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Vostro 420 4GB Memory Limitation

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Hi, I'm thinking about buying the Vostro 420. According to the Dell site it says that this desktop can only handle 4GB of memory max. Is this a BIOS limitation and are there plans to increase this to 8GB?  I'm assuming Dell made this limitation because the Vostro 420 does not officially support any X64 64bit Operating Systems.  The intel site says that the G45 Exprss Chipset can handle up to 16GB.  Are there plans to change this limitation via a BIOS upgrade? Thanks.

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speedstep
Diamond

Re: Vostro 420 4GB Memory Limitation

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The inspiron 530 also says 4 gigs max but I can say for certain that after bios update to 1.0.15 that 8 gigs aka 4 of the 2 gig modules Works fine with Vista 64 BIT.

I would suspect the same is true for the Vostro 420 but I'm not familiar with that model.

1.0.3 is the current bios afaikt.

http://ftp.us.dell.com/bios/Vx20-103.exe

 

 

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imposter9
Copper

Re: Vostro 420 4GB Memory Limitation

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I have two Vostro 420s using bios 1.0.3 and they both work with 8GB under Windows 7 64bit no problem.  Vista 64bit should work fine too, if you have all the drivers you need.  I think the only one I had to get was the soundcard driver, and despite what Dell says the 32bit download also includes the 64bit driver.

So, get your 8GB and enjoy!

alanc172
Bronze

Re: Vostro 420 4GB Memory Limitation

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I have a December 28 2008 built Vostro 420  Q6600 quad processor.    I'm running 8gb ram and Vista 64 and Windows 7 on external Drives.

Windows XP and Vista 32 dual boot on the internal drive.   I just power of the internal drive and boot Vista64 via ESATA cable.

Just to keep Windows happy every boot drive I use has the 64mb fat16 Dell service partition on it.

VM ware is next.

 

I think its a marketing thing to keep the Vostro 420 line off the 64 bit OS.   Also limits the calls to support.

The paperwork on my system states that Dell will only support the OS that shipped on the system.

That drive is sitting in a box if I ever need service.

 

Re: Vostro 420 4GB Memory Limitation

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Thanks for the replies!!! I now have better information when I make my purchase. 

Curious...  alanc172, why do you put the service partition on every boot drive?  Doesn't the service partition only have the diagnostics on it?

I agree with the marketing aspect. Although it seems simple to add another driver pack for 64bit operating systems, it must be a major investment to support it.  I noticed that Dell restricts their BIOS with several of their lines.

alanc172
Bronze

Re: Vostro 420 4GB Memory Limitation

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With the Dell Service partition in place, Windows never will ask for a License code.

I can change any hardware (except mother board) and never have to call Windows

to re authorize my system for updates.

visom
Copper

Re: Vostro 420 4GB Memory Limitation

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I am thinking of upgrading my Vostro 420 memory to 8 gb. What is the model # and manufacturer of memory you are using

alanc172
Bronze

Re: Vostro 420 4GB Memory Limitation

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Mushkin   996587   2gb x 2   HP2-6400   two kits for 8gb .   Less than $100

Re: Vostro 420 4GB Memory Limitation

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How do you format a new drive to include the 64mb fat16 Dell service partition?

I am trying to "clone" my old Dimension 8200 to the new Vostro 420.

My plan isas follows.  First, format the new drive, including all partitions usually utilized by Dell such as the 64mb fat16 Dell Service partition.

Second; copy my old windows xp install from the old Dell.  I guess there are no hidden files that I need to worry about, so I would  just do  a straight copy.

Finally, I would do a Windows repair install using the system disc in order to complete the "clone:"of  my old system.

Do you think that will work?

By the way, at what point should I add in the old PCI cards?

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gamania
Bronze

Re: Vostro 420 4GB Memory Limitation

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I'm so confused, i just bought a Vostro 420, and put in 8GB memory. it doesn't work at all, it gives me 2 beep and amber light blinking. once i remove 2 sticks from the MB, it works with 4GB memory in it.

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