Installing RAM Help

Discussion in 'Compaq' started by Von Fourche, Jul 10, 2005.

  1. Von Fourche

    Von Fourche Guest

    I currently have a five year old Compaq computer running Windows ME with
    128mb or ram. More and more my computer is crashing. The max ram I can
    install is 512.

    Ok, here is my problem. I have not opened up the case at all for the
    last five years until today. I had no need to open it up plus I did not
    want to mess up anything inside.

    Well, I have had it with my computer crashing. I want to install 512mb
    or ram. So today I opened up the case for the first time to find the ram
    area. Just about everything was covered with dust (five years worth.) I
    think I have one just one bank of ram installed (128mb). There is another
    opening for another bank or ram. The one bank with the 128mb is covered
    with dust but the other unused ram part is not covered. What I want to do
    is pull the 128mb out and replace it with a 256mb bank, plus put another
    256mb bank in the unused ram part.

    What I'm worried about is the dust. If I pull the 128mb out that's
    covered with dust I'm worried I might accidentally shove dust when I install
    the 256mb.

    So, what do I need to do? Use compressed air to clean it the dust? Is
    there a certain way I should clean it? What about just blowing air from my
    mouth and blow the dust off?

    What's the best way to tackle this?

    Von Fourche, Jul 10, 2005
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  2. Von Fourche

    Ben Myers Guest

    Start by getting a can of compressed air and a soft artist's paint brush. Use
    the paint brush to gently break loose the dust that is sticking to all the parts
    inside the case. Then take the computer outside and repeatedly blow the dust
    out from the case, until there is no more dust. Pay extra attention to the
    rotating fans, the one that cools the processor and the one that is inside the
    power supply. You can gently pick up large dust bunnies and remove them with
    your fingers.

    Once you've cleaned out all the dust, it is possible your computer may not crash
    any more. Dust prevents the system from cooling itself properly, and the
    crashes may be caused by overheating.

    In addition to adding memory, there are a lot of other maintenance tasks
    necessary to keep a system running smoothly. If you are running Windows 98 or
    later, look for System Cleanup among the system tools. Delete whatever files it
    may find. This should help somewhat... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Jul 10, 2005
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  3. Von Fourche

    Tom Scales Guest

    Just to make sure, you do realize that upgrading to 512MB will not, in any
    way, fix the problem of your computer regularly crashing. Windows Me was
    never a great OS and over time it accumulates crap.

    My suggestion would be to reinstall Windows Me and all your applications and
    start fresh. Back everything up first!

    Tom Scales, Jul 10, 2005
  4. Von Fourche

    Von Fourche Guest

    Would it be safe to just install a 256 bank or ram and keep the 128mb
    ram in place (totaling 384mb)? Would that cause any more problems if I
    mixed up the ram?

    Another thing, instead of ordered off the web I was just going to get
    some memory at Circuit City. Does it really matter where I get my memory?
    Von Fourche, Jul 10, 2005
  5. Von Fourche

    Ben Myers Guest

    I'm not sure what is the largest capacity DIMM your system will take. The HPaq
    web site says nothing useful about your specific model. RSVP with the processor
    type (Pentium II, Pentium III, Celeron, Athlon) and socket type, and I'll be
    able to give you an educated guess.

    As a rule, older motherboards accept low-density DIMM memory with more chips.
    Newer motherboards are not as particular. Lacking any other information, I
    would look to get PC133 DIMMs with low-density memory. PC133 usually works in
    motherboards designed for PC100, but not vice versa... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Jul 10, 2005
  6. Von Fourche

    Von Fourche Guest

    It's a Pentium III 850MHz. I have no idea what the socket type is.

    I think instead of rushing out and buying ram the first thing I will do
    is clean the inside out. Get some compressed air and start dusting. I just
    don't want to hurt any of the circuits on the mother board.
    Von Fourche, Jul 10, 2005
  7. Von Fourche

    Ben Myers Guest

    A Pentium III running at 850MHz indicates a board capable of accepting 256MB
    DIMMs of the right type. PC133 with 16 chips, 8 to a side, should work well.
    Non-parity, non-ECC, non-registered. In other words, garden variety.

    But, yes, a good cleaning is in order first... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Jul 10, 2005
  8. Von Fourche

    McSpreader Guest


    I agree with Tom. If you are short of memory, your system will run
    very slowly as Windows has to spend time swapping programs and data
    between memory and disk. A much more likely cause is that Windows
    Me is screwed up so try a wipe-and-reinstall first which should
    restore stability.

    Then consider adding more memory if the system slows down
    dramatically as you run more software.

    BTW: Clearing the dust inside the box every couple of years is
    still worthwhile, to maintain cooling efficiency.
    McSpreader, Jul 10, 2005
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