As previous posters have mentioned, I have an eMachine Win XP system with 512 MB RAM and I'm pretty sure that's having a big effect on performance. The system has two memory slots.
So I went online using eMachine help to locate compatible RAM and found a place on Amazon that seemed to have a perfect match. They offered "packages" of mixed capacity memory DIMMs (including one that consisted of a 1 GB DIMM and a 512 MB DIMM) so I concluded that mixing them wouldn't be a problem. Apparently it ain't so.
I put the new DIMM into the second slot and the system doesn't recognize it. I don't recall how the system realizes there's new memory on board. I couldn't find anything in BIOS setup that looked helpful.
I find forum posters who have had a similar problem. One solution was to put the larger DIMM in the slot that contained the smaller DIMM. Is there a possibility that might work for me?
I did that and my motherboard squeals with the 1 GB in either slot. The new DIMM doesn't stand up as tall in the slot so I think I ordered the wrong thing. I think my motherboard will support two 1 GB sticks so I'll try to find the right part and go that way.
Thanks very much for your help.
I was notified of a new post and came to look, but I don't see anything. Nevertheless, I have good news and bad news. Bad news first.
I have lost my mind. I blew it identifying my existing RAM. I would have sworn that I needed PC3200 184-pin RAM. Wrong.
I found a RAM provider (Memory America) that actually had a phone number I could call and talk to a person. He determined the RAM my system really has. I ordered two 1GB DIMMs for $20 and after installing them this old system does MUCH better than before.
This unfortunate episode is behind me and I can get back to life. Thanks for the suggestion. Even the best suggestion does no good when given to a knucklehead.