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Windows 7 memory requirements - 2GB?

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August 11, 2012 8:29:28 PM

Hiya Gang!

7 Years ago I built an inexpensive AMD Socket 939 system with 1 Gigabyte of memory for my sister-in-law. It had an old version of Windows. Everything was fine until a few days ago. My sister-in-law's son decided to install Windows 7 Home Edition 64 bit. That's when the trouble started. Widows starts to load and then stops when the logo appears. No BSOD and no error messages. It just stops loading.

Initial boot up is fine and I can access the System BIOS. The settings are good.

I went to the official Microsoft Windows web site and checked memory requirements for Windows 7. According to the web site 1 Gigabyte of RAM is suficient for 32-bit and 2 Gigabytes of RAM is sufficient for 64-bit:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-sg/windows7/products/sy...

Is 2GB really sufficient for 64 bit or should I bump it up to 4GB?

a b $ Windows 7
August 11, 2012 8:35:49 PM

I have 8GB for my 64 bit system of Windows 7. I would get 4GB just so you have room for any applications.
August 11, 2012 8:41:08 PM

Yes, the minimum for windows 7 64-bit would be 2GB of RAM. However, I would put atleast 4GB of RAM, 2GB of RAM is not really enough for these days. If you plan to gaming, video editing, or applications like those, I would go for 8GB of RAM. RAMs are cheap these days. Why not get more?
Related resources
a b $ Windows 7
August 11, 2012 10:08:48 PM

It should still boot with less. There is something else wrong other than just low ram. Maybe only partial install, or corrupt install media.

But agree 2gb should be the minimum.
a b $ Windows 7
a b } Memory
August 11, 2012 10:27:25 PM

2 Gigs coupled with Win 7 64 Bit = sluggish as it will be doing a loot of wapping in and out of Mermory.
For win 7 I recommend min 3 gigs for 32 bit, recommend 4 gig. For 64 bit, recommend 4 gigs with 8 gigs being the sweet spot.

Johnny, Not sure if the 2 gigs for win 7 64 Bit is an absolute, or just a recommended MIN, Which I think it is.

Added:
The 2 gig Is NOT a 64 bit requirement as XP 64 bit only required 1 gig

Also found this on the net
Quote ALL THIS IS RUBBISH! im using windows7 pro x64 now with 1gb of ddr2 no problems."
Ref: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itpr...
August 11, 2012 10:31:46 PM

I have 6 gig ddr3 running win 7 64 bit it runs perfect
a b $ Windows 7
August 11, 2012 10:34:18 PM

Hi :) 

I have seen a customers machine with 64 bit 7 which had 512 mb of ram lol...

It DID boot (eventually) ..took around 10 minutes and wouldnt multitask....

So your problem is NOT lack of ram...

All the best Brett :) 
a b $ Windows 7
a b } Memory
August 11, 2012 10:40:06 PM


what a load of hokum...
1.5 gigs is the minimum recommended amount of ram stated by Microsoft. if your running 32bit o.s you can then add up to another 2 gigs or 1.5 gigs if you have a 1 gig gfx card.
there is no upper limit on win 7 64 due to most motherboards being physically limited to 24-32gigs. by there slots.
2 gigs is perfectly fine for running games on win 7 64. my old amd 6000x2 88gt has 2 gigs and it ran deus ex on low settings just fine with 30+ fps minimum. it multi tasks just fine and does everything required of it... jeez mostr people here forget they ran windows xp on 1 gig and they thought that was a huge amount of ram... unless your pc's is full to the brim with crap ware and masses of startup entries you dont need lots of ram... i have six gigs on my system and rareley ever go above 3. and thats with my pc running 64 ultimate...
if you dont have a lot of cash then 2 gigs should be your minimum goal.
August 11, 2012 10:49:02 PM

1) Did the nephew-in-law actually buy win7 or just some software he "found" on the internet, a Win7 OEM disk that has been customized and meant for a different computer (like a dell/hp/lenovo).

2) Did he upgrade, or do a fresh install.

Wipe the drive, do a fresh install with the correct copy of Win7 and i think you will be OK. IF you need to save the old files, put hard drive in a working computer and copy things over.

That being said, if you want to take the effort to give them a speedboost while you are at it; you can go ahead and upgrade the ram (as well as probably upgrading a new HDD too). This shouldn't be too expensive
August 11, 2012 11:06:54 PM

I'm currently running 1 PC with 4GB and the other with 2GB, both with 64bit OS.
The one with 2GB is of course slower, but I only use it to watch some recorded TV shows.

The video card on that PC is not that great... to say the least, but again I don't use it for gaming.

What I see that it might be a problem is that you said that you built your PC 6-7 years ago, so I'm going to bet that you are probably not using DDR3 memory on that PC.

DDR2 for some strange reason (if you find it) is way more expensive than it should be.
Specially when compared to DDR3 RAM.

So do your research before you expend any money on OLD RAM.
August 11, 2012 11:08:34 PM

Win 7 32bit works with only 512m - Aero disabled ( but it's sluggish as hell )
Win 7 64bit requres minimum 1gig - However I see absolutely no reason in using the 64bit version a computer with less than 4gig. The idea of 64bit was invented with the purpose of using more than 4gig of Ram ( and programs that can access more than 2 gig at once )
August 11, 2012 11:09:53 PM

if you do need the 939 ram (probably ddr 3200), buy on ebay, used means well tested, right.
I've done this before and have been satisfied.
August 11, 2012 11:45:16 PM

Supermuncher 85 - I was also thinking it may be a hard disk problem but when I saw the system only had 1MB of memory I started thinking it wasn't enough for Windows 7 Home Edition 64 bit.

Retired Chief - Thanks for the link. Originally I installed Windows XP and 1GB of DDR, 400, PC3200, Dual Channel memory. At the time that was plenty and everything worked.

Brett928S2 - What was the problem with the customer's pc that took 10 minutes to boot and would not multitask?

Hexit - I built that pc 6 or 7 years ago. No telling what wound up getting loaded and what wound up in the start-up entries. I won't be able to tell until I get it up and running.

raytseng - My sister-in-law's son (my nephew?) actually purchased a full retail version of Microsoft Windows 7 Home Edition 64 bit. I saw the package, disc, product key, and receipt when I went over to check the pc. The kid said he inserted the disc and just followed the instructions. No telling what he did. When I asked about installing drivers he just had a blank look on his face.

drwho1 - The pc is so old it's actually DDR, 400, PC3200 memory installed in an ASRock 939NF4G SATA2 NVIDIA GeForce 6110 Micro ATX motherboard.

wavetrex - I undertsand. Unfortunately my sister-in-laws's son did not consult with me before purchasing.

In the meantime - The pc has two Corsair Value Select, DDR, 400, PC 3200, 512MB Dual Channel memory modules. The exact same memory is still available in 512MB and 1GB modules. The good news is the price at newegg is exactly one half of what is was 6 or 7 years ago. Several other vendors sell them for less. The motherboard has 4 memory slots. According to the owners manual the maximum memory capacity is 4GB - 1GB per memory slot and the modules have to match exactly. It would be a cheap upgrade and wouldn't be a problem if it turned out the memory was not the problem.
a c 371 $ Windows 7
a b } Memory
August 11, 2012 11:58:14 PM

You need 4 to get any sort of performance from windows 7!!!!!!!!!!!
August 12, 2012 12:16:39 AM

Is the cpu compatible with 64-bit maybe it can run 64 bit and it can ran only 32-bit
It's an old cpu
So check it and replay
-Adam Ericson
August 12, 2012 12:27:50 AM

adamdbz - The cpu is an AMD Athalon 6400 3000+ Venice 1GHz Socket 939 single core processor Model ADA3000BPBOX. It supports 64 bit applications. Pretty decent stuff back then.

The motherboard has integrated graphics. According to my business records I used the integrated graphics instead of installing a dedicated card. My sister-in-law is not a gamer or enthusiast. She is a senior citizen. She uses the pc for web browsing, shopping, email, and keeping in touch with family. There was no need to build a gaming rig.
August 12, 2012 12:34:33 AM

highly recommend you at least consider out Ebay prices over buying new. You may find you can just throw out those old 512mb modules. 2x2gb

Even if it was "half" of what you paid 7years ago, computer prices should go down much faster than that for obsolete parts.

At the same time, while you are at it, can also consider getting a cpu upgrade too.
Near top of the line x2 is well affordable and much faster than the single core you have there.

Again, check ebay, shouldn't be too expensive, if you are OK buying used.
August 12, 2012 1:05:27 AM

raytseng - I am familiar with Ebay. I have been a member ever since the site opened for business. Right now an Ebay seller called planetmemory has the best price for the correct used memory. However, I can get brand new memory for just a little bit less from a retail vendor. The difference of course is the manufacturer's warranty. This is not the first time I have run into this. It always pays to be patient and thorough.

I have already discussed an upgrade with my sister-in-law. I thought I should tell her just in case an upgrade becomes a necessity. According to my records I built that pc exactly 7 years ago this month. It ran rock solid the entire time until Windows 7 was installed. I'm sitting here thinking it sure would have been nice if the pc kept running another three years without any component failures. Think about it - 10 years without a problem! :) 
August 12, 2012 1:05:47 AM

OOPS! Duplicate post deleted.
a b $ Windows 7
a b } Memory
August 12, 2012 1:40:04 AM

PRINT THIS FOR FUTURE REFERENCE!!

2GB is fine for most people who don't game.

The failure to load has NOTHING to do with the amount of RAM. Since there appear to be no major hardware issues before, I'd have to say it was installed incorrectly.

To be on the safe side though, he should run Memtest ( www.memtest.org ) to test the RAM. Or better yet, use the same Memtest v4.3 tool from the Ultimatebootcd since I recommend another tool on it.

Here's how I recommend installing Windows 7:
Prep:
a) run Memtest v4.3 (ultimatebootcd or from www.memtest.org )
b) copy an data needed from the hard drive to another location

1. Unhook all drives except the hard drive to which Windows 7 is to be installed

2. Wipe the drive completely using Active Kill Disk by booting to the Ultimatbootcd ( http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/ )

3. *If you can't BOOT to the disc, change the BOOT ORDER in your motherboards BIOS so that the CD/DVD comes before hard drive

4. Boot to the Windows 7 install disc and install

5. Install the relevent drivers from the motherboard support site (main chipset driver, network driver, *audio and possibly some others)
*audio driver can sometimes come directly from www.realtek.com but make sure its the correct version

6. Install any other drivers, such as graphic drivers for addon graphics if required

7. Microsoft Updates (takes a long, long time. set updates to Automatic but the first time keep forcing to recheck and apply until none are detected.)

8. Install antivirus (such as Microsoft Security Essentials)

9. Investigate backup tools to create an IMAGE of your C-drive (Windows drive) to a physically separate hard drive (Acronis True Image has a free version at the WD site for WD drives and Seagate if you have at least one of their drives. Must have at least one external or internal WD or Seagate drive.)

10. make sure BIOS is up to date and flash if needed (maybe do this at the beginning)

11. make sure fan control is working properly if available

12. do NOT overclock unless everything is working properly. If you do, you must ensure that the RAM is not also overclocked (when you overclock the CPU you might raise the Base Clock which also affects the RAM. If so, you might fix this by dropping the RAM MULTIPLIER so that your RAM is now the proper frequency.)
August 12, 2012 9:06:39 AM

Something a bit different happened to me I will start installing and then it will blue screen
Turns out the bios ware incapable
This happened with a pc from 2600
But I installed tiny 7 on two older pc from 2003\2004 and it worked
-Adam Ericson
a b $ Windows 7
a b } Memory
August 12, 2012 12:41:28 PM

photonboy said:
PRINT THIS FOR FUTURE REFERENCE!!

2GB is fine for most people who don't game.

The failure to load has NOTHING to do with the amount of RAM. Since there appear to be no major hardware issues before, I'd have to say it was installed incorrectly.

To be on the safe side though, he should run Memtest ( www.memtest.org ) to test the RAM. Or better yet, use the same Memtest v4.3 tool from the Ultimatebootcd since I recommend another tool on it.

Here's how I recommend installing Windows 7:
Prep:
a) run Memtest v4.3 (ultimatebootcd or from www.memtest.org )
b) copy an data needed from the hard drive to another location

1. Unhook all drives except the hard drive to which Windows 7 is to be installed

2. Wipe the drive completely using Active Kill Disk by booting to the Ultimatbootcd ( http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/ )

3. *If you can't BOOT to the disc, change the BOOT ORDER in your motherboards BIOS so that the CD/DVD comes before hard drive

4. Boot to the Windows 7 install disc and install

5. Install the relevent drivers from the motherboard support site (main chipset driver, network driver, *audio and possibly some others)
*audio driver can sometimes come directly from www.realtek.com but make sure its the correct version

6. Install any other drivers, such as graphic drivers for addon graphics if required

7. Microsoft Updates (takes a long, long time. set updates to Automatic but the first time keep forcing to recheck and apply until none are detected.)

8. Install antivirus (such as Microsoft Security Essentials)

9. Investigate backup tools to create an IMAGE of your C-drive (Windows drive) to a physically separate hard drive (Acronis True Image has a free version at the WD site for WD drives and Seagate if you have at least one of their drives. Must have at least one external or internal WD or Seagate drive.)

10. make sure BIOS is up to date and flash if needed (maybe do this at the beginning)

11. make sure fan control is working properly if available

12. do NOT overclock unless everything is working properly. If you do, you must ensure that the RAM is not also overclocked (when you overclock the CPU you might raise the Base Clock which also affects the RAM. If so, you might fix this by dropping the RAM MULTIPLIER so that your RAM is now the proper frequency.)


you are funny, you know how long the OP has been around for, and the tenure of all the respondents, i think that most of the seniors are on this thread, good to see all rallying around.

JohnnyLucky, its already been mentioned but no reason 2GB shouldn't work, my guess is a driver that should have been installed but win7 didn't include or didn't realise was needed, how to fix it? really difficult unless you can get into safe mode. Win7 repair? You could do a sysprep if you can get it vaguely stable and then have a freshish start.

Best solution

a b $ Windows 7
August 12, 2012 12:58:40 PM
Share

JohnnyLucky said:


Brett928S2 - What was the problem with the customer's pc that took 10 minutes to boot and would not multitask?



Hi :) 


Lack of ram WAS the problem....the customer THOUGHT that as XP was running slowly with 512 mb , then upgrading to 7 would make it faster lol :) 

We pulled the 512 piece, and put in 2 x 2 gb and it was fine....

All the best Brett :) 
Anonymous
a b $ Windows 7
a b } Memory
August 12, 2012 1:13:42 PM

I would use min of 4GB for win 7, my xp 32 bit machines hit 4GB limit all the time and my work win 7 machine hits the 8GB limit frequently because I have oracle running on it. I just bought a version of 7 for home to use at 16GB, but I can't see having a decent experience at 1 or 2 GB
a b $ Windows 7
a b } Memory
August 12, 2012 2:44:34 PM

Johny,
The consense seems to be that while maybe running slow, win 7 x64 should run. Just a thought, but My quess would be missing a 64 bit driver for Your "Old" machine. Have a feeling 32 bit win 7 would load just fine.

With 64 bit, it's a realy hit/miss on 64 bit drivers for older Hardware. ie ended up ditching my 'trusty" cannon scanner because cannon would not release the driver (WHICH they HAD). Could be the HDD chipset driver - ms probably did not provide a default driver (a intel driver for older systems was probably included - Higher % of older intel still around are time of win 7 launch).
a b $ Windows 7
August 12, 2012 3:36:56 PM

RetiredChief said:
Have a feeling 32 bit win 7 would load just fine.


Tend to agree with this. Your not going to get any performance benefit from 64 bit anyway. Since it is retail, it should include the 32bit license as well.

edit: you know the make and model of the motherboard by any chance? I should read more carefully :p 
August 12, 2012 3:46:21 PM

Good Morning Chief! :) 

When I asked my sister-in-law's son about installing drivers all I got was a blank stare. He didn't have a clue.

Last night I checked the ASRock web site. The last download/update was released in February 2006. I built the pc in August 2005. Might be worth a shot once it is possible to do so. I'll check on other drivers & downloads and have them on disc ready to be installed. I'll also run full diagnostics, virus scan, check Windows start-up, and the hard drive. I'll do a fresh install if necessary.

I also went ahead and ordered 4GB of appropriate memory. Luckily it was inexpensive. Should be here in a couple of days.
a b $ Windows 7
August 12, 2012 3:52:38 PM

I didn't read through the entire thread but wanted to throw my 2 cents in.

I run 64 bit windows 7 and my memory usage is constantly around 15% which for me is 1.8 GB of RAM out of 12 GB. I should mention this is during normal "regular" use with only a few programs open. Top RAM users being (in order from largest to least) Firefox, explorer, desktop windows manager, and rainmeter.

So with that said, I personally think 2 GB would run windows 7 64bit but not with much headroom and only for minimal use operation. I'd say jump for 4 GB if you can.

Good luck!
a b $ Windows 7
a b } Memory
August 12, 2012 4:04:17 PM

Johny, if this is the motherboard: http://www.asrock.com/mb/NVIDIA/939NF4G-SATA2/?cat=Down...
Only saw drivers for Windos XP x64, No Win 7 64 bit.
May need to visit specific chipset manuf sites for drivers. Also may have a problem if other than HDD Chipset (load by "F6" Method) may be a problem if can not get to operating system.
Not only are the chipsets old, but are probably the Least common:
■NVIDIA® GeForce 6100 chipset
■NVIDIA® nForce 410 MCP chipset
August 12, 2012 4:05:50 PM

"Is 2GB really sufficient for 64 bit or should I bump it up to 4GB?"

Hello,

There is a lot of conjecture in the replies, so some actual real life experience:

2Gb is absolutely fine. My wife has a Acer 2930 laptop, Core 2 Duo, Intel graphics, Windows 7 64 bit and 2Gb of RAM. Runs perfectly. She uses it for internetting and checking emails, runs completely flawlessly. I even installed Lord of the Rings Online on there and that ran absolutely fine.

Being an IT geek and knowing the laptop could take 4Gb I upgraded, and as I expected there was absolutely no difference in performance. I expected it because there were no performance problems in the first place.

So the answer is that, yes, absolutely 2Gb of RAM is plenty to run Win 7 64 bit for a normal computer user to do normal, mainstream activities. 4Gb of RAM would only be necessary if you were doing non-mainstream activities like HD video editing or high-end gaming.

Edit: forgot to say: on boot, Win 7 64 bit takes up 1.2Gb of RAM on my wife's laptop, leaving my wife with 800Mb of free RAM (prior to me upgrading her to 4Gb).
August 12, 2012 4:17:12 PM

Chief - That's the motherboard. Already figured I would have to visit individual manufacturers including Nividia to see about drivers and downloads. That's what I meant when I mentioned checking for other drivers and downloads. I've done that before.
a b $ Windows 7
a b } Memory
August 12, 2012 7:44:02 PM

^ Good luck Johny, But then I know you - You will NOT let that go until you have solved it!!!
And I'm sure you come back with the Solution and the rational.
August 12, 2012 9:59:39 PM

Chief - Thanks!

The memory should arrive on Wednesday but I will not be able to work on the pc until Friday at the earliest. I'll post the results as soon as I figure it out.

Hmmm... just had a thought....I'll have to take a new can of compressed air with me. I bet that pc has not been cleaned even once during the 7 years that it been up and running.

While I'm at it I guess I should replace the thermal compound too. According to my records I used Artic Silver 5. It should have been replaced a long time ago.

Heck! I'll just take a box full of tools, spare parts, and software utilities. No telling what I might find.
a b $ Windows 7
a b } Memory
August 13, 2012 2:32:16 AM

LOL, Don't forget to cycle the cards/ram modules and MB connectors a couple of times.
August 20, 2012 2:14:58 AM

Problem Solved - It appears to be the lack of sufficient memory for Windows 7.

After using a can of compressed air to blow out 7 years worth of dust I swapped out the two 512MB memory modules for four 1GB memory modules. Started right up without any problems! No Muss! No Fuss! No Bother!

System BIOS, Chipsets, and device drivers were good to go.

Windows start-up items were cluttered with 7 years of old stuff that was no longer needed or unecessary so I deleted them. Cleaned up the registry while I was at it.

I ran a bunch of utilities just in case and cleaned up the hard drive.

If the pc can survive another 3 years that will make 10 years use.




a b $ Windows 7
August 20, 2012 4:48:59 AM

Good to hear! The memory could have been bad or it was all that dust. Either way it's better to have more then 2GB for 64 bit! And if you can get more use out of it that's even better! I have a 12-13 year old PC that still works great. Im attempting to start using it again, especially since there's only a few years left on XP & would be great to learn a couple Linux systems as well.
August 20, 2012 6:09:53 AM

MidnightDistort - Thanks.

1GB of memory was sufficient for an old Windows 32 version but not Windows 7 Home Edition 64.
a b $ Windows 7
August 20, 2012 8:22:54 PM

Glad you got it working. Still surprised it wouldn't even boot with less than 2. 32bit runs fine with 1gb of ram. /shrug
August 21, 2012 3:28:44 AM

Supermuncher85 - The kid installed a 64 bit version which uses just a tiny bit more memory than a 32bit version.

BTW - I like your avatar. I remember Asterisk and Obelisk from my tours of duty in Germany. My favorite comic book was "Asterisk and the Romans" - Die spinne die Roemer! Geez! That was a long long time ago!
a b $ Windows 7
August 21, 2012 5:15:56 PM

JohnnyLucky said:

BTW - I like your avatar. I remember Asterisk and Obelisk from my tours of duty in Germany. My favorite comic book was "Asterisk and the Romans" - Die spinne die Roemer! Geez! That was a long long time ago!


Yeah I grew up around the air base in Frankfurt am Main and Asterix and Obelix definitively have special place in my heart. Especially Obelix," "who are you calling fat?" :lol: 
August 25, 2012 10:01:51 PM

Best answer selected by JohnnyLucky.
a c 371 $ Windows 7
a b } Memory
August 25, 2012 10:12:21 PM

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