Installed Memory vs RAM Usable by Windows

SOLVED Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Nibiru2012, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. Nibiru2012

    Nibiru2012 Quick Scotty, beam me up! Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    4,955
    Likes Received:
    1,306
    Location:
    Planet X
    From: Benchmark Reviews June 13, 2010

    Most PC users are familiar with the 4GB system memory limitation of 32-bit Windows Operating Systems, which is why 64-bit computing has become the standard for computer enthusiasts. Occasionally though, a computer system will not report the correct amount of RAM installed. In this article, our 64-bit Windows 7 test system had 6.00 GB of installed memory but indicates only 4.00 GB usable RAM available. While some may dismiss this as a case of defective RAM, you might be surprised by the culprit. Benchmark Reviews troubleshoots Installed Memory vs RAM Usable by Windows. ​

    Diagnosing system memory problems is usually a strait-forward chore: test each module individually using free tools such as Microsoft Memory Diagnostic or Memtest86+. This process usually roots out the defective module, and allows you to move on with replacement. Unfortunately, not all problems are so easily solved. In some cases, the computer system will work without errors or crashing, but the amount of installed memory is more than what Windows reports as usable. This is where troubleshooting can take you to task.

    [​IMG]

    Windows Installed memory (RAM): 6.00 GB (4.00 GB usable)

    Modern computer hardware is very durable, but factory defects and improper handling still account for the majority of failures. System memory, often referred to as RAM (Random Access Memory), is the middleman between the processor and Operating System. RAM is installed into DIMM (Dual Inline Memory Module) sockets on the motherboard, which adds another component into consideration when troubleshooting. The mainboard can occasionally be to blame for memory problems, too, making it difficult to discern between faulty RAM or motherboard. But what about the CPU?

    Many new processors have an integrated memory controller (IMC) built into the CPU, such as the triple-channel DDR3 controller equipped on Intel Core i7 Nehalem LGA1366 processor series. Subsequent dual-channel AMD and Intel processors have utilized this technology, further complicating the process of troubleshooting bad system memory (unless you have compatible RAM and CPU components on hand to test with). In the next section, Benchmark Reviews gives a brief overview of how to diagnose desktop memory problems, and reveals how a faulty IMC can cause Windows hardships. ​


    To read the rest of the article, go HERE.

     
    Nibiru2012, Jul 12, 2010
    #1
    catilley1092 likes this.
    1. Advertisements

  2. Nibiru2012

    catilley1092 Win 7/Linux Mint Lover VIP Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2009
    Messages:
    3,507
    Likes Received:
    569
    Location:
    North Carolina, USA
    Thanks for the reference to the memory test in this article, it revealed my main problem, I have bad RAM in my notebook, even though it folded two jobs in the last two days. What I done, was I found the RAM chips that came with my desktop that I swapped for more RAM (4GB total). However, they were only 1GB instead of the 2GB that was installed. But that's fine, it's now running, no error messages (I was getting 50+ per day).

    But my other issue persists, extreme heat. And something else that's weird, it has been going on for a while, my icons will actually move on the screen. There's a gap in them near the bottom of the screen. And one more thing, upon starting up, the screen flashes several times (a black screen) before settling down (mabye 20-30 seconds or so.

    One other thing, this RAM was desktop, it was much lighter than what was in it, the magnets are much smaller. Will that be a problem for me? At any rate, all of the warnings and error messages are gone, mabye now I can get some more cash saved towards another one.

    PS: When this problem happened, I was told that viruses doesn't infect hardware. I've read otherwise on RAM, that the chips can get infected.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
    catilley1092, Jul 12, 2010
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. Nibiru2012

    Nibiru2012 Quick Scotty, beam me up! Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    4,955
    Likes Received:
    1,306
    Location:
    Planet X
    From InfoPackets.com:

    So what we have told you is true! A virus CANNOT reside in the RAM when the machine is powered off. Also, a few days ago I mentioned that you download MemTest'86 and run it. What memory test did you use to verify you have bad RAM?

    Sometimes RAM just goes kaput! Could be from a voltage spike, overheating, etc. The onboard chips sometimes just give up the ghost. That's why it is always recommended to buy RAM from a reputable maker with a lifetime warranty on the RAM sticks.

    I have told you several times how to resolve your heat issues, have you done them? From what you're stating above, I really believe you're having CPU heatsink problems.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
    Nibiru2012, Jul 12, 2010
    #3
  4. Nibiru2012

    TrainableMan ^ The World's First ^ Moderator

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,282
    Likes Received:
    1,600
    Location:
    PA, USA
    Nibs, It's a laptop. They can be easily damaged just taking them apart. So ripping it open to replace heat sink paste may be risky; he stated in other posts he doesn't want to damage it because it's under warranty.

    Cat, there are many differences in RAM: speeds, parity, etc so I don't know if the new mem will be a problem or not. The flashing display sounds like maybe it is searching for the best resolution but I don't know. The moving icons would be effected if the resolution is changed which as I suspect is your flashing. Has your video driver changed? Are you attaching and detaching an external monitor with a different resolution?
     
    TrainableMan, Jul 12, 2010
    #4
  5. Nibiru2012

    Nibiru2012 Quick Scotty, beam me up! Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    4,955
    Likes Received:
    1,306
    Location:
    Planet X
    I've taken notebooks apart with no problems. Of course one must have the tech guide to do it properly. "Ripping it open" is NOT how it's done. It's a step-by-step procedure.

    If it's under warranty then he needs to send it in and have it serviced then. But a lot of the time, dirty notebooks that need cleaning are not covered under warranty procedures.

    His notebook is about to go south on him pretty quick from all the problems he's describing. That is one of the reasons I don't use a notebook for my main computing use, they're too easy to get screwed up and don't have anywhere near the cooling capacity that a desktop has. Notebooks are primarily meant for use on the go, business meetings, conferences and such.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
    Nibiru2012, Jul 12, 2010
    #5
  6. Nibiru2012

    TrainableMan ^ The World's First ^ Moderator

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,282
    Likes Received:
    1,600
    Location:
    PA, USA
    It's not really that kind of warranty; if it goes south that's the best result for this type warranty. Basically they aren't big on the repairing it side, they are more of if it dies mail it in our prepaid envelope and we refund all you paid for it.

    I'm sure it depends on the laptop but some of the horror stories I've seen were like "the ribbon cable just tore" or "the little plastic tab snapped off". He bought it used so unless he can find an assembly guide online, he probably doesn't have one.
     
    TrainableMan, Jul 12, 2010
    #6
    catilley1092 likes this.
  7. Nibiru2012

    catilley1092 Win 7/Linux Mint Lover VIP Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2009
    Messages:
    3,507
    Likes Received:
    569
    Location:
    North Carolina, USA
    That's what I mean, if it goes south (and it's moving along fast), this particular company is not into repairs, especially spending tons of cash on a notebook that isn't even worth it. You call them, describe your problem in detail, usually they tell you then that you're entitled to a refund (if it's severe). They email you a shipping label, you send it in, they inspect it, if it's as you say, your money is refunded, as simple as that. They don't try to push off another refurb on you, it's a straight up deal.

    I know, because I was refunded in full on two separate occasions, once on a notebook that was the very same make & model as this one (hard drive), once on another one because it would only trickle charge a battery. This notebook is not worth $400, so what incentive is there for me to clean it, apply new paste, and all? I've already cleaned the RAM stick and the slot, placed it back in, ran a MEM TEST 86 (included with Linux Mint), the RAM is fine. The drive isn't. It overheats all the time, plus a lot of times when you boot into the system, the first thing it does is go into CHKDSK, thermal paste and cleaning dust out won't help. It's a drive system problem. Sure, it should have been cleaned, but the factory (Dell) just refurbished it less than a year ago, it ought to be fairly clean anyway.

    However, if I were to buy a new one, I would take the time to clean it really good, a couple of times a year. And reapply thermal paste, if necessary. There's a huge difference in something that's already going south, and you're going to be refunded, and something that's going to cost a grand, and new, and does what you want it to. A huge difference.

    Cat
     
    catilley1092, Jul 17, 2010
    #7
  8. Nibiru2012

    Nibiru2012 Quick Scotty, beam me up! Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    4,955
    Likes Received:
    1,306
    Location:
    Planet X
    Your drive may BE malfunctioning, but it won't cause the notebook to overheat. It's probably the heat from the other parts on the notebook overheating causing the drive to malfunction.

    Most hard drives will shut down or start to act goofy when they get hot. They have a thermal limit ya know.

    My hard drives in my fan-cooled external case get to about between 38 - 40 deg. Celsius and there is cool air blowing out the back of the case. It's your the other parts overheating on the notebook causing the hard drive to overheat and malfunction.

    Have you run S.I.W. to see what is the temperatures of the components?

    In the "Sensors" section will tell you your CPU temp, motherboard temp, grapics chipset temp, hard drive temp, etc.

    Try that and see what happens. You can also download a free little application called: HWinfo32 You can download it here: http://www.hwinfo.com/

    Make sure you get the Windows version, not the DOS.

    I'll bet you 10lbs. of pulled pork barbecue that it's the other components overheating.

    Here's what the HWinfo32 will show your on the sensors:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
    Nibiru2012, Jul 17, 2010
    #8
    catilley1092 likes this.
  9. Nibiru2012

    catilley1092 Win 7/Linux Mint Lover VIP Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2009
    Messages:
    3,507
    Likes Received:
    569
    Location:
    North Carolina, USA
    I'll check that out. I know other parts have been overheating for a long time, but other than the screen flashing at startup, there were no obvious problems. At the top left of the notebook (above the ESC key), it's hot as hell, top & bottom. About an inch & a half to the right, at the rear, is where the power cord plugs in, so it's in close proximity to the heated area. This is the same area that I was talking about a month ago, it burned my leg, when I fell asleep in the recliner. It scarred it, too.

    My doctor told me that with the meds I take, that I didn't need to be leaving a notebook, commonly referred to as "laptops", in my lap while reclining in a chair. It hasn't been in my lap since.

    When I get another one, I'm buying one of those nice coolers (one that you plug into an AC outlet) to set it in. That way, it should stay reasonably cool, and I won't get burned again.

    I'm sure that I'll see some high numbers on the report on this notebook.
     
    catilley1092, Jul 17, 2010
    #9
  10. Nibiru2012

    catilley1092 Win 7/Linux Mint Lover VIP Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2009
    Messages:
    3,507
    Likes Received:
    569
    Location:
    North Carolina, USA
    Mine doesn't show everything yours does, one reason, I saw that a lot of things were either not present or not supported. But my CPU is at 96C right now, that's probably what burned my leg, and the drive is 46C. Another thing that I see is that the RPM of my CPU is at 4031RPM, while yours is 1551. No wonder it's so hot. I just converted it into degrees, it's now 204.8F. That's almost the point of boiling water!
     
    catilley1092, Jul 17, 2010
    #10
  11. Nibiru2012

    Nibiru2012 Quick Scotty, beam me up! Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    4,955
    Likes Received:
    1,306
    Location:
    Planet X
    DUUHH!!

    OKAY! You owe me 10lbs. of pulled pork barbecue now! LOL!

    WHAT HAVE I BEEN TELLING YOU! It's your CPU cooling... Silly Rabbit!

    96C way too frikkin' hot! You really need to clean things up in there.

    When you burned your leg it should have raised a RED FLAG about the internal condition of your notebook.

    Your CPU fan/cooler is running at very high RPM and I'll be you that you can barely feel any air movement at all. That's cause everything is clogged and congested in there.

    Tell us your model number of notebook and we'll see if we can find a tech manual for it.
     
    Nibiru2012, Jul 17, 2010
    #11
  12. Nibiru2012

    yodap No longer shovelling VIP Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,430
    Likes Received:
    340
    Location:
    NY, USA
    Yes but if you throw some of that pork in a pot and put it on the lappy.........HOT LUNCH!:)
     
    yodap, Jul 17, 2010
    #12
  13. Nibiru2012

    Nibiru2012 Quick Scotty, beam me up! Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    4,955
    Likes Received:
    1,306
    Location:
    Planet X
    This is a true story! Then I'll have to go get some fresh-baked Kaiser rolls, make some cole slaw, heat up some Bush's Best Homestyle Beans.

    Why does everyone these days call a notebook computer a "lappy"? Just curious, but the term is sooo....????
     
    Nibiru2012, Jul 17, 2010
    #13
  14. Nibiru2012

    catilley1092 Win 7/Linux Mint Lover VIP Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2009
    Messages:
    3,507
    Likes Received:
    569
    Location:
    North Carolina, USA
    I have a tech manual for it, that's no problem. But the test did show that my fan was working OK, and I can feel (very hot) air blowing out the back of it. No doubt it needs cleaning, but I'm not going to lose my warranty claim by cleaning things up. I need that money for the other notebook. Plus, for the time being, after running several chkdsk/r commands, the filesystem appears OK for now.

    But it will be a matter of time before it acts up again, requiring a chkdsk/r command to be run (about every three days or so). You know, I'm actually surprised that it's lasted this long. The other one just like it (Latitude D610) went out as soon as problems began, mabye two weeks or so. It ran hot, too. The max safe temp is 215F for the processor, it runs around 205F on a continual basis.

    I did read up on this make & model of notebook on Wikipedia, and it has a known history of heat issues & MOBO problems, the heat causing fine cracks in the MOBO, leading to failure. Many older Dell Latitudes has heat issues, by nature. Mabye it's due to the incorrect selection of parts that it consists of, Dell is well known for selecting the cheapest parts possible. And this is one of those MOBO's that has the capacitor problem, the heat probably compounds the issue.

    At any rate, it was put into service on 6/1/2004, making it six years old, older than I thought it was. It was owned by a hospital, prior to me buying it, so it's probably been ran a lot, plus I've gotten my mileage out of it myself. In fact, it's still folding as I'm typing, and will continue to do so until it finally kicks over. Which I thought would already have happened, but it's still hanging on. As long as she'll fold, let her go.
     
    catilley1092, Jul 17, 2010
    #14
  15. Nibiru2012

    yodap No longer shovelling VIP Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,430
    Likes Received:
    340
    Location:
    NY, USA
    Just a habit from another forum I participate in. Don't read too much into it and I'll try to refrain here. :shot:
     
    yodap, Jul 17, 2010
    #15
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.