RAM is RAM or so I Thought

Posted on 2006-11-08
Last Modified: 2010-04-25
So I've got 2 128MB 168-Pin DIMM SDRAM that I specifically bought (from for an old Gateway Essential 400 (Celeron).  Well I was recently given an old Dell L800 Pentium 3 that had a whimpy 64MB Ram so I thought I could just swap out the 64MB stick and replace with my old 2 128MB sticks.  Not so...  Upon boot-up the PC just beeps 3 times in a row then a slight pause and 3 more beeps and keeps that up.  No sign of any HDD action or anything else.  What's going on ?  I read the specs and they are the same for both machines so I thought for sure they would both work in my newly acquired old Dell.
Question by:dockboy549
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 17903970
Have you double checked to ensure that the RAM is fully seated?

What about trying to put in only 1 at a time just to make sure both are Ok?
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 17904669
check on the ram manufacturer's site if it is compatible with your mobo
LVL 23

Assisted Solution

phototropic earned 20 total points
ID: 17904776
Check to make sure no cables were dislodged etc. With older pc's, opening the case and replacing components can cause all kinds of connectivity issues... reseat the RAM, check the CPU and any PCI/VGA cards to make sure they are properly seated, check cables.  If no luck, try a minimal boot - if still nothing, try removing all RAM and powering up. Do you get the same 3 beeps?
How Do You Stack Up Against Your Peers?

With today’s modern enterprise so dependent on digital infrastructures, the impact of major incidents has increased dramatically. Grab the report now to gain insight into how your organization ranks against your peers and learn best-in-class strategies to resolve incidents.


Author Comment

ID: 17905961
Yes the 2  128mb sticks still work in the old Gateway, so they're still good.
Yes the 64mb stick from the old Dell P3 still work so there is nothing wrong with the Dell PC.
Which according to both PC's take the same RAM according to the specs of same.. 168-pin DIMM, SDRAM PC133, 16Meg x 64, Non-parity, 133, CL-2 or CL-3.
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 17906733
are the sticks both with chips on 1 side, or has one chips on both sides?

Author Comment

ID: 17907207
Chips on both sides for both sticks.
LVL 92

Assisted Solution

nobus earned 20 total points
ID: 17907294
then i would say that it is a case of 'they like it or not", like Compaq's not liking all brands, wanting Kingston.
LVL 15

Accepted Solution

davidis99 earned 110 total points
ID: 17908773
When RAM is specifically engineered for a particular model, it very often cannot be used in a different brand of PC, even if the specs are close.  In this case, as you already noticed, the CAS ratings for the each PC's memory are different, and that, along with Crucial having different models  of RAM for the L800 and the Gateway, tell me that generic RAM may work in both, but brand specific RAM will be a problem.

Author Comment

ID: 17913841
Thanks to all for your comments/suggestions.  

Featured Post

On Demand Webinar - Networking for the Cloud Era

This webinar discusses:
-Common barriers companies experience when moving to the cloud
-How SD-WAN changes the way we look at networks
-Best practices customers should employ moving forward with cloud migration
-What happens behind the scenes of SteelConnect’s one-click button

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

Title # Comments Views Activity
Clone one drive unto another 12 98
Windows 10 Graphic issue 12 87
keyboard not producing correct character 15 133
Moving files from a 5.25 floppy to a 3.5 floppy 28 146
Article by: SHIELD1
The 5 R's 1. Repair 2. Restore 3. Reinstall 4. Remote admin 5. Run away OK so I'm not the most skilled engineer around but I definitely have an abundance of experience: electronic repairs since I was 13 and PC and computer hardware repair…
How can this article save you time AND money?  In just a few minutes you may discover something you didn't know existed that is easy enough for you to fix yourself!
Finding and deleting duplicate (picture) files can be a time consuming task. My wife and I, our three kids and their families all share one dilemma: Managing our pictures. Between desktops, laptops, phones, tablets, and cameras; over the last decade…

738 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question