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Ram Increase


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#1 sam-my

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 01:29 PM

I am using a windows XP pro and my processor is Intel Pentium 4 CPU 3Ghz

I had some problem with the PC slugging ( http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/35913/freezing-and-sluggished-pc/ ) which is now solved.
I asked for guidance how to increase my RAM memory and was advised to post it here.
I have a RAM King Max 256Mb DDR 400 installed on my PC and got a new CEON 256Mb DDR 400.
My motherboard is Gigabyte GA-8I865P-G.
Are they compatible or do I have to install one from the same brand?
For a novice: what will I get by increasing the RAM -> to 512 mb (2 x 256Mb) and/or to 1Gb (2 x 512Mb)?

Thanks

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#2 acklan

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 10:51 PM

It is always better to use the same brand, but as long as the spesc match it should work fine.
As far as RAM, the more Ram the more programs and tasks you can preform.
Imagin your RAM as a desktop.
128mb would be a school desk. small and you are lucky to open one book without knocking everything else off.
256mb would be the little particle board desk. You can work from it but you will run out of space quick.
512mb is the big redwood office desk. Plenty of room and except for the busiest user, it is all you need.
1024mb+ is one of those humungous sprawling instaney big desks with side tables and wings so you are sure to have a place to put something even when you shouldn't.
In theroy the more you have the more you can do. When you run out of space then windows uses what is called a swapfile. This is a place to move files from RAM to make room in RAM for more pressing needs. It's the coffee table you never use for coffee but is the perfect size for 4 stacks of folders. And just like your coffee table it is used even if there is plenty of room in RAM.
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#3 Saxif

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 05:35 PM

PC 3200 (DDR 400) RAM should ideally be paired (same brand, same model, out of the same package) so that your memory can function in dual channel mode and more importantly, so that you have some guarantee of compatibility. Even if you get two modules of the same model from the same maker, you'd be assured of compatibility, but there's no guarantee that it will match perfectly. Manufacturers factory test RAM and package pairs together to guarantee dual channel functionality. Dual channel effectively doubles the speed of your front side bus, but most people wouldn't notice much difference since there are plenty of other bottlenecks to worry about aside from bus speed.

That having been said, you might get lucky and get your RAM to work together in dual channel mode. Since you already have the new module, it's kind of a moot point. Just make sure that when you install, you consult your motherboard manual and put the new stick in the correct slot (usually slots 1 and 3) or your computer may not recognize the new RAM.

#4 sam-my

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 06:20 PM

I would like to thank you both Acklan and Saxif for this valuable tutoring regarding the RAM.

I installed the new Ram, checked it thru the Properties in "My Computer" and it showed 512Mb in RAM .
I felt happy. I surf the net, and for approx two hours everything seemed working well.
But, when I decided to perform a manual scan using the EWIDO, the PC freezed after 7 minutes. I had to reboot it manually.
I repeated this exercise three times and got the same results. I scanned the PC using NOD32 and also after 7 - 8 minutes the PC freezed again.
I discarded the new RAM, and could scan with no issue (no freezing)
can I conclude that this RAM stick is not compatible? or damaged (even being a new one)? and as Saxif suggested to replace both
RAM sticks with the same brand (I have been recommended the Kingston as being the best brand)

Please may I have your advise

#5 acklan

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 11:58 PM

Have you tried surfing with the suspect stick of ram by itself? If you have the same problem with the suspect ram by itself then you could conclude the stick is bad. If however it has no problem and preforms as the other stand alone stick, the you could conclude it is a compatibleity issue.
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#6 Rimmer

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 05:01 AM

You could test the new RAM (have it on its own in the PC) with this memory diagnostic -

There is a free RAM diagnostic called Memtest86 which you can download from here Memtest86.

Use it to create a bootable floppy disk. When you reboot with that floppy in the drive it will automatically run a memory test. Let it run at least overnight, unless errors come up right away, and then examine the error count.

If you don't have a floppy drive you can make a bootable CD:

Download the required file (the iso image) from this link Memtest86 on CD.

Inside the zip file is a file named memtest86-3.0.iso

Extract (unzip) that file to a folder on your hard drive. Do not use WinRar to unzip it unless you turn off the 'extract iso files to a folder' option. Winzip or Ultimate Zip are Ok.

Burn the iso file as an image using your CD burn program.

E.g. Using Nero:
In the main interface (titled "Nero Burning ROM" not "Nero Express"), click on File->Open
Browse within Nero to the folder containing memtest86-3.0.iso
Change "Files of type:" to "Image Files [*.nrg, *.iso, *.cue]"
Double-click on memtest86-3.0.iso, make sure "Write" and "Finalize CD" are selected, and burn.

When the CD is burnt put it back in the drive, shutdown the PC and reboot. MemTest86 should start automatically.

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#7 usasma

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 09:30 AM

Here's a nifty little tool that I just found out about - it's a memory tester that runs within Windows. It has a freeware and several payware options.

http://hcidesign.com/memtest/

The problem with running it in Windows is that there's already some stuff running in memory - so it can't scan that. The author states that it will eventually scan all the memory (as Windows moves the programs around in memory) - but he also recommends that you close everything that you can before running it (which speeds it up considerably).

I just paid $5 for the Pro version - and it adds an error description box to the freeware screen. It also has a "chatty" mode for "first time users" - haven't looked at that, I don't need no steenkin' directions! :thumbsup:

I'm in the process of testing numerous RAM testers on my system. So far, none of them have found any errors in my RAM. BUT, I've got a stick of bad RAM that I have to install - then I'll check it again and will report my results.

Edited by usasma, 29 November 2005 - 09:30 AM.

My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#8 sam-my

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 02:51 PM

I discarded the existing RAM memory and installed the "new" one only. I ran all the scans several times with no failure so far.
It may be, like Acklan mentioned it, an incompatibility issue. I can get very soon another stick of the same brand and test both.

I downloaded the program proposed by Usama. Seems a very frendly one , "easy" to download and to use.
I have some questions:
- What to write in the test window: "All unused RAM" or "64 MB" (for Windows XP)
Note: when I inserted "All unused RAM" the Mem Usage on the Task Manager showed 102,700 mb, and when
I wrote "62 Mb" the Mem Usage was 69116 Mb
- The test is bringing CPU usage (on Task Manager) to 54% and up and the CPU temperature to 65-66 C
- May I run this test while using my PC or it has to be run at rest.

Thanks

Edited by sam-my, 29 November 2005 - 03:04 PM.


#9 sam-my

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 02:31 PM

I have got a second stick RAM CEON 256 Mb DDR, same as the one I tried to install previously but with no success.
I installed the two sticks (same brand ) and run the computer. I worked for approximately 7 - 8 minutes then the PC freezed.
I rebooted, and the PC freezed again during the loading of the programs on the system tray i.e. 30 seconds after the reboot.
I rebooted and got the same issue.
I removed the forward RAM stick. The PC worked with no problem for more than 4 hours (even under load).
I installed the forward stick and removed the aft one, The PC worked fine for three hours.

May I conclude that this issue is not related to the RAM sticks themselves?
Is there a problem with the motherboard? the BIOS?

#10 acklan

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 02:54 PM

I believe it would be a fair conclusion. It could also be a damaged memory socket. Could you look at the socket and see if the spring wires inside the socket are aligned?
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#11 usasma

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 01:55 PM

Check your Event Viewer (Start...Control Panel...Administrative Tools...Event Viewer) and look for error messages. Let us know what you find (they may hold a clue to the freezing).

I have some questions:
- What to write in the test window: "All unused RAM" or "64 MB" (for Windows XP)
Note: when I inserted "All unused RAM" the Mem Usage on the Task Manager showed 102,700 mb, and when
I wrote "62 Mb" the Mem Usage was 69116 Mb
- The test is bringing CPU usage (on Task Manager) to 54% and up and the CPU temperature to 65-66 C
- May I run this test while using my PC or it has to be run at rest.


What to write in the test window: Write all unused RAM - anything else could cause the system to try and test RAM with stuff in it already - which could corrupt your data in memory and could give a false error message

CPU temperature is awfully high - I'd look into what's cooling your CPU and how well it's working (don't want to fry it!) CPU usage is OK. I generally start looking for problems when my CPU temps exceed 50 C (I've got a Prescott and they run hot normally). If it gets too hot, shut it down immediately! And, FWIW - I think it can take the temps that you got - but I wouldn't let it go that high on a regular basis!

The test is designed to be used while you're working in Windows - but with the heat issue on your CPU, I'd be very leery of doing that. It'd be better to shut down everything running (with the exeception of your temp monioring utility) in order to decrease the load on your processor.

Also, the free version doesn't have this, but the $5 version has an option to run the program as a low-priority thread which will help to lower the heat generated.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.




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