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trying to add 2nd gig of RAM- getting this message in BIOS

Last response: in Systems
June 20, 2006 2:29:56 AM

I have P4 with HT, 2.6 Ghz, 1.5 gigs RAM, RADEON X1300 AGP 512MB graphics card. I'm trying to up my RAM to 2 gigs. But when i add the extra stick (I have a 1 gig stick in far left slot and a 512 gig stick in middle slot - 3 slots total) my system hangs. All the sticks are DDR 3200 and I just got a 500 watt Antec power supply. I then remove the 512 gig stick from the far right slot, boot the PC up again and this message appears word-for-word in my BIOS:

" During the last boot-up, your system hung for improper frequency combination. Your system is now working in safe mode. To optimize the system performance and reliability make sure the frequency combination conforms to the specifications for your CPU, DIMM and other connected devices. "

I really need to know what that means. My knowledge is slightly above the normal user - like a grandfathers PC knowledge - but I dont understand what to do. The frequency is set default, 200, and it says 13x in the setting above that, equaling 2600 for my CPU processor speed. Nothing is over clocked. It is a custom build and i have had no problems in the last 2 1/2 years ive owned and upgraded it. Please let me know what to do so i can add my 2 gigs of RAM and feel a little bit better about life and other various things.

Oh and my mother board is a ASUS P4PE - X i believe. Old I know but I have no money to get a new mother board - I will be buying PCI-E in a few months. Anyways, its been real good to me.
June 20, 2006 3:41:40 AM

asus p4pe
This states support for memory up to 2700,or 333mhz, not 3200 or 400mhz
You chould check asus's website for a bios update if you're bold enough to flash it. I don't want to confuse you or set you down a path you're not ready for if you're still learning the basics. It's not tricky, but it has procedural steps and if done wrong can screw up a good board. I only think it's possible that an updated bios might enable support for your 3200 mem. Sometimes boards offered this option: 2 gigs ddr 2700 OR 1.5gigs ddr400. I saw this on many boards for althlonxp only 3 years ago. Anyhow, While you're in the bios at load make sure your memory is set to optimal timings and/or 166mhz. See if these settings are so, if not correct them. You may be able to underclock your mem and make 3200 work. If you're confused what you see, just tell us everything you see in the bios under memory..someone will help you further
June 20, 2006 3:49:23 AM

thanks for the quick reply! I'm speaking out of lack of knowledge here but all the sticks of RAM i have say on the front package that they are compatible with PC2700/PC2100/PC3200. Please let me know if I'm just understanding that wrong. And your right, I'm nervous to change anything in BIOS cause i understand none of it!! also, if you dont mind, tell me what you need to know in my BIOS exactly and I will write it down and tell all of you. I'm sorry for asking for something this time consuming - I'm just stumped and everyone here seems to know an awful lot! again thans for the quick reply!!!
June 20, 2006 3:56:57 AM

ah okay, ya your ram might be compatable with those timings..usually components don't complain when you make them do less work than their designed to do. Still, your mobo might be hard to convince.. lemme see if i can track down a manual for you
June 20, 2006 4:08:43 AM

are you the nicest person on this planet? geesh man - your a good guy! thanks alot for your help - i really appreciate it. i wont be able to respond again tonight - beddy bye time - but i'm diggin the help your dishin my way. take care bud! ill let you know tomorrow how the suggestions helped out!
June 20, 2006 4:09:16 AM

here, start doin some readin :D  note page 1-12.. first moveyour memory to slots 1 and 2 .. see if that works, we'll go from there.. also note if your processor supports 800mhz Front side bus. If you read up you'll see that they call support for 3200 overclocking's only active if you have a 800mhz cpu.. anyhow, switch your ram to slots 1 and 2.. then we'll see

hey you're welcome for the help. I don't mind doin it cause it's the only way i can wear a cape with strechy pants and not be laughed at 8) it's fun
June 20, 2006 4:12:06 AM

I know i said i wouldnt reply tonight but your damn quick! before i read up on that link - my RAM is already in slots 1 and 2 - if i'm correct in assuming those being far left and middle. 1 gig stick is in far left and 512 stick is in middle.
June 20, 2006 4:13:17 AM

the manual will have positions numbered.. your board probably does too, printed really small 1 dimm , 2 dimm , 3 dimm.. just don't touch your nose to it when you look, hold on, editing.. somehow i missed that you said you have a 1 gig and 2 x 512. If both 512s are double sided then this config won't work. you can only use two double sided memory modules at a time.. also 16 bit mem won't work. I'm assuming you have like modules. Try this for shits and giggles.. put a single 512 in slot 3.. try to power up. I'm guessing now this is your problem. The only way then to have 2 gigs would be to aquire another 1 gig module
June 21, 2006 2:40:41 AM

I have to try and borrow a gig from my buddy so I can try that method. how do I update my BIOS to a more recent version? Motherboard is ASUS P4PE-X. I am now crashing (rebooting) almost every game i try to play since installing new graphics card (Radeon X1300 512mb). Is there something turned on I need to turn off in Catalyst? its all set to default. Maybe its an issue with the RAM. 1.5 gig in there now. see top post to see all i have in the PC.

what catagory would changing memory and such be under in BIOS to make things correct? im refering to your post above about changing settings in BIOS to make 3200 RAM work. i get nervous in the BIOS about changing things. thanks.
June 21, 2006 4:30:58 AM

What video card did you have before? was it also ati? Regardless i would uninstall any driver you have for your video card. Make sure to uninstall the utilities also under the control panel/ add remove programs/ ati catalyst. You should go online before this and aquire the latest drivers for your card, by vender, and catalyst, save it to a cd or your desktop. If when you changed video cards, you just installed the card and installed new drivers, this may be the source of a possible conflict. Going back to ground zero and rebuilding may fix it. So in procedure.. download latest drivers..catalyst,..delete drivers, catalyst under the control panel etc/ etc.. RESTART your computer.. it will ask you for drivers, install the new ones.. then install catalyst.

Your ram timings and settings are in the manual link i gave you. If you haven't read through it yet, that's where you should start. But before you worry about changing anything in bios, see about that ram from your friend and refresh your video card drivers
June 21, 2006 3:15:27 PM

funny you wrote that because I just uninstalled catalyst then reinstalled then updated befopre reading this! but now its saying multimedia center not installed. then tells me to reinstall yet i cant! its saying it is on a disc and if it is, i dont have that disc! WTF!!!! i went to ATI site and drivers and downloads and all that crap. but no good. when i restart PC it starts to install MMC then tells me that i need to insert the CD. well the only cd that came with (vision tech) does not have MMC on it. anyways ill write in more detail later - right now i gotta go to work! thanks again! and please dont give up on me!!!
June 21, 2006 3:50:28 PM

MMC? I'm not sure what you mean. What version of windows are you using.. MCE or Media Center Edition? XP home or pro?

VisionTek recommends Windows XP Service Pack 2 or higher to be installed.
· The Catalyst Uninstaller is an optional download. We recommend using this utility to uninstall any previously installed Catalyst drivers prior to installation.
· Drivers available for download at are compatible with all VisionTek ATI based graphics cards.
· You can only use either the ATI Control Panel or Catalyst Control Center. Do not install both programs.
· If you want to use the ATI Control Panel, you can download the complete package here which includes Display driver and WDM driver. Note: You must use the Catalyst Control Center with the X1300, X1600, and X1800
June 21, 2006 7:13:55 PM

MMC is the ATI MultiMedia Center. I had a Radeon 9600 in there before. I am running XP Pro with service pack 2. the MMC toolbar im sure is not required (i dont think) yet every time i turn my PC on it gives me that dreaded "sound", you know what i mean - the sound like death is here. and an error pops up saying the multimedia center did not instal and i need to install again.

also as i side question : why all of a sudden (the last 4 times turning PC on) has my C Drive window popped open on my screen? it does this automatically. showing me all my folders. shit is going down on my PC i tell you. ran beautifully before this. now games are crashing almost every time- my world of warcraft patcher is saying there is a corrupt file and cant install - Dungeon and Dragons online is also saying there is a corrupt file in there somewhere. this never EVER happened before new card came about. gotta go - still at work.
June 22, 2006 1:56:18 AM

Sound Advice... Do you have a dvd/cd burner, or external hard drive. Save everything that's important to you immediately! I'm not kidding. Now don't worry that i said this.. it's good to back up anyways. I don't want a crash on my conscience if your comp is being flakey.

Okay, you had a 9600 with muliti media center. I am betting you've tried to uninstall it and something got left behind, or the program was corrupted. Try for sake of doing so, First start up your comp. Hit the START button and click on run. A window will pop up, type "msconfig" Another window will pop up. Click on the "StartUp" TAB. You'll see a list of everything that starts up when you turn your computer on. SEE if you can locate the multi media center, which should have a location corresoponding to something like.. c:/programs/ati/mmc. If you are sure you've found it, delete if off the list and close the window, restart your computer.

If you are successful and itdoesn't load go to the control panel/Add Remove Programs and delete this off the list. Then go into the c:/ drive/ Programs/ Ati/ and delete Multi Media Center folder completely. Restart
June 22, 2006 2:03:01 AM

next, i want you to do this for me.. hit control/alt/delete all at the same time. In the processes tab you'll see a long list.. at the bottom left will be a count of how many processes you have running.. what is that number? I'm about to bet you have some virus' spyware and addware. Do you have an anti virus and is it updated? If not get this AVG FREE anti virus or go do a check at Trend Micro virus scan Pick up a copy of SpyBot Search and Destroy.. update it and run it a/s/a/p.. also get AdAware Personal SE and do the same, update and run.

Your computer could be flakey because you have junk running amuck.. so lets try to clean your slate now :wink:
June 22, 2006 6:29:38 AM

the ati multimedia file just wont uninstall off my PC!! it executes the install shield then just dissappears. stops running. same goes for when i try to install it. it just stops.
i did all the other things you said. i also have spybot and adaware that i run EVERY day - im coocoo about my pc being "clean" from all that jazz. there were no items or errors in there. so it isnt that. i also have crashed numerous times and when i send error report it says error with random access memory yet i ran a diagnostic at bootup and it says my ram is good.... i am currently only running the 1 stick of 1gig ram in slot 1 (far left slot according to link you gave).
also there are 43 processes running at the moment. oh and for my world of warcraft patch it is saying that the patch.exe might be corrupt and to install again. i have completely uninstalled WoW and reinstalled it into a completely different HD (slave drive- brand new) and ran updater again and it is still saying its corrupted. nothing on forums about new patch being corrupt.
i gotta go to bed. dude i wish i could just speak with you over the phone! you seem to know alot. i will edit my e-mail in the morning then delete it as soon as you get the message (if you dont mind calling to help out - this pc is my life and i just recently spent 450$ upgrading it.) badly at that! so let me know if you would mind doing phone help. you could call collect. i live near boston, ma. later bro thanks for all the help youve given me!
June 22, 2006 3:20:55 PM

Yar, can't uninstall?! Well if you get if off your start list you should be in better shape. Maybe it won't uninstall because it's constantly in use usually. Did you delete it out of your programs folder anyways? Sorry to hear WOW is corrupt. I play EverQuest and it's happened to me also. The way I fixed my problem was to delete the offending files and re-update. Sometimes patches get screwed up. Your ram might diagnositc at boot up.. you mean counting and it says OK, but that's not a real test. There are memory benches that will tax the memory and try to create an error, which usually need to run at least an hour and much longer if you're cautious. Maybe your memory is funky.. that would certainly contribute to instablities and errors in your programs. Glad to hear your diligent about checking your comp. 43 sounds fairly normal a number. You could probably reduce that in MSCONFIG if you really wanted to trim the fat, but that's another topic. As for knowing a lot.. maybe i do..but most everything i know is easy to find with google, which is what i do when i have a problem myself. Info's all over the net. who'd have thunk it? 8O
a b B Homebuilt system
June 22, 2006 3:54:25 PM

The link above will allow you to find an un-installer for your video card drivers. You can then search for an older driver for your card. I had trouble similar to yours when using the latest drivers, hence they were for the "newest" cards and created conflicts. Look for the 5.3 or 5.5 drivers... download then and then try the un-install..... restart and install "new" old drivers...... see if that might help.

Also might add that I'd never run a 1gig stick with a 512 stick. Will hamper perfomance and more often than not, cause some kind of problem. 2, 1gig sticks, or 4, 512 sticks.

Good luck
June 26, 2006 12:44:30 PM

all is well now! my bud who builds pc's just installed xp pro again for a fresh start over, updated my bios, added the extra RAM (1.5 gig works great now), brand new sound card, installed my new X1300 graphics card drivers PROPERLY, and anything else that was giving me problems. all works awesome now! fast and smooth. games look better than ever! DDO Stormreach is able to be played with all settings CRANKED and i STILL run at around 25-28 FPS!! WoW runs at 53 FPS around less populated areas and EQII - i was able to turn up ALOT of the graphic setings so it also looks great with no lag!! i am PUMPED! thank you for all your help! you worked hard trying to fix my (a strangers) PC problems and i REALLY appreciate that. thank you very much jimytheassassin! later bro!

check my band out!! go to :

i am the drummer named hobbit.
June 26, 2006 4:41:33 PM

Awesome, Glad to hear you're running smooth. Sorry you had to reformat, but sometimes windows needs a good bull-dozering if spring cleaning isn't hacking it. I'll have to check out this band..the hobbit eh? Rock-on!