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Should I upgrade my RAM?


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#1 cutnup

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 07:28 PM

So I have a Dell Dimension 8110 with a whopping 512 mb of RAM. I haven't had any problems until a few weeks ago when it started running incredibly slow. I have read this article: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/identifying-and-upgrading-ram/ and still am not sure if this will fix my problem. Is there anyway I can find out if it is in fact my RAM and by replacing it to 2 x 1 gb will solve my issues?

Thanks for your time.

-Will

Edited by hamluis, 22 November 2011 - 12:16 PM.
Moved from System Building to Internal Hardware.


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#2 cutnup

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 07:30 PM

This is the RAM I was looking into getting if that is the problem. Best price I could find. If you know a better deal LMK.

#3 Turaiel

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 02:47 PM

If the system has DDR RAM, it's not really worth the money to upgrade and you'd probably be better off with a more current machine. The speed decrease could be for a multitude of reasons. The most common issue is Windows being in need of a reinstall (with XP it should be every 6 months to a year from what I've heard). If that's the case, you should back up your data to external media and perform a clean Windows installation. If it is in fact a problem with your RAM (all hardware dies someday), you should download a CD image (or floppy image) for Memtest86+. It might also be your hard drive malfunctioning. You should run some tests with a SMART utility like SpeedFan.

Try running a SMART test, then Memtest86+ before anything else. If those don't report any errors, reinstall Windows. All three of these are a much cheaper option to upgrading your RAM. If none of them work, check the price of the replacement RAM or look into buying a modern machine.

Good luck!

#4 cutnup

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 04:22 PM

I tried to find the download on the smart test site but there is so many advertisements that I keep clicking the wrong thing and cannot find it. Do you have a link to the actual download?

#5 cutnup

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 04:23 PM

Nevermind found it.

#6 hamluis

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 04:24 PM

FWIW:

Memtest86+ Guide-How To's - Overclockers Forums - http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=409152

Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool - http://www.memtest.org/#downiso

Louis

#7 Turaiel

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 04:27 PM

Keep in mind that Memtest86+ runs infinitely, so I would run it 12-24 hours and see how that goes.

#8 cutnup

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 04:29 PM

ok. What am I suposed to be looking at in speed fan? I am a complete noob when it comes to the "guts" of a computer and that whole program looks like chinese to me! ;)

#9 Turaiel

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 04:31 PM

Go to the SMART tab, and select your disk from the dropdown. Check the fitness and performance meters at the bottom, and then look for any red in the detailed information. You may also want to run a short or long test on your disk.

Edited by Turaiel , 22 November 2011 - 04:32 PM.


#10 cutnup

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 04:38 PM

ok. The memtest is asking me to select the usb flash drive in the installation process but the drop down menu doesn't have any options in it.

#11 Turaiel

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 04:47 PM

In order to use a USB flash drive for memtest, it must be cleanly formatted and bootable. See this post http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/209709-29-memtest-flash-drive for more on that. You might be better off burning it to CD-R or writing to floppy. If you don't have any, look into requesting a free Ubuntu CD, since they're bundled with memtest86+. While you wait for that, you can try the reinstallation method. You may want to wait and see if anyone else has a suggestion for memtest though.

#12 cutnup

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 04:49 PM

The smart test only has green ok signs.

#13 Turaiel

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 04:52 PM

Check the bars at the bottom. Hopefully neither of them is below around 60-75%. If so, the slowness may be attributed to your hard drive's health. If not, then your hard drive should be alright.




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