The most common problrm posted is XP 32Bit sees only 3 to 3.35 GB of 4GB installed RAM. That, as you are probably aware, is the limitations of a 32BitOS.
If the Bios sees the 2GB then you have 2GB. What is only recognizing 256MB.
remove the 256 stick, leave it out, and clear the cmos:
turn the computer off
remove the power lead from the back
take the side off/destatic by grabbing the unpainted part of the case
remove the cmos battery
move the cmos jumper from pins 1 and 2 to pin 2 and 3 and the back to pins 1 and 2
reinsert the battery
put the side on
replug in the power lead
boot the computer
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