BertBerry1
1 Copper

Dell Inspiron 1100 Laptop Memory Upgrade

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I recently tried to upgrade my memory from 256 to 1gb of ram, when I installed the new ram the machine would not do a thing, blink and then shut off.  So I did some research, and it said that I needed to download the newest bios.  So I did that, reinstall the new ram, nothing.  Went back to the old ram and now it won't reboot in windows.  I can get in to safe mode but the video driver seems to be messed up now.  It was a Christmas present for my children and I really it up by trying to make it better.  Please help me if you can.

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jingleheimer
1 Nickel

Re: Dell Inspiron 1100 Laptop Memory Upgrade

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My Dell Inspiron 1100 had one 512 MB card, and I wanted to buy a second such card to upgrade it to the maximum memory capacity of 1 GB. I installed a 512 MB card from crucial.com that matched all the specs for this machine. When I put it in the DIMM B slot with the old 512 MB card in DIMM A, I could boot to the BIOS config screen but the screen didn't display right. Thinking there might be something wrong with the new card, I decided to try only one card at a time. So I removed the old (working) card and moved the new card to DIMM A. In this configuration, it wouldn't boot. Instead it flashed two of the three lights next to the power button for 5 seconds and then powered itself down.

Thinking the card was defective, I returned it for a replacement, but the next card behaved the same. I went through 4 more cards. All of them failed the same way. One of them was even manufactured by Dell! Yet my old card worked fine, so I knew the problem was related to the new memory card and not a problem elsewhere in the laptop.

I Googled for others who had encountered the problem but nobody had an explanation for why the problem occurs. I have now figured out why some memory cards fail in the Dell Inspiron 1100 and others work.

Here's the reason some memory cards won't work in Dell's Inspiron 1100 and others will. Count how many chips are on the card. Divide the card's memory capacity by the number of chips. If the result is more than 32 MB, it won't work! The designers assumed that no chip on a memory card would ever have more than 32 MB.

By releasing a piece of hardware with this limitation, they created a situation where a memory card can match all the specs (DDR PC2100, 200 pin SODIMM, CL=2.5, Unbuffered, Non-ECC) and still be incompatible because with this hardware design, maximum memory per chip on the card is an unpublicized spec. that will prevent the machine from working if the chips exceed the 32 MB limit!

If you have a 512 MB card with 8 chips on it, it will never work. The only ones that do work are the ones with 16 chips.

The 1100 hardware design also has numerous other problems which are described at http://www.lieffcabraser.com/dell-inspiron-3.htm.

Technosorcerer
1 Copper

RE: Dell Inspiron 1100 Laptop Memory Upgrade

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Ok, this is months later and I was looking for some answers myself and came across this. I have a Inspiron 1100 notebook I bought for $5, battery has kinda had it, but it runs fine, I blasted the guts out of it with an air compressor (scary huh, restored it to fairly decent condition, added 512 MB so it's 1GB now and still working over a year later as a backup notebook. Interesting part: On my gateway 7324gz with limit of 1GB ram (512 @ 2700 built in and one slot with 512 2700) I kept reading SOME sites say it can go 1.2 or even 1.5 GB ram, so I bought a stick of 1GB pc2700 ram and out of curiosity replaced one stick of 512 MB out of inspiron with the 1GB stick and it worked without a hitch, posted and went to winders, later took it out and put in gateway and it worked there too computer properties say 1.46GB as I type, cpuid reports as 1536MB, so yeah looks like Inspiron can do more than even 1GB. Forgive me for not providing details but it's late and I was looking for answers about another issue on a desktop model. If it's still important after these months I can crack the lid and see what the memory looks like on both notebook, email me if it lets you.

One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach, all the vampires. ....

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JDRCK
1 Copper

Re: Dell Inspiron 1100 Laptop Memory Upgrade

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I'm having the exact same problem. I got two sticks of Corsair memory, PC2700 DDR (512MB). As soon as I put the memory in I got 3 beeps followed by a single beep. My BIOS was the original that came with the laptop so I flashed it to the latest that Dell had on their site, A32. BIOS flash went fine. I put the new memory back into the laptop and this time there are no beeps but the laptop just powers off after a few seconds.

According to Dell the 1100 can take:

Maximum Memory: 1024
Number Of Slots: 2
and they list this as replacement memory for the laptop:
512 MB Memory Module for Inspiron 1100 Laptop
Technology: DDR SDRAM
Memory Speed: 333 MHz ( PC2700 )

That's exactly what I bought.

 

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BertBerry1
1 Copper

Re: Dell Inspiron 1100 Laptop Memory Upgrade

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I was able to replace just the Bank A stick and restarted the machine, it is working fine, but...., I can't put the second stick in bank B, nor can I increase the memory, so now I'm operating with 128mb of ram! What do I do now?

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EShrad19
1 Copper

Re: Dell Inspiron 1100 Laptop Memory Upgrade

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I'm having the same issue.  I tried upgrading with 512 Kingston and the same problem happend.  Fortunately I was able to reinstall the old RAM and get the computer working again.  The first time I tried it wouldn't boot, but I took out the battery, unplugged the AC power and then hit the power button to discharge any stored power, and then put the old memory back in.  Booted back up and it worked just like before.  Unfortunately I have not found an answer for upgrading yet.  I have the latest BIOS, and in either case, Dell has not included any RAM issues in the updates anyway. 

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jjlockyer
1 Copper

Re: Dell Inspiron 1100 Laptop Memory Upgrade

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I took my laptop into a computer shop and they  put two 512 in to make it 1 gig and I also had a new 100 gig hard drive installed.

. Cant remember what it cost for the ram but the new hard drive was $100. The ram worked with the old hard drive.

I added the new drive about a year later.Computer is still running perfectly!!!1

It works so dont give up you may need professional help.

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jingleheimer
1 Nickel

Re: Dell Inspiron 1100 Laptop Memory Upgrade

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My Dell Inspiron 1100 had one 512 MB card, and I wanted to buy a second such card to upgrade it to the maximum memory capacity of 1 GB. I installed a 512 MB card from crucial.com that matched all the specs for this machine. When I put it in the DIMM B slot with the old 512 MB card in DIMM A, I could boot to the BIOS config screen but the screen didn't display right. Thinking there might be something wrong with the new card, I decided to try only one card at a time. So I removed the old (working) card and moved the new card to DIMM A. In this configuration, it wouldn't boot. Instead it flashed two of the three lights next to the power button for 5 seconds and then powered itself down.

Thinking the card was defective, I returned it for a replacement, but the next card behaved the same. I went through 4 more cards. All of them failed the same way. One of them was even manufactured by Dell! Yet my old card worked fine, so I knew the problem was related to the new memory card and not a problem elsewhere in the laptop.

I Googled for others who had encountered the problem but nobody had an explanation for why the problem occurs. I have now figured out why some memory cards fail in the Dell Inspiron 1100 and others work.

Here's the reason some memory cards won't work in Dell's Inspiron 1100 and others will. Count how many chips are on the card. Divide the card's memory capacity by the number of chips. If the result is more than 32 MB, it won't work! The designers assumed that no chip on a memory card would ever have more than 32 MB.

By releasing a piece of hardware with this limitation, they created a situation where a memory card can match all the specs (DDR PC2100, 200 pin SODIMM, CL=2.5, Unbuffered, Non-ECC) and still be incompatible because with this hardware design, maximum memory per chip on the card is an unpublicized spec. that will prevent the machine from working if the chips exceed the 32 MB limit!

If you have a 512 MB card with 8 chips on it, it will never work. The only ones that do work are the ones with 16 chips.

The 1100 hardware design also has numerous other problems which are described at http://www.lieffcabraser.com/dell-inspiron-3.htm.

Re: Dell Inspiron 1100 Laptop Memory Upgrade

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Dell tech support told me it had to be PC2100, not PC2700 (true, perhaps, if you don't upgrade the bios), but Dell is selling PC 2700 as an Inspirion 1100 upgrade at http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Memory_Upgrades/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&cs=19&sku=A0740371#Overview

The picture at the link also appears to show an 8-chip set. Go figure.

 

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tuxedowilly
1 Copper

Re: Dell Inspiron 1100 Laptop Memory Upgrade

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The Inspiron seems to be very picky with memory. Try PNY DDR SODIMM. I used their 512MB which is rated PC2100-PC2700.  It worked perfectly, doubling me up to a solid Gigabyte.

(Alas, where did the 24MB go?)

(^_^)

Hope that helps.

 

Tuxedowilly

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Razzoo2
1 Copper

Re: Dell Inspiron 1100 Laptop Memory Upgrade

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The manual that comes with the 1100  says clock speed 266 mhz.  Could that be a problem?

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Razzoo2
1 Copper

Re: Dell Inspiron 1100 Laptop Memory Upgrade

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note jingleheimer's link failed today...

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