Question about Dell Dimension 1100 PC Desktop

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I added 256mb ram to my computer for a total of 512mb. when i boot up i get an error message saying i only have 256mb and press F1 to continue or F2 for setup. how do i make it recognize my memory? when i run Crucialscan, it says i have 512mb total memory, but the computer is not recognizing it

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  • ssluffman Dec 27, 2008

    when i added memory, i removed the existing card and installed duplicate cards with 256mb each. when i go into setup, it says i have 512mb DDR SDRAM, but i still get a bootup error message that says, "amount of available memory limited to 256mb. what now?

    thank you

  • ssluffman Dec 28, 2008

    My computer is a Dell Dimension 1100 desktop. The serial number or service tag number is CQWPJ91.
    If the memory slot was bad, then when I go into setup, wouldn't it not show that i have 512mb DDR SDRAM? I mean it wouldn't see it at all, would it, if either the slot or card were bad?

    It's like it knows it's there, but can't make it available to use....

    thanks for your help!


  • ssluffman Jan 07, 2009

    the memory cards were specific to the computer model.

    i found the problem, though, and it wasn't the cards. i made sure that the amount of memory was changed in the setup, but I didn't notice until i was checking the setup again last night, that the OS Install Mode was set to on - it has to be set of OFF for the computer to recognize the new memory. It was an oversight on my part and i fixed it last night - working fine now!

    thanks everyone for your assistance!!

  • przystasm Feb 11, 2009

    I'm not sure what else I can try.
    Today I setup my old Dell Dimension 1100 desktop for my mother I did a fresh XP install and all works well except the pc is not showing or using all the ram that is installed.
    In the PC I have a 1Gig stick and a 256MB stick and in the Bios all the ram shows up, but when I check My System
    with windows it shows 256MB. For troubling shooting I pulled the 256
    stick out and tried the 1Gig unit and it still only shows 256. I tried
    both slots with each stick and no matter what configuration I use all I
    get is 256. The odd thing is the bios shows 1280MB.
    If either
    stick was bad the PC would not have booted. All the bios settings are
    correct, but for some reason I can not get all the ram to show.
    dont have any graphics cards or any other add on's this is a very basic
    unit. It has all the XP updates and drivers installed. When I turn the
    PC on it stays on the Dell
    bootup screen for a good 2 minutes or so, which it did prior to the
    fresh Windows install. I'm wondering if there is something wrong with
    the bios, but at this point I really dont know what else I can do. I
    know all the sticks and slots are good.
    Edit: I forgot to
    mention when I was using the pc about 6 months ago before I got a new
    one all the ram was showing and working. The sticks are 2700 and
    3200..........if that matters and the system can handle 2gigs max

  • VespaMan Mar 28, 2009

    Thanks for your post . We were racking our brains with this same issue, We had upgraded memory from 256Meg to 1Gig and new memoery was not recognized. Got that message to hit F1 to continue or F2 to setup but didn't have a clue what to do about it. Dell didn't help much either, they're chat offfered to fix it for over $100 if we shipped it to them. Anyway thanks again. Its working fine now after changing that simple setting.

  • Hairy_One May 11, 2010

    You have to be a little careful with SDRAM in that later version sticks will only show half its capacity in older mobo. If the stick has an 8Mb refresh block but the mobo only support 4Mb this is the result.

    Were the sticks you used specific to the model of PC or generic.



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Are the memory cards the same? Try swapping the memory cards inside the computer. It is also important to go into the Setup (F2) once the new memory has been added. The setup keeps track of the hardware changes to your computer, and the additional memory needs to be saved in the Setup configuration. Please let me know what happens and thank you. Binary Bob

Posted on Dec 27, 2008

  • Bob Morris
    Bob Morris Dec 27, 2008


    A couple of things are needed for clarification:

    1. What is the make, model and serial number of your computer?

    2. There is a possiblilty (age-related) that the computer only supports 256MB. (Highly unlikely).

    3. There is a possiblity that a memory slot is bad on the motherboard. You could try swapping the memory around and see if that makes any difference.

    If you could supply the make, model and serial number of your computer, I can find detailed info about your computer. Let me know how I can be of further assistance. Binary Bob

  • Bob Morris
    Bob Morris Dec 28, 2008

    Hi Sherie,

    Verify that the memory speed is the same for both. If the speeds differ, that is probably the problem.

    Some system BIOS (startup program) will recognize the memory installed, even if they don't match.

    CrucialScan is also smart enough to view the memory, but is not able to change the way it works.

    I would take the specs (in Bold and underlined) listed below and look at both memory modules. If the memory module that you added doesn't match, take it back to where you purchased it and request a replacement that matches the specs(speed) for a 256MB memory module. These specs came from Dell based off of the Service Tag number that you provided.

    Technology: DDR SDRAM

    Memory Speed: 400 MHz ( PC3200 )

    Data Integrity Check: Non-ECC

    This is memory upgrades from Dell for your computer:


    512 MB Memory Module for Dimension 1100 / Dimension B110 Systems

    Usually Ships Within 24 Hours

    Quantity: 1

    Manufacturer Part# SNPJ0202C/512

    Dell Part# A0735501


    1 GB Memory Module for Dell a Dimension 1100 Desktop / Dimension B110 Desktop

    Usually Ships 1-2 weeks

    Quantity: 1

    Manufacturer Part# SNPJ0203C/1G

    Dell Part# A0740397

    Please let me know if this helps and thank you. Binary Bob



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