I Upgraded RAM and Windows 7 Won't Boot !!

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Raza0007, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    I encountered a strange problem and I could not find any solution to it online. Can someone here please help me out on this?

    I have two sister laptops with identical specs (Dell XPS M1530). Both have 3 GB (2 GB Stick + 1 GB stick) of RAM installed on them (both support max 4 GB of RAM). I wanted to take one 2 GB stick out of one and put it in the other laptop to make one laptop with 4 GB RAM and one with 2GB.

    However, when I changed the RAM to 4 GB on one of the laptops, the PC booted up fine, and the BIOS detected the new RAM and showed the total RAM as 4 GB, but Windows 7 refused to boot up properly and shut down with a Blue Screen.

    I did not take a pic of the error screen but found the following graphic from the web, my error message was identical, but probably with a different error code.

    I want to know why Windows 7 would not boot with a RAM upgrade?

    Both RAM sticks and RAM slots are working fine. It is not a problem with RAM sticks. Both have Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit installed on them.

    The other laptop which got downgraded to 2 GB of RAM would also not boot into Windows, even though on that Laptop too the BIOS detected downgrade in RAM and booted fine.



    Over the years I have changed RAMs on multiple desktops without any issues, this is the first time I have encountered a problem where the BIOS detects the RAM and boots up, but Windows does not boot.

    Any suggestions at what might be causing this?
     
  2. Nutty Kutchie

    Nutty Kutchie Registered Member

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    Go into your BIOS and load default settings to clear the CMOS memory.
    1. Save Settings and exit the BIOS.
    2. Shut down and turn off the computer.
    3. Unplug the computer from the wall or surge protector (then remove the battery if it is a laptop).
    4. Hold down the power button for 30 seconds. This closes the circuit and ensures all power from components is drained to clear the software connections between the BIOS and hardware and clear any corruption in the temporary memory.
    5. (If it is a laptop, plug the battery back into the laptop and then) Plug the computer back into the wall.
    6. Turn it on to reinitialize the software connections between the BIOS and hardware, and post back your results.
     
  3. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    Nutty Kutchie,

    Thanks for your suggestion. I do not have access to the other laptop right now and will not have it until Friday night. I will try the steps you mentioned on Friday and report back.

    So you are saying that the problem occurred because the CMOS memory was not cleared properly, even though the BIOS detected the change in memory?

    I just want to understand what caused this problem.
     
  4. Nutty Kutchie

    Nutty Kutchie Registered Member

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    That is 1 possibility,with the problem that you are having most tec's will tell you to check that first.
     
  5. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    OK. I will try these steps and report back on Saturday.

    Thanks.
     
  6. Rolo42

    Rolo42 Registered Member

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    Probably not but this is still an assumption since I don't know if you employ sound ESD practices. Additionally, the memory may be fine but the configuration may not be:
    • BIOS timings like @Nutty Kutchie 's sound advice would address
    • Stick placement (Are you putting both of them in one channel?)
    • Different/Incompatible sticks--what are their timings?
    • Single-sided vs. Double-sided...not sure if that's an issue with DDR2...check your manual
    If clearing CMOS doesn't fix it, I would run memtest86+.
    If it passes, you know the memory installation is good and the problem may be with RAM/device memory conflicts (clear DMI data when you clear CMOS if that's an option)--this would be my biggest suspect, especially since it happened with both laptops.
    If it fails, you know where to look.
     
  7. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    This possibility occurred to me but I did tests on the individual RAM sticks and ruled out faulty RAM or faulty RAM slots. Windows boots up fine with different combination of the RAM sticks, put in different RAM slots, as long as the total RAM is 3 GB. The laptop only has two RAM slots. The RAM used is DDR2 SDRAM 667 MHz. The motherboard supports the two RAMs in shared dual channel mode, if the two RAM sticks are of the same size.

    The 1 GB RAM sticks are from Samsung.
    The 2 GB RAM sticks are from Hynix.

    I do not currently know the timings of these RAM sticks, but since they work with each other so they should have same timings.

    I will try the steps you and Nutty Kutchie mentioned, hopefully they will solve the problem.

    I also wanted to understand what occurred here to prevent Windows from booting.

    My understanding of PC boot process is that first the CPU initializes and looks for the BIOS flash ROM and then POST is executed which checks for and initializes attached hardware. Part of the POST is to check the system RAM and this part of the boot process goes ahead smoothly. If there was a problem with a RAM stick or there was an incompatibility with the RAM timings or anything, POST would have failed. The PC completes POST and then I can even see Windows boot screen logo, but then something happens. Windows boot process terminates with the error message I linked earlier. This is what is puzzling me, why would Windows have any thing to do with the addition of a RAM stick?

    The first time when I encountered the blue screen, I rebooted and then entered the BIOS. There I could see both RAM sticks initialized and working, and the system correctly identified the total system RAM as 4 GB.

    As mentioned before I cannot check anything until Friday night, when I will again have access to all the RAM sticks.
     
  8. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    they can actually be upgraded to 8gb just so you know trust me on this im a dell warranty tech and have tried it, it works fine. corsair vs8gsdskit800d2 kit is a perfect example that i have personally used. there are no timings to set its a laptop and there are none in the bios. there is an updated bios which does affect memory so check your bios version and make sure you have the newest one flashed on it. 667 should work also but i always use 800 kits on these they just seem to be more compatible with them.

    remove all ram. install just ONE stick at a time and reboot with just that one stick installed (do not add another one each time) does it boot with each one by itself? if so then there is an issue with the different ram not being compatible with the other ones. it sounds like there may be a issue between the 2 different sticks maybe timings or voltage requirements etc may also be affecting it.
     
  9. rrrh1

    rrrh1 Registered Member

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    You have the 32 bit version of windows seven and It supports a (Minimum physical memory (RAM) 4GB.

    see:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_7

    There is a setting that must be enabled to allow windows to access this memory.

    This may be the problem...

    I have no ideal about the downgraded one though...

    Could have something to do with the way windows was originally installed.

    Really need the 64 bit version of Windows to fully use 4 GB or more anyway...

    rrrh1 (arch1)
     
  10. Rolo42

    Rolo42 Registered Member

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    If only that were the case, we wouldn't need separate memtest software; POST only tests low memory (the first 64K); it only verifies the presence of the rest--otherwise POST would take 2-3 hours.

    I already answered that: device ROM and I/O memory allocation
     
  11. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    windows version has nothing to do with it. the only thing that will affect is the os not being able to use the full 4gb+
     
  12. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    I'd boot to Linux LiveCd on both the 4GB & 2GB setups. I think that's the easiest way to differentiate between a software (Windows) & a hardware problem. I have'em around so I'd try a bunch of 32bit LiveCDs if 1 didn't work. A bunch are at distrowatch.com
     
  13. rrrh1

    rrrh1 Registered Member

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    I was just making a point that unless he can go 64 bit operating system it's not any real gains with going from 3GB to 4GB (a 32 bit windows will not use the full 4GB even if it can access it all 3.25 -3.75 GB would be available) .

    I have had 32 bit windows XP if upgraded from 2 to 4 GB to black screen after the splash and fail to boot correctly.

    I would put them back to the way they were at the beginning an see if they would boot and proceed from there...

    The Intel Core 2 Duo T9500 is 64bit compatable.

    rrrh1 (arch1)
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
  14. Rolo42

    Rolo42 Registered Member

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    Correct. If not switching to 64-bit, then all you did, effectively, was remove 1GB RAM from one machine and maybe added 128K-256K to the other (more than that is uncommon).

    Then the question becomes: is a 4GB 64-bit machine really more efficient than a 32-bit 3GB machine?
     
  15. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    imo this model dell laptop runs better with x86 than with x64 windows. i have worked on well over probably 100 of these and it feels much more responsive normally with x86 imo, it is for sure capable of x64 though but it seems to have some lag here and there and slower boot times etc with x64.
     
  16. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    Nutty Kutchie,

    Clearing the CMOS memory did the trick! I am able to boot into Windows 7 32-bit with 4 GB of RAM installed on my PC.

    Thank you very much for the suggestion. I do not know why I had to clear the CMOS memory this time, because I have previously changed RAM multiple times on my older desktop computers without having to resort to clearing the CMOS memory.

    Anyways, everything is fine now and working great.

    Thanks to everyone else who contributed.
     
  17. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    zfactor, this is an old laptop and this is why I did not upgrade RAM on it. With 32-bit Windows 3 GB of RAM is more than enough for me. I wanted to upgrade to a 64-bit Windows 10, so this is the reason for the RAM upgrade to 4 GB. Also, the extra RAM was free as the sister laptop is just being used for browsing and email, so it does not need more than 2 GB.

    I will most likely buy another PC in a few months.
     
  18. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    Actually a 32-bit windows can only address a max of 4 GB of memory, how much a memory a PC can support is up to the motherboard. However, my problem was being caused by the CMOS memory and clearing it fixed the issue.
     
  19. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    WinPE of Macrium and Paragon were booting fine, for some reason Windows had an issue. I already knew it was not a RAM hardware issue as all the RAM sticks are working fine on the two Laptops. I also checked them individually.
     
  20. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    The reason I wanted to upgrade my RAM was that I wanted to upgrade to the 64-bit Windows 10 on my PC. And the reason I did not upgrade the RAM before was that with a 32-bit Windows, 3 GB was more than enough for me, not to mention that a 32-bit windows can only address a total of 4 GB of RAM, so there was no point in going beyond 3 GB. Right now with 4 GB for RAM installed, Windows shows the effective RAM as 3.5 GB.
     
  21. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    My current laptop originally came pre-installed with a 32-bit Windows Vista. The processor can run a 64-bit Windows, and I remember installing a 64-bit version of Windows 7 on it long time ago. I did not notice any improvement or degradation in the speed. Since the total RAM on this PC was 3 GB, so I reinstalled a 32-bit OS back on it.
     
  22. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    Make sure they are seated properly. I have seen Lenovos refuse to even post if the second RAM dimm isnt seated correctly.
     
  23. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    I would recommend sticking with the version of Windows that came pre-installed on the PC, as that particular PC is optimized for that version of Windows. This Dell XPS M1530 was bought on the new year sale of 2007 and in those days all PC came pre-installed with 32 bit Windows. I did install a 64-bit Windows 7 on it and for the brief time it was installed I could not tell any difference in the speed, but I never installed any third party software, so maybe this is why I could not tell difference in responsiveness.
     
  24. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    I am sorry I must have missed your post while I was responding to others. Yes, this is the first thing I checked, but since the BIOS was detecting the installed RAM correctly, so I assumed that something else was going on here. Clearing the CMOS memory by restoring the BIOS defaults helped solve the problem.
     
  25. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    interesting never had to ever clear cmos on a laptop to add ram in over 26 years not sure why that worked. but awesome it did
     
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