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Thread: Starmax 3000 Memory Upgrade Problem

  1. #1
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    My Starmax 3000/200 has been running with 32mg RAM on OS 9.0. It successfully boots when the 32 is in Slot 1, Slot 2, or Slot 3. (In slot 1, it only shows as 16, since that is the single bank.)

    I recently purchased a pair of 64mg DIMMs from datamem.com. I received them, plugged them in, and got ... nothing.

    I switched them, and got ... nothing.

    I took out the 32 and ran only a single 64 and got ... nothing.

    I tried the other 64 alone and got ... nothing.

    I tried every imaginable combination of 1, 2, and 3 DIMMs in various slots, with the same effect. I can boot with the 32 alone, but I can do nothing with the 64s.

    OK. Bad DIMMs, apparently.

    I returned them and got two more 64s. Same thing. No combination of DIMMs and slots seems to work. Thus, 2 separate pairs of 64s didn't work.

    Bad DIMMs again? Less likely. Wrong DIMMs? Maybe.

    I returned them, and datamem sent me two more 64s -- but only after they extensively tested them in their own Starmax 3000. Datamem assured me that the third set of 64s works fine in their Starmax 3000 (as did the previous 2 sets of 64s, which they tested after I returned them).

    The new DIMMs? Same thing.

    I tried booting with extensions disabled ... nothing.

    I reset the CUDA switch ... nothing.

    I unplugged the system clock, unplugged the power, reset the CUDA switch, and then plugged it all back in again (when in doubt, shut off EVERYTHING!) ... nothing.

    The original 32 works in any slot. None of these 64s works in any slot in any combination under any circumstance.

    H E L P !
    ?

  2. #2
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    I would direct you to the Memory FAQ in this forum (needs updating because everything was moved), but has some good info. Also, OWC has DIMMs (both EDO and FPM). I'd stick with 128MB ~$26 from OWC, they work with upgrades and shouldn't be a problem.

    - G.

  3. #3
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    This was suggestied:
    "I'd stick with 128MB ~$26 from OWC, they work with upgrades and shouldn't be a problem."


    Alas, the Starmax 3000 won't take 128mg DIMMs. It will only accept 16, 32, and 64.

  4. #4
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    My mistake and error. I don't know my clones very well.

    Have you had a chance to look here for 64MB modules Starmax 3000 $24/64MB DIMM?

    3.3 Volt
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    - G.

  5. #5
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    G -

    Given that I have already tried 3 pairs of 64s separately and together, with or without the current 32mg DIMM, I'm not sure that simply trying another pair of DIMMs from a different vendor is going to solve anything. Do you think otherwise?

    If the 6 DIMMs that I've already tried all work in another Star Max, why won't they work in mine? Is there something occasionally funky or funny about Star Max memory slots? Is there some change in how DIMMs are made that makes new DIMMs incompatible with my old computer? Do some particular brands of RAM work better in the Star Max than do other particular brands of RAM? (This is what I infer from your post suggesting RAM from a different source. Do you have evidence for this? Or have you merely found this particular vendor to be generally reliable?)

    I have ordered a pair of 32mb DIMMs to see if that makes any difference. Since my Star Max already takes one 32mb DIMM, maybe it can take 32s but not 64s, for some unknown reason. That won't give me as much RAM, but I don't really use any high-memory applications anyway.

    Anyway, thanks for the suggestions so far. I am probably not going to change vendors at this time, but maybe if I go through these 32s with no success, I might change vendors. (I hate to do that, since customer service and tech support have been friendly and have really gone the extra mile with me.)

    - Menger

  6. #6
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    I agree with you. MacGurus use to, and may again, sell memory. There aren't a lot of sources and even Crucial no longer stocks EDO for that model, but may have generic EDO that would work.

    In the olde days, we'd take a pencil eraser to clean the contacts of memory modules that would tarnish over time.

    I know OWC has been pretty good when it comes to EDO and FPM DIMMs though. Gurus use to sell Acme which was of the highest quality. In the Memory FAQ, I posted some of the old material from the MacGurus Sales site reference material.

    Part of the reason I thought 128's might work, is that often Apple guidelines were written at a time when the highest density chip was 64MB etc. Like a Beige G3 CAN use 256MB DRAM, but 128MB was all that was known to work at that time.

    Perhaps a phone call to OWC? There is another thread with recommendation request of who to talk to there, that might be of help here also.

    - G.

  7. #7
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    The StarMax 3000, like the Apple 4400 and PowerBase computers used each side of the DIMM in ports 1 and 2 and only one side in port 3. This meant that only a single page DIMM could be used in port 3 (Max 32MB) and Ports 1 and 2 needed duel page 64MB DIMMs in order to work. They also had to be 3.3v EDO DIMMs. This might be you're whole problem! If you were sent 5v DIMMs, they just won't work.

    If I remember right, my son's PowerBase had a jumper to enable 5v or 3.3v DIMMs, but I don't know it the same jumper is in the StarMax. If it is, DON'T try using the 32MB 3.3v DIMM if you change it. I'd also find out for sure if, in fact the new 64MB DIMMs are 5v before trying this.

    Tony

    I Refuse To Have A Battle Of Wits With An Unarmed Person!

  8. #8
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    My invoice says this:

    *Starmax*64MB 8X64-60 EDO 3.3v 2K Unbuffered 168 Pin DIMM

    Assuming that what I received is what the invoice claims, the 5v issue is not the problem.

    Keep in mind that these DIMMs work in a Starmax 3000/180 at datamem.com (the vendor) but they don't work in my Starmax 3000/200. The vendor tested two pairs after I returned them, and they tested the third pair before they even sent it to me. Thus, the problem is not likely to be wrong DIMMs -- else they would not work in the vendor's Starmax 3000.

    I don't really want to take this to some service tech and pay a boatload of money only to have them not be able to successfully load DIMMs, either. If I thought that it was my problem -- I can move the existing 32 into any slot easily, so I doubt it is my fault -- then I would just pay someone to do this. (Alas, I live in a small town in rural Georgia, and I have no idea where the nearest Mac service is.)

    Anyway, I think I must be looking for some odd or unusual explanation. I am fairly confident that we have covered the obvious explanations -- bad DIMMs, wrong DIMMs, my error, bad slots, etc.

    - Menger

  9. #9
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    I ordered a pair of 32mb DIMMS instead of 64s. The 32s worked first time. In fact, interestingly, even when I put a 32 into the single bank slot, it shows up as 32, not as 16.

    I now have 32s in all 3 slots, and my Apple System Profiler shows me running with 96mb total RAM.

    So apparently, there is something funny about my Starmax and 64mb DIMMs. I can run the 32MB DIMMs with no problem, so that's what I will do. I don't run any fancy applications that suck up tons of RAM, so 96MB is probably all I need anyway.

    While we never solved the problem of the 64s, at least I was able to upgrade my RAM (and, subsequently, to upgrade my processor to a G3, and then to upgrade to Word 2001).

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    - Menger

  10. #10
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    The only logical reason I can think of thst the 64MB DIMMs didn't work is if they were single bank DIMMs (1/2 128MB DIMMs), but then they wouldn't have worked in any StarMax or PM4400.

    At least you've got something working for you there better than the original 32MB limit.

    Tony

    I Refuse To Have A Battle Of Wits With An Unarmed Person!

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