Question about installing DDR RAM

Microsoft Windows xp professional w/sp2
January 13, 2011 at 01:48:44
Specs: Windows XP Home Edition, 128MB
I have a friend of mine that would like to install extra memory to speed up things like watch videos on He has some memory sticks that are 256 each, DDR and I believe 333 MgHrtz. If he doesn't have the right memory for the computer, it doesn't "hurt" the computer or the "memory chip" by trying to install the wrong one does it? It just wouldn't show up as extra memory, correct?


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January 13, 2011 at 04:30:12
Go to and run the scanner to see what type of Ram it uses. Don't attempt to install chips that won't fit into the slot unless you need another paperweight.

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January 13, 2011 at 04:33:00
It should be fine,you can get him to download CPUID CPU-Z from This program will give you the exact name brand size etc. I used it when upgrading my RAM two weeks ago.
Get him to watch at least 5 youtube vids that the user takes ESD measures to protect pc. Make sure he uses a ESD wriststrap etc. And don't force the new RAM card in.

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January 13, 2011 at 07:25:22
"it doesn't "hurt" the computer or the "memory chip" by trying to install the wrong one does it?"

What do you mean by "wrong"? SDR-SDRAM has 168-pins, DDR-SDRAM has 184-pins, DDR2-SDRAM has 240-pins. Obviously you need to use the "right" RAM.

You need to get the motherboard specs & find out which type & amount of RAM is supported. If he currently has only 128MB, that's pretty pathetic. I assume it's an old Win98 machine? XP NEVER should have been installed on that machine in the 1st place.

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Related Solutions

January 13, 2011 at 15:31:47
RAM modules have notches in them so unless you break the module or the connector, you can't install the wrong type of RAM. Even if you install the right type, you need to ensure the motherboard supports that RAM speed. Look up the computer specifications on the manufacturer's website for something like this:

In that example, the type of RAM is RDRAM and the speed is PC 800. It can only support 2 GB total and the highest size module can be 512 MB. To install the maximum amount of RAM, it would be 4x512 MB RDRAM (PC 800) modules.

Edit: Typo.

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January 13, 2011 at 15:42:17
If it is the right type of RAM, find out what's the maximum amount of RAM the motherboard can support.

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