PC133 SDRAM - just on the off chance

Bought a couple of 256mb sticks of PC133 sdram on Ebay last week to upgrade my antique 733mhz pentium to its maximum 512mb and sod's law it turned out
to be ECC parity stuff for servers not desktop pcs. Strangely it does actually work but each stick is only recognised as 128mb so I'm still stuck at the 256mb total I was previously. If anyone has a very old, circa late 1990s to 2002ish pc, with any 256mb sticks of PC133 168pin unbuffered non-ECC sdram in it they might be chucking out I'd be interested.
--
Dave Baker



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Dave Baker wrote:

Just looked through my store of 'bits that are too good to bin and might go on eBay' and found half-a-dozen 128Mb and 2 256Mb
Send me your snail mail address to snipped-for-privacy@rescentcomputing.co.uk and I'll post them on.
I have no reason to believe that they are anything but good but I don't have a system I can test them in.
If you find they suit your needs then you can send whatever beer tokens you consider they are worth to you :)
JG
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Tight bastard, just give them to him <g>
John S.
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On Tue, 18 Aug 2009 15:34:51 -0700 (PDT), John S

LOL!
We have some as well if the original offer doesn't work out.
Peter -- Peter & Rita Forbes Email: snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk http://www.oldengine.org/members/diesel http://www.stationary-engine.co.uk http://www.oldengine.co.uk
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Thanks for the offers JG and Peter. I'm more than happy to release a couple of beer tokens for anything that gets my feeble machine up to 512mb but don't want anyone to be out of pocket. I only bought the ram off ebay because no one else bid (no one else is daft enough to be using a pc that old I guess) so I got it for the minimum 99p plus the same again in postage. I can't imagine that ten year old ram types are in great demand but who knows. They want 25 a stick in the shops but I doubt if they sell any.
I'm still a bit puzzled why it actually works at all but only at half its nominal size. I downloaded the pdf file for the motherboard off the Intel site (D815EEA) and it says it can take either ECC or non ECC ram but it will will only run ECC in non ECC mode. In other pcs when I've tried ECC ram it doesn't work at all. Then there's the single sided, double sided ram issue but it says it should be able to cope with two sticks of double sided so I'm still puzzled. The ram that's in it now is all single sided - one stick of 128mb and two of 64mb. The ram I bought was double sided. Maybe it's a buffering issue and it really wants unbuffered ram like the manual says but I'm buggered if I actually know what that's all about.
The Crucial scan tool says I want 2 of these.
http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/mpartspecs.aspx?mtbpoid@655AB0A5CA7304
Note that they have only 8 chips on each side rather than 9. The ones I bought have 9. Dividing by 3 seems to be a parity issue so clearly I want something that isn't divisible by 3. If you have anything that seems to fit the bill let me know.
--
Dave Baker



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On Wed, 19 Aug 2009 15:02:35 +0100, Dave Baker wrote:

Reading the Crucial site it says it only supports 4 rows and it seems a row = a side. You already have three rows and so it can only use one side of the double sided ram you bought. What happens if you remove one of the 64meg ones?

It's eight bits for a byte so that's 8 chips then add the parity bit gives 9. Nothing to do with being divisible by 3.
--
Regards - Rodney Pont
The from address exists but is mostly dumped,
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On Wed, 19 Aug 2009 15:47:01 +0100 (BST), Rodney Pont wrote:

Why do I check things after sending... Reading it properly it only supports 4 rows at 133mhz so with your 5 rows it should see it but only run at 100mhz.
At least I got the parity bit right and that's something for me these days :-)
--
Regards - Rodney Pont
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I removed all of the existing chips before fitting the new ones. It has 3 ram slots which support a maximum of 4 rows of memory so you can populate all 3 with single sided, 1 with double sided and the other 2 with single or 2 rows with double sided and nothing in the third. That much is absolutely clear and simple to follow. The 2 new double sided chips didn't exceed the stated rules. I tried them in every slot and also one at a time but they always only registered as 128mb not 256mb. Clearly the machine is only recognising one side of each chip but why I'm not too sure. The parity, buffering or ECC status must be the reason.
--
Dave Baker



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Peices of seven, peices of seven.......Parrotty error......
Rob.
Dave Baker wrote:

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Dave Baker wrote:

I've checked the two sticks I have and they are not a matched pair; one is single sided (8 chips) and the other double (16).
It would be worth seeing what configuration Peter has.
JG
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We have 6 memory sticks, 512mb PC133, all 8-chip double sided, plus 1 DDR type.
Also have some new and sealed 256mb DDR2 533mhz, plus some 256mb DDR 333mhz used.
Peter -- Peter & Rita Forbes Email: snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk http://www.oldengine.org/members/diesel http://www.stationary-engine.co.uk http://www.oldengine.co.uk
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wrote:

Won't fit in mine I'm afraid. The maximum component density I can use is 256mb per stick as per the Crucial link I posted.
--
Dave Baker



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Sounds like that second stick would fit. I think the single sided one might be too high a component density but it's bloody hard to work out what this damn board will take. Crucial says it can use a maximum of 256mb per component and also a maximum of 4 rows (out of the 6 rows on the board) but it isn't clear if there's also a limit of 128mb per row i.e a 256mb stick must be double sided.
--
Dave Baker



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Some M/B memory configurations can be can be confusing. My brother bought a 1Gb module to upgrade his PC to the maximum of 2GB. It didn't work. After close inspection of the manual it turns out that the only configuration that works is a single 2G module.
Archie
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It may be that the RAM you have is faulty. I found a module recently in a server that supports ECC RAM where one module only tested to half its stated size. It looks like Peter's RAM is not suitable for your M/B. I have a couple of double sided DIMMs you can have. Send me your Address and I will test and send them to you.
If the 256M DIMMS don't work maybe you could bring it up to 384M by adding two 128M DIMMs. I have more of these.
archiedotmcnee at blueyonder dotcodotuk
Archie
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Hi Archie,
Many thanks if your stuff is what I need. Address is as follows.
Dave Baker 2 Layters Avenue Chalfont St Peter Bucks SL9 9HP
--
Dave Baker



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I tried the two 256M modules in an old PIII machine at work and they only registered 128M each in the BIOS. I then tried a couple of 128M modules and they only registered 64M each. I brought them home to try them and the 128M modules registered 128M but the 256M modules still only registered 128M???? Much head scratching. I wonder if there is any link to the issues you are having.
Anyway, I have found a couple of 256M modules that register 256M in the BIOS so I will put them in the post tomorrow. They are not a matched pair but they should be OK.
Archie
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The message I get from the BIOS when I boot up with these ECC chips in the pc is something along the lines of "Serial Presence Detect error - press enter to continue or F2 to enter setup". The SPD feature is apparently something on the memory chips that tells the BIOS what type and amount of RAM it is and it seems my two chips don't have it. They do however work happily at 128mb each. It is all very weird I agree. I don't recall having this much trouble matching RAM to any other pc.
I have however solved another problem which was after my last fresh install of XP I noticed Winrar taking forever to extract anything plus some stuttering and instability when I was playing avi files with VLC player. After much Googling it turned out my hard drive had defaulted to PIO mode rather than Ultra DMA mode. In PIO mode it seems the processor has to write everything to the hard drive one byte at a time and this slows things down by a factor or 4 or so. To check go to Control Panel, System, Hardware, Device Manager and check that the primary and/or secondary IDE controllers are in UDMA mode. If not then uninstall the controller and reboot and hopefully it will get re-installed properly.
Also during that Googling session I now find out that IDE cables have moved on from the old 40 core ones I've been transferring from machine to machine for years and that for modern hard drives I really need 80 core stuff to get the faster UDMA modes. Currently I'm in mode 2 but the drive could probably go faster. It never bloody ends.
--
Dave Baker



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Dave Baker wrote:

80-core cables came in in about 1999, and for new equipment they went out in about 2007.
For modern hard drives you'll need a SATA cable, which is a single shielded cable, not a parallel cable.
I used to know much about memory compatibility, but I've forgotten it all - it's so last millennium.
-- Peter Fairbrother
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Peter Fairbrother wrote:

Essentially correct but new IDE drives are still available and 80 wire cables are still included with new motherboards from all the major manufacturers.
SATA has still not gained full status with case manufacturers who are still supplyig PSUs with only Molex connections, requiring a conversion cable where SATA drives are specified.
JG
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