Adding memory seems to lower the number shown

hey i ran into a problem today that has never cropped up for me before i have an asus deluxe p5w motherboard capable of supporting 8 gig of ram, it has been running lately with 2x2 gig corsair 6400 sticks in, shows up as 4 gig on the startup, added 2 sticks of 1 gig 6400 corsair dominator memory now at startup it shows 2 gig installed wasn't sure what was going on there so i decided to experiment, removed a 1 gig stick it now shows 3 gig there instead of 5

so i tried these steps

removed all the memory
put each memory stick in one at a time to see if one was fried they were all ok
put the 2 - 1 gig sticks in the orange slots, shows 2 gig in startup (fine)
put a 2 gig and a 1 gig in the primary slot - shows as 3 gig (fine)
put 4 - 1 gig sticks in the slots mainly to see if there was an issue with combining the 2gig sticks and 1 gig sticks, should show up as 4 gig only shows up as 2
tried various combinations of the different types of ram, when using 4x1 gig sticks it always showed as 2 gig at startup no matter the combination

i thought at first that maybe 2 of the slots were fried, but since adding the 2 gig sticks in the primary (orange) slots and adding the 1 gig sticks in the secondary slots makes the total number go down those slots must be working to some degree?
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More about adding memory lower number shown
  1. unless you are running 64 bit OS, just stick with the 2x2. 4x1 is often difficult.
  2. Are you running the latest BIOS?
    Seems to me I remember something about the memory slots acting funny on this board with over 4 gig of memory....I'd check the ASUS site.
    Of course you are running a 64 bit OS I presume?
  3. well i updated the bios too the most recent changed some of the settings inside but that didnt do anything, and yes i was running xp 64 bit but because the latest set of drivers for my 4870x2 for that platform just stop the computer from loading up and provides me with the first bluescreen ive seen in ...has to be a couple of years now i switched back to xp -32 bit since that doesnt like having 2 sticks of 2 gig in there probably due to the memory limitation of the 32bit os, the plan was to get 3 sticks of fast memory in there so windows didnt complain which should have been simple ..on paper.
    thankyou for the help was just a weird problem i must have installed a hundred memory sticks and never has the shown memory gone down ..not shown up fine, reported the wrong amount had that too but subtract is a new one :D
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