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Old 05-03-2010, 05:30 AM   #1
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Question upgrading old laptop ram

Here's the deal, I inherited this old 2004 laptop when mom died last august and it's ran well, its just that it only has 384 meg of ram out of 512 meg installed due to the 128 meg onboard video. After research I learned this can be upgraded to 2 gig of ram so I used cpu-z to discover the speed and such and then went to frys for another gig and brought it home and installed it, first time I've done a ram install on a laptop and it installed fine or so I thought. After a few hours of use started having weird problems like firefox crashing on load or crashing at random then games would do the same. Then finally windows xp crashed with a generic BSOD that seemed to point to ram so I thought okay the ram wasnt seated correctly so I reseated it and it worked fine for a bit again but then started doing the same thing so I pulled it and put the old stick back in and it worked fine. Tonight was finding the box so I can return it for a new stick and noticed the ram is 333 mhz pc2700, the ram sticks in here now are also pc2700 but only 166 mhz, could that be why I'm having problems or is it just faulty ram?
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Old 05-03-2010, 05:55 AM   #2
The 9th Sage
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It seems like having a slower speed than the computer is rated would be ok (at the very least it caused no problems for me when I was doing something similar on this box), but I had some weird compatibility issues with RAM on my old laptop before it died, so I'm not sure what to suggest...it seems kind of like laptops can be rather picky.
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:39 PM   #3
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Generally speaking, the speed of the memory doesn't matter within the same type. In the case of that particular machine, any speed DDR should work properly. One thing to keep in mind though is your memory speed will be downclocked to the lowest DIMM you have installed. For example, if your computer had two PC-3200 DIMMs and you installed a PC-2100 module, your memory would all run at PC-2100.

A compatibility issue could certainly be possible, but typically a compatibility problem would result in the computer not booting or simply not recognizing the additional memory. Sporadic errors like that are usually indicative of a bad module. I would try to exchange the new memory for a new module and see if the issue persists. If possible, you may also want to try another brand.

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