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PC reboots due to RAM

By lechevarria89 ยท 7 replies
May 28, 2009
  1. About a month ago I purchased two 2GB kits of RAM. Each kit came with two 1GB (PC4200 DDR2 533 PC2-4200) low density chips. Once I recieved the two 2GB kits, I installed them into my computer. After installing the RAM, I turned on my PC and my OS began to start up.

    Once Windows Vista started up, I went to Control Panel then to System to make sure I had the right amount of memory (4GB in total); I checked and noticed that only 3GB was showing. At first, I didn't understand why there was only 3GB rather than 4GB. So, I shutdown my computer and took out all of the chips then put them back in. I turned on my computer and checked once more but there was still only 3GB showing. I was confused.

    I tried once more. I shutdown my computer, took out all of the chips but this time when trying to install the RAM, I struggled a bit. I managed to get them in; however, when I turned on my computer, instead of getting the Dell boot screen as I usually do before Windows starts up, I got a black screen with white letters and numbers on the top left corner. I can't remember exactly what it said but I remember seeing DDR2 some where inbetween. Everytime I try pressing Enter or any other key on my keyboard nothing happens.

    I turned off the computer and powered it back on but got the same message. I turned off my computer again then took out the RAM once more to check if there were any visible scratches or cracks on any of the chips; but nothing. This time, instead of putting all of the chips back into the computer I decided to put just one set (2GB) of RAM. After putting the 2GB of RAM I turned on the computer and got the same black screen. At that point, I was convinced that the RAM was damaged due to my struggling when trying to install it.

    I took out the first set of RAM then tried the second. This time the computer booted up and Windows Vista began to start. I went to Control Panel then to System to see how much RAM was showing up; it showed 2GB. I said to myself, "Okay, then I must of just damaged the other set of chips." I accepted the fact that the other set of RAM was damaged.

    A few minutes later, suddenly, the screen goes black then "The Blue Screen of Death", as they call it, pops up and my computer reboots. It does this every time I have the memory sticks installed into my computer. I'm left with no choice but to use the original RAM that came with my PC.

    Why is this? Is my second set of RAM damaged as well? Or is there something that i have to do? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. :)
  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,187   +3,484

    Now I have a question. Do you understand now why only 3GB was showing?
  3. angelic00

    angelic00 TS Rookie Posts: 35

    The reboots in the end sound like corrupted Windows files. Did your computer come standard with Vista or did you upgrade and still have the key? If you still have the key, give MS a call and ask them to reset that key, and reinstall Vista.

    If you don't have the original key, I'd recommend buying a copy of XP and using that, as it's like $100 now compared to vista at $250. Good luck.
  4. angelic00

    angelic00 TS Rookie Posts: 35

    The reason part of the RAM doesn't show up is because his computer isn't capable of anything higher than 3GB. I've had the same problem with a previous computer. Most computers can't handle much more than 2GB of RAM unless their motherboard is designed for gaming and can handle high quantities of RAM.
  5. lechevarria89

    lechevarria89 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Yeah, I asked the seller who sold the RAM to me and he said that WIndows 32-Bit only supports 4 GB of addressable memory space, which realistically means a 3.2 GB or so limit.

    No, my PC came standard with Windows XP. I purchased an upgrade that came with a product key.

    I have a copy of Windows XP as well. I tried it with Windows XP but it does the same thing.
  6. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 5,746   +14

    32 bit operating systems can only address up to around 3.2 gb of ram. You will not see anything above that period.
  7. angelic00

    angelic00 TS Rookie Posts: 35

    Ok since you upgraded to Vista, call Microsoft and have them reset the product key you have, make sure you tell them which product it is. Reinstall Vista after that, and good luck. Hope it works.
  8. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 5,746   +14

    if you have XP 64 or vista 64 bit, you will address all the ram you have.
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