Published on 24 January 2005 in , ,

My PC’s been getting a little slow in it’s old age (well it is four and a half years old now) so I thought I’d give it a shot in the arm and treble its RAM. Everything runs fine, it’s just a little short in that department, so I decided to increase it from the measily 128Mb to 384Mb.

I’ve never used Crucial before, but they are often raved about, so thought I’d give them ago. After finding out what I need, I placed the order and it was with me the next day. Well in theory. It was between Christmas and New Year and I didn’t know when it would arrive – and Crucial were too quick for me so it actually arrived in the office on a day I wasn’t working!

Anyway, I eventually took my PC apart, and plugged in the new RAM.

Few system beeps. Ah the hassles of upgrades. Try again, again and again before finally getting silence and a PC that booted. Lovely!

Except one snag – the BIOS wasn’t recognising the new RAM at all. It wasn’t bringing up an error so it was sat correctly, it just wasn’t recognising the new RAM module.

So I huffed and I puffed, and I rearranged and I unplugged. I tried everything under the sun. Perhaps it’s a faulty modules I thought. Well I’ll send them an email and see if they have any advice.

Autoresponder returns an email saying that it will probably take 72 hours to reply. Oh well, settle back and wait.

Reply finally comes through, and I package it all back to be returned to Crucial as per instructions. It was posted on Saturday, guarenteed delivery by Tuesday.

Now I’m used to returns departments. The ones where it takes a month to get anything out of them, so imagine my surprise when the replacement arrives on the Thursday, less than 48 hours after they’d got the returned one. Pretty good I thought.

Anyway I went home and I tried again, huffing, puffing and generally getting the same result. Now either I’ve had two duff modules, or my motherboard is crap. I err on the side of the latter, and even upgrade my BIOS to see if I can get it working. But the 256Mb memory just refuses to be seen.

I sigh. Some research shows I’m not the only one to have problems with the motherboard and 256Mb DIMMs.

Now I hate phoning these companies but this time I decide I better phone up just in case they have an argument and won’t give me a refund.

And then comes shock number two. The phone number is a freephone one.

And shock number three! The phone is answered by a human being after the second ring.

Said human being goes through asking a few routine questions, does a search on that system to see if there’s any other reported problems – Apparently it has a very good return rate – but the conclusion is that it’s probably a motherboard problem. Send it back and we’ll refund the money.

Just like that. No quibbles – just return it and we’ll forget it ever happened. We’ll ring you back with a returns number in about 20 minutes.

Well actually it was more like 40 minutes, but who is counting? No quibbles, no hassles and a phone picked up in no time. I suspect I may find the refund to be reasonably quick too.

Of course I could have tried getting a 128Mb memory module and seeing how that goes, but for now I’ll limp on with 128Mb. At some point soon I’ll upgrade the laptop from its pathetic 128Mb and I might slip in a module for the desktop PC too and see what happens.

What I do know with certainty is that I’ll buy the whole lot from Crucial.