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New ram crashing everything, and other questions

Last response: in Memory
January 17, 2011 5:06:48 PM


First the specs: I'm running Windows 7 64-bit and I had 2 sticks of DDR2 SDRAM in it, 1GB a piece, PC2-5300.

I bought 2 more sticks, both 1GB DDR2 PC2-5300. 'SDRAM' isn't listed on the packaging but I assume that's what this is.

So I added the new RAM to the machine. Under 'system' I now have "Installed memory (RAM): 4.00 GB (3.87 GB usable). My other computer also has 4GB but there's nothing about less being usable. Anyway, with this new RAM installed, Microsoft Security Essentials crashes constantly, Chrome was crashing constantly and I reinstalled it so we'll see if that does anything, and I've gotten 2 BSOD's in less than 24 hours.

I read something about synchronous RAM and about mixing and matching RAM, which I don't think I did, but I'm at a loss as to how to remedy this. Do I need to reinstall all my programs? Do I need to reinstall my OS? Is there a simpler option?

please advise. Thanks so much in advance.

More about : ram crashing questions

a c 163 } Memory
January 17, 2011 7:39:21 PM

Remove the old RAM and test the rig with the new one, let me know the results.
a c 226 } Memory
January 17, 2011 7:42:19 PM

Run memtest to test your ram
Testing the sticks individually is recommended if they all pass it might be necessary to go in BIOS and relax timings.
Related resources
January 17, 2011 11:07:47 PM

OK, well I tested them all at the same time and they all passed with no errors. Should I run memtest again with each individual stick? Should I go ahead and relax timings instead?
January 17, 2011 11:24:33 PM

saint19, I took out the two original sticks and left the new ones in, and on booting the OS isn't even functional. It boots into windows and then none of the start menu items are even clickable, nor is anything on the desktop, or right clicking, for a few minutes -- maybe 5 minutes. Then everything works, albeit even worse than before -- chrome crashing constantly along with all its plugins and explorer barely functioning.
January 18, 2011 3:13:32 AM

OK, I installed the old RAM again only and I'm back to my old, less-than-stellar, non-crashing performance. I wonder why the RAM passed the memtest if it's not working in the machine... Is it definately bad RAM, then?

Best solution

a c 163 } Memory
January 18, 2011 1:27:38 PM

Very high posibility of a bad new RAM, if you can do a last test. Install the new RAM in another rig, a friend rig for example. If you have the same problem, RMA that RAM and get a new one.
January 23, 2011 9:54:05 PM

Hey saint19, I couldn't easily find another machine so I just returned the RAM and ordered some new ram from a different vendor. The new sticks work just fine, so, despite the good test result, it appears to have been the ram.

Thanks again.
January 23, 2011 9:54:13 PM

Best answer selected by tecknowledgist.