Upgrading RAM on Dell Dimension E521

Kilobyte Kid

Upgrading RAM on Dell Dimension E521

I have received the Crucial upgrade pack for the Dell Dimension E521 (part No CT587631) comprising two 1GB memory cards.  

My existing cards (2 of 1 GB each) are in slots 1 and 3.  

I have tried all manner of permutations with the four cards, including three card permutations, and also tryed the Crucial ones by themselves to ensure they are not faulty.  They are fine.

However, with any combination other than just using slots 1 and 3 I either get a beeping sound, or the computer just whirrs and won't boot.  

My existing cards each have 8 little black boxes on them, whereas the ones from Crucial have only four each.  I think that makes the Crucial ones 'high density'.  

I have tried putting the Crucial ones in slots 1 and 2 or 1 and 3 with one or both of the original cards in the remaining slots, to no avail.  

I am wondering whether I need 'low density' cards from Crucial in order to more closely match the original.  

Can anyone offer any advice, please?

2 Replies
Community Manager

Re: Upgrading RAM on Dell Dimension E521

Hi John_ S1972,


We are sorry you are having issues with you new RAM. It does sound like an issue with the density. However, you may also check to make sure you have the latest BIOS. If you do, or if updating the BIOS does not work, we would be happy to return the RAM and send you a low density part. Please contact us here. Let us know if you have any further questions.

YogiH, Crucial Moderator, US

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Kilobyte Kid

Re: Upgrading RAM on Dell Dimension E521

Hi YogiH, thank you for your quick and helpful reply.


The problem is clearly with my computer, not the Crucial memory cards.  I add further information below as it may be helpful to anyone else wishing tp upgrade the Dell Dimension E521:


I have now discovered that the memory slots in that model are paired 1 & 3, 2 & 4.

The original memory cards and the Crucial memory cards will work in slots 1 & 3 in any combination (so there seems to be no problem with a density mismatch).

None of the cards will work in slots 2 & 4.

As you suggest, this problem may be due to the BIOS needing to be updated.

The latest Dell BIOS update does not (according to discussions elsewhere) work where Windows 7 is being used.

So, in my case I would need to re-install Windows Vista, update the BIOS, re-install Windows 7 etc etc ... always running the risk that the card slots 2 and 4 are faulty.


So, I will decide in due course whether to go down that path.  Thank you again for your help.