adding ram to dimension 2400

January 28, 2010 at 12:57:24
Specs: Windows XP
Had 256 I removed the 256 and added (2) 1024 When the computer boots the Dell screen and the xp screen are fine but whe it goes to the next stage the screen looks like the opening screen from the Matrix.

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January 28, 2010 at 14:10:35
List the specs of the memory you installed.

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January 28, 2010 at 14:21:13
Ultra 1024MB PC2700 DDR 333Mhz

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January 28, 2010 at 14:30:42
I guess I'm a little older than you because I don't know what the opening screen from Matrix looks like.

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January 28, 2010 at 15:17:29
Matrix screen vertical lines, it looks like numbers and letter in the line going from top to bottom very fast and random rectangels moving around the screen.

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January 28, 2010 at 15:42:48
Unless you list your complete system specs in detail, anything you tell us about the RAM is useless.

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January 28, 2010 at 18:47:51
Ram that works in another mboard , or any ram you buy or have lying around, may not work properly, or sometimes, not at all - even if it physically fits and is the right overall type (e.g. SDram, DDR, DDR2, etc.; PCxxxx, xxx mhz) for your mboard. In the worst cases of incompatibilty your mboard WILL NOT BOOT all the way with it installed, and the mboard may not even beep - the ram has to be compatible with the mboard's main chipset, or in the case of recent mboards, compatible with the memory controller built into the cpu.

If you still have the ram that was installed when the system worked fine, try installing just that ram.

See response 5 in this for some info about ram compatibilty, and some places where you can find out what will work in your mboard for sure:
Correction to that:

Once you know which module ID strings (part "numbers") work in your mboard, you can get them from anywhere you like that has ram with those ID strings.

If you have brand name ram, it is usually easy to look up whether it's ID string is in a list of compatible modules found by using your mboard or brand name system model number.
If the ram is generic, that may be difficult or impossible.

"Ultra 1024MB PC2700 DDR 333Mhz"

Ultra System Memory Configurator:

They DO NOT list any modules for your model ! :

According to the Kingston site, they DO list 1024MB PC2700 DDR 333Mhz modules for your system.
However, the Ultra ones may be incompatible with you using them in your model!

See response 2 in this - try cleaning the contacts on the ram modules, and making sure the modules are properly seated:

If your ram passes a ram test, it's working fine, even if you can't determine whether it's listed for your mboard or system model anywhere

If you do a ram test, do that AFTER having tried cleaning the contacts and making sure the ram is seated properly - otherwise any errors found may be FALSE.
If the ram is incompatible with the chipset, or on more recent computers, incompatible with the memory controller built into the cpu, it will likely FAIL a ram test - that is NOT a true indication of the ram being faulty - there is probably nothing wrong with it, and it will pass the test if installed in a mboard it is compatible with.
Sometimes incompatible modules won't work properly when more than one is installed, but will pass when by itself.

Some ram manufacturers do not strictly adhere to the Jedec standards that most mboards use to determine ram settings.
In that case, the ram settings in the bios Setup that the bios has automatically chosen may not be correct.
Check the ram setting in your bios - the ram voltage, and the ram timing numbers - those should be the same as for the specs for modules themselves. Often the ram voltage and timing numbers are printed on the label on the modules.

If the voltage setting or timings settings in the bios are different from the specs for the ram, change them in the bios. The timing numbers must be as close as you to get to the same, or slower timings (higher numbers = slower) - you won't notice the difference the lower settings make.

If you have a mix of different modules
- don't mix ram that specifies different voltages - the bios will force the ram to use the lowest voltage, if "by spd" or similar is used (default settings) - ram that specifies a higher voltage is more likely to not work properly in that situation.

- the bios settings must be those for the slowest timing settings of all the modules, or slower (higher numbers = slower).


If you want to try a memory diagnostic utility that takes a lot less time to run a full pass than memtest86 does, this one is pretty good - Microsoft's
Windows Memory Diagnostic:
It can be toggled (press T) to do a standard or a more comprehensive set of tests - use the default 6 test one first - if it passes one pass of that, use the latter one. A few of the tests in the latter set are intentionally slower.
If you don't have a floppy drive, see the Quick Start Information at that Microsoft link for how to make a bootable CD of the Windows Memory Diagnostic (you need Windiag.iso - you don't necessarily need to use the program they mention to add it to the CD).

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January 28, 2010 at 21:04:47
If the ram tests okay.....

" the Dell screen and the xp screen are fine but whe it goes to the next stage the screen looks like the opening screen from the Matrix."

"I guess I'm a little older than you because I don't know what the opening screen from Matrix looks like"

"Matrix screen vertical lines, it looks like numbers and letter in the line going from top to bottom very fast and random rectangels moving around the screen."

That's called video "artifacts" - random video corruption.

If you are using the onboard video on this mboard, if that's still there after the ram tests fine, the new or the old ram, your onboard video is probably fried.

If you are using a PCI video card in a slot, remove or switch off the AC power to the computer, and try re-seating the video card. If it has a fan and heatsink on it, clean those if they have mung (dust, lint, etc.) on them ( DO NOT use a vaccuum cleaner ! ), and restore power and make sure the video fan spins okay - if it doesn't, the video chipset may be fried.

Video adapters have two modes - a basic "VGA like" mode, that needs no drivers, and an "enhanced" mode, that is loaded in Windows once you load the specific drivers for the video in Windows.
It could be the video drivers are corrupted in Windows, but you usually do NOT get random video corruption as bad as you're describing unless the video adapter is damaged (or you're having ram errors). Sometimes the video adapter works fine in the basic "VGA like" mode, but not in Windows in the "enhanced" mode.

How to check if the problem is the video drivers in Windows are corrupted.

Remove any bootable disks.
Press F8 repeatedly while booting the computer, select Enable VGA mode from the boot choices menu.
If the desktop loads, and the video's fine, try un-installing the video drivers, in Add/Remove Programs, then installing them again.(Sometimes you can't do that in Safe mode).

Boot normally - if your video's still screwed up in Windows, if you have no ram errors, with the new or the old ram, then the video adapter is fried.

If you installed a PCI video card in a slot,

I've looked up this model before.....

Dell? Dimension? 2400 Series


It's a minitower and has onboard AGP graphics - you have only 3 PCI slots, max, no AGP slot.

Your power supply has either a 200 watt or 250 watt capacity.
Typically minimally sized, as is the case with most brand name systems.
I looked it up - It is not proprietary - it's a standard (PS/2) sized ATX power supply.

Standard (PS/2) power supply size - 86mm high, 150mm wide, 140mm deep, or 3 3/8" h x 5 7/8" w x 5 1/2" d , or very close to that, though the depth can be more or less for some PSs.

If you use a cheap PCI video card with an older video chipset you MIGHT be able to get away with not having to up the capacity of the power supply, but if you use a better PCI card with a more recent chipset you WILL have to get a power supply with more capacity, a minumum of 300 watts, or more.

Your power supply must have at least the minumum capacity required to support a system with the graphics card you are using installed, or the max graphics card you might install in the future.
(Onboard video - video built into the mboard - IS NOT A CARD!)
You can go to the video card maker's web site and look up the specs for the model - often under system requirements - the minimum PS wattage, and, more important, the minimum amperage the PS must supply at 12v is stated. If you don't find that, any card with the same video chipset including any letters after the model number has very similar minimum PS requirements. Some power supplies have two or more +12v ratings - in that case, add those ratings to determine the total +12v current capacity.

Don't buy an el-cheapo PS.
See response 3 in this:

Check your present PS. If it's votage(s) are out of whack, that in theory could cause your video problems.
See response 4 in this:

The guy in this Topic says the onboard video is still enabled when you install a PCI card in a slot, on the Dimension 2400:


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