Help! My computer is having problems with new RAM

I'm a novice computer building and I'm trying to update my old Dell Dimension 4600 (circa 2003). The original system had the following:

2.66 GHz Pent 4
512 MB RAM
40GB HDD

I had added the following during the course of its life span:

eGeForce 6600 AGP, 256 MB
300GB Hard Disk

To help improve its sluggish speed, I recently upgraded the ram from 512MB (2 sticks of 256MB DDR, PC2700) to 2GBS (2 sticks of 1GB DDR, PC2700). After installing the RAM, I've been encountering numerous problems. These problems include the BSOD, numerous crashing, tons of Win32 errors, and just about all programs closing to due to fatal errors.

I've run memtest on both sticks of RAM together as well as each stick independently for about 2 hours each. All the scans revealed indicated the memory was fine.

I attempted to reinstall windows xp, but it locked up about 3/4 of the way through (after it got to "installing devices"). I eventually replaced the old original RAM and was able to finish the windows install, but I'm hesitant to add the new RAM back.

Does anyone have any insights ito what may be causing all these problems? One idea I got from perusing these boards is a lack of power? The power supply in the tower has an output of 250W. Would this new RAM (4x the original) be too much for the supply?

Thank you so much for your help!
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  1. Quote:
    I'm a novice computer building and I'm trying to update my old Dell Dimension 4600 (circa 2003). The original system had the following:

    2.66 GHz Pent 4
    512 MB RAM
    40GB HDD

    I had added the following during the course of its life span:

    eGeForce 6600 AGP, 256 MB
    300GB Hard Disk

    To help improve its sluggish speed, I recently upgraded the ram from 512MB (2 sticks of 256MB DDR, PC2700) to 2GBS (2 sticks of 1GB DDR, PC2700). After installing the RAM, I've been encountering numerous problems. These problems include the BSOD, numerous crashing, tons of Win32 errors, and just about all programs closing to due to fatal errors.

    I've run memtest on both sticks of RAM together as well as each stick independently for about 2 hours each. All the scans revealed indicated the memory was fine.

    I attempted to reinstall windows xp, but it locked up about 3/4 of the way through (after it got to "installing devices"). I eventually replaced the old original RAM and was able to finish the windows install, but I'm hesitant to add the new RAM back.

    Does anyone have any insights ito what may be causing all these problems? One idea I got from perusing these boards is a lack of power? The power supply in the tower has an output of 250W. Would this new RAM (4x the original) be too much for the supply?

    Thank you so much for your help!
    Yes it probably is. I know with the 128MB version of your 6600GT, they quote a minimum of 350watts. Now you've added more RAM, and a bigger HD, which is probably pushing the original PSU beyond it's intended use. I would suggest a new PSU, but you have to be careful as DELL sometimes uses proprietary parts, and not just any PSU may work.I would suggest at least a 400w PSU, if you can get one to work with your setup. GL :)
  2. So crashing and error messages is consistent with an underpowered system?

    I just checked the power supply requirments on my video card and it says a minimum of 300W. I've been using it and the new hard drive for months now! Yikes...
  3. Quote:
    So crashing and error messages is consistent with an underpowered system?

    I just checked the power supply requirments on my video card and it says a minimum of 300W. I've been using it and the new hard drive for months now! Yikes...
    Yes crashing can be a sign of underpowered PSU, or failing PSU.
  4. Thank you so very much for your help. In regards to your caution about what PSU to purchase, I've been able to find some dell PSU's for sale (from other retailers). Would I be better of purchasing a dell PSU or should I investigate alternative brands?

    Thank you so much for all your help
  5. http://www.pcpowercooling.com/products/power_supplies/selector/dell.htm
    http://www.pcpowercooling.com/products/viewproduct.php?show=S41D2

    Quote:
    ULTRA-QUIET DELL PSU: SILENCER® 410 DELL-2
    Designed specifically for the Dell computers listed in the sidebar, the Silencer 410W Dell upgrade power supply provides 30%-100% more power than factory Dell units! For Dell owners planning to add the latest video cards, optical drives, or other high-performance components to their systems, our reliable and ultra-quiet Silencer 410W Dell-2 is the perfect solution.

    * 410W @ 50C (450W peak)
    * Reduces noise by up to 90%
    * .99 power factor correction
    * +12V @ 23A
    * SATA drive connectors
    * Automatic fan speed control
    * 3-year warranty and support
  6. I put in an order for a new PSU. Thank you all so much!
  7. Quote:
    http://www.pcpowercooling.com/products/power_supplies/selector/dell.htm
    http://www.pcpowercooling.com/products/viewproduct.php?show=S41D2

    ULTRA-QUIET DELL PSU: SILENCER® 410 DELL-2
    Designed specifically for the Dell computers listed in the sidebar, the Silencer 410W Dell upgrade power supply provides 30%-100% more power than factory Dell units! For Dell owners planning to add the latest video cards, optical drives, or other high-performance components to their systems, our reliable and ultra-quiet Silencer 410W Dell-2 is the perfect solution.

    * 410W @ 50C (450W peak)
    * Reduces noise by up to 90%
    * .99 power factor correction
    * +12V @ 23A
    * SATA drive connectors
    * Automatic fan speed control
    * 3-year warranty and support
    Good find Datman.


    @Mindzeye82. There you go, great PSU manufacturer, and built to fit DELL. Little expensive, but what can you do. Nice 12v....23A. :wink:
  8. What brand of memory did you get to replace the other stuff with?

    A friend of mine had a 2.4GHz Dell & upgraded his memory with a stick of Crucial 512MB single sided memory, didn't work.
    Dell sent another stick of Crucial that was double sided, it worked with no problems.
    They let him keep the single sided stick, so I tested it for him in my computer, it worked fine for me.
    So he decided to use it in a cheap build for his son.
  9. My replacement memory is Crucial.

    The official specs are

    DDR PC2700 • CL=2.5 • UNBUFFERED • NON-ECC • DDR333
    2 sticks of 1 GB each.

    The RAM appeared to work fine when Memtested. I recently started to run the PC with just one stick (as 1GB is faster than than the 512). There have been no problems as of yet. It's when the sticks are combined that I start to crash and recieve errors.
  10. In cas the PSU upgrade dosn't work, in the past i've had memory problems fixed with a BIOS upgrade. :D
    Can't hurt!!
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