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ASRock ALiveXFire-eSata2 fails to boot into W7RC 64 with 4GB installed

    Question

  • Hello, I'm having an issue booting into Windows 7 RC 64-Bit. Today I installed an extra 2GB of DDR2 ram (bringing it to a toal of 4GB in all four ram slots) into my ASROck ALiveXFire-eSata2, but it failed to get pass the 'Starting Windows' flag logo, it animates, access the hard disk, but goes no further. Turning off the system, I removed the two sticks of older ram, kept the new ram installed and tried to boot again, and went straight into Windows with out any issues at all. Some web searching then led me to this page.

    http://www.asrock.com/mb/faq.asp?Model=ALiveXFire-eSATA2&s=AM2

    The question there:

    Question (Q&A-62 ):I'm using 4GB system memory with Windows® Vista™ 64bit and ATi VGA card on ALiveXfire-eSATA2, I'm not able to boot into or install Windows® Vista™ 64 bit. With 3GB or less system memory, it has no problem. Is there a solution for this problem? (2/14/2008)

    This seemed to be exactly the issue, except of course I'm running Windows 7, I have emailed ASRock's tech support and I'm awaiting a reply, but I did some further research to see if any one had had a simaler experiance. I found simaler, if not identical problems and followed the instructions of running a full mem test from the Windows 7 isntall DVD with all ram installed, (passed with no errors), increased the memory voltages within safe parameters (no effect), underclock the memory (no effect), tried the repair Windows start up sequence in the Windows 7 recovery menu (the error could not be indentified), and even a fresh install onto a fresh hard disk (the same hanging at the Windows Starting screen), so I am at a little bit of a loss now.

    The rest of my system specifications are as follows.

    Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+
    Motherboard: ASRock ALiveXFire-eSata2
    Videocard: ATI HD 2400
    Hard drive: WD-250GB
    RAM: 2x OCZ Plantinum DDR2 800 (installed) 2x Kingston KVR 800 DDR2 (trying to install)
    Soundcard: Bgears' b-Enspirer 7.1

    All thoughts welcome, thanks for your time.
    Wednesday, June 17, 2009 10:41 PM

Answers

  • Well, ASRock sent me a different bios to try, and it worked, sort of. I can now boot into W7 no problem, everything runs fine. However both the bios self test screen and Windows 7 resource manager are reporting 3327 MB of memory available, but 4096 MB installed. 769 MB is Hardware Reserved according to Resource Monitor, which I rather thought was a 32 bit limitation, rather then a 64 bit one. Still, as an update for any one who suffers a simaler issue, at the moment it seems a bios from ASRock can at least get you up to 3 GB's and into W7.

    If any one has any thoughts on the hadware reserved issue I'd be interested to read them.
    • Marked as answer by Divefire Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:44 PM
    Thursday, June 18, 2009 2:40 PM
  • Divefire,

    I'm using 4GB on a Foxconn motherboard and encountering the same issue under Windows 7 x64 - although it did, fortunately, boot just fine from the start. If you have an option for "dynamic memory remap" in your BIOS, I'm told that enabling it will help - unfortunately, I have no such option, and I'm left with the knowledge that Windows 7's memory model has, as of now, changed somewhat as to limit me from using all of my available memory.

    For further reading, consult this MSDN article .
    -Alex
    • Marked as answer by Divefire Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:44 PM
    Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:34 PM

All replies

  • Hello DiveFire,

    There are several BIOS updates available on the support page of ASRock.   None of them expressly deal with memory issues but a few of them do deal with booting issues and voltage timings.  

    One thing I have noticed is the 2 different brands and models of RAM being used.  This is likely the problem that they are incompatible together.
    -Scott
    Wednesday, June 17, 2009 11:38 PM
  • Thanks for the reply, Scott.

    I completely forgot to mention I'd updated the bios to 3.30 (the latest one available) and all my testing has been done with that. I've also just been removing all non essential components and trying to boot with no luck, so, you're probably quite right about the ram not being compatible with each other.

    Thanks for your time. 
    Thursday, June 18, 2009 12:21 AM
  • Well, ASRock sent me a different bios to try, and it worked, sort of. I can now boot into W7 no problem, everything runs fine. However both the bios self test screen and Windows 7 resource manager are reporting 3327 MB of memory available, but 4096 MB installed. 769 MB is Hardware Reserved according to Resource Monitor, which I rather thought was a 32 bit limitation, rather then a 64 bit one. Still, as an update for any one who suffers a simaler issue, at the moment it seems a bios from ASRock can at least get you up to 3 GB's and into W7.

    If any one has any thoughts on the hadware reserved issue I'd be interested to read them.
    • Marked as answer by Divefire Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:44 PM
    Thursday, June 18, 2009 2:40 PM
  • Divefire,

    I'm using 4GB on a Foxconn motherboard and encountering the same issue under Windows 7 x64 - although it did, fortunately, boot just fine from the start. If you have an option for "dynamic memory remap" in your BIOS, I'm told that enabling it will help - unfortunately, I have no such option, and I'm left with the knowledge that Windows 7's memory model has, as of now, changed somewhat as to limit me from using all of my available memory.

    For further reading, consult this MSDN article .
    -Alex
    • Marked as answer by Divefire Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:44 PM
    Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:34 PM
  • Thanks for the reply, Alex.

    The article does put things in a slightly clearer perspective, I appreciate the link. Like you I have no option for dynamic memory remap, so I shall wait and see what happens in the future in regards to memory models and bios updates (though I'm not bettering the farm on either). At least W7 is back to working again, thanks all for your time, I'll mark this as answered now. 
    Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:44 PM
  • Well, ASRock sent me a different bios to try, and it worked, sort of. I can now boot into W7 no problem, everything runs fine. However both the bios self test screen and Windows 7 resource manager are reporting 3327 MB of memory available, but 4096 MB installed. 769 MB is Hardware Reserved according to Resource Monitor, which I rather thought was a 32 bit limitation, rather then a 64 bit one. Still, as an update for any one who suffers a simaler issue, at the moment it seems a bios from ASRock can at least get you up to 3 GB's and into W7.

    If any one has any thoughts on the hadware reserved issue I'd be interested to read them.
    Hello, I have the same motherboard as what you have listed, and I would like to know what bios version do you have? For me, it's entirely limited because I have the Phenom II X2 550 in right now, so I can only use like 2 different versions of the bios. If you could, please tell me what bios you are using. :D

    Sunday, July 05, 2009 4:56 PM
  • Hi vbetts, the bios they sent me was called 3.20a. I don't think it's available on their website, but if you email them they should be able to send it out to you. For note, I recently changed my graphics card to an ATI 4830, and on an off chance changed the motherboard bios to version 3.30. This booted with no problem but still in 7 only read 3 and a bit gigabytes, but hey, at least it went into windows!
    Monday, July 06, 2009 12:17 AM