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Will PC133 work if the machine is PC100 Memory?

Posted on 2003-02-24
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I currently bought a 256MB PC100 memory stick but they sent me a 256 PC133 for my IBM ThinkPad 570E Laptop.  The ThinkPad is configured to max out at 320MB of memory (That is including the 64MB standard) But Now, I can not get the machine up.  IT begins to load windows 2K but then it reboots.  If I put the old stick of 128MB PC100 in the slot it works fine.  How can I fix this?  Will the 256Mb PC133 work in the slot for 256mb PC100?  Thank you for all your help
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Question by:salinsde
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16 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

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AlbertaBeef earned 200 total points
ID: 8013447
In most systems PC133 memory should work fine in a 100MHz system -  

That being said, IBM specifies PC100, Cas-Latency 2, Non-Parity sodimms for your system, and with branded laptops like IBM/Compaq, etc., I'd stick with the specifications.

Ensure that it's CAS Latency 2, PC133 Non Parity and you should be OK.

The part from crucial.com is $99 fyi.
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Expert Comment

by:prd00
ID: 8013562
It should work, mostly, but in some cases, there are some PC133 modules that doesn't work on PC100 machines, mainly because of your machine specification. I have no experience in  notebook, but in desktop system, changing memory speed setting at BIOS usually work. Hope that help
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Expert Comment

by:Chys
ID: 8013603
It should not have a problem. As long as your system bios is set as 100mhz, a PC-133mhz should not do any harm. It is safe to say that all rams are able to work at a lower clock speed than spec.
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Expert Comment

by:Chys
ID: 8013608
It should not have a problem. As long as your system bios is set as 100mhz, a PC-133mhz should not do any harm. It is safe to say that all rams are able to work at a lower clock speed than spec.
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by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 8014256
The new RAM may have a incompatible density that your TP doesn't like...but more likely it would not even start up.  Can you get into TP Setup (F1 at boot) and run diagnostics (I think the 570E has BIOS-based hardware checks??)

-dog*
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Expert Comment

by:Mashtar
ID: 8014919
For this particular system I guess the RAM-module should be built with 16x8 chips = 16 chips.
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by:magarity
ID: 8015268
For unknown reasons, some big name vendors put in a check for memory speed.  Even though higher speed will work from a technical point of view, some machines are programmed to refuse to use it.  My Toshiba laptop behaves this way.

Since yours will at least attempt to boot, please download and run a memory test program with the problem memory installed:
www.memtest86.com

Let us know how much memory this test reports as being present in the system.  Also let ot run for a while and see if any errors are listed.
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Expert Comment

by:Panimu
ID: 8015748
It'll be fine, it was for me.
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Author Comment

by:salinsde
ID: 8021209
Well I can boot into the BIOS and get into the Memory setting, it will report 360MB, the correct amount, but it freezes.  Then It never boots into the OS.  So, if I insert a startup disk it will by pass the HardDrive and place the CDrom as C:.  I am still confused.
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by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 8025285
The CD-ROM becomes C: because your DOS/Win9x-based boot disk doesn't understand the NTFS format that your real C: drive is, so it uses the first drive letter after B:.

>>it will report 360MB, the correct amount, but it freezes.
Do you mean that it freezes in the BIOS configuration or using the built-in BIOS diagnostics?

Next thing I'd try would be a BIOS update.  Remove the new RAM and flash it with just the built-in RAM.  BIOS update is here:
http://www.pc.ibm.com/qtechinfo/MIGR-4HA2BF.html

If that doesn't do it, I think the RAM you got is just incompatible with your system.  Contact your vendor and demand that they give you the RAM you ordered or a refund.  If you do end up having to get different RAM, I'd go with the Crucial.com RAM AlbertaBeef recommended above.  Its good stuff, and they _guarantee_ that its compatible.

-dog
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Expert Comment

by:xThorx
ID: 8026128
When you mix several speed for memory module, you have to initiate first the slowest memory than others. Means, if you have 128Mb PC100 and 256Mb PC133, you MUST put the 128Mb in bank 0 and 256Mb in bank 1 (read what manufacturer says about this). Be sure you have declare your memory module as PC100 in your bios if possible.

If all this is correct and if you still hanging or craching, this means your memory module is uncompatible with your system.
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by:AlbertaBeef
ID: 9298242
salinsde:  Not to complain, but . . . can you tell me why you accepted an answer from prd00 when my earlier post contained the same (and more) information??

Ab.
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Author Comment

by:salinsde
ID: 9298276
AlbertaBeef.  I a sorry, my mistake, I looked at a rush for a short and quick answer.  I will try and find a way to award you points also.  I will work on it.  Sorry again.
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Expert Comment

by:AlbertaBeef
ID: 9298436
salinsde:  Don't worry, stuff happens.  Re: changing the accepted answer, The mods can do that for you.  I posted a comment in community support for this:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Community_Support/Q_20730473.html

Thanks,

Ab.
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Expert Comment

by:AlbertaBeef
ID: 9299367
salinsde, you can now accept an answer again.  

Ab.
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