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Proper RAM amount not showing up


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#1 The Shining Wizard

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 07:48 AM

OK, so I have 2GB of RAM installed (1 GB + 512 MB + 512 MB) and the other day, we had a power outage here (nothing special, we have power outages almost every day over here), and when the power came back, I switched on the computer only to find that my PC was only detecting 512 MB of RAM (one of the 512 MB cards was in the first slot). Not to mention, my pagefile settings had been wiped out as well, and task manager merely shows that I have 924M of pagefile memory. I switched the RAM around a bit, and put the 1 GB stick in slot #1 and so now, this is all I can see.

Now, I thought that maybe the other slots have malfunctioned, but how is it then that the CPU-Z utility is able to detect them? This is what CPU-Z shows:

Memory
Slot #1
Slot #2
Slot #3

Not to mention, when I go to BIOS Setup > System Information, it shows that the three cards are installed in the first three slots, but when I get to POST, it simply says: "Memory Testing: 1048576K OK + 8M shared memory."

Belarc Advisor, on the other hand, says:

1024 Megabytes Installed Memory

Slot 'A0' has 512 MB
Slot 'A1' has 512 MB
Slot 'A2' has 512 MB
Slot 'A3' is Empty

I don't have a graphic card... just an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver.

So... what's wrong here?

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 03:30 PM

To see RAM installed...type Start/Run...type msinfo32 and hit Enter.

To see what is available for use after onboard graphics and other system processes...right-click My Computer and select properties.

The two are not supposed to agree. The physical RAM is what is important, since it's working for your entire system. The number reflected by the right-click is misleading and does not truly reflect the amount of RAM installed or used.

If you want to get even more confusted...go to Task Manager and look at the Total Physical Memory figure there :).

Louis

#3 The Shining Wizard

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 03:33 AM

OK, so I did the msinfo32 thing and in the system summary it says:

Total Physical Memory - 1,536.00 MB
Available Physical Memory - 458.65 MB
Total Virtual Memory - 2.00 GB
Available Virtual Memory - 1.96 GB
Page File Space - 924.28 MB

Task Manager says my total physical memory is 1048048

So, well, I'm confused. Thing is, before the power outage situation, My Computer > Properties used to say that I had 2 GB of RAM installed (though I believe the exact value it used to show was 1.99 GB), so what's up... am I OK? Is everything fine or not? Am I supposed to change something? Set pagefile space?

#4 hamluis

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 09:05 AM

As I said...available is meaningless.

Example...I have 4GB of RAM installed on this system and my available right now is 2.5GB.

As long as your system appears to be performing properly, there is no need to flagellate oneself over the fact that differing figures are used to depict non-identical summary data re your RAM.

Louis

#5 The Shining Wizard

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 10:22 AM

Well, my system has been running a bit slowly (more slowly than usual) ever since this started to happen, which is why I think there is a problem. It was a lot smoother before.

Oh, and btw, this still doesn't explain why my pagefile settings were erased... I had a pagefile set on my D: drive but now when I go to My Computer > Properties > Advanced > Performance Settings > Advanced, it says total page file size for all drives is 0.

Edited by The Shining Wizard, 09 February 2011 - 11:30 AM.


#6 Bill253

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 03:00 PM

So Louis,

If The Shining Wizard has 1GB ram in slot 1, 512 MB in slot 2 and 512 MB in slot 3, then why does his msinfo32 show as only having 1.5 GB (or there about) of Total Physical Memory? I would expect it to report something closer to 2 GB.

I've seen other people on this site suggest memtest86+ (as in posts 8 and 13 here) to test memory. Would that be appropriate here?

Just trying to learn,
Bill253

#7 Eyesee

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 04:48 PM

I would go ahead and test the memory with memtest. It could take several hours.
Im thinking the power outage may have zapped a stick.
In the beginning there was the command line.

#8 The Shining Wizard

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 09:21 AM

Ok I'll do that later this weekend though I doubt I'd be able to let it run for anywhere close to 24 hours considering we have power outages here everyday.

#9 Bill253

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 10:57 AM

So now I'm just curious, if you don't mind answering. Where - generally - is 'here'?

Do you have a good UPS ? They can cost a bit, but then so is replacing your system once it's fried. :wink:

#10 The Shining Wizard

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 05:56 AM

"Here" would be "India."

And no, I don't have a UPS. I have actually recently upgraded my system, installed that 2 GB RAM (which used to show up as 1.99 GB in My Computer properties of course :P ) and got a 160 GB hard drive, and even got a new, nice wide-screen LED monitor. Everything was going fine until this problem started. The guy who upgraded my computer is, apparently, a 'very busy man' and so even though I've left him several messages and calls he is yet to respond to any of them, and that's why I had to resort to teh interwebz to see if I could fix this problem myself.

#11 Bill253

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 11:14 AM

OK, your location helps me understand a little bit about the challenges you face with things like power.

Looking back at this thread I see that no one ever said Welcome to the BC Forums!, so I'll say it now. Having the knowledge to fix things yourself, or at least have an understanding of how things work is quite empowering. I learn new things every time I log onto this site and encourage you to continue to 'resort to the interwebz to see' if you can fix problems yourself.

Begin lecture.

Computers really don't like to have their power cut off, or voltage swings/spikes for that matter. Power outages and voltage spikes can cause all sorts of damage both to software (when things don't get written or read as they should) and to hardware. I'm assuming this is a desktop system and not a loptop/notebook.

I urge you to get a good quality UPS or at the very least a good surge protector. Not having any experience with what is available 'there', I'll just say that, here in the USA, UPS's can be set up to run for a short time for brief power outages and safely shut down your system in case of a long outage. Make sure to get one that has enough outlets and a high enough capacity to allow you to plug that new LED monitor into it too. A good UPS is cheap insurance compared to replacing equipment.

End of lecture. :wink:

Try the memory test. Hopefully, as Eyesee notes, it's just that. You might be interested in this thread, especially post #28 where Allan (thanks Allan!) gives a link to the Computer Hope site and page that deals with testing motherboards and CPU's.

Good luck. Post back letting us how you are doing.

#12 The Shining Wizard

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 02:37 AM

Oh, and before I do anything... a question just in case; imagine I'm doing this test and the power goes out in the middle of it - well, what do I do then?

#13 Bill253

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 05:59 PM

Sorry Shining Wizard, I have no guidance for you regarding what to do then.

I imagine the test just stops and the operating system crashes and the file system is left a mess. Not much different than if the power goes out any other time you're using your computer. This is probably also why your pagefile setting was reset following a previous power outage.

#14 ThunderZ

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 10:54 PM

Memtest is run from either a CD or a floppy. The OS is not involved at all.

While it is never good for electrical components to experience sudden outages or surges. Having the power fail while the test is running should do no (further) damage to your OS. However there is of course the risk of (further) hardware damage.

As stated by Bill253, a UPS would be a wise investment if at all possible. Just be aware of their proper configuration\usage\limitations.

#15 The Shining Wizard

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 09:28 PM

OK guys.... I never actually got around to doing that memtest thing, 'cause I was busy and stuff, and there were too many power cuts happening :P

But I wanted to report something rather odd that just happened... I just got on here and tried switching on my computer, but it wasn't switching on... so I removed all three RAM sticks and sort of wiped them and installed them in again, and guess what? When I got to POST, it showed that I have 2 GB RAM + 8 M shared memory... unfortunately, before it got to the Windows screen, my computer restarted and when I got to POST again, it said "OC Fail, please enter settings..." blah blah, you know that. So I wasn't sure what to do, so I went to BIOS setup and loaded default setting (there seems to be no "fail-safe" option there) and when I saved that and exit from BIOS, and got to POST again, I was back to seeing the "Memory Testing: 1048576K OK + 8M shared memory" thing.

So now I'm wondering - is there a specific sequence in which I'm supposed to install these RAM sticks? They're DDR2, but one is 400 MHz, one is 533 MHz, and the 1 GB one is 667 MHz. I have four RAM slots. Because I remember when I first got the computer, those RAM sticks were installed in some specific order, it's only after that power outage deal that I switched the RAM sticks around and put the 1 GB one in slot 1 (that's not where it used to be previously - I think it used to be in slot 4, but I can't remember).

Or do you still suggest I go ahead with the memtest thingy?

Edited by The Shining Wizard, 05 March 2011 - 09:29 PM.





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