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Possibly the weirdest RAM issue you will ever see

this has been a pain in the ass for nearly 2 years now, and i cant for the life of me work this problem out. so i'll try and describe this as well as possible without going into too much.

my computer has this ridiculous RAM limit, ive been asking around everywhere, and no one could help. RAM stays limited to 768MB, no matter if i put 2 or 1 gigs in. all the memory modules work. when i first bought the computer, it was supposed to have 1GB of RAM, but had 768MB instead. so i thought this was because the motherboard had On-Board graphics port (which obviously, i dont use). i disabled the port, bought another gig of RAM, hell, i even bought a new motherboard hoping this would solve the problem... and still, 768MB, and no more, no less. also, when i tried running the machine with a single 512MB, the memory was also reduced (by 128MB, as half of the 256MB reduced when running with 1gig or more). ive searched all of the BIOS for any ways i could disable this limit thing, but no luck. and BIOS actually shows all the memory like it should be, but in Vista, all i see is 768.

help me tomshardware. youre my only hope.

OS: vista 32-bit home premium
RAM: DDR2 2x512MB + 1x1024MB (forgot the frequency, but thats not the case)
MOBO: MSI K9A2 Platinum AMD 790FX
GPU: Sapphire ATi RaDeOn x1950pro 512MB PCI-E
CPU: AMD AthlonX2 64 3800+ AM2
PSU: Jeantech 750W
MAN: Acer

any helpful ideas welcome
14 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about possibly weirdest issue
  1. What does CPU-Z show in the Memory tab and for each module in the SPD tab?
  2. Memory size: 2048MB

    Slot1: 1024MB
    Slot2: 512MB
    Slot3: [empty]
    Slot4: 512MB

    so it shows everything BIOS does. but Vista doesnt see/use all of it.
  3. Take a print screen that shows what the problem is and post it. I believe that you might not understand something very basic in Vista and that you probably don't have an issue.
  4. What software is installed on your system? It looks like you installed some software that grabs a lot of memory. Is that possible? You have over 80,000 handles and that's very high. Even my Windows Servers don't have that many.
  5. err, nothing much, just firefox, wmp, windows explorer... the usual :S

    i dont know what that means, but now it says over 96000 handles
  6. Not too familiar with vista but if it's anything like XP (which I'm willing to bet it is in this case) that's just how much memory is being used and not how much you have
  7. uh, actually, the 692MB shows how much memory is used, and 768MB is how much i have.
  8. Best answer
    Type msconfig in the start search and hit enter. Once you're there, go to the advanced options menu in the boot tab. Make sure the "Maximum Memory" box is unchecked.
  9. Bora-02 said:
    err, nothing much, just firefox, wmp, windows explorer... the usual :S

    i dont know what that means, but now it says over 96000 handles
    Can you boot in safe mode (by pressing F8) and check how much memory Vista detects?
  10. cjl's solution sounds like it would be your fixer...
  11. cjl said:
    Type msconfig in the start search and hit enter. Once you're there, go to the advanced options menu in the boot tab. Make sure the "Maximum Memory" box is unchecked.


    HOLY ***. solved!
    it actually worked!!

    why the hell would bill gates put something like that there??
    and why was this on in the first place?
    hmmm.

    anyways, lets meet up some time good man. i wanna give you a foot massage.
    also, 10 internets for everyone else who helped me out here :na:
  12. There are some times when you would want that setting to be there. As for why it was enabled? I have no idea - by default, it's disabled on a standard windows install.
  13. nice, something new to learn. thanks cjl
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