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Updated page
11/22/2000


Author:
Juan HerrerÝas Rey
 

Essentials of the update of computers


What is... the memory RAM?

What is... the motherboard?

What is... the BIOS?
 

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To update the memory RAM


Great Prices on RAM!
His publicity in CsH

 

Formerly, it was turning out to be almost unthinkable to increase the quantity of memory RAM as it was not in 2 ˇ 4 gentle ones, and that at the cost of leaving the portfolio to him in the attempt, since the memory was costing more than 5.000 pts gentle. Nevertheless, with the current prices, of 250 pts / Mb or less, anyone can think of adding 32 ˇ 64 MB to his computer easily.

First of all, bear in mind that to update the memory of a very ancient computer as 8086, 286 ˇ many 386 SX turns out to be almost impossible; in these computers the memory or it is not extendable (for being welded in badge or having no grooves to extend it) or it is not made for years the one that would be necessary.

Certainly: almost all the computers of mark use special memoirs, independently if there are 386, 486... In these cases, go to the manufacturer (who will ask him muchÝÝÝsimo for money) or buy compatible memoirs of some specialist as Crucially, Kingston or Mushkin. This misfortune is fulfilled for most of the computers of mark, except modern guy Pentium or Superiors.

 

As for that yes it will be able to update for his account, he will realize soon that there exists a series of norms to be still slightly extensive, that, to tell truth not always, is fulfilled. The steps that it will have to continue are:

1. - To Identify the type of memory that uses his computer. The most appropriate information source in this respect is the manual of the motherboard, although in general:

MICROPROCESSOR

TYPICAL MEMORY

NOTES

386

DRAM or FPM in modules SIMM of 30 contacts, of approximately 100 or 80 ns

Memory difficult to find, slightly interesting update

486 slow ones

FPM in modules SIMM of 30 contacts, of 80 ˇ 70 ns

Typical of DX-33 or low speeds

486 rapids
Slow Pentium

FPM in modules SIMM of 72 contacts, of 70 ˇ 60 ns, sometimes along with modules of 30 contacts

Typical of DX2-66 or Superiors and Pentium 60 ˇ 66 MHz

Pentium

FPM or EDO in modules SIMM of 72 contacts, of 70 ˇ 60 ns

 

Pentium MMX
AMD K6

EDO in modules SIMM of 72 contacts, of 60 ˇ 50 ns

 

Celeron
Pentium II up to 350 MHz

66 MHz SDRAM in modules DIMM of 168 contacts, of less than 20 ns

They usually admit also PC100 or PC133; also in some K6-2

Pentium II 350 MHz or more
Pentium III
AMD K6-2
AMD K6-III
AMD K7 Athlon

100 MHz SDRAM (PC100) in modules DIMM of 168 contacts, of less than 10 ns

Still much used; they usually admit also PC133

Pentium III Coppermine
(of 533 MHz or more)
AMD K7 Athlon
AMD Duron

133 MHz SDRAM (PC133) in modules DIMM of 168 contacts, of less than 8 ns

The memory most used at present

Some basic badges admit more than one type of memory, but in general to mix two types or speeds different from memory is a guarantee of incompatibilities and problems; even two equal modules of different mark (and even of different remittance!!) they do not have why to be compatible, especially when it is a question of marks of not too many quality...

... although it is not scared either, often to mix speeds or different marks, and even to mix the types FPM and EDO, does not give problems, especially in the modern basic badges; but just in case always look for memoirs as similar as possible.

 

2. - As soon as the manual of the motherboard was read, do not rely and verify what type of memory is in fact in his computer. For it, and following the councils of Essentials of the update of computers, disconnect it, open it, unburden of static electricity and observe the badge.

To identify a type of socket of memory or other, go to this paragraph in: What is... the memory RAM? Anyway, the sockets SIMM are usually targets and of approximately 10,5 cm (those of 30 shorter contacts, approximately 8,5 cm) and the black and very long DIMM (approximately 13 cm).

Chip of memory SDRAM of 10 ns

As for the modules in themselves, one usually indicates the speed on the memory chips, by means of a number or two at the end of the serigrafiado that indicates the nanosecond (ns), like "-7" or "-07" (curiously, rarely "-70") for 70 ns, or "-6" for 60 ns. For example, the chip of the image of the right belongs to a module of SDRAM of 10 ns.

Chips of cache memory of 15 ns

This is also applicable to the cache memory chips (that after everything is only a rapid memory with a certain purpose); for example, to the left two are chips of cache memory of 15 ns. And, finally, some memory chips (especially of the type SDRAM) have written not the speed of refreshment (60 ns, 50 ns...) but the maximum speed in MHz that can reach without problems (100 MHz or 133 MHz are the most common values nowadays).

As for differentiating memory EDO of FPM, principally observe the messages of the BIOS on having started, especially during the memory test, or between inside the same one and observe if it finds messages of the type "EDO DRAM in banks 0,1" or "not EDO DRAM present".

 

3. - Now when he knows what type of memory his computer admits, choose the configuration of the memory to be added. This means that:

  • If one treats as 386 or 486 with SIMMs of 30 contacts, almost sure that the modules will have to go of 4 in 4 equal, therefore if it has 4 MB in the shape of 4 1 MB modules and has 8 sockets, it will be able only to obtain 5 MB (to add 4 modules of 256 Kb), 8 MB (to add 4 1 MB modules) or 20 MB (to add 4 4 MB modules). For any other combination it will have to throw his old modules.
  • If one treats as a Pentium with SIMMs of 72 contacts, almost sure that the modules will have to go of 2 in 2 equal, therefore if it has 8 MB in the shape of 2 4 MB modules and has 4 sockets, it will be able only to obtain 16 MB (to add 2 4 MB modules), 24 MB (to add 2 8 MB modules) or 40 MB (to add 2 16 MB modules). For any other combination it will have to throw his old modules.
  • If it is a question of 486 or Pentium with SIMMs of 72 contacts, or of DIMMs of 168 contacts (Pentium II, III...), the modules can go of 1 in 1, what will give him more possibilities.

This of placing the modules in certain groups calls itself to complete the memory banks. In some badges there is more freedom (in one that I had of 486, for example, it was allowing to place them of any size and in any order), but this is so rare as to have no problems mixing different types or speeds. Read the manual of the badge attentively for the admissible combinations, not always all the theorists are usable.

Undoubtedly, always it is better to pass than to remain short; if you have a Pentium with 8 MB, in 2 modules of 4 MB, which one drags in Windows in a bad way for lack of memory, do not put another 2 4 MB modules to him to come to a few scarce 16 MB, put 2 of 8 to come to 24 MB (or I even came up to 40 MB; it is possible that it is not so cheap if the memory is slightly ancient, but the yield increase almost always deserves it).

 

4. - Buy the new memory. Remember: the same type (FPM, EDO, SDRAM), the same connector (SIMM of 30 contacts, SIMM of 72, DIMM of 168), preferably the same speed or more rapid (80, 70, 60, 50, 20... ns) and even if there can the same mark as the ancient one. As for marks, they are better than others, like the Micron, Kingston, HP, Samsung... if him the mark sounds, it is possible that it is better that other one. Nevertheless, I have seen mark memoirs failing in badges where generic memoirs "Made in Taiwan" was working to the perfection; for this there does not exist any more fixed rule than the Law of Murphy.

 

5. - Proceed to install the memory. For it, disconnect, unburden, open the box, and separate, disconnect or desinstale quite what the access to the sockets bothers him. Look at the serigrafiado and/or the manual to find what is the end of the pin number 1 (indicated by a child 1 or for a point or arrow) and which the end (that of the pin 30, 72 or 168).

 

6. - The process of introducing the module depends on his type:

  • SIMM of 30 contacts: they enter vertical position, forming 90th with the motherboard, and are inserted by pure pressure. It turns out to be fundamental to be sure that we are not introducing it of the reverse, for which the sockets are usually lightly asymmetric, with a few protrusions not to be wrong, in addition to 1 has the position of the pin pronounced.
  • SIMM of 72 contacts: some are inserted in sloping position 45th with regard to the badge, and seguidamente they straighten up up to forming 90th with the badge, after which they remain caught by a few eyes in the ends. It turns out to be also important not to mistake the orientation.
  • DIMM of 168 contacts: they are inserted in a vertical way, like the SIMM of 30 contacts. They have two notches not to mistake his orientation, as it is observed in the following photo (the module is not introduced completely, eye):
  • Memory module in format DIMM to way to introduce in the socket

 

7. - Once Installed physically, verify the functioning of the memory. First, make sure that the BIOS recognizes it, both in the test of starter and in the menus of the same one; to enter the BIOS, perhaps be done touching the key "Supr" ("Of"). One does not worry if the inventory of memory of one or both tests indicates anything less, how 23.936 Kb instead of 24.576 Kb (24 MB, 24 "gentle ones"), this does not mean that the memory is defective by no means. Nevertheless, in both cases it must be close to the real number: 16 MB nothing when he has installed 32!!

If this is well, try to start and use some programs, in addition to his operating system and interface graph favorites. To these effects, Windows is much more exquisite than the old man, the adorable and tolerant one TWO, so it does the tests on him. If doing the habitual work nothing trumps any more normal thing: congratulations!! It has already updated the memory successfully.

 

Problems and solutions

To install new memory in a computer can become an important headaches source, not for the complication of the operation, which is the simplest, but for multitude of small problems and incompatibilities that sometimes do not even have an identifiable motive.

I do not have free grooves!!

Since it will have to throw or sell second-hand part of the memory that it has at present; at the prices to which the memory has put itself, it should not be such a serious disorder.

If it is going to replace all the memory, be useful to optimize it a little; that is to say, that if at present the memory is FPM of 70 ns installs the piece of news of 60 ns, or if it is EDO of 60 ns I installed of 50 ns. Of course, whenever his badge does not indicate the need to use memory of a specific speed (generally, and while we do not mix different speeds, to put more rapid memory is not a problem; to make her slower yes).

I do not find appropriate memory!!

Yes, sometimes it costs enough. The SIMM of 30 contacts, especially of low speeds (that is to say, of high times of waiting, of 100 or 80 ns), are especially difficult to find and in almost no case they will be new. Also, to find modules FPM or slow EDO can take a certain time, although in this case it would not be necessary to lose hope.

A good solution (and economic) to find ancient memory is to buy it second-hand across specializing web sites of Internet, as www.mercadolibre.com or www.ibazar.es. Although taking the logical precautions, skylight...

As for the mark memory, sometimes they will say to him in the manufacturer that it is not already made or a distributor of compatible memoirs will not be able to find. Try to look in Internet (Crucial, Mushkin or Kingston, for example); and to help him, the last phone of Kingston that I have is 900-984-488.

Anyway, if it despairs and decides to buy memory of different speed or type, replace it with the already installed one. If it mixes different types or speeds he is staking it; I give him 75 % of probabilities of failing, although if his motherboard is advanced and tolerant with these topics: who knows?

The computer does not start (or he whistles)!!, or
Salt mistakes on having executed programs!!

It is possible that it has just discovered what is a memory incompatibility (or that a module is defective, but this is much more improbable). I recommend to him that:

  • Verify if he has installed physically well the memory.
  • Verify if it is of the type and speed adapted.
  • Verify, manual of the badge in hand, if it is in the suitable socket and if it is a possible modules combination.
  • Exchange the modules between themselves; prove only with some, then with others, then all.
  • Try with other memoirs.
  • Really has he verified everything so far? Since do it again!!
  • Leave it. Take it to a specializing shop.

He suspects that a module is defective...

Since the first step to know it is that everything is well when this module is not, and badly with him put. Look also if it trumps the test of memory of the BIOS; also it can use the parameter "/ TESTMEM:ON" together with the HIMEM.SYS in his file CONFIG.SYS (if he does not know about what demons I speak, I checked his knowledge of TWO).

And for the handymen, a marvelous method: the possible biggest thing believes a disk drive RAM (with RAMDRIVE.SYS), and do a surface cross-check of the above mentioned unit with the SCANDISK, preferably from TWO, so that the unit RAM is the possible biggest thing. It will verify it as if it was a defective hard disk (only that instead of half an hour will take 1 ˇ 2 seconds).

 


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