Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Vista, adding ram and weird wifi consequences....

So, i'm being tech support for my mum, not a great hassle.  She's got a relatively simple Fujitsu Siemens Esprimo machine, and it's ok.  Bit slow, so I ordered another 1gb stick of RAM (from Crucial, as always).  Windows Experience Index of 3.0.

Fitted it easily enough (tinkered with paging file), and seemed ok.  Except wifi was dead.  Completely dead as in "can't see any wifi hotspots"....  Ok, so I know about Vista and AES, so was careful there on the router - nothing, deaf as a post.  Other devices - even my phone! - could connect to wifi, so not router side...  Assume I may have knocked wifi card when doing memory - nope, nothing there.

Take it home and try with my router.  It works!!   Haha, must be that crappy Asus router.  Then, 2 days later, it stops working...   I even booted Ubuntu from USB and that couldn't find wifi - it didn't exist...

Then noticed start up and shut down issues.  It would only boot every other go, and would never shutdown properly...  Curious.  And this fault was pre-startup, before BIOS appeared...   Hmmm...   A Windows memory test reported no problems - so it seemed the stick was ok.

Now, I suppose it's not curious - you've added memory!  you changed something and it went bad - take it out!  Yes, obvious, but this is meant to be the 21st century - can memory clashing really be it...?  Can bad memory really cause weird boot issues and knock out wifi?

Yes, it seems so.  So, removed 2nd 1gb stick, and left it with 1gb original.  Went to BIOS and reduced memory used for video card down to 64mb (from 256mb), on the basis that my mum doesn't play 3d games and the like...   So, i'd rather give memory to Vista than graphics card.  And - seems better.

And Windows Experience Index?   Despite being a rather crude measure, it's now 3.1, RAM performance leaping from 4.2 to 4.3 thanks to higher allocation of memory.  So, more memory is better, particularly if you give it to Vista, but not so much if it's bad sticks...

Rule number one though, if it goes bad - get rid of what you just changed...   even if it makes no sense whatsover why it should be related.
(and yes, it needs getting rid of Vista)

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