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Trying to add ram to Inspirion 1200, won't boot

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October 21, 2010 10:01:44 PM

Looking for some help!
I am trying to install 1 GB of ram in my Dell Inspirion 1200. When I turn it on, it powers on for a few seconds, then shuts off. Nothing comes on the screen. I take the memory out, boots up just fine. I am confident that it is inserted properly, the little silver slips do click and arent at a weird angle or anything. The ram I bought was based on the scan from crucial's website so it should be correct. I have searched for similar scenarios and have updated the BIOS, but that did not make a difference. Searching again, I found some info about memory voltage settings. The ram I have is 2.5v, but I am having a hard time finding specific instructions on how to check memory voltage settings on the laptop.
I am computer literate but not when it comes to how to change things in DOS or Setup, so I need pretty clear instructions!
Thanks in advance!!
a b } Memory
October 21, 2010 10:24:51 PM

I assume this is a notebook computer. I, too, have had similar issues trying to upgrade memory in other Dells. I ended up buying Dell provided memory to get my Dell Precision M65 from 2GB to 4GB. I tried 2 different brands that claimed their memory would work and it performed nearly exactly to what you are describing.

The issue, slight differences in the timings between the Dell and non-Dell memory. Notebook computers often don't have the flexibility of desktop motherboards in terms of memory support.

Check with Dell to see what they offer. When I bought my memory for my M65, the Dell price was indeed competitive with Newegg (where I had bought the earlier brands that did not work).

Good luck!
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a c 347 } Memory
October 21, 2010 11:09:08 PM

I would pull the original RAM and look-up the specs {Type, Speed, CAS & Voltage} and unless the NEW RAM = OLD RAM then exchange for 'compatible' RAM.

There's Compatible individually and there's Compatible matching.

You can test the NEW RAM by switching out the OLD and replacing it with the NEW. Also, put the NEW RAM in BOTH slots to also test the slots. If it boots up it's a 'compatibility' issue. Often the slots get dusty so try to clean with pressurized air; you can also moisten the DIMM contacts with isopropyl or rubbing alcohol to clean the contacts {insert/remove 2-3 times}.

Good Luck!
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October 22, 2010 2:14:01 AM

COLGeek - Thanks for the support and ideas. It does seem as though Dell does not make it easy to upgrade as I've seem quite a few postings on multiple sites about issue.! I will investigate your idea to see what Dell has available.
jaquinth - Unfortunately you cannot remove the original RAM, as it is underneath a metal plate that does not come out without taking the whole computer apart. There is only only slot available to add to. Any other thoughts?
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