A common problem with these systems seems to be the order the RAM is installed. The manual states that RAM must be placed in the DIMM slot nearest the CPU first, then the other slot. I can confirm that this is the case, so I can only assume that the BIOS battery powers a RAM check circuit, though why this is necessary I can't guess. So, if anyone gets a problem when installing RAM on Dell PCs - I recommend checking the manual (look here if you haven't got one) and install the RAM in the order prescribed.
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