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replacing 1Rx4 PC2 memory with 2Rx8 PC2 in a Dell PowerEdge 1850

Posted on 2010-08-24
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
Hi all,

I have a Dell PowerEdge 1850, and it came with two 1gb1Rx4 PC2 3200r memory installed.

I tried to replace the 1Rx4 with 2Rx8 PC2 3200r memory, and I am  getting errors in the memory testing.

Is this replacement solution even possible, or should I stick with the original 1Rx4?

Thanks!
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Question by:kwajwreckdiver
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by:Dk_guru
ID: 33517767
It may depend upon the brand of your memory.

I'm sure you have already seen this:
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/pe1850/en/IT/r1712c60.htm#wp1081461

One major thing they stated was to be sure your bios was up to date.
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by:brettkm
ID: 33517781
Have a read of this document:

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/pe1850/en/it/r1712c60.htm#wp1081461

States what memory it supports.

Can't say for sure what the server supports,  but I'd use 1Rx4 to be safe.
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 33517813
1R vs 2R should not make a difference.  Your new memory is PC2 3200, Registered ECC memory?  What size?  How many?  What errors are you getting - you said "in the memory testing" ... are you talking about the initial RAM test on power up, or some error while running MPMemory tests?

On the 1850, the only restriction that has to do with rank is that you can only populate up to 8 ranks of memory.  So, for example, you can have four 2R DIMM's with slots 5 and 6 not occupied, two 2R DIMM's and four 1R DIMM's with 2R DIMM's in the first slots, etc.
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 33517815
What is your BIOS at?
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Author Comment

by:kwajwreckdiver
ID: 33526196
Hi all,

DK guru- thanks for the information link, it helps! I had not yet seen that information before, so it's been added to my Favorites list.

brettkm- thanks for that information as well, hadn't seen that yet either. According to that info, the 2Rx8 should be supported. I've got some more comments for PowerEdgeTech, so read on... :)

PowerEdgeTech- thanks for your replies as well. Yes, the memory is registered. I'm using two sticks of 1gig 2Rx8 PC2 3200r.

I have five 1850's total, and in all five I've taken out the 1gig 1Rx4 PC2 3200r, and replaced them with the 1gig 2Rx8 sticks. Frontside bus speed is the same for both the 1Rx4 and the 2Rx8 sets of sticks.

On four out of the five, the switch worked just fine. I'm only having problems with one 1850, on the initial RAM test as I noted above. The BIOS is A05.

I'm starting to think that the problem may be something else. Right now I'm trying to figure out how to clear the event log, as there is no OS yet installed on the 1850. I've downloaded a program I found from reading the information that brettkm gave me the link for, so I'm going to try that.

Any other input/ideas that you have, would be most appreciated!

Thanks guys, and have a great day!

Dan
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PowerEdgeTech earned 500 total points
ID: 33526428
To clear the SEL without an OS, you can use log2txt or you can use an OMSA Live! CD (easiest).
http://linux.dell.com/files/openmanage-contributions/omsa-54-live/omsa-54-040308.iso

If you are only having issues with one, than there's nothing wrong with the memory type/config and is probably a problem with the DIMM's themselves or the memory controller on the 1850.  Have you tried some of the memory that worked in other systems in this one (or these memory sticks in a different machine) to make sure the memory itself is good?

If the memory is fine, then it is your server.  A couple of things you might try ...
- booting with only one stick at a time (diagnostic mode)
- clear NVRAM using motherboard jumpers near system memory (could be BIOS config list is corrupt or won't update, clear it to rebuild)
- update to BIOS A07 (could be BIOS itself is corrupt or has a glitch, update may fix - are the others also at A05?)

Just out of curiosity, why are you replacing 1GB 1R DIMM's with 1GB 2R DIMM's?
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Author Comment

by:kwajwreckdiver
ID: 33526897
PowerEdgeTech,

okay, the OMSA Live! program solved the entire issue. The 1850 is now functioning perfectly like the other four 1850's I swapped the memory out on.

Thanks for the help and tips! I've saved this entire thread for future reference, in case I run into this again sometime in the future and need to refer back to what happened here.

As to the reasons for replacement- we need additional RAM for the network these are tied to, and one of the Software guys wants to try different configurations. I don't know all the particulars yet.

Thanks for all the great help! Have a great rest of the week!

Dan
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Author Closing Comment

by:kwajwreckdiver
ID: 33526905
Good stuff that even an entry-level type like me can follow- very clearly put!
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