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Dell Precision m70 upgrade problems

Sirs:
     I have a Dell Precision M70 which had 512 mb DDR2 memory and I put 2-1GB modules into it. Now it will not boot, only turns on some lights and then goes off. What is the problem? Do I need to update BIOS? It had 533 mhz. memory but I put in 667 mhz which is what Crucial's site said should be used when I used their diagnostic tool on this computer. I also planed on switching hard drives from 40 GB to 160 GBs. Will this also cause me troubles and will I also have to notify Microsoft of the switch to legally use the Dell XP installation disk with the COA on the machine? One other important question is that this system came to me with native spanish on it, I could not change it to english without re-installing. It also had a Spanish keyboard on it and will have to change to english. Will that cause further problems with Microsoft or the computer once english is installed?
                                                                                                   Thanks for pointers!
                                                                                                   L. Daily
                                                                                                   greywolf01 at EE
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greywolf01
Asked:
greywolf01
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3 Solutions
 
PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
There is nothing in the BIOS update release notes that address memory, as the M70 supported 2GB as a max since its RTS date, so updating BIOS will likely not help.

Crucial is very good but not 100% accurate.  Most systems will support a step or two above or below the "posted" supported speed, but not all.  It is a function of both the BIOS and the chipset.  In some cases a BIOS update can help, but in other cases (as in this one), there is no BIOS update that addresses it.  Dell posts the memory speed for the M70 as 533MHz and your chipset in the M70 is the Intel 915PM, which supports speeds of 333, 400, and 533MHz memory modules:
http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=27717

I would recommend getting 533MHz memory to fix your problem.

You might try a BIOS update and/or clearing the NVRAM using the jumpers on the motherboard, but given the above information about your system, I would guess it will not work.
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
As far as your hard drive update ... as long as you are running XP SP1 or later (you should be at SP3 anyway), then a drive of that size shouldn't make any difference.  You will need to reinstall or clone your existing drive, but as long as you use the Dell XP CD that came with the computer, you won't need to re-activate with Microsoft, as it will happen automatically.
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garycaseCommented:
Laptop memory modules can be much more sensitive to speed variations than desktop modules ... so I'd definitely use PC2-5300 modules for this system.    Note that Crucial lists PC2-5300 for this system:  http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartspecs.aspx?mtbpoid=B2DDA350A5CA7304

... if you used their scanner, it apparently "got it wrong" this time.


As for the disk upgrade ...  as noted above, it won't be a problem as long as you're running SP1 or later.    If you are using an original XP installation disk (not likely), it will only recognize 137GB of your 160GB drive ... but even if that's the case, you can extend the disk AFTER you've installed the service packs (post back for instructions if this is needed).
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jamietonerCommented:
Have you tried the stick 1 at a time? DDR2 667 should be fine, I use to have a D810(uses same motherboard as m70) and used 2x1Gb sticks of 667 without issue. It's possible one of the sticks is doa. As noted by the other experts as long as you use a Dell xp cd to install the OS there shouldn't be a problem with activation.
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Jackie ManCommented:
Now it will not boot, only turns on some lights and then goes off.<- You need to record the details of the sequence of lights, for example, short or long flash, color of the light, how many tmrw it flashes, any beep sound, and post the info back. We can then check your feedback from the user manual to see what kinds of errors you have encountered.
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jeffiepooCommented:
I've upgraded memory exactly to specs in Dell's older desktops tens of times with many different computers. Sometimes (but rarely) you just have to go with a memory upgrade from another Dell machine. Most of the time, calling Dell and triple checking the timings, speeds, and manufacturers is a good move, if not just buying it from Dell themselves. This saves a lot of time and hassle, especially if you're dealing with corporate brand computers. This is because there is less motivation to have reliable hot swappable components at the expense of more expensive, more trustworthy/proprietary parts.

If you end up having to return the memory, I suggest talking to dell or a trusted tech expert to take a second look at the SPECIFIC memory you are planning to buy next.

You could probably post it here and we could letcha know, but still not as well as DELL could guarantee.

Good luck with your memory problems, they can often be very frustrating.

Hope this helps,

-Jeff
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greywolf01Author Commented:
Well Folks-
     This is strange. I was getting 9 short green blinks on the light that looks like a lock (I think it had an A showing in green light). Then the machine would shut down. I took out the 1GB module in the rear and tried again. The machine again blinked 9 times and then shut down. So I took out the front module and replaced it with the one in the rear. Tried again and the computer fired up normally. Wow! So I thought maybe the other module was defective. But then I tried to put the second module back in the rear. Tried again and it fired right up!!! Did I not have them seated properly??? I downloaded Belarc Advisor and checked the memory banks with the original HDD and it stated 2000+ KB, so I guess the system sees both memory modules now. I installed the new 160 GB HDD and am using an original Dell reinstall disk for Win. XP Pro SP 2 in English although this is not the original disk I got with the system. Will I have a problem with this and Microsoft? Do you think the 667 mhz. will be alright? To reinstall this do I need to clear the CMOS with a jumper? If so-where is the jumper on this M70? Thanks for all comments!
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Bit late to get here and say the flashing lights mean "try reseating the memory" :)
What does your CoA sticker state is the installed Operating System?  If it says XP Pro then you'll have no problem using an English OEM CD from them.  Microsoft will not see a problem either as the Dell CD will automatically activate once it detects the Dell hardware.
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greywolf01Author Commented:
Do I need to clear the CMOS (hope I am calling this the right thing) with a jumper or go into setup and set it to default or make any other adjustments in setup to reinstall this properly? If so, where is the jumper and what other adjustments need to be made? This is also an older laptop which may need a new battery-where would this be within the laptop? Have I covered everything? Thanks!
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Jackie ManCommented:
How old is your laptop? more than 6 years?

There is normally no need to change the CMOS battery unless you got a symptom that what you saved on BIOS will not get saved upon you remove the system battery.

You can just set it to default and change the boot sequence to CDROM /DVD ROM first for new setup of OS an dyou should be fine.
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jeffiepooCommented:
i agree with jackieman, you shouldn't have to reset the CMOS if you didn't have to before. If you should do anything looking back on this problem, you should:

1) Blow out the memory slots thoroughly with compressed air on the motherboard.
2) Clean the contacts on the memory modules carefully with an ESD cloth and isopropyl alchohol.
3) Seat the memory carefully and snugly. Make sure it's completely snapped in!

Hope this helps,

-Jeff
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greywolf01Author Commented:
Great info from everyone-I awarded points based on what cured the problems-Thanks a lot!
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