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Wrong Memory Size reported by XP

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Anonymous
a b } Memory
September 18, 2005 3:09:02 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

Hi,

I'm running XP on a laptop with 512MB of RAM. So far everything was working
fine.
Recently I noticed that my computer was much slower and have had lots of HDD
access. I start to dig into my current config and found out that Win XP shows
that I have only 384MB of RAM !? I have replaced both 2 x 256MB memory
boards, but I get the same results after reboot !
Most likely my problem started to happen after some Win XP upgrade or driver
update. But I can't figure out what, and can't roll back either because it's
already been several weeks like this.

The guy from IBM just told me : you better reinstall your OS !!!

Thanks buddy, but I've several Gigas of work on my computer and a business
to run ... any better idea how I should fix this problem ?

Thanks very much for your help.

Regards,
Stephane.
Anonymous
a b } Memory
September 18, 2005 3:35:11 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

"Stephane" <Stephane@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:

>Hi,
>
>I'm running XP on a laptop with 512MB of RAM. So far everything was working
>fine.
>Recently I noticed that my computer was much slower and have had lots of HDD
>access. I start to dig into my current config and found out that Win XP shows
>that I have only 384MB of RAM !? I have replaced both 2 x 256MB memory
>boards, but I get the same results after reboot !
>Most likely my problem started to happen after some Win XP upgrade or driver
>update. But I can't figure out what, and can't roll back either because it's
>already been several weeks like this.
>
>The guy from IBM just told me : you better reinstall your OS !!!
>
>Thanks buddy, but I've several Gigas of work on my computer and a business
>to run ... any better idea how I should fix this problem ?
>
>Thanks very much for your help.
>

1. Use Start - Run - MSCONFIG, go to the BOOT.INI tab, and click on
the Advanced Options button Make certain that the checkbox for the
/MAXMEM= line is clear and that there is no entry in the data box for
that line.

2. Try removing one of the 256 mb RAM modules and boot your computer
with just 256 mb RAM and see how much is being reported. The remove
that module and put in the other module by itself and see what it now
reports. The put them both back in and see what happens.

Good luck

Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
--
Microsoft MVP
On-Line Help Computer Service
http://onlinehelp.bc.ca

In memory of a dear friend Alex Nichol MVP
http://aumha.org/alex.htm
Anonymous
a b } Memory
September 18, 2005 8:25:28 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

How old is the motherboard, or PC, if purchased as a complete unit? I ask,
becasue I had a circa 1998 Gateway PC that had a BIOS limit of 384 Meg of
RAM. Note that a more modern PC/motherboard (say, year 2003 or so) can
handle 2-4 Gig of RAM.

Next, instead of asking XP how much memory it thinks there is, ask the BIOS.
Run the full power-on-test (POST) and see whether the BIOS sees 512 or 384
or something else. Note that many PCs come from the factory with a "quiet"
mode enabled, and you have to disable that to see all the POST.

Another angle to investigate: Do you have a separate video card, or a video
chip on the motherboard? If video on the motherboard, be aware that it
"steals" some RAM to do video, and that RAM is then not reported as
available for XP. This is usually 32-64 Meg, but I guess that it could be
as high as 128 Meg.

If all the above prove to be deadends, then I am inclined to agree with the
other replies that are suggesting a memory problem, rather than an XP
problem. Try each memory stick by itself. If one of them shows only 128
Meg, replace it.

You might also want to try a memory tester, such as the free software at:

http://www.memtest86.com/

Finally, a slow-running PC is not usually do to a lack of RAM. Although I
acknowledge that XP is a RAM-hog, I rarely notice the difference on PCs with
256 Meg vs 513 Meg. The one exception is if I try to edit a very large
digital image. And, I mean much larrger than produced by even a 5 Megapixel
digital camera. When the image size times two (one original and one current
editted version), plus some allowance for XP itself exeed the RAM, then
things get really slow.

Other things that can slow down XP include"

1. Fragmented disk -- try defagging using XP defragger
2. Fragmented pagefile --to defrag need a third-party program like the full
diskeeper. Or, sometimes can be improved by (a) defrag normal files, (b)
set pagefile to zero, (c) reboot, (d) defrag again, (e) set page file bak to
512 Meg to 1 Gig, but be sure to set max size the same as min size, reboot.
3. Running for more than a few days to a few weeks, depending on the
programs used. That is, XP get "confused" when it runs for long periods. A
cold boot fixes this problem.
4. Disk nearly fill, usually due to too many temporary files. Use XP disk
cleanup tool.
5. File system "confused". Yes, even NTFS is not perfect. Fix by running
CHKDSK C: /R, then rebooting. This may run for an hour or so.
6. Too many programs open. XP is much better than 98 about running several
programs at once, but it is not perfect.
7. Programs you did not ask to run are running. For example, some antivirus
software schedules a scan and runs without telling you that it is running.
The next time the PC is slow, use a single CTRL-ALT-DEL to invoke the XP
task manager and examine the processes that are running. Note: look at
processes, not programs. See if any one program is running above 50% CPU
utilization. If it is not a program you installed, you might have a virus
or some spyware. If it is something you installed, maybe it can be
scheduled to run some more convenient time, like overnight. To avoid
mistaking a necessary Microsoft process from something else, check out the
following website:

http://www.blackviper.com/


"Stephane" <Stephane@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:1E4E9A28-44F0-469E-BE2B-AE04A0E7C43D@microsoft.com...
> Hi,
>
> I'm running XP on a laptop with 512MB of RAM. So far everything was
> working
> fine.
> Recently I noticed that my computer was much slower and have had lots of
> HDD
> access. I start to dig into my current config and found out that Win XP
> shows
> that I have only 384MB of RAM !? I have replaced both 2 x 256MB memory
> boards, but I get the same results after reboot !
> Most likely my problem started to happen after some Win XP upgrade or
> driver
> update. But I can't figure out what, and can't roll back either because
> it's
> already been several weeks like this.
>
> The guy from IBM just told me : you better reinstall your OS !!!
>
> Thanks buddy, but I've several Gigas of work on my computer and a business
> to run ... any better idea how I should fix this problem ?
>
> Thanks very much for your help.
>
> Regards,
> Stephane.
Anonymous
a b } Memory
September 19, 2005 6:37:31 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

In the BIOS, how much memory is allocated for graphics? Sounds like it's set
for 128MB.
(NOT AGP aperture)


(Ron, Bob, the OP says laptop on the first row...)

--
Tumppi
Reply to group
=================================================
Most learned on nntp://news.mircosoft.com
Helsinki, Finland (remove _NOSPAM)
(translations from FI/SE not always accurate)
=================================================



"Stephane" <Stephane@discussions.microsoft.com> kirjoitti viestissä
news:1E4E9A28-44F0-469E-BE2B-AE04A0E7C43D@microsoft.com...
> Hi,
>
> I'm running XP on a laptop with 512MB of RAM. So far everything was
working
> fine.
> Recently I noticed that my computer was much slower and have had lots of
HDD
> access. I start to dig into my current config and found out that Win XP
shows
> that I have only 384MB of RAM !? I have replaced both 2 x 256MB memory
> boards, but I get the same results after reboot !
> Most likely my problem started to happen after some Win XP upgrade or
driver
> update. But I can't figure out what, and can't roll back either because
it's
> already been several weeks like this.
>
> The guy from IBM just told me : you better reinstall your OS !!!
>
> Thanks buddy, but I've several Gigas of work on my computer and a business
> to run ... any better idea how I should fix this problem ?
>
> Thanks very much for your help.
>
> Regards,
> Stephane.
!