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Old April 28, 2011, 02:31 PM
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Default Laptop RAM upgrade help

Hi all,


First post here, but after being a passive forum member for a few months I'm sure you don't bite!


I've just managed to get my hands on some RAM at a good price to upgrade my laptop. The laptop is a VAIO FZ21M and had previously been using the original 2 x 1GB DDR2 SODIMMs at 667MHz with timings of 5-5-5-15.

The new RAM is a kit of 2 x 2GB Kingston HyperX (KHX6400S2ULK2/4G) rated at up to 800MHz with 4-4-4-12 timings.

Due to the tight timings coupled with the fact that the memory controller in Santa Rosa laptops can only handle up to a speed of 667MHz I had a suspicion that the laptop would not POST, which it did not, whereas the other half of me was thinking that it might have done but downclocked to 667MHz at 3-4-4-10.

I eventually got the laptop up and running with one old stick and one new stick with timings defaulting to 4-5-5-15. I would however like to have both new sticks running, and at their advertised 667MHz timings (3-4-4-10) if possible.

Not being a RAM expert I'm not exactly sure why the laptop won't POST with the new RAM, but I've heard that it may be possible to flash the SPD of the sticks to change the default settings to enable it POST.

Just wondering if this is a viable option or if there is anything else I could do.


Many thanks! :)

Last edited by rww100; April 28, 2011 at 03:25 PM. Reason: Thanks Mods for moving :)
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Old April 28, 2011, 03:25 PM
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No worries, all questions are welcome here

I moved this to Troubleshooting for you since you'll likely get better visibility there.

I unfortunately don't have much to say. The RAM should of worked (as it most likely has SPD profiles for DDR2-667 and probably even DDR2-533). I'm assuming it's not feasible to return it at this point?

It seems to be the BIOS is at fault, so maybe check the Sony site and see if they offer any updates? It could solve the problem.
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Old April 28, 2011, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rww100 View Post
Hi all,


First post here, but after being a passive forum member for a few months I'm sure you don't bite!


I've just managed to get my hands on some RAM at a good price to upgrade my laptop. The laptop is a VAIO FZ21M and had previously been using the original 2 x 1GB DDR2 SODIMMs at 667MHz with timings of 5-5-5-15.

The new RAM is a kit of 2 x 2GB Kingston HyperX (KHX6400S2ULK2/4G) rated at up to 800MHz with 4-4-4-12 timings.

Due to the tight timings coupled with the fact that the memory controller in Santa Rosa laptops can only handle up to a speed of 667MHz I had a suspicion that the laptop would not POST, which it did not, whereas the other half of me was thinking that it might have done but downclocked to 667MHz at 3-4-4-10.

I eventually got the laptop up and running with one old stick and one new stick with timings defaulting to 4-5-5-15. I would however like to have both new sticks running, and at their advertised 667MHz timings (3-4-4-10) if possible.

Not being a RAM expert I'm not exactly sure why the laptop won't POST with the new RAM, but I've heard that it may be possible to flash the SPD of the sticks to change the default settings to enable it POST.

Just wondering if this is a viable option or if there is anything else I could do.


Many thanks! :)
Laptops are more finicky than desktops when it comes to running memory and because of this you REALLY have to check the laptop out to see what may or may not be compatible.

Being that its hyper-x memory it might not be compatible with the laptop and why I generally stay away from that sort of memory.

I'll put some generic kingston or crucial into a laptop as that stuff is more guaranteed to work.
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Old April 28, 2011, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by JD View Post
No worries, all questions are welcome here

I moved this to Troubleshooting for you since you'll likely get better visibility there.

I unfortunately don't have much to say. The RAM should of worked (as it most likely has SPD profiles for DDR2-667 and probably even DDR2-533). I'm assuming it's not feasible to return it at this point?

It seems to be the BIOS is at fault, so maybe check the Sony site and see if they offer any updates? It could solve the problem.
Thanks for the move :)

I bought it nearly new, secondhand from a certain auction website, but the seller only accepts returns if it's faulty which I can't really prove as it worked for him and works for me when one of the new sticks is put in with one of the original ones.

The BIOS is rather locked down and even such things as enabling VT-x are much more complex than they could be as shown by these instructions.

I know for a fact that Sony haven't provided any updates in quite a while. Not even Windows 7 x64 drivers are provided so I was on my own with that upgrade from Vista x86.

Quote:
Originally Posted by enaberif View Post
Laptops are more finicky than desktops when it comes to running memory and because of this you REALLY have to check the laptop out to see what may or may not be compatible.

Being that its hyper-x memory it might not be compatible with the laptop and why I generally stay away from that sort of memory.

I'll put some generic kingston or crucial into a laptop as that stuff is more guaranteed to work.
In hindsight I probably should have been more careful before parting with my money, but now I've already got the RAM is there anything at all I can do apart from modifying the BIOS somehow, as I'm completely stuck as to how I would go about doing that?
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Old April 28, 2011, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by rww100 View Post
Thanks for the move :)

I bought it nearly new, secondhand from a certain auction website, but the seller only accepts returns if it's faulty which I can't really prove as it worked for him and works for me when one of the new sticks is put in with one of the original ones.

The BIOS is rather locked down and even such things as enabling VT-x are much more complex than they could be as shown by these instructions.

I know for a fact that Sony haven't provided any updates in quite a while. Not even Windows 7 x64 drivers are provided so I was on my own with that upgrade from Vista x86.



In hindsight I probably should have been more careful before parting with my money, but now I've already got the RAM is there anything at all I can do apart from modifying the BIOS somehow, as I'm completely stuck as to how I would go about doing that?
Its has nothing to do with the bios and more with the motherboard. You could try to find hacks for a laptop bios but they almost don't exist and if they did I wouldn't try it.

I'd be trying to sell off the money to recoup some costs then buy something else.
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Old April 28, 2011, 07:18 PM
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I tried the sticks in another slightly newer laptop (Montevena based) and again the system would not POST. As I got the sticks at a fairly good price I'll hopefully be okay selling them off again though.

Before I resort to the time and effort of doing that though some googling has revealed that the same issue as I'm having is also present when upgrading MacBooks with similar hardware and can be solved by flashing the SPD to change the default timings to some which are slightly looser. (Clicky 1) (Clicky 2)

I'm quite tempted to try this, but I guess there is also a risk of bricking the memory. Does anyone have any experience using programs such as Thaiphoon Burner or SPDTool or would the RAM probably still not work after flashing due to the computer having a BIOS rather than an EFI like the MacBooks?
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Old April 28, 2011, 07:38 PM
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what i did was one original stick in slot 1/a,defaults.save+reboot.slot 2/b gets the new stick,defaults,save+reboot.
and then the last stick. dont save/default it.

usually it works to trick em.
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Old April 29, 2011, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by _dangtx_ View Post
what i did was one original stick in slot 1/a,defaults.save+reboot.slot 2/b gets the new stick,defaults,save+reboot.
and then the last stick. dont save/default it.

usually it works to trick em.
Thanks for the suggestion - I just tried this procedure of loading the defaults in the BIOS but unfortunately the system still would not POST with both new sticks in at once.

Any thoughts on what to try next?

I can't seem to find much more information on flashing the SPD either, but at the moment it seems like it might be worth having a go if there's nothing else to try. I'm just not too sure on the procedure and also don't want to brick either of the sticks.
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