View Full Version : cannot support over 256MB Ram?

22-08-2002, 07:11 PM
I have a Intel PIII-733EB system with a Asustek Motherboard supporting up to 1GHz RAM running Win98SE.

Recently I tried to install over 256MB Ram but strange errors began to occur. I have a newly bought 256MB SD-Ram piece and 2 old 64MB SD-Ram pieces. When I installed all of them together, my computer is able to detect te correct amount but errors begin to occur. When I test the memory using a low-level memory tester (DocMemory from www.simmtester.com), no errors are found. But when I test the memory using a high-level memory tester (Norton Diagnostics from Norton Utilities), errors are found. The location of the errors are different each time. And Windows will ahve very strange unpredictable and never-before-seen errors. Sometimes there are errors even trying to open the Start Menu (just after boot up). Sometimes the system doesn't load up right.

I tried installing the RAM pieces in different order as well as installing only some of them, but there will be always be errors when there are over 256MB Ram. I asked my retailer and he suggests it might be imcompatible memory brands so he offered to swap to another memory brand, but the problem still persists. (All 3 RAM pieces are of different brands in the first place, so I don't think that was the problem since 2x 64MB work fine.)

Now I only use 256MB Ram and gave away the other 2 smaller RAM pieces. But I'm still confused as to what my problem is. My only other guess is that all memory pieces must be of the same size, but I am not able to check that based on what I have. My motherboard manual also said nothing about this. So can somebody shed any light here?

22-08-2002, 07:43 PM
Is it a "brand name" computer (like Compaq or HP)?

If so, the OEM BIOS fitted is different to the standard motherboard one.

My PIII 667 will take 512 Mb of RAM under the standard BIOS but only 256 under the HP bios.

22-08-2002, 09:14 PM
if i remeber correctly nortons disnostic has problems with large amounts of ram.

what chipset does the motherboard use? there seems to be a lot of memory related problems with amd cpu boards when useing muliable memory modules. if at all possiable keep it down to 1 or 2 ram sticks. even tho a lot of boards say they support eg 4 memory sticks if you try to use 4 memory sticks you run into memory probs.

if you are having probs with the 256 meg stick on its own then i would change it for another brand.

23-08-2002, 11:30 AM
Iím a bit reluctant to get into this because of my own failing memory, but on the basis that someone else may be able to correct me and elaborate further Iíll give it a go.

Firstly, my understanding is that SDRAM operates in sync with the CPUís FSB. Therefore the Memory must be at least up to the speed of the bus. Faster Memory will work with a slower bus speed but it is a very bad idea to mix memory speeds.

Secondly, having ensured that the problem isnít a speed conflict some chips only operate reliably in pairs once you exceed a single slot. (i.e. if you pair one you must pair the other)

Finally, godfather has already pointed out the possibilities of a BIOS conflict.

However, I stand to be corrected on all of this.



Tom B.
23-08-2002, 03:17 PM
Tweak'e is right. Norton's diagnostic does not work reliably with more than 256M of ram. There is a article about it on Symantec's site. Diagnostic is not included in Systemworks 2002, probably because of this problem. This does not solve your problem however - only explains Norton's error messages.