how do i find any pins there are on ramchips?

July 5, 2009 at 07:00:24
Specs: Linux i686, SD 256
how do you find out how many pins your Ram stick has?
I'm having fantastic "fun" trying to find this out.
I've got all info except one vital thing. Pin number.
I have a couple of "retro" PC's after the mother bored on my E-machines 420 randomly died.

These two PCs are different PCs, one is a "Tiny 810L" running windows XP
and the other is a "packard Bell i-connect" running Linux Ubuntu network addition.

The memory for the packard bell fried some time ago, but i do know that it runs on SD 256 that was taken out of the tiny. Now the Tiny is running a memory stick of SD62 (which is NOT the right chip but is somehow running, don't ask me how.)

I need to find out how many pins the SD 256 has in order to buy new sticks of memory for the tiny. it can only go as high as 512.
The Packard bell can go up as high as 1gb in SD ram

So dose anyone know how to find out how many pins your ram chip has? i don't want the other info that comes with ram chips, I've got all that. i just need to know how to find out how to count the pins with out physically counting them, thats HARD and you can all to easily over count or loose count doing it. so i don't end up with miss matched memory.

[edit: don't even ask me what happened to the title of this subject o0 my comp went all super laggy while i was typing it and i made the mistake of not reading it. It was meant to read "how do I find how many pins there are on ram chips?"]

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July 5, 2009 at 07:21:29
You're making this way too difficult.


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July 5, 2009 at 07:26:42
You need a bit more information than the pin count. The type of RAM the motherboard takes will determine the pin count, you never really need to count them, it is predetermined for you. SD 256 and SD 62 is meaningless.

From what you are saying it looks like you are talking about PC100 or 133 SDRAM which has a pin count of 148. This applies to all PC100 RAM whether it is 64 MBs, 128, 256 or 510 MBs. One thing you do need to take note of is if the motherboard take single density or double density RAM. If you have got all the information there is no need to count the pins.

The motherboard manual is the only place you will get a definitive answer.


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July 5, 2009 at 08:04:21
ahh see there's why i'm trying to find out the pin count the hard way. the motherboard manuals were lost, if i had those my life would be SO much easier. I can't find any motherboard manuals Anywhere for the Tiny, not even online. it's a total nightmare. as for the packard bell. i can't find the motherboard number on the front or on the back of the motherboard so i can see if i can find it's manual online. So i'm stuck to knowing that the I-connect was new in 2000, and the tiny 810L was new in 1998 (yep Retro junk pile comps lol)

If it helps the ram chip has 2 notches, and i know these notches are meant to stop you from putting the wrong chip in or something like that.

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July 5, 2009 at 08:27:52
Two notches means SDR-SDRAM...PC66, PC100 or PC133. It has 168-pins, not 148.

You need to be concerned with how much RAM is supported by the board...max total amount & max per slot. You also need to learn about RAM density. Older boards require low-density RAM. If you buy high density RAM, it will either be recognized as 50% it's capacity, it won't be recognized at all, or it will prevent the system from booting.

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July 5, 2009 at 08:50:04
" looks like you are talking about PC100 or 133 SDRAM which has a pin count of 148."

StuartS's info is relevant, except 148 should be 168

"....after the mother bored on my E-machines 420 randomly died."

With emachines desktop systems, it's a lot more likely the el-cheapo power supply became defective and fried the mboard, rather than the mboard randomly failed, especially if the make of the PS is BESTEC.

SD by itself is most commonly properly used to stand for Secure Digital, e.g. for a Secure Digital memory card for a camera.
You should probably be referring to SDram (Synchronous Dynamic ram) which is what is used in a computer's ram slots on a mboard. SDram is also DIMM ram (Double Inline Memory Module), but DIMM ram isn't necessarily SDram.
DDR ram and above is also SDram but that is usually omitted when referring to it in brief descriptions.

"The memory for the packard bell fried some time ago,"

It is extremely rare for ram that worked fine previously in a mboard to spontaneouly go "BAD", and even if it does, it is even more unlikely more than one module would go "BAD" at any one time.

If ram is actually bad, that is very apparent when it is first installed. If a new module is actually bad, which is extremely rare, that will be apparent right away - it's extremely unlikely that would be apparent a while after it has been installed.

In almost all cases, when ram isn't working properly, it's either not compatible with being installed in that mboard, or it's got a poor connection in it's ram slot.

A common thing that can happen with ram, even ram that worked fine previously, is the ram has, or has developed, a poor connection in it's slot(s).
This usually happens a long time after the ram was installed, but it can happen with new ram, or after moving the computer case from one place to another, and I've had even new modules that needed to have their contacts cleaned.

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

Ram can certainly be damaged by something the user did...
- if they installed or removed ram on an ATX mboard without disconnecting the live AC source to the PS/mboard
- by them installing the ram backwards in the ram slot and then powering and trying to boot the mboard - that fries both the module and the ram slot instantly and the mboard may never boot again even if the damaged ram slot is cleaned of the produced melted plastic and carbon deposits.
However, in most cases, those causes are not what caused the ram problem.

Ram can be damaged by events not under the users control, such as by a power failure event or other AC power event that produced power spikes or surges, or by a lightning strike on the AC power grid, or by damage caused by a failing power supply, but usually those events don't hurt the ram.

What Jennifer's too brief Response 1 is trying to point out is you may find out which ram will work for sure -- is compatible with it - at the Crucial web site.You use the particular mboard model or brand name system model to look up which ram will work.

StuartS's info about finding out which ram is required in the mboard manual is also a good pointer, however, it can be difficult or impossible to find a mboard manual for a brand name system, and sometimes the info in the manual about the ram was later updated, often because you can actually install certain larger modules than the manual states - the web sites where you can look up which ram works for sure have the most up to date info.

Ram compatibility.

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 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.

It is easy to test for incompatible ram that has caused your mboard to fail to boot.

Make sure you have a speaker or speakers or the equivalent connected to the mboard so you can hear mboard beeps (see your mboard manual if you need to).
Remove the AC power to the case/power supply.
Remove all the ram.
Restore AC power.
Try to boot.
If nothing else is wrong, you will get no video but you will hear a pattern of beeps that indicate no ram is installed, or a ram problem.
E.g. for an Award bios or a bios based on one, that's often a beep of about a half second, silence for a half second, a beep of about a half second, silence for a half second, continuously.

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July 5, 2009 at 08:50:45
ah that helps a lot, Thank you jam!

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July 5, 2009 at 09:18:05
hi Tubesandwires thanks for your long and technical post it's very helpful.

now then my old SD ram for the packard bell, when i say the chip fried it got fried it was literally fried, not because it was incompatible with the comp it came with it, and it wasn't dusty contacts which is an all to familiar problem. i've got contact cleaner just to keep things ticking over in that regard, and it is always and has always been one of the first things i check for. if i can get out of buying new stuff just from simple clean ups i will. no it was one of the other aforementioned problems in your list. Power surges coursed by lightning. so as i said, it got fried literally, i lost a modem the same day as well, all working parts were rescued a i called computer engineer to fix it he replace all parts save for the memory chip as i was planning to up grade it, unfortunately the ram that had been brought turned out to be the wrong ones and it sat for ages with no ram as I'd just got my e-machine by then (never again am i getting a comp from PC world ughh.)

As for the e-machine, i turned it on oneday, worked perfectly fine, no trouble at all, shut it down as normal, the next day turned it on the and nothing, the HD sort of half rev'ed up noise wise a few lights came on but nothing. got it a new power sup' nothing, sent it off to an engineer and it came back the mother bored had died and that was that, one dead e machine 420 as i didn't have th money at the time to replace the thing.
so i took to the old comps at fist there were some problems with the tiny so i took it's ram out and tried it on the Packard bell, and yay happy running packard bells on a 256 which was down from its original 512.
ans gods only know how but now there's a tiny 810L running on SD62 with win XP (again don't even ask me how i just can't make logical scene of it as i didn't put the chip in. That was my younger brothers work.)

Anyways thanks again folks you've <u>ALL</u> been really really helpful.

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July 5, 2009 at 09:26:40
"Two notches means SDR-SDRAM...PC66, PC100 or PC133. It has 168-pins....."

Two notches = "SDR" DIMM ram, but if it has 168 "pins" (they're actually contacts, not pins ) it can also be the previous FPM or EDO ram as well as SDram.
The original SDram has only been called "SDR" ram (Single Data Rate) after DDR ram (Double Data Rate) came out. Most mboards that support the original SDram also support 3.3 volt FPM or ED0 ram. Earlier FPM (Fast Page Mode) and EDO (Extended Data Output; up to 15% better than FPM) ram used 5 volts and you're unlikely to encounter it - one of the two notches is in a slightly different place. The original "SDR" SDram only uses 3.3 volts. All the 3.3v FPM, EDO, and "SDR" SDram modules have the two notches in the same places.
If the label on used ram doesn't have PC66 or PC100 or PC133 on it (there was also PC125 for a few years) then it's probably FPM "SDR" ram; if it has EDO on it, it's EDO "SDR" ram.

"SDR" SDram has it's memory organized on the module in either 2 or 4 banks, which makes it in effect 2X or 4X faster than a FPM module with the same individual memory chips.


"....i've got contact cleaner...."

Depending on what's in it, it isn't necessarily compatble with using it with a mboard or ram modules.
E.g. if it has isopropyl alcohol in it, I have found through experience that if you get it on the chips, it is absorbed into the chips, and takes quite a while to evaporate even after the the chip appears to be dry - wait at least 4 hours or so after using it.
If you don't wait long enough, the chips you got it on will not work properly at first, and you may fry something because of that.

" day turned it on the and nothing, the HD sort of half rev'ed up noise wise a few lights came on but nothing. got it a new power sup' nothing,..."

If the original PS was a BESTEC, it is well known they are a lot more likely than average to fry the mboard while failing or if they fail completely.

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July 5, 2009 at 09:37:54
right the label on my ram reads (this will be helpful i hope)


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July 5, 2009 at 10:09:57
Of course, I forgot to mention, if the label has SDRAM on it, that's what it is.
128MB 100MHZ SDRAM = 128MB PC100
It probably has it's memory organized in 4 banks.

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