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4GB RAM issue has been beaten to death, but this is different...

Posted on 2006-04-28
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Okay, first of all, I know that the question of "Why can't my computer see all 4GB of RAM I have installed?" has been beaten to death here and on other forums, however, I have Windows XP Professional x64 edition installed, and it too, only sees the same 2.87 GB that the 32-bit version (WinXP SP2) sees.  I have checked the BIOS to see if there is anything that needs to be changed to enable the EM64T on my system, but there is nothing to enable that I can find.  I have made sure that I am on the latest bios revision for my motherboard (Intel D925XECV2) and still nothing there.  All it says is that the CPU is an EM64T capable processor.  Windows XP x64 installed without a hitch and all but a few of the drivers loaded properly the first time through, but it still shows a smaller amount of RAM than what is in there.  It's been my understanding that 64-bit systems are supposed to be able to access far beyond the 4GB limit of 32bit processors (128GB I believe).  Anyhow any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.

My specs are:

Motherboard:  Intel D925XECV2
CPU:              Intel 640 3.2GHz, 2MB L2 Cache
RAM:              4GB (not sure of the brand)
HDD:              2 x 120GB Seagate Barracuda 7200 RPM (RAID 0)
O/S:              Varies between XP Pro, SP2; XP Pro x64; and a dual-boot of both
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Question by:Johnboy722
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by:garycase
ID: 16569127
Several things could be in play here:

For EM64T to provide any benefit, EVERYTHING must be enabled for EM64T:  processor, chipset, BIOS, operating system, device drivers and applications.   My "best guess" in this case is that the PCI Express and/or video drivers are not EM64T-enabled, so you're losing the same reserved address space that you were before.

One thing to try:  If your BIOS has a setting for "Plug 'n Play OS" be sure it's Off/disabled.   It won't hurt to try it both ways -- when Off the BIOS assigns the resources for PCI/PCIe devices; when On the OS does -- but it's generally best to set it to Off.

What video cards are you using in this system?
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by:Johnboy722
ID: 16569658
The processor and motherboard (chipset) are both EM64T capable, and the BIOS is the latest rev., which is also EM64T capable.  WinXP Pro x64 installed fine, and the drivers that loaded automatically off of the Install CD were fine...  the only issue I had was with sound, but I found the solution to that and a windows update fixed that problem.  The PCI-E card I'm using is a Radeon X1900XTX with the latest x64 drivers from ATI.

I've also tried the Plug & Play O/S feature, and turning it on and off made no difference.  One thing I did notice however is that when I took the Intel Rapid Boot off, and let it run the full memory check, even the BIOS shows a portion of the RAM being used by system resources and only a smaller portion than the 4GB available for use.  I also have a trouble call in with Intel to see if there's anything to *enable* for EM64T to work or if the O/S just automatically detects it and makes use of the additional features of the processor.  Hopefully I will hear back from them soon.
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by:Johnboy722
ID: 16569776
Just retried the Plug & Play O/S option, and still the same result.  Also wrote down the exact message I get when booting...

"Memory Consumed by System Resources: 1152 MB System RAM"
"Available Memory: 2944 System RAM"

And so, obviously 2944 / 1024 = 2.875  Which is exactly what the system shows.

So now my assumption is that the O/S is not even seeing the memory that is all there, and I've checked with a few other programs and in the BIOS, all 4GB is there... 1024MB on each slot, and the BIOS shows a total of 4096 installed, so now I'm really stumped.
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garycase earned 1500 total points
ID: 16569795
Nothing to be stumped about -- the memory is all there;  the BIOS "knows" it, but the system needs 1152MB for system resources (PCIe, video aperture, etc.), so only 2944MB is available for the OS to use.   The question here is why the EM64T architecture is not allowing the system resources to be mapped above the base 4GB address space -- which would allow all of your memory to be seen.
SOMETHING is not supporting this -- hopefully Intel's response will shed some light on this.
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by:Johnboy722
ID: 16569829
Yes, that is what has me stumped =/

It may be a while for them to get back to me again... their first response was a generic, "You have to have this and that for it to work" and one of their comments was that I had to enable it... from what I've seen so far, there's nothing I can actually enable on it...
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by:garycase
ID: 16569841
I agree it's frustrating -- and should work.   However, if it's any consolation, you'll see very little performance difference (if any) between 2.875GB and 4GB :-)

... it's just KNOWING that you have all that unused memory that's aggravating !!
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by:Johnboy722
ID: 16569865
Exactly, it's not a performance issue, and I'm not even really doing anything that I *NEED* the 4GB, but memory was inexpensive, so I figured what the heck...  It's just aggravating, and I want to learn more about this to further my understanding of it =)

This is the email I got from Intel...  They said that I need to enable the EM64T and then went on to explain that I might not be able to use all 4GB and gave me a list of reasons why... after looking at the document they were referencing, they directly quoted the document, which I beleive may have been referring to 32-bit, not 64...  perhaps because the board will support both 32 and 64 bit, it has to be set up that way so the 32-bit people won't run into any problems...  Anyway, here's the email I got.

>Hello John,
>
>Thank you for contacting Intel® Technical Support.
>
>If you have Windows* XP Professional x64 Edition, it is necessary to enable Intel® Extended Memory 64 Technology (EM64T); >however, we cannot guarantee this will fix the memory size problem you mentioned; this is because of the following explanation:
>
>The board utilizes 4 GB. of addressable system memory. Typically the address space that is allocated for PCI Conventional bus add->in cards, PCI Express configuration space, BIOS (firmware Hub), and chipset overhead resides above the top of DRAM (total system >memory). On a system that has 4 GB. of system memory installed, it is not possible to use all of the installed memory due to system >address space being allocated for other system critical functions. These functions include the following:
>
>o BIOS/firmware hub (2 MB)
>o Local APIC (19 MB)
>o Digital Media Interface (40 MB)
>o Front side bus interrupts (17 MB)
>o PCI Express configuration space (256 MB)
>o MCH base address registers, internal graphics ranges, PCI Express ports (up to 512 MB)
>o Memory-mapped I/O that is dynamically allocated for PCI Conventional and PCI Express add-in cards.
>
>The amount of installed memory that can be used will vary based on add-in cards and BIOS Settings.
>
>Please, refer to pages 55 and 56 of the Technical Product Specification for more information:
>
>ftp://download.intel.com/design/motherbd/cv2/C9015201.pdf
>
>Note: The document found at the above link is in .PDF (Adobe* Acrobat*) format. The installation of Adobe* Acrobat* Reader* is >required to view this material.
>
>Please, do not hesitate to contact us again if you need further assistance.
>
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16570745
Perhaps by disabling things one at a time and checking your memory quanity each time,
you can ID the guilty 32 bit driver(s).
You may have more than one so the memory won't 'read right' until you get the last one.
Enable things one at a time when going back too so you catch any others on the way.
.
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by:Johnboy722
ID: 16570782
It has been my understanding (and limited experience) that 32-bit drivers will *not* install on x64 at all...  This is the reason that I can't use either of my printers, or my webcam.  There are currently no 32-bit drivers available for any of them.  The only thing plugged into a slot is the video card, and I've also tried booting with the onboard sound, LAN, 1394, USB etc all disabled in the BIOS, and I get the same result.  
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16570797
It doesn't have to be plugged into a slot to need drivers.
Each function of a chip or chipset needs a driver. USB, LAN, PATA, SATA, RAID, AGP, PCI controller ....
Each function contained in a chip mounted somewhere on the board needs a driver.
Gobs of them show up under "System Devices".
.
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by:Johnboy722
ID: 16570847
This I understand... which is why I also added that "I've also tried booting with the onboard sound, LAN, 1394, USB etc all disabled in the BIOS, and I get the same result."   aside from disabling them there, I don't know how else to disable them... they don't show up in the system devices when disabled...
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16571399
I was just offering a suggestion as to how to isolate things.
As you do, I have limited experience with x64.
I have LOTS of experience with trouble shooting however.

You should be able to disable things through Device Manager.
In fact you could/should probably create a different hardware profile to do that experimenting in so if you get blind-sided by unexpected results you don't put the system OOC.
.
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by:Johnboy722
ID: 16572776
Good point. =)  I had actually (before any of this) been playing with some settings, memory timings I think, and caused my system to not even post... luckily I knew exactly where the handly little jumper for the BIOS config was, so it was easy to put it back...  At this point it wouldn't be difficult to create a different hardware profile for it and disable just about everything I don't absolutely need but I'm a little more concerned about why the bios initially says that the resources are already used.  Almost seems that because it will support both O/S's it doesn't make the distinction of whether or not to use the CPU in 64-bit until one is loaded, and if it were to map the system resources above the 4GB, then a 32-bit one certainly would not work at all...  
At any rate, I'm still waiting to hear back from Intel to hear what they think about the problem.

Thank you guys for your continued help.

~John~
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by:Johnboy722
ID: 16587166
Just received the last response from Intel...  it turns out that I am (as far as I can tell) just SOL...  Seems kinda screwed since straight from their website, that EM64T is supposed to allow 64-bit computing, and access to larger amounts of RAM etc...  Since I can access the exact same thing with XP Pro or XP Pro x64 that now seems like a crock...  maybe it's for different processor board setups than I have, but who knows.  Anyways, thanks for all the help.  Below is the email from Intel.

~John~


Hello John,

Thank you for contacting Intel(R) Technical Support.

Unfortunately, the addressable system memory situation we had explained to you in our very first email applies to any Operating System, including Windows* XP Professional x64 Edition.

Please, do not hesitate to contact us again if you need further assistance.

Sincerely,
(Name Omitted)
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by:garycase
ID: 16587249
I suspected as much, since the board is only capable of supporting 4GB of memory.   And, as you've correctly noted, any system resources must be allocated before the OS -- so the remapping HAS to be within a 32-bit address space, even if the board supported more.   It would be nice if the EM64T architecture would allow the OS to remap those resources if it was a 64-bit OS, but apparently that's not the case.
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