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Dell Optiplex memory upgrade


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#1 Spectacle

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 08:22 PM

Taking a break here from the latest marvelous adventure in computer land. Attempted a simple install of memory upgrade. Computer: Dell Optiplex GX110 with 384Mb SDRAM. Read the nice tutorial here on Memory upgrade, thanks, and I've done it before on several computers.

Checked Dell Specifications page & cleared to go with 512Mb of PC100 SDRAM:
http://supportapj.dell.com/support/edocs/s...pecs.htm#memory

Checked New Egg & Mushkin #990107 PC100 256Mb memory matched specs & was suggested in Reviews:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?
Item=N82E16820146079&cm_re=256mb_sdram-_-20-146-079-_-Product

Checked Mushkin Configurator & #990107 upgrade is correct memory, all agrees, good to go: http://www.mushkin.com/Memory/Configurator...x?systemid=5057

Installed 2 Mushkin 990107 memory sticks, made sure I was grounded, pushed in nice & tight, checked all, booted up. Got message on black screen of 'Too much memory' and 'System would adjust lower' or some silliness, 'Press F1 or F2'. Keyboard was dead [my fault] so had to shut down.

Removed & reinstalled new memory again, booted, got message that System Configuration was missing, Press F1 or F2 etc. Went for F2 to enter Setup, which indicated 256Mb was installed. I suppose that indicates 1 stick of the new memory was dropped out by system previously at 'Too much memory' message? Afraid to attempt any configuration changes I backed out, booted Windows, then shut down.

Reinstalled original 2 sticks totaling 384Mb memory and first boot the board only recognized 1 stick at 194Mb Total Physical, 126Mb Available in System Information. Shut down, tapped memory sticks in with an Estwing 32 oz. waffle head claw hammer and a #7 marlin spike, good & tight. Rebooted: System Info indicated Total Physical 384Mb, Available 136.85Mb. Dialed up, logged on internet and checked some info sites, System Information now shows Total 384, Available 195.97 to 215+ depending on how many websites open.

Bottom line: Please, what the heck am I doing wrong?

If I reinstall both 256's what should I do at black screen in F2 Setup so I don't cause total disaster? Been a real long time since I played doctor with BIOS.

Thank you much for any suggestions....
2000 Dell Optiplex GX-110, P3-847Mhz, 384 Mb SDRAM, Matsu 80GB HDD, XP-Pro SP3, Online Armor Pro 4.0.0.15, with Avast! Free, Super-Antispyware, Malwarebytes

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#2 Spectacle

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 08:58 PM

Tried a couple of more times on memory upgrade. Attempted to upgrade Phoenix BIOS with a Dell Computer download file for GX110 upgrade. Upgrade failed 3 times: 'BR55317.exe Dell BIOS Upgrade is not a valid Win 32 application'. End of story, can't get there from here.

Installed both new 256MB sticks of memory again, hoping to change values in BIOS at boot to F2. Black screen, 'Memory has increased' or similar, then some errors listed but didn't copy them, then F2 to BIOS. Several items in BIOS items had a place <ENTER> to change data, not memory! Tried everything, couldn't change anything for memory. Value shown for 2 sticks of 256Mb was 270Mb total in BIOS.

Hit Esc and Windows started to boot, then BSOD and system crashed. Online Armor later showed 'mini-Dump crash'.

Just can't understand this. Dell says I can upgrade, other sites listed above say upgrade okay, I have the right memory, following intructions and still can't manage it. Sys Info shows far less Available memory now than before, now 120-150Mb, but correctly shows 384Kb total. Worse than when I started, and thoroughly frustrated.
2000 Dell Optiplex GX-110, P3-847Mhz, 384 Mb SDRAM, Matsu 80GB HDD, XP-Pro SP3, Online Armor Pro 4.0.0.15, with Avast! Free, Super-Antispyware, Malwarebytes

#3 Spectacle

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 03:05 AM

Just for the record: ongoing losing battle for days. Had to revert to 384MB. Wnet to Dell Downloads & grabbed latest BIIOS revision, but found that my BIOS had already been flashed kicked from Version 01 to 05 in the past so it should handle the 512Mb memory. Again checked all Dell specs & machine is rated at 512Mb, so it should be a simple plug in and run with no problems at all.

Last attempt I installed a single stick of new Mushkin 990107 356Mb in slot 1, 'Memory has changed' messsage on a black screen, booted F2 into Setup, system had recognized as 256, into Windows. No apparent problems, System Information showed it correctly O/S ran okay.

Tried the 2nd stick in slot 2. 'Memory Change' mesage & into F2 at boot: BIOS correctly showed 512Mb so it recognized it okay. Going into Windows a Mini-Dump crash, system froze, rebobot = zip, black screen, system locked up dead! Couldn't even shut down without unplugging. Pulled all memory, reinstalled original, reboot and thank God the monitor was found, system recognized change at boot, F2 showed correct 384Mb, then message going into Windows that System Configuration file was missing!

Rebooted and got into Windows but modem was now lost. Couldn't reinstall, couldn't find drivers. Installed an old junk modem, stays connected for a few minutes & drops out. If this sucked any more the tower would cave in.

No clues on my end, but that's not unusual.
2000 Dell Optiplex GX-110, P3-847Mhz, 384 Mb SDRAM, Matsu 80GB HDD, XP-Pro SP3, Online Armor Pro 4.0.0.15, with Avast! Free, Super-Antispyware, Malwarebytes

#4 Baltboy

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 01:01 PM

It is possible on of the memory sticks is bad. try booting with one new stick and then remove and try with the other stick. run memtest each time to search for memory errors.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
Mark Twain

#5 Spectacle

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 03:48 AM

Thanks. Unfortunately it crashed real hard, lots of damage, so I'm not going to do any more experimenting with a memory upgrade.

The only thing that saved me was Uniblue Registry Booster program I had installed. It's one of the best programs I've used in many years of working & playing with computers. I was able to restore the Registry and have full function back, but now have to do a lot of repair to clean up remaining problems. Uniblue Registry Booster is one truly great little program!

Edited by Spectacle, 14 February 2010 - 12:57 PM.

2000 Dell Optiplex GX-110, P3-847Mhz, 384 Mb SDRAM, Matsu 80GB HDD, XP-Pro SP3, Online Armor Pro 4.0.0.15, with Avast! Free, Super-Antispyware, Malwarebytes

#6 hamluis

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 04:17 PM

Well...you could have simply made a clone of your hard drive (at the cost of a drive, using free software) and not had to rely/pay for Uniblue's product.

I'm sure it's wondrous, but there are much cheaper, simpler solutions available to anyone.

Louis

#7 Spectacle

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 05:36 PM

Thanks again for your assistance,

Unfortunatly at this time a hard drive purchase was out of the question. I had gotten some media to back up my drive, and dowloaded the free Ashampoo Burning Studios program, but old faithful spouted its guts before I got a chance to backup!! Can we add that to the 'Figgers don't it?' list....?

I installed Uniblue Registry Booster last year and so far it's the best program I've ever installed on a computer. When things get slow or glitchy [which is often] or I uninstall a program, or install a program I run the Registry scanner. 9 times out of 10 it finds a registry problem, does a complete backup, and repairs registry. After that I use the Registry Defrag tool in there [not sure what all it does] and that somehow finishes the tune-up. No screwups yet, after using often for maybe 9 months.

I'm surprised at the number of registry errors that crop up, and they're genuine errors because the computer runs maybe 10%-25% better after the cleanups. This time I would have been literally lost without it.

I'm sure cheaper is out there but I was leery of the efficacy of programs. Uniblue was I think $19.95 at the time so affordable, at the time. I'd be interested to know what else you might suggest because my subscription is up in a short few months.

Thanks
2000 Dell Optiplex GX-110, P3-847Mhz, 384 Mb SDRAM, Matsu 80GB HDD, XP-Pro SP3, Online Armor Pro 4.0.0.15, with Avast! Free, Super-Antispyware, Malwarebytes

#8 hamluis

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 08:30 PM

Most users have no need at all for such programs...but they think they do because they have a mental analogy in their heads that a computer is akin to a house and needs to have files removed periodically. No registry editor ever adds registry entries :thumbsup:.

If users want to make known registry edits...that means that they know exactly what is changed and how it's changed...then I suggest learning how to use the Windows regedit function.

The problem I have with these programs is that this is all they do....but users have no idea what registry values, keys are being changed or deleted. Users (like you) are counting on the premise that...whoever wrote this wonderful program...has superior knowledge about what is and what should be in your registry.

It just ain't so.

Editing the registry manually...is more precise and probably more accurate. It just takes more time than it takes to run some program that was written/developed by someone who has never seen your system.

It's a matter of choice.

You might take a look at:

Beginners Guides The Registry Backups, Repairs, and Protection - PCSTATS.com - http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?art...=263&page=4

Demystifying the Windows Registry - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/...l74.html#backup

ERUNT Registry Backup Tool - http://www.snapfiles.com/get/erunt.html

Windows Registry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Registry

Windows registry information for advanced users - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/256986

Louis

#9 Spectacle

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 10:11 PM

Thank you, Louis, for taking a lot of time to post that! I will study it. I agree with your philosophy 100%.

There's a problem on this end. I used to be pretty darned good with computers, starting back when we used tape drives & punch cards. Nothing much scared me off and I could make them sit, roll over, beg etc. Then the unexpected, a series of strokes caused by toxic chemicals! It's been 10 years of recovery and thank God for the downright miracles that have come my way! But, I can no longer multi-task and have great difficulty with complex concepts, like mentally walking & chewing gum at the same time.

If I had a second computer I could refer to directions as I go, or it's possible to print out & try to follow, but right now this is the only machine I have so it's pretty dicey.

Soooo, I found the Registry Booster and the 'no brainer' function was very appropriate in my case. I'm now faced with having to edit the registry whether I want to or not, so your links are most appreciated! I've gotten this far and have to keep at it, no grass growing over me last time I checked?

Thanks for listening, thanks for helping! Posting the latest problem in a new thread... :~ )

Edited by Spectacle, 15 February 2010 - 10:12 PM.

2000 Dell Optiplex GX-110, P3-847Mhz, 384 Mb SDRAM, Matsu 80GB HDD, XP-Pro SP3, Online Armor Pro 4.0.0.15, with Avast! Free, Super-Antispyware, Malwarebytes

#10 hamluis

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 08:23 AM

FWIW: The registy seems scary (at least, to me it did) to many users initially, because most of us don't initially understand what it is and why it exists and what makes it so important.

But...once a user begins to realize that...in addition to being a key component in a sophisticated system which we call a "computer" or "operating system"...it also has very logical structure, in spite of the fact that "values" and "keys" may initally seem like foreign terminology.

This is the way it is with learning anything...jargon must be accepted as something that is unique to many endeavors.

But...once we get over the idea that the jargon is foreign...and we make mental associations of that jargon that correlate to things we understand or accept quite easily...the mystery disappears, we become more capable of understanding...and we can then deal with "the registry" in the same manner that we deal with learning any new thing.

I take the same approach to learning...that I had as a child...I try to see the big picture and then understand the things which impact the big picture...while not trying to memorize detail which is insignificant (but may be a part of the big picture).

Louis

#11 Spectacle

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 12:26 AM

Most insightful and revealing, thank you!

I took the first step this morning, rolling up my sleeves & doing mortal battle with HP. HP lost. Relearned a lot about IRQ's & I/O's, stuff I never knew about USB types, ports, hubs, assignment and all sorts of things. Did it the hard way, step by step, in order to learn the system, not just push a magic button. Hey, man, it worked!

Next comes the biggy for me: edit registry to remove all traces of Zone Alarm and other old AV & Firewall programs, and heaven knows what else lurks there? Should be interesting. Hate to do it now that I just got it running again, thanks to some excellent assistance, but we gots to do what we gots to do!

Thanks!
2000 Dell Optiplex GX-110, P3-847Mhz, 384 Mb SDRAM, Matsu 80GB HDD, XP-Pro SP3, Online Armor Pro 4.0.0.15, with Avast! Free, Super-Antispyware, Malwarebytes

#12 hamluis

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 10:52 AM

IMO, the easy way to remove traces of known removed/uninstalled programs...from the registry...Start/Run...type regedit, hit Enter.

Place mouse at top of left screen, on My Computer.

Edit/Find...type program name or vendor (e.g., if I wanted to remove all traces of any Symantec program...I would type Symantec as my first choice), hit Enter.

When that item comes up as found, I delete it. I then go back to Edit/Find Next and continue this until regedit informs me that no more items can be found.

Of course, back up your registry (using a program like Erunt) before attempting such changes.

Louis

#13 Spectacle

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 10:33 PM

Never heard of that before, thanks! Had no idea you could do that.

I'm going to wait till next month, when the refund from New Egg comes through for the Mushkin memory. Then order a new hard drive, mirror it, and dive into the Registry on this one. Doubt I can screw up too bad that way. Famous last words...

Gosh, if Panda Security would ever credit me the refund for their bogus program, that they've owed me since December, I might even buy some new Kingston memory!
2000 Dell Optiplex GX-110, P3-847Mhz, 384 Mb SDRAM, Matsu 80GB HDD, XP-Pro SP3, Online Armor Pro 4.0.0.15, with Avast! Free, Super-Antispyware, Malwarebytes




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