My mom uses this old 2006 desktop that uses DDR RAM. I took a 512mb stick from a 2003 computer that we don't use anymore when visiting my native country. To keep it from being damaged I wrapped it in kitchen tissue paper, since it would be a while before I would have a chance to install it. We also passed through air port scans if that makes a difference. My mom is pretty paranoid, so it took a full year until I could try it out.
I did that today, and together with 400mhz 2x512mb and 2x256mb (changed to 3x512mb, 1x256mb with "new stick") only 1256mbs were recognized by windows xp. from what i'd understood ddr motherboards don't have dual channel, so i thought it would work without a hitch. the holders were white/blue/white/blue though. even with just 3x512mb it only recognized 1gb, but it did give me a message about new hardware (which i ignored, since it asked for software).
it doesn't matter too much since its so old hardware, but it would of course be better to know if it is damaged or not. it is possible that it suffered micro-cracks while travelling. what do you think?
Actually, I never tried it on its own... The idea was to expand from 2x512 + 2x256, where it showed all of it. However, it did work before, only it might have broken after I removed it from the original computer it was in.
Assuming it is like you say, I can only get 3x512 to work, correct? Which would actually be a step down in performance, since dual channel wouldn't be working for the third stick...?
Haha, well... It's incredibly slow. I thought it was the HDD crashing, but the noise must just have been the fan starting to wear out... Everything else is probably in bad shape as well though. I wanted to try adding some extra RAM to possibly speed it up a bit. Every time someone who isn't used to her computer's slowness tries to even browse the web on it, it locks up for a while.
Do you think reinstalling Windows XP would help? She hasn't installed many programs, but she does have a spare HDD (for whatever reason they packed in two 160GB ones, and NOT just partitions). Also, its been 6 or 7 years since Windows was first installed...
A Windows XP PC used for browsing only should run fine with 512MB of memory. What is the current and peak memory utilization? Does it exceed the physical memory size?
Partitioning an old hard disk won't make it faster, but a fresh installation of XP should help. If the CPU fan is noisy, it also is possible that it doesn't cool the CPU properly and it may be throttling. Have you checked the CPU speed with CPU-Z after the system has been busy for several minutes? What CPU is installed in that system? As an example, a P4 2.8 was very fast when it was released, but the same system feels extremely slow for people having access to much faster systems.