Dell Inspiron 5100 Memory upgrade

By bernardduckworth ·
I have installed 2X512 memory modules in my laptop DEll Inspiron 5100 this upgraded from 2x256 After installation I got a blank screen. I then installed each card in the slots individually to prove the viability of each card, still a blank screen. Then I re-installed the original memory, Laptop ok.
Contacted Crucial support who tell me I must upgrade my BIOS to solve the problem.
My question is ,is this normal and how safe is it, to, what I beleive is called, "flash the BIOS"


This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -

Re Flashing the BIOS

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Dell Inspiron 5100 Memory ...

You can get the BIOS update here


It's fairly safe provided that you run the NB on the Battery while Flashing the BIOS. However if the procedure stops before finishing you will most likely need a new M'Board in the NB to make it work again.

So you need to be careful. Dell has the correct warnings displayed correctly on the Above Page so you can make the decision for your self as to how safe it is.

However if you read the Manual you will clearly see that this NB only supports a Max of 1 GIG of RAM in the following configuration

Memory module capacities 64, 128, 256, and 512 MB

So you can only use 2 X 512 MEG RAM Modules. I don't think that Flashing the BIOS with the one provided by Dell will do anything to alter this either.

As you are having problems with this Current Configuration I would suggest that you RTM and see that you have the correct Size & Type of RAM as if you have the wrong Type/Voltage it will not work. Look on Page 115 of the owners manual for full specifications. Flashing the BIOS in a case like this should not make any difference to this issue.


Collapse -

Actually, it will take 2GB.... if flashed

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Re Flashing the BIOS

There's a whole thread about it at the DELL forums where they talk specifically about the i5100 and the BIOS on the MB being old, hence Dell saying it will only take 1GB of PC2100 RAM. PC2700 and/or PC3200 won't work. If the BIOS are flashed to version A32 though, it will take 2GB like the i5000 does of PC2100, PC2700 or PC3200.


Start at page 1, but the main conversation takes place on page 4.

So, the original poster with boot problems has probably purchased the wrong speed of RAM and will need to flash the BIOS to use what they have in hand. Either that, or return the RAM and get the PC2100 and live with the 1GB limitation.

Collapse -

Flashing the BIOS

by bernardduckworth In reply to Actually, it will take 2G ...

Many thanks for the info, I am upgrading RAM to 1GB and Crucial inform me that I have bought the correct type of RAM.
I am going to flash the BIOS as advised and will let you know how things turn out,
Thanks again

Collapse -

Flashing the Bios

by bernardduckworth In reply to Re Flashing the BIOS

I am installing 1Gb of RAM and Crucial assure me I have the correct RAM, so I will follow the advice and flash the BIOS nsoon I will let you know how I get on.
Thanks for your help

Collapse -

5100 Memory Upgrade

by rutherford_keith In reply to Dell Inspiron 5100 Memory ...

Bought the memory upgrade directly from DELL I was at A28, upgraded to A32. Installed the 2 512MB ram and nothing. Blank screen. Tried each one individually, same result. Put back in old ram and booted fine. Still searching for answer/help before I lower myself to call DELL

Collapse -

What kind of RAM did they send?

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to 5100 Memory Upgrade

Was it PC2100, PC2700 or PC3200?

Collapse -

Make sure

by Mayhem1969 In reply to PC2700

that the memory is properly seated all the way. If it isn't you won't boot.

You should know that the memory speed for your model 5100 is listed by Dell as 266mhz memory sticks versus the 5150 that uses 333mhz memory. I would recommend if reseating the memory doesn't work, that you return it and buy 266mhz memory. I would recommend you try PC 2100 (266mhz) 200 pin ddr sodimm memory.

Collapse -

Its Safe

by fearless2555 In reply to Dell Inspiron 5100 Memory ...

Flashing your bios is completely safe. For the inspiron 5100 to recognize 1024 mb of ram or 1 gb, you must upgrade your bios to A32. You can do so here: http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/dsn/en/document?c=us&dl=false&l=en&s=gen&docid=F37D37A3F4C8ABE1E030030ABD627DF7&doclang=en&cs=

Collapse -

Use 16 chip SoDimms

by ltrost2000 In reply to Dell Inspiron 5100 Memory ...

I had this same problem, went around and around will Dell Tech Support. I looked on-line and found that this Motherboard will only support 16 chip 512 Meh SoDimms. I was able to get Samsung SoDimm's and they worked fine. Dell Tech support told me it was not related to the Bios, and it isn't. It's a chip layering problem. the 8 chip one's are higher density and will only work with ir low density is also present in either slot!

Related Discussions

Related Forums