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Can't detect new memory

Posted on 2005-04-23
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I am trying to upgrad my parents emachine. I purchased two 256mb PC133 memory chips. The computer gives me the beeps, and won't boot. I have tested the memory in another machine, all is good there. For some reason the motherboard can't see the memory. Do I need to reset the CMOS and if so, how do I do that? Here is what I am working with:

Motherboard LOMITA 010116 Mat. No. 128401.
Specifications
Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition
Intel® Celeron® Processor 1.40GHz (w/256KB L2 cache)
Intel 810e Chipset
128 MB SDRAM (trying to go to 256mb)
80 GB HDD
48x Max. CD-ROM Drive
3.5" 1.44MB FDD
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Question by:dbruyere
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Watzman earned 2000 total points
ID: 13852037

No, you don't need to reset CMOS.

Either the memory is for some reason incompatible with your machine, or you are installing it wrong.  My guess is that it's incompatible.

Memory isn't as straightforward as saying "it's 256 megs of PC133 SDRAM".  For example, if you take an earlier chipset, the "BX", it would accept 256 meg modules that were made from 16 modules of 16 megs each, but it would not accept similar modules made from 8 chips of 32 megs each (all chips in both cases being PC100 SDRAM).  The chipsets care about the INTERNAL organization of the modules and the chips, and my guess is that you bought modules that, while they are PC133 SDRAM, are incompatible with your motherboard (really this means with your chipset, the 810).  You need to use a memory configurator to be certain that you get the "right type" of memory module, and there's more to it than just "PC133 SDRAM".
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by:philby11
ID: 13852049
To reset the CMOS just take the battery out of the motherboard, the flat ,silver round one.
or there may be a jumper on the board.
Make sure that the RAM is properly seated in the board.
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by:Dawaffleman
ID: 13852066
i think that usually the motherboard will detect the new ram unless it is not the right type for the computer. Either you have the wrong type of ram or you have the wrong speed ram. check your motherboard manual to see what types it can take.
however if you want to try it you could reset the cmos with a jumper on your motherboard which you remove for like ten seconds (there are more details in your manual assuming you have one) or you can ramove the battery inside and leave the power off for like 10-30mins and that should be long enough to reset it.
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by:dbruyere
ID: 13852103
I did use a memory configurator. The memory is from a place called PDPSYSTEMS. They make PatriotMemory sold at Fry's Electronics. It says it is compatible for my system. I have now tried to reset the CMOS as suggested above and that does not seem to help. I have also tried memory from Crucial.com and that doesn't seem to help.
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by:Watzman
ID: 13852139
Ok, are you certain that you are installing it right?  How many memory slots does the board have?  What happens when you remove all memory from the board and then install only one of the new 256 meg modules?
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by:al-hasan
ID: 13852159
dbruyere: Did you try to boot the computer with only _one_ RAM module of 256 MB in use? What happens then? The 810e chipset was designed for low cost computers with not many requirements. Try to set the RAM speed manually to PC100 instead of PC133, this could help.

Regards,
has.
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by:techsupport101
ID: 13852408
Look into your e-machines manual. Check what type of SDRAM the computer accepts. Also, there should be a section on beep codes, where it tells you what the beep codes mean.  E-machine motherboards are very picky about what type of SDRAM they accept. I have run into this problem before. As previously mentioned, try to purchase slower ram such as PC-100
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by:Watzman
ID: 13852561

The memory speed (PC100 or PC133) is directly related to the CPU FSB speed.  I'm not sure if a Celeron 1.4GHz (Pentium III based Tualatin Celeron) is 100 or 133 FSB, but, in any case, I would recommend against trying to manually change any of the speeds or timings.  You could make things worse, in a number of ways.

However, if the system is a PC100 system -- and there is a good chance that it is -- note that not all PC133 memory is backwards compatible to PC100, and that this could indeed be the problem.  It used to be that memory was almost universally backwards compatible, and quite a bit of it still is, but not all of it, which brings me back to the fact that the most likely problem is that the memory that you have is not compatible with the system, not withstanding that the configurator said that it was.
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by:dbruyere
ID: 13852661
I am installing it correctly (I am an mcad, so I do know a bit about this stuff). I have tried adding just one chip, I have tried adding two chips, I have tried adding 1 chip along with the original chip (pc133 128mb). None of it works. Unfortunately, this is my parent's computer and they have no idea where the manual is. According to emachines website it is pc133. I'm gonna try some slower stuff, I'll let you know. Also running Sandra.
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by:Watzman
ID: 13852682
I don't think that the issue is the speed, I think it's more likely that you bought "modern" chips in 2005 for about a 1999 Pentium III motherboard and chipset, and it's architecturally incompatible.  That's my guess.  Again, going back to my previous post:

"if you take an earlier chipset, the "BX", it would accept 256 meg modules that were made from 16 modules of 16 megs each, but it would not accept similar modules made from 8 chips of 32 megs each (all chips in both cases being PC100 SDRAM)."

I know that this isn't a BX chipset, but I do think that it is exactly this type of issue that is killing you .... an internal architectural incompatability.  Use of a "configurator" should have prevented that, but apparently, in this case, it didn't.

Anyway, that's my best 50-cent guess.

[And it may be just about impossible to get the "right" parts.  Going back to the BX chipset, by about 2001 or 2002, no one was still making the type of 16 meg chips that were needed to make a module that would work.  All of the memory companies had "moved on" to larger and more modern chips.  And at this point, your 810 is even older than the BX was then.]

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by:dbruyere
ID: 13852820
That sounds fairly logical. It seems silly to spend 150 dollars on new memory when I could just as easily buy them a new computer for 500. I'll look into another configurator tomorrow.
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by:al-hasan
ID: 13852947
While I agree to Watzman's statement about the architectural problems, it would be easy to manually configure the RAM settings in the mainboard bios as PC100 instead of PC133. The chipsets i810/i810e were specified for PC100 RAM. If this does not yield any positive results, it _is_ the problem of architecture. 440BX was a more advanced chipset and years ahead of the crippled i810. (I bought my first BX board back in 1997.)

Regards,
has.
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by:Watzman
ID: 13853952

The 810 came after the BX chipset and is generally considered to have been more advanced than the BX.  But it was the "budget" chipset, while the 815 was the "high end" chipset.  Also, there were a bizillion (ok, a slight exaggeration ..... one two two dozen) variants of the 810 chipset.

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by:dbruyere
ID: 13856295
I got a BIOS update. For some reason, when I run it, it says it's unable to flash the bios due to memory management running. Any thoughts?
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by:Dawaffleman
ID: 13861249
you have to load windows without a memory manager such as EMM386. the easiest way to do this is to start the computer up and then press F8 while starting up to get to the options menu and choose to prompt before each command, and then you can choose what to load into memory, or you can try pressing F5 instead hich bypasses all startup files.
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Assisted Solution

by:Watzman
Watzman earned 2000 total points
ID: 13861282

The usual recommendation is to boot from a floppy disk that has nothing on it besides DOS, the firmware and the flash program.  In this instance, "nothing on it besides DOS" means that EMM386.exe and Himem.sys are not present, either (those are the "memory management" programs that it is objecting to).

It can technically be done from the hard drive, as dawaffleman suggests, but it can't be done from most XP systems, which don't have a command prompt and which most commonly format all partitions as NTFS, precluding the use of DOS on the hard drive.
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