computer memory question

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computer memory question

Postby domromer » Tue Jun 19, 2007 12:01 am

My computer is starting to run slow and I want to add some memory. I've got a dell e310 and the manual says it can expand up to 2gigs of ram. I opened up the case and found 2 memory slots, both are full and say 512megs each. I'm new to hardware so forgive me if this question is stupid. Would I take out the 2 512meg cards and replace them with 1 gig cards each? I was pretty sure of myself until I found a website that mentioned how both ports on the pc are already full. I wasn't sure if that meant I couldn't upgrade the ram that was already there.
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Postby chris86wm » Tue Jun 19, 2007 12:46 am

Yes, you would take out the two sticks of 512mb and pop in two sticks of 1g to get 2g total of ram. You don't necessarily have to take them both out. You could remove one and replace it with a gig stick to make it 1.5g. It really just depends on what you wanna do.

My guess is that your computer is running DDR ram. DDR2 is now the industry standard and will NOT work with your ram if it is DDR.
Run a check using this:
http://images.crucial.com/drivers/CrucialScan.exe

It should list all of your installed ram as well as what kind it is. Look in the "Currently installed memory" section of the report and you should see something like "DDR PC3200" or you may see DDR2 listed. Depending on what the report gives you, that is what you will need to buy to upgrade (ie, if it says DDR then buy 2 1g sticks of DDR, if it says DDR2, then get 2 1g sticks of DDR2 ram.)
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Postby kvanorsdel » Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:38 am

When I upgraded the memory on my Dell I used these guys and they were fast and prices where pretty good.

http://www.memoryx.com/

A friend of mine who works with computers told me that its OK to replace just 1 stick at a time but can cause the computer to have hiccups every now and then so he suggested I get another stick so each slot as the same amount.
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Postby domromer » Tue Jun 19, 2007 7:14 am

chris86wm wrote:Yes, you would take out the two sticks of 512mb and pop in two sticks of 1g to get 2g total of ram. You don't necessarily have to take them both out. You could remove one and replace it with a gig stick to make it 1.5g. It really just depends on what you wanna do.

My guess is that your computer is running DDR ram. DDR2 is now the industry standard and will NOT work with your ram if it is DDR.
Run a check using this:
http://images.crucial.com/drivers/CrucialScan.exe

It should list all of your installed ram as well as what kind it is. Look in the "Currently installed memory" section of the report and you should see something like "DDR PC3200" or you may see DDR2 listed. Depending on what the report gives you, that is what you will need to buy to upgrade (ie, if it says DDR then buy 2 1g sticks of DDR, if it says DDR2, then get 2 1g sticks of DDR2 ram.)


Thanks for the link , it said I've got ddr2 and I can expand up to 2g for 83$. Will I notice a big increase in speed going from 1g up to 2g? I'm editing large photoshop files and it seeems to take forever.
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Postby Dogma » Tue Jun 19, 2007 8:04 am

Will I notice a big increase in speed going from 1g up to 2g?


Maybe. It depends on whether you're maxing out the memory you already have, and why. Generally speaking, more memory is always a good thing. However, there's no sense paying for more memory, if it turns out that something else is the problem. There can be lots of other causes for slowness. The e310 is a pretty modern machine, so it's worth checking to see if you have some other issue, especially if your problem started fairly abruptly. Spyware or some other malware is always a possibility that can slow you down substantially. If you're already running good virus/spyware defenses (correctly), then some other things to check when your computer is slowing down can be found here: http://www.castlecops.com/t175258-Slow_ ... lware.html The page can be a little slow to load if their server is busy, so give it a minute.

Even a basic tool like watching the Windows Task Manager (Performance Tab) can tell you a little about what's happening since it shows real-time(ish) CPU and memory usage.
A more advanced tool for monitoring and reviewing your CPU usage is: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysint ... lorer.mspx

I edit Photoshop files on a much older and slower machine than yours without problems, so I'd definitely look into the Castlecops suggestions and the possibility of spyware before spending on memory.
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Postby some call me...tim? » Tue Jun 19, 2007 9:08 am

One thing to keep in mind is that since it's a Dell, there might be some proprietary stuff going on in there. I don't know the ins and outs of Dells, but I've heard about some upgrades not working with Dells b/c Dell wants you to use THEIR stuff. Stuff that SHOULD work might not b/c there's a slight size difference or something. Don't know what models those applied to, but I think I've heard about that kind of stuff happening with RAM and video cards.
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Postby chris86wm » Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:07 am

Tim_the_Enchanter wrote:One thing to keep in mind is that since it's a Dell, there might be some proprietary stuff going on in there.

I have two dells (laptop and desktop) and have never had problems upgrading the ram. You may have trouble upgrading the video card, but the ram will not be a problem.

As far as malware is concerned. I would run a basic check to clear out any crap you have on there.
To remove any adware
Spybot S&D
www.safer-networking.org

if you are in need of a decent FREE virus scanner
Avast Antivirus
http://www.avast.com/
AntiVIR Personal Ed.
http://www.free-av.com/

also, couldnt hurt to defrag your system or run a "msconfig" to remove unwanted startup programs
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Postby SkaBob » Wed Jun 20, 2007 8:05 am

There hasn't been any regular occurrence of an OEM requiring you to use their upgrade parts since Compaq required that you used tin plated RAM back in like 1996...So many people complained and stopped doing business with Compaq that they almost bought the farm, and so nobody does that anymore (that, and I believe there was talk of anticompetitive lawsuits brought against them).

If your computer WAS running fine, and is not now, you're looking at malware or OS decay. If it were my system, I'd just wipe the boot drive and reinstall everything. In cases where malware is actually impacting the performance of the system, you can basically guarantee that even the GOOD spyware scanners (yes even spybot) can miss some, because the malware is beign written specifically to avoid detection by those very programs. You run spybot, it cleans the system, you reboot the next time and one of the pieces of spyware goes and installs a handful more, each of which could install a handful more, and so on...

In IT, when a system gets enough junk on it to really notice, we just wipe and start from scratch. It is POSSIBLE to remove it all by hand, but you really need to know what you're doing, and it's actually quicker in most cases to re-format and re-install.

That said, a gig of ram is plenty, I'm a gamer, and that's all I have in my primary game rig...You will notice a speed boost going to 2 gigs, but not as much as you would've noticed if you went from 512MB to 1gig... Even working with Photosloth you'd seriously need to be keeping files open that are over a hundred megs, and if you're working with files that big on a box that small, you need to reconsider if it's just RAM you need! :lol:
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Postby domromer » Wed Jun 20, 2007 8:20 am

how do I access my start menu. I have like 50 diffirent messengers and music players start when I turn on the computer. I'd like to turn off all this shit, the computer crashes a lot when trying to start all this stuff. It was my sistes computer so it opens myspace, youtube, and all sorts of other crap on the initial start.
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Postby some call me...tim? » Wed Jun 20, 2007 8:39 am

Ugh, I've used computers like that before...where whoever used it before just clicked "OK" to anything that popped up and asked to be installed. In addition to the Spybot S&D that Chris mentioned, I'd also get a copy of AdAware (there are some things spybot picks up that adaware doesn't, and vice versa) http://www.download.com/Ad-Aware-2007-F ... l&tag=top5

On top of that, I'd go to start-->programs and look through the list and uninstall anything i saw that I didn't use or don't recognize. Most of the time there's an option to uninstall right there, but for a list of all the programs installed on your computer, go to start-->settings-->control panel-->add/remove programs.

Also, I don't know what browser you're using, but I'd recommend not using Internet Explorer...it seems more targeted for pop ups and adware and whatnot (I use Firefox).
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Postby chris86wm » Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:42 am

domromer wrote:how do I access my start menu. I have like 50 diffirent messengers and music players start when I turn on the computer. I'd like to turn off all this shit, the computer crashes a lot when trying to start all this stuff. It was my sistes computer so it opens myspace, youtube, and all sorts of other crap on the initial start.

Reboot into safe mode by pressing F8 when your computer starts up. Run the spyware/virus scanners in my previous post when you get into safe mode and remove anything that it picks up.
Restart your computer normally. Then go to your start menu and click on "run". In the little box type "msconfig" and hit OK. Go to the "Startup" tab on the newly opened window. Everything listed here starts up when you boot your computer. Go through the list and disable all the unwanted crap by unticking the the check. Then hit apply, and restart. This should speed things up a bit for you.

After this, follow Tim_the_Enchanters advice
Most of the time there's an option to uninstall right there, but for a list of all the programs installed on your computer, go to start-->settings-->control panel-->add/remove programs.

uninstall any unwanted programs such as messangers and music players using this menu.

If all else fails or you just dont wanna fool with this, you could do a fresh install of windows.
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Postby Dogma » Wed Jun 20, 2007 10:07 am

I have like 50 diffirent messengers and music players start when I turn on the computer. I'd like to turn off all this shit, the computer crashes a lot when trying to start all this stuff. It was my sistes computer so it opens myspace, youtube, and all sorts of other crap on the initial start.


I'd say that's your problem. Your cleanest solution is to reinstall windows, and then only install programs you intend to use. A great tool for controlling what does and doesn't start automatically is http://www.windowsstartup.com/startupinspector.php It's free, but it isn't going to help you with any spyware you might have, or any registry or OS inconsistencies you may have developed. You've got so much crap on there that like SkaBob said, no amount of work will undo it properly. Just start over clean
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Postby chris86wm » Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:02 pm

Dogma wrote:A great tool for controlling what does and doesn't start automatically is http://www.windowsstartup.com/startupinspector.php


This is exactly what the "msconfig" command does. So i would go with msconfig since its already built into windows and you dont have to install more crap along with the crap you already have.
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Postby Dogma » Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:17 pm

This is exactly what the "msconfig" command does.


False. It is the same in that it allows you to enable/disable startups, but it is totally different in that it also tells you what the various startups are. Most novices don't know for example that "SM1BG" is part of their USB storage system, or that "regshave" might be part of their digital camera software. In other words, they look at the msconfig list and have no idea what to do with it, or what is safe to change.

Startup Inspector gives DESCRIPTIONS of most startup items, and also gives recommendations for whether they are essential or not. It has no running processes (unless you open it to edit it), so it places no load on the system. I'm not saying it's the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it does a good job of taking a confusing tool (msconfig) and making it understandable for beginners.
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Postby chris86wm » Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:08 pm

Dogma wrote:Startup Inspector gives DESCRIPTIONS of most startup items, and also gives recommendations for whether they are essential or not.

If by "descriptions" you mean it tells me that a file in my WINDOWS DEFENDER FOLDER is actually "Microsoft Windows Defender" then I guess you are right.......or you could read,use common sense, and work with msconfig.

Here's another helpful one "lxbbbmgr.exe" which is clearly located in my LEXMARK printer folder is "needed for the buttons on the printer to work"............uh well....no shit sherlock

If you have some common sense, you dont need this thing......but to each his own. whatever works for you.

You know domromer, you could skip all this hassle and just run linux :wink:
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