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Why won't my computer boot up after I installed new memory?

Answer: Installing memory, or RAM, is a great way to improve the performance of your computer. However, there are many types of RAM, and it is important to install the correct RAM when updating your computer's memory.

For example, not all 1GB RAM memory modules are the same. Some may run at 400MHz, while others may run at 667MHz. A 1GB SDRAM chip may have 168 pins, while a SO-DIMM may only have 144. These and other differences can cause RAM to not work with your machine.

If you install the incorrect RAM in your machine, one of two things will happen. 1) The computer will boot up but will not recognize the new memory, or 2) The computer will not boot up at all. If you remove the new RAM and the computer boots up fine, it is pretty clear that the RAM is causing the problem.

While RAM chips can be defective, memory problems are usually caused by installing the wrong type of RAM. You can verify the RAM type using your computer's user guide or by searching for your computer model on websites that sell memory.

When buying RAM, it is also a good idea to make sure it has a lifetime warranty. That way, if the RAM is bad or ever has problems, you can get it replaced free of charge.

Published: June 21, 2007 — by Per Christensson

Answer from the PC Help Center