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Installed memory (RAM): 24GB (7.99 GB usable)

Posted on 2012-08-21
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I have a Dell XPS computer (Windows 7 64 bit) that I just installed 24GB of RAM.  After installing the memory, I booted the computer expecting to see the "your amount of memory has changed..." but did not.  After the computer booted, I checked the Windows properties.  It read: "Installed memory (RAM): 24GB (7.99 GB usable)".  I Googled the message and followed the instructions to update BIOS and verified the Maximum Memory (in msconfig) was unchecked.  I looked through the BIOS settings for memory remapping but cannot find anything in the BIOS showing that. The BIOS show 8GB of memory.  I called Dell for support only to be told that this is a known issue with Windows 7 and that I should disregard the discrepancy.  That doesn't sound right to me.  If anyone has ideas or has resolved this in the past, I would greatly appreciate the help.  I have posted my hardware info below:

Operating System new – server roles

Windows 7 Professional (x64) Service Pack 1 (build 7601)
Install Language: English (United States)
System Locale: English (United States)


System Model

DELL Inc. Studio XPS 435T/9000 00
Enclosure Type: Desktop


Processor
 
3.20 gigahertz Intel Core i7 960
64 kilobyte primary memory cache
256 kilobyte secondary memory cache
8192 kilobyte tertiary memory cache
64-bit ready
Multi-core (4 total)
Hyper-threaded (8 total)

Main Circuit Board

Board: DELL Inc. 0X501H A03
Serial Number: ..CN6970202S0926.
Bus Clock: 133 megahertz
BIOS: DELL INC. A16 02/04/2010

Memory Modules
8184 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory

Slot 'DIMM0' has 4096 MB
Slot 'DIMM1' has 4096 MB
Slot 'DIMM2' has 4096 MB
Slot 'DIMM3' has 4096 MB
Slot 'DIMM4' has 4096 MB
Slot 'DIMM5' has 4096 MB
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Question by:tmartin40
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29 Comments
 
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:pjam
ID: 38318189
Are they all exactly the same chip?  Important in my opinion, I always buy all the RAM I expect a computer to use at once.  I was burnt one time when i tried adding RAM to an HP workstation with 2x4GBlater.  HP sent the same product number but they weren't the same as original equipment and would not read the ne 2x4GB
I have 16GB installed and never really checked properties to see if 16 is available, I will when i get home.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:Mike
ID: 38318195
That computer is a bit older and may only support a maximum of 8GB of RAM.
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Author Comment

by:tmartin40
ID: 38318210
The PC has 6 slots and according to Dell will support up to 24GB of memory.  I bought 6 x 4GB RAM from Dell and installed all of them at the same time.
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:Frosty555
ID: 38318232
In general you need to have compatible memory in matched sets - your computer uses triple-channel memory, so each set of 3x sticks should be identical (you should be buying your memory in sets of 3x sticks). All memory will run at the clock speed of the slowest stick.

Matched sets need to be in the proper slots, DIMM slots 1/3/5 for the first set, and slots 2/4/6 for the second set.

Take note of the instructions here:

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/435T/en/SM/memory.htm#wp1188716

I agree that the computer should register 24GB of memory. If Windows and/or the bios is only reporting 8gb, you have a problem and the memory will not be utilized. Dell gave you incorrect information here.
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Ess Kay
ID: 38318234
Do a stress test


also open task manager and see how much ram pops up in the performance tab
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Expert Comment

by:intellingence
ID: 38318256
You might want to check if new bios/firmware is available for your motherboard.

Hop this helps.
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LVL 31

Accepted Solution

by:
Frosty555 earned 668 total points
ID: 38318261
esskayb2b - there is no point running a stress test. The memory isn't being detected in the BIOS. There is definitely a problem.

This computer is supposed to support 24GB of memory, at least that's what Dell's specs suggest, and it sounds like you bought 6x identical sticks straight from Dell. There should be ZERO compatibility issues, they should all be identical.

tmartin - it sounds like you have one or more bad sticks. I'd suggest you try removing all sticks (make sure to keep track of which sticks were your original old ones, and which ones were the 6x new ones you just bought).

Start putting each new stick into your computer individually and attempt to boot into the bios. See if any single stick fails to be recognized.

After that, start putting the sticks in one at a time and see if the system recognizes 4gb, then 8gb, then 12gb, then 16gb.. etc until you run into the problem.

If you suddenly get a failure on one stick, put it aside and continue testing the rest.

Once you're done you'll know if you have a problem with the memory Dell sent you and you can RMA it for new ones.
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Author Comment

by:tmartin40
ID: 38318263
All 6 sticks (2 sets of 3) are identical. When looking at the resource monitor, it reads:

Hardware reserved: 16394 MB
In Use: 2117 MB
Modified: 261 MB
Standby: 3110 MB
Free: 2695 MB

Available: 5796 MB
Cached: 3369 MB
Total: 8182 MB
Installed: 24576 MB
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:n2fc
ID: 38318295
As you posted above, it "sees" 24GB INSTALLED...

See: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/978610
for more info on this issue...

Some specific issues are described there, including memory mappong & Video Display Adapter issues...

The Dell support gurus were NOT misinformed!
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Author Comment

by:tmartin40
ID: 38318307
I've already been through the kb article and tried all of the suggestions.  None of them worked.  I don't understand how it can be a Windows 7 issue when the BIOS are only showing 8GB.  I downloaded and installed the latest BIOS from Dell but that didn't seem to help.
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:n2fc
ID: 38318315
OK, then...

How about THIS article?:

http://helpdeskgeek.com/windows-7/fix-the-maximum-amount-of-memory-usable-by-windows-7-64-bit/

(I know you said the "max mem" box was unchecked... but how about actually filling in the proper amount?)
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:n2fc
ID: 38318344
Your prior post shows:


Hardware reserved: 16394 MB

In Use: 2117 MB
Modified: 261 MB
Standby: 3110 MB
Free: 2695 MB

Available: 5796 MB
Cached: 3369 MB
Total: 8182 MB
Installed: 24576 MB

This is indeed showing 24GB installed, but without "memory remapping" set in the BIOS, the 16GB "hardware reserved" will prevent WIN7 from using it!
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Darr247
ID: 38318435
Did you happen to upgrade to 7 Pro from 7 Home Basic?

Because according to
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa366778(v=vs.85).aspx
the limit for 7 Home Premium x64 is 8GB.

Physical Memory Limits: Windows 7
The following table specifies the limits on physical memory for Windows 7.
Version			Limit on X86	Limit on X64
Windows 7 Ultimate	4 GB		192 GB
Windows 7 Enterprise	4 GB		192 GB
Windows 7 Professional	4 GB		192 GB
Windows 7 Home Premium	4 GB		16 GB
Windows 7 Home Basic	4 GB		8 GB
Windows 7 Starter	2 GB		N/A
 

Open in new window

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Author Comment

by:tmartin40
ID: 38318513
I did upgrade using the "anytime upgrade" from home to pro.  I just can't remember whether it was home basic (@ 8 GB) or home premium (@16GB).  I am assuming it was home premium since it came new with 12GB of memory.
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Author Comment

by:tmartin40
ID: 38318536
I will remove the new memory tonight and reinstall the original 12GB of memory so I can see what Windows shows then.  I will post the results.
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 38319408
you can run  ram diags on eachstick; maybe there's an bad one
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Author Comment

by:tmartin40
ID: 38320663
Removed the new memory and reinstalled the old memory (12GB).  Although I didn't check the memory amount in the BIOS, Windows did show all 12GB as available.  Just a thought, the computer originally came with Windows 7 Home Premium which has a max memory of 16 GB.  I then ran the anytime upgrade to Windows 7 Pro which should have given it a max memory of 192 GB.  As soon as I install more than 16GB, that's when I have problems.  Could it possibly be caused by the fact that the OS used to have a max mem of 16GB before the upgrade?
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:pjam
ID: 38320689
You are confusing us, You say earlier you bought all 6 chips at the same time adn now you are saying you are going to reinstall the original 12Gb, does that mean you have 9 4GB all together?
Please look at the six new chips and assure yourself they all have exactly the same identification on them.  Do they match the orignal 3?
What exactly is written on them please?

Earlier I said I would check at home, but that seems to be a non issue as I am showing 16GB in properties and BIOS that were installed new on a new W7 pro install.
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Author Comment

by:tmartin40
ID: 38320764
I apologize for the confusion.  The computer has 6 slots and came with 6x2GB sticks = 12GB.  I purchased (from Dell) 6x4GB sticks to replace them.  I had the problem after removing all 6x2GB sticks and  installing the new 6x4GB sticks.  I then removed all 6x4GB sticks and reinstalled the 6x2GB sticks (back to original configuration) and the computer once again showed 12GB.
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LVL 93

Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 668 total points
ID: 38320769
here is how to install ram in the banks :  http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/kcs/document?c=us&docid=117450&doclang=en&l=en&s=gen

did you test the new ram yet - and is it the same model as the original ?

you can also try to reset the bios, or upgrade it
the full ram should show in the Bios
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Author Comment

by:tmartin40
ID: 38320903
The RAM was installed IAW the above link.  The memor is the same as the original with the exception of size (4GB instead of 2GB).  I did run the memory diagnotic tools and everything passed but I have not yet installed the sticks one at a time and bott after each stick was installed.  The BIOS are A16 which is what Dell says is the newest BIOS release for this PC.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 38321299
>>   I did run the memory diagnotic tools and everything passed   <<  was that on the 24 GB?
and how much GB did the test show?
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LVL 15

Assisted Solution

by:Ess Kay
Ess Kay earned 664 total points
ID: 38321735
Perhaps you have faulty ram,

OR some of the slots only support 2 gb


Try to install the ram, but switch the places

Do 4 x 4GB   (12)
and 2 X 2GB   (4)

if it doesnt work, switch the slots around.

If it works and you get 16 Gb showing, then try with the remaining 2 sticks






ALSO


TRY 2 stick at a time (4GB)
with each pair, make sure you get 8 gb, this will check if they are faulty
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Author Comment

by:tmartin40
ID: 38321995
I will check these tonight.  I did, however, just confirm that after reinstalling the old RAM (6x2GB), the BIOS show 12GB installed.
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Darr247
ID: 38322931
When you change memory, is the computer halting on the POST screen until you press F2 and confirm the new memory amount? (i.e. using the Exit and Save option from BIOS.)
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Author Comment

by:tmartin40
ID: 38323234
ok, think I figured it out (unless someone knows something I'm forgetting).  After coming home, I removed all memory and installed 1x4GB stick in slot 1, booted PC and it was dead.  Replaced the stick with another 4GB stick, booted and BIOS showed me 4GB or memory.  This told me stick #1 was bad.  Installed 2nd 4GB stick, booted, BIOS=8GB.  Installed 4GB stick #3, booted, BIOS=12GB.  Installed 4GB stick #4, booted, BIOS=8GB (not good).  4GB stick #3, 4, &5 all brought the memory down to 8 GB (again, not good).  I installed the old 2GB sticks in slots 2, 4, & 6 (Slots 1, 3, & 5 had the good 4GB sticks already installed), booted, BIOS=18GB.  So unless I am missing something, it appears 3 out of my 6 4GB sticks are bad.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 38323661
that's what i already suggested :  "you can run  ram diags on eachstick; maybe there's an bad one"

3 out of 4 bad  seems impossible for a good brand
which model is it, and is it compatible with your mobo?
maybe you have to change the settings for the voltage, or timing in the Bios
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Author Comment

by:tmartin40
ID: 38324951
I agree that 3 out of 6 is rare but it appears to be the case.  I purchased the memory from Dell to ensure comptatibility.
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Expert Comment

by:Ess Kay
ID: 38324990
dell doesnt make ram they are a reseller(with markup)

what brand is it


check compatible specs with motherboard and purchase from newegg.com
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