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jmbronk

join:2007-07-13
Plano, TX

[H/W] 881W ISR RAM Upgrades

So, on a whim I picked up a very slightly used 881W router on eBay for pretty cheap, and I'm interested in trying to upgrade the memory on it... mostly because I can (if it's inexpensive) and I like to tinker, but also because I've read it may afford some performance benefits when running the IOS firewall inspection. So my question, relatively simply I suppose, is does this router, or Cisco routers in general, require ECC and/or registered memory? I purchased a 512MB SO-DIMM of Crucial PC2-5300 and installed it in the device, but it doesn't seem to detect it. I've only managed to find precious little mention of RAM upgrades for this router via Google, with some retailers offering solutions ranging in price from about $100 for 256MB to almost $1,300 for 512MB. The little information I found seems to indicate the upgrade modules appear to be little more than 256/512MB PC2-4200 SO-DIMMs...

HELLFIRE
Premium
join:2009-11-25
kudos:18
I'd stick to the PC4200 and work from there. Cisco does indicate you can go
up to 768MB RAM, but I'm curious if you couldn't go more. If you're feeling
adventurous, and if you have the cash, go to your local PC shop and pick up
a bunch of SO-DIMM RAM and try them out.

You could also try the major RAM manufacturer's websites and see if they list
any compatible RAM for the 8xx series. I know Kingston had a compatibility
chart for some Cisco gear.

Let us know how you make out!

Also, would you be willing to provide (highres) shots of the 881's mobo and
innards? Just for reference

Regards

jmbronk

join:2007-07-13
Plano, TX
reply to jmbronk
Well, I opted to try Crucial because I was looking at the motherboard (will totally grab some shots for ya in a few too), and the onboard memory appears to be Micron chips. A quick Google search turned up nothing on the part unfortunately, but I figured I'd give some Crucial memory a shot since they use Micron chips as well. Went with the PC-5300 instead cause I couldn't find any 512MB SO-DIMMs of PC4200, only 1GB (strangely), and thought it might work better to get faster RAM than more RAM than is advertised as being compatible... I'm willing to experiment to a point, only out $15 on RAM so far, but I don't want to waste too much time or money on this if the end result wont be any real benefit to me, but I'm thinking the extra RAM may prove useful running SPI on a 25Mbps FiOS connection. That and the motherboard looks awfully bare without that memory slot filled... I'd totally opt for the PoE daughterboard too if it wasn't obscenely expensive.

jmbronk

join:2007-07-13
Plano, TX
reply to jmbronk
Click for full size
881W Mainboard
Click for full size
881W Onboard RAM
Here's some pictures of the guts, also grabbed a close up of the onboard memory chip just in case I suppose.

HELLFIRE
Premium
join:2009-11-25
kudos:18
reply to jmbronk
*drooooooools*

Thanks a bunch jmbronk! What's it use for storage? CF card? Something tells
me that while Cisco may call their routers 'computers,' they're not very flexible
with their specs for hardware. I guess the only other thing of note is the
1.8V rating of the RAM to watch out for.

Regards

jmbronk

join:2007-07-13
Plano, TX
As far as I can see/assume there must be some onboard flash memory somewhere (at least I've yet to find any removable storage). Fairly certain the SO-DIMM I have is 1.8v (yeah, saw that too).. Guess I get to play guinea pig...

HELLFIRE
Premium
join:2009-11-25
kudos:18
reply to jmbronk
...worthwhile information to have in the future. Best of luck jmbronk and do let us know!

Regards

jmbronk

join:2007-07-13
Plano, TX
reply to jmbronk
Just thought I'd share, I've managed to find a memory module that appears to be addressable/usable by the router, at least when installed the router reports 768MB available memory. I ordered a 512MB Crucial PC2 4200 SODIMM (again, going on keeping Micron memory), but I actually received a Samsung module (PN: PC2-4200S-444-12-A3). Not expecting it to actually work, I threw it in the router, got a little excited when I didn't see the error about unknown installed module at POST, and then quite pleased after checking the available memory to the router. So yup, if anyone out there with an 800 series ISR wants to up the RAM without paying through the nose for Cisco-advertised expansion modules, Samsung PC2-4200S-444-12-A3 definitely works, and I'm betting that really just about any 512MB PC2 4200 SODIMM will work as well.. or maybe I just got lucky.

HELLFIRE
Premium
join:2009-11-25
kudos:18
reply to jmbronk
Congrats jmbronk. To TPTB, any possibility of adding this to the forum FAQ for future reference, please?

Regards


Covenant
Premium,MVM
join:2003-07-01
England
said by HELLFIRE:

Congrats jmbronk. To TPTB, any possibility of adding this to the forum FAQ for future reference, please?

Regards
You may click the link on the right of the forum page which states submit new FAQ or alternatively, use the link here:

»Cisco Forum FAQ

You may submit a new FAQ and I or someone else, will go through it and approve it so it goes into production.

Let me know if you have any questions regarding this by PM and I will be glad to help.

Just trying to help those who can help themselves.
--
A word to the wise ain't necessary, it's the stupid ones who need the advice!

HELLFIRE
Premium
join:2009-11-25
kudos:18
reply to jmbronk
...tongue in cheek Covenant Requested already

Regards