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Old 07-21-2019, 03:39 PM
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Eireann Eireann is offline
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Default RAM

Okay, now that I've got the computer up and running, there's the little question of RAM.

Here are some photos of the computer's innards. Where do the RAM cards go, and what's the maximum I can put into an HP Compaq 8100?
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Old 07-21-2019, 04:00 PM
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in the first picture, under what looks like the optical drive. those innards look an awful lot like the small form factor machines i have at work. you have my condolences working on that, many a blue streak was made with mine.
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Old 07-21-2019, 05:26 PM
Buzzard Buzzard is offline
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First and third pictures, dead center, there's 4 slots with white tabs (to lock things in). 2 of those slots are currently filled. THAT is where your RAM goes.

As far as how much you can put in an 8100... well, they've been using that designation for a while, for several different sets of hardware. Call it a Model name, like Escort, Mustang, Caprice. The exact specs of those machines varied from year to year, but it's the same 'model'.
Third picture, to the right of the RAM, there's a small white sticker that has a bar code and a bunch of small writing. I can't read it from here, but there may be a model # for that motherboard. Once you get that model #, you can do a Google search for the specs on that one, including max RAM.
The 8100 series shows 'stock' options going up to 16GB RAM. (4 sticks x 4GB, or 4x4GB) When you go shopping, with that Max RAM number, you'll find 4 identical somethings that adds up to the max.

Installation is remarkably easy. (at least if that big thing over it will let you get a hand in there) There's a locking tab on each side of every slot. Flip those out, all 4 slots, pull the existing RAM sticks out, and put the new ones in. They will only fit in one direction, due to that little slot, so you literally cannot get it wrong. Press it down until the locking tabs click home. Repeat for slots 2-4. Fire up computer. Verify that everything be working. Close up computer case. (Yes, fire up before closing the case. It saves a lot of grumbling and swear jar fines)

Old 07-21-2019, 08:09 PM
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It's an HP Compaq 8100 Elite Small Form Factor. The sticker was on the outside of the case, as it turned out.

I was immensely surprised to find that just about everything inside has a quick-release function. I almost removed the DVD-ROM before I realized what that tab did. The fan is removable, the hard drive, and, I'm sure, several other things.

So, I remove the RAM that's already there and replace it? No need for swear jar fines; this is a home computer, and everyone here is used to my language.

Old 07-22-2019, 02:24 AM
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If the existing RAM will match up with what you intend to put in, save it and just buy 2 to fill the empty slots. If they're different capacities and speeds, it's really better to run a full set of the same. Mixing is possible, but results can vary.

Now, if you go for a staggered upgrade, there IS a procedure to follow. The slots have pairings. You've got A B A B, with the 'A' slots filled. If you bought a pair of sticks, you'd put those in the 'B' slots, WITHOUT moving the existing memory. Memory REALLY likes to be paired with identical sticks in the other slot.

Okay, some further digging, and the slots are designed to handle up to 4GB per slot, for a total max of 16GB of RAM. Not bad, really.
This is what HP puts in them normally:
DDR3 SDRAM PC3-10600 (1333MHz) non ECC
The only change in what they put in is the actual capacity of the sticks. You've got 4 slots total, and can put in up to 4GB each.

If you've got 2 of those 4GB sticks already, you just need 2 more. If those sticks are 1 or 2GB each, you'd eventually swap out for the 4's.
Since you're not trying to run an uber-gaming rig, faster memory won't really do much for you except bump up the cost. Going with some of the better known manufacturers (Kingston, Crucial, G-Skil) can yield benefits in terms of reliability and free replacement.

Old 07-22-2019, 06:57 PM
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For the install : Yeah, they'll only go in one way easily. The slots are set up something like this, where --_-- indicates an intentionally off-center obstruction/tab. Line that up with the corrresponding notch on the RAM:


GENTLY press one end of the RAM stick in there, followed by the other/white retaining tab side second (top side in image#1). They should go in with minimal force. If it's too hard, back up and make sure the tab & notch are lined up, remove the stick, try again.
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Last edited by EricKei; 07-27-2019 at 04:19 AM.

Old 07-25-2019, 09:37 PM
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Here are more photos for you. I'm trying to figure out why New Computer doesn't recognize the RAM I inserted. According to it, there are only 4GB of RAM. I inserted a 4GB stick earlier. I thought it was just taking a while to recognize it (it has the tendency to do this anytime I plug new hardware into it), and maybe that's it, but it's taking a long time.

I plugged it into the last opening - the one you see there at the top. Since it only fits in one way, what's the problem?
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Old 07-26-2019, 01:17 AM
Buzzard Buzzard is offline
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I'm assuming you put that 3rd stick in the 4th slot. (Old sticks in 1 & 3) Try shifting that new 4GB to the 2nd slot. Keep the old sticks where they are.

Memory likes to be paired with identical sticks, and those pairs interlace A1 B1 A2 B2, where you'd have pair A and pair B. Without a pair, there is a preference to put the singleton in the lower numbered slot.

Personally, I do most of my hardware shopping at NewEgg and Amazon, buying where the price+shipping is less.

Old 07-26-2019, 01:46 AM
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Windows 32 bit or 64 bit?

32 bit can only see/use 4G.
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Old 07-26-2019, 06:24 AM
Buzzard Buzzard is offline
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It looks like all the hardware options for that series are all 64-bit, and Win 7+ automatically switches to what the hardware is capable of.
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