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Using 8 GB RAM, but BIOS and Windows say only 4080 MB/3.9 GB are usable! No answer for 3 months!

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March 2, 2014 4:44:37 PM

Hey.
I've been tackling this problem for about 3 months now. My RAM is 8 GB (2x4) of Ripjaws X memory. I have a brother with an identical pc. Windows 8.1 64 bit and my BIOS recognize 8 GB of RAM, but are only allowing me to use 3.9 GB or 4080 MB. How do I fix this? I've tried everything:
I reseated the RAM, enabled remapping, updated BIOS, did something from a large post, something about changing the RAM speeds, I manually set the frequencies, voltage, etc. I RMAed the motherboard! I tried one stick at a time, they both work. I selected and deselected Maximum memory in Windows. I reseated every component!
Please help, I cannot take this. I have gotten no helpful answer for a long time.
a b } Memory
March 2, 2014 4:47:26 PM

did you try putting them in the other 2 slots like if your using 1 and 3 then switch to 2 and 4?
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March 2, 2014 4:55:05 PM

Bad_Kitty13 said:
did you try putting them in the other 2 slots like if your using 1 and 3 then switch to 2 and 4?

Yes.
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March 2, 2014 4:58:09 PM

first make sure they are in the right slots, I'm assuming your motherboard has 4 ram slots, they are usually set up so that 2 of the same sticks are not next to each other, i.e. here are the 4 slots -
XXXX
your 2 sticks will be like this - XIXI or IXIX.
Other than that, you might just have one bad stick and one good stick.
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March 2, 2014 4:59:47 PM

argeru said:
first make sure they are in the right slots, I'm assuming your motherboard has 4 ram slots, they are usually set up so that 2 of the same sticks are not next to each other, i.e. here are the 4 slots -
XXXX
your 2 sticks will be like this - XIXI or IXIX.
Other than that, you might just have one bad stick and one good stick.

I tried both ways, and nothing worked. I also tested each ram stick at a time, and 4 GB was recognized and usable. Strangely enough, I put in both sticks and 3.9 GB is usable.
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a b } Memory
March 2, 2014 5:01:14 PM

did you try swapping the 2 sticks in the same slot config?
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March 2, 2014 5:13:56 PM

Bad_Kitty13 said:
did you try swapping the 2 sticks in the same slot config?

Yes.
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a b } Memory
March 2, 2014 5:22:41 PM

what is your mobo/ram make and model exactly, also have you tried slots 1, 2 config to see if it will populate in windows? also what version of bios are you currently on. i know you updated but what version is it?
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March 2, 2014 5:27:50 PM

Bad_Kitty13 said:
what is your mobo/ram make and model exactly, also have you tried slots 1, 2 config to see if it will populate in windows? also what version of bios are you currently on. i know you updated but what version is it?

BIOS is 2103. Motherboard is ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0. RAM is G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBXL. Yes, I tried slots 1 and 2.
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a b } Memory
March 2, 2014 5:35:20 PM

Demuny said:
Bad_Kitty13 said:
what is your mobo/ram make and model exactly, also have you tried slots 1, 2 config to see if it will populate in windows? also what version of bios are you currently on. i know you updated but what version is it?

BIOS is 2103. Motherboard is ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0. RAM is G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBXL. Yes, I tried slots 1 and 2.


i also need your cpu info as well
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a b } Memory
March 2, 2014 5:38:26 PM

are you 100% it isn't 32bit
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March 2, 2014 5:43:21 PM

Beezy said:
are you 100% it isn't 32bit

yes, 100%. It says everywhere on my PC that it is 64 Bit.
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a b } Memory
March 2, 2014 5:50:57 PM

Is it possible that you aren't getting enough voltage to power both sticks to the memory controller?

You may try bumping up the memory voltage by 0.2v.

I'm guessing, though, so let someone else confirm. Probably won't hurt to try, though. Make sure that your OS that you are running on is actually a 64-bit OS. A 32-bit Windows will only recognize the 4GB.
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March 5, 2014 2:22:48 PM

Please keep in mind that the hardware reserved memory is 4.1 GB (3.9 + 4.1 = 8). My brother has the same pc with the same components, and his hardware reserved memory is 96.1 MB. How can I reduce my hardware reserved memory??
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a b } Memory
March 5, 2014 4:30:14 PM

ahhh so you are getting 8gb of ram but only around 4gb is usable on boot?

if so open task manager go to performance tab click resources go to memory tab...under commit column(click to sort by commit) there it will show you which files are using more ram.
it sounds like your bro computer doesnt have that many programs on his startup menu if you would like to edit your go to windows search type in msconfig go to startup tab and select which programs you need turned off on boot so you can maximize memory usage(start with the biigest memory eaters in the commit column)


click apply restart pc then check task manager to check your mem usage now.
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March 5, 2014 4:42:43 PM

Bad_Kitty13 said:
ahhh so you are getting 8gb of ram but only around 4gb is usable on boot?

if so open task manager go to performance tab click resources go to memory tab...under commit column(click to sort by commit) there it will show you which files are using more ram.
it sounds like your bro computer doesnt have that many programs on his startup menu if you would like to edit your go to windows search type in msconfig go to startup tab and select which programs you need turned off on boot so you can maximize memory usage(start with the biigest memory eaters in the commit column)


click apply restart pc then check task manager to check your mem usage now.

No luck. Everything is the same. Remember, the BIOS also states 4080 MB out of the 8192 MB that I should be using.
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a b } Memory
March 5, 2014 4:55:29 PM

do you have xmp enabled to get 1866 if so can you just disenable it so it runs at 1600 see if it populates then
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March 14, 2014 5:30:09 PM

Bad_Kitty13 said:
do you have xmp enabled to get 1866 if so can you just disenable it so it runs at 1600 see if it populates then


No luck. I need help :( 
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a b } Memory
March 14, 2014 6:32:07 PM

Since your post doesn't specifically state you have, I ask, have you tried:
1. Another pair of RAM (like your brother's, perhaps)
2. Both DIMMs in all four slots
3. Installing in a configuration that doesn't support dual channel
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March 14, 2014 7:17:31 PM

T_T said:
Since your post doesn't specifically state you have, I ask, have you tried:
1. Another pair of RAM (like your brother's, perhaps)
2. Both DIMMs in all four slots
3. Installing in a configuration that doesn't support dual channel

1. Yes.
2. Yes.
3. No. I will try. What's the performance difference between single and dual channel?
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a c 2035 } Memory
March 14, 2014 8:11:31 PM

What CPU? Not many can carry 4 sticks at 1866. Try at 1600, 9-9-9-24, 2N, 1.575 and CPU/NB voltage at 1.2. Can also try the sticks in slots 1-2, that will be single channel if all is seen or none is seen then it's a memory channel problem and quite possibly could be an overly tight CPU cooler on one side or in one corner,( loosen it up then snug down as evenly as possible, not real tight, tight) or might pull the CPU and check for bent/broken pins.....can try these, and let us know the CPU
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a b } Memory
March 15, 2014 5:53:01 AM

Let me get this straight...
1. You and your brother have identical PCs.
2. He has 96.1MB reserved and you have 4.1GB reserved memory.

What I suggest to do next is the following:
1. Set up the computers next to each other.
2. Enter into the BIOS in both computers.
3. Enter each screen in his BIOS, and whatever is shown there, copy it into your BIOS. If the hardware is identical, then you should have identical setup.

Make sure that every last BIOS setting is the same, just to eliminate a BIOS misconfiguration issue.

If this does not work, then there is most likely a hardware issue. I would ask if you bought your memory as an 8GB kit, or did you purchase two 4GB sticks? When you purchase 2 sticks separately, and not as a kit, then they are not guaranteed to work together, even if they are the same brand/model of memory. If you want to use more than one stick of memory, you need to buy them together as a kit.
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March 15, 2014 9:25:03 AM

Tradesman1 said:
What CPU? Not many can carry 4 sticks at 1866. Try at 1600, 9-9-9-24, 2N, 1.575 and CPU/NB voltage at 1.2. Can also try the sticks in slots 1-2, that will be single channel if all is seen or none is seen then it's a memory channel problem and quite possibly could be an overly tight CPU cooler on one side or in one corner,( loosen it up then snug down as evenly as possible, not real tight, tight) or might pull the CPU and check for bent/broken pins.....can try these, and let us know the CPU


I use an FX 6300 at stock 3.5 GHz. I only use 2 sticks, my bad if I confused you. I will check the CPU, I have been hearing about tight coolers a lot. I will also check for bent/broken pins.
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March 15, 2014 9:26:41 AM

rhapdog said:
Let me get this straight...
1. You and your brother have identical PCs.
2. He has 96.1MB reserved and you have 4.1GB reserved memory.

What I suggest to do next is the following:
1. Set up the computers next to each other.
2. Enter into the BIOS in both computers.
3. Enter each screen in his BIOS, and whatever is shown there, copy it into your BIOS. If the hardware is identical, then you should have identical setup.

Make sure that every last BIOS setting is the same, just to eliminate a BIOS misconfiguration issue.

If this does not work, then there is most likely a hardware issue. I would ask if you bought your memory as an 8GB kit, or did you purchase two 4GB sticks? When you purchase 2 sticks separately, and not as a kit, then they are not guaranteed to work together, even if they are the same brand/model of memory. If you want to use more than one stick of memory, you need to buy them together as a kit.

1. Yes, the PCs are exactly the same.
2. Yes.

I will try that. I have not tried all of the BIOS settings, so I will look at that. The 2 sticks came in a 8 GB kit, so they should be compatible.
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March 15, 2014 4:31:25 PM

Tradesman1 said:
What CPU? Not many can carry 4 sticks at 1866. Try at 1600, 9-9-9-24, 2N, 1.575 and CPU/NB voltage at 1.2. Can also try the sticks in slots 1-2, that will be single channel if all is seen or none is seen then it's a memory channel problem and quite possibly could be an overly tight CPU cooler on one side or in one corner,( loosen it up then snug down as evenly as possible, not real tight, tight) or might pull the CPU and check for bent/broken pins.....can try these, and let us know the CPU

I loosened the CPU cooler, no luck. I also checked for bent pins, and every pin is perfect.
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a c 2035 } Memory
March 15, 2014 4:49:53 PM

Have you tried at 1600?
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March 15, 2014 5:43:41 PM

Try with all new RAM Sticks if problem persist again you should replace your Motherboard.
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March 15, 2014 6:21:13 PM

Tradesman1 said:
Have you tried at 1600?

Yes.
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a b } Memory
March 15, 2014 6:34:52 PM

it could be the mem controller on your cpu too, have you ever tried your bros cpu in your setup?
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March 16, 2014 7:44:37 AM

Bad_Kitty13 said:
it could be the mem controller on your cpu too, have you ever tried your bros cpu in your setup?

No, but I'm afraid to because I don't want any of his components to break from my PC :l
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March 16, 2014 12:20:36 PM

I noticed that when I checked CPU-Z, it says the RAM is in Single Channel mode, when they are set up for Dual Channel... What component would be the culprit for this?
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a b } Memory
March 16, 2014 12:21:58 PM

motherboard? i think, make sure in the manual what is says about dual channel config mode
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a b } Memory
March 16, 2014 12:23:59 PM

I THINK YOU HAVE TO RUN THEM AT 1333 MHZ TO ENABLE DUAL CHANNEL MODE
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March 16, 2014 12:32:28 PM

Beezy said:
I THINK YOU HAVE TO RUN THEM AT 1333 MHZ TO ENABLE DUAL CHANNEL MODE

No, because my brother with the same PC runs his RAM at 1600 MHz and CPU-Z says Dual Channel.
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a c 2035 } Memory
March 16, 2014 12:42:09 PM

Could be a weak MC on the CPU (very common), mobo itself, CPU cooler too tight on a corner or side, bent/broken pins
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March 16, 2014 12:52:54 PM

Tradesman1 said:
Could be a weak MC on the CPU (very common), mobo itself, CPU cooler too tight on a corner or side, bent/broken pins

I got a new mobo from ASUS after RMAing it, so I dont think that would be the issue. I checked for bent and broken pins, everything was perfect. I also loosened the heatsink. Is there any way that I can find out if the MC is weak?
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March 16, 2014 3:26:41 PM

Any solutions? I am sick of this.
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a c 2035 } Memory
March 16, 2014 3:34:10 PM

Can try swapping the CPUs or taking it to a shop
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a b } Memory
March 17, 2014 10:15:52 AM

At this point, the things that have me curious are:

1. What happens if you put your RAM in your bro's comp?
2. Save the BIOS/UEFI config into a profile, then load defaults. Do this for both PCs. What are the results?
3. Do you have a different CPU, if you don't want to use your bro's?
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March 22, 2014 7:04:50 PM

Guess what!
I finally put the sticks in slots 1 and 2, and all 8 GB were recognized! But... why can't I use them in dual channel mode??
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a c 2035 } Memory
March 22, 2014 7:15:21 PM

Have to be in different channels 1-3 or 2-4
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March 22, 2014 7:16:38 PM

Tradesman1 said:
Have to be in different channels 1-3 or 2-4


When I put them in 1-3 or 2.4, only 3.9 GB is recognized...
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March 22, 2014 8:21:19 PM

You mention your brother is using windows 8, what about you? Otherwise, reset your bios and use the xmp profile to configure your memory.
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March 23, 2014 7:12:13 AM

Xibyth said:
You mention your brother is using windows 8, what about you? Otherwise, reset your bios and use the xmp profile to configure your memory.


We both use Windows 8. We also both use the exact same BIOS settings.
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March 23, 2014 9:57:31 AM

Demuny said:
Xibyth said:
You mention your brother is using windows 8, what about you? Otherwise, reset your bios and use the xmp profile to configure your memory.


We both use Windows 8. We also both use the exact same BIOS settings.


Did you try memtest. If you followed all the other suggestions it seems its just an intermittent error which still means the RAM is bad. Run it from a flash drive. Its easy enough to find. But you would be surprised how finicky RAM can be. Be sure to run the test more than a few times, since it seem they are shorting out. And actually now that I think of it try his RAM in you PC as well, that would ultimately rule out any motherboard configuration and it would definitely be one of your RAM sticks.
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