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Added Ram not recognized by BIOS


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#1 USN

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 11:13 AM

I have a HP Compaq Presario Model S4200NX, using Windows XP. It came with 512MB RAM in 1 of 2 available slots. I added a 512MB RAM board (approved for this model computer). But the computer system performance screen still only shows 504MB RAM. I have checked for proper installation several times and the board seems to be seated well. Before I go pushing on the board even harder, anything else I can do ?

Edited by hamluis, 06 March 2011 - 01:42 PM.
Moved from External to Internal Hardware.


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#2 dc3

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 11:27 AM

Look in System Information to see what the Total Physical Memory shows.

Start> All Programs> Accessories> System Tools> System Information.

What is the make and model of this RAM module?

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#3 USN

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 01:16 PM

System Information shows 512MB of total physical memory (117MB available)...I tried Run/msinfo32 which I guess "refreshes" the system info, but no help.
I ordered a PNY 512MB DDR PC 2700 module using the PNY "RAM" finder for my make/model computer.
Not sure if needed, but:
1) motherboard ASUSTeK Computer INC. P4G533LA.
2) BIOS version/date is Award Software, Ind 3.10 5/6/2003
There is a 3.17 download available

#4 dc3

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 03:10 AM

Memory Type DDR
Memory Speed PC2100/PC1600
Memory Sockets 2 DIMM
Maximum Memory 1 GB

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#5 USN

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 03:34 AM

PNY claims (on their website):
•Compatible With: DDR PC2700 (333 MHz Bus Speed); DDR PC2100 (266 MHz Bus Speed)

Are you sure they are wrong ??

#6 dc3

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 03:58 AM

I had missed that this was a Presario in you first post. When I went searching for information for RAM for the Asus motherboard it showed the two speeds that I posted. But if you go to Crucial it shows that it will run PC2700 and PC3200.

By the way, are you aware that if you mix speeds the faster module will only run as fast as the slower module.

Please use the following link to provide us with information about your computer so that we can assist you.

How to Publish a Snapshot using Speccy


The below is for those who cannot get online with the computer Speccy was run on.

Please take caution when attaching a text file to your post if you cannot copy/paste the link to your post, you will need to edit it to make sure that your Windows Key is not present.

Edited by dc3, 04 March 2011 - 03:59 AM.

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#7 USN

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 03:59 AM

PNY claims (on their website):
•Compatible With: DDR PC2700 (333 MHz Bus Speed); DDR PC2100 (266 MHz Bus Speed)

Are you sure they are wrong ??

HERE'S A THOUGHT. DO I NEED MAYBE TO REPLACE THE OLD MODULE AS WELL SO THAT I HAVE 2 NEW MODULES EXACTLY ALIKE ?
OF COURSE IF I CAN EXCHANGE THE PC2700 FOR A PC2100/PC1600 THAT IS COMPATIBLE WITH THE OLDER 512MB MODULE, THAT WOULD BE A LESS EXPENSIVE ROUTE (SAVES ABOUT $37.00)

#8 dc3

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 10:32 AM

The reason that I asked for the Speccy snapshot is so that I can see the specifications of the original RAM module. I can't make any suggestions without knowing what that module is. What I can tell you is that this computer isn't capable of running in dual channel, so there wouldn't be any advantage in purchasing matched pairs. My point about mixed speed is this, if you have a PC2100 and you add a PC2700 module, the PC2700 module will only run as fast as the PC2100 module.

Crucial does show that you can use faster modules, such as PC2700 and PC3200 modules that I listed in my last post.

See if the following will help you understand RAM a little better.

The following information came from this article.

RAM speeds can be quite confusing, as they can be expressed in several ways. Starting with the oldest DDR modules, the basic models run at an internal frequency of 100MHz, while more advanced modules increase the internal clock speed to 133MHz, 166MHz and up to 200MHz.

It might seem logical to refer to these different modules by their internal speeds but, thanks to the double data rate that gives DDR its name, a 100MHz module can carry out a theoretical maximum of 200 million transfers per second, while the 200MHz module can carry out 400 million transfers per second. For this reason, 100MHz DDR is known as DDR-200, 133MHz modules are labelled DDR-266 and so forth.

This is a fairly obvious system, but RAM transfers aren't very convenient units to work in. It's much more common to talk about data in terms of bytes. So to make DIMM speeds more easily understandable, they're also given a "PC-rating", which expresses their bandwidth in megabytes per second.

PC ratings can be calculated very simply. Each RAM transfer consists of a 64-bit word, or eight bytes. So to convert transfers-per-second into bytes-per-second, you simply multiply by eight. DDR-200 is thus equivalent to PC-1600.

DDR2 uses almost the same naming conventions, but the chips communicate with the CPU at twice the speed of DDR. The slowest DDR2 is therefore capable of 400 million transfers per second, and is designated DDR2-400, or PC2-3200. As you'd expect, DDR2 goes up to DDR2-800, also known as PC2-6400, and above this there's a high-end part, based on 266MHz chips, to give DDR2-1066. Its PC-rating is rounded down to PC2-8500 for convenience - its peak bandwidth is more like 8,533MB/sec.

DDR3 extends this process, running the I/O bus at four times the speeds of DDR - so the basic part can handle 800 million transfers per second, earning the labels DDR3-800 and PC3-6400, with faster chips being named accordingly.

The maximum standard RAM speeds approved by JEDEC - the body behind the three DDR standards - are DDR-400, DDR2-1066 and DDR3-1600. You may also hear of modules with higher speed ratings, such as DDR2-1250 and DDR3-2000, designed to run at overclocked speeds in enthusiast motherboards.

And here's another thought. Typing in all upper case letters is considered shouting in computer etiquette. I hope you aren't shouting at the person who is only trying to help you.:whistle:

Edited by dc3, 04 March 2011 - 10:33 AM.

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#9 USN

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 12:57 PM

Sorry about the capitalization, intent was only so that the added info would not be missed, certainly no intent to bite the hand that feeds me.
The link is below:

http://speccy.piriform.com/results/0gBYGcAR2kesj6DSicWNoeO

#10 dc3

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 01:18 PM

There are clips at the end of each RAM slot, are these clips standing completely vertical?

Try taking the old module out and move the new module to the slot is was in.

Try removing the new module and place the old module in the slot that it was in.

You posted that the new module was PNY, but you didn't provide the model number. I need to to see what you have there.

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#11 USN

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 04:56 PM

dc3, thank you, thank you. There was 1 clip (at the top, behind wire harnesses, hard to get to) that was not completely vertical. Your assistance gave me the courage to force this module in further and to get the clip more vertical. I never got the "snap" I got on the bottom clip, but when I rebooted and checked System Information, it had updated to 0.99GB. Also, I booted faster, so I noticed improvement right away. Thanks again for your time & effort.
Thanks Bleeping Computer.

#12 dc3

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 11:23 PM

Glad to be able to help.:thumbup2:

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#13 django47

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 12:55 PM

I have a HP Compaq Presario Model S4200NX, using Windows XP. It came with 512MB RAM in 1 of 2 available slots. I added a 512MB RAM board (approved for this model computer). But the computer system performance screen still only shows 504MB RAM. I have checked for proper installation several times and the board seems to be seated well. Before I go pushing on the board even harder, anything else I can do ?

When I read your post it rang a bell. I took my laptop into pc world quite a while ago to buy extra RAM and because I'm a typical 'layman' I got their tech guys to install it to be on the safe side. But what your comments reminded me of was, as the chap was doing the work on my laptop he asked me about 'BIOS', Where would he find the folder or something. I didn't know, I'd seen some stuff about it but didn't understand exactly what it was for. Anyway the chap accepted that I was useless and proceeded to click away, "here it is", he said and did his stuff, only took a little while. Easy when you know what your doing.
The reason I'm writing this is because when you install memory in your computer, doing something relating to the 'BIOS', is part of the procedure. Don't know what or how, I just saw someone else doing it.So I assume it must be an essential part of the job. I hope this will help in some small way, I'm just sorry I'm so NON-technical.(I'm slowly learning). Good luck with it!

Edited by django47, 06 March 2011 - 12:58 PM.


#14 ThunderZ

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 04:27 PM

When I read your post it rang a bell. I took my laptop into pc world quite a while ago to buy extra RAM and because I'm a typical 'layman' I got their tech guys to install it to be on the safe side. But what your comments reminded me of was, as the chap was doing the work on my laptop he asked me about 'BIOS', Where would he find the folder or something. I didn't know, I'd seen some stuff about it but didn't understand exactly what it was for. Anyway the chap accepted that I was useless and proceeded to click away, "here it is", he said and did his stuff, only took a little while. Easy when you know what your doing.
The reason I'm writing this is because when you install memory in your computer, doing something relating to the 'BIOS', is part of the procedure. Don't know what or how, I just saw someone else doing it.So I assume it must be an essential part of the job. I hope this will help in some small way, I'm just sorry I'm so NON-technical.(I'm slowly learning). Good luck with it!


Hello Django47

BIOS is an intricate part of the PC. Almost like a miniature Operating System. How ever it is not part of Windows or contained on any folder on the hard drive. It is actually stored on a chip on the motherboard.
When adding memory updating the BIOS is not always needed. As a matter of fact, unless the PC is experiencing problems that a BIOS update from the Manufacturer as been specifically written to address, as a rule of thumb updating the BIOS is generally [n]not[/b] recommended.

Hope this clears things up just a little. :lol:




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