laptop shuts down when using 512mb RAM, but not with 512mb

I have a Compaq Presario V2135US that is acting bizarre...

When I boot to Windows XP or even the XP disc, my laptop will shortly thereafter shut off (within 30s or so)

I boot using Ultimate Boot CD and ram MEMTEST and several other memory and hard disk diagnostic tools, but found no problems.

I have 2 sticks of 133mhz 256MB RAM. If I remove EITHER of them and reboot, the system will work flawlessly and will not shut off. I have tried both sticks of RAM separately in each slot, and either way the laptop will work as long as I only use one stick of RAM... so I'm pretty sure it's not related to the slots or the RAM itself.

Another thing I find interesting is with this problem... the laptop will actually turn off, rather than reboot... which is what happens sometimes when windows experiences a critical error.

If I try to boot to a Windows XP install disc I experience the same problem... around the time that the dialog box shows up asking me if I want to Repair or Install.

Thanks, any help is appreciated.
9 answers Last reply
More about laptop shuts 512mb 512mb
  1. Could be a problem with your Battery, try using direct power from an out let.
  2. I've tried this but same result.

    Why would the system shut down with 512 megs of ram and not 256?
  3. Quote:
    I've tried this but same result.

    Why would the system shut down with 512 megs of ram and not 256?


    I could be wrong, but this sounds like a heat issue. Its possible that with only one stick of ram, it doesn't heat bad enough to cause an automatic shutdown, but the second stick adds just enough heat to cause the computer to shut down in an effort to save itself.

    If you can, try using some compressed air to blow the dust, etc out of the case. This should help lower the overall heat. Seeing that your ram is 133 mhz, that's pretty old stuff and so your laptop has had a lot of time to collect dust in it. If you can open the case, so much the better when it comes to cleaning out the dust.
  4. Thanks - good advice. Although, I've tried cleaning it and whatnot and had the same idea... but the system only shuts itself off after booting into an OS or the XP cd... if I load UBCD and do MemTest (with both sticks of RAM in), that is a full RAM test and basically would cause it to heat up, right? I also did a CPU burn-in test so I don't think it's heat.

    Could this be a mainboard issue?
  5. Possibly not compatible RAM modules. Remember how picky RAM is back a few years ago when pairing different companies.

    Odd things can happen...
  6. Memtest doesn't put a heavy load on the Graphics card or anything else except the ram modules, so your computer may not heat as bad during this test.

    It could be a bad motherboard, can't say for sure about that. You could also try downloading Speedfan to check temps and see if the cpu or other components are overheating. If heat is not the problem, then yes, the motherboard would be my next suspect.
  7. Memtest86 MUST be run from a floppy disc. If you boot to ANY OS the machine reserves a substantial part of the memory for operating systems, and MEMTEST can't check that portion of RAM because it is in use.

    I repeat: you require the boot-floppy version of memtest. You may also require a portable floppy drive to boot from...
  8. Quote:
    Memtest86 MUST be run from a floppy disc. ...

    While that may be true for this "memtest86" program you speak of, "memtest86+" is available as a bootable CD image, and on the Ultimate Boot CD -- no floppy needed.
  9. Quote:
    I have a Compaq Presario V2135US that is acting bizarre...

    When I boot to Windows XP or even the XP disc, my laptop will shortly thereafter shut off (within 30s or so)

    I boot using Ultimate Boot CD and ram MEMTEST and several other memory and hard disk diagnostic tools, but found no problems.

    I have 2 sticks of 133mhz 256MB RAM. If I remove EITHER of them and reboot, the system will work flawlessly and will not shut off. I have tried both sticks of RAM separately in each slot, and either way the laptop will work as long as I only use one stick of RAM... so I'm pretty sure it's not related to the slots or the RAM itself.


    I think you're trying (unsuccesfully) to say that the laptop will work with one 256 stick or ONE 512 Mb stick, but not two sticks TOTALLING 512, is that right? This is very common with older systems, the M/B simply can't address certain combinations of one-sided or two-sided dimms. My P3 is just the same, it works with a single 512, or a particular 256 and 128, but not two of those 256s. Two other, different 256s work fine.This is an issue which has been oft-discussed.
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