RAM Not Being Recognized

April 12, 2009 at 17:05:44
Specs: Windows XP Home, 3.0GHz DualCore & 1G
Okay, one day I'm going good, the next day my computer starts messing up. And I didn't open it up or change any settings or add or remove any software or anything in between. Just simply, one day it was fine, then one day it wasn't.

Here's the problem. I have two slots on my motherboard for RAM and two sticks of 512MB each for a grand total of 1,024MB in two total slots with two total sticks. I put stick A into slot A and instead of the computer telling me I have 512MB like it should (and like it used to) it tells me I have 448MB of RAM. Then I put stick A into slot B and I get the same exact results. So then I put stick B into slot A and it STILL tells me the same exact thing it told me the last two times. I then put stick B into slot B and again, predictably, it gives me the same reading. Only 448MB instead of 512MB like I should have. Okay. I then put stick A into slot A and stick B into slot B and instead of 1,024MB like I should have or even 896MB like you think it would tell me under the circumstances, it tells me I have 504MB. I then take stick A and put it into slot B and stick B into slot A and fire it up and it tells me the same thing, 504MB of RAM.

The sticks are firmly seated, the contacts are clean, and RAM diagnostic programs have shown zero errors. I can't find anything wrong except one day I was cruising along just fine, then the next day my computer decides not to recognize most of my RAM. It's almost as if I should be able to slap my computer across the face and tell it to behave and everything should be fine. However, all computer problems happen due to something. So, something changed or something happened to cause this error, therefore it should be fixable in some way shape or form.

What's going on?

Certifiably Crazy


See More: RAM Not Being Recognized

Report •


#1
April 12, 2009 at 17:35:18
Are you sure that you are using compatible RAM ? You can go to crucial.com and let it scan your computer.

Report •

#2
April 12, 2009 at 18:42:48
When you say it was 'messing up' do you only mean the RAM count or are there other symptoms? Are you noticing these figures during the ram count on the posting screen or are you checking it after windows has loaded?

With the original 64 meg difference--each 512 stick reading 448--I figured it was shared memory with your video. That is, your video is taking 64 meg of the total. Either you hadn't recognized that before or you had changed the option in cmos/bios setup.

But the 504 meg figure doesn't make any sense. I can only assume the constant swapping has damaged something. Was the power cord disconnected when you were working with the ram sticks?


Report •

#3
April 15, 2009 at 13:54:43
Okay...the website didn't post my reply. I even confirmed the post. Okay, let's do it again.

Yes the ram is compatible, I've used it for about two years without problems.

"messed up" is just reffering to the ram count. I'm seeing the ram numbers in the properties window for My Computer and in the system bios system info screen.

I installed an ATI graphics card about a year ago but it never effected my ram count before. I don't understand how it could now at a random time at the drop of a hat.

I only started to swap the ram after the computer stopped recognizing most of it and after my efforts to correct it turned up in vain.

Could it simply be shorted out and the ram diagnostics simply don't know what they're talking about? But then how would I be getting the same ram numbers after taking one out, then the other, then swapping them back and forth? If they were shorted wouldn't I be getting different numbers?

Certifiably Crazy


Report •

Related Solutions

#4
April 15, 2009 at 14:20:57
The difference is the shared memory with the integrated graphics. If you read your manual I think you will find that when you have less RAM installed the graphics will use less. You also may have some latitude with the amount shared in the BIOS settings. You integrated graphics may share between 8MB to 128MB or more.

You probably never noticed that before if you have been using integrated graphics all along.


Report •

#5
April 16, 2009 at 17:34:16
Negative. My internal graphics has been disabled all along. My system bios is set up to use the ATI PCIE card and that one only. My memory problem isn't because of internal graphics, my problem just started, I haven't touched my graphics setup (other than to check it) since I installed my card.

Certifiably Crazy


Report •

#6
April 16, 2009 at 18:09:38
If that is the case then remove the RAM modules and reinsert 4 or 5 times each. If that doesn't clear up the shortfall then download and run memtest 86.

Report •

#7
April 16, 2009 at 18:52:26
Try pulling the ATI card and just use the on-board to see if anything changes. Otherwise it sounds like your ram is bad or there's a problem with the motherboard that's materializing as a ram problem.. If there are any ram setting in cmos are they correct? You might want to try some new ram.

Report •

#8
April 16, 2009 at 19:00:35
Also, even when using an add in card your BIOS may still be set to use system RAM for the intergrated graphics.

Report •

#9
April 16, 2009 at 20:15:02
I would imagine if there was a problem with the motherboard and it was manifesting as a RAM issue, aside from breaking off a resistor or some such thing, wouldn't it also manifest in other ways too?

How would the computer up and decide to allocate RAM for a disabled internal graphics device at the drop of a hat?

My system bios has no settings for RAM. If the CMOS is different then the system BIOS, how do I get into the CMOS?

I'm starting to think my two sticks got shorted somehow. It's just that the numbers being the same for both sticks is a bit baffling.

Certifiably Crazy


Report •

#10
April 17, 2009 at 01:26:29
Yeah, cmos is the bios setup.

One would hope that a single failure would show up in more than one way but that's not always the case. I think we're at a loss to precisely pinpoint the problem.

Something like inserting the ram can be a problem. I've never liked having to push the sticks in as hard as you do. Half the time you can't get a good view of the slot and you end up with the stick not being lined up right or even backwards, possibly causing damage to the slot or stick when you attempt to push it in. Or if the slots aren't near the motherboard mounting studs, pushing too hard could bend the motherboard and cause a problem if there's a weak solder joint there.

I'm not saying that's what happened in your case, it's just an example of what can happen.

Since the ram's not being seen right and with no direct evidence that's caused by something else, you should probably try some new ram--the cheapest you can get that will work since it may fail too if that is not the problem.

But it wouldn't suprise me if it turned out to be something we didn't even think of.


Report •

#11
April 17, 2009 at 03:20:41
Post the exact brand and model of your computer or motherboard if custom built.

Report •


Ask Question