Memory upgrade and HDD

  diesel1948 14:49 05 Nov 09

I have a Dell Dimension 9200 nearly 3 years old. I bought 2 1GB strips of memory to match the 2 that were in. I put them in making 4GB and all slots occupied. Someone said to me that I should have bought 2 x 2GB and left to slots empty because using all slots can cause electrical voltage problems. Anyone know about these matters?
Also I bought a WD external HDD 1.5TB elements and that seems to work ok. However, the computer seems to take a lot longer to boot up, could the HDD cause that? Could I just unplug it when I am not using it or are you supposed to have it connected when using computer? Any advice would be much appreciated. Diesel

  johndrew 16:38 05 Nov 09

If you leave the external HDD (presumably USB) drive `live` (plugged in & powered up) it forms part of the boot/shut down and, because USB is slower, it slows the whole process.

Another problem you may find is that when in Standby the USB ports are powered off generally and the drive may not be recognised when you resume. This is assuming you leave the drive `live` when you go into Standby.

You would be wise to boot without the external HDD powered up and remove it (Safely Remove Hardware) prior to shutting down.

  Diemmess 16:57 05 Nov 09

The good reasons to switch on the External HD only when you want to read or write something, far outweigh the bad reasons.

As johndrew says it can even interfere enough to slow things up.
As an excellent store for data and backup it will have a much longer life if running only when needed.

  Diemmess 17:03 05 Nov 09

As a matter of interest was there an appreciable improvement with double your previous RAM? I assume you are using Vista.
Properly matched and placed RAM if accepted by limits of the motherboard should not cause any "electrical voltage problems".

  diesel1948 00:05 06 Nov 09

Thank you all for the advice, I have unplugged the external HD until I need it again. Diemmess I am running Vista and no there does not seem to be great improvement now the ram is doubled. The computer is reading the memory saying 4GB now installed. I presume that the 2GB put in by Dell must be right so I just put the new strips in the empty slots. So now its new Dell new Dell in other words the original memory were seperated by an empty space. Does that seem right. Oh by the way I read that only 3GB ram would be able to be used on 32 bit operating systems. But I thought you had to add memory in pairs?

  Diemmess 08:36 06 Nov 09

Some motherboards need paired RAM, some dont!

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