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Pc Wouldnt Load With 4gb ram

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November 28, 2008 1:17:01 AM

So here is my story,

I had before 2X 512 mb sticks with another 1 gb stick and the last slot empty,

i then decided to buy 3 more 1gb sticks,

i was running on windows xp media center edition at the time, and the comp wouldn't load with 4 gb but it would load up np with 3.

then to try to take the easy way out i upgraded to vista, and my comp would load up but it still would not show up as 4 gb, instead it shows up as 3582mb of ram.

now that i am sick of vista after about 2 months i want to go back to windows xp but i am wondering, is there anyway i can get all 4 gb of ram on windows xp?

oh and also my computer is a m7170n hp.




More about : wouldnt load 4gb ram

November 28, 2008 1:26:48 AM

You're gonna need a 64-bit OS, Vista or XP so see all 4 gigs of ram I believe.
November 28, 2008 1:30:48 AM

I don't think that's true m8, I've gone through other topics in this forum, and people have gotten it to work with xp.
Related resources
November 28, 2008 1:31:02 AM

When you had 4 sticks of ram did you go into the bios and set the timings and voltage to manufactures spec's. Sometimes with 4 sticks of ram you have two raise the voltage and maybe the NB voltage a little.
November 28, 2008 1:33:18 AM

Dallas I have no idea how to get into the bios and change anything around, I just put in the sticks of ram and that's it
November 28, 2008 1:37:42 AM

I understand what the bios is now, how do I change the settings of my ram, and how do i know what to set them at. Where can i find out.
November 28, 2008 1:53:43 AM

Nobody's EVER gotten it to show all 4G of ram on XP 32bit, that's the issue with a 32bit OS. Sure, it can see all the way up to 4G, but once you add a video card with any memory then xp will show you the 4G-video_ram=total_memory.

Of course, if you do run XP with 4G (just like me) then you won't care that it doesn't see that last little bit o ram. It's unlikely with 4G that you'll be pushing the machine so hard that it needs the swapfile, and just getting away from that will give a speed boost you'll be happy with. :sol: 

(BTW - one major difference between the macs and pc's of old was this memory issue you're seeing. Macs place the device memory at bit 0 and then build up to the system ram....pc's put system ram at bit 0, and put the device memory in at the top of the range. Top happens to be 4GB on the 32 bit OS, big deal.)

Search this site's forums for overclocking threads...you don't need to overclock, but using the bios to set memory timings and voltages in the bios are all explained well there...

November 28, 2008 2:03:49 AM

as long as it loads up with 4 sticks inside, I don't mind it showing 3582 just trying to get it to work
November 28, 2008 2:18:54 AM

jpdaballa;

I missed the HP part. Hp has limited access to the BIOS. Have you tried HP's tech support? Are the 3 sticks of memory the same speed and voltage as the 1 stick you already had?
November 28, 2008 2:20:51 AM

mford66215 said:
Nobody's EVER gotten it to show all 4G of ram on XP 32bit, that's the issue with a 32bit OS. Sure, it can see all the way up to 4G, but once you add a video card with any memory then xp will show you the 4G-video_ram=total_memory.


This is completely incorrect. It has nothing to do with video card memory, at all. It has to do with the amount of memory address space available with a 32-bit OS.

Basically, a 32-bit OS has enough memory address space for exactly 4GB, but the Windows operating system reserves some of this available space for itself (how much depends on exactly how it is configured). Most home use Windows installations generally reserve approximately half a gig. So, it is completely normal to have 4GB of RAM installed on a computer with a 32-bit version of Windows installed and only see approximately 3.5GB of RAM available. (note: You will see the full 4GB in BIOS, but Windows will only see ~3.5GB)

Again, this is completely normal and expected on a 32-bit OS. In order to see/have available the full 4GB of RAM you must use a 64-bit OS.

A 64-bit environment has a theoretical memory address space on the order of 16 exabytes or 17.2 billion gigabytes, but 64-bit versions of Windows impose more realistic limits, depending on the version.

64-bit versions of Windows:
Vista Home Basic = 8GB
Vista Home Premium = 16GB
Vista Business - Vista Enterprise - Vista Ultimate - XP-64 = 128GB

64-bit wiki
Memory Limits for Windows Releases

Generally, people who use a 32-bit version of Windows with 4GB of RAM installed just accept that the OS will reserve its memory address space and live with having just the ~3.5GB available. In all but very specific circumstances, the 3.5GB available RAM performs just as well as having the 4GB available. In other words, you won't notice the ~1/2 gig of RAM that is unavailable.


Hope this clears things up.

@jpdaballa: You system is operating as expected, and your 3582MB of available RAM is normal for your configuration.
November 28, 2008 2:33:00 AM

mtyermom

I believe he is having trouble getting it to boot up with the 4 sticks of ram.
November 28, 2008 2:38:03 AM

correct dallas, im trying to go back to windows xp and the only reason i upgraded to vista was so it could boot up

windows xp was faster and more efficient for what i used it for, and it wouldnt boot up with the 4 gb, so i want to get this fixed so when i do the system restore i can get it to start up
November 28, 2008 2:56:22 AM

Install 2 sticks of memory in dimms A1 and B1 and if it boots load your recovery disk. Then after you have loaded your system and all XP updates shut it down and turn off the power and install the other 2 sticks. This should work I had to do it before for a friend of mine.
November 28, 2008 3:00:58 AM

I had all of my updates installed last time i tried to install all 4 sticks of ram. I don't think that was the problem
a b } Memory
November 28, 2008 3:17:14 AM

Care to give us any more details other then "it wouldn't load"? Perhaps if we had error messages or symptoms we might be able to help more.

@Mtyer, what do you think windows is reserving "for itself" if its not the cache and other memory found on system devices?
November 28, 2008 3:19:58 AM

it woud just shut off as it was trying to get into the type in my password screen. no error message nothing. just a shut off and i would have to try to turn on my comp again
November 28, 2008 3:23:23 AM

jpdaballa said:
dallas i also dont feel like waiting on the phone with hp's tech support the

here are the specs of my ram

3 of them are pc2-5200
1 of them is pc2-5300
http://www.crucial.com/systemscanner/viewscanbyid.aspx?...


Ah, mixing and matching RAM of different types/speeds can commonly cause these types of problems. Even of the same brand, even different batches of the same model/speed can cause problems when mixed together. It's recommended to have all your dimms be exactly the same (ie: come in a kit).
November 28, 2008 3:25:43 AM

so you are telling me to buy another 1 gb stick? i baught 3 of my memorys from crucial and on the website it is popping up as 5200, but now if i want to buy another stick from crucial its 5300... what should i do
a b } Memory
November 28, 2008 3:29:03 AM

Did you ever try just reloading windows XP? Perhaps a harddrive scan might be in order as well.
November 28, 2008 3:33:14 AM

what should i scan my hard drive with?
November 28, 2008 3:36:36 AM

4745454b said:
@Mtyer, what do you think windows is reserving "for itself" if its not the cache and other memory found on system devices?


Quote:
Some operating systems reserve portions of process address space for OS use, effectively reducing the total address space available for mapping memory for user programs. For instance, Windows XP DLLs and userland OS components are mapped into each process's address space, leaving only 2 to 3.8 GB (depending on the settings) address space available, even if the computer has 4 GB of RAM. This restriction is not present in 64-bit operating systems.


From the 64-bit wiki.

This has been discussed many, many times on this forum.
a b } Memory
November 28, 2008 3:40:27 AM

Whatever utility comes with windows. Basically I'm wondering if you are running an older harddrive that might have a bad sector on it. Perhaps when xp was installed some file that relates to memory got installed on that sector, but vista was installed elsewhere on the drive. (I know, grasping at straws here...) Both XP and Vista should be fine with 4GB of memory installed in it.

Edit: Taking side discussion to PM to avoid hijack.
November 28, 2008 3:43:56 AM

jpdaballa said:
so you are telling me to buy another 1 gb stick? i baught 3 of my memorys from crucial and on the website it is popping up as 5200, but now if i want to buy another stick from crucial its 5300... what should i do



Try using only the 3 identical sticks of ram you bought, see if the system boots and see what speed they are reported as. Using 3 sticks will force you to single channel mode, but we're just troubleshooting at this point. If the machine boots and all are reported as the same speed then I would recommend you buy a 4th stick of the same ram and cross your fingers that they come from the same or at least similar enough batch.

This is assuming that what 4745454b mentions about memory mapping related files in a bad HDD sector is not the case. Which is pretty hard to determine in any case. You could always try using a different HDD to install Windows XP and see if you have any better luck with your current RAM configuration.
a b } Memory
November 28, 2008 3:51:01 AM

Another idea I had based off of Mtyer's idea is to boot with only the 3 sticks and record what the settings are. Then take them out and boot with only the single stick. Manually set the ram using the slowest speed from all sticks. Install all sticks again and see if it works.

For example, if the three sticks together are 4-4-4-15, and the single stick is 5-5-5-15, then manually set the ram to 5-5-5-15 and try with all 4 sticks.
November 28, 2008 3:56:20 AM

ok i will try that out but i need to log the bios to this correct?
November 28, 2008 4:05:54 AM

i logged onto the bios but it doesnt give me access to my ram, i may not be doing it right, can anyone guide me? as i log onto bios there are white icons i have access to, but my ram stays in gray and i have no access to

i also do belive 4745454b should work becuase if it works on vista why not on xp. i just need to access the bios which i am having trouble with :-(
November 28, 2008 4:20:48 AM

With HP I doubt you'll be able to change your RAM timings and/or voltage in your BIOS.

What brand/type is your single stick that is different speed. I know your 3 sticks are crucial, what exactly is the 'rogue' stick?

@4745454b check your PMs
a b } Memory
November 28, 2008 4:43:01 AM

With an OEM system, odds are you won't be able to change them off of gray. Can you see the settings? Are they written in gray? If it doesn't show the settings, you can check them with CPUz.

Seeing as it should work, I'd try installing XP again. (if you don't want to risk your data, try using a different harddrive with your current drive unplugged.)
November 28, 2008 4:47:43 AM

all i see is it says slot 1 1024 mb slot 2 1024 mb slot 3 1024 mb slot 4 1024 mb written in gray and i cant access it.

this system also isnt originaly from hp it was bought from a friend with "look alike" casing and hp programing but i am almost 100% certain it isn't oem
November 28, 2008 4:48:49 AM

Ah, and we're back to my suspicion that mismatched ram is the culprit here. As to Vista 'working' with it, you said yourself that it was much slower, but I don't know if memory issues were causing the slowdown (it's possible). Even though Vista booted with all 4 sticks, I'd be willing to bet you'd still see problems over time with that memory configuration.

Sorry, I don't have aol/msn installed.
November 28, 2008 4:57:07 AM

its not slower as in the computer but when it comes to gaming, now since vista is direct x 10 stock and xp was 9, correct me if i'm wrong. my fps dropped alot
November 28, 2008 5:08:37 AM

What game(s) are you running?

It shouldn't be a matter of dx10 vs. dx9 causing the slowdown, unless you are playing a dx10 capable game that you are forcing to dx10 mode in Vista, where in XP, obviously, you were running dx9.

A dx9 only game won't run slower in Vista just becasue dx10 is installed.

The only thing I can think of is that your Pentium-D is having a harder time keeping up in Vista than it does in XP. (and there's still the possibility that memory incompatibilities are taking their toll)
November 28, 2008 5:28:58 AM

im playing a mompg kind of like World of Warcraft except the graphics are a bit more intense.
can you guys help me locate a piece of ram like a bought from crucial so i can add to my comp?
also is there a program that i can install that will allow me to play around with my ram in the bios?
November 28, 2008 5:33:59 AM

On the crucial system scan page you linked earlier, it shows you compatible memory upgrades. That's probably your best bet.

There's no (reasonable) way of unlocking options in your BIOS. HP and the like are pretty strict on these things.
November 28, 2008 5:42:47 AM

do you think with the other memory from crucial, it will run on xp?
November 28, 2008 6:08:33 AM

As I see it, it's your best bet. Beyond that, however, I can't give you an absolute answer.

Do you still have your invoice from when you bought the other 3 sticks from them? If so, try to get the exact same model.
November 28, 2008 6:14:26 AM

i think i may be able to log on crucial itself and try, but if this doesn't work is there nothing we can do?
i checked crucial they do not have the same ram i purchased. i purchased CT508029
a b } Memory
November 28, 2008 8:37:44 AM

Perhaps we are going about this the wrong way. Why do you want 4GBs of ram installed? If you are trying to increase your frame rates, your on the wrong track. You should be looking at getting a better video card or a faster CPU. On XP, 2GBs if fine for gaming. Load two of the sticks in for dual channel, and upgrade your GPU. (you can sell two of the sticks to help offset the cost.) Let me guess the next problem, no PCIe slot...
November 28, 2008 9:55:43 AM

lol SP1 will show you your rams, but you will only use what you see in the report.
November 28, 2008 3:19:12 PM

4745454b said:
Perhaps we are going about this the wrong way. Why do you want 4GBs of ram installed? If you are trying to increase your frame rates, your on the wrong track. You should be looking at getting a better video card or a faster CPU. On XP, 2GBs if fine for gaming. Load two of the sticks in for dual channel, and upgrade your GPU. (you can sell two of the sticks to help offset the cost.) Let me guess the next problem, no PCIe slot...



Here are some specs on the motherboard in the OP's machine:


* Motherboard manufacturer's name: ASUS P5LP-LE
* HP/Compaq name: Lithium-UL8E

CPU/Processor

* Socket: 775
* Supports Pentium D (Smithfield) up to 3.2 GHz and Pentium4 (Prescott) up to 580 and 670

System bus

* 533 MHz, 800 MHz, 1066 MHz

Chipset

* Northbridge: Intel 945P
* Southbridge: Intel I/O Controller Hub 7

BIOS features

* The mainboard BIOS provides “Plug & Play” BIOS which detects the peripheral devices and expansion cards of the board automatically
* The mainboard provides a Desktop Management Interface (DMI) function which records your mainboard specifications

Form factor

* Micro-ATX: 9.6 in X 9.6 in

Memory

* Four 240-pin DDR2 DIMM sockets
* Supports PC2 4200 (533 MHz) and PC2 5300 (667 MHz) DDR2 DIMMs
* Supports 1.8v DDR2 SDRAM
* Maximum HP/Compaq approved memory is 4 GB*



NOTE: *Actual available memory may be less
Expansion slots

* One PCI Express x16 graphics



He can upgrade his video card (although we don't even know what he's running currently), but he's stuck with the Pentium-D 830 he's got.


So, to JP: What video card do you have installed in your machine currently?
November 28, 2008 5:41:27 PM

i have a ati radeon x600 series pro. and i do have a pci e slot. i want the 4 gb ram just for the hell of it cuz i bought them when they were expensive so i want to get the most out of it.

although i use the pc for gaming i do use programs like adobe photoshop microsoft words outlooks ect. with norton systemworks ect.... so i think i need the most ram i can get.
December 1, 2008 12:44:20 PM

mtyermom said:
This is completely incorrect. It has nothing to do with video card memory, at all. It has to do with the amount of memory address space available with a 32-bit OS.

Basically, a 32-bit OS has enough memory address space for exactly 4GB, but the Windows operating system reserves some of this available space for itself (how much depends on exactly how it is configured). Most home use Windows installations generally reserve approximately half a gig. So, it is completely normal to have 4GB of RAM installed on a computer with a 32-bit version of Windows installed and only see approximately 3.5GB of RAM available. (note: You will see the full 4GB in BIOS, but Windows will only see ~3.5GB)

Again, this is completely normal and expected on a 32-bit OS. In order to see/have available the full 4GB of RAM you must use a 64-bit OS.

A 64-bit environment has a theoretical memory address space on the order of 16 exabytes or 17.2 billion gigabytes, but 64-bit versions of Windows impose more realistic limits, depending on the version.

64-bit versions of Windows:
Vista Home Basic = 8GB
Vista Home Premium = 16GB
Vista Business - Vista Enterprise - Vista Ultimate - XP-64 = 128GB

64-bit wiki
Memory Limits for Windows Releases

Generally, people who use a 32-bit version of Windows with 4GB of RAM installed just accept that the OS will reserve its memory address space and live with having just the ~3.5GB available. In all but very specific circumstances, the 3.5GB available RAM performs just as well as having the 4GB available. In other words, you won't notice the ~1/2 gig of RAM that is unavailable.


Hope this clears things up.

@jpdaballa: You system is operating as expected, and your 3582MB of available RAM is normal for your configuration.



Dude, way to take a non-technical explanation of a problem and totally geek it up! I fully understand how the system memory is being allocated, and I will admit you seem to have some grasp of the fundamentals. I also appreciate how you first state that I'm 'wrong', then offer the same explanation as 'right'. At least the community seems to get it, based on your negative vote total.

To the OP - your systems working fine, it's using all of the 4G you purchased it can. If you change to a 64bit OS it will read 4G, but you may not be any happier than you are now. Let us know it there's anything else we can confuse you with.
Anonymous
a b } Memory
January 6, 2010 11:16:05 PM

Editing Physical Address Extension settings
To cosmetically correct the issue where Windows XP only shows 3.5GB of memory or less when 4GB of physical memory installed, follow the step by step guide below:

1.Click 'Start' then 'Control Panel'.
2.Once the control panel has opened, double click 'System' or 'Performance and Maintenance' then 'System'.
3.In the System Properties window, click the Advanced tab.
4.Toward the bottom of the Advanced window, look for the Startup and Recovery section.
5.Click the Settings button.
6.The Startup and Recovery window opens to the System Startup section.
7.Click the Edit button to open the Boot.Ini file in Notepad.
8.Place the cursor after /fastdetect, and then press the spacebar.
9.Type /PAE. (PAE is short for Physical Address Extension.)
The Boot.ini file should resemble this:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /PAE



10.In the File menu, click Save.
11.Exit Notepad, Start Up and Recovery and System Properties.
12.Restart your machine. WindowsXP should now recognize REPORT 4GB of memory.
If Windows does not detect the full amount of memory after C, please follow the trouble shooting steps below:


•Check if the full amount of memory is registered in the BIOS.
•If the full amount of memory is registered by the BIOS, the problem lies with the operating system. Please contact Microsoft for further assistance. You may have to upgrade to a 64-bit operating system and processor to enable the full 4GB of memory.
•If the full amount of memory is not detected by the BIOS, please try each module individually in the system. For example, if you have 4 x 1GB modules, try them in pairs. If both pairs of modules register 2GB in the BIOS and within windows, it shows the memory is working correctly. Try installing all 4GB of memory again and check the BIOS. If the BIOS still does not register the full amount, the problem lies with the motherboard. Please contact the system/motherboard manufacturer for further assistance.
•Some systems/motherboards reserve a certain amount of memory for system usage, i.e. PCI slots and therefore the actual displayed memory amount is less than the physical installed amount. Please consult your system/motherboard manual for further information.

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