Solved Laptop won't load Win 7 after memory upgrade

Acer / Aspire 5742
October 10, 2013 at 18:28:46
Specs: Windows 7 Home Premium, 2.399 GHz / 5814 MB
I have an Acer Aspire 5742-6458 laptop. I had 6Gb RAM installed and decided to remove 2Gb, and add another 4, for a total 8Gb. This is the max capacity. The previous RAM was one 2Gb stick DDR3 PC-10700, and a 4Gb DDR3 PC-10700 - both 533 MHz. After installing the new RAM I turned the computer on and got to a black screen saying:

"Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause.

It gave me two choices:

Launch Startup Repair (recommended)
Start Windows normally

When I choose "Launch Startup Repair", it goes to a black screen saying "Windows is Loading files" with a white progress bar, then it reboots and goes back to the same screen with the original two choices.

When I choose to Start Windows normally it reboots and first goes to the black screen with "Starting Windows", then goes to the black screen with same two choices. It just runs in this loop.

I rebooted and went into the BIOS. It recognizes the 8Gb - showing 8192Mb. .

I looked at the new 4Gb RAM and it's PC-10600. When I bought it this afternoon at our local computer store, I asked the rep if it was all the same for DDR3 (showed him the old 2Gb stick)and he said, "Oh yah" confidently. Now I'm not so sure Any suggestions on how I might get ti to load windows now, or do I need to return the RAM?

I no longer have the original paper hard copy manual. I have a drivers disk but it only has a generic manual. I went to Acer Canada and found my model - the Aspire 5742, not the full 5742-6458. All they had was a a generic user manual also with no mention of RAM. So I looked online at various specs and all 5742 models I found showed 8Gb max, so I'm operating under the assumption that mine will be also. I'm assuming also that because the BIOS recognizes it, that it would support 8Gb.

Any help \ input appreciated

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October 10, 2013 at 19:04:19
if your PC is 32 bit, it will NOT show the 8 GB need 64 bit for that.
Did you try the original sticks again to see if that still worked? If it did, then remove them and put in the new sticks to see if it boots up properly, so that you will know if the new ram is compatible with your PC....

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message edited by XpUser4Real

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October 10, 2013 at 20:32:14
✔ Best Answer
Yes, try the original memory configuration again, if that works, you can try booting to just the new memory. If it does not boot, it is not compatible or just a bad stick of memory. If it does boot by itself, it might work with the system, but is not cross compatible with your old memory. More specifically, the voltage or timings are not close enough for the computer to run both together. Especially for this reason, memory should be purchased as a matched set in order to get the most of the computer because the machine then can run in dual channel mode. There is a small possibility that switching the positions of the memory as in the new memory in the slot the older 4GB was in and the old 4GB stick in the slot that the 2GB stick was. This might work because the motherboard/BIOS often sets the voltage and timings based on the first slot and the one stick might be more able to run on the other's settings than the other way around. A matched set is still better, but this might work and since you already have it, it is worth the try. You can always change them later, unless you can return the one and pay the difference.
If you need to, you can go to a memory mfg's site like and let them scan your system and read the detailed specs on their recommended memory upgrade.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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October 10, 2013 at 22:31:39
After trying the new sticks, I put the old sticks back in, in their original slots. Rebooted and got this

Blue Windows screen, grey Windows 'Startup Repair' Dialogue box, saying

'Your computer was unable to start. Do you want to restore your coomputer using System Restore?

When I click Restore it goes into
Attempting Repairs ...

After about 5 minutes it gives me the message:

Startup Repair cannot repair this computer automatically
Send Information
Don't Send

I click Don't Send and it says

Click Finish to exit and shut down your computer. I do this and the computer shuts down normally.

Then restartring it first goes to 'Starting Windows', this time with the colored Windows logo, then ....

Applying update operation 110 of 110 (Windows\ Registry [rest of the path I can't see]

Then goes to 'Preparing to configure Windows, do not shut off your machine'. It configures 100% and goes to desktop, fully loaded Win 7, all programs intact, and runs fine. After that, Windows restarts normally each time.

After that I tried just swapping the position of the original 2 and 4Gb sticks, in different slots and that also works fine and boots up to Windows normally. BIOS shows the original 6Gb, Win Sys info shows the original 6Gb. All is good there.

After that I re-tried the one new 4Gb, with the original old 4Gb, and this time it goes to Starting Windows (NOT the two choice 'Launch Startup Repair' \ 'Start Windows Normally' screen) At starting Windows, it just hangs. I let it hang for fiften minutes to see if it was just attempting to start, but no go.

Then I tried the new 4Gb with the old original 2Gb to see if that would work. It goes into the black screen with the two choices:

Launch Startup Repair
Start Windows Normally

CLicking 'Launch windows Repair' (default choice) it goes to

Windows is loading files...
Then goes to a completely blank black screen, where it hangs indefinitely. However, rebooting into BIOS it does show 6Gb (6144Mb)

Then I swapped position of those two sticks into different slots (new 4Gb and old original 2Gb) and got the same result, either a loop of the two choice window, or a hanging black screen.

Then trying the new 4Gb alone, I first booted to BIOS and it showed up as 4Gb alone. It got to the two choice screen. Selecting Start Windows Normally, it went into the dreaded blue screen saying 'A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL'

Rebooted and selected 'Launch Startup Repair' at the two choices and it went back to the blue screen, with suggestions such as verify the driver, run safe mode, or disable and new hardware.

And finally, I tried just the old 4 Gb alone it booted first into system config, the normal to Windows.

Returned to my original 2 and 4Gb RAM and it worked

So about all I can conclude from this is that the new 4Gb is either incompatible or a bad stick. A couple questions ....

If the new 4Gb, paired with the old 4Gb memory, does show up as 8Gb in BIOS, but still won't load Windows, can I conclude that the machine will indeed take 8Gb, but just that the new memory is hooped or incompatible? I know that particular memory stick won't run, but my question is more about determining if the machine will for sure take 8Gb. I still haven't ruled out that even if I get a compatible new 4Gb stick, the machine will only run with 6Gb.

I'm gonna take your suggestin now and go to to get a scan. I'll let ya know the results.
And thanks for your input Fingers

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Related Solutions

October 10, 2013 at 23:09:37
The scan confirmed that my laptop's max is 8Gb. It gave recommendations. So, back to the computer store tomorrow, to see if I can exchange the memory. Or another thought ... is there still a chance that it just won't work unless this 4Gb stick is paired with an exact match? Or if it won't work alone, it just won't work period.

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October 11, 2013 at 06:40:14
it is usually recommended to use matching pairs of Ram

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October 11, 2013 at 11:56:18
I would return the 'bad' stick and get a matching pair. If it is a 'real' computer store, they may let you install the memory in the store to prove it works and then pay the bill. Look for quality name brand memory and if possible a sealed package to be sure that it was not someone's returned memory.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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October 11, 2013 at 14:46:51
I took the memory back this morning. We tried another new stick, same brand, sealed pkge, same result. They had the tech look at it and he got back to me 5 min later telling me it should work but it's not. That was the only brand they had in stock. He was trying to tell me that it\s a problem with my computer, but when I pointed out that my old memory works fine, he mentioned the voltage and timing issues, and said they could special order it in. But they wanted to charge me a $30 shop fee to look at it, make the determination, and then get the new RAM. pfffft! I got a refund instead. Seriously, this shop ... it's the only game in town (small town) and I've spent at least $2 or 2.5K over the years, and the place has just gone downhill in the past few years. The service is now crap. So much for shopping local. I thin I'll just take the recommends form crucial and find the RAM online. I appreciate the help anyways.

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October 11, 2013 at 17:48:23
Look at for computer components, good quality, good prices, quick shipping.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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