Dell Inspiron 1521 RAM Problem

Discussion in 'Mobile Computing' started by N1NJ45N0WM4N, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. N1NJ45N0WM4N

    N1NJ45N0WM4N New Member

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    Well, in the Christmas of 2007 I got a Dell Inspiron 1521 laptop, which came installed with vista on it. (I'm 17 now, in case you were wondering :p, not some old guy getting presents from mommy)
    I reformatted it to XP just now, realizing that it would make life easier.

    But, there is a problem, the Dell Inspiron 1521 comes with 2GB of RAM (at least it had 2GB when I checked on Vista) and now that I am running on Windows XP I have only 894MB
    [​IMG]

    I installed all necessary drivers (mainly the chipset which is what matters)
    [​IMG]
    and I don't have the 2GB of RAM that I need to run all the programs I need at the same time. I have tried disabling the Primary and Secondary IDE Channels (bad idea), reinstalling the chipset, and setting the memory manually(most likely nothing to do with the problem >.<).
    [​IMG]
    I installed a new BIOS (AO6) from the Dell website, for the Inspiron 1521 if that may be the problem in any way.

    Any help as of how to get the 2GB of ram back would be much appreciated from a newb like me. xD
     
  2. Teme

    Teme Super Moderator

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    Hi there!

    Sorry for the late response your thread was in the wrong parts of the forums.

    Some of the RAM could be shared with the on board gfx card so XP reports it differently than Vista does.
     
  3. swimtech

    swimtech Well-Known Member

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    After doing the bios update, you still don't have a lot of time invested in application installations and so forth - might be worthwhile trying to wipe the hard drive clean and installing XP again from scratch.

    You could also run the Dell 32 bit Diagnostics (came on a CD with your laptop) using the Symptom Tree - with a focus on memory and the motherboard itself. If that doesn't find any problems, that's even more reason to reinstall XP from scratch I believe...
     
  4. Tipstaff

    Tipstaff Well-Known Member

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    Out of curiosity, are you using the official drivers for your graphics card, or modded drivers?

    Anyways, if I remember correctly the 1521 came in 3 versions: onboard ATI Xpress X1270, Go 8400, and Go 8600. The onboard ATI Xpress shared 128mb of system memory, the Go 8600 had 256mb of DDR2, but the Go 8400 used 128mb too, however I can't remember it if was shared or separate. That's not bad, but what amount is being shown is. Most likely you have 2 sticks of 1GB Ram, and since XP is reporting 894mb it kinda confirms that you are using shared memory for the graphics, but the kicker here is that from what I can tell one of the sticks of memory is either not working, maybe failed completely, or more than likely one of the sticks has come loose/dislodged. If both sticks were in there it would be more like 1920mb, or 1.8GB), but if one stick was not working you'd get the amount XP is currently showing (1024mb - shared memory = 894mb.. well.. close enough).

    So, the first order of business is to physically check your Ram. Turn off your system, open the Ram compartment, and re-seat both sticks of Ram by removing each stick then reinserting them. If XP still says you only have 894mb of Ram with both sticks in then try each stick by itself to see if it is a physical problem with one of the sticks of Ram. If both sticks work on their own, then look towards a bios or software issue. In fact, if you look inside the bios it should be reporting how much Ram you have. If it says 2048mb of Ram, then you know it's a Windows issue.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2008
  5. Nuke209

    Nuke209 New Member

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    couldn't the user just run cpu-z/cpuid and check if the ram is working?
     
  6. swimtech

    swimtech Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but it probably wouldn't help - or tell him anything different than Windows already has...

    Tip's suggestion is perfect - takes 5 minutes to reseat or remove a ram module for testing, then just boot into the bios to see if the machine sees the memory, and how it sees it - takes less time too. Truly, this should be done first - and the procedure fits the symptoms described in the Original Post. Sorry I missed suggesting this first...
     
  7. N1NJ45N0WM4N

    N1NJ45N0WM4N New Member

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    LOL Well it's 2011 now, I had completely forgotten about this here. Thank you all of you that tried to help! It turns out some kid named Bob stole my RAM. That's right, he STOLE MY RAM. Ordered 2GB replacement after reformatting and trying different versions of Windows. UBCD Didn't find anything either. Works now though.
     
  8. synthesis204

    synthesis204 New Member

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    Damn people named Bob. Can't trust `em, I say. Almost as bad as people named Dick.
     
  9. Tipstaff

    Tipstaff Well-Known Member

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    Now you can add "Because it may not even be there." to the list of reasons why you should check and make sure that your RAM is physical seated properly. :lol:
     

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