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Help needed to do a memory upgrade for a Dell Precision M6300 Lappy

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
First off I am a "Software" Guy who bought a Dell M6300 awhile ago on ebay for a really good price.

Anyway, I am wanting to do a memory upgrade on it especially after loading all of the Adobe apps. I noticed that it is starting to slow.

Basically the "heavies" (applications) that I am using on this machines are as follows:

Visual Studio 2010
Visual Studio 2008
Web Expression 4 (all)
SQL Server 2008
ALOT of Adobe
I would like to add but have not loaded Crystal Reports 2008 and File Maker Pro. (Report Generators)

I am currently running Winows 7 professional and on the front of my machine it is showing an "intel Core 2 Duo" - which I am thinking is the processor? Maybe?

I am pretty sure I have 1 GB of removable of memory but I suspect it is not just a matter of buying more memory in my case as I guess this machines has 2 sockets which can support up to 8 GB of memory (4GB a piece). In my research I have also come across a couple of instances where a BIOS update would be necessary in order to support this memory. This loses me.........tongue.gif:

So ANY pointers on the BEST, MOST EFFICENT (cheapest - actually I would spend some since I did get a good deal on this machine), and most straight forward upgrade would be MOST appreciated.

I would also like to do this myself.

MANY MANY THANKS in advance!
post #2 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddB View Post

First off I am a "Software" Guy

Welcome "Software Guy" to OCN where the persuit of performance is absolutely paramount!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddB View Post

I am currently running Winows 7 professional and on the front of my machine it is showing an "intel Core 2 Duo" - which I am thinking is the processor? Maybe?

Yes, Intel Core 2 Duo is a processor label you will find these labels on just about any pre-fab laptop and desktop you buy. They aren't really descriptive considering just how many processors actually fall into that category of Core 2 Duo, but a badge is a badge right. (Phat lewtz)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddB View Post

I am pretty sure I have 1 GB of removable of memory but I suspect it is not just a matter of buying more memory in my case as I guess this machines has 2 sockets which can support up to 8 GB of memory (4GB a piece).

I am almost positive that your PC did not come with 1GB of memory. I will not say that is an absolute certainty, but it may be more true to say it is closer to 2GB. Hey! if you have 1GB of RAM that would explain why your PC running windows 7 is so darn slow. Windows 7 is a power house and I think it is safe to assert that Win7 itself needs 1GB of RAM. Simply put your system is much happier when it has room to work.

Are you running 32 bit or 64 bit Windows 7 professional?
This matters as if you have a 32 bit OS you can only use a max of 4GB Physical and 3.5GB Logical.
To use more than 4GB example 8GB you would need a 64 bit OS (windows 7)

Think of the Memory (RAM) as your physical "Desk Top". Like at work. The smaller your desk is the less crap/work you can have out at one time. This analogy hits the nail on the head...The less RAM you have the less programs you can all having running at once without causing severe performance slow down. (Lag)

I have only quoted you to answer your questions, I do not intend to make you feel stupid. I simply wish to address your statements and inform you.

An informed buyer is a happy/better/smarter buyer. One who makes decisions based on facts instead of crap.

you have shown an interest in getting help from us here at OCN and we are glad to help!

Now for the Actual HELP



Upgrading the Bios
I suggest you do this with the device off...Flip that bad boy over and find your Service Tag/Express service code and write it down.


I must caution you though...While this is unlikely and I have never bricked a board yet...without the Bios or if improperly run or if you lose power while performing a bios upgrade you damage irrecoverably the motherboard and you will essentially make your PC a paper weight.


Please make sure your Laptop is Fully charged also please make sure you are connected to AC power prior to performing the following:

Now that we have that you can loadup your PC again and navigate to here

Click on Drivers and downloads "get it here"

Input your service tag/express service code that we obtained just moments ago. (either one should work, however if one doesn't the other should)

Once you hit submit you should be redirected to the main product support page for...duh your product.

You may even see a little picture of your PC.

Now make sure that the Operating System is correct. If not just click the drop down and select the appropriate one.

Below this you should now see a list of drivers.

HEY LOOK! Bios is the first one of the list (in almost all cases, unless audio supersedes it)

Click bios and it should drop down

you may have more than one available to you. I suggest you look at the version number and the release date. It is almost always safe to assume the latest version is your best bet.

Once you have found the latest bios revision/version Click download on the right.

A pop-up window will appear asking you how you want to download...I always choose the option that does not make me install the dell download manager. The manager is great if you need like 10 different drivers at once, but I just want to directly download the file and not be bothered with installing something ELSE on my pc.

so choose the option to directly download via web browser.

The file should save and be something like BR29826866.exe (Your mileage will vary the numbers are arbitrary and I have no need and niether do you to know what the numbers mean)

So basically the file will be BRxxxxxxxx.exe

Now that you have this saved I would make sure you have all other programs closed and you should run this file.

It may first extract itself into a folder (default will be on the root of your drive in a folder called DELL, which is C:\ you know it will be the main folder under your local disk C:)

If it does not auto run after extracting navigate to c:\dell there may be another sub directory inside this foler maybe called BIOS, or drivers or whatever. Just locate the bios update file and run the .exe

This should run a program that will verify the version you currently have installed and then install the new bios revision you will probably have to reboot. (If not you may have to create a boot disk with this bios update...not every system is the same. we will work from here)

Memory Upgrade

In a nutshell you are looking for Memory with these specs:

8GB total in a 2x4GB stick bundle

Laptop memory

DDR-2

200 pin SO-DIMM

PC2-6400

Cas: 6


Use this to figure out where your RAM is.


When installing new RAM:

Turn off your Laptop

Disconnect AC POWER

Remove battery

Then proceed with instructions


M6300 RAM Installation/Removal

This RAM comes at a premium, but it also is Guaranteed to work with your system

Crucial 8GB (2x4GB sticks)

Other options

Cheaper "Price Wise" Ram

Please note: That if you damage your components OCN and its members will not be at fault.
Edited by NitroNarcosis - 4/5/12 at 11:39am
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply. It is appreciated. Just so I make sure I have this RIGHT and remember this is my first dip into the hardware side besides sticking in a flash drive or CD or something like that I without having the RAM on hand to install I can download and update the BIOS? Thinking I can but just want to make sure. smile.gif
post #4 of 18
yes you can certainly upgrade the Bios prior to installing new memory.

The Bios (Basic Input Output system) is like a little piece of software that runs on the main/motherboard of the computer, but the Bios is stored in ROM so it is actually Firmware

The BIOS serves two main functions...It does a power on self check...It makes sure all required hardware is accounted for.

I like to say the POST (Power On Self-Test) is like the computer checking for all of its fingers and toes before proceeding to:

The boot strap or boot up sequence. The BIOS then locates the bootable sector on the hard drive and executes the boot loader and then it relinquishes control to that system which loads your Operating System.

Most Bios updates fix known bugs and enable new hardware (Such as adding additional RAM), or allowing for new processors to be used (for instance a more powerful core 2 duo or even a quad core processor on the same system) as well as enable new functionality within the BIOS itself.

I must caution you though...While this is unlikely and I have never bricked a board yet...without the Bios or if improperly run or if you lose power while performing a bios upgrade you damage irrecoverably the motherboard and you will essentially make your PC a paper weight.


I will add this to my first reply...

I almost forgot to ask you

Are you running 32 bit or 64 bit Windows 7 professional?

This matters as if you have a 32 bit OS you can only use a max of 4GB Physical and 3.5GB Logical.

To use more than 4GB (example 8GB) you would need a 64 bit OS (windows 7)
Edited by NitroNarcosis - 4/5/12 at 11:39am
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Thought that may be the case but just wanted to be sure as I have spent alot of time on this machine and will likely update the BI)S and order the memory. So here goes with the BIOS upgrade. THANKS again!
o
post #6 of 18
Please make sure you read my additional comments on Memory with regards to 64bit vs 32bit OS,

No use in buying 8GB of memory if you are running on Windows 7 32 bit (As you will only be able to use 3.5GB of that Memory)
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Issue here. When I enter the Service Tag or Express Service Tag on the Dell Web Site to download the BIOS under "BIOS" updates nothing comes up. One note here...for operating systems for these Service tags it only gives me XP and Vista......NOT Windows 7. IS that an issue? Also you state "No use in buying 8GB of memory if you are running on Windows 7 32 bit (As you will only be able to use 3.5GB of that Memory)" How can I tell if I am as I "think this is the case. Thanks!smile.gif
post #8 of 18
Issue 1 I would just input the Service tag and then on the right hand side click on the chat button and talk to one of their reps and ask them if there even is a BIOS update for your model. Also ask them if there is any bios update required to use 8GB of Memory.

It is possible you do not have a bios update for your system.

They will ask you for your service tag number again and they will verify with you useless crap they will also try and sell you RAM. No need to do so it will only cost you more money -_-

Just use em for what you need then toss them... -_-

Issue 2 Click on the start menu button (Where the word start used to be on windows XP)

Then RIGHT CLICK "computer" or "My Computer"...click on Properties

Alternatively and if you are a fan of windows key shortcuts like myself...If you hold down the windows key and then push the Pause Break key it will bring up this properties page.

So that is Windows key+Pause/break (Pause/Break key is apart of the cluster of keys above your home/end/delete...etc keys On most keyboards it is in a row of 3 keys next to Print screen and Scroll Lock.

170 + 293

I am a visual learner so I try to provide visuals whenever possible.



Once that window is open you will see all the good stuff

401
Edited by NitroNarcosis - 4/5/12 at 12:58pm
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
NitroNarcosis-

Sorry for the delayed reply. Know exactly what you want me to do here and I will be going this direction on Monday when I return to my place on Monday as I left this machine at my place to spend the Easter holidays with the Family.

Just want to thank you for for your assistance and direction. It is MOST appreciated! I will be in touch thumb.gif
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
NitroNarcosis-

My sister stopped by and picked up my laptop and although I have not checked with Dell about a BIOS updated I just wanted to report to you about my memory and system type.

They are as follows:

Installed Memory (RAM): 4GB (3.5 Usable)

System Type: 32-Bit Operating System

So have I hit a memory "wall" with this machine? rolleyes.gif

If so and also would it be possible to do a CPU upgrade of this machine? I am referring to this link:

http://www.overclock.net/t/690492/dell-precision-m6300-cpu-upgrade

Would this help my situation as well as allow me to upgrade memory.

Do you know what model of CPU would be compatible ?

The to main thing is I just do not want re-load alll the apps. I have on the machine.

Thanks!
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