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Adding 1GB module stops network card finding networks and stalls Vista

Posted on 2011-03-11
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi there,

Motherboard: ASUS P5B-E plus
Memory (4 slots): 2 x Geil PC2-5300, 5CL, 240-pin modules 1GB each (DDR2-667)
Network Card: Netgear WG311v2 Wireless PCI adapter (note: installed with XP drivers, there are no Vista drivers available)

Problem:
My PC was working 100% fine but lacking power for graphic design work, memory was using hard drive resources. So I bought:
1Gb RAM module - Kingston Value RAM (PC2-5300, 5CL, 240-pin modules DDR2-667)
I installed this in the 3rd slot, 3Gb was recognised in boot and Vista. Since install my network card stopped finding wireless networks entirely. Not one, and I see over 10 normally. The card is fine in device manager, I disabled and re-enabled the device, no joy, I unistalled driver and reinstalled, no joy. In addition, every 5 mins or so my PC stallers/jitters for 1 second. You can hear it when playing music, it jumps and the mouse freezes for literally 1 second. SO... I took the chip out and put it in slot 4, same thing. Now I've removed the chip entirely and I'm back to 100% functionality - no freezing/stalling/jittering and my network card finds networks!

Questions:
Although the manual for the motherboard and internet resources indicate i do NOT need memory pairs, could this be the issue? Should I spend money and buy another of the same module to make 4 modules, not 3 or do you think the chip is faulty? I find it hard to believe the chip is faulty, it sounds more like incompatibilty rather than faulty, plus it's recognised in boot and Vista as valid. It cannot be a motherboard fault as I tried both slots and same issue. Anyone with experience in this field who can confidently advise?

Thanks experts

/ Tobzzz
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Question by:tobzzz
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 100 total points
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Try the new memory module as the only module. Take the other two out and set them aside. The machine will be slow of course, but does it start? and does the network card work?

This will help you determine if the new memory is bad, or if it is a matching issue.

... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:Don Thomson
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Asas MBoards do not like Autovolt settings - When you increase the number of the memory sticks - it will sometimes underpower them - causing all kinds of problems

In the bios - go in and see if you can specify the voltage for the memory manually
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by:tobzzz
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Thanks for your responses guy. I ran my PC with only the new Kingston Value RAM in and no problems, just a little slow as you'd expect. Then I ran it with all 3 back in but Kingston in slot 1 and Geil in 2 and 3, back to same problem. Finally I ran it with Kingston in slot 1 and only 1 Geil in slot 2 and no problems - so the summary is that the chips don't seem to be conflicting, more that the board doesn't seem to like having 3GB.

DTH: do you think I still need to look at voltages?
BOTH: do you think buying a 4th memory module will cure it or still have same issue and I'll be wasting my money?

Thanks again
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by:John Hurst
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So you have proven (reasonably more or less) that the new chip is good. So the 3Gb combination is problematic in that particulare motherboard.

That leaves you with checking the motherboard settings (BIOS) and then taking the gamble on 2 x 2Gb modules or some such combination. The problem with the latter is that there is no guarantee.
... Thinkpads_User
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by:Don Thomson
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I would still check the voltages - Is suspect that if it sees one set of chips in 1 and 2  then it automatically assumes they are paired - The 3rd chip without it's pair is causing it grief - If you still have the manual - it may tell you the valid memory configs
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by:Don Thomson
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The more I read about that Motherboard - the less I like it Check this site re RAm for the P5B
http://www.corsair.com/learn_n_explore?id=13266

It looks like not only does it want Pairs - it really doesn't like some types of memory
Most Memory manufacturers have some kind of configurator on line.

Even if you get the right type - you may have to play with the latency - And if you're not using a 64-bit version of Vista - don't try more than 3 gig
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by:tobzzz
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Oh dear, that really doesn't read well. I have Vista Ultimate but 32-bit, not 64. I read somewhere a while back that you can add more RAM but Vista won't really use more than 3GB. Stuck on 2GB is a bit of a blow - what would you do, take the gamble?
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Don Thomson earned 150 total points
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You basically have 2 choices - Upgrade to Windows 7 64 bit (I wouldn't go to Vista 64 bit as no one is writing drivers for it.

If you just need a bit of a Kick - go for the 800 Mhz Memory - That board supports it. The problem ius it only supports 4 x 1 gb chips so if you're going to a 64 bit OS you will want to replace the MB with something that can take at least 16 GB

Kind of between the old roclk and the hard place

Myself - I would stay with the Vista 32 bit - and get the 800 MHZ chips - 2x1gb and 2x512M
Make sure you adjust the latency in the bios to tune the memory -
Also make sure you have the latest bios

Good Luck
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by:tobzzz
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The only thing I could change/set relating to memory in the BIOS was DDR2-667 from 'Auto'. 2 x 512mb modules is a good idea, hadn't thought of that - just a shame I wasted my money on this 1gb module. LIFE!
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by:tobzzz
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Hi DTH,

Before I close this question and assign points, I was wondering why you recommended 800MHz chips? I have 2 x 1GB 667HMz chips, can I buy 2 x 512MB 667MHz chips or are you saying 800HMz? As you can see from my last post, I can set the MHz in the bios but as I already have 667's......

What should I do?

Thanks

/ Tobzzz
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by:Don Thomson
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The faster the speed on your Ram - the faster the overall speed on your PC - the 800mhz chips will be 20% faster than your 667 chips - If you're doing graphics - that will make a difference
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by:tobzzz
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OK, I understand - but can I put 2x512mb DDR2-800 modules in with my current 2x1gb DDR2-667? Thanks
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by:Don Thomson
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you can but they will only runn at a max speed of 667 (lowest common denominator

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Author Closing Comment

by:tobzzz
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Thanks guys, appreciate the advice
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