Problems with Your New Memory?

Are you having problems with your new memory upgrade? The following guide addresses the most commonly reported errors our customers may see and their possible solutions.

Incompatible part

Your memory module could be incompatible with your system. There are a lot of considerations when choosing the correct memory for your system, including memory type, speeds, densities, and more.  To take the guesswork out of this, use the Crucial System Scanner or Crucial Advisor tool to find a guaranteed compatible upgrade.

Improper installation

The memory might not have been seated correctly, or you have a bad or dirty memory socket. The first thing to try? Re-installing it. A video illustrating the process is here, but an important detail to note is that desktops require about 30 pounds of pressue for a memory module to fully seat. You will also see the locking clips rotate into place to lock the modules in if you are using enough force to ensure a full connection.

For laptops (and miniature desktops built with similar parts, such as the Intel® NUC series), a similar 30 pounds of force will be needed, pressing the modules into the slots, then laying them flat to lock them fully into place. In some cases, the memory modules will loosen while being laid flat to be locked into place. Maintaining some inward pressure on the memory module while laying it flat can resolve seating difficulties in these systems. A video showing this process is here.

If reseating the memory is not effective, switch the memory to different memory sockets if available, as well as testing multiple part configurations one memory module at a time. This can help determine whether the problem lies with a particular memory module or the memory socket, or whether old and new modules simply aren’t compatible when mixed together.

Another option? Try cleaning the memory module and the socket using compressed air to blow dust off the socket.  Watch our video on how to clean a dirty system prior to installing memory.

BIOS/System firmware conflict

This can be a problem especially with parts manufactured using technologies developed after a computer's release. A BIOS (Basic Input Output System) or system firmware (EFI/UEFI) updates might be required to add support for memory upgrades or higher memory totals. Refer to your system or motherboard manufacturer's support for any available resources, including documentation, on applying these updates.

Sometimes it is necessary to clear BIOS settings to solve boot-related issues. Your BIOS/UEFI may have a soft reset available for this process, or a jumper that can be used in place of the steps below but to otherwise manually clear the BIOS/CMOS install the memory and follow the instructions below:

  1. Turn off the system and unplug it
  2. Remove the case cover/panels
  3. After the system is open touch an exposed/bare metal part of the computer to ground yourself
  4. Looking at the motherboard you should see a small silver circular battery (like a watch battery). The battery will be held in place by a plastic holder
  5. Remove the battery from the motherboard. This is usually done by gently pressing the metal clip on the plastic holder. The battery should pop up/out on its own
  6. After the battery has been removed, leave the computer sitting like that for around 15 minutes
  7. After 15 minutes replace the battery and the cover/panels
  8. Reconnect all cables and power up the computer

Defective hardware

If you’ve tried everything and the memory still isn’t working, you might have a defective module. If you are able to load into your operating system, software is available that can test modules for a possible faulty component. 

If the memory still isn’t working, you might have a defective module.  If you purchased that module from, we make returns process hassle-free. Learn more about our returns process and our 45-day money-back guarantee here. For more memory troubleshooting tips, go here.

Non-memory problems after memory upgrade

If a memory upgrade seems to trigger unrelated hardware or software malfunctions, try reinstalling the original memory to confirm the new parts are the source of a problem, and confirm other cables and parts are still firmly seated to rule out an accidental disconnection or loosening of another part as the issue.

Applications may not be fully reconfiguring themselves to make use of the new memory configuration. Individual applications malfunctioning may be fixed by running any in-built diagnostic or configuration tools to see if a self-check from the program can easily reconfigure settings to manage the new memory properly. If this is ineffective, uninstalling and reinstalling the program (after backing up any user files as needed, as well as deleting any leftover files and folders after running the uninstaller) will provide a more thorough reset of any details around memory the affected program is dependent on to function.

Other unusual hardware behavior after a new memory installation, such as unexpected lines on the screen, colors being displayed incorrectly, network malfunctions (usually a loss of internet access), USB devices not working, etc. can be explained by a device driver not reconfiguring around the new memory. Driver updates to affected components, or fully uninstalling and reinstalling up-to-date drivers, can resolve issues localized to these individual components or features. A Safe Mode or equivalent environment in your operating system may allow this reinstallation to be done more effectively, as well.

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