Approximately half of installed memory shows as Hardware Reserved but full memory detected by BIOS and Windows


  • Hi - running patch current Windows 8.1, and am having an ongoing but not always constant issue regarding how much memory I have available to me on any given boot of Windows.

    I have 32 GB of memory installed on the computer, and yet almost 17.3 GB of that is not available to me, and is shown as Hardware Reserved when I look at the Physical Memory in the Resource Monitor.

    I have validated the memory is error free through multiple runs of Memtest, have removed memory strips and blown out any possible dust from memory slots, and SOMETIMES, it properly will show me around 30.4 GB available, however most boots it is showing pretty consistently that 17.3 GB is flaged as Hardware Reserved.

    I did some searching, and have tried some of the suggestions, such as making sure the Maximum Memory box is not checked in MSCONFIG, and have also tried editing ClearPageFileAtShutdown in the Registry to change it from the default value of '0' to a new value of '1'.  Nothing has worked thus far.

    I DO need access to as much of that 32 GB of memory as possible, due to this computer using huge amounts of memory as a Digital Audio Workstation, recording music with huge volumes of samples loaded fully into memory.  Performance suffers greatly when half of what is installed is not available.

    I have also looked in the BIOS for any ways to adjust video memory and memory mapping and neither exists in the BIOS at all for me to try anything with.  The CPU happens to be an AMD A10 7850, with multiple cores and video is embedded in the CPU with no way for me to control its memory usage.

    Thanks in advance for any additional suggestions.

    Bob Bone

    Friday, July 8, 2016 9:28 PM


All replies

  • Hey Bob,

    I too had a somewhat similar memory issue with my PC as well. For some unknown reason, my hard drive memory bar was in the red? However, I also knew that I had not accumulated enough data to fill up my 1.5 TB hard drive. I finally figured out (Much to my chagrin) that I had allotted way too much memory for the maximum dis space used under the system protection program. Once I dialed back the 'Disk Space Usage' to 10%, my hard drive memory issue was resolved. That said, while I'm pretty sure that my so-called memory fix-it solution wont resolve your memory issue, even so, I still wanted to share my solution with you nonetheless.  Btw- What is your hard drive memory reading while in Safe-Mode?

    Lastly, I have to tell ya that I got a kick outta your trouble shooting technique of blowing out any possible dust from the memory slots. I too recently blew some major dust bunnies outta my computer as well. Yup, I ended up with enough clumps of dust debris to knit a pair of mittens. (Haha)  Okay, nuff of my prattle as I'm sure you are anxious for some real advice via a computer technician. I wish you the best in finding the answers you need.   = )

    Saturday, July 9, 2016 12:53 AM
  • Large hardware reserved memory is often related to BIOS.  I would update yours if available and re-install the current if there is no update.

    Wanikiya and Dyami--Team Zigzag Windows IT-PRO (MS-MVP)

    Saturday, July 9, 2016 10:13 AM
  • Hi,


    You can give us a Memory snapshot from Resource Monitor.


    Then try these suggestions:


    1. Make sure uncheck the maximum memory if it is limited as the below path:


    msconfig->boot tab ->advanced options


    2. Make sure your BIOS is update to date.


    Best Regards,


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    Monday, July 11, 2016 11:42 AM