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Why does my Dell laptop limit me to 2GB RAM?

Posted on 2009-07-06
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I have a Dell Inspiron 9400 with 2GB RAM installed.. I wanted to upgrade to 4GB (2 x 2GB) but according to Dell the maximum memory my model supports is 2 x 1GB .. what is limiting this?
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Question by:chrisfixit
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6 Comments
 
LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 24784540
Generally that limitation is a function of the BIOS. XP and Vista 32-bit are limited to 3Gb in any event, so you are already in pretty good shape. ... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:jwenting
ID: 24784545
the design of the motherboard will be such that it cannot address chips larger than 1GB each.
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Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 24789090
The chipset is the final limitation since it restricts the number of RAm channels available. The OEM can make the restriction even smaller if they only supply a certain number of slots.

No way around these limitations.

I hope this helps !
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:PCBONEZ
ID: 24790452
I wish people would stop saying that -> it's wrong.
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The PHYSICAL memory limit for ALL Windows 32-bit OS's is 4 GB. --> FOUR GB!
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- Slightly less is -AVAILABLE- to Windows ,,, But the -LIMIT- is still 4GB.
[That does not include Server versions that can use PAE.]


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Accepted Solution

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PCBONEZ earned 2000 total points
ID: 24790565
Dell Inspiron 9400 uses an Intel 945PM Express Chipset.
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The Intel 945PM Express Chipset fully supports 4GB of RAM.
http://ark.intel.com/chipset.aspx?familyID=22817


Dell's documentation was written before 2GB RAM modules became available and were never updated.
- That happens often!

Your Laptop DOES support 4GB of RAM.
http://en.community.dell.com/forums/t/19173643.aspx?c=us&l=en&cs=&s=gen
.
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Author Comment

by:chrisfixit
ID: 24791287
Thanks!!! That's what was confusing me.. I knew the chipset would support 4GB, I couldn't understand what was limiting it. Many thanks ;-)
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