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Computer with 2 GB of RAM, XP Pro only sees 256mb

    Question

  • Hi, I'm working on a computer and trying to install SP3 on it.  Some odd things I've noticed.  The BIOS sees all 2GB of RAM installed in the computer, but Windows only reports 256mb of RAM.  Also when trying to install SP3 it says that is needs 1 more MB of space to install.  I can't seem to find any info on this, if anyone knows where, or knows how to fix this I appreciate the help.

    Friday, November 21, 2008 11:07 PM

Answers

  • Check the BIOS and see if the OS Install mode is set to enabled.  If it is, then the computer limits the RAM to 256MB.  Change it to Disabled and the BIOS will allow all the RAM to be used. This is common on Dell CPU's but may be found on others as well.

    Many Thanks for the above comment this solved the 256mb ram problem.
    Tuesday, September 08, 2009 8:20 AM

All replies

  • Hello: Tell us the Mark and Model of the mainboard, BIOS recognizes 2 MB of Ram but in the same message, under, he/she usually informs of MB that are free, according to the card of Video it will be available MB more or less and supposing that they are installed in the appropriate town squares, if they are two modules of 1 MB (and the badge has 4 bases) they must settle in the bases of same color.  Greetings.
    Saturday, November 22, 2008 6:27 PM
  • Hi

    I have a Dell XPS 710 and am experiencing a similar problem. I have installed 4 gigs of ram into my computer, in the bios it detects all 4 but Windows XP only detects 3.

    I have verified (three times) that the modules are right for the system, are installed correctly, and are matched up in the correct dimm slots, but windows XP still only detects 3 gigs of ram. I am upgrading to Windows XP SP3 now, but I'm wondering if theres anything else I should be doing.

    I have already checked on Dell supports website (out of warrenty) and Windows, and this is the best I found so far to someone with the same problem.
    Saturday, November 22, 2008 8:47 PM
  •  

    Your 4 GB of RAM problem is due to the fact that you are running a 32 bit version of windows XP and therefore can only really utilize the 3 GB of RAM.  If you want to use all 4 you need to upgrade your OS, and processor.  My problem is with a computer that is running with 2 GB of RAM and it only sees 256 mb, which is waaaaaay to much for it to be a graphics card discrepancy.  Unfortunately... your solution is to remove a gig of RAM or just leave it there unused.
    Saturday, November 22, 2008 11:00 PM
  • Thanks for the quick response, I appreciate it.

    To upgrade my OS, does that mean I have to buy a whole new Windows XP 64 bit, or can I just upgrade to like SP3 or something?

    As for my processor, I have a Intel Dual core 2.4 ghz processor that came with this. Will I really need to upgrade this too?
    Saturday, November 22, 2008 11:57 PM
  • Hello: If you have to change SO to Windows 64 bits, but taken care then you also have to change ALL the programs of the team so that they work with 64 bits and not all are available for 64 bits it verifies first that you can get the programs in their versions of 64 bits, that it is the main problem of this topic.  With SO of 64 bits it will recognize you the whole RAM that you mount.

    Of hardware you don't have to change anything.  Greetings.
    Sunday, November 23, 2008 8:18 PM
  • Check the BIOS and see if the OS Install mode is set to enabled.  If it is, then the computer limits the RAM to 256MB.  Change it to Disabled and the BIOS will allow all the RAM to be used. This is common on Dell CPU's but may be found on others as well.
    Saturday, January 10, 2009 2:29 AM
  • Mchotshot said:

    Hi

    I have a Dell XPS 710 and am experiencing a similar problem. I have installed 4 gigs of ram into my computer, in the bios it detects all 4 but Windows XP only detects 3.

    I have verified (three times) that the modules are right for the system, are installed correctly, and are matched up in the correct dimm slots, but windows XP still only detects 3 gigs of ram. I am upgrading to Windows XP SP3 now, but I'm wondering if theres anything else I should be doing.

    I have already checked on Dell supports website (out of warrenty) and Windows, and this is the best I found so far to someone with the same problem.


    32 bit xp will only recognize 3 gig you will need 64 bit to recognize the last gig
    Monday, January 26, 2009 5:55 PM
  • Big Thor said:

    Hi, I'm working on a computer and trying to install SP3 on it.  Some odd things I've noticed.  The BIOS sees all 2GB of RAM installed in the computer, but Windows only reports 256mb of RAM.  Also when trying to install SP3 it says that is needs 1 more MB of space to install.  I can't seem to find any info on this, if anyone knows where, or knows how to fix this I appreciate the help.

    is this a recent upgrade? if it is, try switching back to the old sticks and see if windows recognizes all of it...if it does, it might be some sort of compatibility issue between the sticks.  These are the same brand/model/and size of sticks correct? also verify that you have the needed pairing.  Otherwise try a few reboots to see if it recognizes the R.A.M, then run a memory diagnostic tool...
    Monday, January 26, 2009 5:58 PM
  • Hi mate,

    did you have any luck with this?

    I have exactly the same issue. BIOS can see 2GB but XP can't showing 256MB all the time?

    Thanks

    Sasa N
    Tuesday, April 07, 2009 4:26 AM
  • Hi mate,

    did you have any luck with this?

    I have exactly the same issue. BIOS can see 2GB but XP can't showing 256MB all the time?

    Thanks

    Sasa N

    I had the same problem.
    HP dv6000
    Memory 512MB + 512MB & XP Pro SP3
    Windos System Memory 256MB & int. 128MB shared video


    I did defragment HDD
    & Norton Partition Magic free space New partition
    & install new Win XP, the new partitioning.

    And now, we are all OK, 960MB system memory (to delete a new XP)

    The error was the boot sector, which clearly did not understand and why.


    Opportunities and options.
    There is something of the richness of the bootimise:
    1. The program eg. in principle the virtual CD / HDD or the like?
    2. Rootkit, or other similar pahaline Troja?
    3. drivers (unlikely but not excluded)
    4. Some of the sheep or the ram, who may want to get into the computer caper?

    It was also interesting that the changes to boot.ini did not work in the meantime, however, are now all OK.
    Wednesday, July 15, 2009 11:20 AM
  • Hi,

    some problem on hp notebook after new installtion of windows xp.

    Solved: Boot with a LINUX life CD (i.e. KNOPPIX), found a hidden 1GB partition (numer 3 in my case) with a boot.ini haveing the /maxmem=256 switch. Edited file, remive the switch, write back, reboot Windows. System sees 2GB

    mk
    Monday, July 20, 2009 2:13 PM
  • Check the BIOS and see if the OS Install mode is set to enabled.  If it is, then the computer limits the RAM to 256MB.  Change it to Disabled and the BIOS will allow all the RAM to be used. This is common on Dell CPU's but may be found on others as well.

    Many Thanks for the above comment this solved the 256mb ram problem.
    Tuesday, September 08, 2009 8:20 AM
  • This worked perfectly for me... It was a Dell and I was messing about in the BIOS a few weeks back and didnt notice the RAM amount had changed. I thought it was a software/fragmentation issue and was about to rebuild the system.
    I would like to say many thanks to "coolguycjb" you saved me a world of hurt, cheers mate.
    Tuesday, March 09, 2010 11:03 PM
  • i think you have enabled your OS INSTALL MODE... check that sure it should turned OFF 
    and also visit my bog plz 




    Monday, December 02, 2013 7:40 PM