How to solve laptop problem 'failure to boot' after upgrading RAM or memory

In this article, you will learn how to successfully install or upgrade a memory module(RAM) on a laptop. If your laptop fails to boot up after installing new RAM or if the system boots up with caps lock and lock button blinking for 30 seconds before shutting down completely, then here is how to fix this issue by following few simple steps.

I have a Dell laptop of latitude series which has 1GB of inbuilt RAM. I wanted to upgrade the memory for faster performance and to avoid frequent struck screen due to increased RAM/memory usage. My laptop has two slots, one underneath the bottom of the laptop and another hidden under the keyboard. So here is how I came across with the above mentioned error and finally managed to sort it out successfully. Now I am sharing the same with others at Techulator.

Is your laptop not booting up after upgrading RAM?
Is your laptop not recognizing the new RAM?
Are you facing the error in which caps lock and lock button blink for 30 seconds before shutting down?

If you are facing any of the above problems after trying to upgrade RAM, then here are a few solutions that may work out for you as it did for me.

Before starting the steps, turn off the laptop completely, remove the power cord from the main power and battery from the laptop. Remove the plate covering the ram with a screw driver. Now you can follow the below mentioned steps.

Solution 1

The RAM is not seated properly! This could be the reason that your laptop is not booting up after upgrading with a new memory module. I faced exactly the same problem initially. Following are a few simple steps to insert the new memory module(RAM) properly.

Once you have removed the old RAM and ready to insert or install the new RAM, then the most important thing you need to know is that the angle at which you insert the new RAM. Most of them who are new to installing RAM tend to insert ram in a horizontal / completely flat direction, which is a wrong method; because, in this way, the RAM doesn't get into its place, no matter with how much pressure you push it in.

The correct method is to insert it at an angle of 30-50 degrees. Tilt the RAM slowly at an angle of 30 degrees while inserting the RAM and when properly positioned, it will get in easily and instantly. It is after this that you need to press the RAM down firmly so that it's placed within the retaining clips firmly. Now put back the battery, plug in the power cord and turn on your system. You will now notice the system will boot up successfully without blinking of two lights.

Solution 2

You may be getting the error because your laptop doesn't support more than 1GB. There is no solution for this.

Solution 3

Swapping the RAM from one to another has worked for many. If you have two slots then swap one to another and try rebooting.

Also See: Physical Memory Dump Error – Resolved at my Desktop PC

Solution 4

Either the slot or the RAM could be faulty. In order to check this, lets start with RAM. In order to know whether the RAM is at fault or not, try inserting the RAM in the other slot, if it works properly from another slot, then the problem is with the first slot. Second possibility is that the RAM itself is damaged. Insert the RAM in the other slot and boot up the system, if you still get the same blinking caps lock and lock button error, then probably the ram is damaged.

Apart from the above fixes, there could be other issues as well depending upon the brand and models of various laptops. However, the solution is the same for all models, provided you are facing aforementioned problem. If nothing works for you, then explain the problem, you are facing in the comments section below.


Guest Author: Sri11 Feb 2014

Thanks much for your post ! You helped solve my RAM upgrade issue .

Guest Author: Samuel Akinola22 Aug 2015

Thank you so much! I got so worried when changing my RAM from 1GB to 2GB. It did not work and then I tried putting it's 1GB back but it still didn't boot. I thought I had damaged my Samsung NB 30. However, on coming across your article I was able to put the 1GB Ram back in & that made it work.

Guest Author: cat109205 Oct 2017

Then why would two different modules show the same as in Solution 4 (caps lock flash at forced shutdown)? The other stick I tried was the one upgraded from that worked perfectly to that point.

Now am stuck with the single soldered on 4GB RAM in my Samsung Series 7 Chronos notebook. What a bummer, a nice quad core i7-3635QM (4 cores, 8 threads), only to have that performance stiffed by the slot not working. Am afraid to try more modules, may blow these upon boot.

Guest Author: cat109207 Oct 2017

Fortunately, the original 4GB module didn't blow, tested on another notebook that has two RAM slots capable of 8GB total, works fine.

The other stick wouldn't boot into Windows, although did show in the BIOS, so I presume it should also be OK, maybe booting into a MemTest ISO will confirm whether or not it's good or bad. Maybe I should had removed both modules so that a total of 8GB would be seen, a limitation of the 1st gen i7-720M chipset.

In the meantime, I've removed the battery & CMOS wires, pressed the power switch on the notebook in question to drain all power, and will let it sit for a week & see what happens after repowering. If it's still bad & the RAM is OK (I know that the original stick is), will have no choice other than to run 'as is', or install a 64 bit Linux OS that's not power hungry.

Oddly, I can get the module to semi-register if allow it to hang at a 45 degree angle, like when installing, then will boot. I can then finish popping in the stick with a rubber screwdriver handle & while Speccy will report 8GB in single channel mode (brand unknown) & at correct timings. Yet the onboard RAM won't register, nor will any other software on the computer see the 8GB of RAM, and it runs faster. This may be an indicator of MB pre-failure, and unfortunately, since the CPU is soldered in place, it's of no value, nor am I going to purchase a used replacement for $200.

These Samsung Series 7 Chronos were intended to be replacements for Apple's notebook, instead became quickly dogged by firmware issues, notably after the Windows 8.1 upgrade process, many had to be returned to Samsung, and so was this one. Only I didn't own it then, was given to me for setting up a close relative's new notebook & router, and wasn't quite 18 months old at that time.

In summary, there's times when the physical RAM isn't the issue at all, rather an underlying one of the computer, notably the motherboard. Could be a short somewhere, poor design, or an outright piece of junk from the go. Note that Samsung no longer manufactures Windows computers, now into the Chromebook business. However, Samsung still makes tons of cash from computers with Windows pre-installed & it's users, many OEM's uses Samsung RAM, and consumers purchases their SSD's, an area where they shine the greatest.

Should the notebook run fine after sitting for a week with zero power, I'll post back the outcome. If not, then it can be assumed that the MB is the cause & while I can build PC's from the ground up, working with all of the tiny notebook's components can be a royal pain & I'll not be removing & reinstalling the MB. This would be basically firing shots in the dark, unless it were discovered a wire were severed (even partially) & causing the issue, and even then, any damage would likely be permanent.

Thanks for allowing me to post here.

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