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Guest Anthony_D

Upgraded RAM - now fs2004 crashes!

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Help!I just added a PC2700 512MB stick of RAM to my machine. It registered fine, no user intervention required in the BIOS, and windows XP shows the new memory added.Now then, I've been using fs2004 this evening and it crashes all the time - 12 times so far within 5 - 10 mins of launching fs2004! Sometimes it gives the error report (details mention panel.dll) sometimes it suddenly crashes to desktop in an instant and twice it caused an instant reboot with a subsequent disk check. No other applications on my machine have crashed tonight so far (OE6, IE6 and Excel 97). I've played with addon aircraft, default aircraft, slewing, different locations, weather and it crashes. Mostly it happens when I change view to the outside but other times its simply happened out of the blue - highly inconsistent.I've added the crucial.com stick of ram to the first slot. The second and third slots are occupied by two sticks of PC2100 256MB Ram. I asked crucial before purchasing and they said that the faster speed of the module will just default to the slower speed of the other two modules.Now the only other change has been the installation of editvoicepack 3.0 last night, but I doubt this is the problem as so far there have been no postings about problems with it.My specs:AMD Athlon 2100+1024MB PC2100 & PC2700 RamMSI Ti4200 - 64MB with 44.03 driversMSI KT3 Ultra 2 MotherboardWindows XP homePlease help!Anthony Dyer

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I would hazard a guess at the RAM you have installed is not compatible with your already installed memory. Take out the two 256's and see if your machine runs OK with the one stick of 512. If it does then you need to have all your memory modules running at the same speed. Just because people work in computer shops doesnt mean they know anything about computers!I myself had problems when I added another 512 to my system, same kind of problems. Turned out to be a dud stick.Regards,Markyboy.

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Regardless of what Crucial says, I've never seen successful mixing of RAM speeds. But I could be wrong this time. Pull out the other two chips, and see what happens. It could be a zapped RAM chip... You may also want to post in the H/W forum, as this is not a FS2004 issue per se'-John

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> Take out the>two 256's and see if your machine runs OK with the one stick>of 512. If it does then you need to have all your memory>modules running at the same speed. OK, I've done that. It runs fine with just the new 512mb stick. I've run fs2004 for half an hour, using different planes, panels, views, actions and there have been no problems.I then add the two other sticks and hey presto, it suddenly reboots when I pan down to some crt gauges in an A320 virtual cockpit (Project Airbus with Eric Marciano's gauges).I hope it can be fixed with some BIOS tweaking, failing that I hope dabs.com can have a good returns policy!I'll repost this in the hardware forum - never knew it existed!Anthony Dyer

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Hi,what I think might be a little more troublesome is the mixture of one 512 MB RAM stick with two 256 MB sticks. I've experienced it on various systems that configurations of that kind usually caused a lot of trouble.To keep it plain and simple: Most mobos don't like it very much, if more than two of their DIMM-banks are used - especially if it's RAM of different specifications. I've seen this causing instabilities even back in the era of PC66/100 SDRAM. Actually none of the sticks was really zapped - but when I put them in my machine alltogether the 'puter went completely berserk. And it repeated on my current system with a similar configuration like yours.Using two sticks of the same specification (512MB/PC333) the machine's running perfectly now.Regards, Thomas :-wave

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I haven't had stabilty problems with mixing of different RAM sizes--and that applies to my home system as well as the roughly 200 or so workstations I had to upgrade at my office last year. In both instances, I have 256 meg chips coexisting with 128 meg chips. But--the chips are from the same mfr and are the same speed. My home system hasn't had a lockup in I don't know when, although I was panic stricken when our A/C failed the other night and my cpu temp rose from it's 39 C norm to 49 C....expected a lockup for sure. My workstations at the office don't lock up, but they aren't for 3-d gaming either :)I have done this however--when I populate the banks with the chips, I populate from highest to lowest. -John

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I agree with John here the problem is the difference in ram speed it won't work ;-)1024 or 512 or 256 or 128 can coexist preferable from the same mfr and same speed :-)Have only had it working on different nodes with PC100 and PC133 but that even depended on the mobo :( (daily experience in a large network) SuccesAndr

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I've mixed speed, put 133 in with 100 in a system that only supports up to 100, the 133 just slows down to the maximum speed of the system. Your board will go up to 333/2700. It may be trying to push the 266/2100 up to 2700, when it see's the 2700 installed. Best solution would be buy more 2700 and loose the 2100, if budget allows. The manual does show you can set the speed manually instead of letting it detect. Chapter 3 page 3-14. The way I read it, you would use configure sdram timing by user and set sdram frequency to hclk+66. I don't know your board and I'm guessing at what I'm reading. If this was my system, I'd call MSI and ask them. They should have the right answer, or just say no way, you can't mix.

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>Best solution would be buy more 2700 and loose the 2100, if>budget allows.I'll do that, but not right now - my bank account needs to recuperate!>The manual does show you can set the speed manually instead of>letting it detect. Chapter 3 page 3-14. The way I read it,>you would use configure sdram timing by user and set sdram>frequency to hclk+66. I see that, it's currently set to SPD. However the manual doesn't elaborate as to what HCLK, HCLK+33 and HCLK+66 are. I'll try what you recommend tonight.>I'd call MSI and ask them. Their website doesn't seem to have a UK number. Is email response timely with them?Crucial.com recommends updating the bios before coming back for help. However, reading MSI's website - it looks tricky, something called 'flashing to bios'. I get the impression that it's an expert job, and if it goes wrong, then you're in trouble as the old bios is erased. (also can you create a DOS boot disk in windows XP?)One of my friends who looks after web servers. He reckon's it's lack of power. I think my PSU is rated at 300W but I'd have to check as I'm at work on lunch right now.Whilst I'm at it, I've got a few other upgrade projects for my machine. I want to upgrade my CPU to the XP3200+ or the XP3000+. However the manual says the cpu clock can be configured upto 220Mhz (it's currently at 133Mhz). Does the XP3200+ have a high enough core/clock ratio for this? Thanks for your help, I'm learning a bit more :-)Anthony Dyer

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Well, if anyone told you that it's fine to use not only different speed DIMM's (sticks) of RAM but also different size's of DIMM's together and 98% of the time get away with it they don't know anything about RAM.Never do that, not only should you get the same size and speed RAM, but also same make and same batch, AND not only that but with Crucial website you can get RAM tested for your specific MotherBoard for compatibility, not nice when you want to add to what you already have in your system, but if you want to be sure it works thats what you do.You might be able to get away with it from time to time, but the chance of problems like you have had is a lot higher otherwise.Another thing to consider is some motherboard's (though its less and less a problem now) have problems if you use all of your RAM slots, you may have 3-4 slots but some don't like you to use them all. (Like my Soyo Dragon+ MB thats only about 1.8 years old)So, best tip I can give ya though you wont like it much, is if you want 1Gig of RAM is to buy another 512Meg stick, the exact same one you bought, another one and stick that in slot 2 and don't use those 2 sticks of 256 in your system at all, realise this too, even if it did work, mixed speed and size like that you would probably have to run the RAM at the slower speed of your 256Meg sticks and the 512Meg stick wouldnt be going as fast as it's able, and that's only if your MB allowed you to change the speed independently of your FSB speed.As for Flashing BIOS, it's not hard, I had to DL the Bios file, and the Award Flash program file and then copy those two to a floppy, go in BIOS and use the reset to defaults and make sure the floppy was set up to be checked on start up so it would take a look at it when i had that floppy in the drive, save and exit out of BIOS and then it will restart and will see the floppy disk in the drive, i think then you are in DOS, so you have to type in whatever to run the flash program on the floppy, but you should have some instructions on your MB makers website for doing this, go get the files and print out the instructions.It's not difficult, but two tips, make sure you have your MB's manual at hand just in case you have to reset the CMOS, I had to do that once I think, cos the BIOS didnt go in as smoothly as other times I upgraded it (I've done it three times so far).Another tip, the last time I upgraded BIOS it killed my main HardDrive when it rebooted, the BIOS installed ok, but it didnt reboot right, so maybe unplug your HD's before doing it and plug them back in after (switching off the PC first after the reboot after the BIOS install first ofcourse :-) ).As for upgrading CPU, well you might be able to run a 220 FSB speed, that doesn't mean your MB can run a CPU that high speed as a 3000+ or 3200+, in fact I think it can't as those CPU's might be using 333 or 400 FSB speeds, I don't know though so I might be wrong on that one, if you go to your MB's makers site the info on what it can run will be there, my MB has a 1900+ in it but even with latest BIOS it will only run up to a 2000+ or 2100+ CPU.

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Different size doesn't matter ;-) but ram speed is a whole other ball game. And I now (and not via one hobby PC) :-)Andr

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"....but also different size's of DIMM's together and 98% of the time get away with it they don't know anything about RAM...."I'm a WAN admin and I manage workstation support over a region spanning six states and about 1500 nodes, give or take. I know a lot about RAM--certainly more than anyone stating that different sizes can't be mixed. It's a fact of life in a company the size of mine. Brands and speeds--that's a line I don't cross. But most of our MB's have a sprinkling of 128 Meg chips mixed in with 256 Meg chips. I haven't had ONE failure related to RAM. Lost a monitor or two, so maybe you can assume the RAM's at fault :) My home workstation has had RAM chips of different sizes for several years. Hmmmm.... 98SE...I should be getting lockups. NOT!!!!!I suggest if you work for a company that depends on you to come up with the right answers, that you don't go by what you hear....practice your trade... Unless you sell RAM, that is...-John

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Umm,maybe that has been my mistake in the past.I can remember that I had mixed speeds as well as sizes in my old P III 1 GHz - CRASH! (Win98SE).On my new puter it were two 128 MB PC333 Infineon which didn't like their Samsung 512 MB PC333 neighbour - or vice versa - CRASH! (WinXP). Now there are two Samsung 512 MB modules working flawlessly.Thanks for the empirically backed info.Regards, Thomas :-wave

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Mixing different speeds 2100 and 2700 will probably not be the issue but the CAS settings(memory settings and speeds)could be the issue. Even though you may have it set to AUTO, the new RAM may need specific settings in order to run correctly in the BIOS. I just built a system for someone that runs DDR400 and we had a devil of a time getting it to run in a stable manner. We finally found some sweet settings and it will now run like a rock for days on end. In fact it has now run Prime 95 for 72 hours straight. I was getting to the point where I was ready to throw it out the window.Tony

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u.r welcome Thomas...Aside from mixing brands which I've seen cause issues, another factor is overclocking. I've seen overclocking stress a chip enough so even if it passes all of the common utilities that are available, the chip will still fail in Windows. I didn't mention it in my first response above. In my experience, once a system is overclocked, all bets are off as far as stability. Some systems run fine, but it's really a shuffle of the cards when it comes to what HW components will fail. And worse, you can take two identical boxes--same components, same cooling....and one may overclock fine and the other may have component failure. Luck of the draw sometimes. And, sometimes I think it's the fact that I've seen some of the kids working in the Big Box stores literally drop a handful of video cards down so they can hustle for their commission.One other issue. Cooling. A marginal chip closest to the cpu (i.e. "heat") may fail. I always suggest a bank swap before giving up the chip. I've seen two chips--same brand, same speed, same size...and together they will "insist" that they be in specific banks. I have to wonder how many chips are marginal when it comes to cooling.-John

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