Issue with RAM in Win7

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by alextheg, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. alextheg

    alextheg Super Moderator
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    Jan 7, 2009
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    Firstly a big hello to all at MDL. I am very glad to be back after my painfull bad bios flash. It cost me a new mobo but on the bright side i am rid of my awfull OEM board at last.
    Anyway to the point. I installed my new board and everything is great but when i go to system properties in win7 it tells me i have 3gb of RAM but 2gb useable. I have checked Resmon and it tells me that i have 1gb being reserved for hardware, however im not using onboard vga or anything as i have a PCIE card installed. I have tried numerous memory configs but keep coming up with the same result. RAM config as follows:
    DIMM 1 =1GB double sided module
    DIMM 2 = 512MB single sided module
    DIMM 3 =1GB double sided module
    DIMM 4 = 512MB single sided module.

    Mobo is a Gigabyte EG41MF-US2H...........any thoughts or help appreciated. :)
     
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  2. Lenmaer

    Lenmaer MDL Addicted

    Jul 3, 2009
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    Does you graphic card have 1 gb ram and do you use an x86 windows 7?
    If so then you're are facing one of the 32 Bit OS limitations.
    Try to disable video shadow in your bios, maybe it'll help.
     
  3. alextheg

    alextheg Super Moderator
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    Im using an Nvidia geforce 8600gt with 512mb of DDR2 ram built in. Im using Win7 32 bit. The only limitation of 32bit i was aware of was the 4gb ram limit. I have disabled any graphics acceleration in the bios. :)
     
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  4. psychokilla

    psychokilla MDL Novice

    Sep 4, 2009
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    You should never mix and match ram sizes, I would get rid of the 2 512 sticks and just get yourself another 1GB stick.
     
  5. alextheg

    alextheg Super Moderator
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    Tried that too, same issue.
     
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  6. twiz

    twiz MDL Senior Member

    Jul 30, 2009
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    Since when?
    In fact, 3x 1GB is most likely than 2x 1GB + 2x 512 GB because 3x 1GB wont support Dual Channel.

    While I'm sure all motherboards are different, I think things like Dual Channel RAM setups are a standard, and according to the book that came with my motherboard, 1GB / 1GB / 1GB / <blank> would not support Dual Channel Mode since the total RAM in slots 1 and 2 don't equal the RAM slot 3 -- You'd need 1GB / 1GB 2GB / <blank>.
    My book actually gives that exact setup alextheg is using for proper Dual Channel RAM setup (1GB / 512MB / 1GB / 512MB)

    I've always heard that you're not supposed to mix speeds... but that was typically only for older computers as new hardware will detect the difference and use a lower speed to match the slowest.


    @alextheg: Have you run something like Memtest86?
    Alernatively, you could pull out the 2x 512 chips and see what your computer says for Memory. If it's 2GB with 2GB usable, your 512s are possibly bad.
    If it says 2GB wtih 1GB usable, remove one of the 1GB chips and see if it still says it.
     
  7. alextheg

    alextheg Super Moderator
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    Thanks twiz. I will give it a try. I hadnt considered bad ram to be honest. :D
     
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  8. alextheg

    alextheg Super Moderator
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    Well i ran memtest86 and all went well. Tested and passed......but ! Bios and memtest are only finding 2gb of ram installed, how very annoying ! Ive looked into this a bit more and it would seem that to occupy all 4 dimm's i need to use 4 single sided memory modules. Very starnge setup on the part of Gigabyte i think. My last mobo which i bricked used the same ram modules in the same configuration and all was fine. Strang how system properties detects the installed ram and the Bios doesnt. Ah well i guess im going to have to part with some more cash for single sided ram modules :mad:
     
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  9. twiz

    twiz MDL Senior Member

    Jul 30, 2009
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    Very doubtful.
    The number of sides have very little to do with the workings of the RAM itself -- it just means that a 1GB "double sided" RAM module would be made up of 16x64 as opposed to the "single sided"'s 8x128.
    (( I think RAM modules have 8 chips per side anyway... ))

    Now THAT is interesting...
    I can pretty much guarantee you have bad RAM.
    I would do the manual way of checking your RAM... take the 2x1GB RAM chips out first, and see how much RAM BIOS and memtest says you have... if it will even boot up.
     
  10. alextheg

    alextheg Super Moderator
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    Yeah maybe you are right Twiz. I will give that a go. It does seem a very strange situation. I was under the impression that as long as dimm 1 and 3 matched and dimm 2 and 4 matched then you were good to go. Its gotta be bad ram.....either way im going to be spending some more money i think :D
     
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  11. phasewolf

    phasewolf MDL Novice

    Aug 26, 2009
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    #11 phasewolf, Oct 3, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2009
    Let me guess is it a Asus mother board? Mine will do the same thing there is a setting that can turn it off tho in the bios. Post you mother board make and model. Opps just reread the post let me read up on that board.
     
  12. twiz

    twiz MDL Senior Member

    Jul 30, 2009
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    That is correct.. but bad RAM is bad RAM :p

    Which is all the more reason for you to check which RAM is bad before doing anything else.

    If you built the computer yourself, some/many RAM manufacturers offer lifetime replacement on their RAM.
    So it might cost you nothing more than time + shipping.

    That's actually why I always buy Corsair (Value Select) RAM... I had a single chip on a module (512x2 pair) go bad and cause my PC to bluescreen. Told Corsair it was bad, did the RMA and got a new pair of RAM -VERY- shortly after I sent it out.
    I've heard good things from other brands as well, but with how good (and cheap) the RAM is and how well my experience with Corsair has been, I have no reason to try another brand.
     
  13. ziggy34

    ziggy34 MDL Novice

    Sep 19, 2009
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    I downloaded your user manual, On Page 16, it says if you are using all 4 memory slots that they memory has to be Single Sided.

    I am guessing your MB is just not using the 2 512mb single sided modules since you have the 2 - 1Gig double sided in there.

    Windows 7 is being told by the bios that the memory is there, but it can not use it.

    Also, what does the POST say as far has how much memory is installed?
     
  14. twiz

    twiz MDL Senior Member

    Jul 30, 2009
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    Could you link the manual please?
    I've never heard of single/double sided RAM being an issue or restriction before.

    He said his BIOS (by which I'm guessing he means the POST output) sees 2GB of RAM.
    I guess if what you said above is accurate, it makes a bit of sense...
    BIOS sees it as 4x 512MB, but it reports to Windows as 2x1GB, 2x512MB, for 3GB total, but only 2GB usable.
     
  15. KLF

    KLF MDL Novice

    Aug 18, 2009
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    It's a motherboard chipset limitation. One side of memory stick is counted as one memory bank. 2x 2-sided sticks therefore counts as 4 banks of memory. If chipset supports only 4 banks, all sticks have to be one-sided.

    This is very rare issue, that I haven't seen happening in years. Usually chipset supports 4 banks with 2 slots, and 6 banks with 4 slots.
     
  16. alextheg

    alextheg Super Moderator
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    @ Ziggy34. Yes you are correct it would seem. A very strange setup for such a modern mobo. Even ,y crumby old OEM mobo with a G31 chipset supported 2 x 512mb and 2x1gb ram, strange that a G41 chipset doesnt support that.

    @Twiz. I did the manual tests of ram as you suggested. All modules tested ok. Tried putting 512mb in dimm 1 and 2, 1gb in dimm 3 and 4. Machine wouldnt boot. In fact tried all configs and it seems it is a mobo limitation......very wierd indeed. BTW as you stated at post bios is only seeing 2gb installed. The thing that is really baffling me is how on earth Win7 is seeing 3gb when the bios is not :confused:
    As i said earlier i think i will have to part with some money for new ram. :mad:
     
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  17. alextheg

    alextheg Super Moderator
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    Would updating chipset drivers be a possible fix for this issue ?
     
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  18. alextheg

    alextheg Super Moderator
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    Yeah Twiz you certainly got that right.I spent hours tracking down a suitable mobo so that i could just drop all my existing kit ont it. Never even considered there being a RAM issue like this. quite dissapointing. Thanks for the links by the way :cool:
     
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