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Upgrade from 2GB to 4GB under Vista problem

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November 1, 2007 11:35:01 AM

Ok, so I thought I make use of the currently very low memory prices and afford myself another 2GB in addition to the 2GB I already had. Trouble is that I wasn't able to get another 2GB othe exactly the same kind I had in there already.
My first set is:
Corsair PC2-6400 (CPUz reports 5-5-5-18-22 at 400MHz)

The news set is:
GEIL (do they know that means 'horny' in German?)
PC2-6400 (CPUz reports 5-5-5-18-23 at 400MHz

BIOS reports 4GB alright. Upon first attempt, Windows wouldn't load completely but hard reset. Then I cleared the CMOS and loaded default values. This time it booted alright, but Vista System Info only reports 3GB(!) instead of 4GB. However, CPUz correctly identifies the 4 sticks in the memory banks.

Other specs: E6850 @ 3GHz, Abit AB9 mobo, no overclocking anywhere, Vista Ultimate 32.

I've tried to set the memory values in BIOS manually, but was punished by my board with a no-boot and black screen, so had to clear CMOS again.

Any ideas what I could do to get Vista to acknowledge all 4GB before I RMA?

Thanks!
November 1, 2007 12:09:54 PM

There is nothing wrong with your memory. The wrong size reporting is because you have a 32 bit operating system. (which doesn't understand anything beyond 3 GB of RAM, also 32 bit operating systems allocate only 2 GB per application. So even if you have 100000 GB of RAM, the application will only use 2 GB. Get XP 64 bit or Vista 64 bit versions, and problem solved :) 
a b } Memory
November 1, 2007 2:21:52 PM

First - Reach out to Microsoft support, download and install KB929777 with 2GB installed. Then insert the other two back in *after* you have rebooted back into the OS. That'll help you maximize what you get out of it, and safeguard your system from a crash caused by a certain type of controller.


The other part: A 32 bit OS only has 4GB worth of addresses for *EVERYTHING* installed on your computer. This is a mathematical limitation since 2bytes to the 32nd power equal 4 Gigabytes. There are no more addresses than that. This 4GB of addresses includes the bit of memory on your Mobo, the caches on your CPU and Hard Drive, device addresses, VIDEO memory, etc etc, as well as the installed memory chips. When the OS runs out of addresses, that's all your OS will see.


Yes, you can enable/use PAE extensions. This will enable a 32 bit OS to address more that 4GB of RAM. But your OS and DRIVERS *must* be written to use PAE. There are very few consumer drivers which support PAE, and Microsoft doesn't officially support PAE in consumer versions of Windows. If a driver tries a DMA (Direct Memory Access) operation, it can cause lockups and crashes.

Scott
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November 1, 2007 3:56:28 PM

Yeah, and before anybody chimes in it is *theoretically* possible to address in 36 bits in the x86 architecture, but the implementation is awkward and not used in Windows, at least non-server versions.
November 1, 2007 4:11:47 PM

Naujoks,

Simply put, Bloodem told you all you need to know.
What you are seeing is totally normal for Vista 32-bit edition.

There is not anything you can even do theoretically to change the results. Supported or Otherwise.

You will need to upgrade to a 64-bit version of Widows Vista to see more memory.

Off Topic for the OP, but ............

For /PAE to really assist with more memory, you will need 2003 Server Enterprise Edition or greater.
November 1, 2007 5:21:08 PM

russki said:
Yeah, and before anybody chimes in it is *theoretically* possible to address in 36 bits in the x86 architecture, but the implementation is awkward and not used in Windows, at least non-server versions.


why is it awkward?
November 1, 2007 5:26:02 PM

Thanks for all this.
This makes it quite clear that under x86 Vista my 4GB are useful for absolutely nothing.
Good thing I have a 64bit Vista lying around here somewhere as well. Too bad some of my peripherals are not supported by it. Too bad also that I can't find enough energy for yet another operating install. Time for some hibernation, I think.
November 1, 2007 5:46:58 PM

First off, the 4GB is hardly useless. You still have 3GB (instead of your original 2). That's good, right? And your system still works?

Second, what peripherals do you have that are supported by Vista 32bit and not Vista 64bit? Have you checked the manufacturer for drivers? I was under the impression (possibly mistaken) that driver support for the 64 bit version was much more in sync with the 32 bit version, as opposed to the fiasco with XP64.

Clint
November 1, 2007 5:51:06 PM

It's mainly my TV card, by Hauppauge (they be named and shamed here), who, after months of telling us "stand by, 64bit drivers are on their way" changed their mind to "we will NEVER issue any 64bit drivers!"). At first, the Creative X-Fi Soundblaster had only rudimentary support as well. That might have changed by now, I haven't checked recently. Guess I might have to, sooner or later.

But you're right, I should enjoy the fact that 3GB at least, and look forward to using my full potential at some stage in the future.
November 1, 2007 6:32:03 PM

Hehe good luck getting that X-FI working in Vista 64 with 4gb ram.

whatever you do, DO NOT install the creative drivers.
Look on the creative forums for test drivers.
These are the only ones that work.
Download, install, and enjoy.
November 1, 2007 7:13:53 PM

Mmmmmmh I've just restarted the computer, and now it hangs at POST again. Darn. Seems like the different sticks dont like each other after all.

Any pre-RMA ideas from anyone at this stage?
November 1, 2007 7:55:14 PM

Do your RAM sticks have different voltage requirements? If so, set the BIOS to the higher voltage and see if that works for you.

Also, if you want to use all 4GB of RAM and have a retail or upgrade version of Vista 32-bit, you can get the 64-bit version basically for free from microsoft. They charge $10 for S&H and the cost of the DVD.

Go to this link:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/1033/ordermedia/default.mspx

I have the upgrade version of Vista 32-bit and got my Vista 64-bit using the link above.
November 1, 2007 8:08:46 PM

Hmmmm looks like the Corsair is at 1.9V and the Geil at 2.1V.
If I set it to 2.1V, would I fry the Corsair?
November 2, 2007 5:03:03 AM

:kaola: 

Mushkin "HP2-6400-DDR2"[996533R] With MoBo: Asus "P5N-E SLI", What gives...?

PROBLEM : UNABLE to use all Four RAM slots/4GB set for RAM default: 800MHz!
SOLUTION : It boots & works flawlessly by slacking RAM down to 667MHz, Only!
COMMENT : Regardless of using either OS, WinXP - or Vista Ultimate 64-Bit!
Question 1 : What's wrong with using RAM at lower than default frequency?
Question 2 : How come that x64 OS and system does not help after booting?

My rig's config skinny (any bragging is irrelevant) is:

* MoBo: Asus P5N-E SLI; (No SLI activated)
* CPU: E6600 (B2) - with Lots of cooling!
* RAM: Mushkin PC6400 (800MHz) = 4 x 1GB Identical modules [996533R]
* GFx : ATI Radeon X1950 Pro (512MB GDDR3 in Blue PCIe x16 slot
* Boot in: 2 x Raptors (36GB) in SATA RAID 0 (striping) = OS + Progs
* Storage: 2 x Seagate (250GB) in SATA RAID 0 (striping) = Backups, Cloning "C:\"
* OS now : Windows Vista Ultimate x64

In Asus BIOS 0401 to 0608 - setting RAM to [Auto] or [Manual] at default 800MHz would render system unstable (with or w/out OS x32/x64 installed), and plenty of errors in running Memtest!

Slowing down RAM to 667MHz with all known manual tweaks, voltage up to 2.2V, Clocks to 2T, the whole shebang: System is stable, loads w/out a glitch, no BSOD, no reboots, and Memtest torture test overnight gives no errors! AND ALL ARE IN DUAL CHANNEL!

So why spending money on 4 x 1GB 800MHZ RAM - to lower their freq to 667MHz - and not just buy cheaper RAM at 667MHz default speed?

Or keep the RAM and dump the MoBo?

Last - without any Sandra/other performance Tests - what is the disadvantage of running your rig at lower than default speed?

Any idea is highly appreciated...
November 2, 2007 9:17:15 AM

Uhm... not sure how any of the above can help me with MY problem...
November 2, 2007 9:35:18 AM

you wouldnt fry the corsair but you could add a fan to the memory

otherwise ease the timings if possible and run at 2.0v etc
November 4, 2007 1:41:09 AM

Naujoks said:
It's mainly my TV card, by Hauppauge (they be named and shamed here), who, after months of telling us "stand by, 64bit drivers are on their way" changed their mind to "we will NEVER issue any 64bit drivers!"). At first, the Creative X-Fi Soundblaster had only rudimentary support as well. That might have changed by now, I haven't checked recently. Guess I might have to, sooner or later.

But you're right, I should enjoy the fact that 3GB at least, and look forward to using my full potential at some stage in the future.


Plus depending on how much you paid(like I did)you might as well have gotten the 2x1GB addition. I'm going to be running 4x1GB modules with Vista 32-bit purposly. Good reason being is that after rebate the 2x1 GB cost only $3 more than 1x1GB module, so I said the hell with it and picked up another 2x1GB pair, it was a solid price.

But a little on x64 Vista how is it coming alon with compaitability? I was planning on my next upgrade ~3 years on moving in on x64 platform. By then the Q6850 should be at a nice price.
!