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SurferJoe46
17-12-2005, 02:06 PM
A Dell tech in my service class last night informed everybody there that Dells have a really bad tendency to lose contact in #2 and #3 expansion slots. It's not the RAM stick, but the slots themselves seem to go dead.

I asked if it was bad solder joints, but he said they looked and didn't notice that to be the problem. The slots just die...maybe from corrosion? Lack of use?

I had a very recent experience with #3 slot showing bad RAM in the old Dell/Dimension XPS-500 I was resurrecting last week, so I just pulled the stick and finished the install and it runs ok..not great..but good enuff.

Here's the question:
Has anyone here had this same experience?

Has there been any repairs made about this problem?

These are the old beige hightowers that were so popular in businesses and such.

tweak'e
17-12-2005, 02:58 PM
sounds like a lot of crap. it may be for a certain model ie poor motherboard design or bugy chipset. a few chipsets are well known for ram limititons and even certain brands known for problems when useing all ram slots. the chipset officall supports it, the company makes it to please customer even tho its buggy has hell to use. mt own mobo is like that. it is actually missing a ram slot but some brands have the extra one in even tho is impossible to use it.

Agent_24
17-12-2005, 03:17 PM
I was replacing the heatsink on a computer, which had 2 X 512mb sticks that I had removed as they were in the way....

Upon booting windows only 512mb was reported... I spent a while until I found for that board you have to push harder than normal or else the ram doesn't connect properly... the slots are very tight for some reason.

Motherboard was MSI KT6 Delta

SurferJoe46
17-12-2005, 03:57 PM
I was replacing the heatsink on a computer, which had 2 X 512mb sticks that I had removed as they were in the way....

Upon booting windows only 512mb was reported... I spent a while until I found for that board you have to push harder than normal or else the ram doesn't connect properly... the slots are very tight for some reason.

Motherboard was MSI KT6 Delta

I might try taking a soft pencil eraser to the gold connectors on the stick too...it might be a glitch in my technique too! I wonder how to clean the female side of the slot though?

"When all else fails, use a bigger hammer"

pctek
17-12-2005, 04:22 PM
A Dell tech in my service class last night informed everybody there that Dells have a really bad tendency to lose contact in #2 and #3 expansion slots.

What rubbish. Dells.....What a Dell? They have various motherboards in them depending on which model.
But then thats what you get for using CHEAP motherboards....
He should have said XXmodel motherboards has....

Metla
17-12-2005, 06:17 PM
As has already been noted, Dell don't make the components, they just souce cheap and nasty **** from whatever seat shop will do em for the cheapest amount. No telling what brand mobo is in a Dell untill you rip her apart,and even then you come across items of unknown manufacture.

As for thr eraser cleaning method, I have a big fat book here that states in no uncertain terms that should never be done as it leaves behind crud from the eraser.

Not that I have an opinion either way, Never occured to me to ever do that untill I read a book saying not to do so......

pctek
17-12-2005, 08:17 PM
If the connectors were really gold there would be no crud.
The only thing I ever use to clean components is isopropyl.


Apart from defluffing fans that is.

Anyway I'd toss it and buy a real PC.

BTW what is this "service class?"

bob_doe_nz
17-12-2005, 08:50 PM
As for the eraser cleaning method, I have a big fat book here that states in no uncertain terms that should never be done as it leaves behind crud from the eraser.
I always thought that since erasers were made of plastic these days that there would be a small electrostatic charge building up

Agent_24
17-12-2005, 10:02 PM
I recall the manual for a slot-car set saying that erasers work well to clean the tracks for the cars..... but of course computer ram is much more delicate

if you did want to use an eraser I guess any static charges could be neutralized with proper grounding equipment... but I haven't found the need to clean my ram yet (though plugging it in right does work wonders!)

godfather
17-12-2005, 10:10 PM
I have used erasers with no problem. The soft plastic ones are best, the harder abrasive ones may remove too much gold plating.

I have used and handled static sensitive chips since the early 1980's, and all you need to do is be sensible in handling. I have never destroyed any, often its just not practical to use anti-static precautions in the field, in industrial locations. Just watch what is touched.

The speed you would need to rub the eraser to create a static charge would be a rather interesting event to observe ....

Metla
17-12-2005, 10:46 PM
The book only made mention of material from the erasor sticking to the surface being cleaned, But then the same book also said that using a vacuem cleaner to clean a comp was also a big no-no, And that theroy has been dumped on from a great hight and dismissed as urban legend by people around here who know these things...


....Hence, I have no opinion........ :rolleyes:

SurferJoe46
18-12-2005, 04:46 AM
If the connectors were really gold there would be no crud.
The only thing I ever use to clean components is isopropyl.


Apart from defluffing fans that is.

Anyway I'd toss it and buy a real PC.

BTW what is this "service class?"

The service class is at the local junior college on every first and third Thursday evening from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Generally there are a few different levels of attendees. There's those who are just cruising through the class to pick up the other sex...and then again there are people who are looking for some help with their own pc's in the form of tech help, removing spyware and learning how to install hardware etc.

Basically it's a community class open to anyone with interest in anything that's electronic from pc's to vcr's and ipods. It serves a lot of good for people who are out of warrantee .....and so are their computers. A lot of senior citizens attend.

From time-to-time there are representatives there from major companies...of course the publicity is good for sales but they are not allowed to round up customers while they are on the campus.

After the lectures or presentations, groups go off to clusters that are generally involved in seperate situations that are common to that cluster and they have a lively question and answer period.

There are no degrees or scholastic certificates involved and there isn't any graduation either. Nobody graduates..ever.

BTW: ....love this: "defluffing fans"...that's gotta be NZ!

Graham L
18-12-2005, 11:28 AM
There was a reported problem some years ago. If the sockets were tin plated, and the memory sticks had gold plated edge fingers (or the other way around) , it was alleged that over time there could be some migration/reaction causing poor contact. This was with SIMM sticks. The chemistry would be the same with DiMMs, SODIMMs and whatever your memory packages are called now. ;)

I imagine tinplated sockets cost a fraction of a cent less than gold plated ones; ample cause for a manufacturer to use them. :cool: After all, this process would take a while, and it might not happen to everyone ... temperature and humidity would have major effects. ;)

SurferJoe46
18-12-2005, 12:43 PM
Thanks Graham...I am still playing with this puter for the hell of it....so far got this going on:


SLOTS are numbered 0, 1, 2 (0 closest to the rear of the tower...strange and not the way I would do it...but it's a Dell!)

got some RAM with:
128, 64, 64

Putting the RAM into the slots in the order they appear here, I get 192 k on the splash.

If I move the sticks around and put the 128 in #2 slot, I still see 192.

Put the same sticks in another Dell and in the wrong positions (smallest in 0 slot) then I get 192.

If I put the 128 in 0 slot, then I get 256.

Try that in the Dell of question, I get to the XP green beads running and then going to the next screen...BLACK.

Now....I just know that I cannot get to the vid driver until I get at least signed on..any ideas?

I had this old Dell on 98SE and it ran ok..but that's not a challenge to me..I just gotta get this to work! It worked well there with 98SE.

I have 2000Pro and ME too...I might try to go all through the installs of each and every one of them just to see where the wheels fall off!

Ain't this fun?

:badpc:
<picture of a man trying to understand slot numbering sequence on Dell puters>

tweak'e
18-12-2005, 01:09 PM
what chipset is the pc useing?

is the 128 dual sided (chips on both sides) or high density (ie only 4 chips on one side) ??

SurferJoe46
18-12-2005, 01:12 PM
single sided.....????

SurferJoe46
18-12-2005, 01:12 PM
I didn't mean to state that I didn't understand...I just wonder what the single-sided-ness means..that's all...

the stick in question is single sided..as are the 64's

tweak'e
18-12-2005, 02:27 PM
how many chips on the ram stick?

mind you sometimes its just incompatible, or the bios dosn't read the ram seting properly or dosn't know how to use them. a few pc have bios updates to fix such problems.

SurferJoe46
18-12-2005, 02:45 PM
I don't know if Dells have re-writeable bios or not...could be.....I remember the trouble I had with the W95.CIH.damaged file last year and the reflash I had to find, install and everything before the payload got delivered...PHEW!

the sticks on the Dells are all one-sided at this moment..and the 128 has 8 chips, the 64's have 4 each.

Agent_24
19-12-2005, 01:52 AM
Try that in the Dell of question, I get to the XP green beads running and then going to the next screen...BLACK.

Now....I just know that I cannot get to the vid driver until I get at least signed on..any ideas?

Have you tried safe mode? Or perhaps there is a problem with the video card. this has happened to me before when the video card was dying (and a similar problem also with a bad motherboard).

SurferJoe46
19-12-2005, 05:04 AM
Have you tried safe mode? Or perhaps there is a problem with the video card. this has happened to me before when the video card was dying (and a similar problem also with a bad motherboard).

That thought makes me want to install a smaller and less-overhead opsys to see what's going on.

Like I said, 98SE runs perfectly..but that's not what I want in this puter....

I will go up the scale from 98SE then ME, then 2000Pro and finally XP-Pro again to see what breaks it......

I already know that XP is having problems....it's just this black screen that bothers me..it doesn't do that in 98SE...but I think 98 would probably run on an abacas anyway. :lol:

I am the master here and this puter is gonna obey me!