Solved Desktop would not work on more than 1 memory chip.

October 12, 2012 at 22:27:59
Specs: Windows Vista, 2Ghz / 1-4G
Dell E521 Win Vista running on 2 1G memory chips started shutting down. Computer was not moved, spilled on, re-configured or anything else done to it. I took out 1 chip and it was working. I swapped the chips and it was working. Put them together - shuts down again. I purchased 4 new memory chips put them in and it works for about 3 sec before shut down. 2 chips boot through bios then shut down. 1 chip is working OK.
Dell has diagnostic tests on their web site. Run them all including a stress test - everything passes!
Any ideas what is wrong?

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✔ Best Answer
October 13, 2012 at 20:47:14

October 13, 2012 at 04:48:13
The only thing that I can think of is that the slot on the motherboard may be damaged? Ive seen this only once at work though, its rare.

Have you ruled out this possibility?


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October 13, 2012 at 07:42:51

For proper help you must provide full system specs or a complete model number.

The issue is most likely incompatible RAM. Could be excessive capacity, too many banks or a density issue.

Go to and use their online tools to determine compatible RAM.

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October 13, 2012 at 11:37:44

I went to Crucial and got the compatible RAM. BTW, The old RAM (Kingston) does the same thing. Nothing looks damaged. I read somewhere that capacitors on that motherboard tend to get bad causing it to work only on 1 memory chip.

Here are comp specs:

OS Name Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium
Version 6.0.6002 Service Pack 2 Build 6002
Other OS Description Not Available
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Name NEW-PC
System Manufacturer Dell Inc
System Model Dimension E521
System Type X86-based PC
Processor AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3200+, 2004 Mhz, 1 Core(s), 1 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date Dell Inc 1.1.5, 2/5/2007
SMBIOS Version 2.4


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Related Solutions

October 13, 2012 at 20:47:14
✔ Best Answer

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October 13, 2012 at 22:22:21

You are right. Two capacitors next to memory slots are bulged and leaking. I'm gonna pull out the board and replace them. Is there anything I should know before I do that?

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October 14, 2012 at 07:21:46
Too much heat can damage the circuits.

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October 15, 2012 at 19:55:15
Cost me less than $4 to replace those 2 capacitors and it is working beautifully.

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