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Memory Copmatability????

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Here's a good one for all of you....

I recently purchased a used Acer Aspire 3002 LCi, Sempron 2800+, 1.6 GHz Laptop to use in my growing business.

I contacted Acer and aquired all the operating software to bring this back to what it was brand new.
Here's my problem... After reinstalling all of the software (XP-Pro and all the drivers and software) Uopdating everything via the Microsoft update website and Acer's website, the system worked great...or so I thought.

After letting it sit overnight the first time I started recieving upon the next start-up the following message...

>>>Registry files have become corupt or are damaged... Files have been backed up from another loaction<<<

Then the system started up and ran great. I then powered it down after I was done using it and the following day went to restart it and this time got a brand new.....

>>> System files are not at location../configuration/system32.... Press "r" to recover system files or reinstall windows to fix problem <<<

Now I played this game for the last 3 days of back and forth reinstalling and repairing the registry before I decided to dig into my laptop a little bit more.
Upon opening up the memory compartment I found that it had 2 DDR266MHz-256MB soDimms installed into it. Through a little digging at the Acer website I discovered that the laptop is supposed to be using DDR333MHz soDimms.

Here is the MILLION dollar question..... Will using the installed memory (DDR266MHz) that came with the used laptop create this problem I'm having. I have downloaded the microsoft memory tester program and used it and found no problems with the memory its self, but I'm trying to acertain if its the memory thats giving me all the problems.

I have found out talking to a few other people that Acer laptops are picky about whats installed in them... but I would like some more feedback from here before I spend money on memory.Especially if my problem is actually a motherboard instead.

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by TheChas In reply to Memory Copmatability????

I can neither confirm nor deny any issue with Acer laptops and memory compatibility.

It would be interesting to know what if any issues the former owner had with this laptop.

I have experienced such a wide variety of memory issues that memory problems would not surprise me in the least.

Still, I would find it hard to believe that the laptop ran okay for the former owner and now is giving you memory problems.

I would start by running the hard drive manufactures diagnostic utility.

Then, run a system diagnostic / burn-in program.
(sorry, I don't have a specific recommendation)

If the hard drive is fine, and the diagnostic reports no problems, then give memory a try.

I have heard reports of some laptop memory sockets both failing, and having the solder joints to the system board fracture.
If either happens, you can get strange symptoms.

One last thing, what shape is the battery in?
Even under AC power, a weak battery can cause system problems.


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by In reply to

As far as the laptop working fine for the last person I can't confirm that. All I do know it that the memory I found inside the laptop was the DDR-266MHz. And according to Acer as well as other sources it was supposed to have DDR-333MHz.
I was hoping that this is where the compatability issue lies, but at this time I am still testing this theory.

As far as I can tell the battery is fine. It holds a charge under the specified load times according to Acer.

I wasn't looking for a definitive answer but I will use your suggestions and see what occurs.

Thanks for your input.

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by wcp In reply to Memory Copmatability????

The cause of the problem may be due to HD, CPU, RAM, or Motherboard.

There is no way that anyone can tell you exactly which component caused the problem without verifying it.
When you do a troubleshooting, you do not go with the order of suspects, you go with convenience (or what?s available to you now or soon).

The following is my recommendation of testing in order.

1. HD ? Do a HD diagnostic test. The diagnostic utility program is available from the HD manufacturer. If the HD is from Toshiba, use Seatools from Seagate.

2. RAM ? DDR333 is the right one. Visit a computer store and inquire its return policy. If the RAM can be returned, you can buy one and test whether the RAM was indeed the culprit or not.

3. CPU ? You need a good known replacement of CPU to verify this.

4. Motherboard - If the above HW test passed, by the process of elimination, the cause was the motherboard.

If you are unable to test CPU or motherboard, take your laptop to a reputable service place to do the troubleshooting.

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by In reply to

I did have to take it in...

Unfortunately Micro Center isn't what I'd call a very good center. I left it with them with full instructions as to all the tests that I had done and explained what I needed them to do, and after 4 phone calls from a tech that was supposed to know how to do additional tests I finally got it through to him what was going on.

And unfortunately for me... its a motherboard issue and something I'm not going to bother with at this time.

Acer loves their product far to much for me to afford a replacement at this time, when I can buy another laptop for only a couple of hundred dollars more.

Thanks for all the help.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Memory Copmatability????

As both above posters have said you have a problem with the M'Board CPU or RAM.

Now to test this you can download The Ultimate Boot CD an ISO file and make a Boot-able CD to test the thing out it is available at

Now since this unit has been altered since you bought it the first thing that I would look at is the RAM are both sticks the same Brand and specs? If not replace both of them with new units of the same make and speed.

Another thing that I have recently run into is HDD's not working with some M'Boards and in my case it was a Seagate drive on a Gigabyte M'Board which was causing the problem it at first gave the same error messages before finally loosing the MBR's and being unbootable even when connected to a Promise Tech plug in IDE controller card but the same HDD's work perfectly in another computer and test OK on the Gigabyte Board. If you have changed the HDD that could be a place to look as well particularly if you have changed makes as they can do some really screwy things particularly in a Note Book.

But if everything passes the diagnostics welcome to the world of AMD computers they perform perfectly when setup correctly but can do some really screwy things when the hardware isn't just right it's part of the reason that I try to keep clear of AMD CPU's as the units are fickle in construction even when you use the same brand bits in the build that is no guarantee of the unit working properly it all depends on the chip sets used as to what is going to happen and then just to make things messier you can take the same chip set Video Card from different makers and have one work and another not work but they are supposed to be exactly the same chip set involved.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to

If it passes all the tests on The Ultimate Boot CD then I would return it to the way that you got it {b]If possible ]/b[ and then see if it works and if it does then start changing out one part at a time until it stops working properly then you know where your problem is.

Best of luck and lets know how you get on.


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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to

If you can not get a decent answer from the diagnostics about the RAM installed remove one stick and see if it works. If you have different brands of RAM installed you can run into tomming issues that will drive you nuts.

If both sticks are the same make and type than I would change them with a known good brand that suit the unit something like Corsair or Kingston both work very well and are excellent choices.


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by In reply to

Poster rated this answer.

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by jasonbis In reply to Memory Copmatability????

From m experience with those types of error messages it has always been one of two things or both. It is either a bad Windows installation. Try doing a full format and reinstall. Or the other thing is the hard drive is failing. Try doing a scan disk and checking both options to scan for bad sectors and fix errors. It will restart your machine. Watch it and see if it fixes a bunch of things. If so that might work for a while but if the drive is failing it will happen again. So start with reloading since it's cheaper because it might fix the corrup registry otherwise you will need to replace the drive.

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by In reply to

I already know that it isn't a problem with the install or hard drive. I has another new one that was compatable with this laptop and I still have this problem.

I've downloaded and used "Ultimate Boot Disk" as well as other utilities that check the hard drive, motherboard, and memory.
My biggest hang up has been getting a striaght answer about weather the memory, that I found installed on the laptop when I got it, if that could be giving me the fits that I'm running into.

Thank-you for your input.

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