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Dell Optiplex GX60 - upgraded ram won't boot now

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November 8, 2008 8:21:58 PM

Greetings,
I am attempting to upgrade a Dell Optiplex GX60 from 128mb to 2 GB (2 x 1 GB). The Optiplex takes PC2700 but a literature review states it will handle up to 2 GB of PC3200, which is what I purchased. I properly installed the memory and attempted to boot with no success. I removed one stick, same problem. Put the 128 mb stick back in and it booted with no issue.

I figured the memory was DOA however I put it into another machine I have and that machine booted perfectly so the RAM isn't dead.

I'm not really sure what to do now. Help please.

-Dave
November 8, 2008 9:08:45 PM

The motherboard probably cant read such a high module size. Try with a 512 or 256mb module if you can.
Also!
Set the ram timings to auto, or very loose, with the 128 and the voltage at 2.5v or whatever the new ram needs, install a 1gb and see if it boots
or
reset the bios by removing the cmos battery. Unplug system first. After a minute or so, put the battery back and see if the new ram works.
a b } Memory
November 8, 2008 9:39:53 PM

Your Dell will take 1 gig sticks. It has 2 slots and supports up to 2 gig of installed memory. However...the standard RAM everywhere I search is PC2100. It simply may not work with the PC3200, regardless of what the literature said.
As suggested, you may trying clearing the CMOS to see if it will reset itself to the right speed for the new memory.
Related resources
November 9, 2008 1:50:27 AM

I've ran into older boards that will only support memory that has chips on one side of the dimm. (sorry, I forget the technical term for it). It is often hidden away in the mobo manual (one line) and may have been left out of your dell manual... TBO, I think the case i'm thinking of was where only the 4 slot of a mobo couldn't take double sided dimm's but I would be interested to see if it applied in this case too. Post if you find a solution and let the rest of us know.

BTW, that is a huge increase in ram
November 9, 2008 4:54:27 PM

UPDATE----

So far nothing works. Have tried the posted suggested solutions with no luck.

Attempted the BIOS reset with no luck in helping and I cannot change MEMORY voltage settings.

Optiplex GX-60
Intel 845GL chipset
Intel Celeron 2.2 GHz
Phoenix BIOS A09

1. Just doesn't like two sticks
2. Will accept 1 stick but only recognizes 32 MB of it.
3. Doesn't like the 256mb chip (vice the 128 I stated earlier) and a 1 GB stick (was a long shot)

February 24, 2009 12:38:25 PM

It is a hit and miss issue.....I have the same problem I got the PNY2x1GB DDR2 PC25300 that is compatible with pc2 3200 MHz, it would not fit. I then got the CENTON Desktop DDR DIMM, 184-pin 1GB compatible with PC-2700. Now Dell manuals state I should use PC-2100. if you find out let me know also. we-fly50@hotmail.com Also I want to add a video card. which one can I use Ihave flight sim I want to set up.
D. L. Thomas
U. S. Armt (ret)
April 21, 2009 12:17:16 PM

The mainboard in the Dell Optiplex GX60 only recognises two banks of memory. This means that if you are using two modules, they each must only have memory chips on one side of the module. If you install a module with chips on both sides then the second memory slot on the mainboard will not recognise anything that you put into it.
Anonymous
a b } Memory
October 11, 2010 7:02:22 PM

did you try changing the speed of the ram in the bios setup
September 22, 2011 7:13:44 PM

This is an update to this old post but worth adding:

RAM:
In my experience (I've owned 4, 2 of each model) this is what works for me......
Dell Optiplex GX60, be they SFF or SDT configuration generally WILL NOT accept DDR400 / PC3200 RAM.
I HAVE successfully installed a DDR400 512mb module with chips on ONE SIDE ONLY.
DDR400 with chips on BOTH sides have never worked for me.
DDR333 / PC2700 DOES work..... It is backward compatible with DDR266 / PC2100 which is OEM.

I have installed (2) 1GB DDR333 / PC2700 modules in them all, and all work fine.
The ONLY advantage as of this writing (09/22/11), is that at this time DDR400/PC3200 is generally cheaper NEW than DDR333/PC2700, which is cheaper than DDR266/PC2100.
No matter what RAM you install, the RAM will still only work at DDR266 speed.
Again....... DDR400 / PC3200 generally WILL NOT WORK.
Low Density RAM is required.
HIGH DENSITY RAM WILL NOT WORK.

CPUs:
Trying to get Dell to tell me what CPUs will work on my GX60 mobos has been unsuccessful.
I have installed Celeron CPUs as large as 2.8/128/400.
After reading this forum and seeing at least one other GX60 owner has installed a P4 CPU, I am going to try that also.
P4 CPUs such as a 2.4/512/400 SHOULD work, but a 2.4/512/533 or 2.4/512/800 WILL NOT.
FSB HAS to be 400.

As for video cards:
Small Form Factor (SFF) GX60s have only (1) PCI expansion slot which accepts ONLY Low-Profile cards.
I've only ever installed a 56k modem.
I've never tried a video card, but I'm not sure the low output 160 watt power supply would handle the load.

I did try putting in a 128mb PCI card (with a cooling fan on it) in 2 of my GX60 SDTs (Small Desktop) and the 180 watt power supply wouldn't handle it.
I tried a 210 watt PS with the same outcome. Maybe a card with no fan would work?

I'll re-Post my findings concerning a P4 install in my machines.
September 22, 2011 7:59:59 PM

we-fly50@hotmail.com Also I want to add a video card. which one can I use Ihave flight sim I want to set up.
D. L. Thomas
U. S. Armt (ret)[/quotemsg]

09/22/11 - This is an update to this old post but worth adding:

RAM:
In my experience (I've owned 4, 2 of each model) this is what works for me......
Dell Optiplex GX60, be they SFF or SDT configuration generally WILL NOT accept DDR400 / PC3200 RAM.
I HAVE successfully installed a DDR400 512mb module with chips on ONE SIDE ONLY.
DDR400 with chips on BOTH sides have never worked for me.
DDR333 / PC2700 DOES work..... It is backward compatible with DDR266 / PC2100 which is OEM.

I have installed (2) 1GB DDR333 / PC2700 modules in them all, and all work fine.
The ONLY advantage as of this writing (09/22/11), is that at this time DDR400/PC3200 is generally cheaper NEW than DDR333/PC2700, which is cheaper than DDR266/PC2100.
No matter what RAM you install, the RAM will still only work at DDR266 speed.
Again....... DDR400 / PC3200 generally WILL NOT WORK.
Low Density RAM is required.
HIGH DENSITY RAM WILL NOT WORK.

CPUs:
Trying to get Dell to tell me what CPUs will work on my GX60 mobos has been unsuccessful.
I have installed Celeron CPUs as large as 2.8/128/400.
After reading this forum and seeing at least one other GX60 owner has installed a P4 CPU, I am going to try that also.
P4 CPUs such as a 2.4/512/400 SHOULD work, but a 2.4/512/533 or 2.4/512/800 WILL NOT.
FSB HAS to be 400.

As for video cards:
Small Form Factor (SFF) GX60s have only (1) PCI expansion slot which accepts ONLY Low-Profile cards.
I've only ever installed a 56k modem.
I've never tried a video card, but I'm not sure the low output 160 watt power supply would handle the load.

I did try putting in a 128mb PCI card (with a cooling fan on it) in 2 of my GX60 SDTs (Small Desktop) and the 180 watt power supply wouldn't handle it.
I tried a 210 watt PS with the same outcome. Maybe a card with no fan would work?

I'll re-Post my findings concerning a P4 install in my machines.
September 30, 2011 4:32:22 AM

09/29/11 ___ UPDATE to my previous post dated 09/22/11:

I Installed an Intel Northwood Pentium 4 CPU 2.6/512/400 SL6SB (Q318A185-0974) (62.6 watt) in one of my DELL Optiplex GX60 SDTs with BIOS ver. A09 and it works perfectly.
This is the one with (2) 512 mb RAM modules, (1) being a DDR333 / PC2700 double-sided stick, and the other being a DDR400 / PC3200 single-sided stick.

The speed of the PC did speed up considerably faster than with the 2.8/128/400 Celeron I had in there.
Next is a RAM upgrade to a full 2 GB with matching speed modules.
Looks like this 9 year old PC will be good for another 2 years at least.

The 2.6 is the fastest 400 fsb CPU module I could find at the moment.

I am not certain, but I believe the 2.8/512/400 (68.4 watt) and the 3.0/512/400 (80 watt) versions may also work on the OEM mobo.

November 24, 2011 12:48:44 AM

catwacker said:
09/29/11 ___ UPDATE to my previous post dated 09/22/11:

I Installed an Intel Northwood Pentium 4 CPU 2.6/512/400 SL6SB (Q318A185-0974) (62.6 watt) in one of my DELL Optiplex GX60 SDTs with BIOS ver. A09 and it works perfectly.
This is the one with (2) 512 mb RAM modules, (1) being a DDR333 / PC2700 double-sided stick, and the other being a DDR400 / PC3200 single-sided stick.

The speed of the PC did speed up considerably faster than with the 2.8/128/400 Celeron I had in there.
Next is a RAM upgrade to a full 2 GB with matching speed modules.
Looks like this 9 year old PC will be good for another 2 years at least.

The 2.6 is the fastest 400 fsb CPU module I could find at the moment.

I am not certain, but I believe the 2.8/512/400 (68.4 watt) and the 3.0/512/400 (80 watt) versions may also work on the OEM mobo.



Greetins Everyone, I have a question for GX60 Optiplex experimented users, I buyed one from a small office, Im going to format and reinstall XP on it, but something it draws my attention was the outdated BIOS (A00) and the fact of not recognizing a CD writer I installed since the original cd rom was broken. Ram are ok with 1 unit of 1 gb and other of 512.

I was about to update de bios but I find in the web some people have suffered issues with the updating process.

Can you, mr Catwacker; in you experience with the GX60, give some points to do the process properly?

The A09 exe covers all the upgrades entirely?

Thanks in advance

February 14, 2012 9:26:30 PM

biess said:
Greetins Everyone, I have a question for GX60 Optiplex experimented users, I buyed one from a small office, Im going to format and reinstall XP on it, but something it draws my attention was the outdated BIOS (A00) and the fact of not recognizing a CD writer I installed since the original cd rom was broken. Ram are ok with 1 unit of 1 gb and other of 512.

I was about to update de bios but I find in the web some people have suffered issues with the updating process.

Can you, mr Catwacker; in you experience with the GX60, give some points to do the process properly?

The A09 exe covers all the upgrades entirely?

Thanks in advance


biess;

Just follow the instructions that Dell provides to do the BIOS update.
I am currently running version A09 with no problems and had no issues following the instructions provided.
I have since done a BIOS update on a second GX60 SDT and had no trouble there either.
Good luck.

catwacker
!