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Question : I had been using a Pentium 2 VAIO desktop until 2001, when l decided to build my first system. / carefully selected and bought the parts over six months and had only the RAM left to purchase. I happened across a great deal at a local retail store and brought home a new PC2100 256MB DDR to stick into my waiting motherboard. I started everything up (and got goose bumps when I heard the fans whir). Within a few seconds, the motherboard began emitting a heart-wrenching series of beeps. It wouldn't stop! I looked up every beep code for every BIOS and I couldn't pin down the cause of these short, endless snickers at my lack of experience.

Six months later, after I'd RMA'd my processor, motherboard, memory, and power supply (to no avail), I finally found a post that suggested a less-gentle application of force when pushing the RAM into the motherboard. Apparently, I had been much too careful, because when l took the RAM out and pressed it back in more firmly, my "new" computer booted right up!

Answer : People are often surprised by the amount of pressure it takes to insert a memory module in a PC when they try it the first time. It does take substantial force, but the main signal indicating you've got it seated is when the two little latches at either end of the slot click down. Note, however, that it's very easy to try to insert the module in the wrong orientation. I once ruined a memory socket by trying to force in a module that was flipped 180 degrees. So do make sure the little slot on the module is correctly lined up with the key tab in the memory socket itself.


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