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Vista not recognizing RAM again. RRS feed

  • Question

  • I know this has been stated on here before, but it's hard to find the topic in the search with the very popular 4gb of ram wont boot with vista topic.  The problem I'm having is that in my BIOS screen it shows I have all 4gb of ram.  When I first had my comp, only a few months ago, when I went to my computer it said I had 4 gb of ram.  After a month or so it dropped down to 3.5 gb of ram.  I just popped in a second XFX 8800 640MB GTS card and now it only reads at 3.25 gb of ram.  What the hell is goind on?  Is there a patch that can fix this, am I actually missing out of some of my ram?  What can I do to make it read what it really is?

     

    PS.  Failed to mention I have the x64 ed of Vista.

    Wednesday, November 21, 2007 8:42 AM

Answers

  • Hello,

     

    Thanks for your post!

     

    Generally, if some RAM fail to display in BIOS, it is related to two major possibilities:

    ·       Damaged/poor contacting of memory stick.

    ·       Some new devices occupy the RAM.

    In this case, the BIOS has shown small amounts of RAM loss twice. It’s very possibly caused by new devices installed in the computer, which occupy some RAM for their own functionalities. Please contact the manufacturer of XFX 8800 640MB GTS to confirm that.

     

    Similarly, please ensure whether you installed a new device before the first loss of RAM and contact the manufacturer for the information too.

     

    If I misunderstood anything, please let me know. I’m happy to be of further assistance.

     

    Regards,

    Lionel Chen

    Microsoft Online Community Support

    Friday, November 23, 2007 7:09 AM
  • Hello,

     

    Thanks for your feedback!

     

    Analysis

     

    I agree that 64-bit Windows Vista can correctly recognize all the RAM more than 4GB generally. However, if some built-in features from motherboard manufacturer interfere the display of RAM amount, or some devices occupy some memory, the system may show less than the correctly number.

     

    In my first reply, I suspect the video card may cause the incorrect display of RAM, because the second loss of RAM happened just after you installed another XFX video card.

    However, that’s just my speculation. If the support from XFX confirm the video cards won’t occupy the RAM, please ignore this possibility.

    I also agree that you may contact the manufacturer of the motherboard, in order to confirm whether there are some built-in features that may hide some RAM.

    Windows Upgrade

    It is permitted that you custom install Windows Vista 64-bit version on Windows XP 32-bit version, providing the correct method told in the KB article below(Section: Installing a 64-bit version of Windows Vista on a computer that is running a 32-bit version of Windows XP or of Windows 2000):

    (KB932795) Installation choices for 64-bit consumer versions of Windows Vista

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;932795

     

    If you did install Windows Vista in the right way, I don’t think there will be any problem from Windows side. However, if you want to reinstall the operating system to check this possibility, I’d love to help:

    Please refer to the Section How to perform a clean installation of Windows Vista by running Setup from the current version of Windows in the KB article listed below:

    Note: Reinstall may delete user data and installed applications, please backup all your important data before performing that.

     

    (KB933178) How to install Windows Vista

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;933178

    I hope the issue can be fixed soon!


     

    Regards,

    Lionel Chen

    Microsoft Online Community Support

     

    Wednesday, November 28, 2007 6:40 AM

All replies

  • From what i know There are problems with any 32bit vista versions showing 4gb of RAM. 32bit vista can show up to 2gb of RAM accurately but anything more and it kinda scrambles up and can't recognise the amount installed, however 64bit vista versions can support 4gb+ and show this.
    Thursday, November 22, 2007 9:43 AM
  • Right...but I have 64 bit Vista, not 32 bit.  So that's where my confusion is.

    Thursday, November 22, 2007 6:30 PM
  • Hello,

     

    Thanks for your post!

     

    Generally, if some RAM fail to display in BIOS, it is related to two major possibilities:

    ·       Damaged/poor contacting of memory stick.

    ·       Some new devices occupy the RAM.

    In this case, the BIOS has shown small amounts of RAM loss twice. It’s very possibly caused by new devices installed in the computer, which occupy some RAM for their own functionalities. Please contact the manufacturer of XFX 8800 640MB GTS to confirm that.

     

    Similarly, please ensure whether you installed a new device before the first loss of RAM and contact the manufacturer for the information too.

     

    If I misunderstood anything, please let me know. I’m happy to be of further assistance.

     

    Regards,

    Lionel Chen

    Microsoft Online Community Support

    Friday, November 23, 2007 7:09 AM
  • Well, the BIOS shows all 4 GB of RAM.  I've ran the full extended memory test a couple of times.  I started this computer with one XFX 8800 GTS 640 MB card in it, and Vista x64.  It showed 4 GB of RAM when I go to My Computer.  So at that time there was no conflict.  After a few months I happened to notice it went down to 3.5 GB of RAM in the My Computer screen, but in the BIOS menu, it still showed 4 GB of RAM.  When I bought another card to SLi, I put it in, happened to look at My Computer, and noticed it dropped to 3.25 GB, yet my BIOS still recognizes all 4 GB of RAM still being present.  So I'm just confused as to why.  If you happen to think of anything else that would be great, but I will also try asking XFX if they have a known issue with this.  Thank you.

    Friday, November 23, 2007 11:11 PM
  • Hello,

     

    Thanks for your feedback!

     

    According to your post, you have 4GB RAM installed and all the RAM is correctly displayed in BIOS. A few months after you purchased the computer, the system shows less RAM than 4GB, and after installing another radio card, the RAM goes less. I’m sorry for misunderstanding something in my first reply.

     

    I agree that you could contact the manufacturer of the radio cards to confirm the factor. Especially, the 2nd RAM loss is very possibly caused by the radio card. Besides, based on my experience, some motherboards have built-in features that may cause the incorrect display of RAM. Please also report this issue to the motherboard manufacturer, ask if the first loss of RAM is caused by this possibility.

    Thanks!

     

    Regards,

    Lionel Chen

    Microsoft Online Community Support

     

    Monday, November 26, 2007 10:44 AM
  • Alright, I got some good feedback from XFX, here's what they said:

     

    "Hi, that issue should not be occuring under vista 64bit since even the lowest version of vista 64bit supports 8gb. However it sounds like you`re using the 32bit edition in which case you`re limited to a max of 4gb addressing space and video cards and all devices eat away at that addressing space then only whats left is available for system ram. If you upgraded from 32bit to 64bit that could cause big issues if the installer even supports it. If you`re using any strange boot.ini switches I`d remove them. Though really it appears you`re just using a 32bit os and that`s normal so I`d check your install. Also the video cards do not take any system memory. To my knowledge vista is only capable of allowing virtual memory for gpus. And only a turbocache card or integrated video will use system memory and the 8800gts is neither. Also try resetting the bios settings to default. Have you contacted Asus regarding this for any input they may have?"

     

    The part I have highlighted is what I think the problem might be.  I did install my copy of Vista x64 over my existing 32 bit XP.  If this is the case, what must I do to correct this?

    Tuesday, November 27, 2007 4:40 AM
  • Hello,

     

    Thanks for your feedback!

     

    Analysis

     

    I agree that 64-bit Windows Vista can correctly recognize all the RAM more than 4GB generally. However, if some built-in features from motherboard manufacturer interfere the display of RAM amount, or some devices occupy some memory, the system may show less than the correctly number.

     

    In my first reply, I suspect the video card may cause the incorrect display of RAM, because the second loss of RAM happened just after you installed another XFX video card.

    However, that’s just my speculation. If the support from XFX confirm the video cards won’t occupy the RAM, please ignore this possibility.

    I also agree that you may contact the manufacturer of the motherboard, in order to confirm whether there are some built-in features that may hide some RAM.

    Windows Upgrade

    It is permitted that you custom install Windows Vista 64-bit version on Windows XP 32-bit version, providing the correct method told in the KB article below(Section: Installing a 64-bit version of Windows Vista on a computer that is running a 32-bit version of Windows XP or of Windows 2000):

    (KB932795) Installation choices for 64-bit consumer versions of Windows Vista

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;932795

     

    If you did install Windows Vista in the right way, I don’t think there will be any problem from Windows side. However, if you want to reinstall the operating system to check this possibility, I’d love to help:

    Please refer to the Section How to perform a clean installation of Windows Vista by running Setup from the current version of Windows in the KB article listed below:

    Note: Reinstall may delete user data and installed applications, please backup all your important data before performing that.

     

    (KB933178) How to install Windows Vista

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;933178

    I hope the issue can be fixed soon!


     

    Regards,

    Lionel Chen

    Microsoft Online Community Support

     

    Wednesday, November 28, 2007 6:40 AM
  • I have to say thank you to you.  The support you are giving is very good.  I just want to make sure of a couple things before I actually try some of these steps.  It sounds like I installed the 64 bit Vista correctly over the 32 bit XP I had.  It did take me a bit to figure out that I had to boot from the disc at start up to get it to work when I did it.  And after I installed it I had a windows.old file, which I just deleted in whole.  All I have on my computer ever is just a lot of games.

     

    My main question now, as I would be willing to do a clean install, is whether that would COMPLETELY wipe everything off of my hard drive.  This is what I want.  I want to make sure that there are no more remnants of anything XP/32 bit.  I wouldn't even back anything up, I'd just reinstall all my games, drivers, programs, updates, and just completely start over again. 

     

    My next concern is that my version of Windows Vista x64 HP is an OEM version.  Only way I found of even getting a x64 bit version.  I've heard "rumors" about the OEM version that it writes itself to the hard drive and can't be used on any other hard drive.  If that is true, if I was to completely wipe my hard driver, would I be able to use this OEM version again on the same hard drive? 

     

    I also don't think this problem is from the motherboard as my friend has essentially the exact same computer that I do, and his still reads the 4 GB.  The only difference between our computers is that I started with XP and I was the one to try out Vista x64 first. 

     

    So he had a clean install of Vista x64 and doesn't seem to have this problem.  So, if a clean install will delete absolutely everything, is there anything I would have to do first, other than back up files (which isn't for me), in order to perform a clean install (before booting off the disc?)  Sorry if I am repeating myself, but I want to make sure I do it right if I'm going to get rid of this problem.

    Wednesday, November 28, 2007 7:55 AM
  • Hello,

     

    Thanks for your feedback again!

     

    According to your post, I think you may perform the reinstallation for trying to fix the problem.

    OEM version

     

    An OEM version of Windows was actually modified by the manufacturer to fit the devices, which makes this version a little different from the retail version you can buy in software market. Generally, if no important devices are changed or damaged (motherboard, CPU, hard-drive, etc.) you can perform a clean install using the reinstallation CD shipped with the computer safely.

     

    However, we don’t know the exact changes made by the manufacturer (HP, in this case). To avoid any possible risks, for example losing built-in functions like system restore, I highly recommend you to contact HP for such considerations.

     

    Format Partition and Clean Install

     

    If they also agree on clean reinstallation.

    1.    Please backup all the important data in the system partition, as well as the drivers designed for Windows Vista (download the latest versions from HP support website and locate them in safe place).

    2.    The following page may help you for reinstallation of Windows Vista (Section: To install Windows by performing a clean installation):

    Installing and reinstalling Windows
    http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/e77344fa-e978-464c-953e-eba44f0522671033.mspx


    Note: If you want to remove everything in system partition. In Step 7, choose to format the partition in which you want to install Windows Vista.

    Hope it helps!

     

    Regards,

    Lionel Chen

    Microsoft Online Community Support

     

    Wednesday, November 28, 2007 10:06 AM
  • Well, I booted off the disc.  Followed your advice.  Did a Custom install, advanced settings, format the hard drive, and install fresh.  Still in the process of getting things back to normal, but I'm happy to say that it's now correctly showing all 4 GB of RAM.  So I want to thank you again for all your help.  I'm very impressed by your speedy responses and consistant follow up.  Thank you.

    Thursday, November 29, 2007 6:29 AM
  • Hello,

     

    I'm happy that the problem is fixed. Thanks for sharing!

     

    Regards,

    Lionel Chen

    Microsoft Online Community Support

    Thursday, November 29, 2007 6:50 AM
  •  

    Hello,

     

    Actualy, i have the same problem and i woud like to ask:

    Do i need format physical hard drive or just partition (there is 4 in my case) where i woud like to install clean copy. Because i boot from DVD and made clean install, even format destination partition, but was realy upset, because find only 3582MB instead of 4096MB. CPU-Z show me correct size of installed memory, in bios there is installed memory 4gb and useable about 3.5 GB.

     

    P.S. sorry for my english, it's not my native language.

    Monday, December 10, 2007 2:00 AM
  • Hello,

     

    Thanks for your post!

     

    The issue you described may be different with the original one in this thread. Please make sure there is no built-in features and device (especially video card) occupy some RAM. Because if BIOS shows that 3.5 GB RAM is usable, the issue may be related to devices rather than operating system.

     

    Generally, we answer one question per post in the forum. In order to concentrate fully on each of these problems we ask that you post them as separate threads. Please bring more details (model, RAM chips detail, 32-bit or 64-bit OS) about this issue to the new thread, I’m happy to help you.

     

    Just for your reference, if you have decided to reinstall Windows Vista, please backup all your important data and drivers in the destination partition, and then format the curtain partition rather than the whole physical hard drive. However, we don't recommend you to reinstall the operating system before confirm the cause of the issue.

     

    Thanks!

     

    Regards,

    Lionel Chen

    Microsoft Online Community Support

     

    Monday, December 10, 2007 2:36 AM
  • Sorry, but that is bull. My new vista machine began with a horribly inadequate 2GB of RAM and Vista ate over half. I added a new 2GB stick and got a real reading of 3. I have since added the second stick and still get a reading of 3GB total. The problem is not my machine, which works fine, the memory used as I replaced the second kingston stick and had the same problem, and was not solved by the upgrade pack 1 from microsoft.

     

    YOUR operating system is not working...I want a real fix and not a run around!

     

    Tuesday, May 6, 2008 1:02 AM