Dell Laptop w/ SDRAM trouble


I have a dell latitude c600. it has the 440bx chipset, pentium 3 cpu, and supports up to 512mb of pc100 memory. i installed 2x 256mb pc133 (backwards compatible). when i turn on the computer, the power lights flash and then it shuts off after 10 seconds. putting the old memory back in resolves the problem. how can i get the computer to use the new memory?

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  1. additional info: when the computer turns on, there is no post screen. the lcd is black and the power lights just flash for 10 seconds and then it shuts off.
  2. The BIOS won't post if it doesn't like the memory. It's possible the flashing is a replacement for beeping, not sure your laptop has a speaker on the motherboard.

    Not all PC133 memory is the same. It is possible you are experiencing a compatibility issue with your Dell with voltage, timings, or density. Here is what Crucial recommends for your laptop:

    According to that link, the memory specs you needs are

    SDRAM, PC133 • CL=2 (timings) • Non-parity • 133MHz • 3.3V (voltage) • 32Meg x 64 (this is the memory density)•

    Make sure the memory you purchased matches these settings. It's possible the memory you have is more dense and is unsupported. It's also possible that your memory is less dense, but is double-sided (which also tends to be unsupported on some computers). The timings might also be off, and I doubt your BIOS is able to recognize anything other than the factory-specified default. Also make sure the memory you are inserting is not buffered or ECC memory, your laptop will not support this.

    If you can return that memory, it might be better to buy memory that is specifically stated to support your laptop (i.e. google "dell inspiron C600 memory upgrade"). I found memory guaranteed to be compatible for $30/dimm if its worth it to you.

    I'm also not too sure Crucial is 100% correct when they say PC133 will work. I've heard of computers not being too happy with PC133 even though it should be capable of reverting to PC100 (though, again, that might be timings and density and not necessarily the speed).
  3. Thank you so much Hellwig for doing the research for me. You make some very vaild points which I will take into consideration. Its a shame i spent 70 dollars though on memory that doesn't work....i'll keep it for a future need though :)

    Thank you for your help!

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