I'm trying to upgrade a 128MB RAM Compaq Presario 5012US to 512MB. I found two 256MB sticks on ebay for cheap. When i installed them, the computer would turn on but nothing appeared on the monitor. After trying different combinations, I just put the 128MB stick back into its slot and the computer worked again. The machine is running on Debian if that matters. Can anyone help me out?
Sounds your Compaq does not like the cheap RAM you bought off of eBay.
What are the RAM specs you bought of from eBay?
i didn't want to spend money on the outdated machine but when i saw the two sticks for $10, i had to give it a try haha. they're actually a pretty good brand:
256MB Corsair 168-pin PC100 SDRAM
I made sure to get the RAM that was compatible with my computer.
Corsair is a solid brand. It's a little weird that your Compaq isn't able to except it.
Doing some research, Compaq should be able to accept it.
The OS should not matter. Now, when you installed the RAM, were you able to get into the BIOS?
Try the new ones one at a time by its self. See if maybe just one of the new ones is bad. You may end up with 384 MB if the machine lets you use non matching sticks.
yea the monitor doesn't even show anything, the light remains orange. and i've tried every combination there is including putting one of the new RAM modules in by itself.
Well, then either both sticks are bad or perhaps your motherboard doesn't support those sticks? Although that doesn't seem likely because it looks like you have the right sticks.
The "PC100" part of your RAM spec tells you the frequency it runs at (100MHz). If you motherboard is running faster, your RAM isn't compatible. Most even slightly modern computers run at PC133.
Assuming the RAM isn't just dead, this is likely to be the issue. There may be a way to underclock your motherboard however.
The specs of the oem compaq presario from the HP website states that the full service bus is 133MHz, but the 128MB module that originally came on the motherboard is also 100MHz. I don't recall the bios having any settings to underclock anything but I will double check later today.
Do you know if there was any static electricity on the modules ?
This is really important to put the RAM in anti-static bags and take care about the static electricity, it may break them.
I checked the bios and there are no options to change the speed of the motherboard or RAM. And both RAM modules were shipped inside a non-static bag in an envelope. Both were in the same bag and in contact if that matters.
Find another old machine to try them in. Talk one of your buddies into testing them in his old machine.
Thickness shouldn't be the problem, it should be fine if the pins and notches are in the same position... Did you ensure the sticks are not damaged? Does your computer emit any beep at boot-up? Try the sticks in different machine or with debug card.