RAM problem.

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I know there are a zillion other posts all around the web concerning
this, but I still felt that I had to post one myself. Apologies in
advance. =)

I have a Compaq Evo N160 with 256Mbs on RAM. I bought a 128Mb stick
from an internet auction. Though the stick I bought was from a HP
Omnibook XE3, the specs seemed to match mine.

First time I installed the new stick, the system wouldn't boot, not
even BIOS would load up and the screen stayed dead. I shutdown the
system "hard", then tried again. This time it started, but then I got a
couple of these weird system lockups (OS Win2000). Out of the blue the
system would just freeze, so that the display would stay on but the
keyboard and the mouse would become dead and I would have to boot the

At that point I thought that the new memory stick was broken. To
confirm that I ran five passes of Memtest86+ on both sticks alone on
the system, with no errors. Then I installed the new stick alone, and
the system worked fine, although a little sluggishly as one might
expect. =)

After that it seemed that the new stick wasn't broken after all. So
again I tried to install both of the sticks. And again, I couldn't get
the system to boot. Like the first time, not even BIOS would load up
and the screen stayed dead.

So it would seem that the new stick is OK, but for some odd reason it
isn't compatible with my old.

Every spec I can think of is the same on both sticks. Manufacturer,
memory type, speed, the width of the data path, voltage, even the damn

According to HP's guide, the combination should work.

- Does anyone recognize the symptoms above?
- Is this simply a compatibility problem?
- Can anyone think of a reason why the two memory sticks don't seem to
like each other?
- Can something be tweaked in the BIOS so that the two would work?
- Or should I just throw the new stick at a waterfowl? (a Finnish

Re: RAM problem.

Thanks for the help, guys...

To anyone viewing this with a similar problem; it seems that the second
RAM slot was dusty or the connectors in the stick were dirty. The
problem vanished, although I did absolutely nothing to the system or to
the stick.

Lesson to be learned? When installing used memory sticks on an old
system, clean the connectors. Alcohol seems to be the solvent of
choice, but don't quote me on that.


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