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Upgrading RAM on Dell Optiplex 780 - Boot Fails


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#1 Sapienta

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 11:40 AM

I am attempting to upgrade the RAM on my sister's Dell Optiplex 780. According to my research, the board should support 16GB. Presently, it has 4GB in the form 4 1GB sticks. I purchased 2 4GB sticks to replace 2 of the current 1GB sticks. They are "Micron 4GB 1Rx8 240pin DDR3-1600MHz PC3 12800U MT8JTF51264AZ-1G6E1 DIMM". From my research, they are compatible with the system.

 

When I tried installing the new RAM, the system would not boot (only beep/buzz obnoxiously). I upgraded the BIOS to A15 hoping this would help, but it did not. The computer still will not boot with the new RAM. The "1" and "3" diagnostic lights turn on which, to quote the Dell manual, means "

Memory modules are detected, but a memory configuration or compatibility error has occurred".
 
What steps might I take to further troubleshoot or resolve this issue? Thanks.


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#2 PhillPower2

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 12:02 PM

Hello Sapienta,

 

According to the Dell data sheet the maximum amount of RAM that the board will accept is 8GB made up of 4 Xs 2GB of 1.5V 1066MHz, check page 9 here the new RAM that you have apart from being 4GB sticks is also 1.5V if the limited info available online is accurate.



#3 Sapienta

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 12:12 PM

Hello Sapienta,

 

According to the Dell data sheet the maximum amount of RAM that the board will accept is 8GB made up of 4 Xs 2GB of 1.5V 1066MHz, check page 9 here the new RAM that you have apart from being 4GB sticks is also 1.5V if the limited info available online is accurate.

Thank you very much for the response and excellent resource. However, I am a bit confused, because the service manual for that machine seems to suggest that it can handle 16GB memory (on page 5). Am I misunderstanding something or why might there be there conflicting information from Dell? Thanks again.


Edited by Sapienta, 14 April 2018 - 12:12 PM.


#4 PhillPower2

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 12:38 PM

Something badly wrong with the Dell info somewhere as one quotes DDR2 RAM and the other DDR3, can I ask what processor is in your computer.

 

You are welcome btw  :)

 

NB: Just a heads up, when researching I checked with Crucial who 100% guarantee that their RAM is compatible and they say 16GB of DDR3 PC3-12800 • CL=11 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR3-1600 • 1.35V • 512Meg x 64 • see info here please note that the RAM is 1.35V whereas what you have purchased is supposedly 1.5V and therefore would not be compatible with the Dell MB.



#5 Sapienta

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 12:55 PM

The processor is an Intel Core 2 Duo, 8600 I believe. I did not consider the voltage when selecting RAM. Thanks for the observation. I suspect that could be my problem. 



#6 PhillPower2

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 01:19 PM

An older socket 775 CPU that had a few MBs that were compatible with DDR3 so we still cant say for sure whether you need DDR2 or DDR3  :(

 

Suggestion, try putting just the original RAM back in the slots that you had them then have the Crucial system scanner tool do its thing and see what that recommends, system scanner tool info here

 

Can I ask from where you purchased the replacement RAM that you have



#7 Sapienta

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 01:41 PM

The Crucial scan: http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/scanview/92904A7D31D926C3

It appears as if DDR3 is what the system uses, but, as you noted there may be mismatch between the voltage suggested by Crucial's tool and the one I have (though data appears limited about the product).

 

The RAM was purchased from eBay.

 

Thanks again for all your help. :thumbup2:



#8 PhillPower2

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 02:04 PM

Do you have a link to from where you made the purchase on ebay, reason I ask is because there is and has been for some time a glut of fake RAM and video cards in circulation, no need to say from what part of the world the stuff is coming from  :whistle:  

 

I would trust Crucial as they do guarantee that their RAM is compatible or your money back,



#9 Sapienta

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 02:31 PM

Sure, I would be glad to post a link. :) 

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Micron-4GB-1Rx8-240pin-DDR3-1600MHz-PC3-12800U-MT8JTF51264AZ-1G6E1-DIMM-/173211077836?_trksid=p2047675.l2557&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&nma=true&si=x1on9rjyuEHAEarp56M2TONxj34%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc

 

I thought about Crucial as they seem to have a very good reputation (plus I love their "compatibility checker"), but I was trying to save some money. Unfortunately, that decision may be coming back to bite me.



#10 PhillPower2

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 02:56 PM

Reputable seller and sold as tested which makes the RAM itself being faulty less likely to be the cause of the issue, the RAM itself is definitely 1.5 as opposed to 1.35V, see attachment below.

 

Is there any information stickers on the original 4 sticks of RAM.

Attached Files



#11 Sapienta

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 03:09 PM

Sure, image of original stick attached. Thanks.

Attached Files



#12 PhillPower2

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 03:21 PM

Thanks for the pic  :thumbup2:

 

The present RAM is also 1.5V so that is not the cause, that leaves just the new RAM being 1600MHz rather than 1333MHz and the new RAM being faulty.

 

Did you try inserting just one stick at a time of the new RAM and testing it in each of the four slots along the way, if not, try one stick in the slot nearest to the CPU first, if still the same problem, remove the first stick and try the second stick in the first slot to see what happens and then post back with an update for us.


Edited by PhillPower2, 14 April 2018 - 03:21 PM.


#13 Sapienta

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 03:42 PM

I just tried inserting one stick at a time, powering the machine on, and then (when it did not work) moving the stick to the next slot . I tried every combination of the new RAM sticks and slots, with the same result each time - it failed to boot with the same "buzzing."

 

I thought the system would be able to accept (though not take advantage of) the 1600 MHz. Is this not always the case? Or might it  require some extra configuration?

 

Thanks so much for all your help and patience. :)



#14 Joe C

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 05:29 PM

I just got some ram from ebay that is rated for Dell, the sticker states: 2Rx8 (double sided)

 

I think it has something to do with hi and low density ram for the Dell pc's, you'll need to check that too

The 1.35 v ram is for pc3L and the higher 1.5v ram is plain old pc3.


Edited by Joe C, 14 April 2018 - 05:35 PM.


#15 Joe C

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 05:40 PM

https://www.dell.com/community/Desktops-General/Can-Optiplex-780-support-DDR3-1600/td-p/4598076

*low density required

*will not run better than 1066 mhz if you can use the 1600

 

For your reading pleasure:

https://www.ebay.com.au/gds/MythBUSTED-Density-FACTS-Low-Density-vs-High-Density-/10000000003939852/g.html


Edited by Joe C, 14 April 2018 - 06:15 PM.





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