(1) RAM not detected; (2) adding a 5th device with only 4 IDE ports; (3) poor performance

Thanks for any help you can provide. First things first - my system configuration:

Abit BG7 Motherboard
CPU Intel P4 2.8GHz (Northwood) 533M 512K
Zalman CNPS7000B-ALCU Pure Copper CPU Cooler
2 Kingston 512MB DDR266 PC2100 CL2.5 RAM Memory (1 GB total)
Plextor PX-716A 4X Internal Dual Layer DVD Drive
Sony CRX195A1 40x12x48 EIDE Internal CD-RW Drive
2 Hard Drives:
- Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 6Y200P0 200GB ATA/133 7200PRM Hard Drive w/8MB Buffer
- Maxtor DiamondMax Plus D740X 6L040L2 40GB Ultra ATA/133 7200RPM Hard Drive
1 Generic Firewire card
1 56K V.92 PCI Data/Fax Modem w/NetoDragon Chipset
1 Westell DSL Modem (external)
Video Card: Powercolor R92L-LC3 Radeon 9250 AGP 8X 128MB DDR
Soundblaster Live! 5.1
400W Power supply

(1): The motherboard comes with 3 slots for RAM memory. I'm currently using 2 slots, each with one 512MB stick. I also have an additional Kingston 256MB DDR266 PC2100 CL2.5 Memory that I would like to use in the 3rd slot. When I snap it and turn on the computer, the system only sees the first 2 sticks. If I swap the RAM sticks, then the system sees 750MB RAM, ommitting the 3rd slot. Is there a special configuration I need to make in the BIOS to have the system detect the RAM in all 3 slots, or most probably I have a bad slot in the motherboard? I want to be able to have 1.25GB of RAM. By the way, I have 2 Kingston 256MB DDR266 PC2100 CL2.5 Memory stick that I was using before I got the 512MB ones, and the system was working fine with them (so you can discard a bad 256MB stick...)

Here's a link to the motherboard's manual:

(2): I currently have 2 drives (CD-RW Drive and recordable DVD Drive) and 2 hard disks connected to the IDE ports IDE1 and IDE2 on the motherboard. I have a 3rd DVD-ROM I would like to connect; since I don't have any ports available I bought an Ultra ATA/133 PCI connector card that also comes with 2 ports. The card manual says that I have to connect all my devices to the card instead of the motherboard but if I do, I will not have a port left for this DVD-ROM. Can I connect the drive to the motherboard's IDE port and also use the PCI card for the other devices (hard disks and CD & DVD drive)? Will the system recognize this 3rd drive in this layout?

(3): To my disappointment, I cannot detect a MAJOR improvement in performance after upgrading my CPU from a 1.6GHZ P4 to a 2.8GHZ P4, and from 512MB RAm to 1GB. Any ideas what could be wrong, or how to detect faults? I did a full clean install, from scratch, when I upgraded the components. I use winXP Pro service pack 2, and all software is current with their latest drivers, frimwares, and versions.

Thanks again for any help you can provide.
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WatzmanConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I believe that WallD is right on about the memory -- try the 256 in slot 1 and the two 512's in slots 2 and 3.

You should be able to use the motherboard IDE ports and the PCI card.  However, some of the add-on card bios' won't start unless there is a hard drive on the card, so you may have to move your hard drive to the PCI card.  In that case, you would have 4 master channels, and I'd put each device on a separate channel except for one pair shred on one of the IDE ports (to support 5 devices).

[I can't figure out why you want 3 optical drives, but that's another story, I guess]
David WallConnect With a Mentor Commented:
In the manual it states that " DIMM2 & DIMM3 are sharing , can only be inserted Dimm modules of single density"some one may be able to shed some light on what this means but it could be that it reuires a matched pair of DIMM's in slots 2 and 3. so try putting you 256 in the slot nearest the processor. and the two 512's in slots two and three.

Other thoughts are what what happens if you put just one stick of ram into the third slot on its own?

You may to update your Bios.

On the disk controller front I have installed aditional drives before with no problems though there may be issues with yours, could you not check with the manufacturer?

No idea on the last issue.

sergiosilvaAuthor Commented:
Thanks Watzman for your comments. The reason for the 3 optical drives is that I already have them... I recently bought the recordable DVD and now I have a spare DVD-ROM that I could use to copy DVD discs directly. The CD-RW does not read DVDs, and still burns CDs faster than the DVD recordable drive.
nobusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
here's my 2 cents :
-disconnect any drives not needed (eg the dvd-rom and cd-drive) i do not recommend direct copy ; but if you wish, you can of course with less drives, you'll have less power consumption, you will not need en extra pci to ide card, and less drivers installed : result : cleaner system, less heat generated
-check with msconfig the startup items, and disable any not needed
-what antivirus are you running? try disabling it, and check the performance
-in task manager, check if an application is using your processor power
-disable a lot of bells and whistles of xp : in explorer under view, do not select to display the thumbnail picture, instead use view details etc...

Look here :      http://sillydog.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2742
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