Memory FAQ

Do I need more memory? I hear the hard drive working and my computer is slower. 
There are several signs indicating it may be time to upgrade your memory. If you see your mouse pointer turn into an hourglass for significant periods of time, if you hear your hard drive working, or if your computer seems to work more slowly than you expect, the reason is probably insufficient memory. When the memory is full, your system transfers data to the hard drive. This is called "Virtual Memory." Since the hard drive is considerably slower than DRAM, your system seems slower altogether.

An easy way to check is to use the Task Manager tool within Windows.

•1. To start Task Manager, use any of these methods: 
•Right-click the taskbar, and then click Task Manager.
•Press CTRL+ALT+DEL, and then click Task Manager.
•Click Start, click Run, type taskmgr.exe in the Open box, and then click OK.
•2. Click the Performance tab, and look at the Physical Memory section, and the Commit Charge section.
•3. Take note of the values for both Total Physical Memory and Total Commit Charge.
If the value for the Total Commit Charge is greater than the value for the Total Physical Memory, then it is definitely time for a memory upgrade.

Will adding more RAM make my Internet browsing faster? 
Maybe. Internet browsing speed depends on a huge number of factors, including your connection speed, your physical distance from the host server, traffic on the site you're visiting, and the other components in your system. You will probably notice the biggest improvement from additional RAM if are viewing or working with large files (such as photos and digital audio and video) or if you switch between your browser and other applications often.

How do I determine how much memory is currently installed in my system? 
If your computer is running in a Windows environment, you can point your cursor to the "My Computer" icon and Right mouse-click on it and select "Properties." The window that pops up will have some tabs on it, one of which is labeled "General." Click on the "General" tab and you will find out how much memory your system has currently installed. 

How do I figure out what kind of memory my system has? 
The easiest way to find out what kind of memory is in your system is to verify the make and model of your computer and look up your computer in the Centon Memory Matchmaker.

What is the difference between a DIMM and a SODIMM? 
DIMM stands for Dual Inline Memory Module, and SODIMM stands for Small Outline Dual Inline Memory Module. DIMMs are physically larger than SODIMMs – SODIMMs are typically about half the size (or less) than DIMMs. DIMMs are generally used in desktop, workstation and server computers, while SODIMMs are generally used laptop computers.

SODIMMs and DIMMs are not interchangeable; they are different sizes and they install into different types of sockets. 

What is "Electrostatic Discharge", and why is it important for me to know about it? 
Electrostatic discharge, or the release of static electricity, can damage any of the electronic components of a computer such as the disk drive, system board, processor, memory, add-in boards, and other components. ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) occurs when you touch an object that conducts electricity and is at a different electrical potential than you are. To protect your memory module from ESD, keep the module in its original ESD-protective package. Do not remove it from the protective packaging until you are ready to install it.

When you are ready to install, follow electrostatic discharge precautions . Make sure you are properly and constantly grounded throughout the entire time you are in contact with the sensitive electronic devices. If possible, please use an ESD Wrist Strap. Also, handle electronic components by the edges. 

How do I ground myself so I don't damage the memory module during installation? 
Static electricity can damage your memory module and other computer parts. Before installing memory, you need to ground yourself to avoid "shocking" your computer. If you have wrist straps designed for this purpose, you should wear them. If you don't have wrist straps, here is the easiest way to ground yourself: 

•Turn off the computer, monitor, and all accessories (printer, speakers, etc.) 
•Leave the computer power cord plugged in. (It's OK to unplug your accessories if you like.)
•Briefly touch an unpainted metal part of your computer case. 
•Plant your feet and don't walk around. If you do need to walk around, ground yourself again before touching any of the internal parts of your computer. 

How can I tell if I installed my memory correctly? 
To make sure the newly added memory is being recognized follow these steps (instructions apply to Win 95/98/Me/XP): 

•Click on 'Start' and go up to 'Settings' 
•Click on 'Control Panel'
•Double-click on the 'System' icon. (This should bring up the window called 'System Properties'.) (Windows XP users: You may need to click 'Switch to Classic View') 
•Within the 'System Properties' window under the 'General' tab at the bottom-right of the window you should see how much RAM the system is recognizing. 1. 
If the system sees the proper RAM amount and the system is running reliably - i.e. no serious, frequent errors or unreliable system performance, then the memory is operating correctly.

Why is my computer is not recognizing all of the memory I have installed in it? 
There are various reasons why your computer may not recognize all of the memory that is installed in it.

•Your computer may use Shared Memory Architecture (SMA) or Unified Memory Architecture (UMA). Many computers that have the video controller built-in to the motherboard will share a portion of the main system memory for video memory. Even some discrete video cards may share some of the main memory. Example: Total installed physical RAM = 2048MB (2GB); Windows sees 1792MB (1.75GB) - so in this case, the computer shares 256MB for video memory. The RAM is there and seen by your computer properly, but the shared portion is hidden from Windows because it has been dedicated to be used for video memory. 
•You may have installed more than your motherboard can support. To check the maximum memory capacity of your system, check your system's manual or look your system up in Centon's Memory Matchmaker.
•The memory you have installed is incompatible. To check system compatibility check your system's manual or look your system up in Centon's Memory Matchmaker.
•You have installed 4GB or more RAM in a computer with a 32-bit operating system. This is a known issue for 32-bit operating systems (such as Windows 2000, XP, and Vista). 32-bit operating systems support, and can utilize up to 4GB of RAM, however they may not display the full amount. If your application requires more than 4GB of RAM, consider upgrading to a 64-bit operating system. 
I have a defective module, how do I get a replacement? 

If you think your memory is bad, please report it to Centon to receive a working replacement module.

To report defective memory to Centon click on the following link and fill out completely:

Tech Support

We need all of the information (Centon Part Number, Complete System information, Return Address for Warranty Replacement) in order to assist you in a timely manner. Missing information will delay the entire process.

By completing the form at the above link, you will automatically be requesting a replacement module which is covered by Centon's limited lifetime warranty.