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I have a Dell Optiplex GX520 desktop (it's abount 5 yr old) PC with 512 MB DDR2 RAM. Since my computer always swapping I thought I should upgrade my RAM. I bought a Kingmax 2GB DDR2 RAM. But my system does not boot. The status leds are on 2 and 4. The user manual says 'video card failure' wtf?

I put back the original module and everything works. I tried many combinations. When I leave the old 512 RAM in and put the 2GB next to it to the other socket my system completes the POST and I'm able to enter the BIOS menu. It says my system has 2.5 GB installed, one 0.5GB and one 2GB in dual asymmetric channel mode. It's seemingly right. Exiting the BIOS setup GRUB loads successfully, but when I try to boot Ubuntu it crashes with kernel panic immediately. Trying to load Windows XP does not get past the loading screen, it crashes with 0x8E stop error.

  • Does this mean the ram I bought is faulty?
  • Or is it just mean that the memory module I bought is too new to be handled my computer? I this case I may exchange the RAM with my friends.

No other computer is in my house (my very old box has DDR1 ram, my systers new box has DDR3 ones. I can't plug my memory in neither one.) I'm going to return the RAM to store to replace it with a better one tomorrow.

Is there any hope to get this new module work?

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Do you know the timings and voltages on these sticks? If they're dramatically different that could make a difference depending on how resilient your motherboard is. It's always best to use identical DIMMs if at all possible since it minimizes the chance of incompatibilities. –  Shinrai Dec 21 '10 at 15:24
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have you tried memtest86 to check the RAM for errors? –  Weltenwanderer Dec 21 '10 at 15:24
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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

RAM is tricky. Just because it's the right "kind" doesn't mean it'll work in a given machine.

According to the product sheet 2GB is the max for the system, and it has two slots, so I'll hazard that it doesn't support 2gb in a single slot. Dell does that a lot.

It's also non-ECC and the supported speeds are 400 and 533mhz. If you post the exact ram you bought, I might be able to tell you more.

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It's a Kingmax DDR2-800 RAM. It's speed is 800MHz. So this means that a 800Mhz ram is too fast to be handled by my computer? –  Calmarius Dec 21 '10 at 15:52
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@Calamarius: Assuming the spec sheet is right, yea. I'd trade that 2gb stick for 2 1GB sticks of newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820144151 Kingston specializes in "generic" RAM; their stuff tends to work in most machines. Most places will allow you to return RAM that doesn't work. –  Satanicpuppy Dec 21 '10 at 15:56
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You could google the manufacturer of your motherboard. Look up the name of your board in your PC's manual. The manufacturer must have a list of supported RAM modules on his website; my motherboard is by Gigabyte, and there was an elaborate and very specific list for my type of board. I first bought a module that wasn't on the list, and indeed the PC wouldn't boot. Then I bought a module off the list, and thank God it worked fine.

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Bear in mind that this is more than likely going to be an OEM version of any motherboard listed, so this doesn't ring true on a lot of occasions. –  Matthieu Cartier Dec 21 '10 at 16:00
    
Never look for the motherboard on a OEM machine; they tend to change them in mid product line, so it's rarely accurate. Just look up the machine on the manufacturers site, and you'll find the specs. –  Satanicpuppy Dec 21 '10 at 16:06
    
So you are saying that all users will still be able to use the same memory modules even if Dell changes motherboards? Well I have never bought whole PC. –  Cerberus Dec 21 '10 at 20:38
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They replaced it and gave me 2 1GB ddr2-800 ram module. They said they don't have ddr2-533 module currently...

I'll try them when I get home. If they won't work with my PC I will sell them and plan to buy a new computer altogether...

I strongly hope that it's only a Dell trick that my computer don't like the 2GB ram, and will like 2 1GB sticks.

(to tell the true story my mother bought me the RAM (and told the story in phone) as a Christmas present for me, I just tried it yesterday. :) It would be sad If I had to sell them...)

Update: I plugged in the ram and it works! Yeah!

Amen.

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