I'm trying to add more memory to my Inspiron 6000 laptop. It has two bays, and I currently have a 512 MB stick in each for a total of 1 GB. I just bought two new 1 GB sticks of the correct type and speed (DDR2 200-pin 533 MHz), to up my total to 2 GB. When I install the two new sticks, however, my computer freezes up while trying to boot into Windows Vista, on the loading screen with the scrolling bar. I know the RAM is good because if I install just one of either of the new 1 GB sticks and leave one of my memory bays open Windows loads up fine. I can also boot into safe mode with both new sticks installed, and the entire 2 GB is recognized by Windows. I have done a memory test with both new sticks installed and they passed. My BIOS also always Posts fine and identifies the 2 GB.
even though they both seem to be ok seperately, they may not play nice together.
try running memtest with both installed.. see what happens. let it run for a couple full passes minimum. if you get errors, try just one at a time. if they both test ok seperately, they just dont like each other. yea, kinda crappy reason, but I have seen it more times than I can remember.
edit: I re-read and see you did a mem test.. which one?? I recommend Memtest86 for ram testing.
also, try getting 2 different ones (same spec, different brand), it might work that way.
Memory problems are not hard to diagnose, but they can be time consuming.
Just because BIOS recognizes it fully, dont mean it works fully. Bios memory testing is very basic.. mostly to prove that there is some memory there, not really to test if its good or not. there could be 1 single memory location thats fubar, and that location may only be accessed in certain configurations.
I had the same problem as you. Whenever you install new Ram its a good idea to reset your cmos. When I first had my system up and running my Ram went bad, I rma'ed it and put the exact same Ram in and my computer went ape on me. After resetting cmos everything was fine.
Websites that test a lot of different Ram always have to reset cmos when putting different Ram in there mobo's, its comon practice.
First, thanks to everyone for the help so far. After trying everything (resetting CMOS, Memtest) I went ahead and returned the new RAM I had purchased and got two brand new sticks. Still no-go. It just seems that Windows won't boot up with any amount of RAM other than what I originally had, which is 1 GB.
Just for clarification, the two new 1 GB sticks I bought are exactly the same. Same brand, same specs, and I'm positive they're compatible with my laptop, I checked at Crucial.com.
One more note, as I mentione before Windows Vista WILL start up in Safe Mode, but not Safe Mode with Networking. I'm not sure what that implies, but I thought I'd throw that in.