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DougH

DDR ram or SDRAM memory?

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I am working on my elderly parents computer and I believe that there is a RAM memory issue that, along with the severe infestation has brought this computer to a near standstill. While Gringo has been guiding me through a series of steps to remove a long list of adware, trojans, amd registry issues (it doesn't take 10 minutes to get online now).

This computer came with 512 MB RAM. 8 years old and running XP.

I ran free scan form crucial.com (RAM sales site)and it says I have DDR RAM. Well now my question is IS SDRAM and DDRRAM the same? I am under the impression that they are not. I understand that DDR stands for double data rate (184 pin), and SDR stands for single data rate.(168 pin) Well I am finding RAM for sale that have both acronyms. So does that mean that I can install a stick with 1 gig of SDR RAM on her? Is that what I want? Do I really want 1 stick with 1 gig in the DDR configuration? Do I HAVE to have matching pairs? I have heard that does not really apply to DDR.

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post model number of the comp .

the term "sdram" means : synchronous dynamic random access memory .

it is (basically) in "lockstep" wit the system bus .

this term encompasses ddr, ddr2 and ddr3 types of memory .

"sdram" was associated with the original ddr (ie : ddrsdram) , this can cause some confusion .

"dram" means : dynamic random access memory .

this type of memory operates asynchronously in reference to the system bus .

also , pull the ram and take a look at it ... there might/will be a number by the end of each row of connectors , usually on one side (sometimes both) .

"92" will denote 184 pin .

"84" will denote 168 pin .

there is also a difference in the location of the key slot spacing between the types as well as a limit on the speed or "PCxx..." number .

some reading and pictures to help clarify :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDR_SDRAM

http://en.wikipedia....m-access_memory

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Good to know. I found several sites that claimed SDR was single data rate. It goes to show you can't believe everything you read on the internet.

So do you think I should order 2 512s or just 1 1gig? Is it best to have to separate memory cards or is just one larger one better?

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post model number .

it all depends on the motherboard ... i do not trust those "rams-r-us" lists .

a MB will only support so much ram .

as far as single versus two sticks ... there is a limit as to how much per slot can be handled .

the best way to determine what is what is to get the original specifications of the MB itself .

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ok ... i'll take a look for the mother board .

you can try it too ... google : HP Pavilion 121aOn specifications

sometimes there is a sticker on the ram stick(s) that tell you what it is (ie : ddr100 or as such) .

you can pop the ram by flipping the two locks located at each end of the slot outward and down (the actually rotate vertically) .

keep track of which way the key slot is positioned .

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Roger that. I just made a big mistake. I'm on a different computer. My lap top, and I just downloaded memtest86 and i was trying to send it to CD to burn and I sent it to C drive instead.

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sometimes there are numbers on the back .

also , if you have the cover off you can get the model number of the motherboard itself .

there will be a few numbers on the MB ... post them .

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heh ... grab a cup of coffee .

i'll check for the MB with the number you sent .

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I don't have it apart yet. I've been working with someone in malware hijack. It is my elderly parents computer and I am here for the holidays and I found 310 threats in it. They have Norton too! Malwarebytes found them but it could only solve so many problems with out some extra help.

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yep ... stick with gringo ... good guy .

as far replacing the ram (you questioned the integrity of it) ... this should not interfere with what you and gringo are doing ... however ...

it is best to explain to him and get the green light first .

you may have to order up the ram ... those local stores often want too much for their stuff .

there is something else that can speed the machine up ... a video card .

a Vcard takes some of the work load off of the cpu and frees up some ram that is allocated to run the on-board video/gpu .

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I can get 2 sticks of 512mb for $37.00 at Walmart. I could get them for maybe $10.00 cheaper at Tiger or someplace like that. But Walmart will have them their by Thursday at the latest. Plus I would probably have to pay for shipping with one of the websites. So a no brainer for me. The specs look right too. pc3200 which is what it has now. So do you think I should go with 2 512s or 1 1 gigabyte?

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Were in the boonies, there is no where to get anything like computer parts.

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i just found the MB used in that system ... i am looking at the specs to see what it can handle and in which way .

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one of the reasons for finding the specs is because many manufacturers do not put the fastest ram that the MB can handle in them to start with .

this is where they hook you with the ol' : "ya know , you can upgrade that machine by ...." .

and charge a high dollar in the process .

heh ... i thought that was an asus MB ... i built a machine with an asus board in '04 ... still running .

still tracking the MB down .

it is actually an asus A8AE-LE .

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it looks like the max is 4 pieces of ddr400 ... XP can only address 3.xx gig by design .

you could drop in 4 ea of ddr400/512 ... his will give you a little over 2 gigs , doubt that anything over that would be an improvement of performance .

here is a place to compare prices (some with free shipping) :

http://www.newegg.co...%28PC%203200%29

as you stated , the ram currently in the machine is in question . the stock machine comes with 2 X 256 .

if you are going to increase the ram , i would suggest going to two gigs (4 X 512) .

you might want to pull the cover and blow out the dust and crud ... then inspect that MB for bad electrolytic caps .

(you can take some good well lit pictures and post them if needed)

if you are up to the task , myself or someone else can explain what to look for .

(the caps on my '04 board are still good ... wow)

post has been edited .

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heh ... i just caught the part about "out in the boonies" ...

i live in northern minnesnowta .

thank god for UPS !

:lol:

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Well we aren't too far from Houston, but 70 miles is a long way to go for the little things. It's 36 miles round trip either way to the nearest town, which is Woodville to the east, and Livingston to the West. Like I say there is only one little one man computer shop around and I imagine he would ask a high price for some Ram, but Walmart will come through for us. Good tip about the dust. When I open it I will do just that. I'm gonna run that Memtest 86 tomorrow. I am not fully convinced that the ram is bad. It had so much malware and adware how could have worked properly. It was slow and I think people had opinions that weren't based in fact. I suspect it was all due to infection.

I caught that, MinneSNOWta. LOL bet it's beautiful there though when it's warm.

I have to run. I will post here and let Ya know what we got.

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hmmm ...

as there is not much call for this type of ram these days , he might be willing to let some go for a good price .

(i have several sticks of ddr400 on the shelf collecting dust)

but ... he would have to certify that it is good .

it might be best to bite the bullet and make a trip to the big city or order some up .

yep ... mal/scumware can cloud the issues .

i find that running a unix/linux based memtest from cd is beneficial .

there are other 'nix based tools as well .

a little fyi ... dust can cause heat rise of components just like a blanket . sometimes ram failure can happen after the machine has run a while because of this .

the first thing i do when working on a machine is to clean/blow it out (and other housekeeping related items) ... this includes the power supply .

i use an air compressor but a can of that "blow out" stuff will work as will a vacuum cleaner .

a soft brush is good too (i have several types for this , a 1" paintbrush gets used a lot) .

about the only thing to not do is allow the fans to spin up .

(yeah , it is kind of fun to spin them up but it can damage the circuitry in the fan itself)

ps ... i spent a week one night in ozona .

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I have been trying to make a memtest86 bootable CD, but I haven't mastered Unzipping and opening yet. I have made one but it apparently is not booting.

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hmmm ...

the unzipping and the burning of the .iso as an bootable image to a cd is pretty much straight forward .

if you can download the linux/unix based "non-zipped" .iso of the memtest (and/or the tools) this would eliminate one chance of error .

another suggestion ... don't burn the cd at the highest speed , i usually go for the slowest one with stuff like this .

also , going into the bios or the "select boot source" page during start up and telling the comp to use the cdrom device as the boot source is essential .

i use infrarecorder to burn the .iso as an image . it is a simple and effective program .

7zip has been my choice for archive or compressed file unpacking for many years .

get them here :

http://sourceforge.n...latest/download

http://sourceforge.n...rce=recommended

(if either of these has toolbar crap in it , un-check the stuff ...

although , the last time i checked neither one did , at least from sourceforge ;) )

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