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Problems upgrading memory in xSeries 342 (8669-4RX) - 3-beeps beep code

Posted on 2006-11-26
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
I am trying to upgrade the memory in an IBM xSeries 342, model 8669-4RX.  I got it on eBay, and it came in with all four slots filled with 128mb ECC.  According to the IBM website, I need pairs of FRU 33L3325, which I have purchased three.  I was planning on using a pair of the 512mb and a pair of the 128mb to get to 1.2gb of memory. I took out all four of the 128 modules and, working with the 512mb modules, when I put any two in the motherboard and fire it up, I get the 3-3-3 beep codes ( no memory found ), the MEM error light goes on, and the LED next to each SIMM socket comes on orange.

I have spent some time looking around on IBM's web site to see if there's something I need to do ( jumpers, BIOS, etc) to allow it to see this memory. So far, I haven't found anything except document that tells of a problem with certain Hylix modules.

The only thing I see is that the memory that works is PC100 and the "new" memory is PC133.   The BIOS in the server is 1.07. I see that there is a version 1.08 available, but the release notes don't mention anything about memory config issues.  Also, according to the web site, it should be able to take 1gb modules. I did get memory with IBM stickers with the correct FRU number.

I need to get the server at least to 1gb of memory for my application.  I've tried the memory in various combinations of the slots, and even bought a third piece to see if one of the two was bad. No combination has produced any joy.  Do I have to have all four? I think I've tried booting it up with just two of the 128mb modules...

Can you give me advice that will get this memory to work, assuming that the memory is OK? Is there a configuration change I can make to help it see the change in memory?  Something in BIOS, jumpers, etc?  I've got a lot of experience with various server-class machines, but this is the first xSeries box I've worked on.  
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Question by:studios
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8 Comments
 
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by:phototropic
ID: 18013879
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 18013966
AFAIK this motherboard can support up to 4GB RAM using 2-way memory interleaving, but if you have different sized modules this option needs switching on in an MSI BIOS otherwise the limit is the supplied 4x256.  Do you only get the problem when you break the 1GB limit?
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by:Mark
ID: 18014460
Here is the service manual for this server, it may contain pertinant info on ram installation.
http://www-1.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=0&uid=psg1MIGR-43740&loc=en_US
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by:pgm554
ID: 18014548
Are the 512 modules registered memory?

They may be ECC,but registered(buffered)is a must.

I don't think the speed matters ,in that 133 is usually backward compatible.

I have gotton more than my share of defective server RAM ,so if the modules meet the ECC registered critera,I would guess defective.
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Author Comment

by:studios
ID: 18032445
The labels on the RAM, which have the IBM logo (but could be counterfeit, I guess) say they are ECC Registered.
They do fit in the RAM slots, so physically, they fit in fine.  

I can't run any software to do memory testing in this machine, since the "Memory Not Present" is a show-stopper and keeps the server from booting at all.

I'll try flipping the DIP switch and see if that helps.  
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Accepted Solution

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Mark earned 1000 total points
ID: 18032629
This excerpt is taken from the manual I linked to earlier and explains the method for installing ram modules in this server. Pay close attention to the order in which the slots are used ,and saving the settings in the configuration/setup program as explained in note 3 below.
Memory modules
Adding memory to the server is an easy way to make programs run faster. You can
increase the amount of memory in the server by installing options called
memory-module kits. Each kit contains one industry-standard, dual inline memory
module (DIMM). The server uses a two-way interleaved memory configuration. You
must install matched pairs of memory kits, but the set in slots 1 and 4 do not need
to be the same size as the set in slots 2 and 3.
Notes:
1. The server comes with two dual inline memory modules (DIMMs) installed in
DIMM slots 1 and 4. Install additional DIMMs as a matched pair in DIMM
connectors 2 and 3 and as instructed in the documentation that comes with your
option.
2. Your xSeries 342 server supports 128 MB, 256 MB, 512 MB, and 1 GB DIMMs.
You must install the DIMMs in pairs of the same size. Place pair 1 in slots 1 and
4 and pair 2 in slots 2 and 3. Refer to the ServerProven™ list on the World Wide
Web at http://www.ibm.com/pc/compat for information about memory modules
for use with the server.
3. Installing or removing DIMMs changes the configuration information in the
server. Therefore, after installing or removing a DIMM, you must save the new
configuration information in the Configuration/Setup Utility program. When you
restart the server, the system displays a message indicating that the memory
configuration has changed. Start the Configuration/Setup Utility program and
select Save Settings.

If the error persists after following the population rules for the ram then you need to check the manual for LED diagnostic methods.
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Author Comment

by:studios
ID: 18055696
I had missed that detail about slots 1 & 4.
When I do that, it sees the memory.

Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:Mark
ID: 18055836
Glad its working for you.
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