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Available memory does not match installed memory


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7 replies to this topic

#1 SchrodingerN

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 05:19 PM

Hello everyone,

I've noticed that my computer, which has Windows 7 64-bit, only reports about 2 GB of RAM available, even though it actually has 4 GB of RAM installed, as seen in the following screenshots:

RAM according to System Properties:
Posted Image

RAM according to SIW (correct one):
Posted Image

There's a warning icon next to the Memory Timings section in SIW.

In the past, the system originally reported 4 GB of RAM, but it's now half of that for some reason. There isn't really any Windows-related reason that would cause my RAM to be limited. I have a suspicion that this may have been caused by a problem I encountered when using Seatools (used in a different, unrelated problem).

Thank you for your time.

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#2 cee134

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 07:14 PM

Well, if your system says you have 2GB of Ram, you probably do. You can do Memory tests, which is a good place to start. I installed RAM once and the computer didn't pick it up but a program did. Go with what the computer says. Your Memory may have been corrupted of have timing issues that may or may not be resolved. Another way to test for bad memory is to replace the good RAM with the suspected RAM so that the 2 suspected RAM are the only sticks in the computer. If somethings wrong you will know it.

First I would run Memory tests (like Windows Memory Diagnostic or other free software from trusted sites). If you do need check the RAM manually (the hard way) take all ElectroStatic Discharge(ESD) precautions and make sure you know the proper way to handle RAM sticks.

#3 hamluis

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 10:52 AM

Remove all modules...install one, boot, see what registers in Windows.

Turn system off install another in appropriate slot...boot, see what registers.

And so on...

Louis

#4 SchrodingerN

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 04:45 PM

Thanks for the input guys. I ran the diagnostics and it came up with no errors, so I opened the computer up and tested each individually.

My ram slots are labelled from DIMM 1 to DIMM 8, and alternate from black to white (odd numbered ones are black, even numbered ones are white). I tried putting everything in the white slots, but the computer didn't boot so I returned them all to the black slots.

I then took out all four RAM sticks and tried them individually on the black DIMM 1 slot. Three out of four times, the computer booted successfully and reported 1GB of RAM. In the last one, the computer refused to boot. So I guess I have a defective RAM stick?

What I did next was put in all the RAM sticks that were working. Even though I had 3GB of working RAM, the computer still reported 2 GB of RAM. I tried the following configurations: (1,3,5) and (1,3,7) but it still reported 2GB of RAM. So is one of the slots broken too? Will trying (1,5,7) work?

Again, I think this issue happened when I ran into an error with Seatools, and my BIOS settings got messed up. I changed the values again based on the BIOS settings on an identical computer, but I think there's still problems since the two computers boot differently (one shows a splash screen while another doesn't, even though their BIOS settings are identical as far as I know). SIW also has a warning symbol next to "Memory Timings", so maybe there's an issue with that too? The computer I have identical to the one with issues does not have this warning symbol.

Thanks for your help. :)

#5 SchrodingerN

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 07:51 PM

Sorry for the bump, but it's been a few days since the last reply.

#6 SchrodingerN

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:10 PM

An update on what has happened - I've tried changing the arrangement of the RAM sticks (if one of the slots was faulty), but the computer still reports 2GB of memory even after this. Upon further research, it seems that there may be a problem with the BIOS settings, but I haven't found any memory-related options within the BIOS. Any help?

#7 hamluis

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 04:30 PM

If you are running dual-channel...you need to try the memory modules in pairs, with both going in appropriate slots according to your motherboard manual. On my system 1 and 3 pair, while 2 and 4 pair. In any case, the manual should say.

Looking at your graphic, that RAM is over 5 years old...I don't know if that's a factor. If it is, IMO, it increases the chance that a module may have outlived its usefulness.

When testing the modules initially...install the various pairs in the same two motherboard slots.

Modules: A, B, C, D.

Combinations: AB, AC, AD, BC, BD, CD.

If a combination fails to work where you know that one stick worked in a different combination...that would point the finger, IMO.

If all modules fail when using a particular set of RAM slots...that would point to a bad motherboard slot.

It's slow and painful...but RAM issues generally are, IMO.

Louis

#8 cee134

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 08:11 PM

Yeah it looks like you have to do it the hard way and switch them out. However, things to consider are:

Your RAM settings may depend on your mobo, it may need to have a pair of RAM sticks before it registars, which is why it didn't detect 3Gs of RAM.

Also there may be a BIOS setting that you need to use so that your computer knows to pick up more then 2Gs of RAM.

Check your mobo manual, and it will tell you how to set up your RAM, what config to use and maybe if it needs BIOS settings changed.

If you do need to replace the RAM to get your full 4Gs of RAM, make sure the 2nd pair is the same make and manufacturer (RAM is cheap enough so it shouldn't be an issue). RAM can be funny that way and it will save you a headache if your mobo is that fickle.




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