Solved What type of RAM will my computer actually accept?

January 19, 2015 at 00:10:11
Specs: Windows 7
I'm using an Alienware Aurora R2 Desktop from around 2010, and I've finally decided to upgrade from my 4 GB of ram (2x2gb sticks) to 16. Problem is, I've purchased and returned, three times now, differnt types of memory sticks that just don't work! I tried 2x8gb at 1866MHz, didn'd work. Then shifted down to 1600, didn't work, and now I'm using 4x4gb sticks running at 1600MHz, but it still isn't booting! I get to the alienware screen with the loading bar (where I'd hit f2 for the bios menu) and the loading bar pauses about 1/5 of the way done, and stays there. If I use just a single stick, the bar fills, but the system reboots at the windows screen. i've tried clocking my memory speed in my bios properly to 1600 (as it runs on an x10 number, and I think I can change that to x8 or x6, not sure what it means or if it's important) so I switched it to 160(x10) from 133(x10), and that didn't change anything. I'm at the end of my rope here, about to return these and grab the same 4x4 running at 1333, but I thought I'd ask here and see if anyone can help me figure out what type of RAM my computer will actually take! I went to www.crucial.com (as suggested by another person here when I had this issue earlier) and it reccomended 4gb sticks at 1600 as compatable with my motherboard, but it isn't working! What do I do?


Edit: The brand I'm using are the Kingston HyperX 8GB - 1600 CL 10 240 pin UDIMM Kit (2x4GB)

message edited by KingRhiot


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✔ Best Answer
January 20, 2015 at 06:05:03
Belarc Advisor.com

This is a list of a variety of other similar utilites; have only used Belarc and SIS software Sandra (lite) in the past...

http://alternativeto.net/software/b...

Mostly Belarc lately; Sisandra (as once known - "new/current" name above) in the past...

Looking at an old Belarc report for my elderly Acer Aspire 1692wlmi laptop I note it merely shows how much RAM installed; does not give the RAM specs...

However.. this link is for a couple of methods to see exactly what the RAM specs are.. There is a command line approach - OK for some; and the GUI method... Have to say I found the GUI approach seemingly very friendly; seems to give "all" the info you may require - including speed, volts etc.? Haven't actually tried it as I'm on a Mac system at present, and it Windows only as best I can tell.

http://tinyurl.com/k4z8jq5

And this one discusses a freebie utility that will give similar info; and they also of course mention Crucial's scanner...; and refer to Kingston and Pony too...

http://tinyurl.com/2eda8f

No doubt there are other methods too...



#1
January 19, 2015 at 02:56:04
Have you run the crucial.com scanner on your system?

Go to the website, let it scan your system - it's quite safe. It will advise what is appropriate for that motherboard.

You can also manually search for their recommendations - based on the computer model info you provide. But their scanner is usually better?


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#2
January 19, 2015 at 03:11:33
I have run the scanner. It said compatable items were the 4gb sticks at 1600 MHz, they were a different brand, but I figured 4gb at 1600 regardless of the brand would function properly

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#3
January 19, 2015 at 03:27:26
My own limited experience is that Crucial is usually very accurate; and I have followed their recommendations exactly.

Also I feel it's better to use sticks of one brand, and same specs. only whenever possible - rather than mix 'n match

Kingston is generally a solid brand.

Do you have the original RAM still to hand? If so does that still allow system to boot up OK?


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Related Solutions

#4
January 19, 2015 at 03:36:27
Yes. And the new sticks I have are all kingston, the exact same ones. I bought two sets of the 2x4gb sticks. I'm currently using my old ram to run the pc right now. Boots up just fine like it always did.

I didn't want to buy the specific brands listed by crucial, since they wre significantly more expensive than the kingston sticks I purchased.


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#5
January 19, 2015 at 06:30:53
mmm... have to say I'm out of ideas at this juncture...

My (again limited) experience is that Kingston are usually considered a safe and reliable RAM. So I'm at a loss to understand why they won't work with your motherboard.

Those you have (from Kingston) are "exactly" the specs as required for the motherboard?

Is this your model PC:

http://www.cnet.com/products/alienw...

A general trawl for the model you post seems to suggest it has max RAM capacity of 6Gig?


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#6
January 19, 2015 at 06:45:54
This appears to the manual for your model - at least the service version...

http://content.etilize.com/User-Man...

and this the user'/owner's manual - or a version of it at least. Oddly it appears to confirm the max RAM is 12Gig... (for the R2)? (See the specs page(s) towards the end of the manual.)

http://tinyurl.com/pvokxao

Possibly the latter manual may help resolve the problems? Possibly you are trying to exceed the stated RAM limit?

Might be worth to read through the pages 36-40 re' memory removal/installation/upgrade etc. Page 36 shows different installations allowed - depending on just which version of the Aurora you have...?


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#7
January 19, 2015 at 07:07:31
You're not posting specific model numbers for anything. Which CPU do you have? Is your system overclocked? Did you get 1.35V or 1.5V RAM sticks? When you boot the system with the RAM in place, are you hearing any beep codes or just a single beep? Are you 100% sure the sticks are fully seated in their slots? Are you sure you're configuring the BIOS settings correctly?

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#8
January 19, 2015 at 13:08:29
When booting up I do not hear any beeps. The memory sticks are seated properly (clicked into place with the holding bracers), 1.5v sticks, and I'm not sure what needs to be configured in my BIOS. Stock CPU that came with my PC.

I'm not sure where I'd find exactly what specs my computer runs, but I could post my product number that I took to the support.dell.com website if that'd help?

message edited by KingRhiot


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#9
January 19, 2015 at 13:12:04
If you have the Dell tag for your computer that opens up the whole specs etc.for that particular computer...

The specific model number ought to do that as well; but I have found the "tag" number actually more reliable. This especially if the computer in question in considered "olde, legacy etc." by current Dell support...

Is the manual I linked to above not specific to your particular model Dell?


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#10
January 19, 2015 at 13:24:45
The service manual appears to be the same, I don't have any other manuals to compare the other one too. But I can post the service tag if it helps! I checked it myself just now and didn't find anything too specific about "Motherboards" or "max memory capacity" or anything.

I think the non-service manual you posted isn't for my pc, as it listed ports 5 and 6 for memory, mine only has four ports.

And even if it was a max of 6gb, then it SHOULD have still run on the single 4gb stick from Kingston that I attempted.


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#11
January 19, 2015 at 13:45:39
There were different versions of that model; some used triple channel memory, some dual channel, which explains the confusion about amount supported. You can rely upon the Crucial scanner to have told you what you need for your particular computer. It seems fairly clear that you have the dual-channel model that supports 16GB of RAM; everything that you have said fits with that hypothesis.

I can't imagine why your Kingston memory doesn't work. As far as I can see it is the same as the Crucial memory. But, if possible, I would be inclined to return the Kingston memory and buy from Crucial what they recommend. That way you can be absolutely sure that it should work with your computer. They may be able to help with suggestions of BIOS settings if you still run into trouble with it.

Just as an aside (although it doesn't explain your current problems) can we take it that you are running a 64-bit version of Windows? If not, all this agonising will be in vain as a 32-bit Windows will only use 4GB.

message edited by ijack


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#12
January 19, 2015 at 15:35:46
Yes, it's 64 bit windows. I'll take another look at crucial and see if I can find anything out about bios...otherwise I'll have to buy from Crucial. Thanks for the info. If anyone has any other tips, I'd appriciate it! Otherwise I'll see what I can do with the info at hand, and select a best answer once I find out what I needed!

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#13
January 19, 2015 at 16:16:42
I looked at the manual provided by Dell's support side, here

ftp://ftp.dell.com/Manuals/all-products/esuprt_desktop/esuprt_alienware_dsk/alienware-aurora-r2_Service%20Manual_en-us.pdf

and came across this bit on page 38, for replacing the memory moduels, it said for Alienware Aurora R2

Type: 1066 MHz and I333 MHz DDR3 Slots: 1 and 2 or slots 1 — 4

So I'm assuming that despite Crucial's statements, my computer CANNOT use 1600MHz, and will only work with 1333, thoughts?


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#14
January 19, 2015 at 16:33:56
To date I have found Crucial correct whenever I've used the scanner utility; windows systems. Possible I guess for an error...

Perhaps get the system running with the RAM that works, and redo the scan?

I haven't ever simply entered any windows computer details manually for Crucial to advise; always used the scan option - successfully.

A quick check re' Crucial scanner for Mac does confirm there is one (since about 2008); but I'm not sure if ever I have used it on a Mac or not. I think I have once - and as I say whatever was suggested was fine (via scanner or not).


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#15
January 19, 2015 at 17:22:59
That's what I've been scanning. As we speak I'm using the computer running off the old functioning RAM, and scanning the same system. I'm not inputting model number, I'm scanning my system. But I suppose I might as well try the 1333HZ Kingston Brand (Amazon is very nice about returns so far, I'm not sure if Crucial is as leniant) and if that still dosn't work, then I'll have to go for Crucial.

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#16
January 19, 2015 at 17:23:21
This is the crucial.com scan result

http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/scanv...


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#17
January 20, 2015 at 01:03:36
1600MHz memory should run just fine at 1333MHz so I don't think that can be the problem.

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#18
January 20, 2015 at 01:07:51
"A quick check re' Crucial scanner for Mac does confirm there is one (since about 2008); but I'm not sure if ever I have used it on a Mac or not. I think I have once - and as I say whatever was suggested was fine (via scanner or not)."

The Crucial scanner certainly produces accurate results on a Mac. Considering the premium that Apple charge for RAM you should always buy a Mac with the least possible amount of RAM then upgrade it to a decent amount from Crucial (if it's upgradeable). It seems a waste to just throw away the original RAM, but it's a far cheaper option than buying the RAM from Apple in the first place.

Unfortunately Apple are now wise to this and are making their hardware without the ability to upgrade the RAM. Because of this I doubt that I will ever buy another Mac, unless I splash out on the ridiculously expensive Mac Pro.


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#19
January 20, 2015 at 02:15:14
Ijack: I discovered that change in Apple's policy re' memory configs recently; when checking out the specs. for their current Macbooks. That they also apply it to their "desktop system" (Mac Mini at least) is, I suggest, a dumb move; and one motivated by pure greed. Sadly the Apple brand - always a premium system in computing - is losing touch with the its public. Howver I suspect that M$ will likely go the sameway soon in terms of "forcing" users to pay fees to use their software (apps etc.) when it becomes available foruse "viathe web only". I have Office 360 in mind here; can see that become a model for further sqeueezing of end users for more cash (some might even suggest "extort cash from users...).

Equally sad is that Apple will persist in their new policy regardless, and likely encoruage other brands to follow suit. When Apple allowed clones to be produced/marketed some years back, they clearly got a fright, and saw their eliteness (and proffits) under threat; which is why they blocked them (the clones) in due course.

Like you Ishall likely hold off any major Mac purchases - not that I have any in mond at present; pending a possible review and change of (reversion to their previous) policy.

They got away with fixed, expensive systems with the iPad and iPhone, and I guess the money grabbers in the boardroom saw it worked and decided to apply it to the Mac computers too. Bearing in mind some of other "tablets" may allow upgrades re' RAM (I think it is possible with some?) I did read a while back that Apple was considering designing and allowing that option with their iPads in the future; but nothing more to date. Possibly Apple are going to try moving (encoraging - i.e. " forcing") general users onto tablets; and make Macs proper elite systemsonly - with a premuim price tag, and fixed configs. Regardless their next step (if it hasn't already occurred) will be to make Macs impossible to replace or upgrade the hard drive (which is now SSD by default?).

Meanhile.. Back to RAM problem... If the poster ran Belarc Advisor or similar, might it not identify exactly what RAM is currently working (sped etc. included); and thus the new RAM could/would be based/matched that way?

Though why Kingston won't work as is??

Is there a setting not corectly "set" in the bios that is impinging? My own, rather dated, experience with Dell systems was thad one simply reoved existing modules, plugged in the new/addirional as might be, and booted up. The new memory was automatically found, checked, and all worked.


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#20
January 20, 2015 at 04:06:04
I'm not sure what Belarc Advisor is, but I'll check tomorrow once I get home. I'm not sure what settings in the bios could be changed, the only thing I have differently is the boot devices (system recovery a few months back). Other than that, all my BIOS are at the default settings. I've removed old ram, and plugged in the new one, but like I said, it gets that loading bar to about 1/5 the way there, and pauses. The computer dosn't crash, it just won't progress any more. I don't know if I"m supposed to wait longer than ten minutes for it to change or anything.

Also during this time, I can't enter the bios, unless I have only ONE stick plugged in, then I can enter the bios, and through the bios menu it lists the information of the memory stick currently plugged in, wattage, size, how much it carries, even the make and model and manufacturer, but it won't boot up. With the single stick, the pc ends up on an endless cycle of rebooting as soon as it reaches the windows screen.


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#21
January 20, 2015 at 06:05:03
✔ Best Answer
Belarc Advisor.com

This is a list of a variety of other similar utilites; have only used Belarc and SIS software Sandra (lite) in the past...

http://alternativeto.net/software/b...

Mostly Belarc lately; Sisandra (as once known - "new/current" name above) in the past...

Looking at an old Belarc report for my elderly Acer Aspire 1692wlmi laptop I note it merely shows how much RAM installed; does not give the RAM specs...

However.. this link is for a couple of methods to see exactly what the RAM specs are.. There is a command line approach - OK for some; and the GUI method... Have to say I found the GUI approach seemingly very friendly; seems to give "all" the info you may require - including speed, volts etc.? Haven't actually tried it as I'm on a Mac system at present, and it Windows only as best I can tell.

http://tinyurl.com/k4z8jq5

And this one discusses a freebie utility that will give similar info; and they also of course mention Crucial's scanner...; and refer to Kingston and Pony too...

http://tinyurl.com/2eda8f

No doubt there are other methods too...


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#22
January 20, 2015 at 16:55:02
I took a look at the Belarc Advisor, but all it did was tell me what I already had installed. Couldn't find where it said what would work with it. SO i'm going to try a kingston 1333hz ram and see if that works. If not...ugh. I might be out of luck, save for buying from Dell's manufacturer

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#23
January 20, 2015 at 17:02:54
Agree that Belarc appears only to show the amount of RAM installed...

The last two links I offered above do provide options to determine RAM full spces. - either from the command line, or a gui interface (I'd go gui ss it's easier?)

Worth a try to see what your current working RAM spec actually is?

message edited by trvlr


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#24
January 22, 2015 at 14:18:21
I think Dell in the past used several brands of RAM, and recall (I hope correctly) that my first Dell (in the late 90s) had Micronix chips. What was used say about 8-10yrs ago no idea. I have successfully installed Crucial and/or Kingston RAM in desktop/tower systems of that vintage; went in without any problems.

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