Re: Pavilion a1240a: upgrading RAM (68 Views)
Occasional Visitor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎04-01-2008
Message 1 of 2 (68 Views)

Pavilion a1240a: upgrading RAM

Hi there,

I have an HP Pavilion a1240a, which contains 2x256MB of PC2-3200 DDR2 SDRAM.

I bought 2x1GB sticks of PC2-4200 DDR2 SDRAM as an upgrade in both capacity and speed, and I'm having trouble getting the computer to boot with this new memory.

Sometimes it will get to the blue HP BIOS screen and freeze; sometimes it will get to the following black screen and freeze; sometimes it will boot all the way up into Windows and then reset to the blue HP screen again.

It works perfectly well when I take out the new RAM and reinstall the original RAM.

I am following instructions and being sure to physically install the RAM properly, so I don't think the problem is due to my methods.

Also, as I understand it, there should be no problem with installing 4200 as an upgrade to 3200. PC2-3200 runs at 400MHz, which is lower than the system bus speed of 533MHz, but PC2-4200 runs at the full 533MHz. Furthermore, I have read that PC2-4200 is capable of reducing its speed to 400MHz if there is also PC2-3200 RAM present.〈=en&product=1152506&dlc=en
The a1240a information page says, for memory, "Speed supported: PC2-3200 MB/sec". It doesn't say that 4200 is supported; nor does it say it is NOT supported.

Kingston's memory compatibility website says that the a1240a is capable of using either technology, 3200 or 4200. It should work, surely!

Am I wrong, and 4200 is not compatible with this machine?

Is the RAM broken?

If not, then what am I doing wrong?

Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Occasional Visitor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎04-01-2008
Message 2 of 2 (68 Views)

Re: Pavilion a1240a: upgrading RAM


The 2GB of RAM works correctly when the 2 sticks are installed next to each other on the motherboard (i.e. one is in a blue socket and one is in a black socket), which prevents the computer from enabling dual channel mode on the RAM.

So, now I have 2 GB of RAM in a single-channel configuration. It's also working at 533 MHz, which is an improvement on the previous memory.

When I install the memory in just the blue slots, or just the black slots, that is, in order to enable Dual Channel mode, the repeated crashing and rebooting occurs.

My problem is now thus:

How can I get the machine to let me use Dual Channel mode with the new memory?
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