Dell Workstation shows less RAM than installed

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by tusharkalbhor, Nov 6, 2012.

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  1. tusharkalbhor

    tusharkalbhor MDL Junior Member

    Jul 9, 2010
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    Hello..

    I have 2 Dell T5400 workstations. Both are running windows XP 64 bit. It has 8 slots for RAM. Each can support 4 GB. both systems came with 8 GB (2 * 4GB) RAM. Last week I decided to upgrade RAM for both and purchased 2 * 4GB sticks which were identical to my current RAM sticks.

    4GB_ 2R*4_ PC2_ 5300F_ 555_ 11_ D1_ 667_ ECC

    All 6 sticks mention these specs on them (2 sticks from each system and 2 that i purchased)

    I installed one new stick in each system. But after reboot, both showed only 8GB as earlier. New RAM was not being recognized in any system. First thing that I did was checking the BIOS. In system>Memory Info>
    It displayed a table showing 3 slots of the motherboard occupying 4GB each. but on top of that table, It showed Installed memory=8.0 GB.

    I called Dell. The person informed that RAM sticks need to be installed in pairs. So I decided to put both new RAM sticks in one of the systems, so that it would have 4 * 4GB RAM (2 old + 2 new but all identical sticks.). this time the Memory table in BIOS showed 4 slots occupying 4GB RAM each, but again the table top had "Installed Memory = 8.0 GB". Windows Properties said nothing different:8.0GB RAM

    The Table. however, showed that RANK of 2 old RAM was 2 and RANK of 2 new RAM was 4. Also Organization Value of old RAM was X4 and that of new RAM was X8. so table looked like:


    Memory SlotSizeECCRankTypeOrganization
    DIMM 1 4 GBYes2FBD*4
    DIMM 2 4 GBYes2FBD*4
    DIMM 3 4 GBYes4FBD*8
    DIMM 4 4 GBYes4FBD*8
    DIMM 5
    DIMM 6
    DIMM 7
    DIMM 8

    Checked with second system. It had now 2 old RAM of 4 GB each. whose table matched with the 2 RAM in this system. So, I put 2 RAM from System2 to System1 and 2 NEW RAM to system2. Now the System1 has 4 old RAM(identical). and the memory table in BIOS is as:

    Memory SlotSizeECCRankTypeOrganization
    DIMM 1 4 GBYes2FBD*4
    DIMM 2 4 GBYes2FBD*4
    DIMM 3 4 GBYes2FBD*4
    DIMM 4 4 GBYes2FBD*4
    DIMM 5
    DIMM 6
    DIMM 7
    DIMM 8


    and memory Table of system 2 (having 2 new RAM):

    Memory SlotSizeECCRankTypeOrganization
    DIMM 1 4 GBYes4FBD*8
    DIMM 2 4 GBYes4FBD*8
    DIMM 3
    DIMM 4
    DIMM 5
    DIMM 6
    DIMM 7
    DIMM 8


    Still the system1 (having 4 identical 4GB RAM in Slot 1, 2 , 3, 4) shows in BIOS- Installed Memory=8.0 GB instead of 16GB. I tried with the RAM in 5 6 7 8 slots. but same result.

    The Dell motherboard have alternate white and black RAM slots. All white are numbered as 1,2,3,4 and the Blacks are 5,6,7,8. (so actually Slots are placed as: 1 5 2 6 3 7 4 8 ).

    earlier the BIOS was A04(Which came with system). Today morning I updated to A11(latest). Still same issue.

    Attached is a photograph of the memory table with 4 old RAM in the system.
    Elumalai.jpg

    and this is photograph of system-2 which has 2 new RAMs:
    Thangvel.jpg
     
  2. roirraW "edor" ehT

    roirraW "edor" ehT MDL Addicted

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  3. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
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    might neeed registered ecc ram ?
     
  4. roirraW "edor" ehT

    roirraW "edor" ehT MDL Addicted

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    The manual says:

    But it "seems" that the RAM is identical or nearly identical to the RAM he already had/came with the PCs.

    Also, currently he has all of his old RAM (both from PC #1 and #2) in one PC, and it still has this issue, so this isn't too likely the problem.

    @tusharkalbhor, are the new RAM modules definitely fully-buffered ECC?
     
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  5. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
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    #5 LatinMcG, Nov 6, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
    i think its typo of specs.. servers do 16 gb. workstations i think max is 8 gb on that chipset.

    what is the motherboard dell part number ?
     
  6. roirraW "edor" ehT

    roirraW "edor" ehT MDL Addicted

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    The manual says max 32GB, and it already had 8GB with 2 x 4GB and has a total of eight slots. I don't think they would put eight RAM slots in a motherboard that's maxed out with the two 4GB it was sold with.

    No disrespect, I just disagree.
     
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  7. roirraW "edor" ehT

    roirraW "edor" ehT MDL Addicted

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  8. tusharkalbhor

    tusharkalbhor MDL Junior Member

    Jul 9, 2010
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    @roirraW "edor" ehT : My aplogies, I forgot to mention that when i called dell, they had me reset BIOS. for that, I removed PSWD jumper. shorted RTC_CLR jumper. put the power cable for 30 Sec. (Did not power on, just put the power cable as told). Then removed the RTC_CLR and shorted PSWD.
    & YES. All RAM are fully buffered DIMM (the screenshot mentions them to be FBD.)

    @LatinMcG: I am using 2 sets of 2 RAMs all from Dell identical systems, so they must be registered ECC.
     
  9. R29k

    R29k MDL GLaDOS

    Feb 13, 2011
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    Not necessarily, maybe they meant when quad channel is in use. Could be when 128 bit is in use it's fine with 2 x 4 GB but when you add the second 128 bit it can't address the larger modules.
     
  10. tusharkalbhor

    tusharkalbhor MDL Junior Member

    Jul 9, 2010
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    I did not get that..
    Do I need to check some information that may be helpful here to decide whether I can use 16GB?
     
  11. R29k

    R29k MDL GLaDOS

    Feb 13, 2011
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    You need to contact Dell and ask them if there is a known issue with using more than 2 4 GB memory modules.
     
  12. tusharkalbhor

    tusharkalbhor MDL Junior Member

    Jul 9, 2010
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    #13 tusharkalbhor, Nov 7, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
    (OP)
    I contacted them...
    initially they insisted that the motherboard is faulty. But when I argued that Memory info table does show 4 slots occupying 4 RAM sticks and its not calculating 4+4+4+4=16.0GB and same result for 2 identical machines , Then they have agreed to find some solution for me. but they didnt get back in last 4 days.
     
  13. R29k

    R29k MDL GLaDOS

    Feb 13, 2011
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    Might be a bios issue, you will have to wait on them and see.
     
  14. roirraW "edor" ehT

    roirraW "edor" ehT MDL Addicted

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    Interesting, thanks for the explanation. Although I'm still incredulous it applies to this particular case. My theory is that it means that if you use 2GB modules instead of 4GB, that the motherboard is limited to 8GB total despite having four additional slots still open. If this is part of what you mean, too, then I agree.
     
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  15. roirraW "edor" ehT

    roirraW "edor" ehT MDL Addicted

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    No troubles, glad they were smart enough to at least suggest trying it. :)

    Have you considered trying to install the modules in the following fashion just to see what happens:

    Slot
    1 4GB
    2 4GB
    3 Empty
    4 Empty
    5 4GB
    6 4GB
    7 Empty
    8 Empty

    I would first try this with all of the original RAM, just like you've already tried them all in slots 1-4 in one PC, then go from there. Might not be a supported configuration, or the manual is wrong, the slots are wired/engineered wrong, or some combination of everything, but I'm very sure it won't blow anything up. :) That said, I'm not responsible...blah, blah, blah...
    You should at least have a lot of free support for these workstations, right?
     
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  16. tusharkalbhor

    tusharkalbhor MDL Junior Member

    Jul 9, 2010
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    hmmm...let me check that configuration. Actually, this time i will keep a pair in 1-2, I have already tried 2nd pair in 3-4, so i will try the second pair in 5-6 and 7-8 as well. (And I am using all 4 original RAM, if the originals dont work, obviously the new pair wont work. so I am going to stick to 4 OLD RAM in one system and IF that works, 4 NEW RAM in second)
     
  17. tusharkalbhor

    tusharkalbhor MDL Junior Member

    Jul 9, 2010
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    checked this alternate configuration. No change in outcome.
    o_O
     
  18. roirraW "edor" ehT

    roirraW "edor" ehT MDL Addicted

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    Darn. It was worth a try.
     
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  19. tusharkalbhor

    tusharkalbhor MDL Junior Member

    Jul 9, 2010
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    Yeah, worth a try..lets wait for something else.