Upgrading memory

I have to give the Staples guy credit for the idea of going on eBay to find Rambus memory to upgrade a Dell workstation. I went into our local Staples and he tried to find compatible memory for my machine. If you buy the memory from Dell it is almost double the cost. Instead I used “Buy-It-Now” on eBay to get an additional 256Kb of RAM for an older Dell Dimension 8200.

Here is a nice little memory testing program. An alternative open source program called memtest86 is located here. When you run the downloaded program it creates a bootable image on a floppy disk or CD, which is then used to boot the computer under test.

So far, my eBay memory looks fine. I’m going to upgrade a couple other machines as well. The combination of running Symantec Anti-Virus 10, with the Microsoft Anti-Spam program appears to be putting several older marginal machines (256 of memory) over the edge. The symptoms are either full crashes when several programs are open, or else a lot of extra disk activity as the memory is swapped in and out. A memory upgrade appears to help.

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