Ugggghhhh! Tried upgrading my Dell Dimension 8100 from 128 MB to 1Gb (2x512 cards) Got the cards, put them in, got 3 long beeps, no monitor screen and 2 orange lights (instead of green) under my keyboard plug in. Oh, now my old memory doesn't work either. After this happened, looked at the cards and realized they shipped ECC cards for my non-ECC motherboard. I hear that ECC can work with non-ECC but, obviously, it didn't work in my case. Should I exchange for the non-ECC cards? Did I know just enough about computers to zap mine? I'm at a loss right now. Please advise.

After reviewing the monitors section on this site. I'm wondering if the video card went bad when trying to upgrade memory. (Sorry, not at my computer to have all the specs for this post). My screen stays blank but goes from green light to yellow upon start up. Not sure how to test this. Maybe this site is beyond me and the local computer store would be my best shot for fixing. I've seen other posts with my same problem on this site but not the solution so I was hoping for some words of wisdom. Thanks much in advance!

3 Beeps means a memory test has failed. You could go into BIOS setup (with the old memory properly installed) and see whether is an ECC memory option.

I don't see how the wrong sort of memory can screw the whole thing up. It may be that your CMOS has a naff configuration and you could short the CMOS pins (see your Dell handbook) and try again.

The problem is, the moniter switches to stand-by with the old memory in also. My DELL handbook says my computer is upgradable to 1GB total but ALL the memory sites say it's upgradable to 2GB total. My thought is to return the (2x512MB) ECC cards for (4x256MB) non-ECC cards. If I shorted the CMOS pins, would replacing the CMOS (most likely) fix it? Any words of advice is greatly appreciated.

As I say, I don't see how the wrong memory could fry anything in your motherboard. The CMOS idea is a reasonable long shot whic h will enable the boot process to rediscover your hardware.

The monitor goes to standby because the boot process is failing at the self test stage. So, you short the pins according to instructions that should be in the Dell maintenance guide; this'll clear out the CMOS and when you re-boot, the self test of the BIOS will re-populate the CMOS and just possibly it'll work.

Resetting the CMOS worked. Computer back up and running on 128MB. I've returned the ECC cards and WILL be getting the non-ECC cards to upgrade. I'm encouraged by others more knowledgeable then myself to still go with the 2x512MB non-ECC vs the 4x256MB non-ECC as my manual suggests. Last question for you: Any recommendation on the card size?

I'm looking forward to getting my "dinasour" up to a faster speed.

Thank you very much! Problem solved, just looking for direction on the memory cards now.

You're welcome. I'd go with 2 x 1GB because if one card goes down (shouldn't) you still have a respectable 1GB.

Please mark this thread as SOLVED.