Vista laptops  only using 1GB of 2GB RAM available

Posted on 2013-11-29
Last Modified: 2013-12-03
We have two Vista laptops both with 2GB RAM but neither will use more than 1GB - they use the virtual memory instead (used the Resource Monitor to check) - slowing things down.

Is there anything I can do about this?


Question by:Louverril
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LVL 88

Accepted Solution

rindi earned 400 total points
ID: 39685745
If you are using Vista Home Starter on those laptops, then that is the reason. That version of Vista only supports up to 1GB.

Another reason can be that many laptops share their RAM with the video card, so it is possible that up to 1 GB gets used by the GPU.
LVL 92

Assisted Solution

nobus earned 100 total points
ID: 39686517
you can always test if the system can access the whole ram, by using memtest86+ from
or from the ubcd :

Author Comment

ID: 39690502
Thanks for the responses!

rindi: -
Both Laptops are Vista Business SP2.

I think you might right about the video card.

When I open Control Panel,Performance Information and Tools, Advance Tools I get a message I am getting messages in the performance check that some drivers are causing windows to resume slowly (get this even if just started up) - see attached.

And if I wait a while and then look at the resource monitor more memory is being used  about 1.4GB. I did a lot of clearing down on Friday so the time I have to wait is now a LOT shorter.

Is there anything I can do about the graphics driver - I have checked and it is up to date - latest driver.

thanks Lou
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LVL 88

Assisted Solution

rindi earned 400 total points
ID: 39690642
Not really. You might be able to change the amount of RAM assigned to the video card within the BIOS though, but also such an option is often not available.

Increase the PC's memory if those models take more than 2 GB. Another option would be to upgrade to Windows 7. That OS runs far better on the same OS than Vista does.
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 39691798
look in the bios, if 2 GB is reported or 1 GB
you can also see the installed  ram when running memtest86+ from
or from the UBCD

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39692440
Thanks! Will look into pricing of upgrading to Win 7

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