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03-12-2009 06:10 PM
I ordered RAM for a Compaq Presario SR1500NX according to the specifications on the HP website, which said that it should have 333 MHz PC2700 RAM, 184 pins. The computer came with 256 MB (showing up as 192, I guess because 64 MB are allocated as video memory) and I ordered another 256 MB of the exact kind specified on that page. The RAM arrived today and I tried installing it in both slots, where it fits perfectly, but when I turn on the computer, the BIOS doesn't recognize it. Upon pulling out the original RAM stick that came installed with the computer, I found that it was actually PC3200 RAM. There was nothing about this mentioned in the specs document. That seemed odd to me, I mean how could the specifications document for such an old type of computer have had a major uncorrected error all this time? I then did a little research into it via Google, where I found something to tentatively suggest that the two different kinds can coexist. But I haven't gotten them to do so. Is that information actually correct, and if so, what steps do I need to take to get the BIOS to recognize both sticks of memory?
03-12-2009 09:18 PM - edited 03-12-2009 09:21 PM
Dualboot, here is a link to "Crucial" memory's website:
If you look at the question, "What memory goes into my computer, and will a faster speed be backward compatible"? It says that your motherboard will take either PC2700 or PC3200 memory sticks. Now, will they work together? I can't answer that question with certainty. Sometimes motherboards are picky on what combinations of memory they will accept. It would be good to read the entire page to see what else it has to say.
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03-12-2009 10:08 PM
Thanks geekster. I read that page. And since posting this thread, I have researched the problem further; I have also dug around in the BIOS with only the 3200 installed. For some reason the BIOS indicates that it is not even running at maximum speed, but rather, as PC2700! I am thinking that I need to look into CAS latency settings, but this BIOS is pretty minimal and doesn't have that option.
I want to either eliminate or confirm the possibility that the new module is a defective stick of RAM. It would be incredibly frustrating to put hours into exploring an incompatibility issue when the real problem was bad hardware. Both modules appear in the scan from the program CPU-Z (cpuid.com, you're likely familiar with it), and they display correct information... but I can't ignore the fact that the BIOS does not want to run the 3200 as 3200 even when the other stick is not there, so it makes me wonder why the apparent incompatibility exists at all. I am going to do a memtest scan as well tomorrow and see if the new module checks out with that.
03-13-2009 12:23 AM
Try one stick of the new memory and check for proper detection. Also try the RAM in the other slot(s). If okay, then add the old RAM. You may need to move both sticks around for proper detection. The newer RAM should down-clock to match the speed of the old RAM. Course there is a chance that both sticks cannot run together due to minor timing difference.
Still no success? Clear CMOS by removing the nickel-sized battery on the motherboard for one day. Retest.
03-14-2009 08:15 PM
I tried the new memory by itself and the PC did not boot, does not complete a successful POST, but instead emits long beeps repeatedly. The boot program Memtest fails to detect the new stick of RAM at all. Clearing the CMOS had no effect on RAM detection. Then I took out the battery and replaced it... again, nothing.
CPU-Z detects the new RAM (granted that the original one is there too and I can even boot into Windows to run this program), but nothing else does. Although a software developer, I'm not much of a hardware person, and I don't know whether that means that the stick is bad or if the mobo just won't detect it. Since it runs the PC3200 at 166 MHz rather than 200, and won't detect the PC2700 at all, it makes me wonder if the whole board is set to underclock everything, and the PC2700 is clocked at a level that the system cannot use.
I am going to throw in the towel on this and get an identical stick of the RAM that does work, the original RAM, down to brand name. Hopefully that will work out. Thanks for the help, though.
03-14-2009 10:01 PM
OK...you can boot with the old RAM but not with the new RAM, correct? Faster RAM is suppose to be backward compatible. My guess is that there is a timing issue with the new RAM and your old board. This is very common problem with junk no-name RAM. Contact Crucial and request a JEDEC PC3200 512MB RAM module. 768MB is just right for that PC.
It's running at 166MHz because that's the speed of your CPU and MB. You cannot adjust the memory divider with an HP board.
I'll bet you a cup of coffee that you have the el-cheapo no-name brand memory. Crucial RAM comes with $ back guarantee.
03-17-2009 01:35 AM
Supports unbuffered PC2700/2100 non-ECC DDR SDRAM memory
Check that it's unbuffered and non-ECC. Buy two that match. Return the mismatch you received. Very fast RAM there