I have a Dell Dimesion 4550 and have intermittent problems with the start up. I get the Dell logo flash up then the pc beeps and a message saying 'the system memory has changed' pops up with other stuff on a black screen. The options are F1 to continue ot F2 to access start up page. When I press F1 this usually resolves the problem and it loads Windows ok. However last week I was not even getting to the error messsage. The pc just wouldn't start. It finally started after about 20 attempts and we are back to the same issue. I spoke to Dell and they said the hardware memory is corrupt and they no longer do a replacement for this model so I need to buy a new pc. Is this right or can I solve this problem.

Please note I'm not very technical on pc's!!

Many Thanks

IF the PC is showing memory amounts changing, it could be that one of your mem chips is going bad (or has finally failed).

The normal troublesshooting for this would be to pull power, open the unit, and remove all but 1 memory chip. Then reboot and see if it fails. (depending on the model, the mem chips may be installed in pairs so if there are 4 chips, you pull the 2 from the same color slots)

This will isolate 1 bank of memory and will see if the problem comes back.

Also, Dell may no longer sell that type of memory, but you should be able to find it somewhere. Even ebay I would imagine. But if you aren't technical, you have to be very careful that you by the right type of mem.

Also remember that you can usually pick up a decent new machine for $300 (not much of a machine but still a working unit). So if replacement memory is $200 for that old stuff, you might just want to consider a whole new unit (which has a new warranty).

Hello,

I don't know why dell has told you that they could have at least tried some troubleshooting steps, I think they are after you buying another computer. Worse case scenario should be you'll have to buy some RAM.

The steps above are a start. Don't forget you can salvage parts of your old machine, optical drives and hard drives will still be working; you may consider removing the hard drive and putting it in a external case to get your old stuff of it. You may only need a base unit as well because you should already have monitor, mouse, keyboard, speakers etc...

These appear to be your specs .

Make sure you get the correct memory type and don't exceed the density(capacity).

If in doubt about memory speed go for 266MHz.

- Let us know how it goes.

I have a Dell Dimesion 4550 and have intermittent problems with the start up. I get the Dell logo flash up then the pc beeps and a message saying 'the system memory has changed' pops up with other stuff on a black screen. The options are F1 to continue ot F2 to access start up page. When I press F1 this usually resolves the problem and it loads Windows ok. However last week I was not even getting to the error messsage. The pc just wouldn't start. It finally started after about 20 attempts and we are back to the same issue. I spoke to Dell and they said the hardware memory is corrupt and they no longer do a replacement for this model so I need to buy a new pc. Is this right or can I solve this problem.

Please note I'm not very technical on pc's!!

Many Thanks

Try use 1 RAM at a time.

Then discharge and reset the PC:
unplug the power cord to the PC, pressing down the power button over 20 seconds do not let go. This will discharge the PC.
Plug the power cord back to the PC and power on the computer.

Hope this helps!
Bill