RAM! make up your mind!

I've got two sticks of 512Mb of ram in my system and upon bootup, it sometimes only detects 512Mb and other times it detects both and runs fine. I have to acknowledge it by pressing F1 as the computer keeps thinking it's not there and then it is!?!? do i need to update my motherboard drivers? or is it the stick that might be not connecting properly?
It works fine when it wants to.
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More about make mind
  1. The first advice is usually to
    - remove both sticks. Don't break them. If you haven't done it before, read the instructions.
    - ensure that you have the correct two sockets, if there are more then two
    - reseat the two sticks and try again

    2 sticks of 512 MB each? How old is this machine? 1GB is pretty small.
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