Memory recognized then disappears after reboot

By usandthem
Dec 14, 2004
  1. I have a Dell Inspiron 3800. I purchased the system off-lease and opted to have an extra 128mb of RAM installed. When I received the computer it said I only had 128mb. I contacted the company and they sent me more RAM. When I went to install, I found that they had installed RAM (I probably should have checked that first, I just assumed they would have done it correctly). After searching google to find why the memory wasnt showing up, I updated the BIOS to see if that would allow the system to recognize the new memory. It did for the first reboot (everything but diagdx said 256mb). When I rebooted again it said there is new memory, press f1 to continue or f2 for setup. I pressed f1 but it kept coming up every time I rebooted so I figured there was something I had to change in the setup. I went to the setup screen in f2 BIOS and listed at the top was time and date settings with the ram and what not below. I could change time and date but could not access any values for RAM. After I exited this screen and went on, the memory was no longer recognized and it went back to 128mb. How do I get my system to accept the new memory again? I'm sure I did something majorly wrong. Thank you so much for your help!
  2. hu_nr

    hu_nr TS Rookie

    Have you tried the Dell knowledgebase?

    I don't know how much hardware knowledge you have, so forgive me if you have done this already. I searched the Dell knowledge base and came up with this documentation"dell%20inspiron"%203800%20not%20recognizing%20new%20memory&img=True&sum=True&ssum=False&qmp=10&eh=NoEvent&ira=False.

    You need Adobe to view it. Hope this helps. Please let me know if it does (I would eventually like to upgrade my ram). The documentation gives the procedure for installing ram. Maybe you just need to take out the memory that was installed at Dell, boot up see if it recognizes the single stick. If it does then follow the procedure for installing memory. I am more familiar with desktops, so....thought I would check out your problem with Dell and I learned something new as well. I have an Inspiron 5100, would like to upgrade mine to 1 gig.

    One question, in the specs does it say what is the max ram you can install for you laptop?

    Hope I was some help.

    Just to clarify. I am assuming Dell installed a second memory stick from what you wrote

    When I went to install, I found that they had installed RAM (I probably should have checked that first, I just assumed they would have done it correctly).

    The documentation I am referring to is

  3. usandthem

    usandthem TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Physical installation not the issue

    The physical installation is not the problem. The memory was recognized so it is installed. There is something with the BIOS not wanting to setup correctly. I looked at the page and it indicates that once the system reboots the setup is supposed to be automatic. For some reason mine is giving me the f1 f2 options then kicking it out altogether.

    The system will take up to 512mb, i'm just trying to get 256mb installed.
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