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RAM Problems: 4GB showing as 2GB (ruined ram and faulty motherboard slot)

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May 7, 2014 12:06:09 PM

I'm currently having issues with my ram.
I have four sticks of Corsair Vengeance Blu (4x2GB) and just yesterday built a new rig for my partner, I tested it out with 2 of my sticks but the Windows 7 installer kept crashing.
After a quick search I found lots of people mentioning RAM issues. I took one stick out at a time and tested them and found the troublesome stick. I swapped out another from mine and popped that one back in to mine.
My partner's build is working fine and getting use of the whole 4gb of memory.
I've now put the ram stick in question back in my PC (so there's 2x2GB) and I'm not getting the full 4GB.
I tested it using dxdiag, Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool and MemTest86 and all show 4GB and no issues at all.
However, Windows Task Manager and System in Control Panel only show just over 2GB (2.26GB in both).

This RAM has worked for years in my build and two other sticks installed fine into the other build, Mem diagnostics and memtest show no issues as well. So I have no clue what's going on.

Can anyone help at all?




SPECS:

OS: Windows 7 Professional x64
+
Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3
+
Intel Core i5-2500K 3.30GHz
+
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo
+
Corsair Vengeance Blue 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit (CMZ4GX3M2A1600C9B)
+
EVGA GeForce GTX 680
+
Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750M 80 Plus Bronze
+
Fractal Design Define R3
May 7, 2014 12:16:35 PM

so you had 4 G recognized in your build before and thus you were running Windows 64 bit, is that right? 32 bit vers. of Windows will not use all 4 G and you usually end up with something in the area of 2 to 3 useable, which is why im asking.
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May 7, 2014 12:25:59 PM

well.. he says that 4 GB.. windows 32bit supports upto 4 gigs.. since his RAM is 4 gigs, its irrelevant whether he uses 32bit or 64 bit..
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May 7, 2014 12:32:42 PM

Damnit, I completely forgot to say that I use Windows 7 Professional 64bit on both builds >_<
I understand that Windows reserves a portion for itself and that 32bit has memory limitations, but I have only ever used 64bit since I had a choice.

2.26GB usable cannot be normal on 64bit Windows 7, that's ridiculously disproportionate if it is the case.
I don't ever remember that being the case before I bought the two extra sticks (don't worry, next upgrade I'm going for 2 x 8GB X-D)

Thanks for the quick replies guys!
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May 7, 2014 12:39:36 PM

illuminatuz said:
well.. he says that 4 GB.. windows 32bit supports upto 4 gigs.. since his RAM is 4 gigs, its irrelevant whether he uses 32bit or 64 bit..


32 bit Windows will NOT use all 4 gigs of system RAM even though it supports 4 gig of memory. It reserves memory space for other devices that have memory mapped RAM on them, such as your video card. You definitely need 64 bit Windows to get the full use of your 4 gig. I suggest you Google the issue before you respond. Here, I'll do it for you:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3_GB_barrier The issue is that the 32 bit versions of Windows can only ADDRESS a total of 4 gig of memory, so some of those memory ADDRESSES must be reserved for other devices, thus loimiting the address space available to talk to system ram
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May 7, 2014 12:41:30 PM

jamiewhite said:
Damnit, I completely forgot to say that I use Windows 7 Professional 64bit on both builds >_<
I understand that Windows reserves a portion for itself and that 32bit has memory limitations, but I have only ever used 64bit since I had a choice.

2.26GB usable cannot be normal on 64bit Windows 7, that's ridiculously disproportionate if it is the case.
I don't ever remember that being the case before I bought the two extra sticks (don't worry, next upgrade I'm going for 2 x 8GB X-D)

Thanks for the quick replies guys!


No, not normal. If you have 64 bit Windows 7 you should be seeing all 4 gig. Assuming your motherboard and CPU are relatively modern and full featured which it appears they are.

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May 7, 2014 12:45:36 PM

yeah.. maybe something's up with your RAM.. try running memtest+ to detect any bad module..

try to reseat it.. I mean remove the RAM out, clean the connections.. the put it back firmly..

or as a last resort try formatting your PC..
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May 7, 2014 1:10:44 PM

illuminatuz said:
yeah.. maybe something's up with your RAM.. try running memtest+ to detect any bad module..

try to reseat it.. I mean remove the RAM out, clean the connections.. the put it back firmly..

or as a last resort try formatting your PC..



I ran memtest86 and it said nothing was wrong, I didn't really understand all the readouts but it said everything was fine.
I'll try memtest+ in a sec. Literally everything say's it's fine except the System window and Task Manager, which is the important one because that's actually true to what I'm working with.

I'll google how to clean the connections too :3

Thanks again :) 
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May 7, 2014 1:17:00 PM

Nothing to worry about, there will be two clips at the two ends of RAM slots, just push them outwards to un-clip them.. remove the module, clean the connections with a soft cloth (if possible ispropyl alcohol aka surgical spirit atleast 90% concentrated..) and try seating them back..

Try to run your PC individually on the RAM sticks..

one stick first and try running the PC, check for RAM, if it says 2 gigs, the stick it fine..

try with another stick.. just one stick at a time.. if the second stick says just 512 MB or something lower than 2 gigs.. that's the one with the fault.. RMA it..

if both are fine and showing 2 gigs.. try to keep both and running your PC..

you must see 4 gigs..

else try formatting your PC....

OR

maybe it's not compatible..

I couldn't find your RAM in the motherboard compatible list..

http://download.gigabyte.us/FileList/Memory/mb_memory_g...

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May 7, 2014 1:18:33 PM

notherdude said:


No, not normal. If you have 64 bit Windows 7 you should be seeing all 4 gig. Assuming your motherboard and CPU are relatively modern and full featured which it appears they are.



Yeah, I've had the PC years and it's been working all along, it's literally since I tried it in my partners rig :/ 
I don't know how that'd break it when 2 other sticks are fine after doing the same.

I did intend to upgrade to 2x4GB, as a result I'll have to do so sooner than planned. But that'd be far easier if I could sell what I've got as an inplace upgrade. Not going to get as much for a single non-dual channel module.
Any tips on a 8gb budget upgrade anyway?
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May 7, 2014 1:30:13 PM

Yeah.. 2x4GB modules at 1333mhz.. pick the one that costs least.. Transcend is a good manufacturer.. I got transcend and its working just amazing.. it's got a lifetime/10years warranty as well for bonus.. Corsair (Vengeance series) is also a great manufacturer along with G.Skill (Sniper or RipJaw)..

the higher mhz matters when you are doing a lot of data transfers.. games do not require much of those.. it requires only CPU and GPU power.. mostly GPU.. and CPU must not bottleneck it..
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May 7, 2014 2:17:40 PM

illuminatuz said:
Yeah.. 2x4GB modules at 1333mhz.. pick the one that costs least.. Transcend is a good manufacturer.. I got transcend and its working just amazing.. it's got a lifetime/10years warranty as well for bonus.. Corsair (Vengeance series) is also a great manufacturer along with G.Skill (Sniper or RipJaw)..

the higher mhz matters when you are doing a lot of data transfers.. games do not require much of those.. it requires only CPU and GPU power.. mostly GPU.. and CPU must not bottleneck it..


The issue I have is that the ram I have/had is, I think, better than anything I can afford right now, even if I sell all 3 sticks :/ 

This is what I've got but 4 sticks
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005J5VQWW/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd...

I found these but it'd be really expensive and maybe not even an upgrade :/ 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004CRSM4I/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00569K7LM/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0050119O0/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0079TBY1O/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC...
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May 7, 2014 3:13:44 PM

illuminatuz said:
okay.. by the looks of it, you can take this one if you can afford it..

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004CRSM4I/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC...

but remember, if you plan to add a aftermarket-cooler, the height of the RAM may come in your way..

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00569K7LM/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC...

This will suit better if you plan to add a after market CPU cooler..


Thank you so much for having the patience to go through my link spam -_- and taking the time to help.

I will be upgrading to the Corsair H80i so that won't be an issue for long but atm I have the CM Hyper 212 EVO and I already had to skin my Corsair Vengeance Blu, which wasn't fun but still I managed not to break that stick >_<

So I guess it'd be best to go low profile, they're the cheapest of the lot besides the G.Skill Ares.

I still need to clean and test my RAM but needed my PC tonight, it's already bottlenecking because of the ram :( 
All because I built my partners pc from scratch but forgot she had DDR2 ram >_< so it was my own fault.

Again thank you very much for all your help :)  You guys are why Tom's Hardware is THE place to go for advice!
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May 7, 2014 3:49:54 PM

illuminatuz said:
okay.. by the looks of it, you can take this one if you can afford it..

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004CRSM4I/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC...

but remember, if you plan to add a aftermarket-cooler, the height of the RAM may come in your way..

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00569K7LM/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC...

This will suit better if you plan to add a after market CPU cooler..


Holy moly, I just found these two:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CORSAIR-8GB-DDR3-1600-D-KIT-L...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CORSAIR-8GB-DDR3-1866-D-KIT-V...

I'd be making best offers of £10 under asking price first off B-D lol. But Which do you think I should go for?
The Vengeance Pro seems like they'd be more of everything which is good and I could probably get them both down to around £55-£65.
So many choices >_<
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May 7, 2014 9:06:39 PM

jamiewhite said:
illuminatuz said:
okay.. by the looks of it, you can take this one if you can afford it..

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004CRSM4I/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC...

but remember, if you plan to add a aftermarket-cooler, the height of the RAM may come in your way..

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00569K7LM/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC...

This will suit better if you plan to add a after market CPU cooler..


Thank you so much for having the patience to go through my link spam -_- and taking the time to help.

I will be upgrading to the Corsair H80i so that won't be an issue for long but atm I have the CM Hyper 212 EVO and I already had to skin my Corsair Vengeance Blu, which wasn't fun but still I managed not to break that stick >_<

So I guess it'd be best to go low profile, they're the cheapest of the lot besides the G.Skill Ares.

I still need to clean and test my RAM but needed my PC tonight, it's already bottlenecking because of the ram :( 
All because I built my partners pc from scratch but forgot she had DDR2 ram >_< so it was my own fault.

Again thank you very much for all your help :)  You guys are why Tom's Hardware is THE place to go for advice!


The Corsair H80i is a great cooler; glad you chose it!
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May 8, 2014 11:50:02 AM

jamiewhite said:
illuminatuz said:
okay.. by the looks of it, you can take this one if you can afford it..

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004CRSM4I/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC...

but remember, if you plan to add a aftermarket-cooler, the height of the RAM may come in your way..

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00569K7LM/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC...

This will suit better if you plan to add a after market CPU cooler..


Holy moly, I just found these two:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CORSAIR-8GB-DDR3-1600-D-KIT-L...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CORSAIR-8GB-DDR3-1866-D-KIT-V...

I'd be making best offers of £10 under asking price first off B-D lol. But Which do you think I should go for?
The Vengeance Pro seems like they'd be more of everything which is good and I could probably get them both down to around £55-£65.
So many choices >_<


Pick the vengance.. it will work just fine.. and it's cheaper too.. don't spend too much on RAM if your PC is for gaming.. if it is for other purposes like DBMS, Hardcore Photoshopping, Video editing, MATLabs etc.. Then going for a better RAM makes sense..

In games, you will notice maybe about 3 to 5 FPS difference using a higher quality RAM.. that's nothing much unless you are hyper ultra everything and you get FPS about 20.. then I recommend you upgrading your CPU/GPU..

I am running a DDR3 1333mhz transcend RAM.. and they are just amazing like I said earlier..
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May 9, 2014 5:47:07 AM

illuminatuz said:


Pick the vengance.. it will work just fine.. and it's cheaper too.. don't spend too much on RAM if your PC is for gaming.. if it is for other purposes like DBMS, Hardcore Photoshopping, Video editing, MATLabs etc.. Then going for a better RAM makes sense..

In games, you will notice maybe about 3 to 5 FPS difference using a higher quality RAM.. that's nothing much unless you are hyper ultra everything and you get FPS about 20.. then I recommend you upgrading your CPU/GPU..

I am running a DDR3 1333mhz transcend RAM.. and they are just amazing like I said earlier..


I do use Photoshop and I will be doing video editing in the future XD
But I can make do with what I've got. I remember a LinusTechTips video about how mobo's/programs (? maybe) can't really take advantage of more than 1600mhz atm so it's pointless wasting money.

So I bought the Vengeance Blu's and went and picked them up last night, thanks for the advice.
I told the guy I picked them up from about my situation and he suggest I simply try the stick in another slot of my own mobo. Seems to simple right?
I did it anyway, I reboot and... 4gb of ram >_<

The plot thickens, I run memtest+ and it shows a heap load of errors still.

So, this leads me to think that during the removing/replacing of RAM I've ruined a memory slot on my motherboard, which in turn caused the ram to become faulty. So now I've got two new sticks of ram, three working sticks of ram and one dud and a possibly faulty motherboard -_- I could throw this thing out the window.

So I HAVE to upgrade my mobo now without doubt. Is there another way to test faulty mobo slots?
In the meantime I have to run an awkward ram setup. Do I go non dual channel or use the 2nd and 4th slots? Are there any detrimental factors to using those slots? I know the single channeled mode won't do me any favours. I should say so you know, slot 3 is the troublesome one.


Jesus... Sorry about this.
This PC is worse for my wallet than a Steam sale.
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May 9, 2014 5:59:04 AM

sora said:

The Corsair H80i is a great cooler; glad you chose it!


Honestly I'm not sure I'd get the benefits out of it, I do have the i5 2500k and I've just started overclocking but I have yet to see any unmanageable temperatures.
What I do like it for, is that I'd never have to worry about temps again but mostly, the clearance/space it'd give my case, mobo and memory.

You might like to check this out if you like them (unless you're US based :(  but you get plenty of offers already ;D)
http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/2014/05/08/msi-uk...
I'm waiting with baited breath :D 
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