limit on how much it can be upgraded to. and you may want to check to see if it is the same type such as dimm or simm's

  3. #3
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    If you still have the Users Manual for your system, it should tell you the type and amount of RAM your computer takes. Otherwise, find out the motherboard model and revision numbers - usually printed on the board itself - sometimes along the edge. Also, most Dell products have a product number on the case itself which can be used to get the model number which will point you to the information you need on the RAM. If you need any help locating the user data, let me know.
    V.
    All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

  4. #4
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    I haven't had time to look into the model number to see if there is a limit but that's what I am guessing the problem is. I will look further into that and see if that could be the problem. Thanks guys for the help.

  5. #5
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Hi CoVert,

    Please go here:

    http://www.crucial.com/uk/index.asp?...991&PID=464226

    And see if you can find your model of Dell in their memory finder. Sorry, it is a UK site, but you may be able to find the US one on google. You should be OK, as the machine is rather old and I am pretty sure that Dell were shipping from the US back then?

    Crucial tell you what memory your PC will support..........They make good stuff, give a lifetime warranty, and will replace the product if it does not work with your machine

    Now, you say "200MHz processor", so I am guessing that it is a Pentium I (family 5, 586?) These beasts can be rather tricky, as many of them require "balanced memory".

    At a wild guess your mobo has 16Mb of removable base memory. The first stick you put in (bank 0, which is usually closest to the processor) is examined and it recognises its "base memory"...............because there is nothing in Bank 1, it goes no further? (the BIOS is looking for base memory in Bank0, which is why using the other slot gives you a blank screen)

    Another guess is that the strips are the short, dumpy 72 pin EDO RAM modules?

    If you only have two slots, then a PI/200 board should support 64Mb strips to give you 128Mb, which is pretty low spec. I would guess that it will work with:

    2 x 16Mb
    2 x 32Mb
    2 X 64Mb

    Another possibility is that it is a late PI and it is using the long, tall, thin, 128pin SIMMS strips?
    That should accept 32, 64 and 128Mb, mixed sizes and a single strip, but may not because SIMMs were pretty new then. It probably wants PC66 memory, and may not work with PC100, or PC133. Certainly not if they are mixed!!! (also, you cannot use EDO and SIMMS on the same board, even though the slots are there)

    I have even tried a 128 mb stick
    That does sound like SIMMS to me

    EDIT: Out of curiosity you might try putting both strips in at the same time and see what happens, remember they need to be the same speed (PC66/PC100) Also, check the clock latency (CL) of the memory, it should be 2, 2.5, or 3, must match between strips, and be suitable for your MoBo.



    Try the Crucial site and let us know how you get on.

    Cheers

  6. #6
    Disgruntled Postal Worker fourdc's Avatar
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    This is going to be a further reach into my grey cells so pardon my senility...

    If you're using an old version of linux wasn't there a mem setting that could be adjusted. I remember 10 years ago when the price of SIMMs dropped and everyone was upgrading and a lot of linus users had to adjust a max memoery setting. pre kernal 2 ?
    ddddc

    "Somehow saying I told you so just doesn't cover it" Will Smith in I, Robot

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the indepth reply nihil. I went to that site and went through the steps but it said they didn't have any products for that particular model which is Dell Dimension XPS M200s. I am not very familiar at all with the internals especially older computers. I didn't know what the bank 0 slot was until you told me. I will be trying some of the stuff you told me about when I get time today or tomorrow. I have included a jpg of the inside to help give you a better idea of what I'm looking at. Thanks again.

  8. #8
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    coVert -
    If you're interested, I downloaded the Reference Guide and Addendum, User Guide and Service Manual for your particular system from the Dell site and can 'attach' them to a post if you don't already have them. The memory configuration is in the Reference Guide, under "Installing System Board Options". I noticed that there were quite a few software downloads available too, depending on your operating system, including a Bios Update.

    Apparently there was a bit of controversy regarding the systems memory upgradeability . . . Dell said it could be upgraded to 128 MB per info from Intel, then advised it could not be upgraded from the original 64 MB configuration. (I found the articles searching Google using "dimension+xps+m200".)

    Anyway . . . the motherboard takes SDRAM DIMMs in 16 or 32 MB sizes. There is a RAM Test Group utility included with Dells Diagnostic software (available at Dell site if you don't have your original diskette) that will test the RAM, after it is installed.

    Hopefully something here will be of some use. Good Luck.

    V.
    All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

  9. #9
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Hi coVert,

    Bad news...........if Crucial don't do it, it isn't worth it, unless it is for a collector's classic......and they do all those

    This is Dell:

    "NOTES: The only 32-MB SDRAM DIMMs validated for use in this computer are the following:
    Samsung KMM366S403AT1-G2
    Hitachi HB526A464EN-10
    Samsung KMM366S403AT-G2
    Toshiba THMY644021AEG-12A
    The system may not recognize other 32-MB SDRAM DIMMs and may fail POST. "

    So there you go.........

    Dumpster time ..................salvage what you can and get a nice Digital/HP/IBM/Compaq

    Notice a pattern? or someone missing?

    Over to you
    Cheers

  10. #10
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    Well crap. Thanks for all your help guys. I thought I might be able to save this one and use it for something. I guess I will save the parts that I can use in the future. I might have to pull an Office Space on it in the middle of a field (always wanted to do that). I'm glad that I didn't spend any money on this trying to upgrade. Later

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