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wmorrison
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Is RAM configuration "locked"?

HP Envy dv7-7250us
Microsoft Windows 8.1 (64-bit)

Attempting to max out my RAM to 16GB, but getting black screen with any changes.

 

So let's back up and take the new RAM out of the equation for a minute...

 

Original configuration is 2 sticks, 4GB each. When booting, screen goes from completely dark to "black, but backlit" (looks very dark gray but I can tell the backlight is on) within a second or so.

 

I press escape, and get the menu for information, diagnostics, etc.

 

I run a quick memory check. It passes, finds all 8GB, no problems. I shut down the laptop.

 

Any change from this hardware configuration, including simply swapping the two identical sticks into the opposite slots, results in:

 

Totally black screen when power button pressed. It powers up, but no backlight on the screen. Pressing escape does nothing. Waiting a minute or two does nothing.

 

Swapping the original sticks is the last thing I tried after the two new 8GB sticks failed to boot, either with both inserted, or only one, in either slot.

 

Basically it only boots with the original sticks in the original slot, even though they should be identical.

 

So my question is, is the machine somehow "locked" to prevent hardware changes, for security reasons? I see nothing related to this in the BIOS (UEFI) setup. Actually, not many options there at all.

 

Yes, I've checked if there's a newer bios version available, and found nothing.

 

Yes, I've checked that the new RAM is of the correct type, but that's not important until I can boot with the original RAM in a different configuration (only one stick or both sticks swapped from original slots.)

 

Is it possible the slots are "going bad" with age? I doubt it, as the "original configuration" has worked at least three times now. I haven't had an extended period of time to diagnose this yet. Just got the RAM and thought it would be easy. 🙂

 

I've also tried pulling the CMOS battery, but it makes no difference. Now that I think of it, maybe I need to pull the laptop battery too? Maybe it is a backup for the CMOS battery (and vice versa?)

 

 

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Is RAM configuration "locked"?

Hi @wmorrison 

 

No.

The memory config is not locked. The trick is to install only guaranteed compatible memory modules.

 

"Memory

Two customer-accessible/upgradable memory module slots

DDR3-1600-MHz dual channel support

Supports up to 16384-MB system

RAM Supports the following system RAM

configurations:

16384-MB (8192-MB×2; not supported on computer models equipped with a 32-bit operating system)

12288-MB (8192-MB×1+ 4096-MB×1;not supported on computer models equipped with a 32-bit operating system)

8192-MB (8192-MB×1 or 4096-MB×2;not supported on computer models equipped with a 32-bit operating system)

6144-MB (4096-MB×1 + 2048-MB×1;not supported on computer models equipped with a 32-bit operating system)

4096-MB (4096-MB×1 or 2048-MB×2)2048-MB (2048-MB×"

 

 

For guaranteed compatible memory see the following link

https://www.crucial.com/usa/en/compatible-upgrade-for/HP-Compaq/envy-dv7-7250us

 




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wmorrison
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Is RAM configuration "locked"?

As I said, I have taken the new memory out of the equation by only trying various configurations of the original two 4gb sticks that came with the laptop.

 

- Both sticks in original slots

- Both sticks but swapped to opposite slots

- Only one stick installed (I assume the "bottom" slot should be filled first but have tried both)

 

I am performing a hard reset between each configuration. Power disconnected, laptop battery removed, CMOS battery removed, press and hold power key for 30 seconds (I've read 10 or 15 but want to be sure.)

 

The only configuration that works is the original sticks in their original slots. Swapping them to the opposite slots does not work. I am very surprised by this.

 

When it is running, running the memory check finds all 8GB and no problems with any of it.

 

If I don't remove the CMOS battery, the hard reset doesn't work. If I do remove the CMOS battery and hard reset, I do get the message after reconnecting power that CMOS has been reset (checksums or something, didn't write it down) and continuing boots normally.

 

This is why I wondered if it is somehow "locked," as unlikely as that seems. But I really doubt that, and you have said it is not.

 

I am running out of ideas. This should just work unless there is some obscure procedure required by HP for this model that I can't find.

 

Again, NOT EVEN trying the new memory yet, checking specs won't help until I can boot this with only one of the original sticks, or both of them swapped.

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Is RAM configuration "locked"?

Memory modules have required voltages that they must operate at and primary and secondary timings. In order for upgrade candidate modules to work in your notebook they must meet those requirements. If they do not meet the BIOS's timing and voltage requirments, they will either not allow the notebook to boot up or they will not be recognized as being present. It is not a matter of the BIOS being locked.That was called whitelisting in the past and is simply not longer done.

HP and Memory manufacturers have deep pockets and quality assurance laboratories. The lab is where they test memory modules with the notebooks. That is why they can guarantee memory modules that they sell are compatible with specific notebooks.

 

I suggest that you stop playing with the BIOS as you are likely to "brick" your notebook and perhaps even make it useless. You cannot force a notebook's BIOS to recognize new memory without inducing unnecessary risk into what should be a simple upgrade.




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wmorrison
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Is RAM configuration "locked"?

Twice I've said this is the ORIGINAL memory, which works only with both sticks in the original slots, but not with one removed or both swapped to opposite slots. (The "new" memory is packed away at the moment until I can get this working with the original, known-good sticks.)

 

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Is RAM configuration "locked"?

Is the "New" memory a pair of modules that is guaranteed to be compatible with your HP model series notebook?

 

If the original memory works in the slots that they were delivered in, may I ask what the issue there is?

 

Saying this may upset you but, If you really want to upgrade the memory in your notebook on your own then perhaps you should move on to doing exactly that.

 

If you bought the wrong memory modules, perhaps you should be asking for an RMA from the seller. 

 

The suggestions I have made describe a successful upgrade that is done a manner that is proven and used by many thousands of owners .

 

 




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wmorrison
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Is RAM configuration "locked"?

Erico,

 

Let me try to explain this again.

 

First of all, I am very familiar with upgrading RAM, hard drives, changing BIOS/UEFI settings, having built several desktop PCs from individual components, and having upgraded RAM and hard drive in several laptops. Most recently I have built a Xubuntu-based MythTV DVR that records television from an antenna, starting itself up and shutting itself down on a schedule.

 

Also have "hacked" several consumer devices, reflashed their software, etc,, including most recently flashing a custom speedometer map to my car's instrument cluster, to match a custom speedometer face I had printed with a different needle scale.

 

So I know a thing or two about computers. 🙂 And I am a software developer by trade.

 

Back to the laptop...

 

I bought this HP Envy dv7-7250 in 2013. It came with a 1TB hard drive and 8GB ram, in two 4GB sticks.

 

Generally, laptops work "out of the box" so I've never even looked at the BIOS on this laptop until now, or tried upgrading anything.

 

Lately, RAM use has been  high, 85% or more. This is probably mostly from Firefox and Chrome, as I keep a lot of tabs open. So rather than buy a whole new laptop with more RAM, I wanted to max out the RAM in my current laptop.

 

I looked up the specs. It supports a max of 16GB in two 8GB sticks. And I did look at the specs of the RAM I bought, and they should be correct. But as I said, when installed, when I turn on the laptop, I only get a black screen.

 

At this point (PLEASE NOTE, VERY IMPORTANT) I have put the "new" RAM aside and am experimenting with the two original sticks.

 

Assumptions:

 

1. Both original sticks are obviously good, obviously compatible, because when I run a memory test, all 8GB is found with no problem

2. I should be able to put the stick from slot A into slot B and the stick from slot B into slot A and boot.

 

This does not work! I have duplicated this about 10 times now. Removing power, battery, CMOS battery, holding power 30 seconds to hard reset, swapping sticks, connect power.

 

It starts automatically when CMOS has been reset. But with the original two sticks swapped, I only get a black screen.

 

Power off, swap the sticks back, reconnect power, it boots, gives a message that CMOS has been reset, press enter, then it boots fine.

 

This should work. The laptop should even support booting off a single 4GB stick, but that doesn't work either. I have no idea why swapping two identical sticks should not work, unless the BIOS is reading the serial numbers from the sticks and locking to only the original configuration. This is the only thing that makes sense.

 

This should be simple. It's something I've done many times on many desktops and laptops. I am not a newbie. If HP has locked down the configuration, I guess I'll never buy or recommend another HP product again.

 

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wmorrison
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Is RAM configuration "locked"?

Success.

 

Short version: After upgrading BIOS to latest version, system boots with new 16GB RAM installed (2 8GB sticks.)

 

Longer version: Previous BIOS InyderH20 version F.22. Current version F.2E. HP site didn't show any drivers/updates for my system until I manually selected the OS. No idea why, OS has nothing to do with BIOS, but anyway it showed version F.2E available.

 

No idea why this worked, but hey, it did.

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