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Only 3gb Usable out of 4gb Memory in Windows 7

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October 27, 2009 10:39:39 PM

I had a problem which I never addressed in windows XP. I installed 4GB of ram, but my XP used to see only 3gb. Now I thought installing WIndows 7 would solve this, but no again only 3gb is usable out of the 4. Here is the specs of my machine, any help is appreciated.

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Running Windows 7 on following:

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Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo CPU E7200 @2.53GHz

Installed Memory: 4.00 GB (3.00 GB Usable)

System type: 32-bit Operating System

Motherboard:Gigabyte mATX Intel G31 775 DDR2-800 GA-G31M-S2L

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Graphics Card: Nvidia Geforce 9600 GT


Please Help.


Side questions for windows 7
1. Can i use vista drivers to install my monitor? because right now windows 7 sees it as pnp monitor, and on Dell's website my monitor drivers are not available for Windows 7 only for Vista. I have the Dell sp2208wfp
2. Can I use Google Chrome? the Vista version? for win 7?
3. Are there any tweaks that i can use in order to boost the performance for windows 7, it seems a bit slow on my machine.

Here are the results:
Windows Experience Index follows:
Processor: 5.9
Memory: 5.9
Graphics: 6.8
Gaming Graphics:6.8
Primary hard disk:5.9
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Any help appreciated.
a b } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
October 27, 2009 11:27:40 PM

Quote:
Running Windows 7 on following:

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo CPU E7200 @2.53GHz

Installed Memory: 4.00 GB (3.00 GB Usable)

System type: 32-bit Operating System


Got it figured out now? Win7 ships with a 64bit version, and your hardware should be ok to use it. Upgrade to the 64bit version and fix this issue.
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a b } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
October 27, 2009 11:50:52 PM

ocean said:
System type: 32-bit Operating System


like above said, there is your problem, upgrade to the 64bit (though its not really an upgrade but a fresh install)
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October 28, 2009 1:50:23 AM

is this a 100% solution? what if i upgrade and the problem persists?
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a b } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
October 28, 2009 1:52:25 AM

It won't. Trust us.
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a b } Memory
October 28, 2009 2:59:39 AM

The 3 or so GB limit was a limit of a 32-bit OS. Was the same for XP, Vista, and of course 7. It will go away if you go 64-bit. For example, on the computer I am trying on, I have XP-32 (which shows 3.25GB) and 7-64 (which shows 4GB, all usable).
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October 28, 2009 12:56:36 PM

Ok, but isnts 64-bit OS less compatible with most programs?
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October 28, 2009 1:04:04 PM

ocean said:
Ok, but isnts 64-bit OS less compatible with most programs?


I run a 64 bit version of Windows Vista Ultimate x64 and have never had any problems with compatibility.. everything that needs to run in 32 bit runs great and everything that uses 64bit addressing runs faster!

http://blogs.msdn.com/hiltonl/archive/2007/04/13/the-3g...

check out that link.. hope that helps..
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a b } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
October 28, 2009 10:45:18 PM

XP 64bit had issues, but I remember them being mostly driver related. Vista 64bit fixed this, and win7 is supposed to be even better. Many people now run 64bit windows, and like nitrous have no problems. I wouldn't run it if your hard/software was older.
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October 29, 2009 12:21:10 AM

i am running a 64 bit version of 7 home premium and its says 8 gb, 3.5 usable...any clue beyond running 64-bit cuz i am there
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October 29, 2009 1:35:59 AM

vaarien said:
i am running a 64 bit version of 7 home premium and its says 8 gb, 3.5 usable...any clue beyond running 64-bit cuz i am there


Vaarien, what is the model number of your motherboard you are referring to?
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a b } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
October 29, 2009 2:03:37 AM

Some motherboards require you to turn on a memory remap feature. Look for one in your bios.
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October 29, 2009 5:18:53 PM

thanks everyone for the help here is my next question:

3. Are there any tweaks that i can use in order to boost the performance for windows 7, it seems a bit slow on my machine.

Here are the results:
Windows Experience Index follows:
Processor: 5.9
Memory: 5.9
Graphics: 6.8
Gaming Graphics:6.8
Primary hard disk:5.9


Any help appreciated.
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October 29, 2009 6:53:06 PM

ocean said:
thanks everyone for the help here is my next question:

3. Are there any tweaks that i can use in order to boost the performance for windows 7, it seems a bit slow on my machine.

Here are the results:
Windows Experience Index follows:
Processor: 5.9
Memory: 5.9
Graphics: 6.8
Gaming Graphics:6.8
Primary hard disk:5.9


Any help appreciated.


I would overclock your CPU to at least 3.0ghz ~ 3.2ghz

1066 ddr2 really sped me up..

also raid 0 really did some great enhancements to my system
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November 1, 2009 12:16:18 PM

it is an hp board the model number i got from them is P5LP-LE


i looked in the bios for a memory remap option and nothing was there, but in bios it detect all 8 gigs...not entirely sure why windows 7 isn't recognizing them..
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November 1, 2009 12:52:55 PM

here is the cpu z valdiation info, prolly a little more specific than i can be

Intel Pentium D 930
Windows 7 (6.1) Home Premium Edition (Build 7600)
CPU Arch : 1 CPU - 2 Cores - 2 Threads
CPU PSN : Intel Pentium D CPU 3.00GHz
CPU EXT : MMX SSE SSE2 SSE3 EM64T
CPUID : F.6.2 / Extended : F.6
CPU Cache : L1 : 2 x 12 / 2 x 16 KB - L2 : 2 x 2048 KB
Core : Presler (65 nm) / Stepping : B1

Freq : 3000.92 MHz (200.06 * 15)
MB Brand : Asus
MB Model : EMERY
NB : Intel i945P rev A1
SB : Intel 82801GB (ICH7/R) rev A1

GPU Type : NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT
GPU Clocks : Core 550 MHz / RAM 400 MHz
DirectX Version : 10.0

RAM : 8192 MB DDR2 Dual Channel
RAM Speed : 333.4 MHz (3:5) @ 5-5-5-15
Slot 1 : 2048MB (6400)
Slot 1 Manufacturer : PNY Electronics
Slot 2 : 2048MB (6400)
Slot 2 Manufacturer : PNY Electronics
Slot 3 : 2048MB (5300)
Slot 3 Manufacturer : Kingston
Slot 4 : 2048MB (6400)
Slot 4 Manufacturer : Corsair
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November 1, 2009 8:21:45 PM

Here is an HP forum post about what sounds like a similar issue.

http://forums11.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/bizsupport/q...

In it they suggest Crucial (memory company) say that a particular HP motherboard can only recognise 1 GB per slot for a max 4GB. Perhaps your mobo is in that category.

You may like to try the Crucial System Scanner, and see what it says about your system. Google it.
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a b } Memory
November 1, 2009 11:57:35 PM

vaarien said:
i looked in the bios for a memory remap option and nothing was there, but in bios it detect all 8 gigs...not entirely sure why windows 7 isn't recognizing them..

Because your Intel 945G chipset is hard limited to 4GB MAX and does not support memory remapping.
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November 2, 2009 1:00:05 AM

what kills me is that in the bios of the MB it posts all 8 gigs, and if i run linux it posts all 8...vista read all 8..i am lost
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a b } Memory
November 5, 2009 3:22:01 PM

The BIOS is not constrained by the chipset in being able to report more RAM than can be physically addressed. Software can read the module SPD through WMI or SMBus.
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November 5, 2009 7:11:37 PM

so the short of it is that i need to get a new mobo, the fun will be finding on that fits my case and works with all the crap i have..yay i am guessing there is no way to flash the chipset or whatever so it will use all 8 gigs is there?
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a b } Memory
November 5, 2009 7:20:41 PM

Nope, its a hard limit of the chipset. Motherboard is standard Micro ATX, all connectors are standard.
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November 5, 2009 7:21:22 PM

Quote:
"yay i am guessing there is no way to flash the chipset or whatever so it will use all 8 gigs is there?"


if that were only the case!!
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November 5, 2009 7:28:59 PM

damn i can hope, any suggestions on a board that will support my processor? i am sure i will upgrade that at some point too
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December 20, 2009 4:14:23 PM

K, I found a solution... weird though...

I was using MSCONFIG to make sure windows started with all four cpu cores (i.e. msconfig / Boot / Advanced Options / number of processors).

I guess I also selected use max memory option as well.

In windows Resource Monitor 1026 MB was set aside for "Hardware Reserved"

I unselected the "use max memory" and now Win7 reports the full memory and the Hardware Reserved dropped to zero. :) 

Hope it helps someone else.
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a b } Memory
December 20, 2009 6:48:42 PM

lbjgh said:
K, I found a solution... weird though...

You found a solution to what? This is your first post in this discussion. Your problem or system hardware may be completely different from that being discussed so far in this topic.
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December 21, 2009 12:13:50 PM

I responded to the original problem. I tried all of the solutions posted without success. ...so my post was to provide a possible solution to the original post which wasn't addressed up until now.
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a b } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
December 21, 2009 2:52:11 PM

I doubt that. The OPs problem was using a 32bit OS and 4GBs of ram. All that your solution does, if anything, is to display 4GBs as the total. You can't use 4GBs of ram and a 32bit windows OS.
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December 21, 2009 4:32:12 PM

I've got a 64bit OS... sorry you are correct that Ocean had a 32bit OS.
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February 12, 2010 3:31:29 PM

Hey everyone... here's one... I just upgraded to Win 7 Ultimate from Vista Ultimate (both x86) on my Sony VAIO VGN-280E which was shipped with Vista Home Prem x86 and Sony state that it is capable of 4GB RAM. I have just upgraded from 3GB to the full 4... and of course only 3 usable according to System Properties. You all say that it's cos x86 OSs aren't capable of 4GB RAM but that's just not the case with everyone, I've read other forums where people have... and also where x64 users cab't access all their 4GB, only 3 or 3.xGB. I have run Linux x86 on here, which uses the full 4, and have an OS X Leopard install which also detects and uses all 4GB. My BIOS detects all 4 too. Is there ABSOLUTELY NO WAY that I can get Win 7 to use the full 4GB DDR2 (PC-2 5300 667) RAM I have installed? Further system spec:

Mobile Intel 965 Express Chipset Family
Core 2 Duo 667MHz T5450 CPUs
Intel GMA X3100 Video (total available graphics memory: 358MB - 64 system, 294 shared)

Any help appreciated - if I have to upgrade to Win 7 x64, can I upgrade install or will it have to be clean?
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a b } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
February 12, 2010 3:38:33 PM

No, 32-bit Windows can not fully use 4GB of RAM. There was a change made to Windows to allow the system to report 4GB, but it still can't use it unless you have a 64-bit OS.

There is no way to upgrade from a 32-bit OS to a 64-bit OS. You have to do a clean installation.
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February 12, 2010 3:52:48 PM

Thanks for the info. Still worth getting for my OS X install though! And is it completely "wasted" in Windows, or is some of that extra gig providing eg graphics memory? (c.300MB in my case)
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a b } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
February 12, 2010 4:00:17 PM

The extra RAM is completely useless. It's not used for anything.
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February 12, 2010 6:20:20 PM

Okay, so if I upgrade to Win 7 x64, and the full 4GB RAM is utilised by the system, isn't the trade-off that an x64 OS is more demanding on system resources including RAM? ie. Probably performance-wise I'm not any better off??
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a b } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
February 12, 2010 6:24:29 PM

The benefits of a 64-bit OS far outweigh the shortcomings. I use 4GB of RAM with 64-bit Windows in just about every system I build and the performance is always excellent. I don't see any reason to use a 32-bit OS on a new system. The 32-bit OS not only limits the total available RAM for the system to 4GB, it also limits each application to a 2GB limit. A 64-bit OS only uses very slightly more RAM than a 32-bit OS.
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February 12, 2010 6:38:50 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
The benefits of a 64-bit OS far outweigh the shortcomings. I use 4GB of RAM with 64-bit Windows in just about every system I build and the performance is always excellent. I don't see any reason to use a 32-bit OS on a new system. The 32-bit OS not only limits the total available RAM for the system to 4GB, it also limits each application to a 2GB limit. A 64-bit OS only uses very slightly more RAM than a 32-bit OS.


Hang on - you just contradicted what you said earlier, ie that a 32-bit Win OS can't use a full 4GB RAM, yet now you say it "limits the total available RAM for the system to 4GB". Sounds like there's a way to get the full 4 working?
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a b } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
February 12, 2010 6:42:51 PM

No, there's not because everything with RAM is deducted from the total. Your graphics card and motherboard components deduct from the 4GB total. You can never fully use 4GB of RAM with a consumer 32-bit Windows OS. Whether you like it or not, those are the facts. There is no way around it.
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February 12, 2010 6:54:31 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
No, there's not because everything with RAM is deducted from the total. Your graphics card and motherboard components deduct from the 4GB total. You can never fully use 4GB of RAM with a consumer 32-bit Windows OS. Whether you like it or not, those are the facts. There is no way around it.


Yeah so my mobo and video are using the extra RAM, right? So ok it's not available to my apps etc but it's being made use of, that's the important thing. Hell I don't care if AVG+Nero 9+Cubase all working hard can use it or my video crd can use it. It all helps. fact is, even though I multitask pretty hard, I barely ever (if ever) get beyond the 3GB I've had.
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February 12, 2010 6:59:39 PM

lbjgh said:
K, I found a solution... weird though...

I was using MSCONFIG to make sure windows started with all four cpu cores (i.e. msconfig / Boot / Advanced Options / number of processors).

I guess I also selected use max memory option as well.

In windows Resource Monitor 1026 MB was set aside for "Hardware Reserved"

I unselected the "use max memory" and now Win7 reports the full memory and the Hardware Reserved dropped to zero. :) 

Hope it helps someone else.


Heyyy I wanna try that... but in MSConfig boot panel nothing clicks. No buttons will be depressed. I can't access the Advanced options (??). I use MSConfig a lot to take the crap off my startup etc, but never tried to get to Advanced Options there where you're saying. What am I doing wrong? Cheers
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a b } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
February 12, 2010 7:04:06 PM

No, the RAM is not physically being used. Those devices are just using address spaces, not your actual RAM. A 32-bit OS can only address a total of 4GB. Other system components get their own physical memory addressed to them before the system memory, which just gets whatever is left over after all the other components are taken care of.

You should really do a Google search for something like "32-bit Windows RAM limit" or something since you don't understand how the memory mapping works. It's more involved than I can post in a forum thread. The bottom line is that there is absolutely no way to fully use 4GB of RAM with a 32-bit consumer OS - period.
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a b } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
February 12, 2010 7:07:36 PM

ptolomy_was_right said:
Heyyy I wanna try that... but in MSConfig boot panel nothing clicks. No buttons will be depressed. I can't access the Advanced options (??). I use MSConfig a lot to take the crap off my startup etc, but never tried to get to Advanced Options there where you're saying. What am I doing wrong? Cheers

That guy was using 64-bit Windows, so he was able to fully use all 4GB of RAM.

Here's the link:

http://www.eggheadcafe.com/software/aspnet/35501391/win...

"I have got Win7-64bit installed on a Gigabyte EP45-UD3P with a Q9550 and = 4GB or memory. 2xHD3870 ATI video cards

Win7 shows that only 3GB is usable... how do I fix this problem? = Vista64 used all 4GB of memory with exactly the same hardware!"
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February 12, 2010 7:18:26 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
That guy was using 64-bit Windows, so he was able to fully use all 4GB of RAM.

Here's the link:

http://www.eggheadcafe.com/software/aspnet/35501391/win...

"I have got Win7-64bit installed on a Gigabyte EP45-UD3P with a Q9550 and = 4GB or memory. 2xHD3870 ATI video cards

Win7 shows that only 3GB is usable... how do I fix this problem? = Vista64 used all 4GB of memory with exactly the same hardware!"


Okay, I'll take yr word for it! Cheers
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a b } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
February 12, 2010 7:22:55 PM

You don't have to take my word for it. I posted a link from the forum post. Look down a little ways in the thread and you'll find the exact link you posted above.
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February 12, 2010 9:00:58 PM

With a 965 chipset it doesn't matter what OS you install. You will never get 4 GB usable.
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a b } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
February 12, 2010 10:48:43 PM

That's not true. I have a system with a 965 chipset and 64-bit Windows 7 that uses all 4GB of RAM. The 965 chipset is one of the first ones that Microsoft verified COULD use all 4GB when combined with a 64-bit OS.
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February 13, 2010 7:17:43 AM

Good news..i hope... I guess I'll just have to go through the rigmarole of yet another clean install to find out...
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a b } Memory
February 13, 2010 5:48:22 PM

Intel 965 chipset supports 8GB physical address space and supports memory remapping required to use all 4GB installed RAM with 64-bit OS. Whether the system BIOS implements support for memory remapping or not is a separate question.

It is true that 64-bit OS (particularly one that supports 32-bit side-by-side as opposed to strictly 64-bit only) will have substantially increased memory usage and footprint.

This may or may not be counterproductive on systems limited by the hardware to 32-bit addressing model, where you might only get 3.00GB-ish useable (or less) out of 4.00GB installed. There is a trade-off but whether it is still positive or negative would depend on a few individual factors.

64-bit isn't necessarily greater just because you have it. Many alleged "64-bit ready" applications are just the 32-bit application with pointer handling cleaned up and legacy 16-bit code removed so that it will be 'compatible' with 64-bit Windows. Doesn't necessarily mean it will utilize the processing resources of 64-bit CPUs.

Even where an application may utilize 64-bit, doesn't necessarily mean its going to be faster. e.g. how much 'faster' can Notepad or Wordpad get?

In the browser testing that shows 64-bit browsers performing better than 32-bit browsers, they have to open more than 100 windows or tabs in order to show any benefit. Who has 100+ browser windows or tabs open? I'm sure there are some people who do (and probably amount to about 1% of the computer using world), but seriously. I rarely have more than 20 browser windows or tabs open simultaneously.

Some applications really benefit from 64-bit but a whole lot of them just don't under typical mainstream usage.
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