laptop shows 1gb ram but only 256mb installed

Dell Inspiron 5150 notebook
February 10, 2010 at 12:56:52
Specs: Windows XP
This is weird. My laptop has been having major issues lately and I discovered a problem with the ram. Memtest86, 32 bit dell diagnostics, and the system report 1 gb of ram, but there is only 1 256mb stick installed. Any ideas what it causing this? And how to fix it?

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February 10, 2010 at 14:07:05
Are you sure that there isn't also RAM soldered to the motherboard ?

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February 10, 2010 at 14:34:42
"there is only 1 256mb stick installed"

How do you know this? Did you take the RAM out & inspect it? There are 2 slots & each can accept up to 1GB. XP runs pretty crappy with just 256MB RAM.

What are these 'major issues' that you mentioned? And what were the results of running memtest86? Were any errors found?

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February 12, 2010 at 06:28:14
I order the laptop with 256mb and never added more. I also inspected the ram, took it out, changed the dimm slots, etc. The results of memtest showed no errors, but the laptop (inspiron 5150) either reboots or just shuts down before any real length of time passes. Pulled the ram and put into another laptop and memtest ran just fine, no errors. Must be the motherboard going bad.

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