|"I removed the OEM memory module and attempted to replace it with a compatible upgrade"|
Sounds like it may not have been compatible. According to Crucial.com, your system has two DIMM slots (2 banks of 1) & can accept up to 1GB PC2700 or PC3200 per slot.
Did you remove the new stick & reinstall the original?
"I vacuumed the dust from the motherboard. I was very careful to not make contact with the actual surface"
You don't have to make contact...the static charge will jump.
"As for keeping the power cord plugged in with the power shut off has been recommended as a good method to electrically ground the system"
I don't know who's advising you but he (or she) is wrong. Unless you unplug the power cord or switch off the power at the power strip/surge protector, the board is still energized via the +5v standby power. You should NOT be poking around inside the case if the power cord is plugged in.