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ram upgrade issue - dell dimension c521

Posted on 2009-04-03
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
Trying to upgrade mem from two 512 sticks to two 2GB DDR2 PC-2 5300 667 MHz sticks.  Previous BIOS info showed the 512s  were in dual1 memory channel mode and both sticks in Rank 1.  New Bios settings indicate that memory channel mode is now single and both 2GB sticks are Rank 2.  Where is this taking me?

Thanks.
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Question by:mscheyde
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by:jamietoner
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by:mscheyde
ID: 24063208
Yes  I did,  System works fine with one stick in slot 1.  Both in slots 1 and 2 generates blue screen.  I think this particular board has a 1GB per stick 4 GB max limitation.   Thanks for getting back.
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garycase earned 400 total points
ID: 24063623
The C521 does indeed (as you've noted in your last comment) have a limit of 1GB modules (this is confirmed in both Dell's service manual and on Crucial's memory selector).   That's clearly the issue here.   Replace the modules with 1GB modules and you'll be fine.
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LVL 70

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by:garycase
garycase earned 400 total points
ID: 24063696
Out of curiosity, is the system recognizing 4GB with the 2 2GB modules installed?

If so, I'd try installing the modules in slots 1 and 3.   Although Dell's documentation clearly says they should be installed in 1 and 2 [http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dimc521/en/SM_EN/parts.htm#wp1109305 ], it also labels slots 1 & 2 as Channel A, and slots 3 & 4 as Channel B.   If that is accurate, then you should have memory in slots 1 and 3 to get dual channel operation.

I suspect that Dell is correct about using slots 1 & 2 (and their documentation is simply wrong about these both being Channel A) => but it won't hurt to try it.   Every once in a while, Dell's documentation r.e. memory limits is wrong (and Crucial often relies on Dell's documentation).

Not, in my opinion, very likely => but since you have the 2GB modules, I'd try this if the system is indeed showing all 4GB.
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by:mscheyde
ID: 24067080
I did try 1 & 3 with the same thought in mind (CH A & CH B) however no luck.  Putting both in slots 1 & 2  produced 3.37 GB available and eventually brought down the OS. I'm sure this is due to the memory addressing limitations.  Currently I'm running with one in slot 1 and I have 1.87Gb in (obviously) single mode.  I believe I will take your advice and swap in 4 1Gb sticks.

Otherwise, the 512s in 1 & 2 showed up as dual so I'm thinking the docs are correct.

Thanks for your input.
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by:garycase
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ID: 24068599
Interesting that it shows 3.37GB -- that's about right for 4GB of installed memory in a 32-bit OS [I presume you're aware that you won't "see" 4GB due to address space that's assigned to other system level functions].   So the system is "seeing" the memory -- it's just not using it in dual channel mode.    Note that you previously indicated that "... Both in slots 1 and 2 generates blue screen ..." ==> did the same thing happen this time?   Clearly it had to at least boot, or you wouldn't have seen the 3.37GB indicated -- just curious how long it runs before blue screening.

... in any event, your best option is to use 1GB modules, as Dell's specs indicate.
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by:mscheyde
ID: 24068823
slots 1, 2 = 5 minutes to BS depending on what you're doing of course.   slots 1, 3 = bios sees all the mem but the os doesn't see what's in slot 3. Total mem = 1.87 GB. Thanks again for your input.
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