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new installed memory not recognized-Dell Inspiron 8500

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February 10, 2007 3:28:39 AM

I've searched for a while, but I couldn't find the answer to this problem. I have a Dell Inspiron 8500. I decided recently that I wanted to upgrade my RAM. I originally had 2x256 MB, so I decided to buy a 1 GB card from Dell. Dell's site said that the maximum memory that I could have was 2 GB, so I'm not exceeding the maximum memory.

Anyway, I took out one of my 256 MB cards and replaced it with the 1 GB card. I've looked at the Bios and it now says that I have 1280 MB of memory installed, so it looks like the hardware is recognizing the new memory. However, when I get into Windows XP SP2, I right click "My Computer" and click "Properties" and the system says that I have only 508 MB of RAM. Then if I click Ctrl+Alt+Del and look under the performance tab, it says that my physical memory is only 519726 KB. So it looks like Windows XP is still only recognizing 512 MB of RAM and not 1280 MB.

I have no clue what to do. I've tried switching slots between the 1 GB and 256 MB cards and got the same result. I've also updated my Bios to the newest version and have just tried using only the 1 GB card. When I do that, the Bios says 1024 MB of RAM, but Windows XP still says the same thing. Can anybody help me with this problem? I just don't understand why Windows XP can't recognize the increase in RAM. Thanks so much!
February 11, 2007 2:24:59 AM

Take out the other small piece, you can't mix different dimms.
February 11, 2007 2:58:43 AM

Do you mean just try using only the 1GB card? I did try that and my bios says 1024 MB of ram, but again windows xp says the same thing - 508 MB after going to "My Computer"... and 519726 KB when looking at the performance tab under Ctrl+Alt+Del.

It looks like the hardware is working properly because the bios is being updated correctly. I just can't understand why windows xp isn't consistent with the bios.
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May 11, 2007 1:55:10 PM

Did you ever get a solution to this problem? I have a Dell Optiplex GX270 that I took all the other ram out of and put a 1gb (max 2gb) into but only 512mb is recognized. I want to know what I can do.

Thanks
May 15, 2007 10:02:54 PM

you do NOT need matched dims unless its across dual or quad processors
I currently have the following:

sony vio - 1 512 and 1 265 (laptop)
sony vio - 1gb and 1 256 (laptop)
e-machine - 1gb and 1 256
hp - 1 gb and 1 256
dell - 1gb, 512 and 1gb, 512

I had the same problem with my dell. I had to go into the bios and tell it to find the ram. Its been a while but i think i just went to bios/memory and there was something like refresh or reconfigure.
February 21, 2014 5:32:53 PM

asusman was absolutely right back in 2007. thanks now i've become a member. just one small funny thing, and i'm sure the answer has already been posted in another thread, but i purchased a 1 gig dimm and the memory says 992mb. oh well i look forward to seeing what everybody's up to tech wise, off to find the intro thread.
April 12, 2014 11:50:48 AM

frenchsquared said:
you do NOT need matched dims unless its across dual or quad processors
I currently have the following:

sony vio - 1 512 and 1 265 (laptop)
sony vio - 1gb and 1 256 (laptop)
e-machine - 1gb and 1 256
hp - 1 gb and 1 256
dell - 1gb, 512 and 1gb, 512

I had the same problem with my dell. I had to go into the bios and tell it to find the ram. Its been a while but i think i just went to bios/memory and there was something like refresh or reconfigure.


I am having the same problem with MY Dell Inspiron 8500, and with the same issues as mystical32, EXCEPT that I'm using a matched pair of 1Gb DDR DIMMs from KomputerBay, and having exactly the same issue - the system only recognizes one DIMM at a time and it doesn't matter which DIMM I leave in (I assumed first that one DIMM of the pair was defective/burned out, but they both work, just not at the same time).

The odd twist is that NOW AND THEN the system will "see" both DIMMs at once and I have a 2 Gb system for as long as I leave the laptop on. I just can't make that happen when I wish to.

My local used computer parts guys tell me that the chip manufacturers never really got started with high-capacity (>1 Gb) RAM in the DDR format, you have to spend big money for a 2 Gb DDR DIMM, and even then they're scarce. Searches on amazon.com (where I got the 1 Gb RAM I have now) and elsewhere seem to confirm this.

I'd love to have this laptop running with at least 2 Gb of RAM. Can anyone suggest how to get it to see both my current DIMM, or at least a reasonably-priced source of 2 Gb DDR DIMMs?

Thanks in advance!
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