Kim writes in with a hardware question.
Question: My computer had 256 MB ram. I installed another 256 MB. When I look at the System folder in the Control Panel it still says the machine has 256 MB of ram. How do I know if the computer is using the second 256 MB?
Answer: Your computer may not support the type of RAM you are using or it may be having a conflict with the existing RAM if it's a different brand or speed. Some computers are picky about what type of RAM you install. It may also be a case of having to tell the BIOS about the new RAM so it will utilize it. I would go into the BIOS and check the memory configuration and see if it is recognized there.
Another test you can do is to take out the old ram and put the new RAM in the first slot to see if it gets recognized by the computer to make sure it is compatible with the motherboard. Or you can swap the position of the 2 chips to see if it makes a difference. There is also a chance you could have defective memory. I would also check the motherboard manual if you have it to find the memory configurations that will work with your motherboard.